These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Microsoft pulls out investments from Isreali tech company
Tech giant, Microsoft, has pulled out of an investment in an Israeli facial recognition technology developer, AnyVision. This comes as part of a broader policy shift of Microsoft to halt any minority investments in facial recognition startups.
According to Microsoft, the decision to withdraw its investment from the Israeli company came as a result of an investigation into reports that AnyVision’s technology was being used by the Israeli government to survey residents in the West Bank. The 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.
2. Covid-19: Seven Nigerian startups to take part in the #Covid19InnovationChallenge
Seven Nigerian startups have been selected by Nigeria’s Ventures Platform and the Lagos State Science and Research and Innovation Council (Lasric) to take part in the #Covid19InnovationChallenge. The challenge is aimed at the development of solutions to mitigate the spread of the virus in Nigeria. Recall that Ventures Platform had earlier opened applications this month for the challenge — to find, support, fund and grow products and services that could potentially help millions of Africans through the pandemic.
The organising team from Ventures Platform and Lasric said the seven were chosen from over 500 applicants that submitted applications over six days. Hence, the seven will now be enrolled on a five-day bootcamp, intended to help the selected founders and startups work with selected stakeholders to finalise solutions and launch. These startups include Wellvis Health, Prunedge, Infodemics, Wellahealth, MyServiceAgent, Innover Technologies and Cmapit Analytics.
3. Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook set to launch in April
Electronic gadgets manufacturer, Samsung, has slated April, 2020 as the official launch date of its upcoming Galaxy Chromebook. The product, which can be bought after launch for $999, comes in Mercury Gray, or the bolder Fiesta Red that looks bright orange in some settings, a review of the product has stated.
The Samsung product will be the first Chromebook to sport a 13.3-inch 4K OLED display. With the current trend of COVID-19, however, as the world still struggles to put up with its challenge, there are fears that this might affect the sales of the new product. Reviewers have advised that Samsung postpone the launch to secure appreciable sales.
4. Renmoney lays off over 300 employees
Digital money lender, Renmoney MFB Limited, has terminated the employment of over 300 of its staff force, worse account of any recent lay off by any money lender establishment. While there are speculations that the lay off came as a ripple effect of the persisting coronavirus spread, the company has stated that its reason for doing so was in a bid to adopt new technologies to carry out lending and other services.
Renmoney, in an official statement to the public, noted that it will no longer operate a direct sales channel. And for this reason, customers may likely not need staff to apply for loans, open a savings or fixed deposit account. To this end, these processes are supposed to be replaced by using the digital lending platform the company claims to have built. Critics have condemned Renmoney’s move, underscoring the fact that it came at a wrong time.
5. US government adapts mobile ad location data to study coronavirus spread
US government officials have tapped into privacy data to monitor spread of the virus. The officials are doing this by using cellphone location data from the mobile ad industry to track Americans’ movements during the coronavirus outbreak.
Reports from the US confirmed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state and local governments have received cell phone data about people in areas of geographic interest. With this support from tech, US can create a government portal with geolocation information from some 500 cities across the country, to help ascertain how well people are complying with stay-at-home orders.
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