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2021-10-21 21:38:14| Engadget

Amazon may soon face a second unionization effort in less than a year. Per The New York Times, hourly workers at the companys JFK8 fulfillment center in New York City are in the process of collecting signatures to file for a union election. Theyre expected to contact the National Labor Relations Board on Monday. If the agency grants their request, it will lead to a vote with potentially significant ramifications for Amazon.This past April, Amazon beat back a historic union vote at its BHM1 fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Approximately 1,700 of the more than 3,000 employees who took part in the election voted against unionization, handing Amazon a comfortable majority. However, the election was mired in controversy, with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which sought to represent the approximately 5,800 workers at Bessemer, accusing the company of unfairly influencing the vote. In August, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Amazon had violated US labor laws, and recommended that workers in Bessemer hold a new election.Amazon employs more than 5,000 workers at JFK8. Beyond its sheer size, the facility has been the site of multiple protests since the start of the pandemic. Among those leading the unionization effort at JFK8 is Christian Smalls. Amazon fired Smalls after he organized a walkout over the companys handling of COVID safety at the warehouse. At the time, the company said Smalls broke a quarantine order by attending the event. At the start of the year, New York sued Amazon, alleging the company had retaliated against Smalls.When Engadget reached out to Amazon about the effort, the company noted its employees have always had the option to join a union but said it was against the idea.As a company, we dont think unions are the best answer for our employees. Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes quickly. That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle. The benefits of direct relationships between managers and employees cant be overstated these relationships allow every employees voice to be heard, not just the voices of a select few. Weve made great progress in recent years and months in important areas like pay and safety. There are plenty of things that we can keep doing better, and that's our focus to keep getting better every day.Even if the National Labor Relations Board calls an election after Monday, the workers at JFK8 face an uphill battle. Theyre up against one of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful corporations. From competitive wages to Twitch ads, Amazon has consistently used nearly every tool available to it to dissuade its workers from unionizing.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2021-10-21 21:30:32| Engadget

It took the better part of a year, but Razer's smart face mask is finally available. You can buy the Zephyr either by itself for $100 or a $150 Starter Pack with three replacement filter kits. Individual replacements are $30. Just be prepared to hunt around, or at least to be patient the Starter Pack is already listed as "out of stock," and the mask by itself is still "coming soon."The Zephyr is, effectively a high-end pandemic protection kit for gamers. The transparent design and RGB lighting give it a bit of flash (this is a Razer product, after all), but the highlight is a dual-fan active air filtration system with N95 filters. This theoretically protects you as well as it does others. There's even a mobile app to customize the lights.In a sense, Razer's mask is a gamble that paid off. While it's arriving relatively late in to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many places that still require masks, some of which might mandate that protection for a while to come. The Zephyr could help people in those areas feel more comfortable in public, particularly if they're already Razer enthusiasts.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2021-10-21 21:04:39| Engadget

Shortly after Microsoft released Windows 11 earlier this month, AMD warned that the OS could slow down apps on systems with Ryzen processors. The chipmaker promised to fix the bugs, and now AMD and Microsoft have issued patches that should do just that.The latest chipset driver (version 3.10.08.506) should take care of the UEFI CPPC2 issue, which in some cases didn't "preferentially schedule threads on a processors fastest core," AMD said. That could have slowed down apps that are sensitive to CPU thread performance. AMD noted that the problem was likely more noticeable in more powerful processors with more than eight cores and 65W or higher Thermal Design Power (TDP).Meanwhile, Microsoft is rolling out a software update tackling a bug that increased L3 cache latency. The issue impacted apps that need quick memory access, which in turn caused CPUs to slow down by up to 15 percent. The patch, Windows 11 update KB5006746, will be available starting today, but at the time of writing, a page containing instructions for installing it isn't yet live. You should be able to install it via Windows Update too.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2021-10-21 20:00:19| Engadget

In the past decade weve seen the tag gamer used increasingly as a lifestyle sales pitch. Sure, you can buy gaming headsets and gaming mice and gaming keyboards, but there are also gamer hoodies and gamer drinks and even gamer furniture. Chairs made especially for playing have been proliferating over the past few years and until now, theyve tended to be overpriced and ostentatious. Razers new Enki chair is still a bit over the top, but at least its a more affordable over the top, starting at $299.To build the Enki, Razer called in ergonomics experts, paying attention not just to lumbar support, but also to how test subjects sat on the bottom cushion. The 21-inch-wide seat is shaped to distribute your weight more evenly, so you can sit for hours without getting a sore ass. They even considered the needs of those who like to sit in more unusual positions, like a half- or full-lotus. As someone who often sits cross-legged in my chair, I am grateful for the extra space and support.Perhaps the most impressive thing about the chair is how far back it can lean. Its not quite 180 degrees, but 152 degrees is still pretty good the kind of angle you might only see on an airliners international business class. Its the kind of chair you can fall asleep in. It seems precarious but in use, the chair held my weight well when I opened it to its max. It didnt feel too top heavy, like it would fall backward, but it felt a bit unnatural due to the lack of a footrest. But lets be honest, you really should just retire to your couch or bed when you need a proper snooze. This is good for when you need a bit of a stretch between Overwatch matches or Zoom meetings.Kris Naudus / EngadgetMy one nitpick besides the lack of a footrest is the head pillow, which is only included with a more expensive $399 package. Its a nice shape and the fabric feels good to the touch, but its also not very adjustable. It has to be strapped on around the moon-shaped cut out toward the top of the seat, which means the height is non-negotiable. I found it ended up in that limbo between my head and neck, where it just jutted out and supported neither of them. I found it incredibly uncomfortable and ended up tearing it off. However, it also felt weird to not have something supporting my head in this chair. I can only hope that Razer ends up offering more options for users of different heights.Kris Naudus / EngadgetAside from that, its a very good chair offered at a very good price other chairs from Secretlab or Logitech might cost hundreds more, and a good non-gaming office chair can easily go above $1,000. And, while some might find it silly to buy a gaming chair, theres no rule this has to be used only for gaming. You can use the chair for work, meetings and anything else. Its not gaudy in any way that would draw attention on a video call, as Razer eschewed its usual use of lime green highlights.In the end, its just a chair. A nice, comfortable chair that you can buy directly from Razer or various retailers starting today, for $299 for the Enki X or the $399 Enki that includes the head pillow, a more reactive seat tilt and an armrest adjustable in four directions. With all the time youve been spending in front of the computer lately, you should make it a little nicer.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2021-10-21 19:43:38| Engadget

Innersloth has been promisingfor months that it will bring Among Us to Xbox and PlayStation sometime this year. Sure enough, the Mafia-style social deduction game is coming to PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on December 14th.Just like on PC, Among Us will be included with Xbox Game Pass on consoles. Those on PlayStation, meanwhile, will get an exclusive Ratchet & Clank cosmetic at a later date. Among Us has crossplay support, so you'll be able to play with friends across PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile.Innersloth also revealed details about the physical editions of Among Us for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch. Along with the base game and all of the DLC, the $30 Crewmate Edition includes a poster of the Skeld map, stickers and a holographic card. That version will hit Europe on December 14, Japan and South Korea two days later, and then the US, Canada and Latin America on January 11th.The $50 Impostor Edition includes the same gear as the Crewmate package, along with a purple crewmate plush, an enamel pin and a lanyard. The $90 Ejected Edition comes with even more goodies, including a steelbook case, a beanie and, best of all, a fleece blanket. Both of those editions will ship in spring 2022.Among Usexploded in popularity in 2020, two years after its debut, as Twitch streamers and YouTubers started playing it en masse. People were also looking for ways to connect with their friends during COVID-19 lockdowns and, for many, lying to their buds about what they were doing in Among Us' med bay fit the bill perfectly. It's coming to Xbox and PlayStation just in time for more people to play and argue with their loved ones over the holiday season.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

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