WIRED: The Future of Slack Looks a Lot Like Zoom

WIRED: The Future of Slack Looks a Lot Like Zoom. “Last June, the popular workplace chat app Slack introduced Huddles, an audio-only feature designed to replicate the real-life thing. It was an immediate hang space, launched easily from within a Slack channel or a direct message. And it has been, according to Slack, a hit.”

Harvard Business School: All Those Zoom Meetings May Boost Connection and Curb Loneliness

Harvard Business School: All Those Zoom Meetings May Boost Connection and Curb Loneliness. “Americans are lonelier than ever—a problem the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated. Could interactions on platforms like Zoom and Twitch come close to replicating the real-life contact people crave? New research suggests that’s more likely to happen if the virtual experiences truly engage people on screen.”

Make Tech Easier: 8 Zoom Alternatives to Make a Free Conference Call

Make Tech Easier: 8 Zoom Alternatives to Make a Free Conference Call. “Zoom works great for conference calls, but you’re limited to 100 people and just 40 minutes in the free version. This isn’t always ideal, especially for longer meetings. Luckily, there are a variety of Zoom alternatives that don’t have as many restrictions in their free versions. Plus, some don’t even require people calling in to have an account.”

WIRED: You Need to Update iOS, Chrome, Windows, and Zoom ASAP

WIRED: You Need to Update iOS, Chrome, Windows, and Zoom ASAP. “MAY HAS BEEN another busy month of security updates, with Google’s Chrome browser and Android operating system, Zoom, and Apple’s iOS releasing patches to fix serious vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, things have not run smoothly for Microsoft, which was forced to issue an out-of-band update after a disastrous Patch Tuesday during the month. And Cisco, Nvidia, Zoom, and VMWare all issued patches for pressing flaws. Here’s what you need to know.”

CNET: 10 Free Zoom Alternative Apps for Video Chats

CNET: 10 Free Zoom Alternative Apps for Video Chats. “There are plenty of other video chatting options to use to stay in touch with friends, family and coworkers from around the globe. Below, you’ll find our ten favorite video conference and video chat apps that you can use for free right now. It should also be noted, however, that most of the apps listed here have seen security-related issues in the past, which the companies that own them (including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google) have since patched.”

NBC News: The internet’s meth underground, hidden in plain sight

NBC News: The internet’s meth underground, hidden in plain sight. “In December, Paul went home for the holidays. Like many people, he hadn’t seen his family for almost a year. But instead of spending time with his loved ones, he said he stayed in his room and injected methamphetamine. While his family was downstairs, Paul said he pretended to be sick while he relapsed in a multiday meth binge. Though he was alone in his room, he was using drugs with other people. As he was injecting methamphetamine, he connected with hundreds of other individuals doing the same thing over Zoom.” Very deep dive.

CNN: Zoom Santas are back and eager as ever

CNN: Zoom Santas are back and eager as ever. “Santa Bombing piggybacks on the runaway success of virtual Santa visits last year. Like the explosion in popularity for curbside dining options and Zoom itself, the sudden rise of Zoom Santas met a pandemic need. It offered families a safer alternative to the annual tradition of visiting Santa Claus at a mall amid a surge in Covid cases, and offered actors a chance to still earn a paycheck for Santa work over the holidays — in some cases far more money than with IRL Santa work.”

BBC: New Zealand council’s Zoom talks go viral as pretend meeting

BBC: New Zealand council’s Zoom talks go viral as pretend meeting . “A New Zealand council’s Zoom meeting has been viewed more than 290,000 times on YouTube as people use it to pretend to take part and avoid being disturbed. The meeting of the Waipa District Council’s finance and corporate committee was recorded during a Covid-19 lockdown period in April last year. Since then, users have been playing it at home and at their workplaces to create the impression they are busy.”

NewsWise: Cameras, not meetings, cause Zoom fatigue

NewsWise: Cameras, not meetings, cause Zoom fatigue. “In the post-pandemic world, a few things have become ubiquitous: masks, hand sanitizer and Zoom fatigue, or the feeling of being worn out after a long day of virtual meetings. But new research from a team led by University of Georgia psychologist Kristen Shockley suggests that it’s not the meetings causing the fatigue—it’s the camera.”

CNET: Zoom is adding live translation services, more hybrid work features

CNET: Zoom is adding live translation services, more hybrid work features. “Upgrades include live, multilanguage transcription and translation for Zoom calls. The platform will use machine learning and natural language processing to first transcribe the spoken language, and then each participant will be able to translate it to their own language, Zoom executives said during a press call. A beta will be available this month, and the feature should be generally available by the end of the year. The list of languages is not yet final, there will be 30 transcription and 12 translation options by the end of 2022, they added.”