Now that the majority of the U.S. is hunkered down at home as the nation reels from the coronavirus outbreak, many people have opted for procuring groceries from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, having them delivered rather than venturing down the contaminated aisles of their local grocer.
The boon in the use of services like Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Instacart has also resulted in a flood of activity that has increased the wait time for many customers, resulting in delays that frustrate a public already dealing with shortages due to hoarding.
Each of the aforementioned services offer delivery windows to customers, giving them the choice of when their order can be dropped off. Unfortunately, with so many people rushing to take advantage of online delivery, the windows for delivery are now almost always closed.
That poses a huge problem for the most vulnerable in this crisis, such as the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing conditions.
Because of this, whiz kid Adrian Hertel, a computer science minor at Georgetown University, put together a basic computer program that will notify users of when new slots for delivery are available on Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods. His program works in the Safari web browser, so you’ll need a Mac to use it.
Here is how it works:
Make sure you’re ready when using it, because the program depends on you being prepared to pay for the order.
You will first have to open Safari on your Mac and visit Amazon to put food in your Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods cart. Once you’ve selected everything you need, move to the final screen, which will usually - under normal circumstances - prompt you to choose from the available delivery times. Leave your web browser on this screen and proceed.
What Hertel created isn’t necessarily a program, being more of a script that runs in the background and keeps refreshing the browser. To initiate the process, follow these instructions:
Open the ZIP file once it’s finished (it’ll only take a few seconds).
Now leave that folder open, we’ll come back to it in a second.
Change some settings in the Safari web browser on your Mac
To get the script running properly, you’ll need to change some settings in your browser:
Open Safari on your Mac.
Tap command and comma on your keyboard at the same time, this opens Safari Preferences.
Choose “Advanced” on the page that pops up.
Go to the bottom and click “Show develop menu in menu bar.”
Go back to your Safari window.
Click “Develop” on the top of the screen.
The script requires your computer to always be on, so make sure it’s plugged in and set not to go to sleep. To do this:
Tap the Apple icon on the top left of the screen.
Choose “System Preferences.”
Select “Energy Saver.”
Click “Power Adapter”
Make sure the option to turn display off is set to “never.”
Do the same under the “Battery” menu if you want to run this script on a battery, but you should leave your computer plugged in.
Bonus tip: Turn up your Mac volume. We’re going to set up text message alerts, but if you’re near your Mac you’ll also hear an alert when a time slot becomes available.
Run the script
Open the folder of files you downloaded.
Hit the play button at the top of the screen.
Choose whether you’d like the script to keep looking for slots if it finds items in your cart have gone out of stock, or whether you want it to proceed anyway. (If you desperately need toilet paper and don’t want the order if it runs out of stock, choose “B. wait for me to review.” Otherwise, choose “A. Keep looking for slots.”)
Click “Done” on the screen that tells you to set up Safari properly, since we did that in the last section.
Select “Yes” if you want to enter in a phone number for a text message alert, otherwise just rely on your computer’s speakers to tell you when a slot is available.
Choose whether you’re checking out with Whole Foods via Amazon.com or Amazon Fresh.
After that’s done, a window will open and will minimize itself. This is the script running. It’ll constantly refresh your checkout page until a time slot opens up.
Now, it’s running on autopilot, refreshing the cart until it lands on an open delivery window. You should know that there’s no guarantee this will secure a spot, given how many people are searching for the same windows, but it’s sure to make the process less time consuming and relieve a bit of the frustration.
If you need help setting this script up, you can always depend on one of our skilled technicians to assist you. We’re here to aid you in any way we can.
A month back, Tesla CEO Elon Musk communicated some doubt about the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, however that hasn’t halted Tesla engineers from attempting to address the urgent need of ventilators in American medical clinics confronting a torrent of COVID-19 cases.
The organization is now mobilizing to use an enormous stock of automobile parts to assemble ventilators that will hopefully reinvigorate the country’s inventory of the life-saving breathing machines. At the present time, it’s unknown whether Tesla’s engineers have conferred with clinical specialists or professionals in the respiratory field to glean input on the design of their their ventilators.
Tesla has yet to offer a timeline and road map for when the conceptual planning of their ventilator would move towards the manufacturing stage. Even after that takes place, the machines would almost certainly still require stringent quality assurance testing that could delay their roll out by a year or even longer. However, in light of the national emergency facing the nation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed a desire to ease regulations to facilitate rapid production of the devices.
While Musk has caught flack for initially dismissing the severity of the coronavirus, the entrepreneur has since donated considerable amounts of medical equipment purchased from China to hospitals around the U.S.
Musk has shared plans to reopen Tesla’s Buffalo, New York factory to aid in its production of the ventilators. This in addition to coordinating with ventilator manufacturers who will use Tesla’s supply chain to bolster their output of the devices.
U.S. hospitals have 160,000 ventilators on hand, a number that falls short of what’ll be required to meet the wave of cases that are sure to balloon once infections spread. If Tesla is able contribute its engineering might to the fight against the virus, Elon Musk is sure to be remember for the helping hand.
Microsoft believes hackers are taking advantage of a an undisclosed security exploit found in all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 10.
The problem exists in the way Windows creates fonts. The hack tricks users into opening a document that has malicious files attached to it. After the document is opened, or even viewed, the hackers gain remote access to the user’s computer.
A warning from Microsoft cautions users that they are aware of the attempts to breach Windows security. However, they acknowledge that they do not know who is the source of these attacks.
Microsoft is fast at work to shore up this security leak and release a patch to consumers. The best advice, in the meantime, is to be vigilant and perform routine virus scans on your computer. You should also keep a watchful eye for any suspicious behavior after opening documents.
The Company usually releases security fixes on the second Tuesday of each month, so be on the lookout.
It seems that even the apps our children use aren’t immune to malware. Security specialists have uncovered multiple apps in Google’s Play Store that are infected with malware. 56 apps were infected with a virus that farmed ad clicks to earn money, and 24 of those were games that targeted children.
This infestation of malware was uncovered by Check Point Software, a company that specializes in finding solutions related to IT security. According to researchers are the firm, the malware named ‘Tekya’ exploits a function of Android that lets it mimic the user of the device, allowing the hackers to click on ads and banners.
Some of the apps were of the mundane variety, such as calculators and recipe books. The other apps were games for kids - puzzle, racing, etc. The 56 apps that were infected had a total of almost 1 million downloads.
This breach is a sign that, while security measures by Google have been significantly strengthed, there is still a good deal more than could be done to curtail the shenanigans of hackers. Posting in a blog about the progress it’s made in terms of security, Google said that it has removed hundreds of thousands of apps that violated its Play Store policies. And, even more impressive, it prevented a staggering 1.9 billion installations of malware from non-Google Play sources in 2019.
This makes it clear that Google has made it a priority to protect its users and clean its Play Store of apps that target them for malicious purposes.
IT specialists are building a database filled with repair information for the world’s hospital equipment in anticipation of the increased demand caused by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. They are working on repair manuals for ventilators and Bipap machines.
The world’s supply of ventilators is under huge stress. This equipment will be an essential part of treating anyone who develops respiratory problems as a result of COVID-19.
There are currently few sources for repair manuals of ventilators and Bipac machines online. Resources like Frank’s Hospital Workshop exist, but these are relatively small operations. Some manufacturers provide easy access to repair manuals on their websites, but others make them harder to find or restrict access behind a paywall.
These IT specialists wants to compile the information and make it as easy to understand as possible. The plan is to break the manuals down into guides for individual repairs. They will make the guides SEO friendly and translated for multiple languages.
They also want to put together preventive maintenance guides to keep their equipment in good working order.Appeals are being made to the medical community for information about which ventilators are most likely to break.
This is an important initiative from a concerned body of IT professionals helping to combat this threat. We’ll continue monitoring the developments in the fight against the pandemic and keep you updated.