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Best air mattress for 2020: SoundAsleep, REI and more compared – CNET March 29, 2020

We inflated and slept on 10 of the most popular air mattress models, from Intex, Coleman, King Koil and more. Here’s what we learned. Best air mattress for 2020: SoundAsleep, REI and more compared – CNET Source: CNet

Microsoft to end investments in facial recognition firms after AnyVision controversy

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft says it will no longer invest in third-party facial recognition companies following a controversy around its funding of Israeli startup AnyVision, which critics and human rights activists say powered a surveillance program in the West Bank following an NBC News report about the company’s relationship with the Israeli government.

Microsoft now says an independent investigation led by former US Attorney General Eric Holder and his team at international law firm Covington & Burling found that “AnyVision’s technology has not previously and does not currently power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank that has been alleged in media reports.” Had it done so, Microsoft says it would have constituted a breach of the finance…

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Microsoft to end investments in facial recognition firms after AnyVision controversy
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What happens when extreme heat collides with a pandemic? 

{$inline_image}A man is seen taking a break from work cooling himself down...

Photo by Avijit Ghosh/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic is on the verge of colliding with another public health threat: extreme heat, which kills more people in the US each year than any other weather-related event. Public health officials usually recommend that people without air conditioning head to places like malls and libraries where they can cool off, but that’s not an option for a lot of people sheltering at home.

The problem could soon begin to affect India, where temperatures begin to climb in April and have reached as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). India’s 1.3 billion residents have been ordered to stay indoors until April 14th to stop the spread of disease, and only about 5 percent of the…

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What happens when extreme heat collides with a pandemic? 
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What to Stream This Weekend, March 27-29

Looking for things to do this weekend without leaving your couch?

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What to Stream This Weekend, March 27-29
Source: Life Hacker

You Don't Need to Sanitize Your Groceries

Even if you’re following advice to stay home as much as you can, we all have to get food somehow, which means regular grocery trips or deliveries. If the idea of letting packages of food from The Outside into your home is nerve-wracking, it’s important to remember that while the risk of picking up the coronavirus from…

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You Don't Need to Sanitize Your Groceries
Source: Life Hacker

Coronavirus and motorsport: Every major event impacted by COVID-19 – Roadshow

From Formula One, NASCAR, IndyCar and more, we round up all the rescheduled dates and cancellations. Coronavirus and motorsport: Every major event impacted by COVID-19 – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Pack your drone for adventure in this Lowepro backpack that's 83% off – CNET

Regularly $105, Adorama is selling this backpack for the DJI Phantom for just $18, which may prompt you to wonder what other drones will fit. Pack your drone for adventure in this Lowepro backpack that's 83% off – CNET
Source: CNet

Dwight Shrute and Rick Sanchez have coronavirus quarantine advice for you – CNET

A creative mashup video creatively strings together clips from The Office, Rick and Morty and more to remind us to wash our hands and stay home. Dwight Shrute and Rick Sanchez have coronavirus quarantine advice for you – CNET
Source: CNet

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package gives benefits to gig workers – CNET

Independent contractors for companies like Uber, Lyft and Instacart are now eligible for unemployment benefits. The trillion coronavirus relief package gives benefits to gig workers – CNET
Source: CNet

How Do I Access My Work Passwords From My Home Devices?

What a week we’ve had! It feels like it’s still Monday, but maybe that’s just me. We’ve helped figure out cable modems and ISP speeds; how to set up your work laptop with your monitor at home; talked about why your work laptop stinks at wireless networking; and helped troubleshoot the ever-vexing “now my primary…

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How Do I Access My Work Passwords From My Home Devices?
Source: Life Hacker

Can Solder Paste Stencils be 3D Printed? They can!

3D printed solder paste stencil, closeup.

[Jan Mrázek]’s  success with 3D printing a solder paste stencil is awfully interesting, though he makes it clear that it is only a proof of concept. There are a lot of parts to this hack, so let’s step through them one at a time.

First of all, it turns out that converting a PCB solder paste layer into a 3D model is a bit of a challenge. A tool [Jan] found online didn’t work out, so he turned to OpenSCAD and wrote a script (available on GitHub) which takes two DXF files as input: one for the board outline, and one for the hole pattern. If you’re using KiCad, he has a Python script (also on GitHub) which will export the necessary data.

The result is a 3D model that is like a solder paste mask combined with a raised border to match the board outline, so that the whole thing self-aligns by fitting on top of the PCB. A handy feature, for sure. [Jan] says the model pictured here printed in less than 10 minutes. Workflow-wise, that certainly compares favorably to waiting for a stencil to arrive in the mail. But how do the actual solder-pasting results compare?

3D printed solder stencil on PCB, after applying solder paste.

[Jan] says that the printed stencil had a few defects but it otherwise worked fine for 0.5 mm pitch ICs and 0402 resistors, and the fact that the 3D printed stencil self-registered onto the board was a welcome feature. That being said, it took a lot of work to get such results. [Jan]’s SLA printer is an Elegoo Mars, and he wasn’t able to have it create holes for 0.2 mm x 0.5 mm pads without first modifying his printer for better X/Y accuracy.

In the end, he admits that while a functional DIY solder stencil can be 3D printed in about 10 minutes, it’s not as though professionally-made stencils that give better results are particularly expensive or hard to get. Still, it’s a neat trick that could come in handy. Also, a quick reminder that we stepped through how to make a part in OpenSCAD in the past, which should help folks new to OpenSCAD make sense of [Jan]’s script.

Can Solder Paste Stencils be 3D Printed? They can!
Source: HackADay

Call This Hotline for Coronavirus Questions Instead of 911

Emergency dispatchers are overwhelmed with calls right now. Between coronavirus patients and a variety of “regular” emergencies, call volumes are breaking records. New York City, for instance, reported receiving 6,500 medical emergency calls in a single day—the highest since 2001.

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Call This Hotline for Coronavirus Questions Instead of 911
Source: Life Hacker

So you want to be a gamer. Here’s how you can start.

Want to get into gaming during your quarantine? Here’s the best way to start. So you want to be a gamer. Here’s how you can start.
Source: Washington Post Tech

Instacart’s workers will strike for safety protections and hazard pay. A lifeline of groceries could be caught in the middle.

Instacart workers who deliver groceries announced a strike demanding covid-19 protections, a better default tip and hazard pay. Instacart’s workers will strike for safety protections and hazard pay. A lifeline of groceries could be caught in the middle.
Source: Washington Post Tech

If Your Kids Have Coronavirus Questions, The NYT's Science Reporter Has Answers

Watching the world shut down around us has been hard on everyone in lots of ways. But parents of young children have the additional challenge of trying to explain what is happening in a way that little kids can understand—without also causing them to feel fear or anxiety. Luckily, the New York Times’ podcast is here…

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If Your Kids Have Coronavirus Questions, The NYT's Science Reporter Has Answers
Source: Life Hacker

8 new anime to check out this spring

Netflix/MAPPA

This spring, more than 45 new shows are airing as anime season kicks off in Japan. To help you decide what to watch, we’ve put together a list of eight shows that stand out as being interesting for both newcomers and diehard fans. Thanks to streaming services like Amazon, Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix, most of these shows are available for viewing internationally within a day of their original airdate.

One show from our winter season preview (Dorohedoro) should come to Netflix internationally this season. We’ll continue to update this post with streaming and availability info.


For viewers with kids

Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2

The first season of Ascendance of a Bookworm aired late last year and made it on our list of best…

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8 new anime to check out this spring
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Games Done Quick is holding a speedrunning marathon to raise money for coronavirus relief

Games Done Quick, an organization that holds speedrunning marathons for charity, will hold a special event to raise donations for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Corona Relief Done Quick will take place April 17th-19th, with all proceeds going to humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief.

Direct Relief aids those affected by poverty and emergencies. In response to the coronavirus spread, the organization is working to provide crucial medical equipment, such as face masks and protective gear. Streams will be online only and available via Twitch.

GDQ’s in-person summer event will also be postponed; the event will now take place August 16th-23rd in Bloomington, Minnesota, instead of the originally planned June dates. Benefits…

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Games Done Quick is holding a speedrunning marathon to raise money for coronavirus relief
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Crip Camp reminds us that, in America, nothing improves without massive sacrifice

In Crip Camp, the revolution begins at summer camp. The Netflix documentary, now available to stream, follows several young people who attended Camp Jened, a New York campground for people with disabilities. That alone is a wonderful subject: a story about what happens when a group of teens neglected by society finally discovers a place where they are treated as complete, whole people. But Crip Camp is going somewhere incredible, and a story about how a camp changed a group of teenagers’ lives becomes a story about how the country was changed for the better.

Directed by Nicole Newnham and Jim Lebrecht — the latter attended Camp Jened, and his story serves as one of Crip Camp’s focal points — the film begins in 1971 with Lebrecht and…

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Crip Camp reminds us that, in America, nothing improves without massive sacrifice
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Go read this Texas Monthly piece on how HEB prepped for the coronavirus outbreak

H.E.B.

In February, while the US government was still dithering and downplaying the potential impact that the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 might have, San Antonio-based grocery chain HEB was already running pandemic simulations and adapting the plans that helped it respond to the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.

Yes, that’s correct: a regional grocery chain arguably did better advance planning than our government did and is now better equipped to handle the coronavirus pandemic that has left more than 80,000 Americans infected so far. Texas Monthly has the story about how HEB management used its experience with natural disasters to get ahead of the outbreak. Justen Noakes, director of emergency preparedness, explained:

“So when did we start looking at…

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Go read this Texas Monthly piece on how HEB prepped for the coronavirus outbreak
Source: New feed

The entire world is streaming more than ever — and it’s straining the internet

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Over the last decade, some of the world’s biggest entertainment and telecom conglomerates bet on streaming entertainment. The last 10 years have ushered in a rapid progression of at-home entertainment as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Now, and more rack up millions of subscribers. As more people are forced to stay at home to try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the concept of a bored, cable-cutting consumer searching for things to constantly watch for weeks on end has become a reality.

HBO’s parent company, WarnerMedia, looked into just how many of its subscribers are spending more time watching movies and TV shows over the last couple of weeks. While the television industry as a whole saw a 20 percent increase last week…

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The entire world is streaming more than ever — and it’s straining the internet
Source: New feed

It's Time for Shoulder Stretches

I’ve been having trouble sitting down to write this post, because as COVID-19 coverage swirls around me, I’m thinking: who has time for shoulder stretches? But then again, maybe this is when we most need a few shoulder stretches. Are you hunched over at your desk? I am.

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It's Time for Shoulder Stretches
Source: Life Hacker

Amazon unintentionally hid competitor's faster delivery options, report says – CNET

The e-commerce site is reportedly working to fix the error. Amazon unintentionally hid competitor's faster delivery options, report says – CNET
Source: CNet

No, You Can't 'Just Visit' a Friend

Do not go to your friend’s house this week. Please. Not even if you and your friends are all young and healthy, not even if it’s “just one friend,” not even if “it’s OK if I get sick, that’s a chance I’m willing to take,” not even if “we’ll be careful and wash our hands, promise!”

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No, You Can't 'Just Visit' a Friend
Source: Life Hacker

Microsoft Teams-Slack calling integration is coming, says Slack CEO

Slack may be adding yet another Microsoft integration to its platform. But this time, it might be an integration with archrival Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams-Slack calling integration is coming, says Slack CEO
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

Want to play Half-Life: Alyx? Here's the best VR gear for your experience – CNET

How to play Valve’s newest VR-only Half-Life game. Want to play Half-Life: Alyx? Here's the best VR gear for your experience – CNET
Source: CNet

How to 'Co-Watch' Instagram With Your Friends in a Video Chat

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Since we’re all living in a video-chat world nowadays, Instagram has rolled out a new feature that makes it easy for you, and those you’re conferencing with on the service, to enjoy the best and worst of the social site together. Without breaking your video call, you’ll all be able to watch the same videos at the same…

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How to 'Co-Watch' Instagram With Your Friends in a Video Chat
Source: Life Hacker

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