Virtual house hunting gets a pandemic boost

It’s Saturday evening in London, and I’m house shopping in Dublin, thanks to a virtual-reality headset.

Temporarily forgetting she is sitting beside me, I shout to my wife: “I’m in the children’s bedroom.”

We can’t go to the Republic of Ireland ourselves to do this. Travellers from Great Britain need to restrict their movements for a fortnight, so nipping over and back is off the cards.

But I can take several paces through a virtual seaside flat in Dublin’s Dún Laoghaire, while based in our south London home.

Circles appear on the floor of the Dublin flat and, using hand controls, I can glide between them and explore.

Standing in each circle, I can peer up, down, whichever way I like. It is immersive and I feel as though I’m there, even if moving about feels a bit like using Google Street View.

Welcome to house shopping in the age

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How to use a VPN with your PlayStation 4

Although gaming doesn’t jump to mind when talking about a virtual private network (VPN), there are myriad uses for one on your PlayStation 4. With a VPN, you can connect to servers around the world, allowing you to shop the PlayStation Store in other regions and pair up with players on the other side of the globe. Plus, a VPN encrypts your internet connection, protecting your personal data from anyone spying on your connection, and it can get past internet service provider speed throttling.

Unfortunately, Sony doesn’t make setting up a VPN on your PS4 easy, but there are some workarounds. Here are the two best methods for how to use a VPN with your PlayStation 4.

Method 1: Use your router

The easiest way to use a VPN with your PlayStation 4 is through your router. By setting up a VPN on your router, you can automatically encrypt all

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Billionaire Milner Nears $400 Million Funding in Byju’s

(Bloomberg) — DST Global, the investment firm headed by billionaire Yuri Milner, is close to investing as much as $400 million in Indian online education startup Byju’s, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.The deal values Byju’s at $10.5 billion and could be signed as early as this weekend, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified as the talks are private. The transaction would make Byju’s India’s second-most valuable startup after Alibaba Group Holding-backed financial payments brand, Paytm.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire, one of the world’s best-known technology investors, is an early backer of the largest internet firms including Alibaba, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. His DST has also funded a string of high-profile Indian startups such as online retailer Flipkart Online Services Pvt., ride-hailing startup Ola, food-delivery startup Swiggy and business e-commerce startup Udaan.

DST and Byju’s didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comments about the funding

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This chart shows how a Microsoft acquisition of TikTok for $50 billion would stack up against tech’s largest deals ever

A logo for the popular video app TikTok, which is owned and operated by the Chinese company ByteDance.
A logo for the popular video app TikTok, which is owned and operated by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Reuters File Photo

Microsoft is in talks to buy wildly popular video sharing platform TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance, and the deal could go as high as $50 billion — the latest valuation given to TikTok by its investors, according to a recent Reuters report.

That would make it the second-highest tech acquisition price of all time, well above the prices paid in dozens of major acquisitions.

Here’s a look at the history of tech’s most expensive acquisitions, from Apple’s measly $3 billion purchase of Beats all the way to Dell’s notoriously expensive acquisition of EMC Corporation for a whopping $67 billion:

27. Apple bought Beats in 2014 for $3 billion.

From left to right: Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Beats cofounder Dr. Dre, and Apple senior VP Eddy Cue.
From left to right: Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Beats cofounder Dr. Dre, and Apple senior VP Eddy
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Small Businesses Got Emergency Loans, but Not What They Expected

A dress on a mannequin at the office of Caroline Keefer, a clothing designer, in Los Angeles on July 18, 2020. (Nolwen Cifuentes/The New York Times)
A dress on a mannequin at the office of Caroline Keefer, a clothing designer, in Los Angeles on July 18, 2020. (Nolwen Cifuentes/The New York Times)

For nearly 70 years, the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief program has helped companies recover from catastrophes including wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes. But it has never faced anything like the coronavirus crisis.

Besieged by more than 8 million applicants — and operating in the shadow of the hastily assembled Paycheck Protection Program — the disaster relief effort has given out more money in the past few months than it had in its entire history.

But the demand has created a problem that is hobbling hundreds of thousands of applicants: The agency, afraid of running out of cash, capped its coronavirus loans at a fraction of what companies can normally borrow — even though the program has handed out less than half the $360 billion

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A psychologist explains why people shouldn’t feel guilty taking time off from work during the pandemic

While the boundaries between work and life are blurrier than ever, many are realizing that their busiest days are still disguised as “leisure time” because they’re working from the comfort of their homes. This new work-life balance, or lack thereof, is causing some employees to be hesitant to cash in on their hard-earned vacation days.

Yahoo Life Mental Health Contributor Jen Hartstein shares ways why taking time off is more vital than ever.

“We’re at this very weird time where work and life are blending all the time. And for many we feel like it’s not the right time to take time off,” she explains. “Maybe we aren’t going anywhere, we’re not traveling, so we kind of figure, ‘Why bother?’” 

However, it’s important for us to take time off because “the more space we create, the better and more rejuvenated we come back to the office and to work,” she

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The Black in Fashion Council Officially Launches With 38 Participants

These brands will work with the organization and the Human Rights Campaign to put policies into practice to demonstrate their commitment to Black employees at all levels.

Looks from the Prabal Gurung Spring 2020 collection.
Looks from the Prabal Gurung Spring 2020 collection.

Back in late June, Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner and public relations specialist Sandrine Charles announced the launch of the Black in Fashion Council, a collective that calls for better, long-term representation and advancement opportunities for Black professionals in the fashion and beauty industries. Now, a little over a month later, the group has officially launched.

Thus far, 32 brands have committed to work with the Black in Fashion Council over the next three years and to collaborate with the Human Rights Campaign on putting policies that demonstrate their commitment to Black employees at all levels to practice. Participating companies include the popular resale marketplace The Real Real and the peer-to-peer social shopping app

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The bitter tale of a woman-hating lawyer accused of killing a rival and a judge’s son

The angel came to Roy Den Hollander on a warm evening in Moscow in July 1999.

He was in a bar, according to his autobiography, and slightly drunk when she appeared like a vision: “There she stood – blond, a few inches taller than me, blue-gray eyes – stunningly beautiful and with an innocent, fresh smile beaming from her face that told me I was the only one.”

Angelina told him she was a model, a beauty queen from southern Russia and a former national high-jump champion. She was 23. 

Den Hollander was 51, an American lawyer working for an intelligence company. Their rushed courtship led to marriage within months, followed almost as quickly by a rancorous divorce in New York City.

Though Den Hollander may have harbored misogyny his entire life, this was a crucible that launched him as a torchbearer for men’s rights and, in July, the suspect

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Dissatisfaction With Online Retailers Runs Deep

Spurred by COVID-19, consumers are buying like crazy online, generating double-digit online sales gains at many retailers and brands through spring and summer.

But that doesn’t mean consumers are loving the digital experience. The more time and money spent online, the more they lose patience with the level of service provided by digital marketers, encounter problems and become less loyal to any one brand.

That’s a key finding from research released today by the Wharton School’s Baker Retailing Center and WisePlum, a customer experience insights platform that helps managers determine where to invest in the customer experience to increase sales.

As Paula Courtney, chief executive officer of WisePlum, said, “Consumers are less forgiving and needing more from retailers during the global pandemic.”

According to Thomas S. Robertson, Joshua J. Harris professor and professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, “We are seeing brands looking for ways to

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Engineered decoys trap virus in test tube study; healthcare workers at high risk even with protections

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a brief roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Open https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and treatments in development.

Engineered decoys trap virus before it can enter cells

The new coronavirus enters cells by attaching to a protein on the cell membrane called the ACE2 receptor. Scientists have now developed a decoy version of ACE2 that lures the virus and traps it, preventing it from infecting human lung cells in test tubes. “We have engineered our ACE2 Trap to bind 100 to 1,000 times tighter to the virus than normal ACE2 that is on victim cells. This provides even more potent blockage that is comparable to neutralizing antibodies,” Dr. James Wells of the University of California

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