Here's a first look at the new high-end Apple Watch and what you need to know about it - CNBC
CNBC takes a first look at the Apple Watch Series 6 and explains how it compares to the Apple Watch Series SE and Apple Watch Series 3.
Apple Watch Series 6 in blue There's now an Apple Watch for all price ranges. Apple unveiled two new models this week the high-end Series 6, which starts at $399, and the midrange Apple Watch SE, which starts at $279. Apple will continue to sell the Apple Watch Series 3 for $199. The new lineup gives Apple a wider market since billions of people have smartphones, but Canalys expects just 150 million will have smartwatches in 2020. That's a lot, but shows there are still tons of untapped buyers. It's just up to smartwatch makers like Apple, Huawei, Garmin, Fitbit and Samsung to reach them with compelling offerings. I have the Apple Watch Series 6 here, so I'll show you a bit of what it's like and explain how it stands out against the other models. But, real quick, if you think about the new family of Apple Watches in terms of features available, it's easy to think of it like this: The Series 3 at $199 is good. The Series SE at $279 is better. The $399 model is best. What actually might be best for you depends what you want out of the watch, and how much you're willing to spend. Here's what you need to know about the new Apple Watches and a first look at the Series 6, which launches on Friday along with the SE. The Series 6 has it all The Series 6 has all the fun new stuff you might want in an Apple Watch. It looks great, pretty much identical to last year's Series 5 and the Apple Watch SE. Apple Watch Series 6 in blue Apple says a new processor makes the Series 6 20% faster than the Series 5, which never felt slow to me in the first place. It has a newer always-on display that's brighter. That means you can always see the watch face, even in bright sunlight, which I've already noticed works well. And "always-on" means it doesn't turn off automatically as it does on other Apple Watches. The Series 6 also has Apple's most advanced sensors. You can run the ECG app for an electrocardiogram, for example, a feature that's not on the Apple Watch SE or Series 3. It's also the only model with the new blood-oxygen app. I tried that and it told me my blood oxygen was 96%, which seems good. Trying the blood oximeter. But Apple is careful to explain that this isn't a medical device. You can use it if you're curious about your blood oxygen when you're hiking at high altitudes, but Apple isn't making any promises about detecting low oxygen should you fall ill with coronavirus. Finally, the Series 6 is available in several new colors, including blue aluminum (the model I have), red, graphite steel and a polished gold steel. I love the new blue color. It's an option along with red in the $399 price range. Apple Watch Series 6 in blue This is the new braided solo loop band. It's stretchy so you can pop your hand in and out without having to undo any straps. This new band doesn't have any clasps, just slide it over your wrist. You have to buy the Series 6 if you want steel with the harder sapphire screen, since that isn't an option on the two other models. I recommend sapphire if you scratch up watches as easily as I do. Apple Watch Series 6, the new Memoji face looks like me. Alright, on to the other models. As a quick point, all of the features in the watches I'm about to talk about are also in the Apple Watch Series 6. The Apple Watch SE The Apple Watch SE is seen on a laptop computer during a virtual product launch in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. I don't have this model yet, but I think the Apple Watch SE is probably going to be a hot seller along with the $199 Series 3 given the price. It has the same-size screen as the Series 6, though it isn't always on, so you need to lift your wrist to see it. It has fall detection, which can tell if you've accidentally fallen and even automatically dial 911 or your local emergency number. It has last year's processor, which I've always found to be plenty fast for running applications, a new always-on altimeter so you can track your altitude as you hike or bike or just walk up stairs. And it has a new improved speaker and microphone for when you talk to Siri or place phone calls through your wrist. Like the Series 6, it supports Family Setup, so a family member, such as a child, can use an Apple Watch without an iPhone. So big differences here: It can't do the ECG, doesn't have the blood-oxygen monitor, doesn't have an always-on display and is only available in aluminum models. For $279, that's still a pretty good deal. Apple Watch Series 3 The Series 3 is similar to the Apple Watch Series 3 that launched in 2017 for $329. It's still a great watch but has a slightly smaller screen than the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6. It's still water resistant and "swimproof," just like the other models, so you can shower or surf or whatever without worrying too much about damaging it. It doesn't have fall detection, a blood-oxygen app or an ECG app, but it can still detect your heart rate and alert you if it goes too high or too low, and detect irregular heart rhythms. It doesn't have a compass or an always-on altimeter, but it still has a regular altimeter if you want to manually check it. It has the same S3 chip that first launched in the Series 3. I haven't used the latest software on one of these older models, but it probably runs a bit slower than it does on the Apple Watch SE and certainly on the Apple Watch Series 6. Finally, there's no cellular model available in the regular Series 3, so you can't leave your phone behind and still place calls or receive text messages. WatchOS 7 watchOS 7 includes sleep tracking support. The good news is the same software powers most of the experiences across the Apple Watches. It's part of what makes them so compelling in the first place. So, no matter what model you choose, you'll still get some of the compelling new features introduced this year, like sleep tracking. All of the Apple Watch models work for mobile payments, too, so you can just tap your watch at a checkout counter when you're buying something instead of taking out a card. I find that pretty convenient and important during the pandemic. You'll also get thousands of third-party apps and popular ones made by Apple, like automatic workout detection, a fitness app that encourages you to close rings by being more active, messages and more. They'll work with Apple's new Fitness+ subscription service launching later this year, which will show workout videos on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV with overlays of stats from your Apple Watch, like your heart rate.
Australia to force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers - CNBC
A draft mandatory code announced by the Australian government would force Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for using their content.
Facebook and Google logos Google and Facebook could be forced to pay Australian news publishers to distribute their content, in a landmark regulatory move from the country's competition regulator. The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission was tasked by the government earlier this year with developing a mandatory code for the tech giants to pay for their use of news content. If approved, a draft code announced by the ACCC Friday would allow Australian outlets to secure payments in a matter of months. It is aimed at addressing "acute bargaining power imbalances" between news groups and Google and Facebook, the ACCC said. Under the rules, if the publishers and digital platforms are unable to agree a deal after three months of formal talks, a "final offer" arbitration process will be? initiated that results in the selection of the "most reasonable" offer in 45 business days. "Our regulatory changes are designed to create a level playing field and a fair-go," Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Friday. "We want the rules in the digital world to reflect the rules in the physical world. We want to ensure consumer protection is enhanced, competition is increased and of course we deliver a sustainable media environment for all Australians for the future." The move could see Australia become the first country to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content. It comes after talks between the online platforms, ACCC and media companies failed to result in agreement. The draft code will undergo a month-long consultation before being debated in parliament. If it is passed, it is expected to be reviewed in a year's time. It's not yet clear how much the development will impact Google and Facebook's revenues. Google parent company Alphabet reported its first revenue decline in history in its second-quarter earnings report Thursday, while Facebook posted an 11% climb in revenues. The two firms have been under the regulatory spotlight of late, with their CEOs appearing alongside the bosses of Amazon and Apple in a congressional antitrust hearing on Wednesday. Google said it was "deeply disappointed and concerned" by the ACCC's draft mandatory code. "The Code discounts the already significant value Google provides to news publishers across the board including sending billions of clicks to Australian news publishers for free every year worth $218 million," Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement Friday. "It sends a concerning message to businesses and investors that the Australian Government will intervene instead of letting the market work, and undermines Australia's ambition to become a leading digital economy by 2030. It sets up a perverse disincentive to innovate in the media sector and does nothing to solve the fundamental challenges of creating a business model fit for the digital age." William Easton, Facebook's managing director of Australia and New Zealand, said the company was currently "reviewing the Government's proposal to understand the impact it will have on the industry, our services and our investment in the news ecosystem in Australia." Last month, Google said it would pay some publishers in Australia, Germany and Brazil directly to license their content, as part of a new service expected to launch later this year. It marked a change in tack for the internet giant, which has for years fended off demands from news organizations to pay for the distribution of their work. France's competition regulator ruled in April that Google must pay publishing firms and news agencies for reusing their content. Such regulatory pressure has heightened at a time when news outlets are grappling with a sharp decline in advertising expenditure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A squirrel has tested positive for the bubonic plague in Colorado - CNBC
A squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for the bubonic plague, also known as the "Black Death," according to local health authorities.
A squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for the bubonic plague, also known as the "Black Death," according to local health authorities. The squirrel was found in a town in Jefferson County, which is west of Denver, and is the first case in the region, health authorities said in a statement released Sunday. The case comes about a week after authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague in a human. There were at least four reported cases of plague in people from Inner Mongolia late last year, according to the New York Times. Two of them were pneumonic plague, a deadlier variant of plague. The bubonic plague, infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages, is an often fatal disease caused by bacteria. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected with plague, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms may include high fever, chills, headache, nausea and extreme pain and swelling of lymph nodes. The disease can cause serious illness or death without proper treatment, according to the CDC. Antibiotics are effective in treating it. Plague is found on most continents but most human cases since the 1990s have occurred in Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Local authorities in Colorado are asking residents to take precautions, including avoiding contact with sick or dead wild animals and rodents and keeping pets from roaming freely outside. Cats are highly susceptible to plague and may die if not treated promptly with antibiotics, they said. The new case comes as the world continues to fight Covid-19, another serious disease that emerged six months ago. As of Tuesday, the virus has infected more than 13 million people worldwide and killed at least 573,200, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has compared it to the 1918 pandemic flu, which killed around 50 million people, according to the CDC.
Coronavirus crisis creates 'perfect storm' for suicide risk as job losses soar and people are isolated at home - CNBC
Sustained economic stress from job losses and downturns in the stock market could be associated with higher U.S. suicide rates, according to a JAMA report.
A sign in an abandoned storefront says, "Suicide is Not An Option Call Me Anytime' in the hope of helping people with despair during this time. As millions of Americans lose their jobs and economists predict a slow recovery, mental health professionals warn that the prolonged financial and personal stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic increases the risk of suicide, especially in people already grappling with depression and anxiety. For weeks, Americans have been confined to their homes as states across the U.S. have implemented some form of stay-at-home orders aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak by reducing human contact and shuttering schools, offices and other nonessential businesses. While effective at containing the outbreak, "the potential for adverse outcomes on suicide risk is high," according to an article published in JAMA Psychiatry last month. The soaring unemployment rate and stock market losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with millions of people quarantining at home alone creates the "perfect storm" for an increased risk of suicide for many people, according to the JAMA article, which was led by Dr. Mark Reger, a suicide prevention researcher and chief of psychology services at VA Puget Sound Health Care System. (If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide or self harm, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at this link or by calling 1-800-273-TALK. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.) Financial stress Research shows that suicide rates tend to rise after economic recessions. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at around 14.7%, and could be closer to 20%, putting a staggering 20.5 million people out of work in April the most rapid labor market decline in history. Some economists warn that the economic recovery from these actions will likely be slow and bumpy, and how and when workers will return to their jobs is difficultto predict. Most adults in an American Psychiatric Association survey in March were already concerned the coronavirus would have a serious negative impact to their finances, and two-thirds feared the pandemic would have a long-lasting impact on the economy. "We're in for a long-term mental health crisis," said Vaile Wright, director of clinical research and quality for the American Psychological Association. Some government officials have expanded city mental health services, including in New York where Gov. Andrew Cuomo said thousands of mental health professionals have volunteered to provide free and confidential support through a new hotline and residents can use Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app. New Jersey has launched a similar hotline. Suicide rates tend to peak in the late spring and summer in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the JAMA article co-written by Reger. "The fact that this will probably coincide with peak COVID-19 prevention efforts is concerning and deserves additional study," he wrote. Coronavirus amplifies anxiety Suicide rates among working-age adults in the U.S. were increasing before the pandemic began sweeping through the country this year. In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that suicide deaths among those ages 16 to 64 had increased 40% in less than two decades, totaling near 38,000 people in 2017. Compared with other traumatic events in the past, such as 9/11 or natural disasters, the coronavirus pandemic has a much broader impact across the country and has caused greater feelings of uncertainty, which increases a person's anxiety, Wright said. Modeling from previous events of this magnitude suggests that the pandemic has exacerbated underlying mental health disorders, including anxiety, stress, anger and depression, Dr. Simon Rego of Montefiore Health System in New York told CNBC. He said these issues are amplified when there's additional economic or medical stress or increased social isolation.The Covid-19 outbreak has caused all three. "People become at higher risk for things like greater depressive episodes or increases in problematic coping strategies like substance abuse," Rego said. "You see some correlation data that suggests people are at greater risk for increased feelings and thoughts of suicide." Essential workers under stress Essential workers are under tremendous stress since their jobs put them at a greater risk of infection from commuting to work and interacting with the public. Grocery workers may need more mental health services, including therapy, to help cope with the stress, according to psychologists and the nation's top grocery worker union. Anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges may linger, even as coronavirus cases level out or decline especially for those on the front lines. Health care providers are especially vulnerable between the long hours and lack of personal protective equipment that places their own lives at risk, psychiatrists say. Some have had to make difficult decisions about how to allocate life-savingresources to patients, said Dr. Maria Oquendo, chair of psychiatry at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The stress drove one New York doctor, who ran the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, to commit suicide last month, her father told The New York Times. "They're watching all of this suffering around them and I think that those individuals are at particular risk just due to the degree of stress," Oquendo said. Oquendo said that research from other traumatic events, such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters, shows that 25% of the population could experience a mental health problem, most commonly depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, in the six months followingthe event. "I think that one of the things that makes this different is the compounding due to the quarantine and the economic consequences," Oquendo said. Maintain a routine Even if someone's not working, it's important to maintain a daily routine, get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise regularly, Oquendo said. It's also healthy to engage in activities that maintain their emotional well-being like staying virtually connected to other people, Wright said. "They sound very simple, but they provide the structures that need to protect our mental health," Wright said. "When we're able to do that and have some sort of even keel, then we can figure out, 'OK, what do I do about the fact that I don't have a job?'" Clarification: This report was revised to clarify that Vaile Wright, director of clinical research and quality for the American Psychological Association. CNBC's Melissa Repko and Patti Domm contributed to this report.