Covid-19 has forced the world to reinvent life in a new digital way. School for Kindergarten through college seniors is being transformed to online classrooms due to rising Coronavirus cases in many states. However, many consequences could stem from virtual learning. These effects include altered sleep cycles, increased digital use and smaller physical activity levels of students. These seemingly small affects could have the potential to negatively affect student’s health for years to come with the end of Covid-19 nowhere in sight. The ability for students to transition to virtual learning showcases how advanced our technology has become. This is why we need to explore the consequences of virtual learning.
The list of changes we are all facing amid the Coronavirus is constantly growing. Now as you check-out at a store or restaurant you may see X’s on the floor to social distance everyone out or some type of plexiglass to try to create a barrier between you and cashier. One of the items that have been added to the list is to try to introduce contactless payment at restaurants and stores. Contactless payment has been introduced to try to keep the whole exchange as safe as possible while trying to take precautions.
Visa exec Kevin Phelan spoke to us about a new small business survey the company conducted on how small businesses are adapting to these major changes, and how consumers are changing their spending habits.
Both safety concerns and economic realities are driving this shift, Phelan says. “They had to address consumer safety, which many of them have done. They also said, I’ve got to bring new consumers to us. Because quite honestly, some of the consumers that I was previously able to contact, I may not be able to contact them.” Hence, a shift to new digital sales channels, even if it’s just a Shopify button, and finally retiring the old Square card-reader dongle in favor of true contactless payments for just about everything.
Move over Amazon Prime.
Walmart may have just upped their game by adding their new subscription service, Walmart+.
Walmart+ is Walmart’s new way of trying to get customers engaged while making it convenient at the same time. A main difference between the two major companies is Walmart’s store locations. Walmart helps employ a numerous amount of people in different communities all across the country. Which is something that stands them apart from Amazon. Also, these past few months have shown how powerful internet buying really is. Though it has also shown how it can not be so convenient when your delivery date is now in two months instead of two weeks. Walmart+ is starting to look like the best all around subscription service.
According to Recode sources, in July Walmart will debut Walmart+ at $98 per year to compete with Amazon Prime at $119 per year. Walmart customers will get “perks like same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early access to product deals.” It appears all systems are a go, too, as a Walmart+ tease is currently visible on Walmart.com, and a Walmart spokesperson also confirmed the creation of the program via email on Monday.
Almost all major sports are on hold right now, including the sport of cycling. Thankfully for cyclists, cycling can be done not only outside but it can be done virtually inside as well.
A group of competitive cyclists decided they needed to get in some friendly competition right from their homes. Though this may not be ideal for some, it was a great way let off some competitive steam that may have brewing after months of being stuck at home. This new way of virtual competing may be a glimpse into the new world of cycling.
Connected to the Zwift virtual world for running and cycling were the real-life athletes riding stationary bicycles in their dining rooms, garages or backyards.
In a way, cycling is an ideal virtual sport. Compared with a basketball team, it’s easier to translate what an individual cyclist or runner does at home into real-world road speeds. And cycling is already technology obsessed. Even many amateurs ride on Zwift have gadgets to measure their vital statistics, and use apps to compare themselves with others who rode up the same hill.
Amazon Prime Day.
A day that anyone who is familiar with the largely known site is fully aware of. Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sale event that normally is announced in June and takes place around mid-July. Though with the current pandemic the world is facing, the company has decided to push back the event. The date has not been announced when it will take place in the United States.
Previous news reports have pegged the start of Prime Day this year to September, then October. If it’s held any later than that, it could end up being rolled into holiday season sales, which kick off around Thanksgiving.
Prime Day started as a small affair, but has grown into a hugely influential summer sale that hordes of other retailers join in on to goose their revenues. So still holding the sale should be a benefit not only for Amazon, but other stores, which have been badly harmed by the pandemic, as well as the millions of smaller merchants who sell their wares on Amazon.
If you have been on any form of social media lately, you have probably seen a reference to the world’s latest social media app.
TikTok is an social networking app that allows users to film themselves doing short videos for up to 60 seconds. The app began to hit major popularity during mid-March when the whole world was stuck at home. TikTok has taken the world by storm, and almost everyone ranging from Superbowl Athletes to famous YouTubers can be seen making them.
Instagram announced Friday that it’s preparing to launch its own video-sharing feature, Reels, in the United States and 50 other countries, just one week after it began testing the platform in India. Reels will let people record and edit 15-second videos set to music and audio, and upload them to their stories and Instagram’s Explore feature. An official launch date has not yet been announced.
Google deletes another 25 Android apps caught stealing user data, including Facebook credentials.
We tell our clients and colleagues on a regular basis, “know your tech.” This is especially important for smart phones. One of the key reasons that wireless network providers or carriers, avoided an open ecosystem, loading just any mobile app on your phone, for so many years, was that your data and activities were not secure.
Now that we have a world where any old app or service can be loaded on your phone, and it has IP address, and they can record your every movement and moment, it’s especially important to know exactly what the apps you use on those devices are doing.
Apple iOS is not immune, I recently found an app secretly collecting 12-14 GB worth of data on my phone. More on what’s happening with Android at the link below.
Apple is doing it again, a silicon transition. This one is really exciting, it’s not just about computation, it’s about power and size envelopes. I have been a big proponent of ARM based silicon, the vast majority of the smartphones and tablets, and other devices that have come from my product development teams over the years, were all on ARM designs.
It also means that ARM, and with apples help in SOC development, including other application processors and dedicated functions on chip, has finally met or exceeded the pure integer based computational power of Intel.
Better products will ensure, especially if they can get the early software development tools to help take usability to the next level.
Apple revealed it would help developers producing macOS software that will run on Apple’s silicon by providing them with a Developer Transition Kit, a customized version of the Mac mini running on new hardware. We look at how it stacks up against the currently-offered Mac mini.
Podcasts have become all the rage. There are a variety of podcasts genres available for listeners that range from true crime to health and fitness. Now Spotify has created a whole new genre of podcasts that listeners will be able to tune in on.
Superheroes and Villains.
Spotify has recently signed a new deal with DC Comics that will narrate the lives of DC’s superheroes and villains in their fictional worlds. The new deal may be an odd duo but for DC fanatics this might seem like a dream. The deal will most likely bring Spotify a whole new audience that may not already listen to podcasts.
The company has not revealed which characters will be featured but DC’s roster includes Batman, Harley Quinn, Superman and Wonder Woman. Spotify’s DC podcasts will be available for all users, both free and premium subscribers. The value of Spotify’s deal with DC and Warner Bros has not been revealed.
Food delivery services are used by people all day everyday. With the new food delivery service, Instacart, now you can order your groceries right from your phone. With everyone stuck at home during COVID-19, the need for the service became at an all time high. The new food delivery service app became overwhelmed with users being stuck at home. The users were then trying to find ways to get attention of the personal shoppers. They began over tipping the personal shoppers who were buying the groceries to reel them in and get to the front of the line. Then the users would withdraw their enormous tip after receiving their groceries.
Instacart is revising it’s tipping policy to keep users from taking advantage of the system by “tip baiting.” Starting Monday, Instacart users have 24 hours after a delivery is made to withdraw tips. Before, customers had up to three days to rescind or alter them. The company has hired over 150,000 staffers because of the COVID-19 crisis as the service has gained popularity. Instacart connects customers with nearby personal shoppers who gather provisions at local grocery stores for home delivery.