Apple-Face Shields; Apple Reportedly Buying NextVR; Samsung Donates Phones to Coronavirus Quaranitined; Zoom Banned by NYC Schools- Zoom Now Enables Waiting Rooms by Default; Amazon Still Ships Pretty Much Everything-Even Sex Toys!Posted: April 6, 2020
It has already been noted that Apple has donated some 20 million masks it came up with through its supply chain. Now, theverge.com reports that Apple has also already designed face shields, and has shipped a supply to Kaiser hospitals near their Silicon Valley headquarters. Apple has designed them to pack flat, 100 per box, and claims that each can be assembled in under 2 minutes, and is fully adjustable. The company says they are sourcing materials and manufacturing in both the US and China. Apple says they will have shipped out over a million shields by the end of the week, and plans to ship a million a week thereafter, while also scaling up to increase production.
Samsung has begun donating some smartphones to people who are quarantined to help with staying in touch with families and friends. According to cnet.com, the company has donated $29 million so far in funding and goods to help ease the difficulties with coronavirus. Samsung has had to temporarily close a plant and has also temporarily closed its retail stores. As with a number of tech companies, they have also started making masks.
Like a number of major businesses, New York City has banned Zoom due to privacy and security issues. As is the case with a number of businesses, fastcompany.com says the school system is directing schools to use Microsoft Teams, which is FERPA compliant. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.) The NYC Department of Education has already started training teachers and staff on how to use the Microsoft product.
In other Zoom news, Zoom is making some drastic changes to try to stem an exodus from its product. As of yesterday, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID. Zoom has also set virtual waiting rooms to ON by default so that hosts will have to manually admit attendees. They hope this will prevent so-called ‘Zoombombing,’ where malicious actors entering Zoom calls and disrupting them by screensharing offensive imagery. Zoombombers have moved on to spamming chat threads with terrible GIFs and to using virtual backgrounds to spread hate messages. As we have noted here, and in Zoom’s defense, they are having a rough time scaling up from 10 million to over 200 million users per month due to the coronavirus.
Last month, on St. Patrick’s Day, Amazon said it would only accept orders for high demand items related to the coronavirus…like medical and sanitation supplies and other essentials. Businessinsider.com reports that workers inside the online giant’s facilities say otherwise. They are sending out Nintendo Switches, glittery girl dolls, home hand spas, and even sex toys. One worker even said a customer recently ordered 392 different kinds of nipple clamps! Meanwhile, despite several cases of COVID-19, Amazon has refused to close down the facilities where the infected staff worked to do a deep cleaning of them. This post brought to you by the letters W, T, and F!