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T-Mobile Officially Completes Merger With Sprint, CEO John Legere Steps Down

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: After months of regulatory maneuvering, T-Mobile and Sprint officially completed their $26 billion merger today. The new combined parent company is called T-Mobile and will now trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TMUS with Sprint no longer trading on the NYSE. For consumers, it will seemingly take a little time before the effects of the transition are meaningfully felt. T-Mobile did not comment on the future of the Sprint brand in today's announcement, but they have previously promised that subscribers will have access to "the same or better rate plans" for three years as part of the deal. Alongside news of the merger being finalized, T-Mobile shared that its CEO transition is taking place early. John Legere was supposed to stay on until the end of April, but Mike Sievert has been appointed CEO a month early, effective immediately. Sievert was previously T-Mobile's COO. Legere is still on the company's board of directors, but he'll be stepping down at the end of his term through June.

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Cloudflare Launches a DNS-Based Parental Control Service

Cloudflare introduced today '1.1.1.1 for Families,' a privacy-focused DNS resolver designed to help parents in their efforts to safeguard their children's online security and privacyââââââ by automatically filtering out bad sites. From a report: This new tool makes it simple for parents to add protection from malware and adult content to the entire home network, allowing them to focus on working from home instead of worrying about their kids' online safety. "1.1.1.1 for Families leverages Cloudflare's global network to ensure that it is fast and secure around the world," Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince said in an announcement published today.

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Doctors Turn To Twitter and TikTok To Share Coronavirus News

In a sign of the times, doctors are effectively waging a two-pronged fight against coronavirus: one part takes place in overcrowded hospitals and the other takes place on noisy social media platforms as they work to combat what the World Health Organization has declared an infodemic with accurate, authoritative voices. From a report: All of that means doctors, some of whom were once reluctant to embrace social media, are wading deeper into platforms that are rife with fake news, unproven medical advice and mass panic. "Social media is the disease and the cure. It is responsible for the dissemination of misinformation as much as it needs to be a tool for repairing that," said Rick Pescatore, an emergency room physician and public health expert in the Philadelphia area, who is active on Twitter and Facebook and has treated Covid-19 patients. "It's incumbent upon physicians, who want to get real information out there, to meet these patients where they are -- and that's social media." Perhaps nowhere is this shift more striking than on TikTok, a short-form video platform beloved by teens that is best known for lip syncing, dance routines and comedy skits. In one TikTok video viewed more than 416,000 times, a registered nurse named Miki Rai does a choreographed dance involving a lot of hand motions as facts about Covid-19 flash on the screen, such as how long the virus stays on different surfaces. In another TikTok video, set to soothing elevator music, Dr. Rose Marie Leslie demonstrates proper handwashing: Wet hands. Lather up. Start washing for 20 seconds. Scrub under your nails and between fingers. Rinse. Leslie, a resident physician specializing in family medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, created a TikTok account about a year ago, with the aim of reaching a younger demographic with health education information. Soon after coronavirus cases started emerging, she began creating TikToks about the issue. Now, she works to debunk myths about the virus for her more than 500,000 followers.

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Cash App Scammers Are Using Coronavirus To Exploit People

An anonymous reader shares a report: Reyna is a teenager in Florida whose family is strapped for cash amid the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. When the uber-popular beauty influencer Jeffree Star tweeted that he'd be giving out $30,000 via payment service Cash App to a random person who retweeted him, she did just that. Star's offer seems to have been legitimate -- and drummed up a lot of attention for the influencer. A woman actually won the $30,000, and Reyna missed out. But then another Twitter user messaged Reyna asking whether she wanted to get $250, she told Quartz. "My goal is to help those in need or need emergency cash," the person said. The catch was that she'd have to pay $25 first. "Your deposit along with our other earnings allows us to immediately send you your payment," the person said. Reyna sent the cash, and that's when the Twitter user blocked her, and her money was gone, she said. What happened to Reyna is a popular Cash App scam called "cash-flipping," according to Satnam Narang, researcher at the cybersecurity company Tenable. Con artists are taking advantage of the coronavirus by pretending they are helping the needy. While Reyna simply got a direct message to lure her in after she expressed interest in a legitimate giveaway, other scammers have been promoting fake giveaways in public tweets adding "#coronavirus" in order to reach more people. Sometimes they will request money through Cash App pretending that it's a verification mechanism. "They'll say, you won this giveaway, send us $10 to verify to win 500 bucks," Narang said. The scammers say they have a special way of modifying the transactions through payment applications like Cash App, Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, or Apple Pay, Narang wrote in a blog post explaining the scams. "All they ask for is that the recipient share the initial cut with them for providing them this so-called service." This, of course, is all made up.

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Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In

The esteemed science fiction author, best known for movie "Arrival" that is based on his novel, on how we may never go "back to normal" -- and why that might be a good thing. From an interview on Electric Literature: EL: Do you see aspects of science fiction (your own work or others) in the coronavirus pandemic? In how it is being handled, or how it has spread? TC: While there has been plenty of fiction written about pandemics, I think the biggest difference between those scenarios and our reality is how poorly our government has handled it. If your goal is to dramatize the threat posed by an unknown virus, there's no advantage in depicting the officials responding as incompetent, because that minimizes the threat; it leads the reader to conclude that the virus wouldn't be dangerous if competent people were on the job. A pandemic story like that would be similar to what's known as an "idiot plot," a plot that would be resolved very quickly if your protagonist weren't an idiot. What we're living through is only partly a disaster novel; it's also -- and perhaps mostly -- a grotesque political satire. EL: This pandemic isn't science fiction, but it does feel like a dystopia. How can we understand the coronavirus as a cautionary tale? How can we combat our own personal inclinations toward the good/evil narrative, and the subsequent expectation that everything will return to normal? TC: We need to be specific about what we mean when we talk about things returning to normal. We all want not to be quarantined, to be able to go to work and socialize and travel. But we don't want everything to go back to business as usual, because business as usual is what led us to this crisis. COVID-19 has demonstrated how much we need federally mandated paid sick leave and universal health care, so we don't want to return to a status quo that lacks those things. The current administration's response ought to serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of electing demagogues instead of real leaders, although there's no guarantee that voters will heed it. We're at a point where things could go in some very different ways, depending on what we learn from this experience.

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