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Burnaby company confirms worker tested positive for COVID – Burnaby Now

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A worker with a Burnaby company is in isolation after he tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

According to an Aug. 24 internal memorandum seen by The Tri-City News, a contracted employee working with Certispec — a Burnaby-based laboratory testing company responsible for quality control — came down with symptoms of COVID-19 after working a dayshift on Saturday, Aug. 22. 

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The worker was on a job at the Pacific Coast Terminals tank farm facility in Port Moody.

“Earlier this evening, PCT received confirmation that one of Certispec’s workers tested positive for COVID-19 today,” wrote PCT operations manager Beau Storey to staff, later writing the worker immediately began 14 days of isolation.

Representatives for both PCT and Certispec have confirmed the case to The Tri-City News and both said they have completed their own internal investigation.

“The jobs that we do are mainly outside,” said Certispec regional operations manager Garth Collyer. “We don’t have any interaction with the public and we have limited interaction with the terminal staff.”

The port acts as a major waypoint for sulphur, potash, canola oil and ethylene glycol — a high-grade antifreeze used in the production of synthetic fibres like Gore-Tex — which arrive to Port Moody aboard Canadian Pacific trains before getting shipped overseas.

The employee is one of about three Certispec workers usually onsite at the facility. Tasked with gathering samples of ethylene glycol, the employee worked alone, wore personal protective equipment and used his own vehicle, according to the internal memo.

Collyer said one other staff member was contacted by Fraser Health, but that based on limited interaction with the man now in isolation, the contact tracing ended there.

Fraser Health has yet to respond to the status of its contact-tracing investigation.

After interviewing the foreman and other workers from that shift, Certispec and Pacific Coast Terminals found the person who fell ill with the virus had only worked once since Aug. 10 and did not come in contact with anyone else at the facility.

Following their investigations, the memo says “any risk from the incident would be extremely low, if not negligible.”

The Port Moody case comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise to an 11-week high across B.C. As of Aug. 25, there are a record 925 British Columbians battling the virus across the province after a record single-day case total of 107 over the weekend.

 

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Amazon Luna, Alexa, Echo, Fire TV and Ring event: Everything announced – CNET

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Screenshot by CNET

Today’s event helps Amazon generate buzz as we roll into the holiday shopping season, and for the first time, Prime Day (The annual sale is usually held in July, but this year is slated to start on Oct. 13.) That means Alexa everywhere and addressing privacy concerns, which were a big storyline in 2019 for both Ring and Alexa. In a life-at-home existence, with millions of us hunkered down for the long haul, the connected house concepts that Amazon has been developing for years have become more critical than ever. This year, Amazon will likely work to address the unique needs of today’s customers while keeping an eye toward a post-pandemic future. And you never know when Amazon will pull a suprise microwave out of its hat.

The event, which started at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, is invite-only, but you can follow our real-time Twitter feed and coverage across CNET.

The company’s Echo and Fire TV products will be its first to earn sustainability badges and it’s’ working on reducing power consumption across devices with a new low-power mode, an energy dashboard integrated with Alexa and its pledging to build solar and wind farms to generate energy that matches the consumption of all its devices.

Amazon Luna

$6/month

The company launches a cloud-gaming service on top of Amazon Web Services that runs on PCs, Fire TVs and more (on a Luna Plus game channel). 

It has a custom $50 controller that connects directly to the cloud rather than the local device.

Amazon gets into game streaming with Luna

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Amazon

Echo

$100

Redesigned with a new spherical shape and adapts to the acoustics of the room. It’s also a Sidewalk bridge and includes neural network technology to accelerate tasks.

Echo Dot 4th gen

$50

Gets the same redesign as the spherical Echo.

Echo Dot Kids Edition 2020 

Gets the same redesign as the spherical Echo, and now has a $60 kids edition with some kid-friendly features, including voice profiles for them and Sidekick, which lets Alexa read to them.

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Amazon

Amazon announces revamped Echo Dot with Clock speaker

Echo Dot with clock

$60

The Dot. With a clock.

Eero 6

$130

Amazon’s mesh network, now with Wi-Fi 6 and ZigBee support.

Amazon unveils new Eero mesh routers that support Wi-Fi 6

Eero Pro 6

$230

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Screenshot by CNET

‘Alexa, I’m getting pulled over,’ Ring debuts dashcam with Traffic Stop mode

Ring Car Connect

$200

Debuting with Tesla.

Ring’s flying Always Home Cam robot camera monitors more of your home

Ring Always Home Cam

$250

Autonomous camera that can fly within your home on a preprogrammed route or fly to a motion detection area.

Amazon announces the Echo Show 10

Echo Show 10

$250

It now has Zigbee and Sidewalk hubs, and is much quieter. There’s a built-in camera shutter. All Echo and Alexa’s will have a command to review privacy settings and “delete everything I’ve ever said.” It will also support Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video.

Fire TV Stick Lite streamer costs $30 basic version, $40 for the 4K version

Fire TV Stick

$40

It’s more powerful than before but uses less power.

Fire TV Stick Lite

$30


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Apple's smaller rivals unite to fight iPhone app store rules – Vancouver Courier

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WASHINGTON — Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for “fair treatment” in the way the tech giants run their app stores.

The Coalition for App Fairness, a Washington-based non-profit, launched Thursday and will advocate for legal and regulatory changes, such as measures that could block Apple and Google from favouring their own apps in the iPhone and Android operating systems they control. The activism from smaller rivals adds to scrutiny the tech giants are facing from U.S. and European regulators and lawmakers.

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The group aims to be the “voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said a statement from Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs and chief legal officer for music-streaming pioneer Spotify.

Apple is the group’s main target, though Google’s app store policies are also on its radar. Both companies this summer dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.

Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases, which has long been a sore spot with developers.

Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, responded by suing the companies over what it sees as anti-competitive behaviour. Epic is backing the new coalition along with Spotify, online dating app maker Match Group, and other members including Tile, Basecamp, ProtonMail and European media industry associations.

In addition to the app stores, Big Tech is facing fresh scrutiny from antitrust regulators. As the Trump administration moves toward antitrust action against search giant Google, it’s campaigning to enlist support from sympathetic state attorneys general across the country.

The anticipated lawsuit against Google by the Justice Department could be the government’s biggest legal offensive to protect competition since the ground-breaking case against Microsoft almost 20 years ago.

Lawmakers and consumer advocates accuse Google of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits.

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Xbox Series X’s expansion card costs $219.99 – Polygon

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The officially licensed Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X and Series S costs $219.99, according to a product listing at Best Buy.

Seagate makes the solid-state drive, which Microsoft announced but gave no price for in March. It’s pitched as “the only available expansion card that replicates the Xbox Velocity Architecture,” which is what delivers “faster load times, richer environments, and more immersive gameplay” on the next-generation Xbox consoles.

Microsoft has promised that all the accessories you use on your Xbox One will work on the Xbox Series X. This goes for external hard drives, too, with USB 3.1 or 3.2 connectivity. However, all Xbox Series X games must be installed to the console’s internal SSD or the Seagate card — USB external hard drives are far slower than these NVMe SSDs, which use the new PCIe 4.0 standard. (Series X games can be backed up to a USB external drive, but can’t be played from one.)

Backward-compatible Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games can still be played on the Xbox Series X if they’re installed on a USB external drive. And if you have one piled up with installed games for your Xbox One right now, it will be plug-and-play compatible with the new console launching Nov. 10. But Xbox One games that are “optimized for Xbox Series X,” like Gears 5 will be, can’t be played off a USB drive if users want “optimal performance,” says Microsoft.

For comparison, a Seagate-made 2 TB external hard drive that’s designed for Xbox One is currently available for $89.99. The $219.99 cost for the Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card may be a fair price for the cutting-edge technology in the device, although it’s hard to say; very few PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs are on the market, and even so, this is a custom-built SSD that’s designed to plug directly into the back of an Xbox Series X or Series S.

Unlike Microsoft with the Xbox Series X and Series S, Sony will not require a proprietary storage expansion solution for the PlayStation 5. PS5 owners will be able to upgrade the console’s 825 GB internal storage with an off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, although Sony will have to certify specific drives as compatible with the console. (For reference, Samsung announced its Evo 980 Pro SSD this week, and the 1 TB model will retail for $229.99.) It’s worth noting that stand-alone PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will get cheaper over time, but a proprietary product like the Seagate-branded Xbox Series X card may not.

While NVMe SSDs are the state of the art for storage, 1 TB is not a lot of space for any PC or console currently available. The Xbox Series X itself has a 1 TB internal NVMe SSD, so $219.99 only doubles that capacity. The Xbox Series S has only 512 GB of internal storage — just above the amount of storage in launch Xbox One consoles seven years ago. (Next-gen games will at least take up less space on the Series S than on the Series X, because the smaller console is designed for gaming at 1440p resolution rather than 4K.)

Assuming an average of 50 GB per game — and that may be on the low side for next-gen games — you could store at most 20 games on a 1 TB card, despite a Best Buy listing that promises gamers can “collect thousands of games across four generations of Xbox without sacrificing performance.”

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