Celebs join the COVID-19 fight by telling billions to stay home

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Selena Gomez shows us how to wash
If the singing thing doesn't pan out...
Screenshot: Selena Gomez/Instagram

Say what you will about celebrity influencers. They are using social media to tell millions of followers to stay home and “wash your hands.”

Taking a break from vanity and self-branding (well, sort of), influencers have answered the call by the United Nations to use their platforms to promote public health messages to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Amazon plans to delay Prime Day due to COVID-19

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amazon
You'll have to wait a little longer for Amazon's day of killer deals.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon’s annual shopping bonanza holiday, Prime Day, has reportedly been delayed due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Day, which started in 2015 as a way to boost sales in the summer, is usually held in July, but according to Reuters, the online retailer plans to push the marketing event to August.

How to make your own coronavirus Ragmask

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Make your own protective mask with Ragmask's amazing guide.
Make your own protective mask with Ragmask's amazing guide.
Photo: Ragmask

Do you need a coronavirus mask? The World Health Organization still says no, unless you are caring for someone with COVID-19 or carrying the virus that causes it yourself. But perhaps The WHO isn’t as impartial as we’d like to think. As health experts’ opinions on the subject evolve, a DIY homemade mask looks increasingly enticing.

Perhaps wearing a mask when you take the subway or visit a supermarket is a good idea after all. Whatever, none of this changes the fact that you cannot buy a mask anywhere. But you can make your own. Check out the Ragmask, a homemade mask deign from Loren Brichter. Yes, that Loren Brichter — the former Apple employee who went on to develop Tweetie and was dubbed the “high priest of app design” by The Wall Street Journal.

Apple Card base APR rate drops 2% for some users

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Apple Card’s ‘elite card’ status is hitting retailers in the wallet
Apple Card benefits keep getting better.
Photo: Apple

Some Apple Card users received a surprise APR rate drop this week thanks to the two recent interest rate cuts made by the U.S. Federal Reserve in March. The Apple Card’s base APR decreased by 2% for many Apple Card holders, bringing a little extra credit relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SXSW Film Festival goes free on Amazon

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SXSW
SXSW 2020 isn't going down quietly.
Photo: Amazon

SXSW 2020, one of the biggest annual conferences covering the convergence of music and film, was canceled last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic last month, but it’s getting a brief second life online.

Amazon Prime Video is partnering with SXSW to offer on-demand streaming of the films that were set to debut at the festival in Austin, Texas. Anyone with an Amazon account will be able to watch the movies for free for 10 days as part of the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection.

Apple leaks AirTags name in support video

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airtags
Oops! Whoever did this is getting fired.
Photo: Apple

The official name of Apple’s Bluetooth tracking tiles leaked online on Thursday and Apple only has itself to blame.

Apple published a new iPhone support video on YouTube the educates customers on how to erase your iPhone that made reference to ‘AirTags’ that have been rumored to be coming down the product pipeline since last year.

5 Zoom alternatives to keep you connected during COVID-19 crisis

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Zoom definitely isn't your only option for videoconferencing. Check out these Zoom alternatives, including Houseparty.
Zoom definitely isn't your only option for videoconferencing.
Photo: Life on Air

Zoom might be the best video-conferencing app, but that’s a bit like saying Facebook is the best social network. It might be true 1, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel dirty if you use it. Despite a seemingly never-ending stream of privacy violations, security holes and utter disregard for its customers, Zoom is still being used as the de facto standard video conferencing and broadcasting tool during the COVID-19 crisis.

We’ve already seen the problems with Zoom. And we’ve also shown you how to protect yourself if you choose to use Zoom despite the company’s many privacy missteps. (Zoom pledged to do better this week.) But what about other services you could rely on during the coronavirus shutdown? Read on. We have five great Zoom alternatives you can use.

Genius tweak for security cams is just the start of Wyze’s COVID-19 response

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Wyze Cam
This Wyze Cam can be converted to a webcam.
Photo: Wyze

A company that makes low-cost home security cameras doesn’t sound like an organization you’d call for help in the fight against COVID-19 as it sweeps across the United States.

Wyze didn’t wait for a call.

Located in Kirkland, Washington, close to where the first U.S. cases surfaced, the company used its worldwide connections and ingenuity to help the local medical community fight the coronavirus pandemic. But it also helped consumers stuck at home better use Wyze’s iOS-compatible security cameras as webcams.

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Apple-com-COVID-19
Official videos from the NHS and Santé public can now be seen on Apple's website.
Screenshot: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Grab these pricey creativity apps and use them for free during the pandemic

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Ableton and Logic Pro X free app trials: Nothing says
Nothing says "unbridled creative frenzy" like a mass of tangled cables.
Photo: Ableton

Being stuck at home with nothing to do but watch the world collapse around us is kind of a downer, but there are some upsides. One is that people are getting creative. Like, literally creative — making more music, writing and sharing videos. The other silver lining is that app-makers are offering big discounts and extended trials for some amazing apps.

For instance, Apple now offers a free, three-month trial of its music-production app, Logic Pro X. And Ableton just matched this offer with its Live Suite.