Robot Deployed at Texas Hotel to Zap Pathogens Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



The Westin Medical Center Hotel in Houston has become the first hotel in the country to use new ultraviolet light robots to combat germs and pathogens amid the coronavirus outbreak, and the company that makes the robot says interest in the technology is surging as the crisis escalates.

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots have been deployed to carry out part of the cleaning process for the hotel in what is now a more effective and quicker way to sanitize room after guests check out.

The technology used by the robot has previously only been seen in the medical healthcare field, but with the growing demand for disinfections due to coronavirus, the robots are being sent into hotels for the first time.

The robot uses an intense UV light to kill bacteria and SARA and MERS, other strains of the coronavirus family, down to the microscopic level. UV light can damage or destroy various types of pathogens and the destructive power of UV light depends on factor such as wavelength and the type of organism the rays are impacting, Melinda Hart, a spokesperson for Xenex Disinfection Services, the technology company that manufactures the robot, told AccuWeather.

Research has yet to be published showing that UV light has the same affect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 outbreak. But some experts believe UV light, which primarily comes from the sun, could also kill the strain.

There may not be many people traveling these days, with all of the social distancing that’s in effect, but travelers who stay in rooms cleaned with the technology may be able to rest a little more easily.

The robot takes only two minutes to clean an area and can even kill certain strains of coronavirus, Dr. Sarah Simmons of Xenex told KTRK-TV. Hart said the robot uses new technology that creates intense germicidal light that can quickly deactivate viruses and spores. Older technology relied on the use of mercury bulbs, which don’t create as strong a UV light.


Shelter in Place has been Ordered #1432



In 3 hours from this post, the State of Michigan has issued a Shelter in Place along with a number of provisions of which you are allowed to travel and or be at a place of employment. Being the New Media Studio is a News Outlet as well as a media broadcast location and a one-man show I will be working in the Office (alone) and then being shelter in place in the evening. Show loaded with deals and free stuff offered up by companies at this time.

I hope you will consider a monthly insider donation and or a one-time annual donation.

*** New Geek Central Discord Channel ***

Subscribe to the Newsletter.
Join the Chat @ GeekNews.Chat
Email Todd or follow him on Facebook.
Like and Follow Geek News Central Facebook Page.
Download the Audio Show File

Support my Show Sponsor: 5 Best Godaddy Promo Codes
30% Off on GoDaddy Products & Services cjcgeek30
$4.99 GoDaddy coupon for a New or Transferred .com domain cjcgeek99
$1.00 a month Economy Hosting with a free domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 a month Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Support the show by becoming a Geek News Central Insider

Continue reading Shelter in Place has been Ordered #1432


What Happens when you run out of Toilet Paper #1431



Ok, I have a life-saving tip during the show today on what to do when you run out of toilet paper. Plus a smattering of other topics that will entertain and inform. I also discuss my timeline on when the country goes into lock-down an observation I made today at a sports store that will make you go hmmm!

I hope you will consider a monthly insider donation and or a one-time annual donation.

*** New Geek Central Discord Channel ***

Subscribe to the Newsletter.
Join the Chat @ GeekNews.Chat
Email Todd or follow him on Facebook.
Like and Follow Geek News Central Facebook Page.
Download the Audio Show File

Support my Show Sponsor: 5 Best Godaddy Promo Codes
30% Off on GoDaddy Products & Services cjcgeek30
$4.99 GoDaddy coupon for a New or Transferred .com domain cjcgeek99
$1.00 a month Economy Hosting with a free domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 a month Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Support the show by becoming a Geek News Central Insider

Continue reading What Happens when you run out of Toilet Paper #1431


13 Minutes to the Moon – Apollo 13



For the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, the BBC World Service produced an excellent podcast called 13 Minutes to the Moon, based on interviews and recordings from the people who were there including Michael CollinsJim Lovell and Poppy Northcutt who was the first woman to work as an engineer in an operational support role in NASA’s Mission Control.

To commemorate the amazing story of Apollo 13, there’s now a second season of programmes which reports on the events as they unfolded. Using both new interviews, archive material and recordings from the time, the episodes tell the story of what happened 200,000 miles from Earth when an oxygen tank exploded in the command module, Odyssey, leaving the spacecraft critically damaged. The interviews with the people who were there are just incredible, including Jim Lovell, his wife Marilyn, Fred Haise, Ken Mattingly and the team in Mission Control. Sadly the third member of the crew, Jack Swigert died in 1982.

As an aside, I was very surprised to discover that the film Apollo 13 is 25 years old now. I watched it recently and it holds up well – the launch sequence is phenomenal.

Photo credit: NASA. Scans by NASA and Ed Hengeveld.


OnePlus Spring Cleans Logo



OnePlus and its slogan Never Settle have been on the mobile scene since 2014, and it’s become a well-known brand amongst aficionados. For sure, brand awareness isn’t up there with Apple or Samsung – my mum would have no idea who OnePlus are – but the logo’s recognisable from across the room. However, the OnePlus team have decided to give the VI (that’s Visual Identity in design-talk) a bit of a spring clean, changing the font, reversing the image, adjusting the plus. It’s nothing dramatic and I’m sure there will be both lovers and haters. I kind of liked the original blocky 1 as it had a bit of a retro vibe to it…cough, I notice that the web favicon.ico hasn’t been updated yet.

Here’s the old and new side by side.

Apparently it took over seven months to refresh the look and I’m pleased they retained the red, even if Pantone reckons that Classic Blue is the “Colour of the Year 2020”. Mats Hakansson, global creative director of OnePlus said, “OnePlus is not changing who we are, but to reinforce what we stand for – the true spirt of Never Settle. We always design for our users. We feel that these changes maintain the iconic elements of our brand that are beloved by our staff and our community, while injecting both excitement and balance into our visual identity.”

He went on, “No detail is too small. By starting from thousands of user data points, the team arrived at a new holistic visual language inspired by OnePlus’ burdenless philosophy. OnePlus has grown a lot from an idea to a major smartphone player. Introducing a fresh new look is just one example of how we continue to bring our Never Settle mantra to life.

Anyway, thrilling as this is, the benefit to consumers is that OnePlus are doing some discounts on the existing flagship, the OnePlus 7T. Starting today ’til 1st April, 2020, Europeans who purchase a OnePlus 7T from oneplus.com can use the code “SAMEONEPLUS” during check-out to get a £50/50€ discount. There’s also 20% off on the purchase of OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro accessories and 50% off the purchase of OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T accessories. There’s already $100 off for Americans, so they don’t need to feel hard done by the deal.


Facebook to Award $100 M in Cash Grants to Small Businesses



Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg posted on Facebook about the company’s plans to help small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. In the post, she stated that the economic disruption poses a severe risk to small businesses. Facebook will help by awarding $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses.

…We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. That’s why today I’m announcing that Facebook is investing $100 million to help 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where our employees live and work…

Reuters reported that companies will be able to use cash to pay rent, cover operational costs, or run advertising on Facebook. Reuters also pointed out that Facebook will disclose more details soon about how businesses will be able to apply for assistance.

The Facebook for Business website now has a Boost With Facebook page. Small business owners who want to obtain a grant from Facebook can sign up for updates through that website. Facebook will begin taking applications in the coming weeks.

I think this is an excellent idea. Small businesses who receive a grant can make use of that money to keep their business running during the COVID-19 pandemic. The best part is that grants do not accrue interest and are not something that the small businesses who are eligible for this program will have to pay back to Facebook later on.


Google Launches Google Translate for Android



Google announced that Google Translate will be rolling out in the next few days for any combination of the following eight languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Sami Iqram, Product Manager, Google Translate, shared a story where he used Google Translate:

Recently, I was at my friend’s family gathering, where her grandmother told a story from her childhood. I could see that she was excited to share it with everyone but there was a problem – she told the story in Spanish, a language that I don’t understand. I pulled out Google Translate to transcribe the speech as it was happening. As she was telling the story, the English translation appeared on my phone so that I could follow along – it fostered a moment of understanding that would have otherwise been lost…

Those with Android phones can try the transcribe feature by going to their Translate app on Android, and making sure they have the latest updates from the Play store. Select the source and target languages. Users can pause or restart transcription by tapping the mic icon.

Right now, the transcribe feature will work best in a quiet environment with one person speaking at a time. In other situations, the app will try to provide the gist of what’s being said. There is also a Conversation mode in the app that can continue to help users have a back and forth translated conversation with someone.

According to Venture Beat, Google plans to bring Transcribe to iOS devices at an unspecified date in the future. Venture Beat also points out that at launch, Translate is unable to export speech recording audio or a translation transcription. That feature might appear in the future.

Personally, I think Google Translate is a good thing that will help people to communicate with each other. It can help break down the language barrier and perhaps encourage people to get to know their neighbors who speak a different language than they do.