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Google delays workers' return to office, mandates vaccines – St. Albert Today

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SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Google is postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-October and rolling out a policy that will eventually require everyone to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened.

The announcement Wednesday came as the more highly contagious delta variant is driving a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

In an email sent to Google’s more than 130,000 employees worldwide, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is now aiming to have most of its workforce back to its offices beginning Oct. 18 instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1.

The decision also affects tens of thousands of contractors who Google intends to continue to pay while access to its campuses remains limited.

“This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it,” Pichai wrote.

And Pichai disclosed that once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have to be vaccinated. The requirement will be first imposed at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters and other U.S. offices, before being extended to the more than 40 other countries where the Google operates.

Various government agencies already had announced demands for all their employees to be vaccinated, but the corporate world so far has been taking a more measured approach, even though most lawyers believe the mandates are legal.

Delta and United airlines are requiring new employees to show proof of vaccination. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are requiring their employees to disclose their vaccination status, but are not requiring staffers to be vaccinated.

Google’s vaccine mandate will be adjusted to adhere to the laws and regulations of each location, Pichai wrote, and exceptions will be made for medical and other “protected” reasons.

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead,” Pichai explained.

Google’s decision to require employees working in the office to be vaccinated comes on the heels of similar moves affecting hundreds of thousands government workers in California and New York as part of stepped-up measures to fight the delta variant. President Joe Biden also is considering mandating all federal government workers to be vaccinated.

The rapid rise in cases during the past month has prompted more public health officials to urge stricter measures to help overcome vaccine skepticism and misinformation.

The vaccine requirement rolling out in California next month covers more than 240,000 government employees. The city and county of San Francisco is also requiring its roughly 35,000 workers to be vaccinated or risk disciplinary action after the Food and Drug Administration approves one of the vaccines now being distributed under an emergency order.

It’s unclear how many of Google’s workers still haven’t been vaccinated. In his email, Pichai described the vaccination rate at the company as high.

Google’s decision to extend its remote-work follows a similar move by another technology powerhouse, Apple, which recently moved its return-to-office plans from September to October, too.

The delays by Apple and Google could influence other major employers to take similar precautions, given that the technology industry has been at the forefront of the shift to remote work triggered by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Even before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020, Google, Apple and many other prominent tech firms had been telling their employees to work from home. This marks the third time Google has pushed back the date for fully reopening its offices.

Google’s vaccine requirement also could embolden other employers to issue similar mandates to guard against outbreaks and minimize the need to wear masks in the office.

While most companies are planning to bring back their workers at least a few days a week, others in the tech industry have decided to let employees do their jobs from remote locations permanently.

Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press



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iQOO Neo 6 VS Poco F4: We compare the specs, both will SURPRISE – HT Tech

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iQOO Neo 6 vs Poco F4: Both these Snapdragon 870 smartphones under Rs. 30000 are tempting, but which is better?

iQOO Neo 6 or Poco F4? Of late, the smartphone space under Rs. 30000 has seen two strong offerings from these fairly young brands. iQOO, which is a subdivision of Vivo, announced the iQOO Neo 6 last month as its most affordable offering with the Snapdragon 870 chipset, promising better gaming experiences and an overall midrange collection of specifications. The iQOO Neo 6 comes with a decent set of cameras too and is currently one of the most exciting phones money can buy at this price.

However, Poco has the same idea and it manages to offer its Poco F4 at a much lower price. Launched just hours ago, the Poco F4 has almost the same kind of spec sheet as the iQOO Neo 6, save for minor differences. In essence, this is a rival to the iQOO Neo 6 and if you are wanting to spend that much money on a performance smartphone for around Rs. 30000, it does add to the confusion. After all, both look good on paper.

Since we have reviewed both of the smartphones lately, we put both of these against each other and here is what we think.

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Design

While both the smartphones have distinct designs to flaunt, it is the Poco F4 that pulls the lead with its glass rear panel. The Poco F4 feels better built, especially with its fit and finish. That’s not to say the iQOO Neo 6 is poorly built but the phone’s plastic unibody design is not as desirable. 

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Display

Honestly, both these smartphones are equal when it comes to the display specs. Both phones have a 6.67-inch FHD+ E4 AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz and higher touch sample rates. No in-display fingerprint scanner on either of these.

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Performance

The same Snapdragon 870 chip powers both the Poco F4 and iQOO Neo 6. Hence, it is your pick. The Snapdragon 870 is a stable chipset that delivers high on performance, especially in terms of thermal stability and throttling. You will be able to play all the high-end games such as COD Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile at high graphics settings with ease.

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Software

This is where your preference matters. Poco uses Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 interface based on Android 12 whereas the iQOO neo 6 uses Vivo’s FunTouch OS 12 based on Android 12. Both custom skins are full of customisation features and pre-loaded apps. Both brands promise three years of OS updates.

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Cameras

Both the Poco F4 and iQOO neo 6 feature a triple camera setup on the rear – a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. The Poco F4 has a 16MP selfie camera while the iQOO Neo 6 has a 32MP camera

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Battery

The iQOO Neo 6 on paper has a bigger 4700mAh battery compared to the 4500mAh battery on the Poco F4. The iQOO Neo 6 offers a 80W fast charging solution while the Poco F4 has a 67W fast charging. 

Poco F4 vs iQOO Neo 6 Price

This is where the Poco F4 takes a mega lead. Starting at 27,999 for the base 6GB/128GB storage, the F4 is cheaper. The 8GB/128GB variant costs Rs. 29,999 whereas the 12GB/256GB variant comes with a price of Rs. 33,999. The iQOO Neo 6 starts at Rs. 29,999 for the base variant with 8GB/128GB variant.

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Technical issue temporarily stops Canadian Forces Snowbirds from flight performances

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OTTAWA — The Department of National Defence says the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be unable to fly in planned air shows and flypasts until a technical issue is resolved.

That means performances next Wednesday in the Moncton, N.B., area will be cancelled while technicians work to get the team back in the air for Canada Day in Ottawa.

The department says in a news release the issue relates to a device that sets the timing for the deployment of the parachute during the ejection sequence.

It says during routine maintenance, technicians discovered the tool may not be calibrated accurately and the parachutes will now be retested and repacked to ensure proper timing for their activation in the event of an emergency.

It’s not known how long it will take to fix the issue, but the release says the Royal Canadian Air Force is working with experts and a third-party aviation contractor to get the team back in the air as soon as it is safe to do so.

It adds Air Force experts have determined there is no link between the 2020 crash in Kamloops, B.C., that killed Capt. Jenn Casey — which occurred after a bird flew into an engine — and the current issue with the parachute device.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2022.

 

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Vergecast: M2 MacBook Pro review, Solana's crypto phone, and this week's tech news – The Verge

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Every Friday, The Verge publishes our flagship podcast, The Vergecast, where Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, editor-at-large David Pierce, and managing editor Alex Cranz discuss the week in tech news with the reporters and editors covering the biggest stories.

On today’s episode, Nilay and Alex chat with Verge senior reviewer Monica Chin about her review of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip. Though the chassis is still the same as the previous model, the changes that come with the new M2 processor are significant. Apple has yet to release their redesigned M2 MacBook Air, so should you wait before buying the Pro? Monica shares her thoughts.

For the rest of the show, we change up the crew. Alex and David lead the discussion with Verge deputy editor Dan Seifert about the state of streaming — with Netflix cutting 300 jobs after losing subscribers and an overall lack of innovation and new features within all the streaming apps.

In the final segment, we focus on the gadget coverage we’re known for. We found out more about Nothing’s first phone, were introduced to Solana’s crypto phone, and Dan is starting to enjoy using the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 six months after its launch.

There’s a whole lot more in between all of that, so listen here or in your preferred podcast player for the full show.

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