Pandemic could shift tech support industry to telecommuting

Support get complicated as employees work from home. COVID-19 is disrupting traditional support organizations, leading to explosive growth in remote IT work.

As employees move to remote work because of the coronavirus pandemic, the only way they can be supported is with remote tech support. Organizations built on a physical location model suddenly have a massive increase in demand, and may need to provide that support from their own home offices, where they may lack tools, policy, and procedure to be effective. These problems are not new, but they did quickly become a lot more relevant. has been working on solving them since the previous century, and they are hiring. I spoke with Rick Bloom, the company’s CEO, about the problem, where he sees the industry headed, and how IT can adapt.

Bloom started by getting broad—he talked about the call center industry. Most of us are familiar with

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5 Best Google Chrome Plugins For Business

These Chrome extensions, which include Zoom for GSuite and DocuSign, help stay workers organized, secure, and productive.

Google plugins are a shortcut to programs on Google Chrome plugin pages. When installed, they add a “plugins” button to the toolbar in the browser. When you click on the icon, it opens the plugins menu of third-party apps and Google Chrome extensions that let users access and tailor how they use the web. This is also where you can control Adobe Flash Player, enable and disable the flash player or allow and block Flash and other content for the current site with one click.
Here are five of the best Google Chrome plugins we found for business on Google to help you stay organized and be more productive.

Zoom for GSuite lets users schedule, join, manage, and customize meetings from mail and Google Calendar. Zoom Meetings provides HD video, audio, and content

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How Tableau is making real-time COVID-19 data accessible to everyone

Tableau worked with John Hopkins data to help everyone get crucial information to fight the novel coronavirus. Mapbox, Path, Snowflake, DataBlick and Starschema have been helping Tableau with the project.

As the escalating spread of the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus in China became more urgent in late December 2019, employees of data analysis software vendor Tableau carefully analyzed the headlines to seek data that could help the company decide how the virus was affecting its own personnel and operations in China.

That’s when Tableau workers discovered raw data from the outbreak that was being gathered and publicized by Johns Hopkins University, which was collecting information about the escalation and spread of COVID-19 cases from government and other sources around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But all that data, which was being entered into a web dashboard created by

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Smart telescope startups vie to fix astronomy’s satellite challenge – TechCrunch

Starlink, the satellite branch of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, has come under fire in recent months from astronomers over concerns about the negative impact that its planned satellite clusters have reportedly had — and may continue to have — on nighttime observation.

According to a preliminary report released last month by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the satellite clusters will interfere with the ability of telescopes to peer deep into space, and will limit the amount of observable hours, as well as the quality of images taken, by observatories.

The stakes involved are high, with projects like Starlink potentially being central to the

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Netflix reigns over Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ as most popular streaming service

Though Netflix is king, many people admit to being overwhelmed by the sheer number of streaming services available.

The coronavirus is forcing more people to stay home these days. And with all of them looking for ways to stay busy and entertained, streaming video services are an obvious option. But with all the choices out there, which services are the most popular, and how do people juggle them all? A survey from sheds some light on where consumers go to stream their favorite shows.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

Based on a recent survey of 500 people in the US, found that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+ were the most popular streaming services in the country. But among them all, Netflix came in first place, chosen by 47% of the respondents as the one they would pick if they

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Data visualizations show internet usage in inner cities idled by COVID-19

Internet usage in London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and NYC has changed dramatically due to COVID-19.

In New York, the financial district of lower Manhattan is seeing much less daytime internet use. The green shows the areas that have increased, and red shows areas that have decreased.

Image: Cloudflare

In understanding the impact COVID-19 is having on where people are working today, a picture really is worth a thousand words. 

Cloudflare, a provider of internet optimization, security, and availability services, has produced data visualizations of pre- and post-COVID-19 internet usage patterns that show that inner cities, once-crowded with office workers, have emptied out. 

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

“What we can see from the patterns in traffic is that people are accessing the internet more at home, in suburban and rural areas, and less from traditional city centers and business parks where

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