Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs as clothing sales collapse

Estelle Sidler

Marks & Spencer will axe 7,000 jobs over the next three months, delivering another blow to the struggling UK economy as the pandemic changes the way people work and shop.

The venerable UK retail chain, which sells clothes, food and household goods, said in a statement Tuesday that cuts to its 78,000-strong workforce will be made in support functions, in regional management and in its UK stores, “reflecting the fact that the change has been felt throughout the business.”

“It is clear that there has been a material shift in trade and whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post Covid sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change,” added the company, which was founded in 1884 and now operates in 62 international markets.

The retailer said it has learned that employees can work more flexibly, and that some can transition

Read More

Sarasota tech group seeks computer donations for people in need

Estelle Sidler

Sarasota nonprofit that fixes up and donates computers and more is in need of contributions

Emily Wunderlich
| Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Mike Hutchinson and other volunteers at the Suncoast Technology Users Group are accustomed to turning old technology into problems solved. 

But now they’re faced with a new problem: not enough technology to circulate back into the community.

The Sarasota-based nonprofit refurbishes and donates roughly 1,200 computers to people in need every year. This year, STUG has donated roughly half as many due to low numbers of requests and donations.

More: Read more stories about digital access for people in Sarasota-Manatee

Hutchinson says that schools, businesses and nonprofits are usually the organization’s biggest hardware contributors. But as more students and families become reliant on their computers to learn and work from home, those contributions have slowed. 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, roughly 10% of households

Read More

What’s the best cheap VPN? We found three good options

Estelle Sidler

If, like millions of people, you’re still working from home due to the global pandemic, a virtual private network is more essential than ever for protecting your privacy online. The only problem is, a free VPN usually doesn’t offer as much security as most people need, and a paid VPN service can be pricey. With the current crisis pinching many people’s pockets, paying a hundred dollars or more for homebound privacy protection doesn’t square with everyone’s priorities. 

But never fear: It’s possible to find a cheap VPN service that can reliably secure your internet connection without having to designate a place in your home as a server location. Some of the most affordable VPNs are less than half the price of some premium VPN services. And they still offer a fast connection, decent download speed, and a wealth of features with only an internet connection. You can even

Read More

Dr. Phil recalls Carroll Shelby’s race for the perfect golf gadget

Estelle Sidler

If you’re playing golf on Labor Day, you might think of race-car legend Carroll Shelby when you shank a ball into a water hazard.

Shelby — who was a dedicated member of LA’s exclusive Bel Air Country Club — invented other gizmos besides hot rods, and apparently spent much of his time on the links trying to concoct the perfect device for retrieving golf balls from the drink.

“I saw Carroll every day,” the late driver’s pal, Dr. Phil, told us. “We were really good friends. You know, he was Texan . . . I’m from Texas, and we were both members of the same club where we played golf. I met him there close to 20 years ago. He was a fun guy.”

The talk-show star added of his pal, “He was such an inventor! The most valuable club in my bag is the ‘ball getter’ . . .

Read More

Coronavirus UK: Test centres ’empty’ while people told they can’t book

Estelle Sidler

Brits are asking why they can’t get tested when centres are so quiet (Picture: Reuters)

Coronavirus testing centres across the country remain virtually empty, according to infuriated Brits who cannot book an appointment online.

After spending days refreshing the Government’s website and calling 119, some decided to show up to their local testing sites and were surprised at how little was going on.

Some were lucky enough to get tested on the day, while others were turned away and told they needed to book an appointment – despite their best efforts to do so online.

Describing the situation as an ‘absolute farce’ yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s World At One, Labour MP Stella Creasy said: ‘I’ve had lots of parents get in touch with me this morning because they’ve got children with symptoms that are listed… who need to get a test who cannot book one online, who’ve been trying

Read More