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Category: #CoronaVirus

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How to Set Up an Office in the Garden or Backyard to Maintain Your Sanity

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If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space where you live, setting up shop in the garden or backyard can make working from home more bearable. You can top up your daily dose of vitamin D, get closer to the natural (or urban) world around you, escape from the rest of the family, and get all your work done all at…

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/how-to-set-up-an-office-in-the-garden-or-backyard-to-ma-1843463249
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The Article Was Written/Published By: David Nield

The best video games to play during lockdown, from Animal Crossing to The Sims 4

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Louis Chilton picks 17 of the best games to help keep you entertained while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/games/feature/video-games-best-self-isolating-play-animal-crossing-death-stranding-last-of-us-a9424936.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Louis Chilton

US video game sales have record quarter, as consumers stay at home

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New numbers from NPD confirm what we’ve known for a while: the first quarter of 2020 was a very good one for gaming companies. The new report notes that sales hit a record $10.86 billion in the States between January and March of this year, marking a 9% increase over a year prior. $9.58 billion of that figure was from video game content.

The primary driver is, you guessed it, COVID-19. As stay at home orders have been enacted on the federal and state levels, people are coping with the on-going daily horror that is life in 2020 by playing video games. Lots and lots of video games.

Here’s NPD’s Mat Piscatella further confirming our suspicions, “Video Games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time. As people have stayed at home more, they’ve utilized gaming not only as a diversion and an escape, but also as a means of staying connected with family and friends. Whether it was on console or mobile, PC or virtual reality, gaming experienced play and sales growth during the first quarter.”

According to NPD’s Q1 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report, overall total industry consumer spending on #videogaming in the U.S. reached a record $10.86 billion in the first quarter of 2020 (Jan. – Mar.), an increase of 9 percent compared to the same time period last year.

— NPD Games (@npdgames) May 15, 2020

That last bit is, in part, key to many consumers’ choice of game titles. As already noted by the firm, Animal Crossing: New Horizons had its own record setting first quarter. That, in turn, helped drive Switch sales, in spite of Nintendo’s well documented supply issues. The title arrived just in the nick of time for stay at home orders in the U.S., delivering a kind of front-facing social experience that much of the competition lacks. Also, turnips.

Matter of fact, the Switch’s success actually helped supplement losses of other platforms. Microsoft and Sony will no doubt make up gains at the end of the year with their next gen consoles. For now, however, many consumers are likely holding out until their holiday arrives to invest in Xbox or Playstation hardware, in spite of the pandemic. The U.S.’s soaring unemployment rate no doubt also had an impact on the industry’s bottom line.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/15/us-video-game-sales-have-record-quarter-as-consumers-stay-at-home/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brian Heater

How coronavirus is speeding up a la carte cord-cutting

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When deciding to drop cable or satellite TV, there are two potential paths a cord cutter can take.

The first is to replace the cable bundle with a streaming one, using services like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, or Sling TV. The second is to cobble together various standalone services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, perhaps throwing in a TV antenna for good measure.

Each approach has its pros and cons, and there’s room for them to overlap. But I’ve been predicting for a while that we’ll ultimately see more people choose the latter approach. As the best content becomes available outside the bundle, the ever-increasing costs of cable channels will become too much to justify.

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Source: https://www.techhive.com/article/3543808/coronavirus-is-speeding-up-a-la-carte-cord-cutting.html#tk.rss_all
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jared Newman

Twitter says staff can continue working from home permanently

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Earlier today, Jack Dorsey sent an email to Twitter staff, notifying employees that they will be ale to  continue working from home as long as they see fit. The CEO notes that Twitter was an earlier adopter of a work-from-home model, though — like much the rest of the world — that push has been accelerated by COVID-19 stay at home orders.

Twitter confirmed the decision in an email to TechCrunch, noting,

We were uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow folks to work from home given our emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere. The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return. 

Beyond that, the company is also outlining its plans resume in-person working arrangements and meetings, for those who prefer that arrangement. While San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on April 27 that the city would extend its stay at home orders through the end of May, Governor Gavin Newsom has already signaled the easing of some restrictions.

Even so, Twitter appears to be taking an understandably cautious approach toward returning to work — a luxury afforded to the company by the flexibility of remote work. Chief HR Officer Jennifer Christie lays out Twitter’s plans thusly,

  • Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs. 
  • With very few exceptions, offices won’t open before September. When we do decide to open offices, it also won’t be a snap back to the way it was before. It will be careful, intentional, office by office and gradual. 
  • There will also be no business travel before September, with very few exceptions, and no in-person company events for the rest of 2020. We will assess 2021 events later this year.

Obviously things are subject to change, though Twitter seems much more likely to push it back, if anything, based on the language. Other major tech firms, including Facebook and Google, have extended their work from home policies through the end of the year. Twitter’s approach is particularly accommodating for a company of its size. What that means for the future of Twitter’s San Francisco HQ and other offices, however, remains to be seen. 

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/12/twitter-says-staff-can-continue-working-from-home-permanently/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Brian Heater

Bipartisan caucus set to hold ‘virtual Congress’ on Thursday

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The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is slated to hold a “virtual Congress”  on Thursday, providing lawmakers with the chance to remotely debate the next major coronavirus relief package remotely amid the COVID…

Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/496520-bipartisan-caucus-set-to-hold-virtual-congress-on-thursday
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Juliegrace Brufke

How to Share Your Screen in a Zoom Meeting

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As the majority of the global workforce now works remotely, the need for video conferencing has risen—and so has the popularity of Zoom. In a Zoom call, you may eventually need to share your screen with participants. Here’s how.

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Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/671196/how-to-share-your-screen-in-a-zoom-meeting/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Marshall Gunnell

Here’s What Apple and Google Want Coronavirus Contact-Tracing Apps to Look Like

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Apple and Google aren’t developing coronavirus-tracking apps, but on Monday they shared examples of what those apps could look like. Most notably, the tech giants detailed what the public health authorities who can use their contact-tracing APIs to create those apps can’t do: namely, they can’t track your location and…

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Source: https://gizmodo.com/here-s-what-apple-and-google-want-coronavirus-contact-t-1843247795
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Caitlin McGarry