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Men’s curling event halted after player received notification on COVID Alert app



The men’s playoff round at a curling bonspiel was cancelled Sunday after a player received a notification from the COVID Alert app.

The app notifies a person when they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Gerry Guerts, organizer of the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, said that all participants were required to download the app before the competition to provide “an extra layer of security for the players.” “While no player has tested positive, we did receive an alert on their COVID Alert app that they had been in contact with a positive case,” Guerts said in a statement. “Under protocols, this player will self-isolate, and the entire team will receive a test to ensure there was no spread.”

Specifics on the exact timing of the notification and who received it were not released.

The competition was one of the first prominent bonspiels to be held this season. A handful of well-known rinks were in the 24-team field.

Brad Jacobs, the 2014 Olympic champion, was scheduled to play Jason Camm in semifinal play Sunday afternoon at the KW Granite Club.

“We agree this is the right decision for the safety of everyone involved,” Team Jacobs said in a Twitter post.

Rob Ainsley was to meet Robert Desjardins in the other semifinal. The men’s consolation final between Greg Inglis and Sam Steep was also cancelled.

“It’s sad that we’re not going to see a good men’s final today but better safe than sorry,” event sponsor Stu Sankey said on the event’s online broadcast. “And that’s why we have the protocols in place so we can get a jump on it. I think it’s the right call.”

Curling is slowly resuming play around the world in a season that remains in flux due to the global pandemic. Several top events have been postponed or cancelled with 2021 competitions tentative at best.

The Stu Sells Oakville Tankard would normally draw a top-flight international field.

However, this year’s competition, moved to Waterloo since the regular Oakville host club has yet to reopen, was limited to domestic competitors with most players from Ontario.

The women’s playoffs went ahead as scheduled Sunday as the women did not play at the same time as the men over the first two days of the competition, Sankey said in a text.

There was one draw Sunday morning where men and women played at the same time, he added, but they were several sheets apart.

Jennifer Jones edged Hollie Duncan 8-7 in an extra end in the final. Cathy Auld defeated Emma Wallingford 7-3 in the consolation final.

Several return-to-play protocols were in place at the $10,000 competition, which hosted a mixed doubles event a week earlier.

All stone handles were sanitized before each draw and distancing and venue capacity rules were in effect.

Players arrived in their uniforms to minimize locker-room interaction. Warmups were done in the parking lot or viewing lounge and teams took to the ice in stages.

Curlers wore masks but could lower the covering when throwing or sweeping on the opening day Friday. The rule was adjusted Saturday to make mask use mandatory at all times on the ice, Sankey said.

To help with distancing, two players followed the rock down the ice but only one could sweep.

The skip in control of the house was stationed in the rings area but was not supposed to put the broom down. The other skip waited by the boards.

Frisbee-sized logos on the ice served as designated waiting areas for players when the opposing team threw stones.

Another 24-team event, the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard, was scheduled to be played at the same club from Oct. 9-12.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2020.

Follow @Canadanewsmedia on Twitter.


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Facebook launches free-to-play cloud gaming feature – MobileSyrup



Facebook has launched a free-to-play cloud gaming feature that lets users stream and play games without downloading them.

Some of the games users can play include Asphalt 9: Legends and WWE SuperCard. The social media giant emphasizes that it’s not spinning off a separate cloud gaming service.

“All cloud-streamed games are playable in the same way you play games now on Facebook, whether it’s in our Gaming tab or from News Feed,” Facebook outlined in a blog post.

Facebook notes that no special hardware or controllers are needed, and that your hands are the controllers since it’s launching with native mobile games. You can also play the games with a mouse and keyboard on desktop.

“More than 380 million people play games each month on Facebook, and people will play cloud-streamed games right alongside those playing instant games in HTML5,” Facebook states.

The games are launching in beta on Android and Web, but won’t be available on iOS “for now.” The first set of games include Asphalt 9: Legends, WWE SuperCard, Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout and Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale.

Facebook says that in the coming weeks it’ll add Dirt Bike Unchained, and will continue to expand the games library.

Further, the social media giant notes that it’s “introducing player names and gaming-themed avatars for players to represent themselves in game instead of using their full name and profile picture.”

Facebook has also redesigned its gaming tab to include updated discovery and re-engagement features to help players find new games to try and get back into the ones they used to love.

Image credit: Facebook

Source: Facebook

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Apple support article says MagSafe Charger can leave circular imprint on leather cases – MobileSyrup



Apple’s new circular magnetic MagSafe charger can potentially leave a circular imprint on leather iPhone 12 series cases, according to a recently updated support document from the company.

The document specifically mentions Apple’s own leather cases but states the issue could occur with third-party cases too.

Other interesting information pulled from the support document includes that the new MagSafe charger doesn’t need a 20W USB-C adapter. It requires a minimum of at least 12W but won’t charge the device as fast. To be clear, even when you’re using a 20W adapter, the MagSafe charger is still only delivering 15W to the iPhone 12 since inductive charging is less powerful.

Apple also says to remove credit cards, passports and any item with a magnetic strip or RFID chip in it before attaching the MagSafe charger to the rear of the iPhone 12. The charger can also limit the charging to 80 percent if the battery ends up getting too warm during the charging process. As expected, you also can’t charge wirelessly and when connected to a power adapter at the same time.

You can find the full support document at this link.

Apple’s iPhone 12 series and all future iPhones no longer include EarPods or a charging brick in the box. While MagSafe is an interesting, surprisingly solid solution to some of Qi wireless charging’s most significant issues, including properly aligning a device on a charging pad, the accessory costs $55 in Canada.

On top of that cost, most people will also likely need to buy a $25 20W USB-C Power adapter given the cable that comes with the MagSafe charger is USB-C.

Though the case is plastic, I’ve been using a MagSafe charger with the iPhone 12 Pro and a super-thin Totallee case for the last week and haven’t noticed any marks on its rear.

Via: 9to5Mac

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Facebook quietly debuts cloud-streaming service for Facebook Gaming – Gamasutra



Facebook is working on a cloud-streaming service that will grant instant access to select titles via the Facebook app or in-browser.

The service will be integrated with Facebook Gaming, and is already available in beta form for a limited number of users. According to Facebook’s vice president of play, Jason Rubin, over 200,000 people have already played games through the nascent platform. 

As it stands, users can access five titles through the service including Asphalt 9: Legends, Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf ShootoutSolitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and WWE SuperCard, but Facebook plans to diversify that lineup as the platform continues to scale. 

“It’s critical for us to start with latency-tolerant games so we can deliver a good experience for players across a variety of devices,” commented Rubin in a blog post. “For the purposes of our beta, that includes genres like sports, card, simulation, and strategy games. 

“This is cloud gaming after all, so even with latency-tolerant games players may notice some glitches. We’ll occasionally show player rating cards and feedback forms to help improve the experience over time.”

Rubin also stressed that Facebook will build the service slowly to avoid overpromising and under-delivering, and noted that it isn’t designed to compete with or replace more robust offerings like Stadia and xCloud. 

“Cloud game streaming for the masses still has a way to go, and it’s important to embrace both the advantages and the reality of the technology rather than try to oversell where it’ll be in the future,” he continued. 

 “We’re [also] not trying to replace your favorite gaming hardware. We love console and PC gaming and both formats will be around for a long time. We believe cloud gaming will increase — not replace — the options to jump into great games.”

Notably, the VP also touched on the issue of bringing cloud-gaming to iOS, and suggested that while Facebook would like to venture onto the platform, Apple’s recently revised App Store guidelines could prove too big a hurdle.

“Even with Apple’s new cloud games policy, we don’t know if launching on the App Store is a viable path,” he continued. “‘Of course, there is always the open Internet,’ so mobile browsers may wind up being an option, but there are limitations to what we can offer on Safari.

“While our iOS path is uncertain, one thing is clear. Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource.”

You can hear more from the Facebook VP over on the Facebook Gaming blog

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