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- The Station: Bird and Lime layoffs, pivots in a COVID-19 era and a $2.2 trillion dealHello folks, welcome back (or hi for the first time) to The Station, a weekly newsletter dedicated to the all the ways people and packages move around this world. I’m your host, Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. I also have started to publish a shorter version of the newsletter on TechCrunch . That’s what you’re reading now. For the whole enchilada — which comes out every Saturday — you can subscribe to the newsletter by heading over here, and clicking “The Station.” It’s free! Before I get into the thick of things, how is everyone doing? This isn’t a rhetorical question; I’m being earnest. I want to hear from you (note my email below). Maybe you’re a startup founder, a safety driver at an autonomous vehicle developer, a venture capitalist, engineer or gig economy worker. I’m interested in how you are doing, what you’re doing to cope… ..... Read More.1 hour ago
- Saudi spies tracked phones using flaws the FCC failed to fix for yearsLawmakers and security experts have long warned of security flaws in the underbelly of the world’s cell networks. Now a whistleblower says the Saudi government is exploiting those flaws to track its citizens across the U.S. as part of a “systematic” surveillance campaign. It’s the latest tactic by the Saudi kingdom to spy on its citizens overseas. The kingdom has faced accusations of using powerful mobile spyware to hack into the phones of dissidents and activists to monitor their activities, including those close to Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was murdered by agents of the Saudi regime. The kingdom also allegedly planted spies at Twitter to surveil critics of the regime. The Guardian obtained a cache of data amounting to millions of locations on Saudi citizens over a four-month period beginning in November. The report says the location tracking requests were made by Saudi’s three largest cell carriers… ..... Read More.1 hour ago
- White House extends social distancing guidelines to April 30Only a few days after saying that he would like to see the country “opened up and raring to go by Easter” and maybe relax rules for at least some parts of the U.S. sooner than later, President Trump today announced that he is extending the government’s social distancing guidelines through April 30. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won. That would be the greatest loss of all,” he said. “Therefore, the next two weeks and during this period it’s very important that everyone strongly follows the guidelines — have to follow the guidelines that our great vice president holds up a lot. He’s holding that up a lot. He believes in it so strongly. The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end. Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30 to slow the spread.” He also noted that we… ..... Read More.1 hour ago
- Divesting from one facial recognition startup, Microsoft ends outside investments in the t...Microsoft is pulling out of an investment in an Israeli facial recognition technology developer as part of a broader policy shift to halt any minority investments in facial recognition startups, the company announced late last week. The decision to withdraw its investment from AnyVision, an Israeli company developing facial recognition software, came as a result of an investigation into reports that AnyVision’s technology was being used by the Israeli government to surveil residents in the West Bank. The investigation, conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his team at Covington & Burling, confirmed that AnyVision’s technology was used to monitor border crossings between the West Bank and Israel, but did not “power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank.” Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12 Ventures, backed AnyVision as part of the company’s $74 million financing round which closed in June 2019. Investors who… ..... Read More.2 hours ago
- Fauci: US can expect more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, millions of casesOn CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, the leading U.S. authority on the COVID-19 pandemic made some grim predictions about the course of the novel coronavirus as it rages through communities within the United States. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and emerging face of American leadership in the fight against the virus, estimated that the U.S. may see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus. A deeply-respected authority on viral diseases, Fauci assisted in guiding the federal response to SARS, MERS, Ebola and now the novel coronavirus. Fauci cautioned that these estimates are based on models and a model is only as accurate as the assumptions that go into building it. An extreme worst-case situation in which the coronavirus causes millions of American deaths remains “not impossible but very, very unlikely.” “Whenever… ..... Read More.7 hours ago
- Elizabeth Warren for President open-sources its 2020 campaign techDemocratic senator Elizabeth Warren may have ended her 2020 presidential run, but the tech used to drive her campaign will live on. Members of her staff announced they would make public the top apps and digital tools developed in Warren’s bid to become the Democratic nominee for president. “In our work, we leaned heavily on open source technology — and want to contribute back to that community…[by] open-sourcing some of the most important projects of the Elizabeth Warren campaign for anyone to use,” the Warren for President Tech Team said. In a Medium post, members of the team — including chief technology strategist Mike Conlow and chief technology officer Nikki Sutton — previewed what would be available and why. “Our hope is that other Democratic candidates and progressive causes will use the ideas and code we developed to run stronger campaigns and help Democrats win,” the post said. Warren’s tech… ..... Read More.9 hours ago