Google adds a COVID-19 layer to Maps app to show health status at county and state levels

The new layer is color-coded, includes a count of new cases per 100,000 people, and indicates whether the count is going up or down.


A new layer in Google maps shows coronavirus case levels at the county and state levels.

Google Maps now has a COVID-19 layer that tracks how cases are trending at a county level on the mobile version of the app. You can see how cases are increasing or decreasing in your area as well as any places you may be visiting.


Google Maps added a COVID-19 data layer to the mobile app.

To see COVID-19 data for a particular location, tap the layers button on the top right-hand corner and click on COVID-19 Info. You’ll see a number and “increasing” or “decreasing.” 

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

This number is the seven-day average for the number of new cases per 100,000 people. The layer’s colors

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Twitter to start testing voice DMs

After rolling out audio tweets for iOS in June, Twitter is now experimenting with the idea of letting people record and send voice messages through direct messages. Alex Ackerman-Greenberg, product manager for direct messages at Twitter, let me know that the company will be testing voice DMs soon. Brazil will be the first country included in that test. He shared the news… through a 20-second voice message. “We know people want more options for how they express themselves in conversations on Twitter — both publicly and privately,” he said.

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Similar to voice tweets, voice messages have a bare-bones, simple interface: there’s just a play / pause button, and the sender’s avatar pulsates as the message plays. The product team designed an “in-line recording experience to make it easier to send these messages as part of the natural conversation flow,” so that’s one

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CrowdStrike to acquire Preempt Security for $96 million

CrowdStrike on Wednesday announced that it will acquire Preempt Security, providers of zero trust and conditional access technology, for approximately $96 million. 

CrowdStrike, which offers endpoint and cloud protection solutions, said it plans to use the deal to bolster its Falcon platform with conditional access technology. The Falcon platform includes threat detection, incident response, and enterprise architecture visibility tools, and is CrowdStrike’s flagship offering. 

CrowdStrike said the acquisition will also the company to offer enhanced zero trust security capabilities to customers. 

“With the addition of Preempt Security’s capabilities, the CrowdStrike Falcon platform will provide enhanced protection against identity-based attacks and insider threats,” said CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz. “Combining Preempt’s technology with the CrowdStrike Falcon platform will help customers achieve end-to-end visibility and enforcement through identity, behavior and risk-based decisions to stop attacks in real time.”

As a somewhat newer player in the cybersecurity space, CrowdStrike went public in 2019 and

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Elon Musk reveals plans to slash electric battery costs, build $25,000 Tesla

Tesla officials, led by CEO Elon Musk, outlined a set of aggressive plans Tuesday to slash battery production costs, which they said will allow Tesla to bring a $25,000 electric battery vehicle to market within three years.

Those were two of the key takeaways from the company’s Battery Day, a show-and-tell session following its annual meeting. During the three-hour event, which was livecast from a site by Tesla’s assembly plant in Fremont, California, Musk and other executives went into extensive detail explaining how they plan to reduce the cost of batteries — the single most important and most expensive part of an electric vehicle — by 56 percent. They then revealed a variety of new product programs that will be launched over the next several years.

“We’re convinced we can make a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that’s also fully autonomous,” Musk said.

“The battery stuff is clearly revolutionary and essential

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Amazon says Echelon’s $499 Prime Bike isn’t an Amazon product


Echelon’s Prime Bike


Editors’ note: This story has been updated since its original publication on Sept. 22 to reflect Amazon’s denial of a partnership with Echelon.

Home fitness company Echelon on Tuesday launched a new exercise bike called the Prime Bike that it said was developed in collaboration with Amazon. However, Amazon is distancing itself from the bike, saying that it’s “not an Amazon product.”

“This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement late Tuesday. “Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding.”

Echelon’s original press release on Tuesday about the

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‘Batterygate’ settlement: Time’s running out for iPhone owners to claim $25


If you have an older iPhone like an iPhone 6 or 6S you could be eligible for a settlement from a class-action lawsuit. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Still have your original iPhone SE or an iPhone 6, 6S, 7 or one of the Plus models? If you live in the US, you may be able to get up to $25 back from Apple as part of a class-action settlement. What is “batterygate?” In 2017 Apple revealed that it slows down iPhones as they age in order to preserve battery life. That news didn’t sit well with a lot of people, who were unaware that the company’s iOS software was doing this automatically. As a result, Apple apologized and made it easier to monitor battery health and, for a time, it also cut the prices for battery replacements. 

It still didn’t stop lawsuits, and the iPhone-maker agreed in March to pay up to

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Amazon scales employee-facing virtual health clinics

  • Amazon is expanding its virtual care program, to become available to all of its employees in Washington state.
  • This signals Amazon is closer to launching a public-facing telehealth service.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes hundreds of insights, charts, and forecasts on the Digital Health industry with the Digital Health Briefing. You can learn more about subscribing here.

Amazon announced it’s expanding its Amazon Care program, through which it offers both virtual and in-person care, to become available to all of its employees in Washington state. Amazon Care offers primary care, video visits, and secure chatting with providers for Amazon employees and their dependents. The program was first launched in September 2019 to select workers in Seattle.

The pandemic is driving US consumers to adopt digital health tech for the first time

Amazon is expanding telemedicine for employees.

Business Insider Intelligence

Amazon has been gradually scaling Amazon Care to serve more employees in the year since it was first unveiled. Amazon has been gradually scaling Amazon Care to

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Shopify Says ‘Rogue’ Employees Breached Merchant Data

Shopify  (SHOP) – Get Report said that data from fewer than 200 merchants were likely exposed after two employees tried to steal customer-transaction records. 

The Ottawa company said that two “rogue members” of its support team planned to obtain the records from certain merchants. Upon learning of the plan, Shopify says it immediately terminated the employees’ access to its network. 

The company said the breach did not result from a technical vulnerability on its platform.

The data include contact info like emails, names and addresses as well as order details and services purchased. 

The company says that it is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other international agencies in the investigation.

Shopify also says that while there is no evidence of the stolen data having been utilized, the investigation is still in its early stages. 

“Our teams have been in close communication with affected merchants to

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Microsoft and AT&T Try To Make the Internet of Things Easier

The Internet of Things (IoT), that catch-all phrase describing the tens of billions of new devices that hook up to the internet, is still a work in progress. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and AT&T (NYSE:T) recently announced that they’re teaming up on a new service for large enterprises that want to deploy network-connected devices. AT&T is running point, making use of Microsoft’s tech know-how to make it easier for enterprises to get devices connected to a network.

Microsoft and AT&T’s announcement is actually a continuation of the partnership they unveiled in 2019, in which AT&T migrated its non-network operations (i.e., those not specifically related to its mobile communications network) to Microsoft’s cloud computing service, Azure. AT&T is now building the new service using Azure Sphere, a cloud-based IoT ecosystem that includes chips and related hardware, software, and security.

The idea is for companies to easily deploy and manage their connected products on

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Tesla’s value drops $50 billion as Musk’s promised cheaper battery three years away

(Reuters) – Investors slashed $50 billion from Tesla Inc’s market value on Tuesday despite CEO Elon Musk’s promise to cut electric vehicle costs so radically that a $25,000 car that drives itself will be possible, but not for at least three years.

Tesla’s market cap dropped $20 billion in just two hours after trading closed Tuesday, as Musk and other Tesla executives presented their new battery and manufacturing strategies. Shares closed down 5.6% and dropped another 6.9% after hours.

“Nothing Musk discussed about batteries is a done deal,” said Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin. “There was nothing tangible.”

Investors had expected two significant announcements at Musk’s oft-touted “Battery Day”: The development of a “million mile” battery good for 10 years or more, and a specific cost reduction target — expressed in dollars per kilowatt-hour — that would finally drop the price of an electric vehicle below that of a

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