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Googlers May Get New Option Amid Ongoing Rancor Over Bidet Removals

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Image of Toto “washlet” as Google removes bidets from employee restrooms. 


Bloomberg / Getty Images

Googlers upset by the company’s decision to remove bidets at its California offices may soon have a new option.

Tushy, a bidet specialist company, stepped into the steaming pile of controversy on Tuesday, offering in an open letter to send Google its travel bidets to help employees “wash away those pesky poop particles.” The portable bidet, which looks like a squeezable water bottle, is handheld.

The obvious PR stunt comes amid swirling discord at the search giant, which upset its staff by removing bidets, toilet attachments that offer a strategically targeted stream of water to clean behinds, from its facilities. Posts to Twitter indicate that removal of the bidets, made by Japan’s Toto, began earlier this month. That set off an emotional response from Googlers, who are returning to the office after two years of pandemic.  

In a now-deleted tweet, Yasmine Evjen, a developer relations lead at Google, expressed her frustration in a message punctuated with emojis.

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Screengrab from Twitter, via Internet Archive, of Google employee expressing disappointment over bidet removal. 


Internet Archive

Technology publication Protocol reported on Thursday that Googlers upset by the removals had posted their discontent to an internal meme page at the company.

“The removal of bidets in the office is my #2 issue with RTO,” one employee reportedly posted.

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Screengrab from Google’s internal meme sharing page of bidet removal.


Protocol

Disappearing bidets are another item on a growing list of complaints employees have lobbed at Google leadership. An internal survey showed employees are dissatisfied with compensation and the potential for promotion. A recent lawsuit alleges that Google shows bias against Black employees and the company recently settled a separate suit with six employees over workplace activism. Earlier this month, 500 employees signed a petition for “unjustly retaliating” against a product marketing manager for criticizing a contract with the Israeli military. 

Google didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A maintenance ticket regarding the bidet removal seen by Protocol included a reply from a facilities manager at Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate services firm that’s contracted by Google. The facilities manager reportedly said removal of the bidets would help Google meet an environmental target that includes switching to recycled water systems, which aren’t compatible with bidets.

Cushman & Wakefield didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

While Googlers may miss their bidets, research has delivered both positive and mixed results about their use. Some research suggests that bidets can lead to components being contaminated with bacteria, raising the risk of cross infection. Anecdotal evidence suggests it helps patients with mobility issues, such as Parkinson’s disease or arthritis. 

“There’s no evidence that bidets increase or decrease the risk of urinary tract infections,” said Dr. Shyam Sukumar, an assistant professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Attachable bidets can be found on Amazon for as little as $29. Google, however, opted for units manufactured by Toto, a company known for luxurious toilets that can cost more than $1,000. Images posted online suggest Google was using Toto Washlet C2 seats, which are fitted to an existing commode. The heated seats include a dryer and deodorizer. They retail for $405 on Amazon

Tushy’s portable bidet is a less elegant lavatory accoutrement. But the company says it “won’t throw a wrench” in Google’s recycled water system as it can use potable water. And Zac Bensing, associate director of product development at Tushy, told CNET in an email that filters can be used to make recycled water all the safer.

“Based on our experience, filters can easily be installed with most bidet attachments to prevent damage typically caused by minerals and other deposits found in varying water systems.”





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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


Blizzard

Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


Blizzard

For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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