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.

Credit bureaus giving free weekly credit reports now through April 2021

The three major U.S. credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – will now allow Americans to receive free weekly credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com for a year starting April 20th 2020.   These credit reports were previously only free once a year under federal law.

The Federal Reserve Board announced on April 24, 2020 an interim final rule to amend Regulation D for bank transfers.  Previously, only 6 or fewer bank savings accounts transfers per month were allowed, but this is no longer the case.

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.