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With confirmation of National Guard Bureau honcho, Trump has chosen all Joint Chiefs

The Senate confirmed Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson as the next chief of the National Guard Bureau on Monday. Hokanson is expected to be promoted to the rank of four-star general and replace Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in early August. Lengyel has served as chief of the…

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The Senate confirmed Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson as the next chief of the National Guard Bureau on Monday. Hokanson is expected to be promoted to the rank of four-star general and replace Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in early August. Lengyel has served as chief of the NGB since August 2016. “This is an important and pivotal time in the history of our National Guard. We face complex, dynamic missions overseas and here at home,” Hokanson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing on June 18. “The next chief of the National Guard Bureau must continue to effectively navigate this unprecedented landscape and work closely with stakeholders at the international, federal, state, and local levels.” Currently serving as director of the Army National Guard, Hokanson has also served as vice chief of the NGB and deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command. In his new position, he will be responsible for the domestic response and combat preparedness of more than 450,000 national guardsmen in the Army and Air National Guard. The chief of the NGB is also a senior military adviser to the president, secretary of defense, and National Security Council. In his June 18 testimony, Hokanson mentioned priorities for the National Guard including enhancing cyber capabilities, ensuring adequate manpower and training, and maintaining interoperability with active duty components and allied nations. Hokanson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1986, serving active duty in air cavalry, attack helicopter, and aircraft testing positions before joining the Oregon National Guard. The confirmaiton of Hokanson means the Trump administration has shaped military leadership for at least three to four years to come, Jim Golby, a former special adviser to two vice presidents with 20 years of service in the Army, noted in a tweet. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. With this confirmation, the Trump admin has now selected every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — shaping the senior uniformed leadership of the U.S. military for at least the next 3-4 years https://t.co/eNEf17dmnp— Jim Golby (@jimgolby) July 21, 2020 Hokanson’s confirmation comes at a time when the National Guard is seeing unprecedented levels of domestic activation to respond to COVID-19, civil unrest, and natural disasters. In May, more than 46,000 National Guard professionals were supporting COVID-19 response missions. In addition, more than 40,000 more were supporting civil unrest response at the peak of protests that broke out after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer, according to prosecutors. As of July 15, nearly 32,000 National Guard members were supporting domestic operations across the nation at the direction of their governors — including support to COVID-19, civil disturbance, and natural disaster missions such as floods and wildfires. according to the NGB. Another 37,000 were engaged in overseas operations, according to the NGB. High levels of activation aren’t expected to slow anytime soon. Hurricane season, typically the Guard’s busiest time of year, has only just begun, and officials expect 30 percent more storms than average this year.

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US cases of depression have tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic

A large study finds a dramatic increase in the number of adults in the United States reporting symptoms of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.Share on PinterestRecent data indicate that the number of adults with depression symptoms in the U.S. has increased threefold during the pandemic.The number of adults experiencing depression in the U.S. has tripled,…

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A large study finds a dramatic increase in the number of adults in the United States reporting symptoms of depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.Share on PinterestRecent data indicate that the number of adults with depression symptoms in the U.S. has increased threefold during the pandemic.The number of adults experiencing depression in the U.S. has tripled, according to a major study. Researchers estimate that more than 1 in 4 U.S. adults now report experiencing symptoms of depression.Before the pandemic, 8.5% of U.S. adults reported being depressed. That number has risen to 27.8% as the country struggles with COVID-19.Prof. Sandro Galea, a dean at Boston University (BU) School of Public Health, MA, is senior author of the study.Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.“Depression in the general population after prior large-scale traumatic events has been observed to, at most, double,” he notes.While reports of depression have increased in response to earlier crises, such as the 9/11 attack and the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the extent of this recent finding is something new.The study features in the journal JAMA Network Open. The Rockefeller Foundation–Boston University 3-D Commission and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided funding for the research.The BU study is the first large-scale investigation into America’s mental health in response to COVID-19.To measure the prevalence of depression symptoms among the population, the researchers worked with mental health professionals’ leading tool for this purpose: the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9).The researchers used the 2017–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) as a baseline measurement of depression rates before the beginning of the pandemic. A total of 5,065 individuals responded to that survey.They compared these data with the findings of the COVID-19 and Life Stressors Impact on Mental Health and Well-being (CLIMB) study, which surveyed 1,441 U.S. adults between March 31 and April 13, 2020. This study also used PHQ-9, facilitating the comparison of changes in the prevalence of depression among the population.Although the 2020 survey took place relatively early in the pandemic, by the time it was complete, stay-at-home advisories and shelter-in-place orders were in place for about 96% of the public.The CLIMB survey also questioned participants regarding the various stressors associated with the pandemic. These stressors included the death of a friend or loved one and financial worries, such as the loss, or potential loss, of personal income.The survey found that symptoms of depression had risen in response to the pandemic across all demographic groups.According to the survey participants, the predominant driver of depression was concern regarding personal financial well-being. Lead study author Catherine Ettman says, “Persons who were already at risk before COVID-19, with fewer social and economic resources, were more likely to report probable depression.”Specifically, the team found that individuals with less than $5,000 in savings were 50% more likely to be experiencing symptoms of depression than those who had more.Ettman says that the study underscores the value of a society “where a robust safety net exists, where people have fair wages, where equitable policies and practices exist, and where families can not only live on their income but can also save money toward the future.”As for what the authorities can do now to lessen the emotional toll of the ongoing pandemic in the U.S., Ettman suggests:“There may be steps that policymakers can take now to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 stressors on depression, such as eviction moratoria, providing universal health insurance that is not tied to employment, and helping people return to work safely — for those able to do so.”Ettman hopes that her study can, at the very least, deliver some comfort to people struggling with depression by making them realize that they are far from alone.For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.
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The best robot vacuum for 2020: iRobot Roomba, Electrolux, Neato, Eufy and more – CNET

Machines that automatically keep your home clean were once pure fantasy. That’s no longer the case. Today robot vacuums are real. They’re also more advanced than they’ve ever been. They boast arrays of sophisticated sensors, lasers, CPUs, even AI-enhanced software. The fact is these robots are useful tools to keep your home nice and tidy.Living the…

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Machines that automatically keep your home clean were once pure fantasy. That’s no longer the case. Today robot vacuums are real. They’re also more advanced than they’ve ever been. They boast arrays of sophisticated sensors, lasers, CPUs, even AI-enhanced software. The fact is these robots are useful tools to keep your home nice and tidy.Living the robot vacuum dream can set you back a healthy pile of cash — some cost as much as four figures. While you don’t have to spend that much, you do get a lot in return. That includes multiple room and floor mapping, self-emptying dust bins, powerful suction and thoughtfully designed hardware. Despite all this sophistication, however, none of these machines can really replace a mop.

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Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac…

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To choose the best robot vacuum, I spent over 120 hours (that’s a lot of time) torture-testing a group of 12 robotic cleaning vacuums for things like suction power, their ability to perform on carpets and hard floor and how well each performed during each cleaning cycle. Among them are brand-new models that have recently launched, flagship models and compelling options offered across numerous online retailers. I excluded older models that likely won’t be sold for much longer. I update this list periodically.

CNET Smart Home and Appliances

Get smart home reviews and ratings, video reviews, buying guides, prices and comparisons from CNET.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If someone were to give you a blank check and tell you to buy the best robot vacuum, this is the bot to get. That said, the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus costs a whopping $1,099. For that staggeringly steep sticker price though, this robotic vacuum delivers powerful suction and superb dirt and dust removal. On hardwood floors this Roomba picked up an average of 93% of our test sand, the highest amount in our test group, but it struggled a bit cleaning sand from low-pile carpeting and area rugs, earning a low average dust and sand pickup of 28%. That said, the Roomba robot vac removed an average 71% of sand from our mid-pile carpet while vacuuming. Again, this is the best result that we saw on this specific test. It also cleaned up more dog hair, pet dander and allergens than any vacuum in this test group, and the bot navigates and maps multiple rooms and floors. iRobot has also updated its app to let you designate “keep out zones” that you want the S9 Plus to avoid when cleaning. The app also lets you use voice commands to immediately clean a room using Alexa or Google Voice Assistant.The robot zipped through our test room in a short average time of 25 minutes, too. You can link the S9 Plus to the Roomba app and your home Wi-Fi as well. Best of all is the Roomba S9 Plus’ CleanBase docking station. The dock both charges the robot’s battery and empties its dustbin automatically, making cleaning even easier and keeping you from worrying about battery life. Now that’s convenient.

Read our first impressions of the Roomba S9 Plus.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

For roughly half the price of the Roomba S9 Plus, the $550 Neato’s D7 vacuums up dirt, dust and messes almost as well, making it the best robot vacuum at a midrange cost. On average this robotic cleaner picked up a greater amount of sand (36%) across low-pile carpet and rugs than the Roomba did. This automatic vacuum cleaner narrowly beat the S9 Plus for cleaning power on hardwood bare floors, too, collecting an average of 95% of the sand we put down. The vac cleaned dirt, dust and sand from midpile rugs less effectively though, notching a pickup average of 47% while cleaning. While the Neato can’t match the Roomba’s prowess at removing pet hair or empty its own dust bin, the D7 navigates more efficiently around furniture yet covers more ground thanks to smart robot vacuum built-in lidar laser navigation mapping. You can also control the cleaning robot using the Neato app as a remote control, as well as link it to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The app allows you to designate areas of your home as off-limits to cleaning, too.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Here’s a robotic vacuum that proves you don’t need to blow your budget to purchase a solid robot vacuum cleaner. Even though the Robovac 11S Max costs just $165 right now, it cleans floors effectively. That’s especially true when cleaning bare hardwood floors. It managed to remove an average of 71% of our test sand from this type of surface. The bot didn’t work as well cleaning carpets, earning sand-pickup averages of 21% and 27% on low-pile and mid-pile, respectively. And thanks to this vacuum’s basic navigation system, it took well over an hour to negotiate our test room. As far as time goes, that’s a lot. Still, the Eufy used its runtime wisely. The vacuum covered the space well, cleaning up and leaving almost no spots untouched. The Eufy is also self-charging, so again, no need to worry about battery life or factor that into overall cleaning time. It’s the best robot vacuum for value.

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How we test robot vacuumsOur method for evaluating robot vacuums is straightforward, yet grueling. There are two types of tests we run. The first trial is to figure out how well a robot covers the floor while cleaning. We built an industry-standard testing room as specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission, just for this purpose. The IEC is an international standards body responsible for managing robot vacuum testing procedures, among other things, for vacuum manufacturers.  Obstacles in our test room mimic what robot vacuums run into in the real world.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET
Inside this room are objects designed to simulate typical obstacles a robot vac encounters for navigation as it cleans. These obstacles include wall edges, table and chair legs, couches and other furniture, and so on, plus bare tile and hardwood floors, as well as carpet.  Here’s a coverage photo of the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus as it moved through our test room. You can see the Roomba S9 covered the floor well, except for one slight section in the center (left, bottom).
Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET
We mount LED lights to the top of each vacuum cleaner. The dimensions of the lights correspond to the measured nozzle width of each particular robot vacuum we test. 

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Lasers, sensors and robots, oh my: Some robot vacuums…

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As robots move through the room while cleaning, a camera overhead captures a long-exposure image of the entire room in low light. That photo will then have a light trail, created by the LEDs, that shows the exact areas where the robot traveled (and its nozzle position) during its runtime. We can also see areas of the floor the vacuum may have missed or gotten stuck. This is the coverage pattern created by the Neato D7. Its movement through our test room was very orderly, logical and effective.
Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET
You can see the navigation results of all the robot vacuums in our test group in the gallery below.
Some robot vacuums have a better sense of direction than others
See all photos

The second type of test reveals exactly how much physical debris a vacuum is able to pick up off of the floor. To mimic dirt of small particle size, we use a mixture of play-sand and landscaping sand. For bigger particle soil, we use grains of uncooked black rice. Robots then run in straight line mode across three types of flooring (low-pile carpet, medium-pile carpet and hardwood bare floors). We test robot vacuums on three types of floor surfaces.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET
We control for the specific nozzle width of each vacuum, too. We constructed an adjustable tool to soil our test floors. It lets us lay down a strip of precise area of soil to match the nozzle dimensions for every robot. The mass of soil isn’t chosen at random either. We measure a proportional amount that’s related to the flooring material, type of debris, plus each vacuum’s nozzle width. Our custom-built tool lets us match soil area to a robot vacuum’s nozzle width.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET
We conduct three cleaning runs (at minimum) on each floor type. We also perform cleaning tests with sand and rice separately. That comes to at least 18 tests per robot vac. We weigh the robot’s dust bin both before and after each run. From there we can calculate the percentage of debris pickup for every cleaning run and the average amount of soil a machine manages to remove. Additionally we run anecdotal (visual) pet hair tests for each robot, on all three floor types.  We run robot vacuums in a straight line during the debris pickup tests.
Tyler Lizenby/CNET
The chart below shows the fine particle cleaning performance data for all of the robot vacuums we tested. It should give you a pretty good idea about their cleaning performance on different kinds of flooring surfaces. Our rice-based, medium-size particle test didn’t show enough differentiation between each cleaner, which says they can all handle larger particles without trouble. For fur removal for pet owners, we judged anecdotally. Percent soil removed

Neato Botvac D6 Connected

Legend:
Sand from low-pile
Sand from hardwood
Sand from medium-pile
Note:
Results listed are the average percentage of total material removed from test surface

Want more robot vacuum options? Here’s a list of the other robot vacuums we tested besides the models listed above. More vacuum advice and recommendations

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Microsoft Surface Pro X to Get SQ2 Chip Upgrade, Platinum Colour Option: Report

Microsoft Surface Pro X, the company’s ARM-powered tablet, is reportedly getting a refresh with an upgraded Microsoft SQ2 processor, a new platinum colour option, and new Type Cover colours. The updated version is expected to launch in October this year, and Microsoft reportedly aims at pushing the Surface Pro X to the mainstream market with…

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Microsoft Surface Pro X, the company’s ARM-powered tablet, is reportedly getting a refresh with an upgraded Microsoft SQ2 processor, a new platinum colour option, and new Type Cover colours. The updated version is expected to launch in October this year, and Microsoft reportedly aims at pushing the Surface Pro X to the mainstream market with the new processor, hue variant, and accessories. The original Surface Pro X debuted last year and the upgraded version seems to be coming right on time.In a report, Windows Central cited sources that the Microsoft Surface Pro X will soon start shipping with the company’s latest SQ2 processor. This is a significant upgrade from the SQ1 chip that powered the earlier Surface Pro X model. It is being speculated that the new SQ2 chip is based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 SoC that promises to offer a notable boost in performance.The report also suggests that Microsoft is planning to announce x86 64-bit app-emulation. As of now, the ARM version of Windows 10 can only emulate 32-bit apps. Given the improved performance of the SQ2 chip, the 64-bit app-emulation could boost demand for the Surface Pro X.Apart from the new chip, the Surface Pro X could also be getting a platinum colour option, similar to the one already available on the regular Surface Pro offerings. Currently, the Surface Pro X is only available in a black colour option. The Surface Pro X Type Covers are also reportedly getting colour variants similar to the regular Surface Pro Type Covers. With the new colours and accessories, the report suggests that the tech giant plans to promote the Surface Pro X as “ready for mainstream.”The report also points out that there are no significant design changes in the refreshed Surface Pro X variant.Microsoft Surface Pro X price in IndiaThe Surface Pro X is currently available in two storage variants in India. The 8GB + 128GB storage option is priced at Rs. 98,990. On the other hand, the 8GB + 256GB storage variant carries a price tag of Rs. 1,43,950.Microsoft Surface Pro X specificationsThe Surface Pro X is touted as the company’s thinnest and lightest 2-in-1 device to date. With a thickness of 7.3mm, it weighs only 774 grams. It features a 13-inch display with a resolution of 2,880×1,920 pixels and an aspect ratio of 3:2. It boasts of a battery life of up to 13 hours, with support for fast charging. The compatible Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard and Surface Slim Pen are sold separately.Is Android One holding back Nokia smartphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

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