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GM, Google, others join retreat from CES over rising COVID-19 cases

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U.S. automaker General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and its self-driving auto-technology company Waymo on Thursday joined the companies no longer attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in person early next month due to rising COVID-19 infections.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra had been scheduled to give a keynote speech at the annual conference on Jan. 5, during which the company would have shown its electric Silverado pickup truck for the first time. Barra will still make the speech and presentation remotely, a spokesman said.

“We have decided to move to an all-digital approach with our activation at CES 2022 in January,” the U.S. automaker said in a statement. “We are continuing with our plans on Jan. 5 to share our significant company news, including the reveal of the Chevrolet Silverado EV.”

A Google spokesperson said in a statement: “After careful consideration we have decided to withhold from having a presence on the show floor of CES 2022,” adding that Google would continue to “identify and support virtual opportunities.”

Waymo said in a blog post that it hopes to participate virtually if possible at the Las Vegas event, which traditionally has drawn over 180,000 people from around the world to discuss emerging technologies and party through the night with business contacts.

ByteDance-owned TikTok said it would hold a virtual event for partners and advertisers. Also on Thursday, Intel Corp said it would minimize staffing at CES.

“The health and safety of our employees, partners and customers  is  always a top priority,” the chipmaker said. “Our plans for CES will move to a digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staff.”

Several other companies, including Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter Inc, Lenovo Group, AT&T Inc and Amazon.com Inc dropped in-person attendance plans earlier this week, saying they would not send employees out of caution over the spread of Omicron.

CES officials said the event will still be held in person from Jan. 5-8 with “strong safety measures in place,” including vaccination requirements, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests.

“Our mission remains to convene the industry and give those who cannot attend in person the ability to experience the magic of CES digitally,” CES said in a statement. “CES 2022 will go forward as important innovation for world health and safety, mobility and solving problems will be exhibited.”

It added that while it had received 42 exhibitor cancellations since last Thursday, that was less than 7% of the exhibitor floor and 60 others had been added.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was first detected last month in Hong Kong and southern Africa, sparking global concerns about a fast-spreading new version of the virus. Coronavirus infections have soared wherever highly infectious Omicron has spread, triggering new restrictions in many countries.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave and Ben Klayman; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Stephen Nellis; Editing by Mark Porter, Cynthia Osterman and Aurora Ellis)

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Apple requires employees to have proof of a COVID booster as Omicron spreads, according to reports – Euronews

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Apple will require retail and corporate employees to provide proof of a COVID-19 booster shot, The Verge reported on Saturday citing an internal email.

Starting January 24, unvaccinated employees or those who haven’t submitted proof of vaccination will need negative COVID-19 tests to enter Apple workplaces, the report said.

The Verge said it was not immediately clear if the testing requirement applies to both corporate and retail employees.

“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” the memo read, according to The Verge.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

Many companies in the US have been strengthening their COVID-19 rules, mandating vaccination and delaying back-to-office plans as the Omicron variant increases infections across the country.

This week, Facebook parent Meta Platforms mandated COVID-19 booster shots for all workers returning to offices. It also delayed U.S. office reopenings to March 28, from an earlier plan of January 31.

Alphabet Inc’s Google on Friday said it was temporarily mandating weekly COVID-19 tests for people entering its US offices.

A report by The Information said Amazon.com Inc has offered its US warehouse workers $40 (€35) to get a booster shot.

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The mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13-inch will soon become obsolete – Vaughan Today

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Apple will declare the mid-2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro a “legacy” on January 31, according to an internal memo intercepted by Apple. Mac rumors. This is the last step before it becomes permanently outdated: it means that Apple will stop providing compatible parts to Apple Stores and Authorized Service Centers. It will always be possible to get a repair in the event of a breakdown, but within the limits of the available parts: this will therefore be increasingly difficult, up to the complete obsolescence that must be declared in a couple of years. You can refer to the list of old and outdated products on this page.

The mid 2012 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is the last model to feature an integrated CD/DVD drive. It was on sale until October 2016 to provide a more affordable alternative to models with Retina displays, which explains this late obsolescence. It is particularly reliable and offers interesting upgrade possibilities for people who want to replace the optical drive with a second volume. It is a standout model. Its time and about to give it up.

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Stable ColorOS 12 update goes live for OPPO A73, A74, F19 Pro+, and more – XDA Developers

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OPPO has started seeding a stable ColorOS 12 update based on Android 12 to a bunch of its mid-range devices, including the OPPO A73, F19 Pro+, Reno 5Z, and Reno 6Z. OPPO previously said it would kick off the stable update rollout for these devices from January 17 and it’s making good on its promise.

Hands-on with ColorOS 12 based on Android 12: Here’s everything new in the latest update for OPPO smartphones

As per recent announcements posts on OPPO Community, the stable ColorOS 12 update with Android 12 is currently rolling out to the OPPO A73, OPPO A74, OPPO Reno 5Z, Reno 6Z 5G, and Reno 5Z in various regions. The update is live for the OPPO A73 and Reno 5Z in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Similarly, the OPPO A74 and F19 Pro+ units in India have also started receiving it. Finally, the OPPO Reno 6Z update is currently rolling out in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the UAE.

If you own any of the above-mentioned devices, be on the lookout for an OTA notification in the coming days. Since the update is rolling out in a staged fashion, it might take several days before it makes its way to everyone. So far, the update has only gone live in select regions, but OPPO says it plans to expand the rollout to other markets soon.

After installing the ColorOS 12 update, users can look forward to many exciting features and changes, such as a new wallpaper-based theming system, Screen Translate, Canvas AOD, Android 12’s Privacy Dashboard and privacy indicators, and much more. You can learn more about ColorOS 12 in our in-depth review of the new skin.

If your phone isn’t on the list, don’t worry. OPPO plans to bring the latest version of its custom skin to many more phones. Owners of the OPPO Reno 5F, Reno 4 Pro, Reno 4F, F19 Pro, and F17 Pro will be able to try out an early version of ColorOS 12 next month. Meanwhile, the Reno 5 Lite, Reno 4, Pro, Reno 4Z, Reno 4 Lite, and more are scheduled to receive a ColorOS 12 beta sometime in March.

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