Virginia Extends Voter Registration Deadline Until Oct. 15 After Website Outage : NPR

Virginia’s online voter registration system went down on the worst day possible: the last day that residents are allowed to register to vote.

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A federal judge in Richmond has ruled that Virginia must extend online and in-person voter registration until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15.

The order comes after a construction project accidentally cut a fiber internet line yesterday that took down several state websites, including the Department of Elections website on the last day of voter registration.

U.S. Judge John A. Gibney Jr. made the ruling early Wednesday morning in a lawsuit brought by several voter rights groups.

“There’s really not a lot of harm to the Commonwealth and the state registrars by extending the period of registration in this case,” Gibney Jr. said in the teleconference hearing, “but there is tremendous harm to the people who want to register to vote and to the people who are helping people register to vote.”

Attorney General Mark Herring, who supported the lawsuit, announced the news on Twitter as well.

Voter advocates filed a lawsuit Tuesday to extend Virginia’s deadline.

“Eligible Virginia citizens should not have to pay the price for this technological failure. Unless the voter registration deadline is extended to October 15, 2020, Plaintiffs’ members and others will be deprived of their constitutional right to vote in the November 3, 2020, election,” reads the suit filed by the New Virginia Majority Education Fund, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table and the League of Women Voters of Virginia.

Problems erupted early Tuesday morning when voters noticed they could not access online registration. The

Apple Extends Apple TV+ Free Trials Through February 2021

KEY POINTS

  • Apple TV+ is nearing the end of its free trial period
  • However, Apple has decided to extend Apple TV+’s free trial period through February next year
  • This can entice more consumers to try out the streaming service

Apple launched Apple TV+ last year alongside the iPhone 11 series. At the time, the Cupertino tech giant said it will offer one free year of Apple TV+ to those who will buy new devices. Those who did buy new iPhones were able to enjoy the company’s TV offerings without having to pay a cent.

The free trial period is almost nearing its end, but Apple told TechCrunch that it is extending the free subscription period by a few more months and will bill subscribers starting February 2021.

The report said the extension includes everyone whose Apple TV+ free trials are set to end on Nov. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021. Those whose free trials are scheduled to end on Nov. 15, 2020, for example, will have their first billing date on Feb. 15, 2021, and so on.

TechCrunch added that Apple’s decision to extend free trials includes those who subscribed to the service without purchasing a new device. These subscribers will also be able to enjoy Apple TV+ for free until February next year.

In addition, those who paid for a monthly or annual Apple TV+ plan will receive credits worth $4.99 for each month through February. These credits can be used for other things such as purchases made via the iOS App Store.

Apple will send emails to customers informing them of the extension period, per TechCrunch. The Cupertino tech giant might explain the mechanics to help consumers better understand how it works.

Reasons

It’s currently unclear why Apple decided to push back the end of Apple TV+’s

Google’s Sound Notifications extends your hearing using your phone’s mic

Google logo on the screen
  • Google has announced a Sound Notifications feature for Android.
  • The accessibility feature provides those who are distracted or hard of hearing with visual notifications of “critical” sounds.
  • Sounds recognized include dog barks, door knocks, and running water.

Google is building its audio-recognition technology to help extend human hearing around the home. The company has announced a new accessibility feature called Sound Notifications that’ll provide users with visual alerts of loud or “critical” sounds around them.

Built on the back of the company’s Live Transcribe ambient sound recognition tech, the feature can recognize up to 10 different sounds, including dog barks, alert sirens, running water, babies crying, and door knocks. If one of these sounds is noticed in the vicinity, Google will ping the users’ phone with a notification describing the sound. The feature also works with WearOS, so users who don’t immediately have their phones on hand will also receive the information.

As some sounds, like dog barks, come as the result of other noise, Google also plots sound events on a timeline, so users can visualize and understand the context of the sounds around them.

android sound notifications 1

While Sound Notifications does rely on your phone’s microphone, Google guards against users’ privacy worries by saying that the process takes place offline using your smartphone’s processing muscle. Nevertheless, you’ll still need to flick that microphone permission switch for this feature to function. That might be a dealbreaker for some.

For others though, the benefits are clear. The notifications seem pretty useful for those who aren’t in the vicinity of the sound, or who struggle with their hearing clarity. It’s also great for those who wear noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds at home while working or relaxing. 

Users can gain the feature by downloading Google’s Live Transcribe app to their phones. You can do just

Apple extends Apple TV+ free trial to end of February 2021

The one-year free trial of Apple TV+ was set to end for many users on November 1, but Apple may be getting ready to extend all existing trials to February 2021.

Apple TV+ launched on Nov. 1, 2019, which means that those who were there for day one of the free trial would soon start paying. Apple has announced that they will be extending the free trial to the end of February 2021 for all users.

This means that those who started the free trial between November 2019 and January 2020 will receive some extra months — up to three — free. Anyone who signed up for the service prior to Nov. 1, 2020, will receive $4.99 in store credit through February, according to Variety.

Simply, Apple is giving everyone an additional three months free of Apple TV+, likely due to the effects of coronavirus slowing production of their original series.

Season two of “Dickinson” won’t premiere until January 8, and For All Mankind received a trailer with no date. Apple offering a renewed free trial will enable users to catch up on old series and watch the premiere of season two before having to pay again.

Those paying annual rates will have three months added to the back end, and those paying monthly rates will have that amount refunded as store credit to the account. It isn’t clear how this dovetails with the Apple One bundle

Airtel extends deals with Ericsson for 5G in India and 4G in Kenya

Ericsson picked up a pair of deals with the various arms of Airtel in India and Kenya on Wednesday.

On the subcontinent, Bharti Airtel will use Ericsson’s RAN and transport products over a “renewed multi-year contract”.

In October last year, Bharti Airtel selected Ericsson for its 5G core, while in July, Ericsson gained a three-year deal to manage the telco’s network.

Ericsson noted in a statement that it was the first to produce telco equipment in India, and began doing so in 1994.

“Today, the company manufactures 4G and 5G radios as well as microwave products at its Pune production facility,” it said.

“This facility is part of Ericsson’s global production network with presence on six continents, allowing Ericsson to secure fast and agile deliveries to meet customer requirements.”

Across the Indian Ocean, Airtel Africa in Kenya inked a deal to modernise its 4G network, and will be using Ericsson RAN and packet core. This is also an extension of an existing deal.

“The network modernisation deal, signed in August 2020, is in line with the ‘Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030’ which aims to provide robust connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms,” Ericsson said in a statement.

“The modernisation deal will simplifiy and upgrade the existing network while future-proofing it for the anticipated and rapid expansion of mobile connectivity in the country.”

Last month, Ericsson announced it had signed a $1.1 billion deal to acquire Cradlepoint.

Cradlepoint and its over 650 staff will be a standalone subsidiary of Ericsson, and remain headquartered in Boise, Idaho with offices in Silicon Valley, the UK, and Australia.

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