Headlines UK

One in five companies monitors employees working remotely

Special programs track employee actions and events on his computer

After the transfer of employees to remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies thought about control over them and even began to purchase special software, writes Metro. According to a YouGov / Skillcast survey, 12% of employers are already tracking the actions of their employees, and 8% plan to start doing so soon. A total of 2 thousand companies took part in the survey.

Modern software allows you to track how much time an employee spends on reading work letters and messages, check what he is doing during a meeting, and take screenshots of the desktop. Under British law, an employer has the right to do this if he suspects his employee of violating the law and doubts his integrity.

However, Labor’s shadow minister for digital affairs, Chi Onwura, considers the law outdated. “The government must guarantee people the right to privacy in the workplace or at home.”– added Onwura. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, agrees with her: Technology should be used to improve lives, not to deprive people of their dignity


François Legault is working to ensure that more classes resume face-to-face

Prime Minister François Legault said on Saturday that his government is currently in discussions with Public Health to allow courses to be held in class and at the university.

• Read also: Dramatic increase in incomplete CEGEP courses

• Read also: Young people at their wit’s end with COVID-19

• Read also: COVID-19: Quebec has 2,225 new cases for the day yesterday and 67 new deaths

“I hope I can get back to you soon with some good news,” the Prime Minister wrote on his Facebook page.

François Legault says he is aware of the harmful impacts of the pandemic on the mental health of students, which leads him to believe that more face-to-face classes, in compliance with health rules, would give young people a little oxygen.

Currently, the school curriculum at CEGEPs and universities is done almost exclusively online due to public health directives.

Only courses that cannot be done remotely, such as laboratories, still take place on campus.

Libraries are also always open.

Follow the sanitary instructions

Even if he wants more academic activities to take place face-to-face, Premier Legault reminded young people of the importance of following health instructions, although this age group is very unlikely to develop complications. because of COVID-19.

“I ask you to be especially careful with people over 65 who are vulnerable to the worst symptoms of COVID. If we play as a team, if all of Quebec respects the rules, we will get there, ”he said.

Technology US

Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle are working on digital vaccination records

A coalition of health and tech companies, which includes Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle, is working on an initiative that aims to make it easier for people to access their COVID-19 vaccination records digitally. As people are beginning to get vaccinated against COVID-19, they may need to prove that they’re vaccinated so that they can return to work, school, or to travel, and having an easily accessible digital vaccination record could help with that. The coalition is calling itself the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI).

“VCI’s vision is to empower individuals to obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials to store in a digital wallet of their choice,” according to a press release. If you don’t want to use a smartphone, you could receive papers with QR codes containing similarly verifiable credentials.

VCI says it is working to make the credentials using the SMART Health Cards specification, which is designed to let people store immunization or lab results in a digital wallet. (More information about the specification is also available on GitHub.)

But VCI’s press release doesn’t provide a timeline as to when organizations administering COVID-19 vaccines will be able to make these records, so it’s unclear when you’ll be able to actually add one to a digital wallet. And with people in the US already receiving paper cards recording when they get their COVID-19 vaccines, it’s unclear how those records would transfer to VCI’s digital standard, if they can at all.

Another hurdle could be getting health centers to participate, as some providers may have more resources to incorporate these credentials into the vaccination process than others would. And there are also ethical questions about whether a person who can prove they are vaccinated should have more freedoms than someone who is not.

VCI isn’t the first coalition to consider a digital COVID-19 vaccination record. Similar efforts are modeling themselves on existing vaccine documents already required by some countries for entry. (These document vaccinations for diseases like yellow fever or polio.) One effort, by Estonia and the World Health Organization, began developing a digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate in October.

Technology US

Google says it’s working to fix Pixel 4A 5G touchscreen issue

Google says it’s aware of a problem with Pixel 4A 5G touchscreens and is working on a fix. Some devices are failing to respond consistently to taps on the lower part of the screen, which is particularly impacting folks who have opted for three-button navigation rather than swipes. Android Police spotted complaints from 4A 5G owners experiencing the issue, which seems to have cropped up after the December security patch was released.

Google’s response comes courtesy of a Pixel support forum post. The company says it will address the problem ”in an upcoming software update”, but it’s looking like that will be at least a couple more weeks away since Android Police reports January’s security patch didn’t address it. In the meantime, Google advises users to work around the issue with some specific instructions on tapping navigation controls:

1. When tapping icons on the edge of the screen, tap the center of the button or the side of the button/icon furthest away from the edge of the display.
2. When tapping icons, including the navigation buttons on the bottom of your screen, use the tip of your finger or thumb instead. This will help improve touch recognition.

It’s not an easy task to try and consciously change the way you do something like tap a button on your phone screen, so hopefully Pixel 4A 5G users will only have to attempt these awkward workarounds for a little while longer.

Google’s January patch did address a raft of other Pixel 4A 5G bugs and quirks with the security update. So while the touchscreen issue persists, at least an audio bug that was causing crackling sounds in some situations is no longer a problem.

Technology US

T-Mobile’s network will stop working with over a dozen older phones this month

Over a dozen devices including the original OnePlus 1 and Sony Xperia Z3 won’t be able to connect to T-Mobile’s network from January 29th, the carrier has announced in a support document. T-Mobile says this is the result of a network update, and that the affected devices are not able to receive a software update to allow them to stay connected.

“As a result of a network update going into place on 1/29/2021, we identified a small number of older devices that are not able to receive a manufacturer software update and as a result, these devices will be unable to establish a network connection,” the document reads. “T-Mobile and Metro customers utilizing these older devices will lose all network connectivity if they do not replace their device.”

It’s not clear exactly what it is about this network update that means these older devices can no longer function. Android Police, which reported the news based on internal documents, initially said it related to a requirement for devices to support voice over LTE (VoLTE). However, T-Mobile says this is not the case, and says the change is not related to the shutting down of any legacy network.

Here’s the full list of devices T-Mobile says will no longer work from January 29th. Note that they’re all older devices, with the most recent being 2016’s Huawei P9 according to Android Police:

  • AT&T or Verizon Galaxy Note 4 (T-Mobile branded version will still work, but needs a software update)
  • AT&T Galaxy Note Edge
  • HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
  • HTC Desire 650
  • Google Nexus 9
  • Huawei Mate 8
  • Huawei P9
  • Mikrotikls SIA R11e-LTE6
  • OnePlus 1
  • Quanta Computer Inc Quanta DragonIR7
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Duos
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Sony Xperia Z3
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Orion
  • Sony D6616 Xperia Z3 Orion
  • Soyea Mobile Communication Equipment Co Ltd SOYEA M02

T-Mobile’s site also provisionally includes the Arlo Security Camera System on its list, but adds that it’s in talks with Arlo about a possible solution.

T-Mobile reportedly started informing affected customers of the changes by post on December 18th, followed by sending SMS messages on December 28th. Additionally, Android Police reports that the move will also affect Sprint customers with affected devices, who’ll lose the ability to roam on T-Mobile’s network. However, T-Mobile or Metro by T-Mobile subscribers are thought to be the only ones losing all network connectivity.

T-Mobile says affected customers should contact it to arrange an upgrade.

Entertainment USA TV

Kim Kardashian reveals she is on a plant-based diet, working out amid ‘impending divorce’

Keeping up with Kim! Kardashian reveals she is on a plant-based diet, working out twice a day and attending Bible study amid ‘impending divorce’ from husband Kanye West

Kim Kardashian is focused on self-care amid bombshell reports she is on the verge of divorcing husband Kanye West.

Amid a week swirling with speculation on the state of her six-year marriage, the reality star is hunkering down at home, transforming her diet and working out twice a day.

The 40-year-old mother-of-four has given fans a sneak peek on Instagram of what she’s been up to, including revealing that she’s now on a plant-based diet.

Working on herself: Amid a rumored divorce on the horizon, Kim Kardashian is focusing on self care at home

The curvy star shared a photo of her fridge full of Beyond Meat produce.

‘Someone heard I went plant based’ Kim captioned the snap and tagged @beyondmeat.

It also looks like Kim is getting in shape after perhaps overindulging over the holidays.

With one image she shared on Thursday. Kim revealed her first workout featured Pilates apparatus. 

The 40-year-old mother-of-four has given fans a sneak peek on Instagram of what she's been up to, including revealing that she's now on a plant-based diet

The 40-year-old mother-of-four has given fans a sneak peek on Instagram of what she’s been up to, including revealing that she’s now on a plant-based diet

Pilates time: It also looks like Kim is getting in shape after perhaps overindulging over the holidays

She worked out with kettlebells in another session with sister Khloe

Work it: It also looks like Kim is getting in shape after perhaps overindulging over the holidays

Her second gym session, this time with sister Khloe, 36, she worked out with kettleballs. 

‘Workout #2 @khloekardashian’ Kim captioned a photo of her standing next to her younger sister.  

As well as working on overhauling her lifestyle, Kim is also keeping in touch with her spiritual side, as she joined sister Kourtney, 41, for bible study on Thursday night.

The KUWTK star shared a snap of the siblings in matching SKIMS sweaters. 

‘When @kourtneykardash and I show up matching in our @skims to bible study’ the E! star captioned the photo.

As well as working on overhauling her lifestyle, Kim is also keeping in touch with her spiritual side, as she joined sister Kourtney, 41, for bible study on Thursday night

As well as working on overhauling her lifestyle, Kim is also keeping in touch with her spiritual side, as she joined sister Kourtney, 41, for bible study on Thursday night

Winter nights: Another snap Kim shared showed a fireplace in her $60M Hidden Hills mansion

Winter nights: Another snap Kim shared showed a fireplace in her $60M Hidden Hills mansion

Kim’s posts come amid multiple reports that a divorce is ‘imminent’ from husband Kanye, following a rocky year which saw the couple pictured in tearful ‘crisis talks’ after the rapper’s series of explosive Twitter posts and a doomed presidential campaign, while in the grips of a bipolar episode.

There are reports she has been in marriage counselling with Kanye, 43, and ‘divorce it on the table’.

The couple – who share North, seven, Saint, five, Chicago, two, and Psalm, 19 months, together – are reportedly ‘trying to work through things’.

Can’t stop won’t stop: On Friday Kim dropped her new range of bodysuits with SKIMS

Always working! The TV star modeled the pieces herself as she promoted the new range on Friday

A source told E! News of their counselling sessions: ‘Divorce has been discussed, but Kim wants more than anything for their relationship to work. There wasn’t anything specific that happened that led them to this point … They are 100 percent aligned when it comes to the kids.’ 

At Christmas, Kim was pictured without her $1.3 million engagement ring, two weeks before reports surfaced that her marriage was pretty much over. 

Sources have claimed Kim has high-profile lawyer Laura Wasser on retainer to manage settlement talks. 

A source told Page Six on Tuesday that the couple are ‘done’ and are currently in talks about dividing up their fortune after leading separate lives over the past year, with Kanye spending most of his time at his $14 million ranch in Wyoming.

Is it over? Kim's posts come amid multiple reports that a divorce is 'imminent' from husband Kanye, following a rocky year

Is it over? Kim’s posts come amid multiple reports that a divorce is ‘imminent’ from husband Kanye, following a rocky year

Entertainment UK

Lucie Donlan shares ‘body crisis’ pics from 16 – before she started working out

Lucie Rose Donlan has shared a series of snaps from her “body crisis” days as a teen, when her confidence was at rock bottom.

The 22-year-old surfer babe is often snapped showing off her enviable toned physique – but she hasn’t always been so relaxed in her skin.

The Love Island star has opened up about how she would only feel comfortable in a full-body wetsuit at the beach as a teen, as she engaged in a candid discussion with fans on her Instagram.

The Cornish lass admitted she once had terrible body confidence and had never shared any photos of herself from her teens before now.

During a Q&A with Lucie, one fan asked: “How did you overcome body confidence issues?”

Lucie Donlan admitted she once had terrible body confidence

Alongside two snaps, one age 22, another at age 16, Lucie opened up to fans about her body crisis as she struggled with confidence in how she looked.

The blonde bombshell wrote: “I’ve never shared any photos from my teens because I’ve always been too embarrassed, but recently I’ve spoken out about this during my interviews launching the new range with Ann Summers.

“I really struggling in my teens with my confidence as I was very insecure about the way I looked,” she admitted.

“Because I was so un-happy about how I looked and felt, I changed my diet and way of like to feel happier.

“I exercised more, chose better food options and spent more time outdoors doing different activities!

“I started to only in the last couple of years to feel confident with my body, but like everyone I still have parts I’ve love to work on.”

Lucie opened up to fans about her body crisis as she struggled with confidence in how she looked

Lucie shared a snap of her younger self in a full-body wetsuit and another in a baggy jumper and jeans

A second follower asked: “Think you said before you used to have hangups about your body. Can we have a pic showing this…” before Lucie shared a snap of her younger self in a full-body wetsuit and another in a baggy jumper and jeans.

Alongside the never-before-seen snaps, she wrote: “I used to cover up a lot and only feel comfortable in a long wetsuit when at the beach, but proud of myself to feel that I love my body so much better now I’ve changed my lifestyle.”

Lucie also confessed her thoughts on plastic surgery, and, despite her body hangups, revealed it’s never something she would consider.

Lucie also confessed her thoughts on plastic surgery

“Have you had a boob job? Or have you had any work done to you?” another fan probed.

“I’m ALWAYS getting asked this, NO. I’ve had nothing done!” the reality star defiantly responded, before adding: “I only have hair extensions for added length and volume.

“But I have no problem with it, whatever makes you happy and fee better! Do that!

“But personally I’m too scared to have anything done to myself, and prefer embracing the natural.”

The telly personality’s candid revelations came just days after she posed in her underwear to promote her new sustainable Ann Summers range.

Entertainment UK

Where Louie Spence is now – brutal Dancing on Ice axe to working in Benidorm bar

This time 10 years ago, you couldn’t turn your TV on without seeing Louie Spence.

From Loose Women and Benidorm to Harry Hill’s TV Burp, Celebrity Juice, Shooting Stars and Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night, the professional dancer was the star of the moment.

But after a series of professional set-backs in the early 2010s, the hilarious Essex-born star all but disappeared, resurfacing for the occasional reality appearance in Celebrity Big Brother, The Jump, Celebs on the Farm and Celebrity Coach Trip – which he mysteriously walked out of last January.

So what happened to Louie? The Mirror takes a look at the 51 year old’s fascinating life…

Friends in high places

Louie had a raft of celebrity friends – including One Direction

As a trained dancer, Louie had toured with the likes of the Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue and Take That before getting his big TV break.

He counted Spice Girl Victoria Beckham among his close friends and was a regular for dinner at Beckingham Palace, insisting that Posh and Becks were as normal as they come.

“Victoria’s a really, really down-to-earth girl, with a wicked sense of humour,” he once told the Daily Record.

“Because Victoria isn’t any different to me or you to chat to, you don’t really realise how hugely famous they have become. To have dinner together is very similar to having dinner with anyone else – they’re very normal people.”

Fame explosion

Pineapple Dance Studios stars Laura Pye, Louie Spence, Debbie Moore, Andrew Stone and Mark Battershall
Pineapple Dance Studios transformed Louie, second from left, into a global star

Louie’s first TV foray came as a judge and mentor on Trouble TV’s Bump’n’Grind, followed by Sky One’s Cirque de Celebrite and NBC’s Celebrity Circus.

Aged 31, he turned his back on dancing to work as a receptionist at London’s Pineapple Studios, fearing he would look like a ‘sad old dancer’.

“I thought to myself, I cant dance behind people like The Saturdays, these 19-year-old girls,” he told the Daily Record.

“I don’t want to be some tired old dancer who people look at and say, ‘Oh, God, is he still trying to knock it out?’ So I made a decision.

“Thats when I started at Pineapple Dance Studios, when the job on offer was as a receptionist. I had to make a choice. My career was over as a dancer and I accepted that you’ve got to survive living in London.”

And it was Sky docu-soap Pineapple Dance Studios that catapulted him to global stardom in 2010.

A run of bad luck

Louie Spence poses as a judge for Dancing On Ice
Louie Spence suffered a series of unlucky career set-backs

Audiences couldn’t get enough of Louie and even though Pineapple Studios only ran for one season, Sky gave him his own series, Louie Spence’s Showbusiness.

Sadly it was cancelled after just one series and that same year he shot another show for Oprah Winfrey titled Louie Spence’s Dance Project, but that never aired.

A concerned Louie admitted he couldn’t see middle America ‘getting me or the show’.

And a spokesman for the star said at the time: “Since Louie recorded his series for the US, there have been some staff changes at the station.

“Executives have moved on and new people have come on board.

“At the moment we don’t know when they plan to show it.”

Louie Spence dressed in a pantomime costume
Louie Spence is a regular on the pantomime circuit

Things started to look up in December 2011 when he was unveiled as the new judge on ITV’s Dancing On Ice, replacing acerbic regular Jason Gardiner.

That, too, only lasted for one series before he was ‘kicked to the kerb’ and Jason was brought back.

Louie told ITV’s This Morning: “What can I say? I thought I was pretty fabulous myself but, no, I’ve been kicked to the kerb. That’s showbusiness. One day you’re in, one day you’re out. Dancing On Ice always change up their panel.

“I think it’s a great idea because then they’ve always got different opinions. If you watch some of these shows, judges always repeat the same things year in, year out. I think having the change up is great.”

And despite his huge level of fame, Louie honestly admitted that he hadn’t even earned enough to buy a fancy car or a house, revealing he was still living in his Housing Association flat.

“There’s a big myth that just because you’re on TV, you’re mega-rich. You see things sometimes about multi-million pound deals but I can tell you those figures are a pile of c**p,” he said.

“You get to go to wonderful places and you get invited to great things but I’m not in any position at the moment to be able to go out and buy myself a house or drive a Range Rover.

“If that changes, I’ll be the first to go out and spend.”

Anxiety battle

Louie Spence at the Comedy Awards in 2011
Despite his upbeat personality, Louie was fighting anxiety at the height of his fame

The year 2012 proved to be devastating on many levels, with Louie paralysed by crippling anxiety following the death of his beloved mum Pat.

He told how the disorder could leave him house-bound for up to six weeks at a time and described how he hit ‘rock bottom’.

“I was so consumed with grief. I lost the person I was – it just went. I was heartbroken and in a very weird, strange place,” he told ITV’s Lorraine.

“I’ve suffered with physical anxiety all my life – panic attacks and palpitations. I’ve turned down loads of work because of it over the years.

“I remember having panic attacks on live TV when I was on Dancing on Ice. They’d come to me for comment and I’d be thinking, ‘I’m going to pass out.'”

Admitting that anxiety had ‘controlled every moment of my life,’ he finally agreed to take medication at his doctor’s urging.

Life now

Louie recently unveiled his new gig as a barman in Spain
Louie recently unveiled his new gig as a barman in Spain

Louie married partner Leto Fernandez in 2009 and the pair are believed to still be going strong.

They were introduced in 2001 by Jason Gardiner – who is Louie’s good friend – and Leto popped the question seven years later with a poem he’d written.

“We met in a club and it was Jason’s fault,” he once told The Mirror. “I say that, but it was the best thing that’s happened to me.”

For Leto’s part, fame is something he has always avoided like the plague.

“My husband doesn’t care for this lifestyle, he hates the glamour,” Louie continued.

“He will never come to an event with me. He’s fiercely private. I’m not even allowed to mention his name.”

Before the pandemic, the star had a national tour of dance master classes scheduled but was forced to postpone them due to Covid.

He is a panto favourite, starring in Cinderella in Aberdeen in 2019 and earlier this week jetted off to Benidorm in Spain where he plans to work behind a friend’s karaoke bar.

“I knew it wouldn’t be long till I was snapped up as the best barmen of Benidorm,” he wrote on Instagram of his new gig at Mateo’s bar.

“Happy new year to you all, hope you have an amazing day/night tonight whatever you may be doing.”

Would you love to see more of Louie Spence? Have your say in the comments section below…

Technology US

This maker built a working Batman grappling gun in only a year

If you’ve ever watched a Batman movie or played Just Cause, you’ve probably thought “wow, using a grappling hook would be so much fun.” YouTuber Built IRL, whose name is JT, thought so too — and he’s been working on making that happen for the past year. The end result is a grappling hook gun that functions pretty similarly to the ones we’ve seen in movies and games.

As you’ll see in the video above, this new grappling gun is more impressive than many previous attempts. For one thing, it’s self-contained — the entire unit fits on his arm, including the CO2-powered blasting mechanism that shoots the hook using standard cartridges, and a very powerful 10,000W motor that’s properly fast and can completely pull him up into the air. (He shows off some previous historical attempts to build such a gadget, and definitely seems like his hook would win the grappling gun race.)

Unlike some other DIY grappling hooks, JT’s contraption can also bring him back down to earth. He can control his direction and speed with a wheel near his thumb.

Pretty small for a device that can haul a human at such speed.
Photo: Built IRL

You can also see some of the real-world limitations of a grapple gun, ones that Batman never had to deal with since he’s a work of fiction. The device can be hard to control — partly because JT’s trying to use his thumb while also supporting all his weight with one hand. For the most part, he uses it attached to a harness, so the impact of being yanked up into the air can be spread across his whole body instead of being dragged by a single arm. (Just thinking about that makes my shoulders hurt.)

It also turns out that wrapping a grappling hook around whatever you’re trying to climb isn’t as easy as it seems in Overwatch or Titanfall 2. That’s especially true when it’s being fired out of something attached to your arm.

Despite the drawbacks, the device still works shockingly well for something so small, and it’s awesome to see a project like this come together. He’s also working on a version of Spider-Man’s web shooters, and his success with the grappling gun makes me think he may actually have a shot.

If you want to see the origins of the project, you can check out the video JT made with Hacksmith Industries in November 2019. If you want to see the entire build process, you can also check out this playlist of videos detailing the project’s evolution.

Tech News

Motorola Could Be Working on New Flagship, Leaked Renders Show

Motorola could be working on a flagship smartphone, as new renders of a mysterious handset from the company have now surfaced online. These renders seem to be of a flagship phone, and it could be the same flagship phone whose retail box photo was recently shared by Lenovo executive Chen Jin. In any event, the renders show that the upcoming Motorola handset may have a quad-curved display and a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera.

Two renders of a mysterious Motorola phone and a schematic sketch of the back have surfaced online. These were spotted first on Weibo, as per a report by China’s CNMO. The renders show the front of the phone, and it is seen to have a hole-punch cutout placed in the top centre. The sides are all curved, including the top and bottom edges. There are no side buttons on the phone, and it remains to be seen how physical buttons will be integrated on this handset.

The schematic sketch shows that the phone may have a quad rear camera setup that comprises three sensors in one line and a fourth sensor placed on the side. There’s also a flash sitting on the opposite side. All the sensors are placed inside a rectangular module on the top-centre of the back panel. There’s no rear fingerprint sensor seen in the schematic sketch, hinting that it may have a under-screen fingerprint scanner.

If this is indeed the Motorola flagship phone that was reported earlier, it can be speculated to be powered by the Snapdragon 888 SoC. Reports claim that this phone may have a high refresh rate AMOLED panel, along with support for fast charging as well as reverse wireless charging. The retail box image shared by Jin doesn’t offer much detail, but hints that the company is indeed working on a new smartphone to launch in China soon. It remains to be seen whether this is the same handset or Jin was teasing something completely different.

Are Micromax In 1b, In Note 1 good enough to take the brand to the top in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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