A rendering of the Scener experience for San Diego Comic Con as seen on a laptop. Image: Scener

Scener, a small spinoff from RealNetworks, is expanding its service, which lets people in separate locations watch video simultaneously while also chatting, offering a digital, socially distant option for watching a movie or TV show with friends.

The big picture: The company's product is one of many for which the pandemic has been, in its way, fortuitous, making what might have been a niche experience into a social lifeline.

Driving the news:

  • Scener, which had worked with Netflix and HBO Max, is announcing today new support for Amazon's Prime Video, Disney+, the premium version of Hulu, Vimeo and Funimation.
  • Scener, which works via a Chrome browser plug-in, aims to protect copyrighted content by requiring each device to log into the video service being used.
  • Scener is also working with San Diego Comic Con to offer online tracks in movies and anime that attendees can watch from home by logging into their existing streaming services.

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.