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Don’t Tell Kids to ‘Pause’ Their Online Games

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Illustration for article titled Dont Tell Kids to Pause Their Online Games

Photo: Miguel Sanz (Getty Images)

I’ll set the scene: Your kid is playing an online multiplayer game on their tablet, computer or other electronic device. It’s also time for dinner, or you need their help with something, or they’ve got a chore to do. But, they plead, they’re in the middle of a game; can’t they finish first? One dad has gone viral for arguing that, yes, they should be allowed to finish up their game—and he’s right. Because, as many parents may not understand, these online games are live, they cannot be paused, and the players are relying on each other.

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TikTok user @billyvsco (a perfect “Dad of tweens on TikTok” name) offers an explanation and implores parents to ease up on the “Do what I say when I say it” mentality of old-school parenting, at least when it comes to online gaming:

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As he says in the video:

Parents, let me explain something real quick, just in case y’all didn’t know. Online games? That’s like if she was playing a real game and I made her say, “Mr. Referee, can you pause the game real quick?,” and let me have her come over here and take the trash out, and let all of her teammates down.

Here’s the deal with online games: It’s the same thing. You can’t pause an online game, and she’s got teammates that she’s gonna let down if you just have her come take out the trash right now, when we know that trash can wait for 10-15 minutes, or however long this online game takes.

These games are happening in real time, and kids are usually on some type of team with other players; if they leave before the game is over, they are probably putting their teammates in a more precarious situation. They don’t want to be abandoned that way, and they don’t want to do the abandoning. No, it’s not quite the same as peacing-out midway through the third quarter of a basketball game, but it’s still a competitive activity among kids who have built a camaraderie with each other and are working together toward a goal.

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There are caveats, of course: They should ask politely and respectfully to finish up. (If you tell me, “Nope, I’ll do it after I’m done with this game,” that game is going off right now.) And they need to hold up their end of the bargain. (When the game is done, come do the thing I’ve asked you to do, or I won’t be so flexible next time.)

This isn’t a case of the child running the show; it’s a case of the parent modeling respect and patience for another person who is in the middle of something that is important to them—and that’s always a good lesson.

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ShopUp raises $22.5 million to digitize millions of mom-and-pop shops in Bangladesh

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A startup that is aiming to digitize millions of neighborhood stores in Bangladesh just raised the country’s largest Series A financing round.

Dhaka-headquartered ShopUp said on Tuesday it has raised $22.5 million in a round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures. For both the venture firms, this is the first time they are backing a Bangladeshi startup. Veon Ventures, Speedinvest, and Lonsdale Capital also participated in the four-year-old ShopUp’s Series A financing round. ShopUp has raised about $28 million to date.

Like its neighboring nation, India, more than 95% of all retail in Bangladesh goes through neighborhood stores in the country. There are about 4.5 million such mom-and-pop stores in the country and the vast majority of them have no digital presence.

ShopUp is attempting to change that. It has built what it calls a full-stack business-to-business commerce platform. It provides three core services to neighborhood stores: a wholesale marketplace to secure inventory, logistics (including last mile delivery to customers), and working capital, explained Afeef Zaman, co-founder and chief executive of ShopUp​, in an interview with TechCrunch.

Image Credits: ShopUp

These small shops are facing a number of challenges. They are not getting inventory on time or enough inventory and they are paying more than what they should, said Zaman. And for these businesses, more than 73% (PDF) of all their sales rely on credit instead of cash or digital payments, creating a massive liquidity crunch. So most of these businesses are in dire need of working capital.

Zaman declined to reveal how many mom-and-pop shops today use ShopUp, but claimed that the platform assumes a clear lead in its category in the country. That lead has widened amid the global pandemic as more physical shops explore digital offerings to stay afloat, he said.

The number of neighborhood shops transacting weekly on the ShopUp platform grew by 8.5 times between April and August this year, he said. The pandemic also helped ShopUp engage with e-commerce players to deliver items for them.

“Sequoia India has been a strong supporter of the company since it was part of the first Surge cohort in early 2019 and it’s been exciting to see the company become a trailblazer facilitating digital transformation in Bangladesh,” said ​Klaus Wang, VP, Sequoia Capital, in a statement.

The startup has no intention to become an e-commerce platform like Amazon that directly engages with consumers, Zaman said. E-commerce is still in its nascent stage in Bangladesh. Amazon has yet to enter the country and increasingly Facebook is filling that role.

ShopUp sees immense opportunity in serving neighborhood stores, he said. The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to deepen its partnerships with manufacturers and expand its tech infrastructure.

It opened an office in Bengaluru earlier this year to hire local tech talent in the nation. Indian e-commerce platform Voonik merged with ShopUp this year and both of its co-founders have joined the Bangladeshi startup. Zaman said the startup will hire more engineering talent in India.

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After outcry, Microsoft presses pause on unsolicited Windows 10 web app installs

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On Saturday, I pointed out how Microsoft force-restarting Windows 10 computers to install unwanted web apps was the latest proof you don’t own your own Windows PC. Today, the company says it was at least partly a mistake — and will be pausing the “migration” that brought web apps to your Start Menu this way.

Originally, Microsoft tells The Verge, the idea was that any website you pinned to the Start Menu would launch in Microsoft Edge. If your website of choice had a PWA web app version, the Edge browser could automatically launch that as well. But — in what Microsoft seems to be calling a bug, though we’re trying to get clarity as to which part was the bug — the change also made it look like existing web shortcuts to its own Microsoft Office products had installed a web app on your PC as well.

A screenshot of the web apps that Microsoft force-installed on my PC.
Web versions of Microsoft Office appeared in my list of programs.
Screenshot: Sean Hollister/The Verge

Giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt for a moment, I can see how that chain of events could have unfolded, and why that might have been an unintended consequence.

But that doesn’t actually address any of my previous concerns:

  • Why was Microsoft using my Start Menu as free advertising for its Office products to begin with, web shortcut or no?
  • Why do these PWAs fire up Microsoft Edge, instead of respecting my own default choice of browser? Chrome handles PWAs just fine, for example.
  • Why does Microsoft believe it has the right to force-restart my PC at all? What was so critical about this update to make that worthwhile?

Microsoft has clearly heard some displeasure, and it’s reacting to that today. But it’s not clear whether anything will change as a result. I wouldn’t be surprised if the only difference is that PWAs won’t appear in your list of programs from here on out.

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The Best Computer Desk Is a Standing Desk: Your Top Options to Reach New Heights

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Illustration for article titled The Best Computer Desk Is a Standing Desk: Your Top Options to Reach New Heights

Image: Wayfair

Best Overall: Uplift V2 Standing Desk

Buying a desk doesn’t seem like too difficult a task. Find one that’s pretty enough to sit in your office, has enough storage and space to house all your trinkets, and hope for the best. But shopping online might make it difficult to know if it’ll be good for your body long-term. Ergonomics are tricky, and a poor setup can leave you with serious back or wrist pain.

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You don’t have to commit to a standing desk to resolve those ergonomic woes–a few accessories might make your current desk perfectly usable–but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the added option of getting on your feet for a bit during a long workday. Whether your current setup has wreaked havoc on your posture or you’re just taking the precautions necessary to prevent that, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the best computer desk to suit your needs. And since the best desk is a standing desk, it only makes sense reviewers would agree, as evidenced by the highly-rated furnishings below.

Best Overall: Uplift V2 Standing Desk

Illustration for article titled The Best Computer Desk Is a Standing Desk: Your Top Options to Reach New Heights

Graphic: Gabe Carey

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After spending my first six months of quarantine back in my childhood home, my wrists and lower back were in pretty awful shape. Holding my phone hurt after a long day of typing, and I found myself slouching a little too often in my family’s stiff dining room chairs. Once I got back home to California, I jumped on grabbing an Uplift V2 Standing Desk—and haven’t looked back since.

It’s one of the most customizable options you can get, with a slew of different finishes, sizes, frame configurations, and accessories to tack on. The base model starts at $600, and can easily reach over $1,000 depending on how you customize it. Its surface is sturdy and looks nice in my office, the adjustable-height mechanism is smooth and stable, and the setup is pretty quick even if you have to do it solo.

If you’re looking for more than just a desk, you can upgrade to have a couple of outlets right on top of your setup for easy access, get some upgraded cable management gear to keep things tidy, or even grab a slide-out keyboard tray for improved ergonomics and a little extra surface room. I’d recommend getting the C-Frame model for increased stability, even if it’s an $80 add-on. It’s also worth it to get the advanced keypad if you’re planning on switching between sitting and standing a lot, or if it’s going to be used by more than one person.

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Best Cheap Desk: Monomi Electric Standing Desk

Illustration for article titled The Best Computer Desk Is a Standing Desk: Your Top Options to Reach New Heights

Image: Monomi

Nice as it is, the UpLift is on the more expensive end, and that’s a reasonable dealbreaker. Standing desks don’t have to raid your savings, though. The Monomi electric height-adjustable standing desk is one of the best available on Amazon right now, according to reviewers, and a 48″ model costs just $300.

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Like the Uplift, the Monomi has a keypad that lets you quickly adjust the height of the desk, extendable up to 46″. Unlike the Uplift, though, its keypad and keyboard tray are included, so you won’t have to sweat the upgrade prices. It’s not as elegant-looking as pricier options, not to mention it lacks the C-frame to improve stability, but at half the price, it’s not something you’ll fret too much—the basics are more than plenty.

Best for Small Spaces: Upper Square Babin Standing Desk

Illustration for article titled The Best Computer Desk Is a Standing Desk: Your Top Options to Reach New Heights

Image: Wayfair

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For those looking for a minimalist desk, or anyone who likes to use their surface for scribbling as much as they do hunting and pecking, the Upper Square Babin is highly rated on Wayfair. Unlike the Uplift or Monomi, this desk has a groove in the front to get you a little closer to the monitor. Additional features include a glass surface that doubles as a dry erase board you can use for brainstorming, a slide-out drawer, and a built-in USB port.

As with the other options, its height is adjustable and comes with three pre-programmed heights, reaching up to 47″. It typically sells for about $530 (though it’s on sale right now for $410). While that’s not too far off from the Uplift, without any upgradeable options, you won’t have to worry about a shocking price tag at checkout. Currently sitting at 4.7 stars on Wayfair, based on over 700 reviews, customers like it for its easy setup, handy whiteboard surface, and the quality of its height adjustment mechanism.

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Best Standing Desk Converter: FlexiSpot Standing Desk Converter

Illustration for article titled The Best Computer Desk Is a Standing Desk: Your Top Options to Reach New Heights

Image: Flexispot

Maybe that’s all too much, and you’d rather spend your money elsewhere. Or perhaps there just isn’t space in your apartment for another big piece of furniture. If you’re not looking to rearrange your whole room, a standing desk converter will do the trick. While the top-reviewed ones aren’t exactly cheap, they’re notably less expensive than true standing desks, with the added benefit of mobility.

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If you want the cheapest option with the most positive reception, grab the FlexiSpot standing desk converter. Only $100 on Amazon right now, it doesn’t look as elegant in your office as an elevating desk, but it gets the job done. It can reach up to 28″ high and measures about 28″ wide, so it won’t occupy a ton of room in your house or apartment, plus there’s an electric motor for easy adjustments. Oh, and it’s even got a keyboard tray, so you won’t be giving up too much of that limited surface space. It’s currently sitting at about five stars based on 127 reviews, and customers seem to have few issues with it. As long as you’re okay with a slightly clunky aesthetic, you shouldn’t be disappointed.


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