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Amazon to face federal lawsuit over firing of warehouse worker

US-LABOUR-PROTEST-AMAZON
KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon’s decision to fire warehouse worker Courtney Bowden violated labor laws, according to charges filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last month and obtained by BuzzFeed News. Bowden was advocating for better working when the company abruptly let her go.

Bowden was one of many workers fighting for paid time off at Amazon warehouses as the coronavirus pandemic intensified. While the company said it was rolling out increased safety measures, workers continued to get sick and executives became increasingly hostile to employee organizing efforts . In March, Bowden was fired over an alleged incident with her supervisor.

Bowden’s termination came at a time of unprecedented demand for Amazon services. Throughout the spring,...

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Multidose COVID-19 vaccines will test state tracking systems

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Underway in DeLand, Florida
A participant in a COVID-19 clinical trial. | Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in the United States, officials’ first challenge is getting the people in the door for their shots. Then, they’ll have a second problem: making sure they come back again to get a second dose of the same vaccine. With two two-dose vaccines headed for authorization, the logistical challenges of a vaccination program are only magnified.

“You don’t want to have someone get the first dose of one brand of vaccine, and a second dose of another,” says Ben Moscovitch, project director of health information technology at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Assuming the Food and Drug Administration authorizes the vaccines after they review the data later this month, states will start to receive shipments of the...

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The artisanal Crocs have landed

Photo illustration by Alex Castro | Photos by Carley Holtsinger, Susan Korn, and Hannah Faith Lord

Crocs are cool now, and artists are accessorizing them all over Instagram

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Microsoft is selling ugly Windows sweaters, and part of the proceeds b

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is getting into the holiday spirit a bit early by offering MS Paint and Windows-themed “ugly” sweaters for sale on its online store, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale donated to Girls Who Code. The company made Windows XP and 95 sweaters in the past to give to influencers and super fans, but this marks the first time the company is selling a sweater directly to customers.

When the sweaters first went on sale on Tuesday, there were briefly three varieties of Microsoft “soft-wear” available for purchase: the previously mentioned MS Paint sweater and leftover stock of the Windows 95 and XP sweaters. When we first checked the store, those XP and 95 sweaters were already running low on stock, and they quickly sold out...

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Metal Gear Solid movie to star Oscar Isaac as Solid Snake

92nd Annual Academy Awards - Backstage
Photo by Richard Harbaugh / A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Sony’s upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie adaptation will star Oscar Isaac as protagonist Solid Snake, according to Deadline. You might be familiar with Isaac as Resistance fighter Poe Dameron in the latest Star Wars film trilogy and his upcoming role as Duke Leto Atreides in Dune, and I think he could be a great fit to play Solid Snake.

Apparently Isaac did, too, as he cast himself for the role in this interview:

The Metal Gear Solid movie, which is still in development, will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. But like some other movie adaptations of video games, this one has been in development for years — Metal...

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PAX still plans to host its in-person game festivals in 2021

Image: Penny Arcade

ReedPop and Penny Arcade, the organizers of the PAX gaming conventions, announced on Friday that they plan to resume PAX East, West, and Unplugged in 2021. Organizers are planning to hold these events as long as it’s safe to do so.

The organizers announced that they have no plans to hold PAX South next year, but the show will return in 2022, while information on PAX Australia will follow “in the coming weeks.” As far as the other PAX conventions go, locations remain unchanged, but the dates for PAX East, typically held in March at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, have been pushed back to the summer.

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Biden coronavirus appointee has cut ties with Facebook, transition tea

Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients Testifies On President’s FY2014 Budget
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming COVID czar, Jeffrey Zients, is facing new scrutiny over his corporate ties — particularly a two-year stint on Facebook’s board of directors. But the Biden transition team confirmed to The Verge that Zients liquidated his Facebook stock earlier this year and will retain no equity when he officially begins his White House role.

Zients joined the Facebook board in May 2018 in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal but declined to seek reelection to the board when his term ended in 2020. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show he was compensated with $100,000 in cash and just over $300,000 in stock awards for his work chairing the board’s Audit & Risk Oversight Committee, which met 13 times...

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Epic promises more Fortnite tournaments in 2021 but no World Cup

Fortnite World Cup Finals - Final Round
Photo by Eric Ananmalay/ESPAT Media/Getty Images

With the restrictions around travel and in-person events, Epic canceled the 2020 edition of the Fortnite World Cup back in April. Now, the developer says the esports spectacle won’t be taking place in 2021 either. “With so much still unknown about what is practical and safe, we do not plan to hold in-person events in 2021, including a Fortnite World Cup,” the company explained in a blog post. “We will continue to provide online competitions throughout 2021 with the hopes that physical events, in some form, can return at some point in the future.”

The first — and so far, only — Fortnite World Cup took place in 2019 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The three-day spectacle culminated with 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf winning the...

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Ditto’s true form is this comfy chair

A Ditto chair is on its way to Japanese retailers. It exists somewhere on the spectrum of big gut Pikachu and a bean bag chair, and, according to PokéJungle, it costs roughly $250. The whole situation is a nice lavender and appears very, very squishy. Just behind your seated body looms Ditto’s eternal smile.

As a pokémon, Ditto’s whole schtick is imitating other pokémon. It turns into anything it wants, albeit with the same unnerving, wide-mouthed smile of its blubbery purple form. You’ll notice I did not say true form because I humbly submit that it’s this Ditto chair. While likely not canon, it should be.

I’m right about...

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YouTube hit Ryan’s World comes to Roblox

Ryan’s World in Roblox
Image: Ryan’s World

Ryan’s World is expanding to Roblox. The hit YouTube channel is launching its own virtual world inside the popular kids game, which allows players to create their own spaces and activities.

Players will be able to drop into a sprawling digital world inspired by the YouTube show and explore a racecourse, a fire station, a beach, and a school, among other locations. There’s also a Rainbow Road-esque path into space and a strange box labeled “MYSTERY PETS.” The game world is supposed to launch on December 5th at 1PM ET.

Roblox has been around for more than a decade, but the game’s popularity has soared since the beginning of the pandemic. It now has 31.1 million daily users, up 82 percent year over year, and the company has filed to go...

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