Items tagged with covid-19

Although the Nintendo Switch is now four years old, that hasn't cooled off interest in the portable game console. The Switch launched to much fanfare in March 2017 and has since become one of Nintendo's fastest-selling consoles and could soon eclipse the iconic Wii. However, demand from the COVID-19 stay-at-home crowd has resulted in even stronger demand for both the Switch and the cheaper Switch Lite. As a result, Nintendo could be boosting production of the console for its current fiscal year, which runs March 2021 through March 2022. During that time, Nintendo will produce 30 million Switch consoles, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. Nintendo Switch To put those numbers into perspective,... Read more...
It is currently a horrible time to build a new gaming PC. From COVID-19 demand to chip shortages, droughts, and a cryptocurrency boom, many factors make obtaining critical components like high-end processors and graphics cards hard to find at MSRP. Over the weekend, we even heard about the potential for a shortage of SSDs and HDDs due to rising Chinese crypto coin. Today, more bad news is coming in for those looking to build a new rig or upgrade an existing one. Research firm TrendForce projects that DRAM prices will surge between 18 to 23 percent for Q2 2021 versus Q1 2021. The 18 to 23 percent range is for the overall DRAM market, but higher increases are expected for consumer PC DRAM versus... Read more...
Security breaches and data loss have been rampant problems for companies in recent years, with it seeming like there was a new victim every week. These security issues have also had some dire consequences, such as the first possible ransomware-related death at a hospital. As such, organizations are facing a harsh reality, with decisions that could make or break them. Technology research company Canalys released its analysis of cybersecurity incidents today, and it dropped a bombshell in that “more records were compromised in just 12 months than in the previous 15 years combined.” Companies, on average, had an approximated 61 million records lost, with a loss from public sources totaling... Read more...
It was around this time last year when Razer shifted some of its assembly lines to producing and donating over a million critically needed masks to healthcare workers, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Then earlier this year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Razer unveiled Project Hazel, a concept billed as "the world's smartest face mask," with RGB lighting, of course. While not all concept projects actually come to fruition, Razer has confirmed its high-tech face mask will. An N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) is a type of mask commonly worn by healthcare workers who take care of COVID-19 patients. True N95 masks are designed to filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles,... Read more...
Since the launch of new CPUs, GPUs, and consoles late last year, chip supply has certainly struggled to keep up with demand. This supply issue is due in part to an ongoing semiconductor shortage which is not showing signs of stopping any time soon. To look for solutions, President Joe Biden is stepping in to review the semiconductor supply chain ecosystem and hopefully fund increased manufacturing capacity in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has ultimately wreaked havoc across many industries, leading to a trickle-down effect of shortages and delays in production. Subsequently, there has been pressure on the Biden administration, from both the GOP and other organizations, to take a look... Read more...
Fry's Electronics was once a prime destination for enthusiasts looking to grab the latest gear for their PC gaming rigs (among other things). However, in recent years, the family-owned retail chain has become a shell of its former self. The remaining stores have mostly looked like ghost towns with barren shelves, and the product left behind was often outdated. However, it now appears that the COVID-19 pandemic has put the final nail in the coffin for the 35-year-old retail chain. In a note on its website, Fry's Electronics confirmed that its remaining 31 stores scattered across 19 states are being closed for good. The company cites two primary causes for ending operations: the ongoing COVID-19... Read more...
The devastating effects of COVID-19 are still being felt throughout the world, and obviously the loss of life is the primary concern. Secondary to that, there is a big economic fallout from the pandemic in certain segments. As such, businesses are doing what they can to survive, which in some cases includes converting spaces into cryptocurrency mining farms. Pictured above is an internet cafe in Vietnam called Internet Cafe Computer Star, which now mines cryptocurrency instead of serving customers. According to the business owner, it is easier to make a buck this way during the pandemic. "Transforming business i the pandemic. Profits are higher than net business, net room owners who want to do... Read more...
Academic textbooks must be one of the biggest shams out there, as math and science do not change enough to warrant a new edition of a book multiple times under ten-year spans. With the advent of eBooks, creating new editions of books became even easier as they did not require printing. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, publishers are increasing the prices of eBooks for reasons unknown. Across the pond, librarians and students at U.K. universities have been experiencing outrageous eBook prices this term, and it scarily appears that is becoming the norm. Now more than ever, students need easy, and low-cost access to books as the pandemic rages on, yet school continues in a modified remote-learning... Read more...
If you could have an early warning system for COVID-19, would you take advantage of it? What if the early warning system was as easy as installing an app and pairing it with your smartwatch? Researchers at Mount Sinai Health System and Stanford University have found that devices like an Apple Watch or Fitbit can predict if an individual is potentially COVID-19 positive even before symptoms appear. These tools could be crucial in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic globally and helping with diseases in the future. The researchers at Mount Sinai discovered that the Apple Watch "can detect subtle changes in an individual's heartbeat, which can signal that an individual has the coronavirus, up to seven... Read more...
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating affects across the globe, upending the everyday lives of nearly everyone, while at the same time resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands. Because of how COVID-19 is spread, people that can work from home along with students participating in virtual learning have resulted in a massive spike in PC sales. According to Canalys, overall PC shipments for the year 2020 hit 297 million units, which was a 11 percent increase compared to 2019. In fact, 2020 represented the biggest leap in full-year PC sales growth since 2010, and marked the highest number of unit shipments since 2014. More specifically, looking at data just for Q4 2020, we see that PC shipments... Read more...
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, touching public surfaces has become almost taboo. To combat this, Intel has announced for CES 2021 the RealSense Touchless Control Software, which simplifies converting kiosks and signage to a touchless interface. If you go to McDonald's, Kohl's, Amazon Lockers, or other stores, you will find touch-based kiosks for food ordering, shopping, or picking stuff up. These kiosks can be quite dirty, as in 2018, a U.K newspaper found that the McDonald's kiosks in six different restaurant locations had gut and fecal bacteria on them. Besides that, what else could be carried around and smudged onto kiosks by random people? McDonald's Kiosks Can Be Gross, Right? Now,... Read more...
You can probably drive around whatever town you live in and see several places that have closed shop, either permanently or temporarily, as a result of the pandemic that is still claiming lives. Looking back, 2020 was a trying year for sure. Not surprisingly, however, the video game and interactive media industry is one of the sectors that thrived, growing to a nearly $140 billion business last year. It makes sense, when you consider that much of the country and the world at larger were in lock down. Even when businesses started to open back up, the threat of COVID-19 prompted a massive surge in working from home and remote education. Throw in layoffs, and it is easy to see why the gaming sector... Read more...
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, IBM created a global security task force, called X-Force, dedicated to threat intelligence and analysis for organizations that are part of the vaccine supply chain. The work the task force has put forth has apparently yielded success as the group just announced that it discovered a global phishing campaign targeting COVID-19 "cold chain" organizations. These cold chain orgs are reportedly a vital part of the COVID-19 supply chain as they ensure that vaccines are preserved in cold temperatures so they remain effective. According to IBM’s X-Force, the phishing campaign began in September of this year, spanning across six countries and several... Read more...
COVID-19 has taken a toll on many businesses around the world. The companies that rely on in-person sales and interaction have been hit even harder as people have gone out significantly less to limit the spread of the virus. We are now starting to see more financial ramifications, as SEGA is selling off most of its arcade business to arcade machine company Genda. In August, it was found that COVID-19 would severely affect SEGA Sammy Holdings Inc. and its businesses. Following that forecast, a “Structural Reform Committee” was created so the business could “adapt to the external environment” while reducing costs, reorganizing for better market adaptability, and reviewing... Read more...
Finding a cure and developing a vaccine to neutralize COVID-19 is key to saving potentially millions of lives, and getting back to life as we once knew it. That is easier said than done, of course. There is some encouraging news on that front, however, as efforts by the Folding@home project has identified a possible target that could lead to a cure. Folding@home is a distributed computing project that focuses on simulated protein folding, in hopes of better understanding diseases like Alzheimer's in hopes of ultimately developing effective treatments. Like other distributed computing projects, the power is the donated CPU and GPU resources offered up people who choose to download the client software.... Read more...
The concept of Time travel often comes up in a multitude of pop culture references, and it gets rather confusing with all the interpretations. If you begin to think about it, paradoxes and loopholes plague our understanding of how it all should work too. After all, it's science fiction is it not?  Based on the math of a University of Queensland Australia undergrad, though, “Paradox-free time travel is theoretically possible,” so suck it pop culture. Could sci-fi again someday become reality? A fourth-year Bachelor of Advanced Science student, Gemain Tobar, decided to investigate the possibilities of time travel under the guidance of University of Queensland physicist... Read more...
Microsoft originally designed the Surface Hub lineup to make meetings and collaboration better for all. Now, they are making the 85-inch Surface Hub 2S finally available for preorder. Businesses that preorder now will see their devices ship in January 2021. Due to COVID-19, working, and learning remotely has become a large part of many people's daily lives. With the Surface Hub, Microsoft is looking to support the remote need by listening to customers and making changes to suit customers. According to Microsoft, “In these last six months of remote work, we’ve seen our customers transform how they use Surface Hub across a range of industries,” such as in education, healthcare,... Read more...
A consumer advocacy group published a study claiming many essential items on Amazon shot up in price during the height of pandemic shopping, and not always by third-party sellers. In no uncertain terms, the study says Amazon "engaged in price gouging on products it sells directly," sometimes by as much as 1,000 percent over the expected cost. The biggest markup, according to the 31-page study by Public Citizen, came on corn starch. Instead of selling for $0.89, as would be expected by on price tracking data from sites like Keepa and Camelcamelcamel, Amazon sold the item for $8.99. A 50-pack of disposable face masks saw a similar massive spike, going from around $4 to $39.99, according the study.... Read more...
With all the madness in 2020 surrounding COVID-19, we are starting to go full Cyberpunk now it appears. LG has unveiled an interesting looking new wearable air purifier that doubles as a mask. To be introduced during IFA 2020, this device will help you fight off viruses while looking futuristic as all get-out. Among all the masks, there have been numerous issues with varying quality and safety. LG aims to take care of this problem with their LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier. This device will sit on your face, not taking up much more space than a regular filtered canister mask. The LG press release says this mask uses “two H13 HEPA filters, similar to the filters used in the company’s... Read more...
For businesses and educational institutions that have been incredibly slow with their Windows 10 upgrade cycles, we have some good news for you today. Microsoft announced that it is giving customers still running the Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update) a six-month extension for support. If you recall, Microsoft initially ended support for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update back in November 2019 for both Home and Pro editions of the operating system. However, Enterprise and Education editions were set to continue receiving updates through November 2020.  Rather than going through with those plans, Microsoft has instead decided to extend support for Enterprise and Education editions... Read more...
Many students will be engaged in remote learning this coming school year. Remote learning naturally requires access to a device and a reliable Internet connection. Unfortunately, many American schools are currently facing a major shortage of laptops. Educators throughout the United States are deeply concerned about how this shortage will impact learning, especially the learning of vulnerable students. Lenovo, HP and Dell have all stated that they have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops. There are several factors that are contributing to this shortage. First, there is simply a higher demand for devices now than there was prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. Second, many laptop producers... Read more...
Today is the day that many students are heading back to school across the United States. Whether those students are partaking in virtual learning from home, or doing in-person learning while practicing social distancing, chances are that they will probably need some new tech gear to start the school year off on the right foot. Amazon is currently running some deals on tech gear that can be used for students either while doing their school work, or in their downtime. The first deal is on the Wi-Fi version of the Apple iPad Mini 5. The 7.9-inch tablet is typically priced at $399 for the 64GB version, but Amazon currently has it on sale for $349.99. Likewise, the 256GB SKU is discounted from... Read more...
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