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APR
10

Apple and Google want to turn your phone into a Covid-tracking machine

Apple and Google want to turn your phone into a Covid-tracking machine

Just when you were wondering why the world’s biggest tech companies weren’t doing more to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Apple and Google made a big announcement: They are joining forces to build an opt-in contact-tracing tool using Bluetooth technology that could help public health officials track the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The new tool brings with it not only hope for a quicker end to the pandemic, but also a host of privacy and security concerns.

The contact-tracing tool Apple and Google want to create would have your smartphone log when you’ve come into close contact with other people. If one of those people later reports Covid-19 symptoms to a public health authority, your phone would send you an alert. It works a bit like exchanging contact information with everyone you meet, except everything is designed to be anonymous and automatic. Instead of contact info, your smartphone will periodically exchange anonymized tracing keys with nearby devices. Both devices maintain a list of the keys they’ve collected on a cloud server, and when one person reports an infection, they have the option of sending an alert to people they’ve recently been in contact with. That alert will share information for what those people should do next.

Those are the broad strokes of what’s sure to be a very complex public-health-focused surveillance system. It represents an unprecedented partnership between two competing tech giants, one that could forever change the way our devices talk to each other. (Apple and Google say that the new contact-tracing tool will work between iPhones and Android phones.) The Bluetooth-based approach also draws on beacon technology that’s already in use in retail environments — and is already a concern for privacy advocates. Understanding the privacy and security implications of this new coronavirus contact-tracing technology will take time, but based on what we know now, the tool will start rolling out soon.

How it’s built

An important thing to understand about this system is that Apple and Google aren’t doing this by themselves. The two companies are building a set of tools, known as an application programming interface (API), that lets iOS and Android apps communicate with each other.

In the first phase of the tool’s release, which will start around mid-May, Google and Apple will release the APIs so that public health authorities can then build apps that will be publicly available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. People can choose to download those apps — and again, these apps will let iPhones and Android phones talk to each other.

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APR
08

This giant remote working from home experiment is creating new problems for everyone | ZDNet

This giant remote working from home experiment is creating new problems for everyone | ZDNet

The future of work is no longer an abstract concept: what once seemed a distant prospect has abruptly turned into an everyday reality for many businesses, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. With most employees now forced to carry out their jobs at home amid locked-down cities, companies across all industries are starting a new chapter – one called 'remote working for everyone'.

More prosaically, the imperative to switch entire workforces of organizations small and large to working from home, sometimes in a matter of days, has given some employees endless to-do lists and rather long hours. CIOs and their teams, who are responsible for leading their company's technology strategy, have been having a busy few weeks. 

The CIO's role right now consists of making sure the technology architecture of their organization enables employees to keep working productively, even from their homes. In the current context, this has often meant setting up entire systems for remote working, even before a full lock-down made it impossible for colleagues to come into the office and ask the IT department for help with unforeseen issues. 

In the UK, for instance, Leeds City Council got 11,500 office-based employees ready to work from home in the course of a weekend. The organization's digital services team had to get 7,000 laptops ready-to-go in just three days, before the full impact of the spread of COVID-19 began to hit home.

SEE: Working from home: Success tips for telecommuters (free PDF)

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APR
06

11 fun online classes to take for free when boredom strikes

11 fun online classes to take for free when boredom strikes

Most Popular

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10 super easy vegan recipes to try using your air fryer

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Take notes on this beauty and lifestyle guru’s blueprint for success—and staying vibrant at every age

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APR
06

Free Online Courses: Learn Coding, Game Design, Video Editing, and More - IGN

With all the uncertainty of the present moment, now is an excellent time to equip yourself with a new skill. Dozens of online courses are available to everyone, which means finding a digital learning portal has never been easier. The only hard part is choosing which one to use. As luck would have it, many of these online learning companies offer free trials so you can check out what they have to offer at no cost.So whether you want to learn to code, design games, edit videos, or more, chances are you can try several different platforms to see which one suits you best. Here are some of the options.

Udemy Free Courses

See Free Courses

On Udemy

Udemy offers courses on loads of subjects. One of the most appealing to IGN's audience is probably game design, where you can find over 300 courses dedicated to the art and science of making your own video games. If you sort by price, you'll find 20 free game design courses to get you started. These cover things like Unity basics, 2D game art, digital painting, and more.

Codecademy Free Courses

See Free Courses

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APR
06

The New Rules of Marketing

The New Rules of Marketing

Most small businesses I advise still rely on traditional advertising models, assuming they can create enough media "noise" to get customers attention and sway them.

You don't realize that person-to-person noise now dominates all channels through social media, effectively hiding business marketing messages. You now need a personal context in your marketing to get results.

For example, the company GoPro makes cameras, yet now rarely ever talks about cameras in its marketing. Instead, it publishes actual customer "Photos of the Day," highlighting the customer's thrill of adventure purpose.

This cuts through the competitor marketing noise, as well as social media messages and creates deeper, more contextual customer relationships.

The challenges of traditional marketing, and the key elements of the new marketing approach are highlighted well in the new book, The Context Marketing Revolution, by Mathew Sweezey, who has lived in both of these worlds as Director of Marketing Strategy for Salesforce.

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APR
06

CFOs looking to make remote work, telecommuting more permanent following COVID-19, says Gartner survey | ZDNet

CFOs looking to make remote work, telecommuting more permanent following COVID-19, says Gartner survey | ZDNet

The new normal telecommuting may be a bit more permanent than realized, as 74% of CFOs say they expect to move previously on-site employees remote post-COVID-19, according to a Gartner survey.

The survey, which had 317 CFO respondents on March 30, highlighted how remote work may become more of the norm as companies look to cut commercial real estate costs.

One of my working theories about the COVID-19 crisis was that the percentage of telecommuters would swell as enterprises realized they could be as effective and save money on commercial real estate. We've chronicled the remote work shift week to week during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Gartner found that almost a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20% of their on-site employees to remote work permanently. The research firm is taking the pulse of the COVID-19 CXO shifts in a series of surveys.

Among the key shifts from CFOs and enterprises as they manage cash via COVID-19 shutdowns:

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APR
03

Monterey Bay Aquarium launches free online courses

Monterey Bay Aquarium launches free online courses

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APR
03

A Must For Millions, Zoom Has A Dark Side — And An FBI Warning

A Must For Millions, Zoom Has A Dark Side — And An FBI Warning

Zoom is wildly popular, but it's now under scrutiny for security and privacy issues. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

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Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Zoom is wildly popular, but it's now under scrutiny for security and privacy issues.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET

Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as "Zoombombing," in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It's a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.

Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.

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APR
03

Skype ditches account and download requirements, offers link-based option for free video calls 

Skype ditches account and download requirements, offers link-based option for free video calls 

Microsoft has made some nice improvements to its Skype video call service. Starting today, users don’t need to sign up for an account or download software to join cross-platform video conferences. There’s also a simpler interface that allows users to start a video call in just one click.

Skype announced the changes on Twitter and on a new landing page today:

Easy video meetings with no sign ups or downloads

Generate your free unique link with one click, share it with participants and enjoy unlimited meetings with Skype. Full set of features at your disposal. Your meeting link does not expire and can be used anytime.

These were some of the features that have made Zoom one of the most popular choices for the huge increase in video call use since the coronavirus pandemic has changed how people are working and communicating. However, Zoom has seen a barrage of security and privacy issues recently, so some have turned to other alternatives.

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APR
01

Google will no longer pay lobbyists that deny climate change, pledges zero emissions by 2025

Google will no longer pay lobbyists that deny climate change, pledges zero emissions by 2025
An April Fools climate hoax in the middle of a pandemic - MarketWatch

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A previous version of this report incorrectly attributed to Google a new approach to climate-change policy that the company had not undertaken. A third party, posing as Google, made the announcement.

Bloomberg News

MarketWatch and other technology and investing sites misreported earlier Wednesday that Google parent Alphabet would cut ties with lobbyists and think tanks that deny accelerating man-made climate change.

The search giant GOOGL, +2.49% GOOG, +2.55% also reportedly had announced plans to cut ties with fossil-fuel sources. Except it did not make that announcement.

The posting was a prank put out by the New York City arm of a climate protest group, which has called out Google’s practices before.

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APR
01

Zoom is leaking thousands of email addresses and photos to strangers

Zoom has become the video conferencing service of choice for hundreds of thousands of people since the coronavirus pandemic forced employees all over the world to work from home.Zoom offers high-quality video and many useful features, but the number of privacy concerns surrounding the app have continued to mount.In a new report, Motherboard reveals that Zoom is leaking private information of thousands of users to strangers, and giving those strangers the ability to call other users they don’t know.Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Few services have been bigger beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic than Zoom. As millions of workers from all over the world were suddenly forced to work from home, and friends and family had to cancel their plans to meet up, video conferencing became the tool of choice for long-distance communication.

Of the countless video conferencing services available on mobile and desktop, few could match Zoom when it came to the quality of the calls and the number of features the service offered. But we are now learning that there is a price to pay (beyond the monthly subscription fee) for using Zoom.

Don't Miss: Today’s top deals: Massive Anker sale, DIY face mask supplies, AirPods Pro, best Fire TV Stick 4K deal ever, more

Last week, Motherboard reported that Zoom’s iOS app was sending analytics data to Facebook even if the user didn’t log into Facebook or didn’t have a Facebook account. Not only was there no way to opt out of this behavior, but Zoom also didn’t mention that data would be sent to Facebook in its privacy policy. Thankfully, Zoom removed the Facebook SDK from its app shortly after the report was published, but it’s beginning to look like Facebook was just the tip of the iceberg for Zoom’s privacy issues, of which many more have sprung up in recent days.

In Motherboard’s latest report concerning Zoom, the publication reveals that the video conferencing service is leaking email addresses and photos of thousands of users, as well as letting strangers attempt to call them.

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MAR
31

Zoom Meetings Aren’t End-to-End Encrypted, Despite Misleading Marketing

Zoom, the video conferencing service whose use has spiked amid the Covid-19 pandemic, claims to implement end-to-end encryption, widely understood as the most private form of internet communication, protecting conversations from all outside parties. In fact, Zoom is using its own definition of the term, one that lets Zoom itself access unencrypted video and audio from meetings.

With millions of people around the world working from home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, business is booming for Zoom, bringing more attention on the company and its privacy practices, including a policy, later updated, that seemed to give the company permission to mine messages and files shared during meetings for the purpose of ad targeting.

Still, Zoom offers reliability, ease of use, and at least one very important security assurance: As long as you make sure everyone in a Zoom meeting connects using “computer audio” instead of calling in on a phone, the meeting is secured with end-to-end encryption, at least according to Zoom’s website, its security white paper, and the user interface within the app. But despite this misleading marketing, the service actually does not support end-to-end encryption for video and audio content, at least as the term is commonly understood. Instead it offers what is usually called transport encryption, explained further below.

When mousing over the green lock in the top left of the Zoom desktop app, it says, “Zoom is using an end to end encrypted connection”

Screenshot: The Intercept

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MAR
28

6 of the best monitors for work or play you can get

6 of the best monitors for work or play you can get

Anybody who spends the majority of their day in front of a screen, be it forworkor forgaming, will appreciate the value of a good monitor. A large, high-quality screen can go a long way in boosting your work or play experience and it’s especially worth considering now if you’re stuck working from home. There are quite a few options to choose from of course, but we’re here to help out. Here are some of the best monitors you can buy!BenQ PD2720UAOC CU34G2XLG 34GL750-BDell U2720QAsus CG32UQPhilips 499P9H

1. BenQ PD2720U

The BenQ PD2720U is one of the best monitors you can get for productivity. The 27-inch IPS LCD screen comes with a 3840 x 2160 resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. Its color accuracy is its biggest selling point, and you can also make use of professional CAD/CAM, Darkroom, or Animation display modes. It also supports HDR10 content.

It’s also not lacking in connectivity. It comes with two HDMI ports, DisplayPort, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports (upstream and downstream) to provide a single-cable solution for charging and data transfers. The stand lets you tilt and swivel the monitor and find the optimal angle. It’s an expensive monitor though, but is well worth it. If you’re looking for even more screen real estate, you can also get the 32-inch model for an additional $100.

Check pricing

2. AOC CU34G2X

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MAR
27

Coronavirus: 57 free resources for home learning

After schools closed owing to the coronavirus pandemic, a huge range of companies, celebrities and organisations offered their services for free. 

So what free resources can schools and parents now access?

We have tried to collate them all below for you.

Collections of resources

1. Tes resources – Everything from EYFS to key stage 5. All home learning packs have been made free on this link.

2. Twinkl – Get a month of free access using code CVDTWINKLHELPS

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MAR
25

These common home appliances can dramatically slow down your internet speed | ZDNet

These common home appliances can dramatically slow down your internet speed | ZDNet

With unprecedented pressure on home internet connections because of work from home changes because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, UK's communication regulator Ofcom has published a list of practical tips for improving the speed and reliability of your home network.

Some of the tips are pretty obvious, such as testing your internet speeds regularly (I use Speedtest for this, but Ofcom has a decent list of others that provide this service), try wired rather than wireless, password-protecting your Wi-Fi so others can't leech off it, and getting in touch with your service provider if things get bad.

It also has some less useful tips -- unless your browser is awfully old, updating it is not going to make much difference at all. Also, I find that upgrading routers doesn't do that much, unless you're upgrading some serious enterprise-grade hardware such as Amazon eero, Netgear Orbi, or Ubiquiti Networks UniFi. It's worth bearing in mind that a lot of home internet service providers don't support third-party routers, so if things go wrong, you'll have to switch back to the original hardware (so don't throw it away), or you're on your own.

Must read: Coronavirus social distancing got you down? Tips and tricks to help you get through it

But the list does bring something up that home users might not be aware of that might be slowing things down. And that is that some electrical devices, such as dimmers, can cause interference and affect internet speeds.

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MAR
25

6 Emails You Shouldn't Send to Customers During a Pandemic--and 2 that You Should

With so many people working from home, and so many companies having dispersed workforces, email has never been so important. However, based upon the emails I've been receiving lately, a lot of companies are blowing it wit their customer emails.

While I've written extensively about email and email marketing, today's situation is unique to my experience. Nevertheless, here are some common sense guidelines:

THE 6 EMAILS YOU SHOULDN'T SEND:

1. Any bulk email sent to inactive customers.

At some point in the future you'll to either reactivate dormant accounts or prune them from your mailing list but is not that point. Your former customers have bigger fish to fry than being reminded that you still exist and asked whether they want to be on your list.

2. Any email sent just to express solidarity.

Yes, we're all in this together, but it comes off as opportunistic if you're obviously trying to to use the national crisis to to build rapport, in the hope that you'll be remembered fondly once the crisis is over. You'll be remembered fake friendly, not fondly.

3. Any email that begins "hope you're doing well in this crisis."

Even under normal circumstances, an email that begins with an obligatory inquiry about the recipient's health--and then segues immediately to your own agenda--is always offensive. During a pandemic, the faux concern seems beyond insensitive.

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MAR
25

6 apps and plugins to help you stay focused while working from home

6 apps and plugins to help you stay focused while working from home

Look, I fully recognize that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, I'm lucky to be able to work from home. But I'm not ashamed to admit that it's a struggle.

I'm someone who loves a routine. I miss my commute, my cute little desk, greeting my co-workers, and randomly annoying them throughout the day. 

I also miss my ability to focus on writing stories for long periods of time. You know, without getting sidetracked by hunger, laundry, TikTok, that random Keeping with the Kardashians episode I never got to watch, etc.  

While you might not have the same distractions as me, I think we can all agree that working from home makes it very easy to get sidetracked. 

But, as with anything in life, there's an app for that.

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MAR
24

Marketing Dos and Don'ts During a Crisis

Marketing Dos and Don'ts During a Crisis

Think short-, medium- and long-term, and know what you should and shouldn't be changing.

March 24, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

These are extremely difficult times, and making it more difficult is that these are uncharted waters full of speculation, self-appointed gurus and presumptive forecasts, leaving business owners unclear on what they should or shouldn't be doing with their business.

At our agency, we are telling all our clients the same thing we always do: Think of your marketing in terms of short-, medium- and long-term objectives, and know where you should and shouldn't be making changes in your marketing strategy. While a one-size-fits-all approach never works, there are some principles and concepts any business can apply during this current public-health, or any other, crisis.

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MAR
20

1990 to 2020: 30 Major Changes in 30 Years of Digital Marketing

1990 to 2020: 30 Major Changes in 30 Years of Digital Marketing

During the period, behavior of commerce markets has changed, compelling corporations to change their policies

March 21, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Digital marketing has come a long way from when it started in 1990. The story of digital marketing will not be complete without giving special credit to Google. Thanks to Google's continuous efforts, we are in a golden era of digital marketing, where there are no more flashy websites, doorway pages, sneaky redirects, nor all such practices.

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MAR
20

The best online collaboration tools in 2020: How remote teams stay productive | ZDNet

The best online collaboration tools in 2020: How remote teams stay productive | ZDNet

Over the past few weeks, a lot of people have found themselves working from home. For some, the idea of working from home is a dream come true (excluding the circumstances that conspired to make that a necessity). 

But working from home raises a number of challenges, and those challenges become even more of an issue when those remote workers have to collaborate with other team members. To keep productivity and morale up, teams will need tools to come together online, to collaborate in real-time, and work as though they were still in the same building. This is vital. And these days trying to make do using email, the odd to-do list, and video conferencing alone just doesn't cut it.

Integration is key, and team members working remotely need the right online collaboration tools and project management tools that bring together features such as instant messaging, video calls, screen sharing, and time tracking to help them get the job done. Let's take a look at the best online collaboration tools currently on offer.

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn an affiliate commission from some of the products featured on this page. ZDNet and the author were not compensated for this independent review.

Aimed specifically at software development, Atlassian Jira allows users to plan the software, track and prioritize the creation process, release, and get reports on all steps of the project. Choose the way you work, either using an out-of-the-box workflow, or create one to match the way your team works.

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