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LATEST TECH NEWS: 5 things you need to know today, March 17, 2020



These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. American engineer resigns job after querying company amidst COVID-19 fears

Nick Wheeler, who was formerly a staff member of America’s communications and engineering company Charter, has chosen to resign from his job over accepting to continue with the company which according to him has failed to prioritise workers life over work. Nick, who resigned following an exchange that led the company to accuse him of being irresponsible, had before resigning wrote an email to the management to respect the recommendations from W.H.O and the America’s Centre for Disease Control, stipulating social isolation to contain the spread of the virus.

While accusing the company for not complying to the regulation of the health authorities, he opted on Monday, March 16, for a resignation of placement when given options to either take a sick leave or report to work for business as usual. Analysts are predicting that the ripple effect of the virus outbreak might be leading to more devastating circumstances to include bankruptcy, loss of job and service shut downs across the globe should the pandemic persists. There might be more Nick Wheeler with time, who will resist their uncompromising employers.

2. Senegalese firm enters deal to produce 10 minutes coronavirus test kits

In an urgent response to the high cost of testing for Coronavirus, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, a specialised research facility in Senegal, is reportedly partnering with British biotech firm, Mologic to develop coronavirus test kits that can diagnose COVID-19 in about ten minutes, a sharp difference from an initial average of 6-hour diagnostic time.

With a raving spread in China and Italy, with tens of thousands of persons testing positive, the Senegal laboratory stepped into its research with a financial commitment of £1 million grant from the UK government. While this is coming as part of UK’s efforts to combat the deadly coronavirus, the laboratory intends to make testing kits cheap and readily available. The dreaded arm of the outbreak has led to deaths of some casualties and the increasing crashing of the economy given the need to socially isolate people.

3. Alibaba, Jack Ma enter into philanthropy, donate 1m face masks to support America

The increasing wave of the Coronavirus outbreak in America has influenced tech leader Jack Ma alongside is ecommerce company Alibaba to donate testing kits and face masks to support struggling America in fighting coronavirus. Reports have noted that the scarcity of face masks in the US was caused by the surge in demand for it by people heavily shopping amidst COVID-19 fears.

Read also: LATEST TECH NEWS: 5 things you need to know today, March 16, 2020

For this reason, Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, has, through his Philanthropic foundations, donated 1 million face masks and 500,000 testing kits in solidarity to America. While government is fighting the virus and updating regulatory measures, cases have been identified in more than 140 countries across the world, with America recording more than 3000 cases and 40 deaths.

4. Hit by coronavirus effects, tech event company, Heavy Chef, looks elsewhere for revenue

Heavy Chef, a tech event startup, has revealed the severity of the coronavirus hit on its business as an event curator operating in South Africa. Like the U.S., the SA government has placed a ban on all events with over 100 people, adding 50 to America’s 50 limits. Following this new event policy, founder and CEO Fred Roed noted that the new development has significantly affected its business and will be leading to financial hiccups as the company will have to refund event tickets while seeking on other means to generate revenue pending the outbreak sweep.

According to the CEO, the team is activate and already doing the needful to ensure the company’s integrity is protected. In a newsletter, he stated: “Over the next 24 hours, we will be emailing everyone who bought tickets shortly with details of refunds.” To therefore, avoid future financial crisis, Heavy Chef is reportedly fast tracking the development of a digital learning platform. The 3-year old company will leverage opportunities in book sales, content partnerships and research development to balance revenue.

5. America’s HashiCorp raises $175M in Series E funding, company valuation crosses $5bn

San Francisco-based startup, HashiCorp, has announced on Tuesday, March 17, that it has raised $175 million in Series E funding from Franklin Templeton Investments, to hit $5.1 billion valuation. This development has helped HashiCorp move within 2 years from a $1.9B company to a $5.1B entity. Today, HashiCorp is one of those companies that is growing despite fears of economy fall as coronavirus sways its head.

This further testifies to the rise of cloud technology over the past decade, forcing software developers and DevOps engineers to completely re-architect the modern web application, ensuring scalability, performance, and security. As HashiCorp continues to play in this space, reward and enrolment for tech and industry players will keep growing given their roles in automating old manual methods and enhancing cloud storage and computing. With the new fund, HashiCorp might be on an expansion spree and might looks into tapping into Africa.

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