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HomeKit thermostat maker ecobee adds air filter delivery service for convenience

9to5Mac - 10 hours 6 min ago

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.


The post HomeKit thermostat maker ecobee adds air filter delivery service for convenience appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

CDC Doctors Warned About Dangers Of Pandemic In 2018—Yet Another Warning Team Trump Ignored

Crooks and Liars - 10 hours 8 min ago

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.

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Categories: Politics

Hannity On The Defensive Threatens To 'Sue Everybody!'

Crooks and Liars - 10 hours 14 min ago

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

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.

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Categories: Politics

Pandemic be damned, Secret Service just signed a new golf cart rental contract with Trump's VA club

Daily Kos - 10 hours 23 min ago

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. 

Categories: Politics

9to5Mac Daily: April 02, 2020 – iOS 14 Keychain features, Apple and Amazon reach a deal

9to5Mac - 10 hours 31 min ago

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Enjoy the podcast? Shop Apple at Amazon to support 9to5Mac Daily!


The post 9to5Mac Daily: April 02, 2020 – iOS 14 Keychain features, Apple and Amazon reach a deal appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

SpaceX Bans Zoom Over Privacy Concerns

Slashdot - 10 hours 32 min ago
Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX has banned its employees from using video conferencing app Zoom, citing "significant privacy and security concerns," according to a memo seen by Reuters, days after U.S. law enforcement warned users about the security of the popular app. From a report: SpaceX's ban on Zoom Video illustrates the mounting challenges facing aerospace manufacturers as they develop technology deemed vital to national security while also trying to keep employees safe from the fast-spreading respiratory illness. In an email dated March 28, SpaceX told employees that all access to Zoom had been disabled with immediate effect. "We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support," SpaceX said in the message. "Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication." NASA, one of SpaceX's biggest customers, also prohibits its employees from using Zoom, said Stephanie Schierholz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. space agency. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston office on Monday issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as "zoombombing."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Good News: Unemployment Claims Soar Past 6 Million This Week

Kevin Drum - 10 hours 38 min ago

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.

Categories: Politics

Senate Democrats call for provision barring DHS from using funds to detain DACA or TPS beneficiaries

Daily Kos - 10 hours 41 min ago

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.”

Categories: Politics

A Feature on Zoom Secretly Displayed Data From People's LinkedIn Profiles

Slashdot - 10 hours 59 min ago
After an inquiry from The New York Times reporters, Zoom said it would disable a data-mining feature that could be used to snoop on participants during meetings without their knowledge. From a report: For Americans sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Zoom videoconferencing platform has become a lifeline, enabling millions of people to easily keep in touch with family members, friends, students, teachers and work colleagues. But what many people may not know is that, until Thursday, a data-mining feature on Zoom allowed some participants to surreptitiously access LinkedIn profile data about other users -- without Zoom asking for their permission during the meeting or even notifying them that someone else was snooping on them. The undisclosed data mining adds to growing concerns about Zoom's business practices at a moment when public schools, health providers, employers, fitness trainers, prime ministers and queer dance parties are embracing the platform. An analysis by The New York Times found that when people signed in to a meeting, Zoom's software automatically sent their names and email addresses to a company system it used to match them with their LinkedIn profiles.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Pandemic profiteers are making a fortune off the deaths of Americans, while Trump stands aside

Daily Kos - 11 hours 4 min ago

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.

Categories: Politics

Review: Danalock, the device which finally persuaded me to get a smart lock

9to5Mac - 11 hours 10 min ago

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!

Lights and smart sockets were followed by window blinds (later given HomeKit compatibility), smart(ish) heating (though more on that another day), and even a control panel.

But I’d avoided a smart lock for three reasons …


The post Review: Danalock, the device which finally persuaded me to get a smart lock appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: April 1 Update

Kevin Drum - 11 hours 14 min ago

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.

Categories: Politics

Facebook Messenger launches its Mac app in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and elsewhere

iDownloadBlog - 11 hours 17 min ago

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.
Categories: Geek

McConnell prioritizing more extremist judges over saving lives, the economy

Daily Kos - 11 hours 20 min ago

"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.

Mitch McConnell's Senate is an immediate danger to the people. Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats end their majority.

Categories: Politics

White House and public health experts disagree on which states should get COVID-19 rapid tests

Daily Kos - 11 hours 23 min ago

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.

Categories: Politics

iPad Pro (2020) top features and impressions – a glimpse into the future [Video]

9to5Mac - 11 hours 27 min ago

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.

The post iPad Pro (2020) top features and impressions – a glimpse into the future [Video] appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio launch America’s Food Fund in response to coronavirus crisis

9to5Mac - 11 hours 30 min ago

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.


The post Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio launch America’s Food Fund in response to coronavirus crisis appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

New evidence that iPhone 9 will share a design with the 4.7-inch iPhone 8

iDownloadBlog - 11 hours 35 min ago

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.
Categories: Geek

New York Mag: 'Small Business Bailout Just Got A Whole Lot Better'

Crooks and Liars - 11 hours 45 min ago

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:

Who qualifies for a small-business loan? What do I get if I qualify?

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Categories: Politics

A Record 6.6 Million Americans Filed For Unemployment Last Week

Slashdot - 11 hours 52 min ago
A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, the latest brutal reminder of the toll the coronavirus pandemic is taking on the U.S. economy. From a report: Analysts had predicted a jobless claims total of anywhere between 3 million and 6 million, after huge numbers of businesses across the country were forced to close down due to the need for social distancing, leaving millions of Americans without work. Thursday's figure eclipses even the record-shattering 3.28 million jobless claims from the week before, the first real marker of the number of people out of work, according to data released last week by the Department of Labor for the period ending March 21. Still, some economists said the actual number of unemployed could be much higher, since many applicants had experienced trouble filing a claim, as state labor departments became overwhelmed. "These are numbers that are way out of the range that we have seen," Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America, told NBC News. "During the financial crisis, we were seeing a peak of about 650,000 [first-time applications] a week."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek