Items tagged with covid-19

It is taking a cooperative effort on a global scale to stop the spread of COVID-19, of which there are now nearly 1.3 million confirmed cases and over 70,000 deaths. On the manufacturing side of the equation, technology companies like Apple and Tesla are stepping up to produce much needed equipment for medical workers. As it pertains to Tesla, the automaker provided an engineering update on its custom ventilator made from various car parts, including components from its Model 3. Ventilators are complex contraptions. They are also supremely important in managing and treating some patients with COVID-19, but are in short supply at the moment. Tesla is one of several automakers who are sourcing... Read more...
Over the years, conspiracy theorists would have us believe the moon landing was faked, there are aliens at Area 51 (I'm not entirely willing to rule this one out), and that Elvis Presley is alive and well, perhaps reminiscing with Tupac about living in the spotlight. Here's one more to add to the pile—5G cell towers are somehow responsible for spreading COVID-19, according to the latest ridiculous conspiracy theory making the rounds. Even worse, it seems some people are setting 5G cell towers ablaze in a horribly misguided, dangerous attempt to end the Coronavirus pandemic. We're not making this stuff up. This is happening in the United Kingdom, and there is a video of a burning cell tower... Read more...
Sport events in all sorts of genres have been canceled due to the coronavirus and the inability for large groups of people to gather. This has driven some sporting events to go the way of eSports and be held online, particularly in the basketball and motorsports world. Porsche Motorsport is currently holding its PMSC Virtual Edition racing event that’s being live-streamed from the Circuit De Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. The event is underway right now and has more than 32 professional drivers participating in the event. The announcers are calling Porsche's virtual race just as they would in the real world and talking about the interesting mashup of virtual racing and professional... Read more...
We've seen Raspberry Pi single-board computers for all sorts of contraptions, but this latest usage case is equal parts humorous and timely given our current situation with the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Developers from the Finnish firm Surrogate have created a claw machine game that you can play from the comfort of quarantine in your home. Now to be certain, this is a fully-fledged claw machine, like one you might find at an arcade or carnival event. But it is controlled via a Raspberry Pi and is internet-connected so that anyone can get in queue to take their chances at scoring a prize. However, in this case, you're not vying for the chance to score a stuffed animal or a Buzz Lightyear... Read more...
Data collection tends to make people squeamish, because quite frankly, technology firms have a spotty track record when it comes to respecting privacy. That includes Google. Be that as it may, it is a practice that will continue to exist in the online era, though it does not necessarily have to be used solely for targeted advertising. How so? Google has begun publishing COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports based on collected data, to help health officials formulate effective strategies against the spread of the virus. As outlined in a blog post, the reports use aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography. The reports take into account different high-level categories... Read more...
These are indeed strange times we live in. As the Coronavirus pandemic runs its course, more people are being sent home to work, and the sudden surge in telecommuting has resulted in a rise in the number of people turning to Zoom, a popular video conferencing application. It's not the only game in town, though, in case you want to use something different. That's not to say Zoom won't get the job done. It will, which is why it is so popular in the first place. However, there has also been some cause for concern in recent weeks. Zoom recently caught some heat over its data collection policies when it came to light that it was sharing private data with Facebook without permission. Zoom subsequently... Read more...
Ransomware is a significant problem for individuals and organizations today. However, it can be a particularly big problem for healthcare organizations and has the potential to cost lives during the COVID-19 pandemic raging around the world. Microsoft says that during this time of crisis as organizations move towards a remote workforce, ransomware operators have found a new target in the form of network devices like gateways and VPN appliances. Microsoft says that it is putting a particular emphasis on the healthcare sector by protecting critical services, especially hospitals today. Microsoft notes that right now, REvil, which is also known as Sodinokibi, is one of the ransomware campaigns that... Read more...
The spread of COVID-19 has created a unique and challenging situation around the globe. Outside of the obvious health concerns, the Coronavirus pandemic is putting a financial strain on people, as businesses close down or suspend operations. In an effort to help, Google has made a couple of temporary changes to its Google Fi MVNO phone service, including relaxed data limits. There are two Google Fi service tiers, those being Flexible and Unlimited. Under normal circumstances, the Flexible tier allots 15 gigabytes (GB) of full-speed data for subscribers, after which the service is throttled down to 256 kilobits per second (Kbps). The Unlimited tier bumps things up to 22GB of full-speed access.... Read more...
There has been a sharp rise in the number of people who are working at home as of late, because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Social distancing is the recommended course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (along with frequent hand washing). Fortunately, the Internet infrastructure is mostly passing the test of this unique time we find ourselves in, and yes, parts of it are being strained, such as Microsoft's Azure cloud services. In a recent update to its Azure blog, Microsoft revealed that it has seen a massive 775 percent increase in its cloud services in regions where social distancing and/or stay-at-home orders are being enforced. It has also seen a big spike in Teams usage—it... Read more...
It is going to be awhile before anyone can throw an in-person house party. As a result, many people have instead turned to social media and various video conferencing apps to keep in touch with their coworkers, friends and loved ones. The app Houseparty has particularly risen in popularity since the outbreak of COVID-19, aka Coronavirus. What is this app and why has it suddenly become so popular? Here is everything you need to know about Houseparty. Houseparty is a free video social networking app. It is available on Android and iOS devices, macOS, and as a Chrome extension. There is also a beta of a web-based version. The app was originally released in 2016 by Life on Air Inc., a company that... Read more...
Amazon is really finding itself under immense strain as it tries to cope with an influx of orders amid the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Not only are shipping times slipping for various products that it sells via its website (for both Amazon and Marketplace platforms), but its inventory has been obliterated when it comes to household staples like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  In a bid to ease some stress on its shipping channels, Amazon is giving customers a financial incentive to choose slower "No-Rush Shipping" (when available) rather than take advantage of fast and free Prime shipping. For example, let's take the popular AMD Ryzen 5 3600, which is currently selling... Read more...
If you’re one of the millions of Americans stuck at home right now due to COVID-19/coronavirus, some of you may have noticed that your broadband speeds have taken a hit in the past few weeks. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that an influx of workers “telecommuting” instead of working from the office, and children accessing educational materials from the computers at home would put a strain on broadband networks. Throw in an massive increase in online gaming, and you can see why some networks might be stressed. Well, the folks over at BroadbandNow have posted their Internet Speed Analysis for 200 top cities in the United States for March 15th through... Read more...
Just a few days ago, the Folding@home distributed computing project had reached 470 petaFLOPS of cumulative compute power, topping out the output of the seven fastest supercomputers in the world. And now? Thanks to a continued surge in activity from users joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Folding@home has more than doubled the amount of data it crunching, and is in exaFLOP territory. "Thanks to our AMAZING community, we've crossed the exaFLOP barrier! That's over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second, making us ~10x faster than the IBM Summit!," Folding@home announced on Twitter. That's 18 zeros, folks. To put that figure into perspective, the collective effort of... Read more...
Some video games are just better with a friend. However, gaming can quickly become frustrating and still isolating if you and your good friends play on different platforms. Thankfully there are plenty of games that feature cross-play for inter-platform gaming fun. Here are some of the best video games that can be played with friends on a truly wide variety of gaming platforms and ecosystems. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) and Call of Duty: Warzone (2020) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released this past September and garnered $600 million in sales in just three day. Its gameplay was certainly a major attraction, but gamers were also thrilled that the game offered cross-play. It is... Read more...
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