Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Alibaba Cloud announced today that it will invest another RMB 200 billion (or about $ 28 billion) into its infrastructure over the next three years, prompted in part by increased demand for services like video conferencing and live streaming as businesses adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The investment will focus on expanding Alibaba Cloud’s technology, including its operating system, servers and chips, in its data centers. The provider currently has 63 availability zones, located in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

In press statement, Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and chief technology officer of Alibaba Group, said, “By increasing our investment on cloud infrastructure and fundamental technologies, we hope to continue providing world-class, trusted computing resources to help businesses speed up the recovery process, and offer cloud-based intelligent solutions to support their digital transformation in the post-pandemic world.”

In its last quarterly earnings report, issued in February, Alibaba reported cloud revenue grew 62% to $ 1.5 billion. Alibaba Cloud is the top cloud provider in the Asia Pacific market, according to Gartner.


TechCrunch

Oyo has placed thousands of employees on furloughs for up to three months in the U.S. and several other markets as the Indian budget lodging firm confronts the coronavirus outbreak that has cut its revenue and demand by over 50%.

The startup’s teams in the U.S. are most impacted by the furloughs, according to a person familiar with the matter. In a statement, Oyo confirmed the furloughs and added that India, its home market, was not impacted. The company also said it was not cutting any jobs.

In a video message to Oyo employees, founder and chief executive Ritesh Agarwal said the coronavirus outbreak has severely impacted its business globally. The company’s occupancy rate and revenues have dropped by “over” 50 to 60% since earlier this year, he said.

The furloughs in the company’s headcount comes after the SoftBank -backed startup let go five thousand employees and contractors in India, China, and other markets in recent months.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted nearly every business worldwide, is the latest setback for SoftBank, many of which portfolio startups including WeWork, Kabbage, OneWeb, have either furloughed employees or declared bankruptcy.

WeWork, which had a meltdown last year as it rushed to file for IPO, this week sued SoftBank for allegedly breaching contract and fiduciary duty after Masayoshi Son’s firm said it would not consummate its $ 3 billion tender offer.

27-year-old Agarwal, who increased his stake at Oyo to about 33% last year after buying back stake from investors Lightspeed Partners and others, said the company’s balance sheet has “come under severe stress” and forced it to look at “every controllable cost and reduce them.”

“As part of which, every forward looking CAPEX, MNAs or even something as little as every non-essential travel and new expenditures were paused a little over a month back,” he said.

Agarwal is not taking any salary for rest of the year and others in the leadership team have agreed to have their salaries cut by a minimum of 25%.

India’s second most valued startup at $ 10 billion, Oyo has come under scrutiny in recent months after many of its hotel chain partners said the company had not held to its end of the deal.

Last month, Oyo said it was ending the practice of awarding perks such as guaranteed revenues to hotel partners around the world and was rolling out new contracts for its hotel partners.

“It is important for me and our leadership team that we make the right decisions required for the long-term success as well as what is right for the long-term cash runway for the company,” he said today.

The Indian startup will continue to engage with authorities worldwide to provide hotels to healthcare workers and others on the frontline to fight the coronavirus, he added.


TechCrunch

Livongo Health’s stock jumped over ten percent on a day that saw most exchanges tumble after a day of crazy volatility.

The digital diagnostics and therapeutics company is benefiting from booming demand for digital health services as remote medicine takes center stage for beleaguered health care providers looking to keep treating patients while also responding to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Livongo, a provider of behavioral management treatments and diagnostic tools for chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, weight management, and mental health, sits squarely in the center of current medical needs.

The company announced a revised preliminary guidance for its first quarter 2020 revenue to be in the range of $ 65.5 million to $ 66.5 million versus prior guidance of $ 60 million to $ 62 million according to the company.

The better-than-expected results sent the stock surging in trading on Tuesday, jumping $ 3.07 per share to close at $ 33.16, a better than ten percent gain even as the major indices fell in late trading.

“We began 2020 well positioned to pursue our mission of empowering people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives, and now more than ever, our efforts are necessary to support our Members and Clients through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Zane Burke, Livongo’s chief executive, in a statement.

“Our record Client launches of over 620 in the first quarter and Member enrollment are ahead of expectations and we continue to see strong demand in our pipeline. Livongo is in the unique position of providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable populations, people with chronic conditions, and according to last week’s CDC report, 78 percent of people who were admitted to the intensive care unit due to COVID-19 had at least one pre-existing health condition.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in late December, digital health startups have seen demand soar. Everything from telemedicine consultations to digital diagnostics and remote monitoring and triaging of health conditions has seen record growth.

Livongo is an early, public, beneficiary of a trend that’s playing out in private startups as well. That’s reflected in recent rounds for telemedical startups like K Health, which raised $ 48 million in a Series C round. Or in the financing for the Seattle-based startup 98point6, which raised $ 43 million in a Series D funding round.

“Virtual care plays an important part in enabling social distancing to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Brad Younggren, MD, chief medical officer of 98point6, in a statement. 


TechCrunch

As it mobilizes its supply chain, employees, and partners to provide personal protective equipment to medical workers and others working to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, Apple has sourced over 20 million face masks and is now building and shipping face shields, according to a statement from chief executive Tim Cook.

The company is working with governments around the world to distribute its supply of face masks to where it’s needed most.

Meanwhile, the first delivery of the company’s Apple face shields went out to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara valley earlier this week, according to Cook.

As Cook noted, the masks pack flat and ship 100 to a box. They can be assembled in less than two minutes and are fully adjustable. Cook said that the company would ship 1 million by the end of the week and will expect to ship an additional 1 million face shields weekly, with a goal to expand distribution beyond the U.S. 

“For Apple this is a labor of love and gratitude and we will share more of our efforts over time,” Cook said. 

Apple is joining an effort that several 3D printing startups and maker facilities have already spent time working on.

In Canada, INKSmith, a startup that was making design and tech tools accessible for kids, has now moved to making face shields and is hiring up to 100 new employees to meet demand.

“I think in the short term, we’re going to scale up to meet the needs of the province soon. After that, we’re going to meet the demands of Canada,” INKSmith CEO Jeremy Hedges told the Canadian news outlet Global News.

3D-printing companies like Massachusetts-based Markforged and Formlabs and Brooklyn’s Voodoo Manufacturing are all making personal protective equipment like face shields in the US.


TechCrunch

The U.S. State Department has issued an unprecedented “do not travel” warning to U.S. citizens, as the number of coronavirus-related infections jumped sharply overnight.

The advisory said U.S. citizens should “avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19,” the coronavirus strain which last week was declared a global pandemic. The advisory added that citizens abroad should “arrange for immediate return” unless they are prepared to stay overseas indefinitely.

The warning was published Thursday, where the official count for coronavirus cases hit 220,000 infections around the world, with more than 10,000 cases in the United States alone.

Several countries have closed their borders and restricted travel to their citizens and residents in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

This week, the European Union closed the so-called Schengen border which covers the 27 member state bloc, and the U.S. closed its border with Canada to all but essential travel and trade.

The pandemic has seen stocks and global financial markets tank, prompting governments to inject cash and slash interest rates to try to keep their economies afloat.


TechCrunch

Detroit’s big three automakers are to shut down all factories due to fears over the coronavirus. Details are still in the works and will be announced shortly.

Over the last few days, United Auto Workers has been pushing the automakers to shut down their factories over concerns of worker safety. UAW President Rory Gamble sent a letter calling on the automakers to shut down for two weeks. It’s unclear if this pressure had any effects on the automakers’ thought process.

Ford and FCA said they intended to only suspend operations at several Michigan-based plants. Early today, Honda announced it was pausing all operations at its 12 North American factories, including transmission and engine plants in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Canada and Mexico. Ford and GM followed several hours later. Now, in the afternoon, FCA also decided to close its factories.

At this time it seems the automakers are focusing on manufacturing and assembly plants. Most automakers had already instituted a work-at-home plan for office workers.

Along with these factories owned by major automakers, third-party suppliers will be affected, as their parts will no longer be needed. It’s unclear how many workers will ultimately be affected by these closures.

Tesla is reportedly working through shelter-in-place mandates. Early today, TechCrunch published an internal Tesla memo detailing employee instructions for its Fremont-based factory.

It read, in part, “There are no changes in your normal assignment and you should continue to report to work if you are in an essential function: production, service, deliveries, testing and supporting groups as discussed with your manager.” Tesla’s manufacturing employees, unlike the big three Detroit automakers, are not represented by the United Auto Workers.


TechCrunch

Over 30 civil rights organizations have penned an open letter that calls on government officials to investigate Amazon Ring’s business practices and end the company’s numerous police partnerships. The letter follows a report by The Washington Post in August that detailed how over 400 police forces across the U.S. have partnered with Ring to gain access to homeowners’ camera footage.

These partnerships have already raised concerns with privacy advocates and civil liberties organizations, who claim the agreements turn neighbors into informants and subject innocent people to greater risk and surveillance.

Had the government itself installed a video network of this size and scope, it would have drawn greater scrutiny. But by quietly working with Ring behind the scenes, law enforcement gets to tap into a massive surveillance network without being directly involved in its creation.

The new letter from the civil rights groups demand that government officials put an end to these behind-the-scenes deals between Amazon and the police.

“With no oversight and accountability, Amazon’s technology creates a seamless and easily automated experience for police to request and access footage without a warrant, and then store it indefinitely,” the letter reads. “In the absence of clear civil liberties and rights-protective policies to govern the technologies and the use of their data, once collected, stored footage can be used by law enforcement to conduct facial recognition searches, target protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, teenagers for minor drug possession, or shared with other agencies like ICE or the FBI,” it says.

Additionally, the letter points out these police deals involve Amazon coaching cops on how to obtain surveillance footage without a warrant. It also notes that Ring allowed employees to share unencrypted customer videos with each other, including in offices based in Ukraine. And it raises concerns about Amazon’s potential plans to integrate facial recognition features into Ring cameras, based on patents it filed.

The groups also point to the map released by Amazon Ring, which now shows over 500 cities with Amazon-police partnerships across the U.S.

The groups’ letter is not the first to demand action.

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) also last month wrote to Amazon to get more information about Ring and its relationships with law enforcement agencies.

But unlike Sen. Markey’s investigative letter to Amazon’s Ring, today’s letter has specific demands for action. The groups are asking mayors and city council members to require their local police departments to cancel their Ring partnerships. The groups also want local government officials to pass new surveillance oversight ordinances that will ensure police departments can’t enter into any such partnerships in the future.

And they want Congress to investigate Ring’s dealings with police more closely.

The letter itself was published online and signed by the following organizations:

Fight for the Future, Media Justice, Color of Change, Secure Justice, Demand Progress, Defending Rights & Dissent, Muslim Justice League, X-Lab, Media Mobilizing Project, Restore The Fourth, Inc., Media Alliance, Youth Art & Self Empowerment Project, Center for Human Rights and Privacy, Oakland Privacy, Justice For Muslims Collective, The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Nation Digital Inclusion Alliance, Project On Government Oversight, OpenMedia, Council on American-Islamic Relations-SFBA, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, MPower Change, Mijente, Access Humboldt, RAICES, National Immigration Law Center, The Tor Project, United Church of Christ, Office of Communication Inc., the Constitutional Alliance, RootsAction.org, CREDO Action, Presente.org, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and United We Dream.

According to Evan Greer, Deputy Director at Fight for the Future, the letter has not yet been mailed. But the plan, going forward, is to use it in local organizing when groups on the ground make deliveries to local officials in cities where the partnerships are live.

“Amazon has created the perfect end-run around our democratic process by entering into for-profit surveillance partnerships with local police departments. Police departments have easy access to surveillance networks without oversight or accountability,” said Greer. “Amazon Ring’s customers provide the company with the footage needed to build their privately owned, nationwide surveillance dragnet. We’re the ones who pay the cost – as they violate our privacy rights and civil liberties. Our elected officials are supposed to protect us, both from abusive policing practices and corporate overreach. These partnerships are a clear case of both,” Greer added.


TechCrunch

Created by R the Company. Powered by SiteMuze.