makes reversing

Epic makes another attempt at reversing ‘Fortnite’ App Store ban – Seeking Alpha

Fornite creator Epic Games is taking another stab at getting U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to bring the popular game back to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store, filing for a preliminary injunction that would also restore its developer account.

Revealing that roughly a third of Fortnite‘s registered players access the app through the iOS operating system, Epic argued it is “likely to suffer irreparable harm” in the absence of a preliminary injunction and that “the balance of harms tips sharply in Epic’s favor.” Daily active users have also plummeted more than 60% on iOS since the ban, while 63% of its overall user base accesses Fortnite only on iOS devices.

“Apple is a monopolist. It controls all app distribution on iOS. It controls all in-app payment processing for digital content on iOS. It unlawfully maintains these two monopolies by explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry in either market,” Epic said in the filing.

Background? On August 13, both Apple and Google banned access to Fortnite via their app stores after Epic attempted to bypass the 30% fee Apple and Google charge developers by introducing its own in-game payment system.

What’s next? Epic’s new filing comes ahead of a hearing scheduled for Sept. 28 on its broader case, which seeks an end to what it describes as anti-competitive conduct with how Apple operates its App Store.

It may be an uphill battle… “Apple has chosen to impose a 30% commission at the app-use level rather than extracting those revenues from the iPhone purchase,” said Paul Swanson, a Denver-based antitrust lawyer at Holland & Hart LLP. “I don’t think antitrust prohibits that choice any more than it would prohibit a club from imposing whatever cover charge it chooses and then charging whatever it wants for drinks within the club.”

I’m Shorting Apple As It Enters Its War On Developers, adds Damon Verial in a new SA article, saying the timing of this so-called war matches a highly overbought stock and a seasonal period of underperformance.

Read More

makes pandemic'

Pandemic makes flu shots vital this season. Health officials aim for easier, safer ways for you to get the vaccine. – The Washington Post

One idea gaining in popularity is to give the shots outdoors.

Bethesda, Md., internist Brent Berger, for example, hopes to “borrow” a nearby church parking lot and offer outdoor flu vaccinations, delivered either curbside or in the car. He’s even thinking about combining it with a canned food drive.

“We want patients who would rather not come into the office to have an alternative,” Berger says. “A food drive also allows us to give something back to the community. Most of all, we want to do everything we can to encourage patients to be immunized against the flu, especially against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic.”

“This fall we anticipate a double-barreled respiratory virus season,” says William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, who points out that people can contract both influenza and covid-19 at the same time. “We expect the occurrence of severe disease and its impact on the health-care system to be substantial. It’s all the more important that everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against influenza.”

The shot not only will prevent many cases of influenza but also increase the likelihood of a mild disease if a vaccinated person still develops flu.

“You’ll be less likely to end up in the emergency room or hospital, and less likely to die of influenza,” Schaffner says. “Most important, you’ll take weight off the medical care system so patients can be cared for more appropriately.”

Age can be a consideration in the timing of a flu shot. It takes two weeks after a shot to develop immunity, which wanes faster in older people than in younger people. Young people can get their shot as early as this month, but those over 65 might want to wait until October. The flu season begins that month and peaks between December and February.

(Experts say it’s better to get one too early or too late than not at all)

Older people also should ask about two flu vaccines associated with a higher immune response and approved for those 65 and older. Also, those over 65 are advised to get a pneumonia vaccination, which is also recommended for children under 2 and for those with certain medical conditions. Pneumonia can be a fatal complication of the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

More than half of all American adults failed to get a flu vaccination last season, although compliance did inch up from the previous year, according to the CDC. Coverage was 45.3 percent during 2018-2019, an increase of 8.2 percentage points over the 2017-2018 season. The numbers were better for children; coverage was 62.6 percent last year, according to the CDC.

This year, the fear is that the pandemic could prompt the numbers to drop, either from fear of covid-19, or inconvenience. Many homebound employees, for example, won’t have access to flu shots in the workplace this year, as in previous years, and providers are trying to compensate by offering alternatives. “You can’t vaccinate by telemedicine, so we need ways to make it easy, quick and safe for people to come in, and we need to convince them to do it,” Schaffner says.

Berger, the Bethesda doctor, represents one example, but others, including clinics and medical centers, pharmacies and retailers, also have expanded their vaccination plans to the outdoors, which is considered safer than being indoors when it comes to covid-19 transmission.

“This season we will be setting up drive-through flu vaccination sites and clinics at many of our medical facilities to make the process easy and safe for people and maintain social distancing,” says Stephen Parodi, associate executive director of the Permanente Medical Group. “Also, in select Kaiser Permanente regions, we are piloting touch-free screening and check-in.”

Todd Prewitt, corporate medical director for population health for the insurance giant Humana, says the company is encouraging all of its members to get flu vaccinations, and will cover them. As part of its campaign, Humana sent two cloth masks to more than 7 million of its members.

Many pharmacies will offer drive-through vaccinations, says Mitchel Rothholz, chief of governance and state affiliates for the American Pharmacists Association. “We understand that people may hesitate about going into a doctor’s office, because that’s where the sick people are,” he says.

But consumers also can make appointments for shots inside drugstores, he says. “Patients can fill out paperwork before they come into a pharmacy,” he says. “Some pharmacies will have patients wait in their cars and will call them when it’s time to come in and get the shot. They are trying to streamline the process so you’re not having a lot of people standing around in the waiting area.”

Most people who feel comfortable going to their doctor’s office for a flu shot probably still can. Furthermore, if patients have an in-office appointment for another medical reason already scheduled, physicians recommend getting a flu shot at the same time. Regardless — inside or outside — consumers should be prepared for social distancing, temperature checks, screening questions and mask-wearing. They also should expect those giving the shots to be wearing personal protective gear, and to change gloves and disinfect areas between patients.

“Patients will be given a covid-19 screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to any immunization,” says Matthew Blanchette, a spokesman for CVSHealth, which has 10,000 pharmacies nationwide. “They must also wear a face covering or mask, and one will be provided, if needed.”

Starting this month, CVS Pharmacy customers can make flu vaccination appointments at, on the CVS app or by texting FLU to 287898, he says.

“They also will be able to complete a digital intake form prior to their visit to limit in-person contact at the time of vaccination,” Blanchette adds.

Some pediatricians also plan to offer outdoor flu vaccinations, although outside clinics present special challenges when dealing with children. Gary Bergman, a pediatrician who practices in Alexandria and Fairfax, Va., decided against vaccinating outdoors. He plans to hold indoor flu shot clinics during hours when the pediatricians aren’t treating sick children.

“Some practices are setting up tents and vaccinating outside, but what if it’s cold and rainy, and kids are crying, and you have to undress a 9-month-old to give a shot in the thigh?” referring to the site for vaccinating children before they are walking, he says. “We just didn’t want to go that route.”

Last year, the pediatricians in his practice delivered more than 8,000 flu shots to their pediatric patients, as well as occasionally to their parents, he says. This year, the practice ordered 12,000 doses, “figuring with the situation, parents who can’t get their flu shots at work might want to get them here,” he says. With social distancing, however, they expect to reduce the number of shots they give during each shift from 225 to 175, but plan to add several evening flu shot clinics.

Experts say that it is important to be protected against influenza before a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, which could happen early next year. If that is the case, “we want to make sure we get as many people protected from flu [first],” says Rebecca Snead, executive vice president and chief executive of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

Meanwhile, vaccine manufacturers have boosted production of the influenza vaccine this year. And because routine childhood immunizations for other infectious diseases have fallen behind, federal health officials recently announced they will allow pharmacists in every state to administer childhood vaccinations, including for flu.

Vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, for example, has produced nearly 80 million doses of influenza vaccine for this season, a 15 percent increase over last year, and the company has developed a “road map” to help providers prepare to deliver flu vaccines at alternative sites, including outdoors.

“The same people who were told to shelter in place, are also the same ones we must ensure get their flu shots,” says Elaine O’Hara, who heads Sanofi’s North America vaccine program. “Trying to overcome the limitations is very important. There’s no point in producing 80 million doses of influenza vaccine if they don’t end up in someone’s arm.”

Read More

Google makes

Google makes NASA artifacts and prehistoric crustaceans viewable in AR – The Verge

Google has made a number of prehistoric creatures and historical artifacts available to view in augmented reality in its Arts and Culture app, the company announced today. If you want to take a closer look at the ancient crustacean Cambropachycope from your living room without having to visit Moscow’s State Darwin Museum, for example, then now’s your chance. Or how about the Command Module from Apollo 11 or Neil Armstrong’s lunar spacesuit?

The announcement comes as many museums around the world are starting to open up after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close. However, in the immediate future, health and safety measures mean that many still aren’t as accessible as they once were. AR will have to suffice, even if it can’t quite match the sense of awe you get at seeing a 25.2 meter-long blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling above you in London’s Natural History Museum.

The feature overlays exhibits into your environment, allowing you to view them from any angle and take photos.
Image: Google

Other exhibits include prehistoric creatures like the Aegirocassis, as well as objects like a pre-Inca statue that dates back to 500 BCE. There are also paintings available to view in augmented reality like a self-portrait from Frida Kahlo, or Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. Once you’ve placed the exhibit into your room, you’re free to film it or take photos using your phone’s camera.

Supported exhibits include prehistoric creatures as well as more recent historical items.
Image: Google

The exhibits are available to view in Google’s Arts and Culture app, which is best known for its art history features. Over the years it’s also added a few AI twists on its collection, such as in 2018 when it launched a feature that would match your selfies against famous portraits. More recently it added a photo filter feature that edited your photos in the style of famous painters.

As well as museum exhibits, Google has adding augmented reality creatures to its search results. Since Google I/O 2019 the company has made a number of 3D animals available to view, recently expanding its offering to include dinosaurs and insects.

Google’s blog doesn’t mention which hardware is required to view its latest museum exhibits in augmented reality, but its previous AR features have required you to use an ARCore-supported Android device, or an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11 and up. You can find the augmented reality exhibits in the Arts and Culture app by searching for “AR” and then tapping the “View in Augmented Reality” button in the pages for supported exhibits.

Read More

California makes

California makes bold moves to tackle Big Tech with Uber and Lyft showdown – MarketWatch

MarketWatch First Take

Ride-hailing companies win temporary reprieve, but battle is not over yet

Uber and Lyft are pitted in battle with the state of California.

Getty Images

As California becomes one of the first states to take on Big Tech in the ongoing battle over the employment status of Uber and Lyft drivers, the scofflaw ride-hailing companies are now working their political contacts to avoid complying with a law that has been on the books for almost a year.

Earlier Thursday, an appellate judge granted an emergency stay, lifting the injunctions against Uber Technologies Inc.

and Lyft Inc.


that ordered them to comply with the California law, known as AB-5, that requires ride-hailing companies to classify their drivers as employees instead of independent contractors. The companies had threatened to shut operations in the state rather than comply with the ruling. They now have an expedited time frame for their appeals, which, in an unusual request from Appellate Judge P.J. Pollack, will now be consolidated. Both Uber and Lyft have until Aug. 25 to agree to the expedited procedures and then until Sept. 4 to file their opening briefs.

The two companies, but Uber even more so, have taken an act-first-and-seek-forgiveness-later approach when it comes to complying with international and local regulations. Now, both are using all the political might that they have gathered up over the past years to buy more time in this battle, in the hopes that a ballot measure in the upcoming November election, known as Proposition 22, will overturn AB-5.

The companies are spending millions of dollars fighting a law that will make their operating costs rise if they are forced to pay benefits to their drivers. Their threats to shut down their operations in the state raised enough concern to get support in some corners.

Late Wednesday, the mayors of San Jose and San Diego issued a joint statement, saying they had serious concerns that nearly 1 million gig-economy workers in California would lose their jobs if Uber and Lyft shut down their operations in the Golden State. They also played the pandemic card, saying that many of those drivers are helping homebound seniors and transporting patients seeking medical care. In their statement, they asked the appeals court to stay the injunction against the companies.

“The vast majority of drivers want to stay independent workers and are looking for solutions that protect their independence while also providing additional benefit,” said Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego, and Sam Licardo, mayor of San Jose, echoing the party line of the companies.

In addition, Uber and Lyft — along with DoorDash — have spent at least $30 million each so far on Prop. 22, which would exempt them from AB-5. So while the state ushered in a new law that offers more protections to workers, the companies involved have been doing everything possible to make their part of the gig as low-cost and as high-profit as possible. Instead of preparing for a major change, and making changes in their operations to accommodate the new law, they have continued to relentlessly fight it.

The appellate judge, however, is demanding that the CEOs of both companies submit a sworn statement, also by Sept. 4, “confirming that it [the company] has developed implementation plans under which, if this court affirms the preliminary injunction and Proposition 22 on the November 2020 ballot fails to pass.”

California is leading the way in these battles against Big Tech, from this fight with Uber and Lyft to the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) that is Facebook Inc.’s

next nightmare, to a law requiring women on company boards. And just last week, a new bill that would require racial diversity on boards passed the state Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions.

Whether these efforts to reign in tech giants will be successful or not is way too early to tell, but it’s clear that the rest of the U.S. is watching. The Uber and Lyft showdown is an important battle in the war against the dominance of Big Tech.

Read More

Harris makes

Harris makes history while Obama and Clinton slam Trump at DNC Day 3 – CBS News

Harris makes history while Obama and Clinton slam Trump at DNC Day 3 – YouTube

Read More

makes Trump

Trump makes fear-based appeal to women as Biden picks Harris – POLITICO

“The ‘suburban housewife’ will be voting for me,” Trump said Wednesday on Twitter. “They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood.”

It’s an existential issue for Trump’s political future. In 2016, Trump won a critical demographic — white women without a college degree — by 27 percentage points. But as of May, Biden had closed that gap to Trump to only 6 points, according to an ABC/Washington Post survey. More broadly in 2016, Trump won suburban voters, 49 percent to 45 percent, but has since lost that edge, according to polling data.

Yet Trump’s bellicose overtures to women are leading even some Republicans pollsters to question his gambit, particularly his hellish predictions of rampant crime coming to the suburbs and forced low-income housing driving down suburban property values. They noted that the suburban women who abandoned Trump’s Republican Party in 2018 — many of whom had college degrees, earned higher incomes than average and had previously voted Republican — were unlikely to be won back with such racially divisive rhetoric that also trafficked in outmoded gender norms.

“The campaign thinks it’s fear and they think they can scare people back into the fold, but the Democratic nominee is Joe Biden and it’s not Bernie Sanders,” said Christine Matthews, a Republican pollster who has been critical of Trump. “There’s very little they can do to say now to say they managed Covid successfully and the economy is in good shape, because neither of those things are true. That leaves them with fear of Biden.”

Trump’s explicit appeals to suburban voters started in earnest during a late June rally in Phoenix, when he vowed “disunity and discord” would come to “every suburb” if Biden was elected. In the following weeks, Trump’s suburban overtures became more pronounced, barbed and specific.

A recent ad from the Trump campaign features a woman of color and real-life Trump voter sitting holding cue cards to describe Biden as “weak,” a man who “embraced the policies of the far left.”

On Wednesday night, Trump warned at a press briefing that the Democrats were “going to, in my opinion, destroy suburbia.”

“You want something where people aspire to be there,” he added.

It’s part of a broader Trump team push to retain women voters that previously was primarily an economic pitch — before the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment rates for women had fallen to historic lows, a majority of new jobs were going to women and there were more women than men in the workforce for only the second time in U.S. history.

“Whether you like his tweets or not or his tone or not his policies have been beneficial for women,” said Mercedes Schlapp, a Trump campaign senior adviser.

Those gains look different in a post-pandemic world, however, with unemployment soaring, businesses closing and economists predicting a long road back to pre-pandemic figures.

Biden also changed the dynamic on Tuesday when he picked Harris. Democrats hope Harris will help energize moderate voters and women — especially suburban women — in November. Trump demonized Harris on Wednesday as “nasty” and “angry.”

“She left angry, she left mad, there was nobody more insulting to Biden than she was,” Trump said of Harris’s failed presidential campaign. “She said horrible things about him.”

Over the past few decades, both parties have aggressively courted suburban voters. The voting bloc has an above-average education and is evenly divided politically. In the 2016 election, Trump won suburban voters by roughly 5 percentage points.

But in 2018, the suburbs and the female voters who live there were key to Democrats’ winning nearly 30 states and control of the House, according to USA Today.

Those areas don’t appear to be coming back to Trump. And suburban women, in particular, haven’t been swayed by the president’s appeals of the past two months. In fact, recent polling from POLITICO and Morning Consult shows declining support among suburban women, dropping from 37 to 34 percent in the two latest polls.

Yet there’s another critical demographic that appears more evenly split than suburban women: non-college educated women over 50.

Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster with ties to the Biden campaign, describes this demographic as “guardian women” and has done polling on the group. The subset of voters split their votes for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in 2012, and then Hillary Clinton and Trump in 2016. Most recently, however, they lean towards Biden.

Lake said security is the top value for these potential voters, and noted many are caring for aging parents or kids.

Trump’s pandemic messaging has directly hit on all these issues.

A recent Trump campaign ad warns that Biden’s desire to defund the police — a policy Biden does not support — will leave 911 calls unanswered. And the president touts images of urban unrest amid mostly peaceful racial injustice protests as heralding chaos in the suburbs. Similarly, Trump continues to insist schools fully reopen in the fall, arguing it’s what parents and women want.

“The president has and continues to prioritize education and school choice, ensuring every child can receive a quality education no matter their zip code, and his administration is actively working to find a way to safely reopen our schools, getting kids in the classrooms and parents back to work,” said Lara Trump, an adviser to the Trump campaign who has been headlining the “Women for Trump” bus tour stops. “Women across the nation can trust in President Trump to put them and their families first.”

Yet Lake argued that polling shows these more evenly split “guardian women” are put off by Trump’s pandemic rhetoric.

“They see their jobs as protecting their family and communities, and they think Trump’s erratic style of leadership, no plan, not listening to experts has actually made that job more difficult and they’re upset,” she said.

For instance, while mothers want to see children return to school, educators and many medical experts have warned that the current surge in coronavirus cases makes classrooms too dangerous. That’s troubling to women, said Sarah Longwell, founder of Republican Voters Against Trump, a coalition of Republicans, former Republicans and conservatives who are opposing Trump. Longwell has conducted focus groups with female swing voters over the last two years.

“The administration’s instinct is that people want their kids back in school, they absolutely do,” she said. “These women want to know the plan to keep them safe. What are we doing? That’s the thing people find frustrating, especially the women who are bearing a disproportionate burden with kids and childcare.”

Essentially, Longwell noted, Trump’s version of security isn’t resonating with this group.

“These women give him a lot of latitude,” she said. “Act presidential, have a plan, and having a light at the end of the tunnel would help, too. That’s what people want. They want it to be over.”

Read More

makes Trump

Trump makes a rare retreat by rescheduling Juneteenth rally in Tulsa – CNN

(CNN)In a rare conciliatory gesture, President Donald Trump announced late Friday night that he is rescheduling a campaign rally that was slated to take place in Tulsa on Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The announcement of the rally sparked an uproar earlier this week because of Tulsa’s history as the site of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the nation’s history: the 1921 massacre of hundreds of African Americans who were attacked by a white mob that looted and burned many black-owned businesses and homes in the Greenwood District, a neighborhood that was then known as “Black Wall Street.”
Holding a rally on that day was viewed as yet another affront by Trump, who has so far refused to engage in any meaningful way in the profound conversation about systematic racism unfolding in this country.
After weeks of divisive rhetoric and demands for the nation’s governors to “dominate” the protesters in the streets with military force if necessary, Trump’s Twitter announcement Friday night fell short of an apology but marked a notable shift in tone.
Trump’s retreat followed several weeks in which he has failed to rise to a moment of profound cultural change in America. While he has held several roundtables with African American leaders following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, his instinct has been to ignore the national reckoning over race rather than lead it.
His message has instead centered on the need for “law and order” and his bizarre assertion in Dallas this week that the problems of bigotry and prejudice in America can be resolved “quickly” and “very easily.”
And instead of using this pivotal moment to expand his outreach — an imperative for his reelection campaign as his rival Joe Biden widens his lead in national polls — Trump has traveled to comfortable venues in states that are largely not in play in November.
That puzzling strategy comes after several months in which Trump was largely contained at the White House because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now he is increasingly restless, yearning to fill arenas with supporters for the rallies he believes were critical in carrying him to victory in 2016. But at a time when Biden is barely traveling, Trump’s plans continue to be constrained by the slow re-opening of several of the most critical swing states led by Democratic governors.
A glance at the President’s travel calendar shows few signs of a concerted effort to persuade the voters he will need to help him win reelection. At a roundtable with African American leaders at the White House Wednesday, Trump said he planned to visit Florida, North Carolina and Arizona — three of the six target states that will likely be most decisive in determining the outcome of the election, according to CNN’s “Road to 270” analysis. But it is unclear when those plans will materialize, particularly as coronavirus cases rise at an alarming rate in Arizona.
So far, in his first forays outside the White House, Trump has mainly traveled to venues that offer a cocoon of political safety rather than a chance to engage and persuade undecided voters as the nation debates police reform after Floyd’s death.
On Thursday night, the President retreated to his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, a solid blue state. On Saturday, he will deliver a socially distanced commencement speech to the graduating class of the US Military Academy at West Point, amid controversy over his relentless drive to involve the military in efforts to corral protesters.
Earlier Thursday, he traveled to Texas, a state he won by 9 points in 2016, for a campaign fundraiser and a roundtable focused on “justice disparities” in Dallas, where he said Americans need to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice but cautioned that the US will make no progress on that front “by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots.”
Three of the most prominent black law enforcement officials — the region’s police chief, sheriff and district attorney — were not invited to participate.
“When you initiate a conversation and you purport that conversation to be about racism and policing in America, and you fail to include the top three law enforcement officials in an area where you are speaking — I think that that says a lot, and that causes one to raise the brow,” Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
A week earlier, in the midst of heated protests over racism and police brutality, Trump traveled to Maine, one of the whitest states in the country, where he scarcely addressed the controversy surrounding Floyd’s death while speaking to workers at a company that manufactures coronavirus testing swabs.
Though Maine is a swing state that Trump lost in 2016, he visited Maine’s largely rural 2nd Congressional District, which he won by a 10-point margin in 2016 over Hillary Clinton. His attempt at broader outreach in Maine amounted to a few lines at the end of his speech asking his audience to help get him voters in the state’s 1st Congressional District, which he lost.

Reviving his rallies in Tulsa

Still, the most puzzling recent decision was his campaign’s announcement that Trump would hold his first rally since the start of the coronavirus next week in Oklahoma, a solidly red state that he won in 2016 with a 36-point margin.
Trump said during an interview with Fox New host Harris Faulkner that his rally in Tulsa wasn’t scheduled on Juneteenth “on purpose.”
“Think about it as a celebration. My rally is a celebration,” Trump told Faulkner in a clip of the Fox interview released Friday. “Don’t think about it as an inconvenience.”
Asked about the Tulsa visit this week, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump is “working on rectifying injustices” and that Juneteenth is a “meaningful day to him and it’s a day where he wants to share some of the progress that’s been made” while addressing what “needs to be done” in the future.
But a GOP source familiar with Trump’s travel plans said Oklahoma was chosen, not only because the state is friendly to Trump, but because it has a low rate of coronavirus cases per capita compared with other states — making it a safer venue both for Trump and rally-goers who come to see him. Meanwhile, Trump has publicly downplayed the threat of the coronavirus. (Maine, Oklahoma and Texas rank among the 15 states with the fewest number of coronavirus cases per capita).
One of Trump’s confidants told CNN it was important to Trump to mark his return to the campaign trail in a place like Oklahoma that would welcome and accommodate the kind of energized and boisterous rally he wants.

Campaigning in a pandemic

In the midst of a pandemic, Trump’s desires for big rallies have made campaign planning difficult as his team tries to balance Trump’s desire to get out with big crowds, as well as the need to spend time in target states, against local officials’ fears about the potential spread of coronavirus.
The campaign has said it will take precautions to protect rally attendees but it is not yet clear what those specific measures will be. Attendees are being asked to agree to a disclaimer stating that they “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19” and agree not to hold the campaign liable for any illness or injury.
During an appearance on “The Situation Room” Friday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said he hadn’t spoken to the President about his planned rally. But Fauci repeated advice he’s given throughout the pandemic: “The best thing to do is to avoid crowded areas. But if you’re not going to do that, please wear a mask.”
In a normal election year, the GOP source said, Trump would be cycling through states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Arizona with big rallies. This year, it’s a question of whether local officials, including Democratic governors, will agree to let him hold the kind of rallies he wants.
In the phased re-opening program outlined by Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, for example, 21 of the state’s counties are still in the “yellow phase” where large gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited; another 46 counties have moved into the “green phase” where gatherings can include no more than 250 people — a far cry from the thousands of supporters Trump was able to draw to many of his events in 2016.
Earlier this month, Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that some regions of the state with fewer coronavirus cases could advance to “stage five” of the state’s reopening plan, which allows indoor gatherings that do not exceed 50 people and outdoor events of up to 250 people, as long as people who are not in the same household maintain a distance of six feet from one another.
But Trump has already shown his impatience with Democratic officials who would dictate the layout and guidelines of the rallies he wants to hold in these states.
This week, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced that Trump will accept the nomination at a 15,000-person arena in Jacksonville, Florida — abandoning plans for the convention to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the President chafed at the social distancing restrictions that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper would impose.

Read More

Apple makes

Apple makes it easier to skip Face ID if you’re wearing a mask – Engadget

Being able to unlock your iPhone with Face ID is great, until you’re wearing a mask. Apple recognizes this, and in beta software released today, it makes it a little easier to skip the Face ID display and enter your passcode, CNBC reports.

At the moment, there is a slight delay between your phone realizing that it can’t see your face and offering the screen to enter a passcode. To avoid that, you either have to remove your mask or turn off Face ID. But in the most recent iOS 13.5 beta, Apple lets users swipe up to enter a passcode and skip the delay. Some Twitter users report that if your phone detects you’re wearing a mask, it will automatically jump to the passcode screen.

Read More