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Which supermarkets have food delivery slots available right now?

The number of available food delivery slots in the UK has increased in the last week. On Wednesday, Tesco announced it had made an extra 120,000 food delivery and click-and-collect slots available, taking its total food delivery capacity to around 780,000 – and the supermarket has promised it will add another 100,000 in the coming weeks. Yesterday, too, Sainsbury’s released a statement announcing that by Easter it will have almost doubled its grocery delivery and click-and-collect slots in three weeks, taking the number of available slots from 370,000 to 600,000 online food delivery and click-and-collect slots available by Easter. “[We] will continue to add more capacity over the coming weeks,” said Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe. Online supermarket Ocado, Co-Op and Iceland claim to be making new food delivery slots available throughout the day as well. And if you can get through the online queue, Morrisons has increased its limit of three items per customers to four, so that customers can continue to donate to food banks. Despite this, demand for ordering food online remains extremely high. And with increased calls from the government to stay at home this weekend, booking a food delivery slot still won’t be easy. So which supermarkets have slots? And which other services are still running? Read on for our round-up of which food delivery services are delivering this weekend – plus our best tips for how to get a food delivery slot if you need one.
Food delivery: quick links
Grocery delivery
Amazon Fresh – grocery delivery to select citiesAmazon Pantry – order everyday food essentials with Prime deliveryAsda – no delivery slots availableCo-op – some new delivery slots during the day, restricted to 20 item limitIceland – some new delivery slots throughout the dayMorrisons – no new delivery slots availableOcado – some new delivery slots during the day for vulnerable customersSainsbury’s – some slots available, prioritising vulnerable customersTesco – some new delivery slots throughout the dayWaitrose – prioritising elderly or vulnerable customers
Recipe box and meal delivery
Allplants – plant-based meal delivery, cooked by chefsFeast Box – £20 off your first world food recipe boxMindful Chef – healthy recipe boxes with fresh ingredients for you to cookSimplyCook – Get a £3 trial recipe box to cook at home 
Pizza delivery
Domino’s – 50% off pizza when you spend £35 or morePizza Hut – get two medium pizzas and a classic side for £20Papa John’s – contact-free pizza delivery
Takeaway delivery
Deliveroo – takeaway delivery from top restaurantsJust Eat – takeaway delivery from local restaurantsUber Eats – takeaway delivery from your favourite restaurants
Alcohol delivery
Beer Hawk – free delivery on beer orders over £50The Bottle Shop – 5% off alcohol when you spend £30 with code: PUBSCLOSED5The Drink Shop – 20% off selected wine, beer and spiritsVinatis – up to 50% off select wines
How to get a food delivery slot
Most supermarkets are requesting that you visit stores in person, if you can, so they can prioritise food delivery slots for elderly or vulnerable customers. Some, such as Waitrose, have closed their websites to new customers to help them do this. Others, including Sainsbury’s, have been in touch with loyalty card holders who are aged over 70.If you’re a vulnerable person – or you know someone who is – you can register for support on the government’s website. Tesco is prioritising orders for people on the government’s vulnerable list, and will be in touch with anyone who is by email.Our best advice, if you need to order food online, is to keep checking the website of your local supermarket throughout the day. If you can sign up for an account, do: this will make it easier for you to find a delivery slot in future. And book your delivery slot first – once you have one, most supermarkets give you around an hour to place your order.Finally, if you can’t get hold of a grocery delivery slot, don’t forget that some meal delivery services are still operating too. Recipe box services like Mindful Chef deliver fresh ingredients to your door for you to cook, while meal delivery companies such as Allplants will drop off meals that have been cooked by their chefs. 
Morrisons’ £35 food box delivery
Two weeks ago Morrisons launched a food box delivery service that aimed to supply customers who can’t get to the shops with essential items. “A Morrisons Food Box could be a real help if you can’t currently get to a store to stock up on essentials,” says the site. “We will deliver a box of selected food and household items straight to your door.Unfortunately, Morrisons’ food box delivery service doesn’t currently have any available delivery slots. The company says it is “doing everything we can to increase capacity” – and we’ll let you know as soon as we find any new delivery slots.
When will more online grocery delivery slots become permanently available? No one knows for sure. However, the major supermarkets are working around the clock to speed up the supply chain, and while it currently looks like it’ll be mid-April before many new food delivery slots are opened up, we are seeing slots appear at supermarkets across the country throughout the day. We’re assessing the situation daily, and we’ll tell you which supermarkets are offering food delivery slots, as soon as we see them. 
Please remember to use all food delivery services responsibly. Only order what you need to preserve stocks for others who might be in need. 
Grocery delivery: our process
We signed up to all the major supermarkets below, and created a shopping basket full of popular goods. Every day, we compare five different locations – London, Leeds, Portsmouth, Manchester and Bath – to provide a sense of what stock is available in each area and whether delivery slots are currently offered. Here’s the latest on which supermarkets are offering online grocery delivery today…
Supermarkets to prioritise online orders for elderlyOcado suspends its online grocery delivery service due to high demandBest food delivery apps UK
Tesco

Next delivery slot: none currently available – but new slots are added throughout the day (last updated 04/04/20)
Check the latest delivery times at Tesco online
Update (04/04/20): Tesco has expanded its food delivery and click-and-collect capacity to around 780,000 delivery slots. Our research has found a few Tesco home delivery slots popping up occasionally, but we’re not currently seeing any in the areas we’re testing. Tesco CEO Dave Lewis reached out to customers in a message two weeks ago: “We know that it’s difficult right now to get a delivery slot for online shopping. We are at full capacity for the next few weeks and we ask those who are able to safely come to stores to do so, instead of shopping online, so that we can start to free up more slots for the more vulnerable.”Tesco has a decent selection of food items online, but getting hold of them at the moment can be tricky. Most brands are in stock, but eggs, hand soap and pasta are the exception, with some items sold out. According to Tesco, new food delivery slots are offered up as and when they’re available each day.
How to sign up for an account Enter a valid email address and password, and confirm whether you have a Clubcard or not. You’ll receive one automatically upon registering if you don’t. Fill in your personal details, including your phone number and UK Postcode. You can then select if you’d like to receive offers and vouchers from Tesco or not. 
Benefits and perksOnline shoppers can collect Clubcard points and Tesco has begun price matching Aldi on both its own-brand and branded products. A Delivery Saver pass is also available for regular customers, and comes with the added benefit of priority delivery slots during the busy Christmas and Easter periods. 
Coronavirus measures and policiesCustomers who shop online are encouraged to shop in-store where possible to help free up delivery slots for the elderly customers and those who are self-isolating. Due to increased demand, Tesco isn’t accepting any new Delivery Saver customers right now either. A restriction of only three items per customer on every product line is in place, and multi-buy promotions have also been removed.An 80 items limit is now in place for all online orders. 
Sainsbury’s

Next delivery slot: none currently available – but new slots are added throughout the day (last updated 04/04/20)
Check the latest delivery times at Sainsbury’s online
Unless you’re already registered as a Sainsbury’s online customer, Sainsbury’s has paused all new online registrations. Update (04/04/20): Sainsbury’s will have almost doubled the amount of food delivery and click-and-collect slots on offer by Easter next week. The elderly and vulnerable are being prioritised, and we have seen an occasional free food delivery slots during our research, although currently there are none available in the areas we’re testing. In a message to customers, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe has provided more insight into how the company is delivering to the elderly or vulnerable: “Many of you have written to me to tell me you are elderly or vulnerable and are struggling to book online delivery slots. We are doing our absolute best to offer online delivery slots to elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers. These customers have priority over all slots.”Sainsbury’s revealed that their customer Careline has had “one year’s worth of contacts in two weeks”. Mike Coupe went on to add, “I apologise to our regular online customers, who I know are feeling very frustrated at not being able to book slots. Please bear with us and I hope you can understand why we feel the need to prioritise elderly and vulnerable customers at the moment.”How to sign up for an accountDue to the huge increase in online orders, new registrations have been paused for the time being. To sign up for a Sainsbury’s online account, enter your email address and fill in your details on the following page. Once you’ve finished, you can start shopping. Benefits and perksYou can collect and spend Nectar Points with each online food shop. A Delivery Pass is also available, which can help you save up to £156 per year.Coronavirus measures and policiesElderly customers and those deemed as vulnerable will be offered priority delivery slots.
Asda

Next delivery slot: none currently available (last updated 04/04/20)
Check the latest delivery times at Asda online
Update (04/04/20): Asda will still let you register as new online customer, but online delivery slots are not available up until April 19. Click & Collect slots are also unavailable. Similar to Ocado, Asda has now implemented a queue system to deal with the high volumes of traffic its website is receiving. There’s no estimate as to where you are in the queue, though, or how long you’ll have to wait. Items such as pasta, hand soap and toilet roll are also in high demand. In an email to customers, Asda CEO Roger Burnley has shared some information regarding how the company is working to deliver online shopping: “We’re providing our drivers with hand sanitiser and gloves, and making as many online shopping slots available as we can. We’re encouraging those that are able to safely shop in person to do so – this allows us to deliver to the highly vunerable.”Roger Burnely went on to add “If you are self-isolating or have additional needs, please advise us in the ‘other information’ section when placing your order.”How to sign up for an accountRegistering is quick and easy with Asda (it says as much on its website), simply enter your email, a password and then enter your delivery postcode and you’re good to go. You can choose whether to receive exclusive offers and the latest info from Asda too if you’d like. Benefits and perksCompetitively priced and with a Delivery Pass available, Asda online shoppers can save up to £80 and £100 by choosing a 6-month or 12-month pass. Offers are clearly highlighted on the Asda website, so you’re never likely to miss a cracking deal. Coronavirus measures and policiesCustomers are limited to a three item maximum on all food, toiletries and cleaning products when ordering online.When placing an online delivery order, anyone who is self-isolating is advised to fill in the ‘Other information’ section to advise where their order should be left, i.e. on the doorstep.
Ocado

Next delivery slot: none currently available – but new slots are added throughout the day (last updated 04/04/20)
Check the latest delivery times at Ocado
Update (04/04/20): Ocado is prioritising certain deliveries, including for customers identified as vulnerable, and says it has a “few slots for general release for the next 24 hours”. The online supermarket has seemingly ditched its queuing system in favour of a daily update that states whether or not delivery slots are available. Ocado has also brought order cut-off times forward, so customers are encouraged to complete their order in one session to avoid disappointment later. In an email to existing customers on 25 March, Ocado Retail CEO Melanie Smith has said that “no matter how hard we work, we will not have enough capacity to serve the unprecedented levels of demand”.She went on to say that “new delivery slots will be released every day for the coming week, as and when we have capacity”. It’s currently unclear whether Ocado is allowing new customers. If you do not have a delivery booked already, Ocado’s website notes that there is “limited availability over the next few days”.
How to sign up for an accountYou can sign up to Ocado using a Facebook and PayPal account, or simply fill in your details such as your email address and postcode to register.Tick the box if you’d like to opt out of Ocado’s offers, vouchers and gifts before you hit ‘Register’.Benefits and perks New customers can enjoy three months free delivery with Smart Pass, and Ocado also offers one-hour delivery windows. Coronavirus measures and policiesOcado had to temporarily suspend its service due to high demand, but is now its back online. Customers can only book one delivery slot every seven days to free up more slots for other customers.Some products are limited to one or two per order, and a small number of bulky items have been removed from sale to make more room in each delivery van. The company has shared how stockpiling has affected its service during the coronavirus outbreak.Anytime Smart Pass members who joined before 2020 will be placed in a temporary priority queue so they can book a delivery slot each week. Ocado will send an email and text message between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 to give members access to the queue. 
Morrisons

Next delivery slot: none currently available (last updated 04/04/20)
Check the latest delivery times at Morrisons online
The Morrisons website has recovered after being down for a few days, but there are still no delivery slots available at this time. How to sign up for an accountTo sign up for a Morrisons online account, firstly enter your postcode to check if Morrisons deliver in your area. Once you’re given the all clear, enter your details and a password to register. You can also receive tailored offers, coupons and communications from Morrisons.Benefits and perksYou can use a Facebook account to sign in, and Morrisons Quick Shop fills your trolley with the top things you might be wanting to buy with a single click. A Delivery Pass is also available with regular choices for those looking to do their weekly shop online. Coronavirus measures and policies Orders must be finalised 48 hours before delivery. Morrisons are working on introducing a number of measures to help reduce the amount of substitutes and missing items that some customers are encountering with their online food shops:
Waitrose

Next delivery slot: none currently available (last updated 04/04/20)
Check the latest delivery times at Waitrose
Waitrose is still accepting new customer registrations – however, all delivery and click & collect slots are unfortunately unavailable right now. You can still amend or cancel existing orders, though. Update 04/04/20: Waitrose has updated its website to inform customers its supporting the vulnerable and elderly by giving them priority access to its home delivery and Click & Collect slots.It doesn’t look like many will open up in the near future either, as the brand isn’t confirming any new food delivery slots at the moment.
How to sign up for an accountSigning up to Waitrose is simple – just fill in your details, such as your address and contact number, then click ‘next’ and you can start shopping straight away.Benefits and perksWaitrose has a number of attractive introductory offers, including a £30 saving on your first three online grocery shops. The website also includes hundreds of recipes and lists the ingredients so you can quickly add them to your basket. Coronavirus measures and policiesThe company has paused its online voucher codes along with any offer incentives until further notice. Some products have are restricted for a limited time, with customers only allowed to buy a maximum of two packets of toilet roll and three of any specific grocery item. Entertainment products are also no longer available to order online for the foreseeable future. Substitutions for online orders cannot be returned to your driver if they have been handled, and drivers will not enter homes. All online deliveries will be bagged as well to make them easier to collect quickly.
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Skype introduces video meetings with no sign-up needed for those wanting a Zoom alternative

Skype has brought in a new type of video call whereby no one has to sign up for an account to join the chat, in a similar convenient vein to Zoom – except in the case of Skype, not even the host needs to sign up for the service, or install anything.Skype describes the new Meet Now feature as a “hassle-free way to connect” with other folks that doesn’t require signing up to any account, or downloading any software. You can simply head over to a web page and start a meeting in a few clicks directly from there, inviting anyone you wish, who can then subsequently join just as easily.
New Facebook Messenger app is another alternative to Zoom6 ways to protect your family’s online privacyHow to use Skype
For those who do have the Skype client already installed, you can start the meeting from within the software if you prefer, and obviously easily invite your existing Skype contacts, or equally those who don’t have the program installed.The meeting link doesn’t expire, and the video call isn’t limited in terms of the functionality available. You get in-line chat and reactions, and the ability to blur the background (if you haven’t had time to tidy up your study at home before a meeting, for example). You can also share your screen for work or instructional purposes, and even record the call if you wish (recordings are stored for a period of 30 days).If you want to fire up a Meet Now session in your browser, head here, or in your Skype client, click the Meet Now button (next to New Chat) in the left-hand sidebar.
Zoom and gloom
As you’ve doubtless seen, Zoom has experienced a massive surge in user numbers due to the coronavirus lockdown, and folks staying – or working – from home taking advantage of how easy it is to set up meetings with the video conferencing service.However, this spike in usage has cast a harsh spotlight on Zoom’s security, with a lot of worries and question marks over how tight it may be, with various flaws in Mac and Windows security having recently been highlighted.For its part, Zoom has said it’s freezing any product development to focus on tightening up security, with a comprehensive review planned – and its entire engineering team will be working on this.To compound Zoom’s misery, however, it seems like the service’s infrastructure is groaning under the weight of all these new users too, as we have recently seen outages in Europe and the US.So Zoom is struggling to juggle a lot of balls in terms of maintaining service right now, perhaps while applying updates as per the engineering team’s instructions, and it seems that Skype wants to capitalize on this by trying to tempt users away from its rival with a similarly easy-to-use and convenient video call offering.
These are the best laptops of 2020
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Food delivery: which grocery and meal delivery services have slots this weekend?

Update 04/04/20: Sainsbury’s announced yesterday that it will have 600,000 online food delivery and click-and-collect slots available by Easter. That’s up from 370,000 two weeks ago, “…and we will continue to add more capacity over the coming weeks,” says chief executive Mike Coupe. On Thursday, Ocado said it will have a “few” food delivery slots for general release over the next 24 hours for vulnerable customers. Meanwhile on Wednesday, Tesco expanded its food delivery and click-and-collect capacity to around 780,000 delivery slots – up from 660,000 two weeks ago. It has also announced plans to add another 100,000 in the coming weeks. Most supermarkets are still requesting that you visit stores in person, if you can, so they can prioritise food delivery slots for elderly or vulnerable customers. If you need to order food online, keep checking the website of your local supermarket throughout the day. Some meal delivery services are still operating too – details below.
Online food delivery services have been under strain for weeks – but as we move into April, we’re starting to see small signs of progress. Since the coronavirus lockdown, there’s been a huge surge in people looking to buy food online. That’s meant it hasn’t been easy to book an online grocery delivery. But with many online supermarkets quietly releasing small numbers of slots for elderly or vulnerable customers throughout the day, chances are that if you need to order food online – and keep trying throughout the day – you’ll be able to find a slot eventually.  
Food delivery: quick links
Grocery delivery
Amazon Fresh – grocery delivery to select citiesAmazon Pantry – order everyday food essentials with Prime deliveryAsda – no delivery slots availableCo-op – some new delivery slots during the day, restricted to 20 item limitIceland – some new delivery slots throughout the dayMorrisons – no new delivery slots availableOcado – some new delivery slots during the day for vulnerable customersSainsbury’s – some slots available, prioritising vulnerable customersTesco – some new delivery slots throughout the dayWaitrose – prioritising elderly or vulnerable customers
Recipe box and meal delivery
Allplants – plant-based meal delivery, cooked by chefsFeast Box – £20 off your first world food recipe boxMindful Chef – healthy recipe boxes with fresh ingredients for you to cookSimplyCook – Get a £3 trial recipe box to cook at home 
Pizza delivery
Domino’s – 50% off pizza when you spend £35 or morePizza Hut – get two medium pizzas and a classic side for £20Papa John’s – contact-free pizza delivery
Takeaway delivery
Deliveroo – takeaway delivery from top restaurantsJust Eat – takeaway delivery from local restaurantsUber Eats – takeaway delivery from your favourite restaurants
Alcohol delivery
Beer Hawk – free delivery on beer orders over £50The Bottle Club – 5% off alcohol when you spend £30 with code: PUBSCLOSED5The Drink Shop – 20% off selected wine, beer and spiritsVinatis – up to 50% off select wines
So when will more online grocery delivery slots open up? We’ve signed up to all the major supermarkets and we’re assessing the situation daily across the country, in London, Leeds, Portsmouth, Manchester and Bath. Your area may differ, but it currently looks like it’ll be mid-April before we start to see many more food delivery slots available. However, we’ll tell you which supermarkets are offering food delivery slots here, as soon as we see them. 
Please remember to use all food delivery services responsibly. Only order what you need to preserve stocks for others who might be in need. 
Supermarkets to prioritise online orders for elderlyOcado suspends its online grocery delivery service due to high demandBest food delivery apps UK
Want to order your shop online? We’ve compared the best online grocery delivery services

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17 things to do at home this weekend when you’re bored in self-isolation

Finding fun things to do at home when bored has become the premier challenge we didn’t foresee when making our 2020 predictions. Right now, weekdays and weekends are kind of blurring into each other right now, so you need this. So, freshly updated for this first weekend of April, we present our comprehensive list of great ideas to keep yourself entertained. Think of it this way: we’re your digital tour guide to help you ride out the coronavirus outbreak, and the world’s seemingly indefinite confinement. Let us be your distraction from today’s surreal situation, as we point you in the direction of entertaining and productive activities.You can do anything you want – so long as it’s indoors and you’re still self-distancing, which, sure, kind of limits your options. But our things-to-do ideas include new movies, live sports alternatives, and fresh games that will eat up your time. There are also podcasts and cleaning tips to boot. So enjoy – and we’ll keep doing our bit to help make self-isolation bearable, and keep you safe, as we all ride out these challenging times.
1. Watch something new Netflix or Prime Video

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been our saviors boredom, consistently giving us the easiest new recommendations in our weekend things to do list updates.We’ve outlined five new shows and movies on the two streaming services (which you likely have already – if not, there’s an free Prime Video trial above). Included a new movie called Coffee and Kareem starring Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover). If sinking into a fresh comedy is what you need right now, you’ll find it on Netflix. Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, has the 1950s Rio de Janeiro-set Invisible Life and new sci-fi drama Tales from the Loop.
5 new TV shows and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video this weekend
2. Watch Pixar’s Onward for free with Disney Plus

Pixar, known for its big-budget CG films, is settling for a small screen premier with its latest movie: Onward. Disney launched it came out for digital purchase on March 20, while Disney Plus subscribers, as of April 3 in the US and Canada, can watch it for free (at no extra cost besides the Disney Plus subscription, of course).We’ve opined that this weekend is best time to subscribe to Disney Plus (see the free trial offer above), at least in North America. Everyone else, like those in the UK, can still soak in episodes of the Mandalorian, The Imagineering Story and The Simpsons.
3. Watch at-home movies that released early

There are a number of big movies that are supposed to either still be in theaters or weren’t due to be available on demand until much later. Theaters are closed down, so major studios have turned to streaming them to you at home early.New movies to buy: Sonic the Hedgehog sped up its release to meet the demand at everyone bored at home and looking for things to do, and so did Bad Boys for Life, The Invisible Man, Call of the Wild, Bloodshot, Birds of Prey, The Hunt, Dolittle, Emma, I Still Believe and The Wayback. All are priced to own.New rentals to rent: 1917,  Jumanji: The Next Level, Richard Jewell, and Bombshell, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has now hit pay-to-own status.Note: Disney’s Onward is priced-to-own, too, but it’s on Disney Plus as of today in the US and Canada, so subscribers there should opt for that free trial.
5 new TV shows and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video this weekend
We’ve put together a series of short videos to help keep you entertained and informed at home – see below for our roundups of the best headphones, webcams and tablets, advice on cleaning your phone and more…
4. Tune into late-night shows – they’re back

The world need comedy right now, and late-night comedians are providing just that this week after a brief hiatus due to coronavirus self-isolation. No, they’re not in their usual studios, but Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon,  Stephen Colbert, and James Corden are yucking it up at their respective home. The production quality, well, that varies. But the laughs are authentic enough that is has some charm.There are a couple of options to tune in: Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live and, for the two Late Shows, CBS All Access.
5. Find your live sports fix in these games

Normally, our things to do at home when bored list includes live streaming sports games, especially baseball at this time of year. That’s all caput thanks to this self-isolation period, and the brief thought of teams playing without crowd was quickly scrapped when NBA players started testing positive for coronavirus.Here’s the next best thing – and one that keeps everyone safe: you are the one going through the season playing at your favorite sports teams in various video games. No Wimbledon? No problem.
Ultimate Rivals (Free with Apple Arcade subscription)FIFA Soccer (iOS | Android | PS4 | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch)Madden NFL (iOS | Android | PS4 | Xbox One)MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2020 (iOS | Android)RBI Baseball 2020 (iOS | Android | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch)MLB: The Show 20 (PS4)NBA Live Mobile Basketball (iOS | Android)NBA 2K (iOS | Android | PS4 | Xbox One | Nintendo Switch | PC)PGA Golf Tour Shootout (iOS | Android)Golf Clash (iOS | Android)Tennis Clash: Online League (iOS | Android)WWE Champions 2020 (iOS | Android)
Best free Android games for 2020
6. Rewatch the iHeart Living Room Concert

Coronavirus and self-isolation knows no bounds – royalty, movie stars and musicians have been affected by this novel virus. With many performers forced to cancel tours, iHeart Radio and Fox came up with an idea: stream a concert from celebrity homes. It raised $8 million during and after the streaming concert, with the money going to the First Responders Children’s Foundation and Feeding America. The actual video is free, but you may need a cable login or VPN to watch it, depending on your location.The hour-long video is hosted Sir Elton John, with performances by Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw. Don’t miss: Dave Grohl does a wonderful acoustic version of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” and it’s dedicated to selfless caretakers fighting Covid-19.
7. Apple Arcade’s latest is built for the whole family

Our best Apple Arcade games list now includes Crossy Road Castle, a platform title that thrives on its four-player local multiplayer gameplay (fear not, single-player is a choice, just in case confined at home alone). The frantic action reminds us of all the New Super Mario Bros. games and the old Castle Crashers game that never made its way to iOS somehow. Developer Hipster Whale provides the next best thing.What’s great about a game like Crossy Road Castle is that it’s easy to get the entire family in on the multiplayer action thanks to Apple’s family share feature. You’re able to share this game with anyone in your iCloud family, and we just re-upped out Apple Arcade subscription (it’s $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 a month) to do just that.
The best smartphone games to play with your family
8. ‘Tiger King’ rules Netflix with absurdity

Everyone is watching the new Netflix series Tiger King, and even if your video quality has been downgraded, it’s worth streaming all seven episodes. It’s our new favorite true crime documentary, surpassing The Staircase (also a winner if you haven’t seen it).Right away, Tiger King and its colorful characters border on being so ridiculous, you’d swear they’re not true. PSA: we’ve known some big cat lovers who couldn’t stand watching it for more the five minutes, so, for them, we suggest February’s rave documentary miniseries instead, HBO’s McMillions.
Done Tiger King? 7 shows you should watch next on Netflix and Amazon Prime
9. Trivia is back in session, right on your phone

There are multiple ways to partake in trivia, even though your local bar is closed. First up is HQ Trivia (iOS and Android), the once-popular live game show app that shut down in February. It’s back at 9PM ET, at the exact time we need it. No, you won’t find Scott Rogowsky hosting this ‘trivia train’ but Matt Richards was at the helm of Sunday’s first game and regular quizzes followed.Shut-down bar trivia companies have transitioned to Twitch streaming due to self-distancing rules. Prominent brands include King Trivia (Sundays and Wednesdays at 10pm ET / 7pm PT) and Geeks Who Drink. It was one of the social of the things to do weekly in-person that has survived in a whole new isolation-friendly format.
Best virtual pub quiz: a great live online quiz for every day of the week
10. Make a movie with free Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X are free for 90 days, meaning you have three months to make a movie or produce a song about your life in confinement courtesy of Apple. That’s enough time to learn advanced techniques like color-grading without having to pay $299 / £299 / AU$499.99 for FCPX or $199 / £199 / AU$319.99 for Logic Pro X. While Adobe Premier Pro CC has become popular on Windows machines, Final Cut Pro is still king of Mac computers when it comes to making videos.
11. Take a trip… to a virtual museum or national park

You can’t go outside to do small things like go to a movie theater, never mind make much bigger plans like embarking on an expedition to another country. Trust us, it’s a much better idea to stay at home during this coronavirus outbreak. Good news: our 10 virtual tours: see museums and the world without leaving home list allows you to visit world’s most popular museums and US national parks virtually. You can use a VR headset, but these tours also work with a smartphone or tablet.Highlights include Machu Picchu in Peru (without the walking), The Louvre Museum in Paris (Mona Lisa told us to says “Hi”), and the Georgia Aquarium in the US (without all of the school students somehow completely blocking the giant Beluga whales).
12. Become a master chef with a meal kits service

The best thing to do at home mirrors what we liked doing when going out: eating. It’s a harder now, with grocery store delivery time slots backed up globally. To the best of our ability, we’re highlighting the best grocery delivery services in the US and grocery delivery services in the UK. Better yet, now is your chance to become a master chef with the best meal prep kits delivering step-by-step recipes to you along with the necessary ingredients. Blue Apron is our favorite in the US, while HelloFresh is available in both the US and UK.If you’re not ready to flex your culinary skills, there are food delivery services in the US and similar takeaway apps in the UK that will get you ready-made foods from the restaurants you’d normally visit. You order get breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you’ll be supporting many of the distressed restaurants in your area.
Blue Apron? Hello Fresh? These are the best meal prep services
13. Play either Doom Eternal or Animal Crossing

Last weekend, two new video games came out that couldn’t be more different, and we’re thankful for the variety provided by Bethesda Softworks and Nintendo. 
This ride through Hell is one of the best experiences you’ll have in 2020.
Doom Eternal is a beautiful, but brutal reinvention of the first-person shooter series that actually makes life at the moment look… not so bad. This ride through Hell is one of the best experiences you’ll have in 2020. Our full Doom Eternal review agrees, with a five-star rating and an Editor’s Choice award. It’s fast-paced at 60fps and has surpassed our expectations even when it played it in 8K with a $2,500 graphics card.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is on the other end of the spectrum – it’s a ready to lull you into a sense that nothing is wrong whatsoever like a good ASMR. This is fine. Everything is fine, says main character Tim Nook. Nintendo’s cute social life sim is ideal for today’s self-isolation situation. Read our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review and think happy thoughts.One thing to note: while the new Animal Crossing is a must-have Nintendo Switch-exclusive, Doom Eternal is available on a wider set of platforms: PCs, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and even Google Stadia.
Don’t have a Switch? These are the best Nintendo Switch deals we’ve found
14. Watch movie series in order

Nothing eats up more time than a good, long TV series, but because movies typically have bigger budgets and higher production value (outside a select few TV shows), we’re switching it up (and also we ran out of TV shows to watch this weekend). Now is the perfect time to go through an entire movie franchise – in order.There are a couple different ways to watch the Marvel movies in order, and we have the links to where you can watch most of the 23 Marvel movies (Disney Plus being the easiest way to watch a majority of them). If you’re looking for things to do during the coronavirus self-isolation, this will take you a total of 60 hours.We also have lists for how to watch Star Wars movies in order, Batman movies in order, James Bond movies in order (sadly ‘No Time to Die’ is on hold), Star Trek in order (including the new-ish Picard series), Harry Potter movies in order, and, if you’re in the mood for some mindless Vin Diesel-helmed entertainment, Fast and Furious movies in order.
Here’s everything you need to know about Disney Plus
15. Read one of 100 top ebooks
Do this… but indoors or away from people, please.
It’s easy to put off reading books when life gets busy and you have a commute. But you’re probably free from your commute if you’re working from home. So basically you have no excuse to flip through a few pages of an ebook.Where do you start? That’s sometimes the hardest part, but we’ve been impressed with Amazon’s 100 books to read in a lifetime list. Not all will be your cup of tea, but there’s something here for everyone and most ebooks are conveniently discounted. Not a fan of reading? Hate the sound of your own voice in your head? Audible is the best remedy for that. The Amazon-owned audiobook company still offers a free 30-day membership. The best parts? Both ebooks and audiobooks are delivered instantly and Amazon won’t run out of inventory on either.
Best Kindle: which Amazon ereader should you buy?
16. Discover a new podcast

Podcasts are by-and-large free and often strike the right balancing between being entertaining and informative. Notable podcasts including This American Life, Serial, and Stuff You Should Know – they’re consistently in the top 50 on podcast platforms.If we can be a bit biased for a second, you should really check out Noise Cancelling, the best new tech podcast around. This is our new weekly podcast that talks about what’s happening in tech, expanding on the daily written coverage of TechRadar.
17. Clean your gadgets – physically and digitally

We launched a series of how to clean articles, which is timely given you’ve probably put this off for a long time in the lead up to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s among the top things to do if you haven’t wiped-down your filthy, germ-collecting gadgets.The biggest offender is your smartphone, so we launched a how to clean your phone guide, which mirrors our advice on how to clean your iPad or tablet and how to clean your laptop screen. It’s very easy to forget about cleaning your AirPods, but they too could use a good rubdown, whether or not you see visible wax. Don’t forget about your Nintendo Switch and cleaning all of your gaming peripherals. You’ll hug those tightly during gaming marathons and they become germ magnets.Already done that? Now is also the best time to dive into your digital files with our how to backup your PC and how to format your Mac guides. Backing up your pictures with Google Photos is one of the best uses of your free time.
We’ll keep this list of things to do updated as the weeks of confinement continue and so long as we feel we’re offering helpful advice. We’re not in a global call to arms, but a worldwide call to couch – and we understand that can be difficult if you run out of fun ideas during the beginning of week two. We often give people buying advice, but we’re just as happy to deliver enjoying advice.
How to work from home: the mouse, monitor, keyboard and router you need

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How to get a Tesco home delivery or click and collect slot this weekend

If you’ve been trying to book a Tesco home delivery slot for a while now, you’re not alone. Tesco has been inundated with demand for its food delivery service over the past few weeks as more shoppers stay home. With such a high volume of orders, Tesco is urging those who are able to shop in its physical stores, which have been overhauled with protective measures against the spread of COVID-19. That means if you’re not high risk, elderly, or self-isolating, you should still be heading down to your local store to pick up your groceries. However, if you do need a Tesco delivery, there are a number of ways to improve your chances of getting one. Here, we’ll be running through the best ways to try and get a grocery delivery from Tesco, as well as just how Tesco’s Click & Collect service works. 
How to get a Tesco home delivery slot
Tesco recently announced a vast expansion of its fleet of food delivery vans and drivers, following a hiring surge over the past week. That means there are now more Tesco food delivery slots available than ever before: 780,000, to be precise, up from 660,000 to weeks ago. That doesn’t mean it’s a free for all out there, though. Tesco is prioritising the elderly and vulnerable in its booking system, so if you have been deemed high risk, head over to Gov.uk to register yourself as a clinically vulnerable person. You’ll be asked for your NHS number – which you can find on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription – but you can still register if you don’t have it.Tesco is using the Government’s register to make sure its most vulnerable customers are prioritised, so if you fall into this category, the best way to increase your chances of booking a Tesco home delivery slot is to make sure you’re on the list. And if you’re self-isolating, your best bet is to keep trying. New Tesco home delivery slots are added throughout the day, so keep checking back regularly.
Look for a Tesco delivery slot now
How does Tesco click & collect work?
If you don’t qualify for prioritisation in Tesco’s home delivery service, you can still order your food through its click & collect service. Simply select your groceries with Tesco Online and select click & collect before you checkout. There are far more slots available for this service than home delivery, and it’s potentially safer than shopping in store right now, plus you won’t need to queue. 
Look for a Tesco delivery slot nowWant to order your shop online? We’ve compared the best online grocery delivery services

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Food delivery: which grocery and meal delivery services have slots right now?

Update 04/04/20: Sainsbury’s announced yesterday that it will have 600,000 online food delivery and click-and-collect slots available by Easter. That’s up from 370,000 two weeks ago, “…and we will continue to add more capacity over the coming weeks,” says chief executive Mike Coupe. On Thursday, Ocado said it will have a “few” food delivery slots for general release over the next 24 hours for vulnerable customers. Meanwhile on Wednesday, Tesco expanded its food delivery and click-and-collect capacity to around 780,000 delivery slots – up from 660,000 two weeks ago. It has also announced plans to add another 100,000 in the coming weeks. Most supermarkets are still requesting that you visit stores in person, if you can, so they can prioritise food delivery slots for elderly or vulnerable customers. If you need to order food online, keep checking the website of your local supermarket throughout the day. Some meal delivery services are still operating too – details below.
Online food delivery services have been under strain for weeks – but as we move into April, we’re starting to see small signs of progress. Since the coronavirus lockdown, there’s been a huge surge in people looking to buy food online. That’s meant it hasn’t been easy to book an online grocery delivery. But with many online supermarkets quietly releasing small numbers of slots for elderly or vulnerable customers throughout the day, chances are that if you need to order food online – and keep trying throughout the day – you’ll be able to find a slot eventually.  
Food delivery: quick links
Grocery delivery
Amazon Fresh – grocery delivery to select citiesAmazon Pantry – order everyday food essentials with Prime deliveryAsda – no delivery slots availableCo-op – some new delivery slots during the day, restricted to 20 item limitIceland – some new delivery slots throughout the dayMorrisons – no new delivery slots availableOcado – some new delivery slots throughout the day for vulnerable customersSainsbury’s – some slots available, prioritising elderly or vulnerable customersTesco – some new delivery slots throughout the dayWaitrose – prioritising elderly or vulnerable customers
Recipe box and meal delivery
Allplants – plant-based meal delivery, cooked by chefsFeast Box – £20 off your first world food recipe boxMindful Chef – healthy recipe boxes with fresh ingredients for you to cookSimplyCook – Get a £3 trial recipe box to cook at home 
Pizza delivery
Domino’s – 50% off pizza when you spend £35 or morePizza Hut – get two medium pizzas and a classic side for £20Papa John’s – contact-free pizza delivery
Takeaway delivery
Deliveroo – takeaway delivery from top restaurantsJust Eat – takeaway delivery from local restaurantsUber Eats – takeaway delivery from your favourite restaurants
Alcohol delivery
Beer Hawk – free delivery on beer orders over £50The Drink Shop – 20% off selected wine, beer and spiritsVinatis – up to 50% off select wines
So when will more online grocery delivery slots open up? We’ve signed up to all the major supermarkets and we’re assessing the situation daily across the country, in London, Leeds, Portsmouth, Manchester and Bath. Your area may differ, but it currently looks like it’ll be mid-April before we start to see many more food delivery slots available. However, we’ll tell you which supermarkets are offering food delivery slots here, as soon as we see them. 
Please remember to use all food delivery services responsibly. Only order what you need to preserve stocks for others who might be in need. 
Supermarkets to prioritise online orders for elderlyOcado suspends its online grocery delivery service due to high demandBest food delivery apps UK
Want to order your shop online? We’ve compared the best online grocery delivery services

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Is there any link between 5G and outbreak of coronavirus?

We have been hearing about conspiracy theories that the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) is linked to the roll-out of 5G networks.Even celebrities such as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent Amanda Holden, singer Anne Marie and American actor and playwright Woody Harrelson had warned public about the dangers of the broadband networks on social media while Facebook has removed an anti-5G group in which users were being encouraged to post footage of them destroying network equipment.Some dailies have circulated video footage of a 20-metre base station in Birmingham on fire, targeted by anti-5G protesters.Almost every “G” of the cellular technology had attracted theories about health risks and 5G is no different in raising concerns about the possible health effects of radio-frequency (RF) energy transmitted by 5G base stations and devices.Many groups have previously claimed that 4G and 5G mobile signals can cause cancer.Are 5G a culprit and what the lobbyists have to say about Iran, India and many other countries where 5G is not on the horizon and, at the same time, has been reporting a rise in new pandemic cases?The overall electromagnetic spectrum consists of static electricity and magnetic fields, RF, microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray and Gamma Rays.RF is in the middle part of the spectrum and is used for radio communications, mobile phone networks, mobile base stations and mobile phones and to deliver 3G, 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies.Non-ionising radiation (static field to infrared) does not carry enough energy to break molecular bonds. Ionising radiation (ultraviolet to Gamma rays) carries enough energy to break bonds between molecules and ionise atoms.5G systems operate in several frequency bands, low, mid and in millimetre waves (24.25GHz to 86GHz).Millimetre-wave is one area which has raised concerns apart from the multitude of small cells mounted on utility poles along public streets and close to subscribers but this spectrum has been used in many other applications such as airport security scanners and anti-collision radars for automobiles but now the millimetre wave is used for cellular communications by many countries.Experts said that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level (under the current international exposure guidelines developed by ICNIRP and IEEE-ICES) electromagnetic fields (EMFs).They emphasised, based on many experiments and studies, that there is no negative impact of modern technology on health.
GSMA expects cross-border data sharing to take off in Mena from next yearIntelligent connectivity to drive huge economic growth and create value across industriesGSMA looks into interoperability of 5G equipment from networking  vendors 5G adoption will reach 6.3% of total connections in Mena in 2025

Who sets EMF exposure standards?
ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) and International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (IEEE-ICES) set guidelines for protecting people from non-ionising radiation, including that due to exposure of 5G technologies.Countries typically adopt one of these and either recommended or legally require adherence to the guidelines. Safety standards already have large safety margins.Dr. Chung Kwang Chou, Chairman of International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (IEEE), said that common understanding is that radiation can cause cancer and other diseases but the biological effects of RF exposure have been studied for about 70 years and the research shows that the only established adverse health effect of RF energy (above 100KHz) is the thermal effect.Dr. Jafar Keshwari, Adj Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Aalto University, Helsinki, and Corporate Product Regulations and Standards Management at Intel Corporation and Chairman of International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (IEEE-ICES), said that EMF exposure of a mobile device is much lower than other devices.“During RF exposure, biological effects always exist but adverse health effect depends on the exposure level. Thermal effects continue to be the appropriate basis for protection against RF exposure health effects at frequencies above 100KHz,” he said.As long as the product complies with the exposure limit, he said that it is safe. 
Safety factor
For mobile phones, 2Watt per kilogram is the limit and the adverse effects are observed when it reaches 100Watt per kilogram.“So there is a large safety factor in the exposure limits. It is the regulator’s responsibility to check that every product put into the market, device or a base station, complies with the limits. The manufacturer has to assess the exposure based on the limits,” he said.Moreover, he said the main safety concerns of 5G mmWaves is heating of the skin and eyes.“Skin constitutes 95% of the human body surface while eye cornea constitutes 75% of freshwater and a thickness of 0.5mm. Millimetre waves are absorbed within about 0.5 mm of the skin surface, unlike RF energy at lower frequencies that can penetrate deeper into the tissue,” he said.Whatever frequency you are at, Professor Rodney Croft, Commissioner at ICNIRP, said that the safety depends on how intensity the field is or how much energy is absorbed into the body per second.“If we have a lot of energy per second, then you heat up and your body cannot remove that heat. The body can remove a small amount of energy as the blood supply takes the heat and distributes it and the blood flow exchanges the heat with the environment. This happens with all the frequencies and only if you at get much higher frequency, then it gets to ionising radiation and at that point, we have a very different story,” he said.
Community fears hinder 5G implementation
Below the optical radiation (non-ionising) levels, Croft said the frequency is not important for health, expect it tells you how deep the penetration is going to be.So, when listening or not-listening to FM radio or music, he said that radio signals are going around and they are in low frequency (100MHz) all the time.“That goes deep into your body. As the frequency gets higher, because the wavelength is much shorter, it gets absorbed in the superphysical part of the body. When it comes to 5G, almost all of the energy is absorbed in the skin. So, instead of a rise in temperature deep inside the body, it is now at the surface of the skin,” he said.Even the worst-case effect of exposure will not cause cancer or any other diseases; he said and added that the local temperature increases to less than 0.5 degrees but no detectable increase to core body temperature.“Even if you keep a block of wood or a toy close to the ears for some time, the skin temperature near the ears rise and it is not due to RF exposure but due to lack of air circulation.However, if you are close to the base station, he said the body absorbs more heat but the guidelines take that into account and you have a boundary limit, a safe distance from the base station.“It all depends on the power of the base station. In reality, you can go above the limits but you still won’t be hurt but it is better for us to have a very conservative limit than to get too close to a level where someone could be harmed,” he said.Furthermore, he said that community fears hinder 5G implementation but guidelines are needed to ensure unambiguous safety to the community. “5G exposures will be far lower than the guidelines allow and there is no detectable increase to core body temperature or local temperature increase from towers or handsets.” 

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Remote working could put an end to the office as we know it

The ongoing pandemic has brought about the world’s largest remote working experiment, with tens of millions forced to participate worldwide – and its outcome will likely have repercussions that will reverberate long after the last quarantine restrictions are lifted.Companies of all sizes – and with varying degrees of preparedness – have ordered employees to work from home in a bid to delay the spread of Covid-19, classified a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).The duration of this mandated period of remote working varies business by business, but the rate at which the virus is spreading – especially in Europe and the US – and the severity of lockdown measures suggest current isolation periods could be extended for much longer than originally thought.
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The remote working experience will be entirely new for some, while others will be well versed in the art of working from home on occasion. However, the extended period of social isolation many of us have embarked upon is bound to place significant strain on established ways of working – and some employees might be unwilling to go back to the status quo ante.
Are we equipped to go virtual?
The foremost concern for many businesses – especially smaller companies without extensive resources – is whether employees are properly equipped to go virtual-only. The lack of either hardware or software may be a significant stumbling block for workers asked suddenly to abandon their office workstations.Recognizing this issue (or opportunity), many software and SaaS vendors have granted businesses limited-time access to premium offerings free of charge, hoping that a fraction of those clients will morph into long-term – and, most importantly, paying – customers.LogMeIn was the first to offer free ‘Emergency Remote Work Kits’ to government, education, healthcare and non-profit organizations, followed swiftly by Cisco and Microsoft, who have opened up their collaboration products to all businesses.VPN and cybersecurity vendors have followed suit with time-limited arrangements of their own, designed to safeguard businesses whose security perimeters have grown by magnitudes overnight.

“Regrettably, the spread of Covid-19 has made organizations reevaluate remote working policies and the technology in place to support them,” Mark Strassman, SVP & GM of Unified Communications & Collaboration at LogMeIn, told TechRadar Pro.“This is accelerating the pace at which many organizations are being pushed to embrace remote work, despite the fact many of these organizations are not yet equipped to get the most productivity out of their remote workforce.”Maintaining productivity, however, is perhaps too lofty an ambition in the circumstances, when even basic functioning is by no means guaranteed. Businesses are more precariously positioned than ever, wholly reliant on the performance of cloud-based tools and services.
Is infrastructure up to the task?
While there will be no shortage of tools to facilitate communication between remote workers, it remains to be seen whether infrastructure can cope with sustained periods of high traffic in the long term.It is feared networks could falter under an extended surge in content streaming, online gaming and video conferencing. With many schools closed and millions working remotely under quarantine, peak periods now account for the majority of the waking day, leaving less time than usual for network upkeep and maintenance.According to Scott Petty, CTO at UK telecoms firm Vodafone, peak traffic is no longer confined to the evenings, but now extends from midday to 9pm. The implications of this sudden change could be significant, with service providers forced to shoulder a far greater burden than is normal.Microsoft Teams was the first video conferencing solution to take a nosedive, with major outages reported across the US and Europe on consecutive Mondays (March 23 and 30), just as millions of workers logged on. While the cause of the outages is unconfirmed, the timing appears more than coincidental.

Meanwhile, Netflix and YouTube have agreed to cap their services for 30 days to ease the burden on broadband networks. Netflix will cap its bitrate, which it says will reduce data consumption by 25%, and YouTube will only be available in standard definition – as opposed to high definition or 4K. Disney, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Instagram have also pledged to cut video streaming quality.According to Verizon, online gaming also increased by 75% between March 9 and 16, during which period both Xbox Live and Nintendo’s online services were taken down by traffic surges. Although rumours that online gaming represents the most severe threat to internet services are overblown (online games use a third of the data consumed by streaming Netflix in standard definition), increased activity will certainly contribute to choking networks.For now, providers are insisting networks can cope, but early incidences of downtime suggest not all communications infrastructure boasts the resilience necessary to support a world population reliant on connection for work, communication, entertainment, and socialization.
Are we jeopardising security?
While the generosity of technology vendors might go a long way to equipping small businesses to work from home, the immediacy with which social distancing policies were introduced gave many firms little time to consider another crucial factor: security.According to a number of cybersecurity experts, the sudden surge in remote working will open up all manner of attack vectors for opportunist cybercriminals. “We’re seeing unprecedented numbers of people connecting remotely to corporate networks, putting additional pressure on already strained IT and security infrastructure,” says David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky.“Many organizations are also not geared up for people to work from home and are thus trying to understand the challenges in real time, under exceptional circumstances…Once a device is taken outside of an organization’s network infrastructure and is connected to new networks, the risks broaden and increase.”

Cybercriminals are also capitalising on panic surrounding the novel disease to sow all manner of malware. Recent weeks have seen ransomware and DDoS attacks on healthcare institutions, already under strain as a result of the virus – and even an attack on the WHO itself. Numerous coronavirus-related phishing scams have also entered circulation, using false claims about the disease to lure unwitting victims and infect their machines. One scam even claimed it could prevent users falling physically ill with the virus.“It is crucial that organizations implement a multi-layered approach to security in order to safeguard against phishing attacks, such as implementing multi-factor authentication methods,” Will LaSala, Senior Director of Global Solutions at security firm OneSpan, told TechRadar Pro.“Attackers regularly take advantage of spikes in communication or activity to launch attacks. While it shouldn’t take a global pandemic to trigger businesses into action, it’s more important than ever to make sure the right security infrastructure is in place across all channels to keep your business and customers safe,” he added.The advice from security experts is to exercise particular caution under quarantine, ensuring devices are protected with effective security software and multi-factor authentication, and VPN services are used to preserve online privacy.Users of free video conferencing solutions should also remain alert, because privacy and security pledges are not always upheld. For example, it was discovered Zoom calls are not end-to-end encrypted, despite claims from the firm, whose app has been downloaded more than 50 million times on Google Play Store alone.
Could the pandemic spell the end for the mega-conference?
The events sector is another that will likely emerge from the coronavirus crisis utterly transformed, with the outbreak causing the cancellation or deferral of many eminent technology conferences.Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile technology show, became the first domino to fall. The organiser (the GSMA) was forced to cancel the event, set to take place in Barcelona at the end of February, after a series of high-profile attendees (such as Nokia, Sony, BT and Ericsson) pulled out over coronavirus concerns.Since then, a raft of technology events have been postponed or cancelled over fears crowded environments create the perfect conditions for the rapid transmission of coronavirus.Others – including Apple’s WWDC and Microsoft MVP – have gone ‘digital-only’ instead, and it’s no exaggeration to suggest the success or failure of these virtual events could define the event industry’s future.

Andrew Johnson, an executive at online meeting provider PowWowNow, says the coronavirus pandemic could herald the demise of traditional, in-person conferences.“This could absolutely be the start of a trend that sees the world’s largest conferences take a different shape going forward. We are now lucky enough to have workplace apps and online services that allow people to connect regardless of location, so large scale conferences are more feasible than ever before,” he said over email.The impact of large-scale events on the environment has also been called into question in recent years. For example, accusations of hypocrisy were leveled at attendees of this year’s World Economic Forum summit in Davos, many of whom travelled to the climate-centric conference via private jet.Immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) have waited patiently in the wings for an opportunity to seize the enterprise stage. Attending conferences via VR headsets could solve a host of challenges associated with public health, but also with travel costs, the environment and engagement.However, while technically and logistically feasible, virtual events at scale are yet to have passed the litmus test only practice can administer. Questions over the ability to effectively engage an online audience en masse, to ensure key messages aren’t lost over poor connection and to replicate the networking opportunity afforded by physical events remain.The benefits of virtual only events must also be balanced with the collateral damage inflicted on orbiting businesses, which include marketing and PR, hospitality, transport and more – a group that doubtless comprises millions worldwide.
Were we already headed in that direction?
The coronavirus outbreak has forced far greater numbers into remote working than otherwise would have been the case. However, it’s possible the pandemic has only served to accelerate a transition that was already underway on a global scale.The rise of flexible and remote working in recent years has been meteoric, with businesses turning to these policies in a bid to attract and retain talent, and cut down on real estate square footage.According to figures from Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics, the number of US employees working remotely is up 44% in the past five years, and up 91% in the past ten. Globally, meanwhile, 52% of staff work from home at least once per week.Julien Codorniou, VP at enterprise connectivity platform Workplace by Facebook, sees the ability to sustain a remote workforce as crucial to the longevity of any business, irrespective of the coronavirus pandemic.“Outside of Covid-19, dispersed workforces are becoming more of a reality for businesses around the world, whether they want to offer more flexibility to workers or hire the next generation of talent regardless of location,” he said in an email to TechRadar Pro.“Tools that can extend remote working capabilities beyond your workforce, to all the partners and customers you work with, will be critical to maintaining communication in the long term.”The current circumstances, millennial sensibilities and drastic improvements to cloud-based services combine to create the perfect storm. Companies must take measures to insulate themselves from the potential rise of the office-less business, which will see employees work together each day without ever meeting in the flesh. The multitude of variables at play – from the technological capability of the businesses themselves, to the savviness of individual users, the capacity of infrastructure and the progress of the disease – means no one can predict how this unfortunate remote working experiment will pan out.It is certain, however, that businesses will emerge from the brighter end of this global crisis far better able to support employees that would prefer to work from home, which figures indicate could be the majority. And, preference aside, others might find themselves unwilling to go back.
Check out our list of the best online collaboration tools for 2020

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This is the cheapest Core i7 PC but it comes with one big compromise

This is not your average computer; Partaker’s fanless mini PC is far smaller than most rivals on the market with a volume of just 1.5L.It’s on sale for $413.99 at Gearbest with this exclusive coupon code: F472573500A27001. Depending on exchange rates, you should pay around £339 or AU$689.A quick check with Dell shows its cheapest Core i7 device cost almost twice as much, albeit with a slightly faster i7 CPU, twice the storage and 12GB RAM.
Check out our list of the best business computers of 2020Here’s our choice of the best business laptop on the marketWe’ve put together a list of the best rugged laptops available
At 22.5 x 18.5 x 4.8cm, the Partaker is about the size of a thick hardcover book and yet has some great expansion capabilities. The model on offer comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U (four cores, 8-threads), 8GB DDR4 and a 128GB SSD, and other options are available up to 32GB memory and 1TB SSD. Sadly, you cannot buy the Partaker PC without the RAM or SSD.Its thick aluminum body acts as the perfect heatsink to cool the internal components. There’s plenty of connectors as well, with one LAN port, one Displayport, one HDMI port, eight USB ports (half of them USB 3.0), two audio connectors and two external antennas.You can use two memory slots and it supports one mSATA SSD, one 2.5-inch HDD and one M.2 NVMe SSD.In terms of caveats, there’s no operating system (which could prove an issue for novice users), memory card reader, SPDIF connector, 802.11ac and the PC doesn’t support Windows 7. There’s also no VESA mount, which you can add for an extra $5.
We’ve ordered one for review, so stay tuned for more!Note, Gearbest offers an expedited shipping option from China for free with an estimated delivery time between three and seven business days to the US.
Here’s our list of the best business tablets on the market

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Zoom is buckling under the strain of remote working and distance learning

Zoom Video Communications recently experienced an outage as more people are now using the video conferencing service to work from home or for distance learning.Zoom users on the East Coast of the US and in parts of Europe reported seeing error messages while attempting to log in to the company’s web client on Friday morning. The outage also affected parts of California, Florida and the Midwest as well as Malaysia.At the time of the outage, Zoom’s status page said that its web client was “under maintenance”. On its developer forum page though, the company tried to reassure users, saying:
Video conferencing apps saw record downloads in just one weekZoom-related domain names grow significantly as malware threat risesSEC steps in to prevent investors from buying the wrong Zoom
“During these tough times, we are seeing a massive increase in demand for our services. To continue serving our incredible services to our customers and developers, we may be making changes rapidly.”When Zoom’s web client briefly went down, the company advised users to download and install its desktop application instead until the issues were resolved.
Surge in video conferencing
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, businesses as well as consumers have turned to video conferencing software to work remotely as well as to stay in touch with friends and family. In fact, video conferencing apps saw record downloads on both Apple’s App Store and on the Google Play Store in mid-march.Although there are loads of video conferencing apps and services to choose from, Zoom Video Communications quickly became a favorite during the outbreak due to its ease of use and compatibility across devices and browsers.However, a number of privacy issues were recently discovered in the company’s software including how the service was sending data to Facebook (which was later fixed) and the fact that its video calls don’t actually use end-to-end encryption. Zoom’s CEO Eric S. Yuan has since apologized for major security vulnerabilities and promised to do better going forward.As lockdown measures around the world are still in place and employees and students are now working from home, Zoom and other video conferencing services could likely see more outages in the future due to increased demand during this trying time.
Also check out our complete list of the best video conferencing software
Via CRN

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