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Tesla to cut salaries, furlough workers as COVID-19 shutdowns extended to May 4

Tesla will suspend production at its U.S. factories until at least May 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the company to cut pay for salaried employees between 10% and 30% and furlough workers, according to an internal email sent Tuesday night and viewed by TechCrunch. Pay cuts for salaried employees — which ranges from 30% for vice presidents, 20% for director-level executives and 10% for the remaining workforce — is expected to be in place until the end of the second quarter, accordi...
Tags: New York, Email, California, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Automotive, United States, Shanghai, Nevada, Buffalo, TechCrunch, Tesla Model S, Gigafactory, Buffalo New York, FREMONT


Easy-To-Pick 'Smart' Locks Gush Personal Data, FTC Finds

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A padlock -- whether it uses a combination, a key, or "smart" tech -- has exactly one job: to keep your stuff safe so other people can't get it. Tapplock, Inc., based in Canada, produces such a product. The company's locks unlock with a fingerprint or an app connected by Bluetooth to your phone. Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission said, the locks are full of both digital and physical vulnerabilities that leave users' stuff, and data,...
Tags: Tech, Ars Technica, Canada, Federal Trade Commission, Ftc, Respondent, Ars Technica Read, TappLock, Tapplock Inc


Verizon Is Cancelling Home Internet Installations During the Pandemic

According to The Verge, Verizon is canceling scheduled appointments for internet installation and repairs, "[leaving] Fios subscribers without wired internet at a time when they're likely relying on it for work and to see friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic." From the report: "We are minimizing our in-home installation work to critical needs to keep our employees and customers safe and to reduce the spread of COVID-19," Verizon says in a support document. "To reduce the spread of COV...
Tags: Verizon, Tech, COVID


Australian startup SafetyCulture nabs $800 million valuation on $35.5 million round

SafetyCulture, the Australian enterprise software company that manages security and compliance checks at companies around the world, has raised $35.5 million at an $800 million valuation in its latest round of funding. Nearly half of the new money was meant to provide liquidity to employee shareholders who had been with the company over three years, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The round was led by the Australian growth capital investor TDM Growth Partners, with participa...
Tags: TC, US, Tech, Accor, Malcolm Turnbull, Kansas City, Manila, Scott Farquhar, Bob Butler, Kim Jackson, TDM Growth Partners, Blackbird Ventures Skip Capital, Luke Anear, Kansas City Sydney Townsville Manchester, SafetyCulture s Americas, Emirates Coca Cola GE IKEA Unilever BHP Billiton


It's a 'Cold War Every Day' Inside Apple's IS&T Group

An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report via BuzzFeed News: A group inside Apple called Information Systems & Technology, or IS&T, builds much of the company's internal technology tools -- from servers and data infrastructure to retail and corporate sales software -- and operates in a state of tumult. IS&T is made up largely of contractors hired by rival consulting companies, and its dysfunction has led to a rolling state of war. "It's a huge contractor org that handles a crazy amount...
Tags: Apple, Tech, Alex Kantrowitz, Kantrowitz, T Group, Sabapathy, Archana Sabapathy, Wipro Infosys, Information Systems Technology


Taiwan Tells Agencies Not To Use Zoom On Security Grounds

Taiwan's cabinet has told government agencies to stop using the Zoom conferencing app due to privacy and security woes. Reuters reports: Zoom's daily users ballooned to more than 200 million in March, as coronavirus-induced shutdowns forced employees to work from home and schools switched to the company's free app for conducting and coordinating online classes. However, the company is facing a backlash from users worried about the lack of end-to-end encryption of meeting sessions and "zoombombin...
Tags: Google, Microsoft, Tech, Taiwan, Fbi, Reuters


Netflix Tightens Its Parental Controls for Cooped-Up Kids

Netflix is strengthening parental controls, offering more tools to limit what kids can watch on the world's most popular paid streaming service. From a report: Parents can now filter out titles they deem inappropriate and protect individual profiles with a PIN so kids can't use them, the company said Tuesday. These changes take effect for customers in all 190 countries where the streaming service is available. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Tags: Tech, Netflix


Silicon Valley Bank only started processing stimulus loan applications today

In a sign of just how broken the process is for startups looking to receive stimulus dollars, Silicon Valley Bank, the bank that claims “more innovative startups bank with us than any other bank,” only just began processing claims today. “Since the CARES Act and the PPP were announced, we have been hard at work advocating for our clients to have access to this funding. We have been working around the clock to develop a process that works for our clients. Thousands of companies have indicated ...
Tags: TC, Business, Small Business, Entrepreneurship, Articles, Los Angeles, Entrepreneur, Tech, Spokesperson, Bank Of America, Economy, Chase, Treasury, Bank, Private Equity, PPP


This low-flying growth equity firm, with payments and logistics bets, just closed a $257 million fund

Activant Capital, a seven-year-old, Greenwich, Conn.-based growth equity firm that’s still making a name for itself, has managed to secure $257 million in fresh capital commitments, despite that the U.S. economy appears to be headed into a recession. It’s something of a coup for founder Steve Sarracino. It also begs the question: Who is Steve Sarracino, and why are people trusting him and his 10-person firm with their investing dollars? To find out more, we reached him last week at his home, w...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Funding, San Francisco, Tech, Nike, Venture Capital, Bolt, Sequoia Capital, Mckinsey, GREENWICH Conn, American Capital, Ryan Petersen, Activant Capital, Shopify WooCommerce, Serent Capital


WeWork Sues SoftBank In Intensifying Crisis Over Canceled $3 Billion Tender Offer

Just days after SoftBank announced that it would not consummate its $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares that would have bought out some of the equity held by the company's co-founder Adam Neumann along with venture capital firms like Benchmark and many individual company employees, the company is now retaliating, suing SoftBank over alleged breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. TechCrunch reports: In a press statement this morning, the Special Committee of WeWork's board said th...
Tags: Softbank, Tech, WeWork, Adam Neumann, Special Committee, Special Committee of WeWork


Latin America Roundup: Grupo ZAP, Grow Mobility, Wavy get acquired; Credijusto adds $100M; Cornershop, iFood brace for delivery boom

Sophia Wood Contributor Share on Twitter Sophia Wood is a Venture Partner at Magma Partners. Sophia is also the co-founder of LatAm List, an English-language Latin American tech news source. More posts by this contributor Latin America Roundup: SoftBank adds $1B, Stori raises $10M and Grow Mobility puts on the brakes Latin America Roundup: Loft raises $175M, SoftBank invests in Mexico’s Alphacredit and Rappi...
Tags: Amazon, Column, Twitter, Mexico, Softbank, Time, Tech, Walmart, Colombia, United States, Chile, Credit Suisse, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Peru


Restaurant management platform Toast cuts 50% of staff

Last valued at $5 billion, restaurant management platform Toast has joined the sweep of startups laying off employees due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toast reduced the size of its staff by 50% through layoffs and furloughs, according to a blog post from Toast’s CEO, Chris Comparato. It also reduced executive pay across the board, froze hiring, halted bonuses and pulled back offers. The company’s flagship product helps restaurants process payments and handle orders through a ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Tech, Chris Comparato, TCV, Personnel, Crunchbase News, Coronavirus, Covid19, Grubhub Toast, Tim Barash


Tyto Care raises $50 million as it looks to buy and build new services during COVID-19 demand surge

Tyto Care, the provider of a home health diagnostic device and telemedicine consultation app, said it has raised $50 million in a new round of funding. The round was led by Insight Partners, Olive Tree Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures, according to a statement, and brings the startup’s total capital raised to more than $105 million. The funding comes just as Tyto has seen a dramatic surge in demand brought on by the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tyto Care’s toolkit is being used...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Technology, Israel, Tech, Healthcare, Healthcare Industry, Telemedicine, Qualcomm Ventures, Best-buy, Gilad, Telehealth, Health Systems, Tyto, Tyto Care


Trump Threatens To Withhold Funding For World Health Organization

What better way to celebrate World Health Day than by threatening to withhold funding for the World Health Organization. That's exactly what President Trump said he was considering today at Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing. The New York Times reports: "We're going to put a hold on money spent to the W.H.O.; we're going to put a very powerful hold on it and we're going to see," Mr. Trump said, accusing the organization of having not been aggressive enough in confronting the dangers from the v...
Tags: China, Tech, United States, New York Times, Trump, Don, Wuhan China, New York Times Trump


New US Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany ran a racist, right-wing conspiracy blog

I’m about three hours into a deep wallow in new US Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s blog and – spoiler alert – it’s a hot mess full of racism, Islamophobia, and right-wing conspiracy theories. The website – whose name changed from RealReaganConservative.Com to PoliticalProspect.com – appears to have gone into “maintenance mode” back in 2016, which of course coincides with Trump’s election. It appears McEnany had a lot to say about African Americans, liberals, Muslims (with a specific emphasis ...
Tags: Startups, Politics, US, Insights, Tech, United States, Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, McEnany


Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Sets Aside $1 Billion In Square Equity For Coronavirus Relief

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Tuesday he will set aside $1 billion in his Square equity to support relief efforts for COVID-19 and other causes once the pandemic is over. In a series of tweets, Dorsey said that after the pandemic is over, he will dedicate the money to causes like universal basic income (UBI) and girls' health and education. He said he's pulling the shares from his stake in Square instead of Twitter because he own more stoc...
Tags: Amazon, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft, Tech, Bill Gates, Square, Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey, Cnbc, Dorsey, Priscilla Chan


This low-flying growth equity firm, with payments and logistics bets, just closed a $255 million fund

Activant Capital, a seven-year-old, Greenwich, Ct.-based growth equity firm that’s still making a name for itself, has managed to secure $255 million in fresh capital commitments, despite that the U.S. economy appears to be headed into a recession. It’s something of a coup for founder Steve Sarracino. It also begs the question: who is Steve Sarracino, and why are people trusting him and his 10-person firm with their investing dollars? To find out more, we reached him last week at his home, where...
Tags: Amazon, TC, San Francisco, Tech, Nike, Venture Capital, Bolt, Sequoia Capital, Greenwich, Mckinsey, American Capital, Ryan Petersen, Activant Capital, Shopify WooCommerce, Serent Capital, Steve Sarracino


Samsung's Older Smart TVs Are Losing Remote Control App Support

Samsung is killing its Smart View app for Android and iOS, which serves as a remote control for its older smart TVs. From a report: The company has updated the application's descriptions to announce that it will no longer be supported starting on October 5th. Android Police first spotted the changes and noted that, in addition to its capability as a remote control, Smart View can also beam music and media to the company's TVs. It's unclear how Samsung defines "older" -- hence which all models wi...
Tags: Samsung, Tech


New email service, OnMail, will let recipients control who can send them mail

A number of startups over the years have promised to re-invent email only to have fallen short. Even Google’s radical re-imagining, the Inbox app, finally closed up shop last year. Today, another company is announcing its plans to build a better inbox. Edison Software is preparing to launch OnMail, a new email service that lets you control who enters your inbox. This is handled through a new blocking feature called Permission Control. The service is also introducing a number of other enhancement...
Tags: Google, Startups, Gmail, Email, Microsoft, Tech, Spam, Mail, Inbox, Edison, Berner, Mikael Berner, Edison Mail, Edison Mail Edison Mail, OnMail, Edison Co


Netflix now lets you lock your personal profile with a PIN to keep kids (and roommates) out

Want to let your kids poke around Netflix without them wandering their way beyond the kids section? Got a roommate who keeps inexplicably forgetting to use their profile and is totally screwing up your “Continue Watching” list? Good news! Netflix is now letting users set a PIN to keep individual profiles locked down. The new feature comes as part of a wider update this morning focusing on improved parental controls. Other new features include: Filtering titles based on their maturity rating in...
Tags: TC, Tech, Netflix


Google Backs Apple's SMS OTP Standard Proposal

Google is now backing a standard proposed by Apple engineers in January to create a default format for one-time passcodes (OTP) sent via SMS to users during the two-factor authentication (2FA) process. From a report: The standard, proposed by Apple engineers working on the Safari WebKit project, has now reached the status of official Web Platform Incubator Community Group (WICG) specification draft. "We've moved 'Origin-bound one-time codes delivered via SMS' to @wicg_, where we're working on a ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Tech, Ricky Mondello, Google Backs Apple


Tech shares close down on the day despite roaring start

American equities closed down today, with the major domestic indices all losing ground after a wild trading cycle. After starting the day up sharply higher after strong Monday gains, those gains were erased as the day closed. It was a day of confusing movement; the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, to pick an example, had a range on the day of more than 3%, despite closing off just a tenth of that figure. Divining the correct reason for movement in the stock market is a fool’s errand most days. Today...
Tags: TC, Tech, SaaS, Earnings, Stock Market, Bessemer, Nasdaq Composite, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID


Jack Dorsey creates $1B COVID-19 relief fund using Square equity

Jack Dorsey announced in a series of tweets today that he is shifting $1 billion in his Square equity to create a fund dedicated to COVID-19 relief. The Twitter and Square CEO is calling the fund Start Small and posting a tally of disbursements and recipients in a public spreadsheet. Dorsey said in his announcement that the new initiative will shift the focus to other causes at some point. The first  is $100,000 to America’s Food Fund — an effort led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powel...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Twitter, America, Tech, Leonardo Dicaprio, Square, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Dorsey, TechCrunch, Gofundme, Dorsey, Laurene Powell Jobs, Coronavirus, COVID-19


PS5's Controller, the DualSense, Revealed

Sony has revealed the DualSense, PlayStation 5's new controller that will "bring a sense of touch to PS5 gameplay." IGN reports: Announced on PlayStation.Blog, the DualSense will keep "much of what gamers love about DualShock 4 intact, while also adding new functionality and refining the design." Touch was a big inspiration when designing the DualSense, and haptic feedback is one of the ways this new controller will help bring PS5 games to life. Sony mentions that this feedback will add " a vari...
Tags: Tech, Sony, IGN


NASA puts $7M toward long-shot research, from moon mining to solar lenses

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program is all about making high-risk, high-reward bets on unique — and sometimes eyebrow-raising — ideas for space exploration and observation. This year’s grants total $7 million and include one of the most realistic projects yet. It might even get made! NIAC awards are split into three tiers: Phase I, II and III. Roughly speaking, the first are given $125,000 and nine months basically to show their concept isn’t bunk. The second are given $500,000 and tw...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa, Aerospace, NIAC


NASA puts $7M towards long-shot research, from moon mining to solar lenses

NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program is all about making high-risk, high-reward bets on unique — and sometimes eyebrow-raising — ideas for space exploration and observation. This year’s grants total $7M and include one of the most realistic projects yet. It might even get made! NIAC awards are split into three tiers: Phase I, II, and III. Roughly speaking, the first are given $125K and 9 months basically to show their concept isn’t bunk. The second are given $500K and two years to show...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa, Aerospace, NIAC


PlayStation 5’s new DualSense controller is a sleek and futuristic gaming accessory

Sony has revealed the design of the PlayStation 5‘s controller – a follow-on to its popular DualShock line that takes on a new name for a new generation: DualSense. The DualSense controller is kitted out in black and white, and looks like a futuristic, plastic armor-plated robot companion more than a gamepad in some ways. It’s still recognizably a product of the DualShock legacy, however, and has the same familiar button layout as previous PlayStation controllers. The DualSense incorporates h...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Gaming, Hardware, Tech, Controller, Playstation, Sony, Dualshock, Gamepad, SIXAXIS


Away, the high-flying travel brand, just furloughed half its employees and laid off 10%

Pretty much everyone is getting socked by the Covid-19 shutdown. Among the latest to say so in a public way is Away, the trendy, five-year-old, New York-based travel brand that has raised roughly $180 million from investors over the years, including a $100 million round last year that pegged the company’s valuation at $1.4 billion — nearly three times where it was valued a year earlier. With travel down nearly 100 percent as the coronavirus makes its way across the U.S. and world, the company ha...
Tags: TC, Ecommerce, New York, Tech, New York Times, Away, Rubio, U S, Lululemon Athletica, Jen Rubio, Korey, Steph Korey, Stuart Haselden, Naficy


Away, the high-flying travel brand startup, just furloughed half its employees and laid off 10%

Pretty much everyone is getting socked by the Covid-19 shutdown. Among the latest to say so in a public way is Away, the trendy, five-year-old, New York-based travel brand that has raised roughly $180 million from investors over the years, including a $100 million round last year that pegged the company’s valuation at $1.4 billion — nearly three times what it was valued a year earlier. With travel down nearly 100 percent as the coronavirus makes its way across the U.S. and world, the company has...
Tags: TC, Ecommerce, New York, Tech, New York Times, Away, Rubio, U S, Lululemon Athletica, Jen Rubio, Korey, Steph Korey, Stuart Haselden, Naficy, Say Korey


Nuro gets OK to test its driverless delivery vehicles on California public roads

Autonomous delivery startup Nuro has been granted a permit to begin driverless testing on California’s public roads, paving the way for the company to roll out commercial operations throughout the state. Nuro, which raised $940 million from SoftBank Vision Fund last year, is allowed to put two of its low-speed electric R2 delivery vehicles on public roads in parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the agency that regulates autonomous...
Tags: Google, Transportation, Texas, California, Tech, Automotive, Arizona, DMV, Gm, Mountain View, Michigan, Toyota, Santa Clara, Cpuc, Gavin Newsom, Nhtsa