ecobee offers some of the most popular smart thermostat options on the market, particularly for those who want HomeKit support and the company. Today the company has launched a new feature to make its customers’ experience more seamless with automatic air filter delivery.
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Another day, another report on a recent pandemic warning ignored by the Trump administration. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a day-long conference to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic, with sessions like “Innovations for pandemic countermeasures.”
“Are we ready to respond to a pandemic?” asked one of the doctors at the conference. “I fear the answer is no.” In one of many details that would seem over the top if this was all fictional, that doctor, Luciana Borio, was part of the National Security Council global health section that Donald Trump dismantled soon after the conference, making the U.S. even less ready to respond to a pandemic.
One of the pandemic conference’s organizers, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, subsequently did a webinar entitled “100 years since 1918: Are we ready for the next pandemic?” That webinar was cohosted by Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who was sidelined by Trump after making public remarks saying that, yes, the novel coronavirus was going to be a serious problem for the U.S.
By now you may have heard that the legal suits at Fox News are nervous that all the denialism over Coronavirus at the network might have some, I think they call them "legal ramifications."
Sean Hannity responds as he usually does, with loud! projection! Transcript via Media Matters:SEAN HANNITY: SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Sadly, you won't likely find any hopeful message among the deranged individuals that are known -- I call them the media mob. Why? Because they are too busy doing what they always do, looking for ways, oh, to bludgeon President Trump politically.
You have got one far-left media mob maniac over at The New York Times using the virus to attack her least favorite network, oh, and yours truly. Accusing Fox News of putting her mother and the elderly people at risk. Now, if she actually watched our coverage and cared about truth, actually she should put a correction in her newspaper. We would know that we've reported without fear from the very beginning -- we have our own little timeline on Hannity.com.
In order to help the media mob out, we put it all together for them, so they can't plead ignorance when I think about suing them.
During the months of January, February, and into March, President Donald Trump spent many of his weekends golfing at his favorite golf clubs, all of which he happens to own. Even on March 7, as COVID-19 was beginning to sweep through New York City’s metro area with a population of more than 18,000,000 residents, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was issuing a state of emergency, Donald Trump was still golfing. Even worse, he was attending a 51st birthday party for his son’s girlfriend alongside his bestie, Lindsey Graham. The party took place at Mar-a-Lago and the $50,000 tab for the party was reportedly paid for by Trump campaign donors. The grift never ends.
Now we know Donald Trump had been briefed for weeks or even months on the projected loss of life in the U.S. due to COVID-19. Top Army brass warned the White House on Feb. 3 that their analysis showed a loss of life between 80,000 to 150,000. And Donald Trump still golfed.
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This headline is not a joke. Here’s the chart showing initial unemployment claims through this week:
The Washington Post says this is a “stunning sign of an economic collapse.” EPI calls it a “portrait of disaster.” That’s nonsense. It’s a deliberately engineered temporary freeze. And one of the reasons we should be able to get through it without permanent damage is that we passed a rescue bill that vastly increases unemployment benefits. We want lots of people to apply for benefits. The more the better.
So yes, this is good news. It means that laid-off workers are applying for benefits, and nearly all of them will see no reduction in their income. In fact, many will see an increase.
Now, having said that, I’ll backtrack on my suggestion that states shouldn’t have too much trouble handling the volume of applications. I figured they could probably muddle through 3 million applications, but now we’re up to 10 million. That’s going to be a mess. Still, just knowing that help is on the way should be a huge relief for workers who have lost their jobs for the duration.
POSTSCRIPT: I will add one thing to this. The rescue bill may replace income, but it doesn’t replace lost health insurance. This is obviously a big deal, but I don’t know how big. It depends on how many laid-off workers had health coverage in the first place. It depends on how long their coverage stays in place after a layoff. It depends on how accessible COBRA is. It depends on whether you qualify for subsidies under Obamacare. There are a lot of variables here and I don’t know how they’ll all play out.
Senate Democrats call for provision barring DHS from using funds to detain DACA or TPS beneficiaries
Nearly 20 senators led by Dick Durbin of Illinois and Jacky Rosen of Nevada are calling on top Senate committees to pass language that would block the Department of Homeland Security from using federal funds to detain and deport roughly 1 million immigrants that are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs, both of which have been relentlessly attacked by the Trump administration.
“DACA and TPS recipients have built their lives in the United States, some for more than two decades, and they do not deserve to be forced to live in fear of detention and deportation,” the 19 senators tell the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Homeland Security. “In light of the clear evidence that the Trump administration is preparing to deport Dreamers and TPS recipients, we request that you include an unequivocal prohibition on any appropriated funds being used to deport them.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
What happens when you begin to research a story about how not-so-black market retailers are selling masks, gloves, and other protective gear at exorbitant prices during an unprecedented crisis? You get a browser filled with ads for masks, gloves, and other protective gear, available to anyone willing to pay exorbitant prices … because God forbid Google and Facebook don’t get a cut of the action.
Not only are pandemic profiteers setting 50 states and the federal government bidding against each other in a process that is costing billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives—they’re doing it openly. This isn’t secret. This isn’t idiots in a truck, scouring a state for hand sanitizer. This is major suppliers, including manufacturers, raking in profits and shipping away the products that health care workers need to do their jobs. These are actions that the federal government could stop … but hasn’t.
The Danalock has filled the last remaining hole in my smart home armory: a smart lock.
You could say I’m something of a home automation fan. I had near-withdrawal symptoms when briefly forced to live without it for a while after moving home back in 2017. Getting things back up-and-running was a great relief!
But I’d avoided a smart lock for three reasons …
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Here’s the coronavirus growth rate through April 1. First, though, some good news:
It looks very much like Italy has just about hit its peak, which means that its daily death rate should start declining soon. And the bad news? The rest of us aren’t close. We still have weeks to go before we peak and start to decline.
One thing to note: with the exception of Spain and Britain, it’s now looking as if every country is at least slightly below the Italian trendline. It’s hard to know if this means we’ll have fewer deaths than Italy or if we’ve just flattened the curve a bit and spread things out. We’ll have to wait and see.
How to read the charts: Let’s use France as an example. For them, Day 0 was March 5, when they surpassed one death per 10 million by recording their sixth death. They are currently at Day 27; total deaths are at 673x their initial level; and they have recorded a total of 60.3 deaths per million so far. As the chart shows, this is below where Italy was on their Day 27.
The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.
Following its initial launch in France a month ago, Facebook Messenger continues its staggered rollout with immediate availability of the Mac app on the App Store in the US.
"She needs to stand down on the notion that we're going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis." If that has echoes of "nevertheless, she persisted" for you, it should. It's Sen. Mitch McConnell talking about another powerful woman he thinks is getting uppity—this time it’s not Sen. Elizabeth Warren but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That's what he told The Washington Post in an interview on Wednesday, saying Pelosi's call for a fourth round of virus-related legislation "premature." His focus is going to be, as always, judges. "They will continue apace," he told the Post. "The Senate is going to be able to do its business."
That business, Pelosi retorted, should be people. Right now. "The victims of the coronavirus pandemic cannot wait," she said. "It is moving faster than the leader may have suspected, and even he has said that some things should wait for the next bill." She added, "I hope that we can work in a four corners manner for the common good." The "four corners" refers to bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate.
The failure to test for COVID-19 gave the virus a head start in the United States, and while things are improving slowly, it’s still basically a big flaming mess. One of the glimmers of hope comes from the new rapid tests from Abbott Laboratories—but now there’s the question of where those tests will go. And since we’re talking about the Trump administration, there’s no reason for faith that the tests will go where they are most needed.
Will the rapid tests go to places already hard hit by the virus, so that first responders and health care workers can come out of quarantine and get back on the job if they test negative? Or will they go to rural and southern states? That’s the direction the Trump administration is headed, and there is one potentially legitimate reason—to, as a source “familiar with the matter” told The Washington Post, “figure out the spread in places where we don’t quite understand it now.” But again, we’re talking about the Trump administration, which means that the real reason to prioritize rural and southern states would likely be rewarding Trump allies and supporters—just as states headed by Trump allies have gotten more protective equipment.
Let’s just cut to the chase: if you already own 2018’s refresh of the iPad Pro, you probably shouldn’t upgrade to the 2020 edition. That’s because this latest iPad Pro is more of an incremental update than its predecessors have traditionally been. In terms of specs, it’s probably the most lukewarm upgrade we’ve had in an iPad Pro since the often-forgotten 9.7-inch model was released in early 2016.
With that in mind, if you want a good idea of what to expect from the 2020 iPad, read our in-depth review of the 2018 model. Most of the hardware aspects still apply, but it’s the software updates that have really pushed the iPad forward over the last few years. The release of iPadOS 13, and now iPadOS 13.4 have transformed Apple’s tablet for the better.
If you held off on the 2018 iPad Pro update, this latest 2020 model should make you happy, as it’s an overall better value thanks to increased RAM and flash storage in the base configuration.
And thanks to the new embedded LiDAR Scanner, which ushers in impressive new AR capabilities, the 2020 iPad Pro also provides us with a sneak preview of what we might expect from Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality headset.
Watch our hands-on video as we discuss the top features and initial impressions of the 2020 iPad Pro.
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Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio launch America’s Food Fund in response to coronavirus crisis
Apple today launched the America’s Food Fund, hosted on GoFundMe, along with partners including Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and the Ford Foundation. The project aims to support food access for vulnerable people across the United States.
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Apple's low-cost iPhone 9 may indeed share a design with the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 model, if a new Target inventory system leak is anything to go by.
New York Magazine's Eric Levitz is not an easy sell, so if he's pleased with this, we should all be. Via New York Magazine:
According to Levitz, the SBA and the Treasury Department worked to resolve problems with the small business bailout package and they have been successful. And in this CNBC interview, Mnuchin indicated that Congress is already agreed that they will raise the cap on the program when needed. Levitz summarizes:
Read more of this story at Slashdot.