NY Sues Amazon; YouTube to Debut Shorts in US-TikTok Cline; Google Maps Lets You Pay for Mass Transit; Microsoft Edge Helps Cut Irritating Notifications

New York has sued Amazon, accusing the online giant of ‘flagrant disregard’ for the health and safety of workers. Geekwire.com reports that Attorney General Letitia James filed the action last night. Amazon is accused of failing to protect workers from COVID-19. Amazon had filed a pre-emptive suit on Friday in an effort to defend its COVID response. AG James says in the suit that Amazon failed to comply with cleaning and safety requirements after positive COVID-19 cases were identified at its facilities. The suit notes that Amazon’s record profits amid the pandemic came “at the expense of its frontline workers who have experienced significant risks of COVID-19 infection while working at Amazon.” It also accuses Amazon of illegally retaliating against employees who complained about the company’s COVID-19 response. Amazon, of course, denies all of this. 

YouTube is going to start testing Shorts, its competitor to TikTok in the US, starting in March. According to cnet.com, YouTube has been trialing the service in India since September. YouTube says that it has been getting 3.5 billion views a day! The feature lets creators upload videos that run a maximum of 15 seconds. Google gives you tools for adding music and splicing clips together. Now that the Biden administration has killed Ex-president Trump’s plan to neuter TikTok in the US through a sale, it remains to be seen if the YouTube competitor will lure away users from TikTok. 

A couple of welcome new additions to Google Maps: the ability to pay for parking or to buy a train ticket right inside the app. Theverge.com says they have integrated two mobile parking services into the app, Passport and ParkMobile. As far as mass transit, when you search for directions in Google Maps, you will see an option to buy tickets right along with your results. You need a Google Pay account linked to a valid credit or debit card to use it. 

Microsoft is now crowdsourcing data for it’s Edge browser regarding pop up notices. According to engadget.com, the company will track the options people choose — to allow, block, ignore or dismiss notifications entirely — and compile that information into an annoyance score. If the number is too high, Edge will automatically quiet notifications from that site. You can also select ‘Quiet notification requests and mute all of the annoying things!


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