Sobeys Inc. states that a number of employees at two of its Metro Vancouver Safeway stores tested positive for COVID-19.
On its COVID-19 tracker, the company lists all of the recent positive cases as well as the stores that the employees work at.
“We will continue to update the COVID-19 tracker below to be transparent with you where we have been notified of cases of COVID-19 in our stores,” writes Sobeys.
“Out of respect for our teammates and their confidentiality, we will never release any personal information about our people. We will always do everything we can to support our teammates and ensure their safety.
“Where required, we will communicate with customers who have shopped in the impacted location, with store signage, outlining our steps to manage the situation.”
Here are the recent cases confirmed cases of COVID-19 that Sobyes has listed on its site:
Aug 4: Employee in Surrey tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the employee worked was July 30. (Safeway, 8860 – 152 Street, Surrey)
Aug 9: Employee in Surrey tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the employee worked was August 1. (Safeway, 8860 – 152 Street, Surrey)
Aug 11:Employee in Surrey tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the employee worked was August 1. (Safeway, 8860-152 Street, Surrey)
Aug 11: Employee in Surrey tested positive for COVID-19. The last day the employee worked was August 1.(Safeway, 12825-16 Avenue, Surrey)
Sobeys notes that all cases will be removed from the tracker after 21 days from their initial reporting date, unless new information is received from Public Health.
COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when a person who is sick coughs or sneezes, although it can also be spread when a healthy person touches an object or surface, like a doorknob or a table, with the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes before washing their hands.
According to Vancouver Coastal Health, symptoms to watch out for may include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell and/or diarrhea.
And today, Microsoft topped all of that off by shipping us a “non-final” Series X of our own—and I have immediately begun testing it.
As the above gallery shows, Ars Technica received a package from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, containing a “non-final” Xbox Series X console, the brand-new Xbox gamepad, and a 1TB “storage expansion” card, as built to the Xbox Velocity Architecture spec and made by Seagate. Nothing else came in this box (besides an HDMI 2.1 cable and a power cord, anyway).
Microsoft sent us this package under severe conditions, and the biggest is that, as of today, we cannot preview or describe any of the above contents beyond showing you photos. You likely have a lot of questions about them. My colleagues sure did, as evidenced by the explosion in Ars staff-chat activity as soon as the package arrived.
In the meantime…
For now, I can point to prior coverage to catch you up, since some of your brand-new questions may already have answers:
The data-transfer standard of Xbox Velocity Architecture is meant to unify “next-gen performance” across Series X and Series S, which means any locally installed games on your next-gen Xbox must be installed on an NVMe 4.0-rated drive. Should you wish to expand either system’s built-in storage capacity (1TB for Series X, 512GB for Series S), you’ll need to purchase a proprietary NVMe 4.0-rated expansion card. The card in the above gallery is the previously revealed 1TB model made by Seagate. We do not yet know pricing for this card or if other manufacturers are on board to produce and sell similar drives.
Microsoft has previously confirmed that external drives connected via USB Type-A 3.1 connections will be compatible with both Xbox Series models. These will only boot previous generations’ software; Series-gen games can be stored on older, external drives, but they won’t boot until moved back to the system’s NVMe drives. Microsoft has not yet publicly confirmed how classic games loaded on older drives will compare to the same games loaded on NVMe 4.0 drives, but at the very least, Microsoft has assured fans that their older Xbox One add-on drives are compatible (and will leave precious space open on the built-in drive).
In addition to the new, proprietary “expansion card” port, Series X’s ports include the following: three USB Type-A 3.1 ports; one HDMI 2.1 port; and one Ethernet port, rated 802.3 10/100/1000. Unlike all Xbox One models, Series X and S skip the “HDMI-in” port that worked with set-top boxes. In terms of wireless features, Xbox Series X supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and the dual-band Xbox Wireless protocol.
In March 2020, Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter explained how Series X’s array of ventilation dots—and fans directly beneath them—figure into the new console’s cooling system:
Air gets pumped in from the bottom, goes through the system… in a PC, airflow isn’t just defined by having inlets and outputs so to speak. You want physical air space in it. But there’s nothing in this. It’s airtight. Everything goes through the design, and it’s packed in there. Then [air] reaches the top to a 130mm diameter fan and goes straight out of the top. We also had [Series X] on its side, [airflow] seemed to work just fine going out there.
Last of all, the disc drive on the front of Series X supports 4K UHD Blu-Ray, which it has in common with Xbox One X and Xbox One S. It’s also compatible with existing Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One discs, and loading older, compatible games into the Series X disc drive will prompt some form of file download to your system’s local storage. How exactly that works on Series X, on the other hand, has yet to be seen.
If you have additional questions after seeing this hardware, there’s a 5-percent chance we can point you to other existing information or coverage to answer them. Otherwise, if we don’t reply, please do not fret. We’re listening. And as soon as we’re allowed to tell you more (on dates we can’t publicly confirm just yet), we will.
For now, here’s a cheeky peek at me holding all 9.8lbs of the Xbox Series X.
In the years since its launch, Xbox Game Pass has become one of the best deals in gaming, costing just $10 a month for a curated library of over 100 games — a coup from Microsoft’s Xbox division in a console cycle dominated by Sony’s PlayStation 4. Moreover, every major Xbox game published by Microsoft — from “Halo” to “Gears of War” to “Forza Motorsport” — is published to the service’s library. While it sounds a lot like Netflix, games in the library must be downloaded, not streamed, to play.
Microsoft’s success with Game Pass has been a notable exception across the last seven years, as Sony’s PlayStation 4 regularly outsells Microsoft’s Xbox One.
Sony’s success is largely attributed to its portfolio of highly-acclaimed first-party games — including “God of War,” “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” “The Last of Us: Part II,” and “Bloodborne” — that can only be played on the PlayStation 4. While Microsoft’s Xbox One has a handful of such games (“Gears 5,” “Sea of Thieves,” and “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”), the company has instead focused on its Xbox Game Pass service.
Game Pass offers up a Netflix-like library of games that can be downloaded to your Xbox/PC or played remotely via the cloud on Android smartphones. A monthly subscription to the service starts at $10, and includes all of Microsoft’s first-party games at launch.
It is, in short, a tremendously good deal for consumers — and with over 15 million paid users, Game Pass has been the most successful of Microsoft’s recent major pushes for Xbox against the dominance of the PlayStation.
It’s this service in particular that Microsoft is bolstering with the purchase of Bethesda Softworks.
“We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC,” Xbox leader Phil Spencer said in the acquisition announcement post. Moreover, those games will arrive on the Game Pass service on the same day they launch otherwise for the next-gen Xbox consoles and PC.
When Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox consoles arrive this November, Xbox Game Pass is expected to launch alongside them.
Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.
TikTok’s days as a viable social media platform might be numbered, at least in the U.S. (unless something changes before Trump’s recent executive order kills it for good), but the app still works for now, and its massive user base is as active as ever. And that includes shady app developers who are using the platform to spread scams and malware.
A child in the Czech Republic recently reported a suspicious app and the accounts distributing them to Avast’s Be Safe Online program, prompting a deeper investigation. Avast found numerous TikTok and Instagram profiles being used to promote malicious apps. Some install adware on your device, and others attempt to scam people into making unnecessary in-app purchases. They’re easy to trace, though, as they were all made or distributed by the same developers on iOS and Android.
The shady apps Avast discovered include:
Tap Roulette ++Shock my Friend
ThemeZone – Shawky App Free – Shock My Friends
Ultimate Music Downloader – Free Download Music
shock my friend tap roulette v
Shock My Friends – Satuna
ThemeZone – Live Wallpapers
These apps have many of the hallmarks of fake or malware-laden products: incomprehensible SEO-padded titles, redundant or unnecessary features, and in-app purchases for content that’s freely available elsewhere. Avast also found at least three TikTok accounts and one Instagram account promoting the apps, some of which had over 300,000 followers.
As Avast writes:
“The apps are specifically targeted to young people, in the form of games, wallpaper, and music downloaders. The scams come in the form of either charging $2 to $10 for a service that doesn’t meet that price point — including causing the phone to vibrate, a wallpaper, or access to music — or in the form of aggressive ads. Some are HiddenAds trojans, which are apps that appear to be legitimate, but actually only exist to serve up advertisements outside of the app. HiddenAd trojans also have a built in hide-app timer, making it difficult to determine where the advertisements are coming from.”
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Apple and Google will likely ban the apps from their stores, which will disable them from being installed on most devices (you’ll need to delete them manually if they were sideloaded), and the TikTok and Instagram accounts will probably be removed if they weren’t already.
That doesn’t mean the threat is gone, though. Unfortunately, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms are easy avenues for distributing scams, malware, and phishing campaigns, so threats like these will probably always exist.
It’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe, but you might want to reach out to the younger, hipper, more TikTok/’gram-crazy members of your household to give them a helpful refresh on device security. Those more prone to blindly tapping prompts on their devices could benefit from a helpful lesson about permissions, too: what different kinds of apps typically should be asking to access in order to do whatever they are supposed to so, and what requests are red flags for potential security and privacy violations. If an app requests a lot of money to enable a pointless feature, that’s a good sign it’s a scam, too.
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