Covid Inc.: This Company Was Named Long Before The Pandemic

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NPR 15 May, 2021 - 09:27am 41 views

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In February 2020, Norm Carson was attending a trade show in Amsterdam, when news about the coronavirus hit.

"We went in that day thinking we'd see some customers, do some training and it'd be a regular day. And then before you knew it, they had announced the name," he says.

That name was COVID-19 and Carson is the CEO of Covid Inc. The Tempe, Ariz.-based company has been around for decades, and its cables and other audiovisual equipment are sold around the world.

Carson remembers posing for countless pictures in front of his company's sign at the trade show that day. "And then it started to hit me that this might be a deal," he says.

Because Covid Inc. sells its products through dealers and distributors, the unfortunate turn hasn't driven a lot of publicity to the company, Carson says.

"For the most part, it hasn't affected us a lot that way. It's made for more good stories, I think," he says.

Like the people who see the sign on the company's building and come in looking for a COVID-19 test. "And so we always have to explain to everyone that, you know, we don't do that. We're not associated with the pandemic at all," Carson says.

"So they decided to have a contest and the UPS driver at the time came up with the name Covid instead of Vidco."

Carson takes the situation in stride.

"You know, it's a serious thing," he says. "Obviously, a lot of people have been affected by this [pandemic]. People have died over this. So we take it seriously. But the coincidence of a pandemic being named after your company, I mean, what are you going to do but laugh a little bit?

"You know, we get a lot of customers who always want to come up with our new taglines ... 'Covid, we had it first.' Or 'The only thing that's contagious is our quality.' We get all kinds of jokes from people. And a lot of people call and they talk to us and they just, can you believe that? And you just smile a little bit and say, yeah, and you just tell some of the stories that's happened because of it. But, yeah, it's OK."

Carson says there are no plans to change the company's name. "You know, we've been in business for 40 years. It's part of the story now, I guess," he says.

Read full article at NPR

PS5 production is ‘ramping up over the summer’, but will it fix the supply shortage?

TechRadar 15 May, 2021 - 10:00am

Overwhelming demand for PS5 stock should subside soon

Thankfully, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has acknowledged the ongoing PS5 restock woes, and has revealed new plans on how the company aims to tackle the supply shortage for the rest of 2021.

In an interview with Wired, Ryan outlined some of the steps Sony is taking to ensure more PlayStation 5 consoles are available to consumers.

“We’re working as hard as we can to ameliorate that situation,” Ryan said. “We see production ramping over the summer and certainly into the second half of the year, and we would hope to see some sort of return to normality in terms of the balance between supply and demand during that period.”

The pandemic hasn't helped matters, either. With the majority of brick and mortar stores closed, people have had no choice to buy online. We've seen websites crashing, consumers unable to checkout, and various online queuing systems in place to try and stem the influx of buyers who are desperate to buy a PS5. 

However, Sony has previously warned that stock could remain constrained until 2022, and has even suggested that a PS5 redesign (which we’re confident is in relation to the internal components, not the appearance of the console) could take place to circumvent some of the current issues. 

Luckily for Sony, the scarcity of PS5 consoles hasn’t had a negative impact on sales. The PS5 has already sold 7.8 million units since March 31, and is outpacing the PS4 during the same time period. Interestingly, Sony has also revealed that PS5 owners are spending 81% more time playing the new PlayStation console when compared to PS4, a large chunk of which is probably due to the fact the PS5 is backwards compatible.

While demand will naturally decline, Sony has a wave of exciting first-party exclusives on the way which will only help drive more people towards purchasing a PS5 than ever before. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart already looks like it will be a spectacular showcase of what the PS5 is truly capable of, and Returnal has been well-received by critics and players alike. Blockbuster sequels in God of War: Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West are also on the way, as well as Gran Turismo 7.

Furthermore, Sony has revealed that there are over 25 PS5 exclusive games in development, with over half being brand new IPs. Throw in third-party staples like Call of Duty, the new Battlefield and tried and tested games like FIFA, there’s a lot for PlayStation 5 owners to look forward to in the future.

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