Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Anheuser-Busch donating hand sanitizer for Election Day

Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser beer, is no stranger to stepping in where there’s a need. After national disasters, the company often produces canned water for areas in need of help. Now, there’s a new need across the nation – hand sanitizer. The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office said in a release Thursday that the St. Louis-based company is producing and donating more than 8 million ounces of hand sanitizer to be distributed at polling locations across the United States for the November General Election. According to the release, Anheuser-Busch will distribute the sanitizer to state election offices making a request for sanitization supplies to help ensure the safety of voters and poll workers through the election process through the COVID-19 pandemic. (KMBC)


Facebook launched a “Paid Online Events” service to help small businesses and artists run live, monetizable online events

The company is publicly going after Apple for not agreeing to waive its 30% cut in its App Store. Following Fortnite’s lawsuit against Apple for its App Store policies, Head of the Facebook App said that Apple’s guidelines are hurting small businesses. She also said that Google didn’t waive its fees, but provided the option of using Facebook’s own payment system to avoid a 30% fee. Facebook said that it is not taking a share from the payments made by the users. Last week, Epic Games (the maker of Fortnite) filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google as it removed the Fortnite game from the App Store, following a feature introduced by Fortnite that bypasses the app store payment mechanism. Also last week, Apple released Facebook’s gaming app after removing the “play” feature. (Axios)


Apple is reportedly planning to launch a bundled subscription service called “Apple One.” 

Apple’s current services include Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and additional storage for iCloud. By bundling these products in tiers, Apple is expected to offer subscribers lower prices on product groupings. Apple will also begin to offer software bundles paired with hardware purchases. Apple’s services have grown its user base in recent years but still face fierce competition. Spotify boasts 120 million subscribers compared to Apple Music’s 68 million. Bundling would likely increase overall subscriptions to Apple services.  Apple is one of many businesses that would like to replicate Amazon’s success with its prime service.  Apple’s move is in line with the company’s recent focus on improving recurring revenue. Recurring revenue is considered to be both a reliable source of cash and a driver of sales in other parts of the business. Customers who purchase Apple services are more likely to buy Apple hardware. The service is expected to launch in October. (Bloomberg)


A new study suggests that extreme obesity puts men, but not women, at higher risk of death from Covid-19

Researchers analyzed thousands of patients at a Southern California health system and found that extreme obesity was a risk factor for dying, and particularly among men and patients 60 or younger. But among women infected with the illness, body mass index did not appear to independently increase their risk of dying at any age, possibly because women carry weight differently than do men. (ACPJournal)


UT research shows COVID-19 was spreading farther, faster than anyone knew at the start of pandemic

New research out of the University of Texas shows that COVID-19 was spreading farther and faster than anyone knew at the start of this pandemic. They went back to throat swabs taken in Wuhan, China and Seattle, Washington weeks before those cities were locked down. Those swabs were from people who thought they had the flu. They were taken from January in China and February and early March in Seattle. The researchers found some of those suspected flu cases were actually positive for COVID-19. The findings indicate for every two cases of flu there was one case of coronavirus. With that many cases, researchers now believe the first case in Seattle probably arrived around Christmas and they estimate at least a third of those undisclosed cases in the U.S. were in children. The first case of coronavirus in Washington State was not reported until January 21. (KHOU)


The key to escaping a career rut

Feeling like each work day is just a link in an endless chain of monotonous, uninspiring weeks and months? You may be in a professional rut. You can break free, though, even without leaving your company, according to a researcher at University of Texas at Austin. One critical step you can take? Broaden your scope. Meet new people, join new groups or take classes on new topics. Seeking out new people and ideas lets us imagine new ways of thinking about work and life. (Fast Company)


When productivity becomes addiction

Being productive may sound like a virtue, and it often is. But when taken to extremes, it can harm our health and sever ties to people we care about. Productivity addiction is real and, according to studies in Norway and Hungary, may affect as many as 8% of adults. When we grow fixated on productivity, we end up dividing our world into two stark categories: What’s worth our time and what isn’t. But such divides can lead us astray. After all, impromptu strolls or meals with friends can help us develop our best time-saving techniques. (BBC)


Husband discovers wife’s affair after spotting her in the act on Google Maps

When Google Maps launched back in 2005, it made the world a far smaller place. The tool allows users to visit almost any location on earth at ground level – although we almost invariably end up heading straight to our own home. It also captures images of people going about their daily lives, resulting in some hilarious photo fails and a few suspicious scenes. But one man was left heartbroken when the Street View tool captured his wife with another man and exposed her affair. The images, which went viral on Facebook, shows a row of benches on a pedestrianised path in Lima, the capital city of Peru. Sat on one of the benches is a woman wearing a black top and white shirt, with a man in a white jumper laid with his head in her lap. His face is obscured from view and the woman has been blurred out, which is standard practice on Google Maps to protect people’s privacy. But it wasn’t enough to stop the woman’s husband from recognising her when he stumbled across the scene back in 2013, spotting her familiar outfit as he explored the streets. The husband reportedly confronted his wife over what he had seen and she admitted the affair before the couple later divorced. (Daily Mirror)


Black Americans Want Police to Retain Local Presence

When asked whether they want the police to spend more time, the same amount of time or less time than they currently do in their area, most Black Americans — 61% — want the police presence to remain the same. This is similar to the 67% of all U.S. adults preferring the status quo, including 71% of White Americans. Meanwhile, nearly equal proportions of Black Americans say they would like the police to spend more time in their area (20%) as say they’d like them to spend less time there (19%). The study includes large samples of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans, weighted to their correct proportions of the population. Of these four racial/ethnic groups, Asian Americans are the most likely to want less police presence where they live, with 28% saying this. That contrasts with 12% of White Americans, 17% of Hispanic Americans and 19% of Black Americans. The survey also asked Americans to estimate how often they see police in their neighborhood. Black Americans’ reported exposure to local police is slightly above the national average, with 32% saying they see the police often or very often in their neighborhood. This compares with 22% of White Americans and 21% of Asian Americans. Hispanic Americans’ experience is similar to that of Black Americans, with 28% often seeing police where they live. Most other Black Americans (41%) say they sometimes see police in their area, matching the national average, while another 27% say they rarely or never see them. (Gallup)


Man finds medical waste in his yard

A man in Tulsa, Oklahoma is concerned after waking up to find medical waste all over his and his neighbor’s yards, including a patient’s personal information. The trash came from Access Medical Centers Urgent Care, located across the street from his home. The clinic is a coronavirus test site. There were medical gloves, COVID test paperwork and wrappers, cotton swabs, medical gowns, and more. He says what’s most disturbing is at least one patient’s personal information was found in the debris. It had their name, address, date of birth, social security number and insurance information. An Access Medical Center spokesperson says the waste was mishandled by the trash disposal company and they dispose all biohazard waste in red bags that are disposed of by a special company that comes inside and removes it. Anything in the general dumpster should not be a biohazard. The clinic also says they are protective of patient information and put patient information into locked shred bins. They did not have an explanation as to how the patient information got out. The trash company, American Waste Control, says the storm may have played a factor in the trash spreading across the neighborhood, and said there is no excuse for what happened and apologize to the clinic and neighbors. (Fox 23)


Woman shot with BB gun for removing Trump sign from wrong yard

A North Carolina woman was shot with a BB gun over a misunderstanding, and the pellet is still lodged in her arm. The woman said she saw a political sign in what she thought was her brother’s front yard. When she went to remove it, his 76-year-old neighbor shot her with an air gun, striking her near the elbow. She thought the sign was placed in the yard by a prankster, as her brother never talks about politics. What’s more, the sign was placed closer to her brother’s front door than the neighbor’s house, and the exact property lines were unclear to her. The neighbor said he yelled at the woman to stop before he opened fire, although she said she didn’t hear him say anything. When she confronted the man, he encouraged her to call the police. “You can’t shoot people on your property,” she said. “He actually believed he could shoot me if I was on his property, and to me, that’s terrifying.” Now the man, who said he purchased the BB gun to scare away stray cats on his property, faces a misdemeanor assault charge. “You defend your property and you end up getting charged,” he said in response to the charges. The woman said she had no problem with the sign itself, she just didn’t want it on her brother’s property if it wasn’t his. She said she would have put it back if the man had just explained to her that it was his property. The man said he meant to hit the woman in the rear end. He’s also considering filing charges against the woman for attempted theft but has to wait until his assault charge is handled. His court date is set for November. (WSOC)


The side effects showing up in kids after months of coronavirus restrictions

Experts from UC Davis are offering help to parents as new studies and surveys show how the ongoing pandemic has led to behavioral issues and weight gain in children and adults alike. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one in four parents has reported worsening mental health issues, and one in seven is reporting worsening behavior with their children. Mental health impacts appear to have the greatest effect in females, unmarried parents and families with young children. Talking about these impacts with children and doctors is essential, experts say. (Yahoo News)


President Trump said he would consider pardoning Edward Snowden

Trump expressed that a “lot of people” thought Snowden was “not being treated fairly” by federal law enforcement and was going to look into a pardon for Eric Snowden. In June 2013, Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, leaked thousands of top-secret documents, showing the agency’s vast domestic and international surveillance operations. Some Republicans, including United States Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, have encouraged Trump to pardon Snowden. In a tweet, Paul said that documents leaked by Eric Snowden showed “[James] Clapper and [James] Comey…were illegally spying on Americans.” In the past, Trump called Eric Snowden a “traitor” and called for his execution after the document leaks. Eric Snowden is currently living in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum. Eric Snowden said he would return to the U.S. if he could be granted a fair trial-by-jury. (Reuters)


Tuesday Spawns A New Day With:

  • Bad Poetry Day
  • Badge Ribbon Day
  • Birth Control Pills Day
  • Ice Cream Pie Day
  • Mail Order Catalog Day
  • Fajita Day
  • Serendipity Day

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