Researchers at Stanford have found some simple fixes for four common Zoom fatigue problems. Close-up eye contact is intense and tiring, so put the view mode to tile and take Zoom out of full-screen mode to make all the faces smaller. Seeing yourself is fatiguing, so learn how to “hide yourself” with a right-click on your video. Long rounds of video chats keep you from moving, so move around—maybe this is a sign that you need to try a standing desk. Their research also pulls together papers that show how much more thinking we have to do to understand and present non-verbal cues for agreement, frustration, incomprehension, etc. We seem to have less fatigue on the telephone, so consider turning off your video or even arrange for the Zoom to be audio-only. Then you can move around even more.
In another sign that COVID is decreasing, Apple Retail Stores are open again across the US. They may have some limitations on capacity, but they are open. Not too long ago, all the Apple Retail Stores within a two-hour radius of Fairview were closed.
It is tax-filing season again (and you may have already filed). But it is good to know that the IRS has expanded its Identity Protection PIN to anyone who can verify their identity. To get more information on how this works and what you need to prove to help lock down your IRS account and avoid tax-related identity theft, go to irs.gov/ippin.
Despite the anticipation that the next iOS upgrade, 14.5, would let you change your default music service used when asking Siri to play music, it seems that this is not true in the way we might think. Siri will learn to use a particular music service as it learns your preferences, but Apple has clarified that you are not setting a default music service. I wonder how we will really know the difference.
Many people avoid using Microsoft Edge, but there is a new feature, Kids Mode, that might entice you to try it again. It is actually still in beta, but if it works out, it will let you provide a limited browsing experience on your phone or computer, including Bing SafeSearch, children-friendly content, and restricted access to only family-friendly sites. To exit Kids Mode, you have to use your computer login password. This is helpful—unless your kid already knows that password.