Abbott cleared for fast $5 COVID-19 test that avoids lab delay

Elroy Mariano

A 15-minute COVID-19 test from Abbott Laboratories that will be priced at just $5 has been granted emergency authorization for use in the U.S., a breakthrough that could ease the bottleneck that has crimped much of the nation’s testing capacity.

The product, dubbed BinaxNOW, works without relying on laboratory equipment at a time when labs can take as long as two weeks to produce results. It uses a nasal swab and a small reactive card, and it can be administered by a range of health care workers, including pharmacists, at almost any location.

Abbott will start shipping the test within two weeks and intends to manufacture 50 million tests a month by the end of October. The aim: Meet a surge in demand from Americans seeking to return to in-person schoolrooms and work.

The new test “can be used at a massive scale to help overcome the current waiting game

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Cashierless stores are popping up at gas stations, stadiums and even Dunkin’

Elroy Mariano

Pretty soon you might find Amazon Go-like concepts just about everywhere.



a room with a wood floor: An illustration of a cashierless stadium concession developed by Mastercard and Delaware North. Mastercard


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An illustration of a cashierless stadium concession developed by Mastercard and Delaware North. Mastercard

Mastercard on Friday said it’s joining the effort to create more of these kinds of cashierless stores, unveiling a platform it calls Shop Anywhere. It teamed up with retail tech company Accel Robotics to create a handful of new test concepts that let customers check into a store, grab what they want and walk out.

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For instance, the team created a new self-service Dunkin’ store that allows people to check in at a kiosk, get doughnuts and coffee, and leave without stopping at a cashier. The store will be staffed with workers to restock items and provide customer service, but there won’t be a register.

Similar small-scale pilots were created with Delaware North, which runs stadiums, and Circle K,

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SpaceX’s Starlink internet speeds much slower than promised in first tests | The Independent

Elroy Mariano

Users of Elon Musk’s Starlink internet connection have found that its speeds are not as fast as SpaceX previously hyped.

The technology uses a cluster of satellites, in orbit around the Earth, to deliver internet connections to users.

According to tests conducted by Ookla, and collated by Reddit users, download speeds have ranged from 11 Mbps to 60 Mbps, while upload speeds have ranged from from 5Mbps to 18Mbps. Latency tests show a range between from 31ms to 94ms.

SpaceX has previously claimed that download speeds will reach 1Gbps, with a latency ranging between 25 to 35 milliseconds – much faster than that which has been shown from the tests.

The company is yet to put its full fleet of satellites into orbit, and speeds are likely to increase as they do so. There are currently 540 Starlink satellites in orbit, with the company aiming to eventually form a 12,000-strong

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Gadgets takeover: Faceless learning in the midst of a pandemic

Elroy Mariano

THE BALANCE to continue learning amid a worldwide pandemic has pushed educators to innovate.

As the entire sector battles to educate, the virus eliminated precious face-to-face learning in exchange for the safety of learners.

Baguio universities and colleges face a new challenge to bring quality education despite restrictions, in a city known as the education center of the North, serving thousands of students.

University of the Philippines-Baguio (UPB) Chancellor Raymond Rovillos said the higher education sector is challenged and forced to adopt and adapt to virtual learning as a mode of delivering instruction and learning.

“I am for blended learning, which is a mix of virtual learning and face to face learning, but because of this pandemic, we still cannot do blended learning. Being forced to use virtual learning capacitates the university to this mode of teaching and learning , which is really going to be the University of the

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