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Farm laborers are essential workers who need protections now, Congressional Hispanic Caucus says

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:51

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling on Trump administration officials to ensure the protection of skilled and essential workers who are present in our everyday lives, yet are frequently overlooked: the farmworkers who labor in fields so that we can get our fruits and vegetables, and are now doing so at added risk due to the novel coronavirus crisis.

“Throughout this public health crisis, there has not been a day when these essential workers have stopped showing up to work,” a statement said. “At the same time, farmworkers often do not have the necessary resources or information, health benefits, or direct cash assistance as other US workers.” 

Categories: Politics

Amazon Prime Video now lets users buy TV shows and movies in the app, seemingly struck special deal with Apple

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:43

Update: In a statement, Apple told 9to5Mac that it has an “established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers” and qualifying apps like Prime Video can offer customers the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription. This same program covers features like integration with the TV app, AirPlay 2, universal search and single sign-on integration. Original story below.

In a significant shift, the Amazon Prime Video app on iOS and Apple TV now features a built-in content store. This means users can now buy or rent TV shows and movies directly inside the app on Apple platforms. The change was first spotted by The Verge.

For the longest time, Amazon did not support this because of Apple’s App Store rules which require the developer to use Apple’s In-App purchase system for digital content and give 30% of the revenue to Apple. The app now seems to use Amazon payment method if you have a card on file, otherwise it uses Apple In-App Purchase.


The post Amazon Prime Video now lets users buy TV shows and movies in the app, seemingly struck special deal with Apple appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

A Fantastic Tiny Desk Concert by Michael McDonald, Working From Home [VIDEO]

Little Green Footballs - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:42

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

After five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald finished "Matters Of The Heart," the opening song in his Tiny Desk (home) concert, there was a brief pause. The bewilderment on his face was unmistakable. It's a look I believe we all can relate to in this moment of uncertainty. He sat in his home studio, complete with an illustration of the Tiny Desk drawn by Mr. McDonald himself. That pause, usually reserved for the anticipated applause, was replaced by complete silence.

The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee then proceeded to play two 1978 Doobie Brothers classics that showcase his still-golden voice: "Minute By Minute" and "What A Fool Believes." "If you know the words, sing along with me at home," he said. "I won't know if you're singing well or not because I can't hear you here."

I sang along, and so will you.

"Matters Of The Heart"
"Minute By Minute"
"What A Fool Believes"

Categories: Politics

Lunchtime Photo

Kevin Drum - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:30

We have a a hummingbird buzzing around our yard right now, and I decided to try taking a picture of it using fill flash. The idea is to heavily underexpose the picture so that the ambient light produces almost no image. Instead, nearly all the light comes from the flash, which is very fast and can stop even rapid movement like a hummingbird’s wings.

So I went out Tuesday morning and staked out a position near our Salvia Amistad plant. By good fortune our hummingbird came by in less than a minute, and by further good fortune one of the pictures I took turned out pretty well. It shows our little guy just at the moment his beak is about meet breakfast.

On a down note, you can see that the hummingbird’s wings weren’t stopped by the flash. Maybe it’s not as fast as I thought. Or maybe my exposure setting was wrong. I’ll try again some other day.

March 31, 2020 — Irvine, California
Categories: Politics

Cash App Scammers Are Using Coronavirus To Exploit People

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:30
An anonymous reader shares a report: Reyna is a teenager in Florida whose family is strapped for cash amid the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. When the uber-popular beauty influencer Jeffree Star tweeted that he'd be giving out $30,000 via payment service Cash App to a random person who retweeted him, she did just that. Star's offer seems to have been legitimate -- and drummed up a lot of attention for the influencer. A woman actually won the $30,000, and Reyna missed out. But then another Twitter user messaged Reyna asking whether she wanted to get $250, she told Quartz. "My goal is to help those in need or need emergency cash," the person said. The catch was that she'd have to pay $25 first. "Your deposit along with our other earnings allows us to immediately send you your payment," the person said. Reyna sent the cash, and that's when the Twitter user blocked her, and her money was gone, she said. What happened to Reyna is a popular Cash App scam called "cash-flipping," according to Satnam Narang, researcher at the cybersecurity company Tenable. Con artists are taking advantage of the coronavirus by pretending they are helping the needy. While Reyna simply got a direct message to lure her in after she expressed interest in a legitimate giveaway, other scammers have been promoting fake giveaways in public tweets adding "#coronavirus" in order to reach more people. Sometimes they will request money through Cash App pretending that it's a verification mechanism. "They'll say, you won this giveaway, send us $10 to verify to win 500 bucks," Narang said. The scammers say they have a special way of modifying the transactions through payment applications like Cash App, Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, or Apple Pay, Narang wrote in a blog post explaining the scams. "All they ask for is that the recipient share the initial cut with them for providing them this so-called service." This, of course, is all made up.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Trump still insisting governors kiss his ass to get depleting, critical supplies

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:24

Welcome to the COVID-19 Games, where the tributes are governors fighting for the scraps of critical protective gear still available, and where success still depends on kissing Trump's ass.

Last week Trump was playing quid pro quo with Americans lives, telling governors "it's a two-way street. They have to treat us well." The result of not doing so is not getting help. Take New York, which requested 30,000 ventilators and got 4,400. And is being outbid by FEMA on the private market, where the state has been trying to procure more. “What sense does this make?” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Tuesday. "The federal government, FEMA, should have been the purchasing agent. Buy everything, and then allocate it by need to the states." Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers asked for 190,000 nonsurgical masks from FEMA last week, and has struggled to find ventilators. He has no idea where the masks are.

Categories: Politics

'You have a responsibility to protect their health': Warren urges CEOs to reclassify gig workers

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:04

On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren called upon the CEOs of Doordash, Grubhub, Instacart, and UberEats to not only provide their workers with additional protections—as they’re essentially on the front lines of a pandemic—but to reclassify them as full employees instead of independent contractors, as reported by Vice. The contractor versus employee distinction is important because contractors, technically, are not guaranteed numerous labor protections. Many workers’ rights advocates want an overhaul of gig economy operations anyway, and in a public health crisis, that issue deserves even more attention.

"Delivery workers are experiencing serious health and economic vulnerabilities as a result of their jobs, and your company is failing to provide appropriate and necessary protections," Warren wrote in the letter.

Categories: Politics

The best free distraction-free writing apps for Mac

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 15:00

If you want to eliminate distracting toolbars and buttons while you write, take a look at this list of the best focused writing apps for Mac.
Categories: Geek

COVID-19: Should we all be wearing masks?

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:54

At first the answer seemed simple—only those who were sick needed to wear a mask. This testified both to the fact that a normal face mask isn’t proof against viral particles, and concerns that existed even then about the possibility that nurses and doctors wouldn’t be able to get all the medical-grade masks needed if they were having to fight against the whole populace for protective gear. So unless you were out there spreading droplets with every cough … don’t wear a mask.

That original message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still out there on their official site, and closely matches the information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). But over time that advice has seemed to get more shaky, and in just the last few days it seems that the call for everyone to don at least some kind of face covering is growing stronger.

Categories: Politics

Spring breakers return to Austin with fond memories and positive results for COVID-19

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:54

In another case of spring break gone wild, a group of young adults from Texas came back from spring break with some rough news: They tested positive for coronavirus. About 70 adults in their 20s returned from a spring break trip in Mexico on March 19. Twenty-eight from the University of Texas at Austin have tested positive for COVID-19 since their return, health officials confirmed on Tuesday. According to the Austin Public Health Department, the group had departed together in a chartered plane, but some flew back on separate commercial flights. While four of the confirmed cases did not present any symptoms before testing positive, “dozens more are under public health investigation,” the department said.

Mexico was not under a federal travel advisory while the spring breakers were gone; however, city officials said Austin residents should abide by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel guidelines that specify that individuals should refrain from all unnecessary international travel. The officials noted that this message should be applied to all ages and they encourage individuals to stay home. “A leisure vacation of any kind is not considered essential,” health officials said. In a statement, the Austin city health department confirmed that it has contacted every spring break attendee on the chartered plane after receiving flight manifests from the CDC. In addition, the agency confirmed that all “28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time,” while others are being monitored and tested.

Categories: Politics

Michigan man accidentally shoots himself in the leg with gun he purchased during coronavirus panic

Daily Kos - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:51

Stupid decisions lead to stupid outcomes. A Michigan man accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun he says he purchased to protect himself during the COVID-19 pandemic chaos. The man was reportedly treated at a hospital in Battle Creek, where he told police that someone had shot him during an argument. Upon further investigation, the police discovered that he had accidentally shot himself in his living room. The man was subsequently arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm and “reckless discharge of a weapon.”

The NRA and other insecure gun profiteers have been successful in getting some states, like Michigan, to deem gun sellers “essential” during stay-at-home orders. The classic reasoning from the right wing of our political spectrum is that while there is nothing to worry about with the novel coronavirus—that it’s just like the flu and no one should panic—we should make sure that people have access to guns in case we need to panic due to some poorly defined apocalypse. Of course, nothing is going to happen and there’s no need to panic … but get a gun just in case.

Guns don’t kill people. People holding guns who are afraid and making bad decisions kill people.

Categories: Politics

Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:50
The esteemed science fiction author, best known for movie "Arrival" that is based on his novel, on how we may never go "back to normal" -- and why that might be a good thing. From an interview on Electric Literature: EL: Do you see aspects of science fiction (your own work or others) in the coronavirus pandemic? In how it is being handled, or how it has spread? TC: While there has been plenty of fiction written about pandemics, I think the biggest difference between those scenarios and our reality is how poorly our government has handled it. If your goal is to dramatize the threat posed by an unknown virus, there's no advantage in depicting the officials responding as incompetent, because that minimizes the threat; it leads the reader to conclude that the virus wouldn't be dangerous if competent people were on the job. A pandemic story like that would be similar to what's known as an "idiot plot," a plot that would be resolved very quickly if your protagonist weren't an idiot. What we're living through is only partly a disaster novel; it's also -- and perhaps mostly -- a grotesque political satire. EL: This pandemic isn't science fiction, but it does feel like a dystopia. How can we understand the coronavirus as a cautionary tale? How can we combat our own personal inclinations toward the good/evil narrative, and the subsequent expectation that everything will return to normal? TC: We need to be specific about what we mean when we talk about things returning to normal. We all want not to be quarantined, to be able to go to work and socialize and travel. But we don't want everything to go back to business as usual, because business as usual is what led us to this crisis. COVID-19 has demonstrated how much we need federally mandated paid sick leave and universal health care, so we don't want to return to a status quo that lacks those things. The current administration's response ought to serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of electing demagogues instead of real leaders, although there's no guarantee that voters will heed it. We're at a point where things could go in some very different ways, depending on what we learn from this experience.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

How to access the Emoji picker when using your iPad with a physical keyboard

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:41

Learn how to bring up the system-wide Emoji picker from anywhere where emojis are supported while using a physical hardware keyboard with your iPad.
Categories: Geek

Apple adding new detailed financial report option to App Store Connect for developers

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:34

Apple is rolling out a new detailed financial report option to App Store Connect for developers this month. The company made the announcement in a post on its Developer blog this afternoon.


The post Apple adding new detailed financial report option to App Store Connect for developers appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Pelosi Scorches McConnell's 'Admission' That Administration Cannot 'Handle The Job'

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:29

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may have admitted that they “cannot handle the job” by blaming impeachment for the federal government’s slow reaction to COVID-19.

“I think that’s an admission that perhaps the president and the majority leader cannot handle the job,” Pelosi told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “We have a life-and-death situation in our country, and they should not try to hide behind an excuse for why they did not take action.”

“But it does admit that they did not take action,” she noted.

Categories: Politics

C&L's QuaranStream: Best Female Protagonists In TV Crime Part II

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:28

Yesterday, I posted five of my favorite female protagonists in TV crime drama of all time

Here is the second installment of "what to watch when you're stuck at home for years," female protagonist edition. Not only are these performances exquisite, but the shows they are on totally rock.

[embed eid="39794" /]

Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer

I didn’t start to immediately watch this 2005 TNT show about an ex-CIA interrogator brought to the LAPD to get confessions before cases go to trial because too many high profile murderers were being acquitted by juries.

But I stumbled on it one day and I’m glad I did. Kyra and the show don't get enough props from the critic community but it is an excellent procedural with a terrific supporting cast.

The Closer
is reminiscent of Prime Suspect in that a brilliant female detective is brought in to lead a major crimes unit of a big city and had to fight against misogynistic blow-back as well as arrest the bad guys at the same time.

Not only is Kyra’s performance stellar as Brenda Lee, but each case rose above any TV procedure in its class.

It's streaming on Amazon prime.

[embed eid="39796" /]

read more

Categories: Politics

Apple, Goldman Sachs will let Apple Card owners defer April payments as well due to coronavirus

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:27

Apple and Goldman Sachs will let Apple Card customers defer their April payments without incurring any interest.
Categories: Geek

Jamf releases new Apple Watch app to assist parents with distance learning

9to5Mac - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:24

Jamf has just announced a new Apple Watch app to help parents navigate the challenges that have been suddenly brought on by a switch to distance learning. Jamf Parent, is a tool that it had previously released for iPhone and iPad to help parents with managing school-owned devices at home.


The post Jamf releases new Apple Watch app to assist parents with distance learning appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Apple's iOS 14 May Turn iCloud Keychain Into a True 1Password and LastPass Competitor

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:10
Apple's native iOS password manager may be getting an overhaul later this year with the presumed release of iOS 14 that will make it more competitive with third-party options like 1Password and LastPass, reports 9to5Mac. From a report: Right now, iCloud Keychain can store your passwords and help autofill them on the iPhone, where copying and pasting long strings of letters and numbers or manually doing so has been a headache since the advent of the mobile touchscreen. But it doesn't have reminders for changing those passwords like competitors do, and it doesn't support two-factor authentication (2FA) options. That means users are still stuck using potentially insecure methods like SMS or email in the event that they do have 2FA set up.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Sen. Murphy: They Have Never Been Serious About Pandemic, 'They Aren't Serious About It Today'

Crooks and Liars - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:09

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) has been sounding the alarm about the Trump administration's past and current indifference to the national pandemic crisis.

"What is shocking to me today is that there is nothing different than what was happening in early February when the administration was refusing to take this crisis seriously," he told Mika Brzezinski.

"There was no national response in early February and there is no national response today, other than the three pieces of legislation passed by the Congress. And the most egregious lack of federal response comes on this issue of personal protective equipment, ventilators and tests. It is 'Lord Of The Flies' out there right now, as Governor Cuomo said yesterday, it's like eBay for states and hospitals. They all go online every single day to try to bid on a ventilator and they run up the price and the ventilator ends up going to who can pay the most, not where it is needed the most. And so we've put in legislation that I hope Congress will take up soon that will require the president to federalize the manufacture and the distribution of medical equipment."

He called it a "core responsibility" of the federal government during a crisis.

"And for from what we understand, the only reason the president isn't doing this is because industry loves the fact that they are able to profiteer, they are able to make tons of money off of Governor Cuomo and Governor Lamont and others who are bidding up the prices on these scarce supplies."

read more

Categories: Politics