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Deakin Uni's timely cloud prep helps 62,000 students move online during COVID-19


When March 1 hit and social distancing was imposed, Deakin University, like many organisations, were forced to rethink how it would help its 10,500 staff and 62,000 students, including some located overseas, work and learn online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, for the Melbourne-based university, offering online learning to students was not completely alien. Deakin University has been offering online learning through what it dubs CloudDeakin, a cloud-hosted learning management system, since 1993. Deakin University chief digital officer Craig Warren told ZDNet that while its cloud campus looks a lot different compared to how it was when it first launched, CloudDeakin is considered as the university's fifth campus, alongside its four physical campuses, where some 27,000 students from 73 different countries are enrolled to study exclusively online. "Our virtual environment has always been dear and most important to us … and has been our fastest growing campus, experiencing 7% year on year growth over the last five years," he said.

Lorex WiFi Video Doorbell review: Onboard storage is the lone bright spot on this budget-priced front-door guardian


Lorex is an old hand at building security cameras, and now it's moving into the smart home market, with its 1080p Wi-Fi Video Doorbell (model number LNWDB1) being the first product to reach the market. With a $130 asking price, this device is clearly aimed at the budget end of the spectrum. It doesn't have much in the way of bells and whistles, but it does have onboard storage that eliminates the need for a subscription to store video clips in the cloud, and it performed reliably enough during my review. But this is a crowded market, and you'll encounter several competitors that deliver more, including at least one that operates on battery power (Lorex's device relies on low-voltage wiring). Lorex anticipates you'll be replacing an existing wired doorbell that's mounted on a flat wall (there are no wedge options for installation on slanted surfaces or to otherwise change the camera's viewing angle), and I found the installation process to be straightforward and as expected.

Apple can solve our Face ID mask woes by stealing one of Android's best features


If you own an iPhone X or later and have gone out into the world recently, you probably noticed an unfortunate side effect of the new mask-wearing culture: Face ID doesn't work. It is more of a feature than a bug, but the fact of the matter is that if Apple's True Depth camera system can't scan your whole face, it won't unlock your phone. If you're wearing a mask like most stores and restaurants require, you're left typing in your passcode whenever you want to check your shopping list or pay your bill. Apple offered up a workaround with the recent iOS 13.5 update, but it's hardly a fix. Now, instead of waiting for Face ID to fail a couple times before the passcode screen pops up, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to quickly enter your code.

South Korean cafe uses robotic baristas to comply with social distancing


With its COVID-19 outbreak seemingly contained, South Korea may offer the rest of the world a glimpse of what society could look like after the pandemic ends -- and it may include robotic baristas. According to Reuters, a cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is now using robots to prepare drinks and deliver them to customers. Proponents say the robots could encourage "distancing in daily life." The barista system consists of a robotic arm that prepares 60 different beverages and wheeled bots that deliver the drinks to customers. The system can communicate with other devices, contains self-driving tech to determine the best route around people and tables and communicates with customers via voice controls.

Google adds 1440p streaming resolution for Stadia on Chrome


Google has rolled out a 1440p streaming resolution for Stadia on Chrome so players with high-res monitors can display sub-4K images better than 1080p. They'll still have to meet all the requirements needed to play in 4K to enjoy the new feature, though, including a Stadia Pro subscription, a network speed of at least 35Mbps, a 4K TV with Chromecast Ultra or a Windows PC/Chromebook with VP9 hardware decoding and a 4K monitor. The tech giant has announced the new resolution in a post on the Stadia Community Blog, along with the service's latest and upcoming games. Jotun: Valhalla Edition, an action-exploration game based on Norse mythology, and Sundered: Eldritch Edition, a hand-drawn platformer, are now available for purchase on the Stadia store for $15 and $20, respectively. The Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath story expansion that gives you access to three new fighters -- Sheeva, Fujin and Robocop -- is now also available on Stadia for $40.

Zipline will use its drones to deliver PPE to US healthcare workers


While drone delivery services are yet to become a practical reality in the consumer world, they're already proving their mettle in terms of crisis response. After deploying its UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in parts of Africa to facilitate medical care, Californian robotics company Zipline is now using its technology closer to home, to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the US. In partnership with Novant Health, Zipline's drones will undertake 32-mile flights on two routes between Novant's emergency drone fulfilment centre in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and its medical center in Huntersville. Each delivery will ferry personal protective gear and medical equipment to frontline healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients. The two companies were already in talks about a potential partnership prior to the coronavirus outbreak, but the escalating situation helped to catalyze the deal.

The Morning After: Swiss contact tracing app uses Google & Apple tech


Another day, another canceled event. This time it's BlizzCon -- although we do have a likely online-only event to look forward to next year. Still, after last night's HBO Max debut, the big highlight on today's schedule is the planned SpaceX Crew Dragon launch. Set to go off at 4:33 PM ET -- if the weather holds up, at last check, there was a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions -- it will be a major step forward for the long-delayed Commercial Crew Program. According to the Swiss university EPFL, the country's tracing app, SwissCovid, is the first in the world to put the Apple–Google model to use.

These pre-owned video games are all 'buy 2, get 2 free' at GameStop


TL;DR: As of May 26, GameStop is running a "buy two, get two free" deal on pre-owned video games valued at $9.99 and under. As many of us remain inside to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the fact that the weather is now getting all warm and summer-y sort of feels like a personal insult. Fortunately, GameStop just came through with an amazing deal on video games to keep us occupied (and safe inside) for the foreseeable future: For a limited time, all pre-owned games for Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo systems valued at $9.99 and under are buy two, get two free. Plus, you can opt for free same-day pickup at one of the retailer's nearby brick-and-mortar stores by just by placing your order by 6 p.m. local time. This exclusive deal includes hundreds of popular games from the last decade and a half, from the original Red Dead Redemption (released in 2010) to Horizon: Zero Dawn (one of our favorite games of 2017) to Monster Hunter: World and Call of Duty: WWII, both from 2018.

'Minecraft Dungeons' aims to be more than 'baby's first Diablo'


The simple pitch for Minecraft Dungeons goes something like this: Two great games play great together. If you're a fan of Minecraft but haven't heard about Dungeons, an explanation is in order. The camera hangs overhead, giving you a wide view of the terrain as you smash and plunder your way to ever-more-powerful heights. The reality falls pretty close to that, too. If you've ever played Diablo, its sequels, or any of the games like them (such as Torchlight or Titan Quest), you'll feel right at home.

Google Assistant can now use your voice to verify purchases


Making purchases with your voice is convenient, but it's far from secure. Google is attempting to change that when using Assistant by introducing an optional voice verification test. As The Verge reports, the new security feature relies on Google Assistant's Voice Match and it's being rolled out slowly as part of a limited pilot program to test how well it works with smart speakers and smart displays. The Voice Match training feature was updated recently to include phrases so that Assistant could more accurately determine who is issuing commands. With better accuracy, Google clearly feels Voice Match is good enough to now act as an extra layer of security.