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Zoom Burnout Is Real — but It’s Worse for Women.

As companies consider post-pandemic work culture, the solutions to Zoom fatigue aren’t going to be as simple as switching off self-view (which the researchers recommend you do anyway) or abandoning video calls altogether, said Mollie West Duffy, co-author of “No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work,” who has been consulting with companies about plans to return to the office.

“I don’t think anyone has a playbook for how to do this perfectly, so we’re going to all try to do our best and then we’re going to have to be willing to have conversations two months in about how to adapt,” Ms. Duffy said.

For now, she said, leaders and managers should formalize the unspoken rules that have developed over the past year. “Some groups that we’ve been talking to have said, ‘Let’s all turn our videos on for the first five minutes of a call, connect as humans, and then turn it off,’” Ms. Duffy said. “Or telling your team which meetings should have video on and which meetings can have video off.”

“The default has just become video on, and it doesn’t need to be that eight hours a day.”

Certain meetings, like all-company town halls, may end up being video meetings by default because it is worse to have a few people calling in while everyone else is together in a conference room. “You don’t want people feeling left out and feeling like they can’t be heard,” she said.

In May last year, after listening to employees, Arvind Krishna, chief executive of IBM, posted a Work From Home Pledge on his LinkedIn profile. He noted, several times, that switching off video was “100% ok,” and also pledged to keep video calls shorter than the normal duration of 30 or 60 minutes, making them 20 minutes or 45 minutes instead.

“Video fatigue is real,” he said.

Alisha Haridasani Gupta
This article originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Russia may offer effective alternative to Suez Canal, and it’s NOT Northern Sea Route – tycoon 

Russia’s Arctic sea route is not the only alternative Russia could provide to the Suez Canal, which was blocked for six days in March, forcing global carriers to reroute ships and challenging international supply chains.

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska expressed the hope that Russian Railways, the country’s state-run monopoly, would take a fresh look at the country’s transportation services in the light of the catastrophic event on one of the world’s most important waterways.

According to the businessman, Russia has several projects that could easily become an adequate substitute for the Egyptian canal, the most important of which is the upgrading of the Trans-Siberian Railway, connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East.
Also on rt.com Silk Road trade on track: Freight train sets off from China to Russia, drastically cutting travel time
“China doubled cargo-trafficked goods by rail through Russia and Asia in the first two months of the current year, as rising prices and the long sea delivery are forcing Beijing to increase rail transportation,” the founder of the world’s second-largest aluminum company said on Telegram.

He added that the blockage of the Suez Canal should persuade the international community to rapidly develop railway transportation from Asia to Europe.

“The most obvious and economically justified goal is to turn Russia into a major hub that could become a fully functional link between Europe and Asia,” Deripaska said.
Also on rt.com Russia promotes Arctic sea route as viable alternative to blocked Suez Canal
The Suez Canal, which accounts for about 15% of all shipping traffic, was blocked when the 400-meter container vessel ‘Ever Given’ was grounded across the waterway. The blockage placed immense pressure on supply chains, and could reportedly have cost global trade up to $ 10 billion a week.

Deripaska stressed that the reconstruction of the key railway line, the so-called ‘Siberian Cedar Road,’ could even become a competitive alternative to the new Chinese ‘Silk Road’ connecting central Asia with Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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We’ve got our first details about the next Sony Xperia 1, and it’s time to get excited

Sony has been pretty focused on its stellar next-generation console – PlayStation 5 – of late, but it seems the Japanese firm is now turning its attention back to its smartphone line-up. While the Xperia series hasn’t troubled the best-seller charts for some time now, these handsets still have a very loyal fan base.
And with millions of people sporting a shiny new Sony console beneath their telly, it could be the perfect time for Sony to convince customers they need a smartphone from the same company. What is sure to make convincing people to switch back to the Xperia brand even easier is the unbelievable specs that are purportedly coming to the next flagship from Sony.

Recent leaks from ZACKBUKS, a prominent user on Chinese social network Weibo, have revealed what to expect from the successor to the Sony Xperia 1 II, which will apparently stick with the same naming convention and be branded Sony Xperia 1 III.

Sony believes this branding, which borrows a common convention with professional cameras, makes it easier for customers.

Regardless of the (somewhat) clunky name, the Xperia 1 III sounds like a real beast. According to ZACKBUKS, Sony is preparing a periscope zoom camera to provide lossless quality images from a distance. While the Xperia 1 II had a 3x optical telephoto camera, the addition of a periscope system – like those we’ve already seen on flagship phones from Huawei and Samsung – could allow Sony to support 5x or 10x zoom capabilities on its next handset.

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As well as enhanced zoom, Sony is also purportedly planning a 64MP wide-angle main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor to boot.

Under the bonnet, ZACKBUKS claims we’ll find a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. We wouldn’t expect any less than this system-on-a-chip on a top-tier handset in 2021. Sony is coupling that chipset with either 12GB or 16GB of RAM, depending on which model you buy.

Frankly, that’s the amount of memory you’d expect to find in most laptops… provided the tipster is accurate, there should be no chance of seeing any stuttering or loading with the Xperia 1 III, regardless of whether you’re playing graphics-intensive games, editing video, or more.

Rounding off the rumours, ZACKBUKS expects Sony to ship a 6.5-inch OLED display with its flagship phone. Sony is widely-tipped to stick with the cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio, which is handy for running app side-by-side in portrait mode – and watching movies and (some) TV boxsets in landscape without any of those pesky black bars above and below the image. The leak suggests Sony will use a 4K Ultra HD quality panel with support for 10-bit colour and a refresh-rate up to 120Hz for silky-smooth scrolling.

Based on previous years, we had expected to see the Xperia 1 III announced sometime in June with a release date scheduled for a few months later. However, ZACKBUKS thinks Sony will shake things up this year, with the Xperia 1 III announced as early as this month alongside a new Sony Xperia 10 III and Sony Xperia 5 III.

Sony has announced a hardware event on April 14, 2021. The Japanese company updated the banner image on its official YouTube channel to reveal the date of the next showcase, however, there’s no confirmation of whether this is when we’ll get confirmation about the Xperia 1 III, or any of the other handsets reported by ZACKBUKS.

Don’t worry though, Express.co.uk will have all the news on the Xperia 1 III as soon as it’s confirmed, so stay tuned right here.

‘It’s a one-time event’: Texas Rangers exec bites back after Biden brands decision to allow full stadium ‘a mistake’

Texas Rangers executive Jon Daniels has hit out at US president Joe Biden after he was critical of the MLB team for hosting fans in their stadium this season amid accusations that the move could lead to spate of Covid cases.

The Rangers announced that there won’t be any caps on the numbers of supporters into the team’s Globe Life Field this season, though they did mandate that fans must wear face-coverings in the stands.

But President Biden clearly has concerns that packing people into the 40,000-capacity arena could lead to a severe uptick in coronavirus cases.

I think it’s a mistake,” Biden told ESPN Wednesday. “They should listen to Dr. Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But, I think it’s not responsible.
Also on rt.com Coronavirus outbreak hits FIVE Philadelphia Phillies players ahead of Major League Baseball’s restart
The team – who open their home campaign Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays – remain the only franchise in Major League Baseball to not currently have limits on the numbers of fans who are permitted to enter the stadium, with other teams operating at 50% capacity.

Two teams, the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals, are limiting attendance to just 12% of their usual allowance. 

However, the Rangers hierarchy insist that all reasonable safety checks have been observed – with Daniels clapping back against Biden’s grandstanding by saying that the plan to have a full compliment of fans in the stadium is a “one-time event” for the team – at least while Covid-19 remains a significant issue.

I think after Opening Day, reality is we’re not going to be at full capacity, I doubt it,” said Daniels, addressing Biden’s criticism Thursday, via TMZ.

I’m hopeful that people are responsible and wear masks and we can enjoy a good time out. But after [Opening Day], I don’t see it being a regular occurrence.

I do see it’s kind of a complex issue and I do see why the President would say what he said.”

This is why we can’t have nice things,” said one baseball fan in reaction to the Texas Rangers’ decision to hold a full capacity event. “We are at the verge of having a handle on this…. but no people can’t just hang on a bit longer.

Another described Biden’s opposition to the move as a “no-brainer“, but a third wasn’t quite so supportive – and referenced a frequent jibe from former President Donald Trump about Biden’s supposed inability to draw a large crowd to his presidential campaign rallies.

Everybody knows Biden and full capacity don’t go together,” they wrote.

Biden, meanwhile, also waded in to what is becoming an increasingly divisive subject regarding the ongoing vaccination program, with the 46th US president stating that everyone involved in the league – players, coaches and team personnel included – should submit to vaccination at the earliest possible opportunity despite a developing narrative amongst some who have concerns about the vaccine’s long-term efficacy. 

I would say I’m President of the United States and I got vaccinated,” Biden announced. “I don’t have an unimportant job. Would I take the vaccine if I thought it was going to hurt me?
Also on rt.com Why tedious virtue signaling is making millions of TV viewers switch off the NBA and MLB
Sticking to the baseball subject, Biden also threw his presidential weight behind a proposal to remove the annual All-Star game from its traditional home in Georgia amid a row about a new voting bill being suggested in the state.

State leadership has looked to impose new restrictions on voting, with some pointing out that this would unfairly impact various minorities’ right to vote freely and fairly.

This is Jim Crow on steroids what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states,” Biden stated. “What’s it all about? Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote. Can’t do that? Come on.

Or you’re going to close the polling place at 5 o’clock when people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks that I grew up with from being able to vote.”

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If You Care About Privacy, It’s Time to Try a New Web Browser

Firefox Focus, DuckDuckGo and Brave are all similar, but with some important differences.

Firefox Focus, available only for mobile devices like iPhones and Android smartphones, is bare-bones. You punch in a web address and, when done browsing, hit the trash icon to erase the session. Quitting the app automatically purges the history. When you load a website, the browser relies on a database of trackers to determine which to block.

DuckDuckGo, also available only for mobile devices, is more like a traditional browser. That means you can bookmark your favorite sites and open multiple browser tabs.

When you use the search bar, the browser returns results from the DuckDuckGo search engine, which the company says is more focused on privacy because its ads do not track people’s online behavior. DuckDuckGo also prevents ad trackers from loading. When done browsing, you can hit the flame icon at the bottom to erase the session.

Brave is also more like a traditional web browser, with anti-tracking technology and features like bookmarks and tabs. It includes a private mode that must be turned on if you don’t want people scrutinizing your web history.

Brave is also so aggressive about blocking trackers that in the process, it almost always blocks ads entirely. The other private browsers blocked ads less frequently.

For most people, not seeing ads is a benefit. But for those who want to give back to a publisher whose ads are blocked, Brave hosts its own ad network that you can opt into. In exchange for viewing ads that do not track your behavior, you earn a cut of revenue in the form of a token. You can then choose to give tokens to websites that you like. (Only web publishers that have a partnership with Brave can receive tokens.)

I tested all three browsers on my iPhone, setting each as my default browser for a few days.

All have a button to see how many trackers they blocked when loading a website. To test that, I visited nypost.com, the website of The New York Post, which loaded 83 trackers without any tracking prevention. With DuckDuckGo, 15 of the nypost.com trackers were blocked. With Brave, it was 22. And Firefox Focus blocked 47.

Brian X. Chen

‘It’s not looking good for him’: Mike Perry says ex-UFC star Askren will struggle against Jake Paul after training with YouTuber

Controversial MMA fighter Mike Perry says that Ben Askren is in for a shock in next month’s boxing match with internet prankster Jake Paul, singing the YouTuber’s praises after spending time in the training room with him.

The younger and marginally more successful boxer of the two Paul brothers, Jake, has to be commended for positioning himself as being a genuine “money-fight” and surefire box office attraction after beating up a fellow YouTuber in his debut and following that up in November by knocking out ex-NBA pro Nate Robinson on the undercard of the Mike Tyson comeback card. 

Paul’s latest fistic curiosity comes against a genuine, world class athlete in Ben Askren – but the trouble for the former Bellator MMA world champion is that his skills lie in the grappling arena and that his stand-up chops leave a lot to be desired, to put it nicely.

Askren has been training with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach in anticipation of his professional boxing debut, which will come around 18 months since he was defeated by Demian Maia in what was the final bout of his 22-fight mixed martial arts career. 

Paul’s social media feeds are filled with braggadocios claims of exactly the manner of beating he will inflict on Askren in April – much of which, predictably, Askren disagrees with.

However, one of Askren’s own peers now feels that he may have bitten off more than he can chew against Jake Paul. 

UFC 170lbs firebrand Mike Perry wrote online that he has trained with Paul and urged UFC boss Dana White to think twice about the $ 1 million bet he said he would wager on Askren to win.

[I don’t know] Dana White,” Perry wrote on Twitter. “I just got some work with Jake Paul and it’s not looking good for Ben Askren.”

Askren isn’t the only UFC fighter to have been seen training with Paul. Jorge Masvidal, who infamuosly defeated Askren by flying knee knockout just five seconds into the first round of their fight in June 2019, has also spent time with Paul as he hones his skills.

Paul and Askren will fight on April 16 in the main event of the Triller promoted card which will also feature a co-main event between boxing veteran Antonio Tarver and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. 
Also on rt.com ‘That’s my guy’: Snoop Dogg challenges UFC boss Dana White to $ 2 MILLION wager on winner of Jake Paul vs Ben Askren

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Stacey Dooley talks how Kevin Clifton romance was not planned ‘It’s such a cliché’

Stacey continued: “I don’t want to be such a cliché, it’s so cringe.

“It’s so cheesy, isn’t it? It is. I want to be cooler than this, I want to be cooler.”

She went on to explain how they only began dating after the show had finished.

The presenter explained: “You know what, Kev and I, we were pals for such a long time.

“And I had such respect for him. You know, he’s so established in his world and just a real gent.

Venezuela to issue 1-million-bolivar bill, but it’s worth only 50 cents amid raging hyperinflation

Venezuela is set to have a new highest valued banknote of one million bolivars as soon as next week. But as the sanctions-hit country is facing enormous inflation, the bill is only worth around 50 cents.

The nation’s central bank announced on Friday that it will introduce three new banknotes worth 200,000, 500,000, and one million bolivars. The new bills are set to come into circulation on March 8.

The regulator said the banknotes are meant to “complement and optimize the current denominations, to meet the requirements of the national economy.” But even if you put all three banknotes together, they are worth less than one US dollar at the current official rate. As of Friday, one US dollar was being exchanged for around 1.889 million bolivars, meaning that 1 million bolivars is worth around 52 cents.

The economy of the Bolivarian Republic has been under severe pressure in recent years, with the situation severely deteriorating after the US slapped the country with sanctions. The nation is suffering from hyperinflation, which reportedly hit 3,000 percent last year.
Also on rt.com Venezuela wins UK court decision in battle to get its gold back
As the Venezuelan currency rapidly depreciates, it is being replaced by the US dollar, with goods mostly priced in the greenback. At the same time, Caracas-based consultancy Ecoanalitica estimates that two-thirds of transactions across the country are made in foreign currency. When the central bank revealed the new bills, Director and Partner at Ecoanalitica, economist Asdrubal Oliveros, said the banknote is good for nothing more than public transport – one of the few services reliant on the paper bolivar.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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