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Google will let employees work from home till July 2021

Hope more companies follow suit

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Google has announced it will extend its Coronavirus work-from-home order to July 2021. The Wall Street Journal reports the change will affect “nearly all” of Google’s 200,000 employees, including contractors and full-time workers.

The technology giant had previously said most employees would be working remotely through the end of 2020, with some employees being allowed back into the office sooner.

Google doesn’t want to take any chances and has extended the work-from-home model.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai said in an email, “To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we’ll be extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don’t need to be in the office. I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Tech companies like Google are better equipped to handle remote working and can extend the privilege to pretty much all of its employees. Unlike many other industries, physical presence can be eliminated temporarily without affecting operations.

Facebook has also taken a similar approach and allowed 50,000 of its employees to work from home permanently. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, expects 50% of its workforce to work remotely within the next five to ten years.

Coronavirus is easily transmitted and social distancing is one of the most effective ways to reduce exposure. The World Health Organization has urged countries to make masks mandatory and curtail gatherings. Countries like the Philippines and India went into a total lockdown temporarily to trace and stop the spread.

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iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

Stronger and lighter

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iPhone

A stronger iPhone is coming. An investor’s report recently released hints at a new chassis material coming for the iPhone 14 series next year. The company’s current flagship models, the iPhone 12 series, are made out of aluminum and stainless steel. If the latest rumor is true, Apple is going for something different for next year.

According to JP Morgan Chase’s China office (via Apple Insider), Apple is reportedly adding titanium as an option for next year’s iPhone 14 series. The lighter metal also has the added benefit of being stronger than the usual metals used for smartphones today. The iPhone 14 series might have a model positioned for durability.

The report, however, doesn’t indicate how the titanium will be used. Besides using it for the chassis, Apple can also use the metal for the phone’s insides. They can also mix it with other metals to make a hybrid alloy.

Of course, because of its premium offering, titanium might end up landing only for the flagship series’ Pro models. Additionally, since the report explicitly mentions Pro models, the upcoming series can potentially still have the same four-model structure that Apple has today. However, as previous reports indicate, the four models likely won’t include an iPhone 14 mini owing to the iPhone 12 mini’s poor performance.

Of note, Apple already uses titanium for the Apple Watch. If anything, the metal isn’t anything new to the company.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone rumor roundup: portless iPhone 13, foldables, bigger SE

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BlackBerry resurrection teased once again

It’s coming this time

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BlackBerry’s rumored comeback might finally happen soon. OnwardMobility, the current owner of BlackBerry’s licenses, has teased the upcoming smartphones once again. Since their last “departure” from the smartphone industry, BlackBerry has been passed on to new owners in hopes of a future resurrection.

Last year, BlackBerry’s previous owner TCL backed out from making BlackBerry devices. The departure signaled another end for BlackBerry. However, soon after the announcement, a few companies announced the purchase of BlackBerry’s licenses, potentially hinting at a return. Notably, Huawei supposedly bought 90 patents from the company. Nothing came of the announcement yet, though.

Besides Huawei, another tech company OnwardMobility announced the most substantial news surrounding BlackBerry’s potential return. Announcing a licensing deal with BlackBerry, the company also promised an upcoming device for the next generation of smartphones. Despite the promise, we still don’t have a new BlackBerry smartphone.

However, OnwardMobility wants to keep the hype train rolling. Recently, the company launched a new “pre-commitment program” wherein subscribers can get information about upcoming products, the actual products themselves, and updates first before non-subscribers. The program specifically lists a BlackBerry device as part of the program. A new smartphone is likely coming soon.

Once upon a time, BlackBerry was one of the most popular handsets for consumers, along with Nokia. However, as slab phones became the norm, the phones of yesteryear either died out or adopted the new norm. Whereas Nokia found its place in the current industry, BlackBerry is still struggling to find its niche.

SEE ALSO: A BlackBerry phone with a physical keyboard is coming in 2021

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Netflix is reportedly producing a live-action Pokémon series

With Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson

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Pokémon remains one of the most popular franchises today. From the ever-popular video game series to the still-ongoing anime series, the creature collector franchise still going strong. Even then, the franchise is reportedly working on another addition to its repertoire: a live-action Netflix series.

According to Variety, Netflix is in the early stages of an upcoming Pokémon series on the platform. Much like the widely successful film Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds, the series will star actual humans in a live-action format. Beyond that, the report does not go into detail into how the creatures will look like for the series.

Likewise, the report does not indicate when the series will launch.

Lucifer’s Joe Henderson is reportedly helming the series. He is also known for adapting Stephen King’s 11.22.63 for Hulu.

Over the past few years, Pokémon has tapped various segments besides gaming and anime fans. The company has tapped lifestyle with branded accessories and lifestyle-oriented apps. Adding a live-action series will tap into the thriving Netflix market.

For Netflix’s part, the popular streaming platform has considerably increased the variety of genres it is producing. Besides the live-action Pokémon series, Netflix is also releasing an anime version of its popular original, The Witcher.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the first open-world Pokémon game

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