Visual Studio Codespaces – an online only development environment

Visual Studio Codespaces – formerly known as Visual Studio Online – allows you to create Visual Studio solutions entirely in the cloud across multiple devices.  This development environment is currently in public preview.

Facebook Manage Activity and Photo Transfer Tool

Facebook will soon release a new feature – Manage Activity – that will allow users to archive or delete their user activity in bulk.  Archived items can be still be made available, and deleted items can still be recovered up to 30 days later before they are permanently deleted.

Facebook also has a Photo Transfer Tool that will allow users to transfer their photos in bulk to a new website.  This tool only works for Google Photos for now but other options will become available.

Google Meet, Skype Meet Now and Facebook Messenger Rooms video meeting tools

Google, Microsoft and Facebook all announced changes or updates to their video meeting tools in April 2020.   These are alternatives to the popular Zoom video chat software.

Video meeting tool Google Meet is now available free of charge for all users.  This will be a gradual rollout within the next few weeks. Users must sign in with their Google account, but Meet works entirely in a web browser and does not require downloads first.

Skype Meet Now is a different video meeting tool which does not require a sign-up or installation.  A unique Meet Now link can be requested from Skype or a web browser.

Facebook has also announced its new meeting tool – Facebook Messenger Rooms. Invited attendees do not need a Facebook account to attend the video meeting and downloads are not required. Rooms is not end-to-end encrypted. This is in addition to their Facebook Workplace and Facebook Work Groups services.

National Emergency Library provides eBooks to students and general public

The Internet Archive has made available thousand of eBooks through its National Emergency Library program.  This was done in order to help students, educators and the general public who may not have access to reading materials due to recent current events.

The National Emergency Library can be found at archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary.   Frequently asked questions about the National Emergency Library may be found here.