Technological World for March 11: Tracking COVID-19 caused cancellations, what people do when they work from home, Chinese students getting out of homework, free ebook from Tor for International Women's Day, The Last of Us headed to HBO as a series

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, a free ebook to celebrate International Women’s Day and one of the best video games of all time is headed to TV. Plus, what people are really doing when they work from home and how Chinese students are coping with online learning. But first, tracking all the cancelled events.

Website “Is it cancelled yet?” tracking the things we’ve lost

Not all of the notable events and issues listed on Is it cancelled yet? are big, publicized events. Other things, like “handshakes” and Doctors Without Borders, are also listed. (Medecins sans frontieres is not cancelled, by the way; you should donate.)

But the website, curated by Chillmage, is tracking most of the big happenings that are now not happening. Like SXSW, GDC, and former Hardball host Chris Matthews.

Earlier this week, events like E3 and TED, were tagged with “uh oh”. Now E3 has been cancelled and TED delayed.

And just in case, @chillmage has included a salient disclaimer at the bottom of the page: “This is not a comprehensive guide to all human gatherings on planet Earth.”

Epson Canada survey about working from home reveals what people are really doing on that conference call

Lots of people are choosing to work from home or being asked to work from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And while there are lots of people out there on the social networks sharing their tips on how to stay productive, Epson Canada wanted to know what kinds of things people are doing while working at home that they wouldn’t be able to get away with at the office.

So they conducted a survey.

  • Conference calls: Half of the respondents said they had cooked or eaten during conference calls. 42 percent said they had been on calls while using the bathroom. 19 percent exercised or walked the dog.
  • Dress code: 46 percent of the people said they wore sweatpants or yoga pants.
  • Distractions: 21 percent of respondents said they had the TV on while they worked.

Another finding of the Epson survey was that nearly everyone, 97 percent, said they needed to print things.

Chinese elementary students may have found a way to get out of online homework

Wamg Xoiying writing The Word from Wuhan in the London Review of Books:

“Schools are suspended until further notice. With many workplaces also shut, notoriously absent Chinese fathers have been forced to stay home and entertain their children. Video clips of life under quarantine are trending on TikTok. Children were presumably glad to be off school – until, that is, an app called DingTalk was introduced. Students are meant to sign in and join their class for online lessons; teachers use the app to set homework. Somehow the little brats worked out that if enough users gave the app a one-star review it would get booted off the App Store. Tens of thousands of reviews flooded in, and DingTalk’s rating plummeted overnight from 4.9 to 1.4. The app has had to beg for mercy on social media: ‘I’m only five years old myself, please don’t kill me.’”

International Women’s Day marked with free ebook from Tor

It was International Women’s Day last Sunday, and to mark the occasion, book publisher Tor started giving away a notable ebook, Nevertheless, She Persisted.

The book was originally published on the publisher’s website in 2017 and includes short pieces of writing from writers including Kameron Hurley, Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, Jo Walton, Catherynne M. Valente, and more.

“Chernobyl” creator adapting “The Last of Us” video game for HBO

Craig Mazin, who created the chilling TV series, “Chernobyl”, is partnering with Neil Druckmann, co-creator of the astonishing video game, “The Last of Us”, to bring the Playstation exclusive to HBO.

Druckmann, who was co-directed the 2013 game with Bruce Straley for Naughty Dog, is about to see the release of the sequel, The Last of Us Part II, scheduled for release on May 29.

The HBO series, which does not have a release date, will reportedly cover the events of the first game and possibly the sequel.

No casting has been announced.

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