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Amazon has stopped selling N95 respirators, paper surgical masks, face shields, surgical gowns and gloves, and large-volume containers of sanitizer to general consumers, according to Recode. The company will instead prioritize the sale of these products to hospitals and governments, which can sign up to make purchases through a new portal on Amazon’s business site.
Amazon says it will waive the commission fee it typically takes from sellers “to encourage our selling partners to make additional inventory of these products available at competitive prices to these customers with the greatest need.”
Many other products like small-volume sanitizers and wipes will still be available for the general public to buy, Amazon told CNBC.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued its first authorization for a COVID-19 test that looks for antibodies in the blood, rather than for the virus in the nose or throat. While the antibody approach means this test will have limitations, it’s an important tool that could help in the response to the pandemic.
The test is produced by the biotechnology company Cellex. Health care providers have to draw blood from a patient’s vein to run the test, and it can only be done in certified labs — not a doctor’s office. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to get a result.
Zoom is facing a variety of privacy and security issues this week, and the company is already responding to some of them rather quickly. Software engineer Felix Seele discovered earlier this week that Zoom’s macOS installer works around Apple’s OS restrictions by using “the same tricks that are being used by macOS malware” to get its software on Macs.
This meant the Zoom app was being installed without users providing final consent, thanks to a misleading prompt that automated the install process. The discovery prompted Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan to respond over Twitter, with a promise to improve the situation. Zoom has now issued a new update that addresses the problems revealed by Seele.
“They completely removed the preinstall stuff, so you...
Cards Against Humanity has announced a new Family Edition of its popular phrase-matching card game, and you can download and print the public beta of the game for free right now.
You can download two PDFs of the beta: one 21-page PDF with small square cards and one 47-page PDF with larger rectangular cards. If you want to play, all you need to do is print out the PDF and cut out the cards.
Many of the regular Cards Against Humanity cards aren’t appropriate for most children, but the company says this version of the game is designed “for people ages 8 and up” and that the content is “PG-rated.” The game has also been play-tested with families, according to Cards Against Humanity.
Even though the cards may not be quite as adult as they are...
Slack, the instant messaging app of choice for many companies, has probably become an even bigger part of your life if you’re working from home. And while Slack is usually used for work, it’s also very useful for conversing with friends and family. Slack offers paid plans, but anyone can sign up for the free version and create a workspace, a virtual space where you can set up different conversations and projects.
Photo by Lars Ronbog/Getty Images for Copenhagen Fashion Summit
Last week, Everlane’s consumer experience team was gutted by layoffs in the middle of its union drive, a huge blow to the nascent organizing effort. Now, the former employees are fighting back, accusing the CEO of retaliation and threatening a legal challenge if the employees aren’t reinstated.
The team, which primarily operates remotely, announced plans to unionize in late December, as reported by Anna Merlan in Vice. They said the direct-to-consumer clothing company treated them as “disposable” and failed to adequately compensate them for the work they did.
The team spent months gathering the number of signatures needed to form a strong majority — a requirement for unionizing...
Apple Watch users can now ask Siri to play music through Spotify. With an update to Spotify’s app today, spotted by 9to5Mac, you can now ask Siri to play music through Spotify by ending a music request with “on Spotify.” The example Spotify gives is something as simple as “Hey Siri, play music on Spotify.”
It’s a small update, but it’s an overdue one for the Apple Watch. Apple only started allowing third-party music apps to integrate with Siri last year with the launch of iOS 13 and watchOS 6. Spotify immediately began supporting the feature on iPhones, but it’s taken until now to expand to the Apple Watch.
By default, Siri serves music requests through Apple Music. The integration has offered an advantage of Apple Music since it’s the...
Google has rolled out a new technology to improve audio quality in Duo calls when the service can’t maintain a steady connection called WaveNetEQ. It’s based on technology from Google’s DeepMind division that aims to replace audio jitter with artificial noise that sounds just like human speech, generated using machine learning.
If you’ve ever made a call over the internet, chances are you’ve experienced audio jitter. It happens when packets of audio data sent as part of the call get lost along the way or otherwise arrive late or in the wrong order. Google says that 99 percent of Duo calls experience packet loss: 20 percent of these lose over 3 percent of their audio, and 10 percent lose over 8 percent. That’s a lot of audio to replace.