Jerry Turk

Jerry Turk

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After Trump said he'd kick the app out of the US.
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Bluetooth and GPS widget will be used to enforce home COVID quarantine Singapore will fit all incoming travelers with a wearable tracking device to prevent them from breaching their mandatory quarantine.…
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Just a quick reminder to take 5 minutes to fill out our reader survey if you haven't already.  For this newsletter, I wanted to highlight two recent stories that embody the power of digital transformation and prove how critical those technological overhauls suddenly became when the pandemic struck.  At Boston Scientific, the medical device manufacturer was already four years into its own transformation. Much of that time was spent on basic IT work, like hardware improvements. But the company also propped up new innovation studios that are proving critical during the sudden surge in interest in telemedicine. Investment in an automated information dashboard made it easier for executives to analyze critical data that, prior to COVID-19, might have been viewed quarterly — it quickly became a daily dispatch to help plot out Boston Scientific's response to the outbreak.  "It's because we made all of those changes in the last few years that we were so well-positioned to make the swift, dramatic changes that COVID forced upon us," CIO Jodi Eddy told Business Insider in a July interview.   Phillips 66 was dealing with entirely different struggles. The energy giant started its own tech transformation in 2017 when the oil and gas industry was beginning to pick-up again after a rocky few years.  It moved 80% of its workload to the cloud and worked with SAP to build a new software platform around its popular S/4HANA tool. The system makes it easier to analyze data across organizations because it integrates information from many aspects of the business — including manufacturing, finance, and human resources.   Then the coronavirus hit, decimating demand and sending prices plummeting.  Now, the the pandemic is not only pushing along the overhaul, it also helped the company quickly cut $700 million in spending, according to Chief Digital Officer Zhanna Golodryga.   "It's very hard to transform where the company is doing extremely well," she told Business Insider. "It's much easier when everyone is under pressure and you have to take some efforts and measures really fast. Below are a few other stories that you may have missed from the last two weeks. And as always: If you're interested in receiving this biweekly newsletter and other updates from our ongoing Innovation Inc. series, please be sure to sign up here:  We spoke to Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and 9 top healthcare leaders. They all said coronavirus is creating a new and permanent foothold for tech giants in the $3.6 trillion industry. How top law firm Mintz is using AI to help reduce costs for clients and alleviate work for associates One of the leading GOP voices on AI says the party's priority is on protecting consumers from the dangers of the technology, while also making sure America doesn't lose the innovation battle with China through over-regulation The CEO of a Siemens-owned robotics firm believes remote medical procedures will be possible within 2 years. Here's why that could revolutionize care for stroke patients. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How the Navy's largest hospital ship can help with the coronavirus
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Finnish manufacturer, Nokia, officially announced its second-quarter financial performance today. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the performance of the Chinese market, Nokia’s second-quarter revenue hit ... The post Nokia records “strong” growth in the second quarter: net profit exceeds $100 million appeared first on Gizchina.com.
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Last week, Oppo launched its first smartwatch dubbed Oppo Watch in Germany. The wearable has now gone global and this time it got proper announcement ... The post Oppo Watch with SD3100 goes global, price starts at $200 appeared first on Gizchina.com.
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Amazon doubled its profit to a record $5.2 billion in the second quarter. Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky shared a few reasons that may have contributed to the increased profits during his call with analysts on Thursday. Amazon saw huge lockdown-driven sales, but also scaled back its marketing and video production spend, while improving the profitability of its international business. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Amazon surprised investors on Thursday when it reported record profits for the second quarter, which exceeded Wall Street expectations by almost 600%. The $5.2 billion in net profit, which doubled from last year, was all the more impressive because Amazon had previously warned it would spend all of the $4 billion it was projected to make in quarterly profits on COVID-related responses, including wage increases for warehouse workers and the development of an in-house testing lab. Calling it a "highly unusual quarter," Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky shared a few factors that may have contributed to the improved bottom line during his call with Wall Street analysts on Thursday, according to a transcript provided by Sentieo: Lockdown driven sales: The significant increase in customer demand that started in early March remained high throughout the quarter, Olsavsky said. As a result, Amazon reported a whopping 40% sales growth to $88.9 billion for the quarter. He said Prime members led the growth, spending more and buying more frequently on Amazon. Online groceries tripled in sales, he said. Sold more profitable products: Due to the pandemic, Amazon had expected the bulk of its sales to come from essential products, like face masks, which have slim margins. But the mix of products sold started shifting in early May to include more non-essential — and profitable — products, Olsavsky said. At the same time, demand remained "super high," leading to higher-than-expected profits. Scaled-back spending: Amazon cut its marketing spend by a third during the quarter to reduce the demand it was seeing, Olsavsky said. It also slowed its investments in its Studios business, delaying productions of some shows to protect the actors and filming crew amid COVID-19. In fact, Amazon's sales and marketing spend was roughly flat from last year at $4.3 billion, while its total operating expense of $30 billion grew just 29%, much slower than the 40% sales growth rate. International growth: Amazon's international business, whose growth rate had slowed to the lower teen numbers in recent years, bounced back to 38% in the second quarter for $22.7 billion in revenue. Most important, it eked out $345 million in operating profits, recording a rare profit for the first time in years. Olsavsky said that's a "great sign," and credited the rate of Prime adoption in some of the more "established" overseas markets, like the UK, Germany, and Japan. Higher-margin businesses: Amazon's higher margin businesses, like its cloud and advertising units, continued to show growth. Although Amazon's cloud business reported its slowest growth ever, at 29%, it still had a profit of $3.3 billion on $10.8 billion of revenue. Advertising growth remained over 40%, while Amazon's third-party seller service, which includes the high margin fees it collects for providing shipping and storage services, also grew 53% (it's hovered around a 30% quarterly growth rate in the previous year). SEE ALSO: America wanted its first unfiltered look at Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person. The Amazon CEO used caution and skill to stay out of the spotlight. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button
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The first half of 2020 saw a record pace of VC funding, but much of the proceeds went to big venture capital firms, according to report from Silicon Valley Bank released Wednesday. That might indicate a rough second half of the year for smaller VC firms as well as early-stage startups, as investors avoid risk and pour money into more mature companies. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and its dampening effect on investor enthusiasm, industries like fintech, edtech, and biopharma have been strong. The report also predicted a surge in investment aimed at bolstering social good as millennials grow in wealth and power. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. There's still plenty of money flowing into the venture capital ecosystem, according to a report from Silicon Valley Bank released Wednesday. But most of it isn't going to smaller VC firms and early stage startups. That could spell a rougher second half of 2020 for those closer to the bottom of the food chain, the bank said. In spite of the spreading coronavirus pandemic and the resulting business shutdowns, the rate of fundraising by VC firms in the first half of 2020 surpassed the pace in 2019 by 36%.  But most of the money has gone to venture capital's bigger players, and not to managers running smaller funds.  And the investors in venture firm funds, who are called limited partners, are tending to sit back for a while before committing their money. "As LPs pause, funds have taken longer to close and reach a lower proportion of their target raise, suggesting an impending slowdown in VC funding for H2 2020," the bank's State of the Markets Q3 2020 report said. That might hit risky early-stage startups particularly hard. Venture capital firms are cinching up their purse strings on small startups that are more likely to fail, preferring to loosen them for larger companies with lengthier track records that want to expand operations. Payment platform Stripe raised $600 million in April, and grocery delivery service Instacart has raised $325 billion in multiple funding rounds, buoyed by homebound customers trying to avoid COVID-19 at the store. "Growth deals have continued, as they depend more on hard data and financials," the bank's report said. That might leave the funding of some young startups to established VC players like Accel. "We were relatively slower in the first half of 2020," Accel partner Rich Wong said. "You know, things were pretty red-hot all through 2019… but we've kept a pretty good pace on all the early-stage things." Wong said he hadn't read the bank's report, but he cautioned against exaggerating the decline of early-stage funding. The report found some bright spots in the startup world. Fintech has been resilient, and edtech has received more funding as the start of the school year draws near, and resistance mounts against a fall semester within campus buildings rather than online. And companies that are working on COVID-19-related treatments and vaccines are propping up biopharma as a whole. The report also predicted that while little venture capital funding is aimed directly at social good, that might change. American venture capital has raised $285 billion since 2015, but only $13 billion of that has gone towards ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives.  "Within that bucket, less than $1B had a social impact focus," according to the bank's report. But, "as millennials continue to gain wealth and  influence, ESG allocation will continue to grow."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
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How much money a creator on YouTube can earn from a single video varies depending on the audience that watches it, the amount of time they spend watching, and how long the video is, among other factors. YouTube's Partner Program allows influencers to earn money directly off their channels by placing ads within videos, which are filtered by Google. We spoke to 15 YouTube stars who each shared the most they've made from a single video, from nearly $4,000 to $97,000.  Click here for more BI Prime stories. This is the latest installment of Business Insider's YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn. Creators on YouTube often have no idea how much money they will earn off a single video after they upload it to the platform. While creators with 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours are eligible to have their videos monetized with ads by joining YouTube's Partner Program, the amount advertisers pay YouTube per 1,000 ad views (the CPM rate) can vary wildly. Why is that? The ads that play in their videos are filtered by Google, and how much money a creator earns depends on the video's watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics, among other factors. YouTube also keeps 45% of the ad revenue, with the creator keeping the rest. YouTube star Shelby Church (1.4 million subscribers) told Business Insider that extending her videos to over 10 minutes long helped her channel earn more money because she could place more ads and boost her rate. And some topics, like finance, get a higher rate because the audiences they attract are valuable to advertisers. Many creators also try to avoid swearing or copyrighted music in their content because those factors can increase a video's chance of getting flagged by YouTube and demonetized. So if a creator does everything right in the eyes of YouTube, how much can they expect to make? Business Insider spoke to 15 creators with very different channels and they shared the most amount of money YouTube has paid them for a single video. This article has been updated to include additional creators. Sign up for Business Insider's influencer newsletter, Influencer Dashboard, to get more stories like this in your inbox.Cathrin Manning — $3,886 Cathrin Manning started her brand in 2016 when she realized she was unhappy with her career path. First she started her blog, thecontentbug.com. After a year, she was able to transition out of her full-time job and into freelancing work.  In October of 2017, she created her YouTube channel as an extension of her blog. Now YouTube is her main platform. She mainly shares YouTube tips for creators who are looking to grow on the platform. She shares anything from how to understand and use the algorithm to grow faster on YouTube to how much money she makes from the platform.  Her most viewed video, titled "How Long It Takes To Get Monetized On YouTube," with 541,000 views, has made her $3,886, she told Business Insider in April.    Jessica Stansberry — $4,091 Jessica Stansberry began creating online courses and tutorials in graphic design in 2016.  She used YouTube and her blog to push out free tutorials and content to customers. Now she runs the YouTube channel "Hey Jessica" with 66,000 subscribers.  Her content is created as a resource for beginning to mid-level business owners who are looking to grow their presence online and market their business using digital-marketing tactics, she said. Her channel has videos like how to start an email list, how to grow on YouTube, and how to use specific software related to online marketing.  In 2017, with 500 subscribers, she decided to go all in on YouTube content creation, and see where it could go.  Her highest-earning video on YouTube is about how to use Trello, which is a project management system. This video has earned over $4,091 in one year, and is repeatedly her top-earning video each month, she told Business Insider in April.  The video was published over 2 years ago, she said and isn't her most viewed video. It has 24,000 views.    Amanda Ramirez — $4,800 Amanda Ramirez is a college senior who runs the YouTube channel Amanda Monroe (32,000 subscribers).  Ramirez started her YouTube channel in 2016 and now she posts videos about her college experience, fashion, and beauty.  Her most popular YouTube video is a college move-in vlog where she tours the sorority house she will be living in at The University of Arizona (828,000 views).  The video earned $4,800 in revenue from Google-placed ads, she told Business Insider in June.  "I was surprised but also not at the same time because I knew that those are the types of videos that I like watching, especially a sorority-house move in," she told Business Insider. "I didn't expect it to do as well as it did, but it helped a lot." Read the full post: How much a college YouTube influencer with 30,000 subscribers earns per month and what she made from her most popular video, which was about moving into her sorority Jade Darmawangsa — $5,000 Jade Darmawangsa is a YouTube creator and entrepreneur. Darmawangsa, 18, has 311,000 subscribers on her channel, which she launched in 2015.  Her video, "How To Grow with 0 Views and 0 Subscribers," which has 2 million views, earned her around $5,000, which is the most amount of money she's earned from a single video on YouTube, she said.  In 2018, YouTube featured Darmawangsa for 24 hours on its worldwide trending page as a "Creator on The Rise."  Today, she helps other social media influencers and young creators build channels and businesses online.    Kyra Ann — $6,000 Kyra Ann is a minimalist who shares her experience and tips on YouTube with her 77,000 subscribers. Her three main revenue streams are her day job at a nursing home, her YouTube channel, and the commissions she earns through affiliate links.  She told Business Insider in March that the most she's earned from a single YouTube video was about $6,000.  "I didn't keep any of that money," she said. "I actually threw it all to my student loans." Kyra earns more money a month from her YouTube channel than at her day job, she said. In February, she earned $1,817 from AdSense.  Read the full post: A minimalist YouTube creator shares exactly how much money she makes in a month with 77,000 subscribers — and what she spends Natalie Barbu — $8,000 Natalie Barbu is a 22-year-old social-media influencer and YouTube creator with 227,000 subscribers.  Barbu posts videos twice a week to YouTube about her day-to-day life experiences.  She started her YouTube channel about eight years ago, while she was in high school. She'd post videos talking about fashion and beauty as an after-school hobby, long before she knew she could be earning any money from the platform, she said. Barbu graduated with an engineering degree from NC State University and said while she was attending college, she began to take her channel more seriously. She would post one video to her channel a week about her college life experiences and what it was like to be a girl studying engineering, she said.  The most amount of money she's earned from a single YouTube video was around $8,000 from her video on how to start an online store, which has 390,000 views, she told Business Insider in February.  Read the full post (and watch the video): CRASH COURSE: An influencer explains how YouTube ads work, her advice for making more money, and how much she earns Maya Lee —$8,900 Maya Lee is a YouTube creator with 259,000 subscribers and a full-time elementary-school teacher.  Lee started her YouTube channel in 2017 and now posts productivity videos and vlogs about her daily life. Lee has several videos on her channel about waking up early. Her popular 2019 video, "Waking up at 5AM | My Productive Morning Routine" has 4.8 million views and has earned $8,900, she told Business Insider in July. That video continues to earn money each month and bring in thousands of new subscribers to her channel, Lee said. Her goal is to eventually have YouTube be her primary career, she said. "My hope is to be able to turn this full time," Lee said. "But for now I'm OK with doing teaching and YouTube at the same time."  Read the full post: A YouTuber with 250,000 subscribers explains how much money she makes from her videos, which is more than her salary from her day job as a teacher Ruby Asabor — $9,000 Ruby Asabor is a 22-year-old YouTube content creator and motivational speaker. She has 140,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, Lavish Ruby, which she started four years ago, and today she has established several revenue streams around her digital business.  She said on average she earns between $2,200 and $2,500 for a every 100,000 views on YouTube.  Asabor's finance- and business-related videos target an older audience, which is favorable to Google's advertisers. Her average viewer is someone who cares about financial education and the advertisements that play in her videos will often be for banks or stockbrokers, she said. These advertisers pay more than others because there are fewer videos on YouTube that attract their target audience. The most she's earned from a single YouTube video is around $9,000, she told Business Insider in February.  Read the full post: A recent college grad living in New York says she makes a 6-figure income as a YouTube influencer. She broke down how she does it. Alyssa Kulani — $23,000 Canadian YouTube creator Alyssa Kulani has 676,000 subscribers.  Kulani, 20, said her first YouTube video was a vlog, which she uploaded to her YouTube channel when she was 13 years old, around 2012. By the time she was in high school, she had around 100,000 subscribers.  Kulani never finished high school, dropping out her senior year, she said. That's when she began working in retail, and soon after, her friends on YouTube, who had channels of their own, encouraged her to take her channel more seriously because she was "missing out on a huge opportunity." In late 2018, YouTube's algorithm picked up and recommended a video she posted in October of that year titled, "Telling my best friend I like him...*PRANK*," which prompted the video to go viral and gain 4 million views.  She told Business Insider in November, that she earned $23,000 from that video, and that she continues to make money from it today.  Read the full post: A 20-year-old YouTube creator explains how she earned $23,000 in ad revenue from a single video Shelby Church — $30,000 Shelby Church is a YouTube creator with 1.4 million subscribers. In 2019, Church said she earned around $140,000 from YouTube ads, which is more than double what she made in 2018. Last year, she realized that if she extended her videos to over 10 minutes, she could include more ads and earn more money. She said she usually includes one pre-roll ad before the video (which is the default on YouTube), and two ads within the video, three or four minutes apart. Her videos are typically about 10 to 12 minutes. Her video about Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) had an unusually high CPM rate, she told Business Insider in January. The video earned her about $30,000 in AdSense revenue from 1.8 million views. Read the full post: How much money YouTube paid a creator with 1.4 million subscribers during 2019 Kevin David — nearly $50,000 Kevin David is a YouTube influencer and entrepreneur with 900,000 subscribers.  David told Business Insider that he'd made as much as $50,000 in Google AdSense revenue from a single YouTube video. His how-to guide for using Facebook ads made just under $50,000 in Google AdSense revenue, and his "Shopify Tutorial for Beginners" video, which required minimal production because he filmed it using the screen-record feature on his laptop, had made over $40,000, he told Business Insider in August 2019.  David gets the ideas for his content by looking at the Google Ads Keyword Planner to see how often people are searching particular phrases, and at other combinations of video topics and thumbnails that have been successful in view count, he said. He said he made his Shopify tutorial video while staying in a cheap hostel in Australia, with no camera or equipment. Read the full post: A YouTube creator explains how he made nearly $50,000 in ad revenue from one video, without millions of subscribers Brian Barczyk — $50,000 Brian Barczyk, 50, is a YouTube creator and reptile influencer who posts vlog-style content about his life and the animals he breeds. He told Business Insider that he supports himself and his family financially from the money he earns as a YouTube creator.  Barczyk's highest-earning video is one he posted in July 2017, titled "MY SNAKE IS EGG BOUND!!! NOW WHAT?!!!" Today, the video has over 28 million views. Barczyk earned around $50,000 in AdSense from the video, and continues to earn about $300 to $500 a month from it, he said. That's the most he's made from a single video, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider in January.  He said his channel gained around 300,000 subscribers from the video as well.  Read the full post: How much money YouTube paid a creator for 28 million views — on a video about snakes Graham Stephan — $56,000 Graham Stephan is a YouTube creator with 1.6 million subscribers known for sharing personal-finance, investing, and real-estate tips with his followers.  Stephan launched his YouTube channel in 2016 with a video on his journey as a real-estate agent.  Last year, he switched to YouTube full time. He earns money through the ads that play in his videos, sponsorships, and Amazon's affiliate program. He also sells a course on how to grow a YouTube channel. Stephan has turned his YouTube channel into a lucrative career, with his channel making $141,000 in February alone, according to a screenshot of his YouTube dashboard, which was viewed by Business Insider.  His video titled, "How I Bought A Tesla for $78 per month" with 6.3 million views earned over $56,000 in under a year, he said in March.  Read the full post: $141,000 in monthly YouTube income: Graham Stephan describes how he grew his real-estate and finance channel into a lucrative business Marko Zlatic — $70,000 Marko Zlatic is a fiance YouTuber with 318,000 subscribers.  He started his channel two years ago and now he posts videos twice a week to YouTube about personal finance, stocks, and real-estate investing. He is part of a community of YouTubers who film videos dedicated to teaching their audiences about personal finance — which can make creators more money than many other subjects. He makes money from the ads that play in his videos, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and financial consulting. His video, "How Car Dealerships Rip You Off" with 6.6 million views, has earned him around $70,000, he said. "A big part of my income is that ad revenue," Zlatic said. "It's scary not knowing if that's going to go away. You really have to keep pumping out good quality content." Read the full post: How much YouTube pays for a video with 100,000 views, according to a personal-finance creator Paul Kousky — $97,000 Paul Kousky has 11.8 million subscribers on his YouTube channel PDK Films. In 2015, Kousky dropped out of college to focus on online video as a full-time job. Now 24, he said that he earns a majority of his revenue through the ads in his YouTube videos.  He films videos about Nerf guns, and he told Business Insider in December that his video titled "Nerf War: Tank Battle," with 166 million views earned around $97,000.  "Some people think that's low; some people think it's high," he told Business Insider. "For me, that's just what I'm used to on my channel. Some people get a couple million views and pull in $100,000 in AdSense off that." He posted the video to YouTube in February 2018, and it went viral worldwide six months later, he said.  Read the full post: A YouTube influencer explains how he made $97,000 from a single video
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Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.The government still does not know when a “statistical flaw” that over-counted the number of people killed by coronavirus in the UK will be fixed, HuffPost UK can reveal.A review into the anomaly, ordered by health secretary Matt Hancock earlier this month, is under way but there is “no fixed date yet” for when it will report back.Public Health England (PHE)’s current methodology means people who test positive for the virus but recover and later die of unrelated causes are still identified as Covid-19 deaths. In a blog entitled “Why no one can ever recover from Covid-19 in England – a statistical anomaly”, Professors Yoon Loke, from the University of East Anglia, and Carl Heneghan, from the University of Oxford, first revealed the problem, and said more robust data was needed.Health secretary Matt Hancock ordered an urgent review into the way PHE counts fatalities. The news was seized upon by some as evidence that the severity of the pandemic was being exaggerated, but this does not seem to be the case – more reliable figures such as the number of “excess deaths” reported by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) clearly demonstrate the heavy toll of the virus in the UK.The most recent excess figures data show there were 58,000 “excess deaths” in England and Wales between March and the week ending July 17 – that is, the number of people who have died this year over and above the average for the last five years.Of the deaths registered by July 17, 51,264 actually mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, accounting for almost 15% of all deaths registered in 2020.The PHE figures are lower, despite the overcounting in the “statistical flaw”, because they only record patients who have tested positive for coronavirus – whereas many people, particularly early in the pandemic, died without being tested.Related... No, The 'Flaw' In England's Covid Data Does Not Mean The Death Toll Is Overestimated
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Eastman Kodak stock more than tripled on Tuesday after the company revealed a pivot to pharmaceuticals in support of the US response to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak will soon play a role in curbing the US’ reliance on medicines from outside sources like China — starting with producing ingredients for generic drugs like the Donald Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine.  Kodak chief exec Jim Continenza told WSJ he expects basic pharma ingredients to eventually make up 30% to 40% of the company’s overall business. Kodak took a $765 million loan from the US International Development Finance Corporation to power the shift, which… This story continues at The Next Web
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Meng Wanzhou has requested a stay of proceedings in her extradition case while lawyers for the Huawei CFO claim the US misled Canada. Following Meng’s arrest, President Trump said: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good... Read more » The post Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou requests stay of extradition case, lawyers claim US misled Canada appeared first on Telecoms Tech News.
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More pictures of the Oculus Quest 2 have spilled out on to the web, giving us a look at the virtual reality headset from all angles.
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(Concordia University) An international group of Indigenous scholars has just published the "Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper." The 205-page document is a collection of scholarly articles, essays, short stories, poems and tech prototypes, each offering a unique perspective on what AI means and offers to Indigenous peoples.
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These are among the best wireless earbuds you can buy, so which pair should you spend your cash on?
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Google Play Pass is finally out worldwide – here’s what you need to know about Google’s mobile gaming subscription service.
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We've put together a list of all the new games arriving in 2020 - and when you'll be able to play them.
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Coronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it all with the Waugh Zone, our evening politics briefing. Sign up now. The UK’s spending watchdog has been urged by Labour to investigate the government’s multi-billion pound procurement of protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.The party has written to the National Audit Office to request a probe following the award of a number of contracts without any competition under emergency procedures used by ministers, HuffPost UK has learned.The move came as it emerged that the Cabinet Office had awarded a £800,000 contract to consultants McKinsey for the “Provision of Consultancy Services for Civil Service Modernisation and Reform”.The contract suggests that the PM’s adviser Dominic Cummings is driving through his agenda to overhaul the civil service.Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed for the first time last week that £15bn has been allocated by the Treasury to spend on PPE (personal protective equipment).At the end of March, consulting firm Deloitte was chosen by Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office to advise on sourcing of PPE for NHS staff.As the pandemic spread, soaring demand for masks, gowns and gloves at home and abroad forced the government to abandon the normal processes as speed was the key factor in procuring the items.The UK government has used the single bidder emergency procurement process - which bypasses usual rules on the need for rival bidders - more than 60 times in April and May 2020. Not all of the contracts have been made public.Usually, contracts with a value of more than £10,000 have to be advertised and awarded after a competitive tender.Estimates of the amount spent to date vary, but officials have suggested in a letter to Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law Project which is seeking a judicial review of one of the deals, that the figure could be £5.5bn.Shadow cabinet office minister Rachel Reeves and shadow health minister Justin Madders have now written to NAO chief Gareth Davies to highlight how many emergency tenders were issued in comparison to other European countries.They added that contracts to supply PPE were placed with companies with little or no prior experience in the field.Reeves said: “Transparency in the awarding of public contracts is crucial to good government. The public don’t expect emergency laws to be used inappropriately and have raised questions about a number of contracts which deserve scrutiny.“Ministers should welcome the independent oversight a National Audit Office investigation can provide.”Madders added: “We understand that due to its failure to prepare properly in the first place that the government had to take urgent action to secure new supplies of PPE.“However, what we have seen is a chaotic, almost wild west style goldrush with many companies coming forward with no experience in the area being handed significant government contracts.”When the issue was raised in the Commons during Cabinet Office question time on Thursday, Gove said that he would “absolutely” support the NAO taking a look at the procurement process.The PM’s official spokesman has recently pointed out that 28 billion items of PPE have been procured since the pandemic began.A government spokesperson said: “Coronavirus has placed unprecedented global demands on PPE supply chains. Almost 28 billion items of PPE have been ordered overall from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply in the coming months.“We’ve been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the frontline throughout this global pandemic, and have delivered over 2 billion items of PPE since the pandemic began.“We have a robust process which ensures that orders are of high-quality standard, meet commercial due diligence and checked for risk and fraud.”Here’s Labour’s letter in full: Dear Mr Davies,Government’s handling of procurement of Covid-19 PPEWe are writing to request an investigation into the Government’s handling of procurement of Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).The Labour Party supports UK manufacturers of PPE playing their full role in protecting front-line workers and we have consistently encouraged the Government to engage with manufacturers and especially those in the UK textiles industries. Regrettably, there are many cases where this has not happened effectively and some of the decisions merit greater scrutiny.We recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a significant challenge to government, not least because of insufficient PPE stockpile to meet the demand of this pandemic. However, there is also real public concern at some surprising or seemingly irregular arrangements made between the Government and some suppliers. This could lead to significant waste, fraud or inappropriate contracts being awarded. Crucially, such occurrences would present missed opportunities to spend this public money in a better manner achieving a bigger impact from more suitable suppliers.At the end of March 2020, Deloitte was chosen by the Cabinet Office to assist with the procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline NHS staff. The contract was awarded without competition after the suspension of usual procurement procedures, which require contracts with a value of more than £10,000 to be advertised and awarded after a competitive tender. There could be important lessons learned if Deloitte’s approach and effectiveness was examined in this crucial role.The UK Government has used the single bidder emergency procurement process over 60 times in April and May 2020. It is notable that other European countries have used single bidder processes on far fewer occasions with Spain doing so on only 2 occasions, Italy and Germany on 11 and 17 occasions respectively. Some of this may rely on extreme necessity, but where this does not apply it is important that this does not become the default approach of Government departments in the months ahead.It appears that some multi-million pound orders to supply PPE were placed with companies with little or no prior experience in this area. You will be aware that the Government faces a judicial review into the award of a £108m PPE contract to Crisp Websites Ltd (trading as PestFix). A number of other media reports raise compelling questions around the suitability of some businesses for these sizable contracts. Some appear to have had poor company histories or appear to have been dormant in the months beforehand. Others are seemingly linked to tax havens which while raising ethical concerns could also present unfair advantages over the many established businesses paying the appropriate levels of taxes to the UK. There is also concern at apparent links and over-familiarity between a number of outsourcing companies and Conservative politicians or advisers.We believe an investigation would provide important scrutiny into whether contracts were fairly and appropriately awarded, matching the national interest with the expertise of providers, and it would help ensure that the integrity of public procurement decisions is maintained.The transparency from Government has fallen significantly short of what is reasonably to be expected even in such demanding times. There is £1.5bn of PPE contracts published so far, yet according to the Financial Times the Government admitted in correspondence to the Good Law Project that there is likely to be around £5.5bn spent so far.Full transparency is needed to reassure the public both in terms of the process but also to achieve the best outcomes. We want public money to protect those on the frontline who have endured so much during this crisis. A full investigation into the Government’s approach to PPE procurement could help explain recent decisions and ensure lessons can be learned ahead of the important challenges facing the country in the months ahead. Many MPs have been contacted by concerned constituents over these matters. The public would be reassured if their concerns were misplaced.We therefore request the National Audit Office investigates this matter and publishes its findings as soon as is practicable.Yours sincerely,Rachel Reeves MPShadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Cabinet Office MinisterJustin Madders MPShadow Health MinisterRelated... Coronavirus: Number Of Workers On Payrolls Drops By 649,000 Since March How Julian Lewis Pulled Off A Very British Coup To Chair The Intelligence And Security Committee Coronavirus Infects Half Of Incarcerated People At California's San Quentin Prison
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We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus pandemic. Sign up to the Life newsletter for daily tips, advice, how-tos and escapism.With the pandemic fuelling increased feelings of loneliness in some groups, it begs the question: is there anything we can do to stop it?A survey by the British Red Cross found two in five adults in the UK felt lonelier in lockdown. Just over a quarter (28%) of the 2,000 people polled worried that no one would notice if something happened to them, The Guardian reported in June. While a third feared feelings of loneliness would worsen in the future.Loneliness is a “subjective and emotional response”, says Campaign to End Loneliness, and people tend to describe it using words like anxiety, fear, shame and helplessness. It can affect how we act, as well as how we anticipate and interpret our social experiences.This can create a downward spiral where it causes someone to withdraw further from family and friends – and become even lonelier. So how can people tackle it?Related... These 5 Activities Can Make You Feel Happier, According To Science Earlier on in the pandemic, the government pledged £5m to national loneliness organisations and launched an initiative to tackle loneliness in communities, sharing tangible actions people could take if they felt lonely.It was a positive step, but it may not be enough to tackle the psychological impact of loneliness. Loneliness is not a mental health issue in itself, but mental health problems – particularly depression and social anxiety – can cause loneliness.Today, Campaign to End Loneliness has released a report on the three psychological approaches that can help people who are feeling lonely. It’s calling on organisations to develop programmes that include them, as they have the most evidence for reducing the psychological aspects of loneliness.“As a result of lockdown millions of people say loneliness is affecting their wellbeing,” said Kate Shurety, executive director of the campaign. “The subject has never been more relevant. “As meeting physically has often been impossible, there has been an increased understanding of the role of psychology to deal with loneliness. This report hopes to help people tackle their own loneliness and support people to better understand the emotional impact of their thoughts and feelings.”Related... 16 Ways To Practise Self-Care That Cost Next To Nothing 1. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)CBT is a type of therapy that helps you understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. A key part of it is identifying the negative thinking patterns you can feel trapped in, helping you break free from these and feel better. In the case of loneliness specifically, CBT could help those who are experiencing difficulties forming connections with other people, the report said.There are a variety of techniques used in CBT including: keeping thought records, relaxation and breathing, and muscle relaxation. This type of therapy can be accessed free of charge via the NHS or privately – The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Counselling Directory can help you find a private counsellor or psychotherapist who practises CBT.Some charities also provide sessions for free or at a reduced cost. Related... Here’s How To Access Free Therapy 2. MindfulnessMindfulness can help you become aware of your thoughts during difficult times through meditation techniques – for example, focusing on your breathing. The experience of trying to concentrate in this way enables you to see that thoughts arise outside of your control. For most people, it also becomes clear how repetitive thought patterns tend to be.In the context of loneliness, mindfulness can challenge the mind’s tendency to ruminate obsessively on fears about your ability to engage with others, which can undermine efforts to become more connected, says the report.Some ways to be more mindful every day include: noticing small things that happen daily such as the food you eat, the air moving past you as you walk, or the birds in the trees; prioritising mindfulness regularly (it might be helpful to pick the same time every day); trying something new like changing your walking route or visiting a different park or cafe; and naming thoughts or feelings when you start to experience them.The British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches (BAMBA) provides a list of qualified mindfulness practitioners, and the mental health charity Mind has a helpful list of resources on its website.  Related... How I Cope: Counting Colours On My Daily Walk Keeps Anxiety At Bay 3. Positive psychologyPositive psychology uses techniques to promote positive emotions, with the intention that these will override negative emotions. It teaches you how to shift your perspective, and gain happiness from everyday behaviour. There are lots of ways you can do this. Techniques are focused around challenging negative thought patterns, and addressing barriers to happiness – such as being biased towards negative thinking or comparing yourself to others. One way to incorporate it in your life is to focus on what you have to be grateful for. It’s not always easy – try writing in a gratitude journal each evening, listing three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. Or, have a go at gratitude forecasting – visualising simple pleasures you can’t access right now, and how happy you’ll be when you can experience them again. Action For Happiness provides free support and resources to practice positive psychology. Related... This Is What It’s Like To Be A Paramedic On The Coronavirus Frontline Davina McCall’s Life In Lockdown: ‘It Felt Like The World Was Collapsing’ I Finally Learned To Love Living Alone. Then Lockdown Happened
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Following the launch of a Section 301 Investigation last year, the US Trade Representative has announced 25% tariffs on certain French products, starting January 6, 2021.
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The initial free download was plagued with issues
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What could be our first high-res peak at the company’s upcoming headphones.
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Every month, about 10 million Indonesians make transactions via its agent network of over 250,000, the startup claims.
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The 2021 Mustang Mach-E's reservation page leaked on Thursday night, and it includes all kinds of fun stuff like uncamouflaged images and even specs.It looks pretty good, actually.We're especially digging the classic frenched taillights and the trapezoidal grille in the front, as well as the prominent rear haunches that help to give it more than a little Big Pony Energy.Speaking of energy, the leak tells us that the car will pack around 230 miles of range on the cheaper Select version, which clocks in at just $43,985 and should make the Mach-E super-accessible to buyers.The Mach-E First Edition will be available with all-wheel drive, a range of approximately 270 miles and all-wheel drive model capable of a mid-5-second sprint to 60 mph.Not bad, but the price tag for this limited-edition model is a little steeper than we'd like at $59,900 before incentives.
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After its acquisition binge, Microsoft is moving on from its feeding frenzy and getting on to digestion.The company is now beginning to show off the games that it is making and launching.“We are shifting from growth and acquisitions to execution and delivery,” said Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty today during the X019 event in London.Events like this one are important for the platform owners to flex and crow about their progress in beating up the other platforms.Or maybe just showing that they are still competitive relative to rivals.This means showing off exclusive games and also announcing partnerships with third-party developers and publishers that will get gamers excited.
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The Lenovo-owned company is embracing the burgeoning (if sputtering) world of foldables with the return of one of its most iconic models.While it’s true that Motorola’s kept the Razr name alive in some form or another well into the Android era, everything that’s come since has failed to recapture the magic of the once mighty brand.From the looks of things, however, the newly announced Razr is a lovely bit of symmetry.The product, which was announced earlier today in Los Angeles, leans into the lackluster criticism that foldables are simply a return of the once-ubiquitous clamshell design.According to Motorola, the company has been toying around with flexible technology for some time now.Per a press release: “In 2015, a cross functional team, comprised of engineers and designers from both Motorola and Lenovo, was assembled to start thinking about how we could utilize flexible display technology.”
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Motorola is hosting an event Wednesday night in Los Angeles where it is expected to introduce a new foldable Razr smartphone.While renders and marketing materials of the anticipated device have leaked over the past few weeks, our first look at what the actual phone looks like appears to have been revealed courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission.The images, first spotted by the website MySmartPrice, give a pretty detailed look at everything we should expect physically on the new Razr.While there aren't too many surprises from the prior leaks, the FCC images give us a clear look at the phone's front camera, USB-C port on the bottom and textured back cover.The FCC, which approves mobile devices for use in the US, often shares images to document that phones are in compliance with its testing.Motorola sent out invites to the press last month for an event set for later tonight that appeared to showcase the silhouette of a Razr with the tease "you're going to flip," another possible nod to the iconic "flip" phone.
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There is a new start-up in town on the railway scene, as Grand Union – with its cleverly chosen evocative name – is looking to start running some new rail services from 2021.The niche it has spotted?Trains to London from smaller stations in Scotland and Wales, with the longest line linking Stirling to London, but with the crucial difference that it ignores Glasgow and Edinburgh in favour of going direct, stopping at such previously unheralded and unserved Scots stations as Larbert, Greenfaulds, Whifflet, Motherwell and Lockerbie, before hitting the better connected English stations from Carlisle and Preston onwards and downwards.Grand Union has also asked the Office of Rail and Road if it can run an open access service linking South Wales to London, which, like the Scotland line, would see a fleet of Class 91 locomotives, or the InterCity 225 as it's known in fully assembled mode, from the East Coast Main Line used to link lesser-served Welsh stations to the big city.Open access rules currently allow the Heathrow Express and Hull Trains to slot their services in on the nation's lines without being full, standalone franchises.Grand Union's MD Ian Yeowart is promising to contribute to station upgrades along the line too, and said: "Grand Union’s service will give passengers greater choice, improved connectivity and better access to transport options.
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Capital One has replaced its cybersecurity chief four months after the company disclosed a massive data breach involving the theft of sensitive data on more than 100 million customers.A spokesperson for Capital One confirmed the news in an email to TechCrunch.“Michael Johnson is moving from his role as chief information security officer to serve as senior vice president and special advisor dedicated to cyber security,” said the spokesperson.Mike Eason, who served as chief information officer for the company’s commercial banking division, has replaced Johnson as interim cybersecurity chief while a permanent replacement is found.The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.Capital One continues to assess the aftermath from its July data breach, which saw a hacker take millions of credit card application data between 2005 and 2019 from customers applying for credit cards.
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