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  BGR Show All 
Apple paid Samsung a $950 million penalty after buying fewer OLED panels than expected
Apple Vs Samsung
  • Apple paid Samsung $950 million after purchasing fewer OLED displays than anticipated during Q2.
  • The payout suggests that iPhone sales during the June quarter will be quite low.
  • Some analysts believe the forthcoming iPhone 12 release will help Apple whether the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Apple this year paid Samsung a hefty fee for not buying enough OLED panels during the second quarter of 2020. The news comes from analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) who estimate that Apple's payout to Samsung was somewhere in the range of $950 million.

Samsung a few days ago did reveal that it received a one-time gain with respect to its display division during the June quarter. The South Korean-based tech giant, however, didn't provide further specifics as to the payout amount or reveal where it came from. The DSCC report, therefore, helps us fill in some gaps.

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Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

Apple paid Samsung a $950 million penalty after buying fewer OLED panels than expected originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 22:14:37 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


If you live in one of these states, the coronavirus pandemic is going to get much worse
Coronavirus deaths
  • Coronavirus deaths are going to see a big upward spike over the next couple of weeks, according to a new forecast from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The CDC is predicting as many as 160,000 total dead in the US by August. It's because of coronavirus surges the CDC says are coming from 12 states including hotspots like Florida.
  • To date, there have been more than 3.3 million confirmed coronavirus infections in the US.

Between now and the end of the month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is estimating that more than eight times as many Americans could die from the coronavirus than died in the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York City.

That's according to a new forecast from the CDC which shows that an expected surge in deaths will push the overall number of people in the US who've succumbed to the virus from more than 135,000 today (according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University) to as many as 160,000 total dead by August.

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Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

If you live in one of these states, the coronavirus pandemic is going to get much worse originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 21:12:33 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


SpaceX is about to destroy a ridiculous NASA record
falcon 9
  • SpaceX is about to use the same booster that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station again, this time to send a South Korean satellite into orbit.
  • If the schedule remains on track, the launch will make the Falcon 9 booster the fastest orbital-class rocket to complete two consecutive missions.
  • The launch is currently scheduled for July 14th.

SpaceX currently stands as the unrivaled leader in reusable rocket technology. It has some competition in the form of Blue Origin and a handful of other startups, but nobody has done more with reusable rockets than SpaceX, and that's a big reason why NASA is so enthusiastic about teaming up with the company for future missions.

Now, as SpaceX readies one of its pre-flown Falcon 9 boosters for a mission to deploy the first South Korean military satellite, the rocket stage doing the heavy lifting is poised to shatter a record set by NASA itself during the Space Shuttle era.

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Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

SpaceX is about to destroy a ridiculous NASA record originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 20:10:07 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


How to get your cut of Apple’s $500 million ‘Batterygate’ settlement
iPhone batterygate lawsuit
  • Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over "batterygate," which involved older iPhone models having their performance throttled to improve battery health.
  • The announcement came in March, and the website for the settlement went online this week.
  • If you want your $25 from the lawsuit, you need to fill out a claim form by October 6th, 2020.

The iPhone has been the focus of several controversies over the years, some of which were overblown, but one that was especially pervasive was Batterygate. Several years ago, Apple quietly began throttling the performance of older iPhone models based on the battery's health to prevent unexpected shutdowns and other issues. After getting caught, Apple apologized, offered cheap battery replacements, and added a feature in iOS 11.3 that let iPhone owners track battery health in real-time, but the damage had been done, and lawsuits had been filed.

Earlier this year, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle the case (which itself was a combination of multiple class-action suits), but would not admit to wrongdoing. Consumers would receive $25 per affected iPhone, although the number could vary depending on the number of claims submitted. Months later, a website has been established that all affected iPhone owners can use to submit a claim form for their payout from Apple.

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Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

How to get your cut of Apple’s $500 million ‘Batterygate’ settlement originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 19:08:22 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Florida county commissioner who opposed mask-wearing is now in critical condition with the coronavirus
Coronavirus Florida
  • A Florida county commissioner who opposed mandatory masks was recently hospitalized with the coronavirus.
  • The number of new coronavirus cases in Florida has skyrocketed in recent weeks.

A Florida county commissioner named Paul Waldron -- who previously voted against a mandate requiring people to wear masks -- recently contracted the coronavirus and is now in the hospital in critical condition.

Word of Waldron's hospitalization first surfaced this past Friday via a Facebook post from Waldron's daughter. While Waldron was initially in the "most critical of conditions" after experiencing septic shock, his condition is said to be slowly improving. Still, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on a number of his organs.

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Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

Florida county commissioner who opposed mask-wearing is now in critical condition with the coronavirus originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 18:41:51 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


SpaceX’s next Starlink mission keeps getting tripped up
starlink launch delay
  • SpaceX was forced to again delay the launch of its next Starlink mission as well as the deployment of a satellite for paying customer BlackSky
  • The launch was delayed three times due to various issues including weather and some vague "checkouts" that need to be performed on the rocket.
  • No new launch date has been announced after the third launch scrub.

SpaceX's launch woes continued this past weekend with yet another delay of the company's mission to launch a new satellite for a company called BlackSky along with a fresh batch of its own Starlink communications satellites. Whether it's weather concerns or issues with the spacecraft itself, SpaceX just can't seem to catch a break.

Last week Wednesday was the originally scheduled launch date for the Falcon 9 carrying the suite of satellites. That, unfortunately, had to be pushed back to Friday due to weather woes, but Friday's skies were no more favorable than they were two days prior. The third scheduled launch date, Saturday the 11th, looked a bit more favorable, but was scrubbed due to what SpaceX describes as "checkouts."

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

SpaceX’s next Starlink mission keeps getting tripped up originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 18:14:27 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Is it time for Dr. Fauci to leave, since the White House is now openly fighting him?
White House
  • The Trump White House has now taken the extraordinary step of openly working to discredit one of its key advisors during the coronavirus pandemic -- Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • White House officials have been circulating a memo to members of the press containing reasons they think Fauci shouldn't be listened to as a voice of authority on the coronavirus.
  • Trump officials have also taken to calling Fauci "Dr. Doom and Gloom" behind his back.

Aides to President Trump have taken to calling Dr. Anthony Fauci "Dr. Doom and Gloom" behind his back. That's according to new reporting that's been trickling out since this weekend which reveals a depressing new response from the Trump White House to the coronavirus pandemic -- instead of getting behind a comprehensive, aggressive plan to tackle what's proven to be the greatest crisis facing the US in generations, officials have basically just started Mean Girl-ing one of the highest-profile voices of authority in the nation.

We're talking, of course, about Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. And who, as we mentioned this weekend, is now the subject of a whisper campaign from White House officials whose desire for a positive narrative is clashing with Fauci's glum prognostications.

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

Is it time for Dr. Fauci to leave, since the White House is now openly fighting him? originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 17:47:18 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


How to get a dozen free donuts from Krispy Kreme on Friday
Free dozen donuts
  • Krispy Kreme is giving away a dozen Original Glazed donuts with the purchase of any dozen on Friday, July 17th at participating stores to celebrate the brand's 83rd birthday.
  • In addition to giving away free donuts, Krispy Kreme will also extend the Hot Light hour at participating stores, which means you'll have even longer to get fresh-baked donuts.
  • There are no coupons for this promotion -- you just need to buy a dozen donuts from Krispy Kreme on Friday, but you need to order in-store or takeout, as the deal doesn't apply to delivery orders.

Good news has been hard to come by for the past four months (or four years, depending on who you ask), but here's an announcement that might brighten up your day just a tad. On Friday, July 17th, Krispy Kreme will celebrate its 83rd birthday by giving away a dozen Original Glazed donuts with the purchase of any other dozen. Basically, if you buy 12 donuts from Krispy Kreme on Friday, you'll get 12 more free of charge.

If a dozen free donuts aren't enough to get you to your closest participating Krispy Kreme shop, the Hot Light will also be on for an extended period of time on July 17th. For those of you who have somehow avoided driving or walking by a Krispy Kreme your entire life, the huge "HOT NOW" sign lights up when fresh donuts are being made in the store, and they'll still be piping hot when the box is handed to you.

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. 7 things you desperately need to fight coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines
  2. Don’t be fooled by these fake NIOSH-approved N95 face masks – here’s what to get instead
  3. Today’s best deals: 50¢ face masks, Lysol spray, Purell sanitizer, $9 wireless charger, AirPods sale, smart bulbs, more

Trending Right Now:

  1. Your chance of a new stimulus check can be summed up in 3 numbers
  2. Whistleblower says China has been lying about coronavirus the whole time
  3. Coronavirus survivor shares terrifying symptoms the CDC won’t tell us about

How to get a dozen free donuts from Krispy Kreme on Friday originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 17:20:26 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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  TechNewsWorld Show All 
The Secrets of How IBM Maintains AI Leadership
IBM is chasing two of the three technology areas that I think will change the world as we know it over the next two decades. The three technology changes that I'm watching are robotics, AI computing, and quantum computing. IBM's focus has been on AI and quantum computing. I got an update on their AI efforts last week, and they have moved the ball a lot over the last few months.

The Linux Foundation's First-Ever Virtual Open Source Summit
The success of The Linux Foundation's first virtual summit may well have set the standard for new levels of open source participation. Summit masters closed the virtual doors of the four-day joint gathering on July 2. The event hosted the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference North America 2020 and ended with more than 4,000 registrants from 109 countries.

AI Advantages in the Wake of the Pandemic
Artificial intelligence will play a major role as we try to move to a post-pandemic world, especially as it pertains to tracking people's health and wellbeing in public areas. Employers will tap technology solutions to help them face challenges such as adhering to new rules and regulations, monitoring compliance, and ensuring employee confidence and morale remains positive.

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Website Development Contracts, Part 4: Indemnification
A well-drafted indemnity clause can protect you in litigation ensuing from your violation of a website development contract which results in third-party claims against you and/or your vendor. Whether it is your vendor or a third party that initiates the lawsuit, you will want to know where the proverbial "buck" stops when the legal bills start to roll in.

Improving Company Performance
A recent study found that businesses across North America are led well and staffed with people who are engaged in what they're doing. But technology is barely adequate -- and because of this, managers should devote their attention to improving systems whenever they think about how to improve overall company performance.

Digital Fraud Flourishing During Pandemic: Report
If you conducted e-commerce transactions since the pandemic struck, you have probably been the target, or even a victim, of online fraud. A report from Sift titled "Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index" details a 109 percent increase in content abuse and growth of the fraud economy from January through May 2020.

More Autonomous Cloud From Oracle
Oracle's new offerings, really packaging of existing recent high-performance products for the enterprise market, enable companies to continue running their data and datacenters on premise while still benefitting from gains made by its autonomous database like eliminating most forms of routine maintenance and operations activities.

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PHOTOS: Fluorescent turtle embryo wins forty-fifth annual Nikon Small World Competition

PHOTOS: Fluorescent turtle embryo wins forty-fifth annual Nikon Small World CompetitionThe winners of the 45th annual competition showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope.



7 tax scams to watch out for this year

7 tax scams to watch out for this yearIn case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.



What the CIA thinks of your anti-virus program

What the CIA thinks of your anti-virus programPARIS (AP) — Peppering the 8,000 pages of purported Central Intelligence Agency hacking data released Tuesday by WikiLeaks are reviews of some of the world's most popular anti-virus products.



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Ford's 2021 Bronco SUVs offer 360-degree cameras for a 'spotter view'
After years of leaks and speculation, Ford is finally showing off the three 4x4s that will reintroduce its Bronco brand. The two- and four-door Broncos are “rugged” SUVs with removable roof panels and available 35-inch tires, while the “smaller sibli...

Researchers made a medical wearable using a pencil and paper
Looking back at some of the most significant technologies humans have invented, the humble pencil is likely at the top of the list. For centuries, it has allowed people to record their thoughts and ideas and share them with the rest of the world. For...

Tech companies join lawsuit against Trump’s new student visa rule
Facebook, Google, Microsoft along with several other tech companies have joined the US Chamber of Commerce in adding on to a lawsuit against the Trump administration, pushing back on a new rule that would force foreign students to leave the country i...

You can now apply for your $25 iPhone 'batterygate' compensation
At the start of March, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to US consumers as part of a settlement that came out of its iPhone batterygate saga. Thanks to a website spotted by MacRumors, eligible iPhone owners can now apply to take part in the set...

Twitch restores Donald Trump's account after a two-week suspension
Twitch has lifted its temporary ban on Donald Trump’s account. It suspended the president two weeks ago for “hateful conduct” related to controversial comments regarding Mexican migrants that he made in two streams.The service cited a quote from Trum...

A Kinect mod for 'Super Mario 64' provides a fun pandemic workout
What do you do when you’re in lockdown during a pandemic but still want to get some exercise? Well, if you’re YouTuber SuperLouis64, you’d make a Kinect mod and, together with a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con, use your own body as a controller for Super Mar...

Star Wars animated series 'The Bad Batch' is coming to Disney+ in 2021
Star Wars: The Clone Wars wrapped up its final season on Disney+ a couple of months ago, but there’s another animated series in the works from a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars: The Bad Batch will premiere on the streaming service next year. The ca...

NBC is creating a 24-hour version of 'Today' for Peacock
Soon, if you miss a morning of NBC’s Today, you’ll be able to catch up with a never-ending stream of material from the show. Beginning Wednesday, NBC is bringing an around-the-clock, free, ad-supported feed of Today to its Peacock streaming platform....

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  CNET News Show All 
2021 Ford Bronco release date: When you'll be able to buy one - Roadshow
You can reserve a new Bronco online right now for only $100.
2021 Ford Bronco vs. the original: Oh, how far we've come - Roadshow
Here's how Ford's new SUV stacks up against the original Bronco.
Watch the official 2021 Ford Bronco reveal video - Roadshow
Ford revealed the Bronco and Bronco Sport in a multi-network spree, but you can relive it right here.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport: Price and standard equipment deep dive - Roadshow
If an Escape is too mundane, a couple grand more will put you into a much cooler-looking and off-road-oriented Bronco Sport.
2021 Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon: How the off-road rivals stack up - Roadshow
Jeep has long held the crown of the best off-road SUV, but Ford's new Bronco is here and ready to fight.
2021 Ford Bronco: 5 features that put it ahead of the Jeep Wrangler - Roadshow
There's more to Ford's new SUV than ground clearance and crawl ratios.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport: This small SUV is off-road ready - Roadshow
Very different from its Ford Escape sibling, this clever crossover should make one heck of a basecamp for outdoorsy types.
2021 Ford Bronco: 2-door costs $29,995, 4-door goes to $34,695 - Roadshow
The Bronco is a little more expensive than a comparable Jeep Wrangler, but we're thinking it'll be worth the added cost.
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Sustainable Engineers At Kenoteq Are Reinventing the Brick
Engineers from Kenoteq are working to reinvent the humble clay-fired brick, which has remained largely the same for thousands of years and causes significant environmental problems. Not only are the majority of brick kilns require

California Investigating Google For Potential Antitrust Violations
California has opened its own antitrust probe into Google, leaving just one state that has yet to do so. "In September, attorneys general from 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia announced an antitrust investigatio

US Threatens To Restrict WeChat Following TikTok Backlash
Amid intense scrutiny over TikTok as a potential national security risk in the U.S., WeChat, the essential tool for Chinese people's day-to-day life, is also taking heat from Washington. TechCrunch reports: White House trade advis

Johnnie Walker Maker Creates Plastic-Free Paper-Based Spirits Bottle
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The multinational drinks company Diageo says it has created the world's first paper-based spirits bottle that is 100% plastic-free. The company said it was aiming to launch th

Self-Driving Startup Built a 'Car Without Wheels' For Remote Driving
Self-driving startup Voyage built a physical "Telessist Pod" with software that allows a remote operator to give instructions to a self-driving car. Iwastheone shares a report from Ars Technica "For all of this to work safely, it

Ubisoft Is Giving Everyone 'Watch Dogs 2' After a Giveaway Glitch
Ubisoft announced on Monday that it will give away Watch Dogs 2 for free after a giveaway glitch made it harder for fans to get copies than they initially intended. Uproxx reports: Sunday's Ubisoft Forward event was a chance for t

US Utilities Are Cleaning Up Their Act With Emissions Down 8%
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: U.S. utilities are producing less greenhouse gases as they continue to shift away from coal. Carbon dioxide emissions from the 100 biggest U.S. electricity producers fell 8% last

Google Announces 100,000 Scholarships for Online Certificates in Data Analytics, Project Management and UX
Google today announced three new online certificate programs in data analytics, project management and user experience design. From a report: The certificates are created and taught by Google employees, do not require a college de


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Pour by phone: Coca-Cola introduces contactless technology to pour your beverage

Coca Cola is launching the contactless Freestyle dispenser, which allows customers to choose and pour drinks from their phones via QR code.

      

Nintendo Super Mario Bros. video game sets record selling for $114,000. Do you have a sealed copy?

An unopened Nintendo Super Mario Bros. NES video game set the world record for the most ever paid for any video game, according to Heritage Auctions.

      

What are Karen and Kevin doing now? America's latest video series online -- all the time

The comfort and abundance of smartphone cameras has made it easier to document people doing stupid things, and the Internet is just waiting for you, too.

      

Race and class divide: Black and Hispanic service workers are tech's growing underclass

Bus drivers, janitors and security guards, a high percentage of whom are underrepresented minorities, get none of the perks at big tech companies.

      

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Ford blends tech and nostalgia in the 2021 Bronco

The Bronco is officially back. After 24 years, Ford relaunched the 2021 Bronco in a splashy reveal streamed Monday evening on ABC, ESPN and National Geographic, each short film showcasing a different member of the family: the Bronco 2-door, Bronco 4-door and Bronco Sport.

The Bronco 2021 — Ford’s flagship series of 4×4 vehicles — is a brand that leans heavily on nostalgia, customization, functional design and technology such as the automaker’s next-generation infotainment system and a digital trail mapping feature that lets owners plan, record and share their experiences via an app.

This is not the 1966 Ford Bronco, the first year that the rugged two-door off-roader came to market to compete with the Jeep CJ-5. However, the DNA from that heritage model is present in this modern take of the Bronco 2 as well as a new four-door version. The third model, the Bronco Sport, is a comfier spinoff that is designed to be capable off-road as well as function as a daily driver on the city streets and highways.

Production on the new Bronco series will begin in early 2021 with the first models arriving in dealerships next spring. All three of Bronco models will be built at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. Ford has also opened up reservations, where prospective customers can plunk down $100 to hold their spot for the Bronco two- and four-door models.

Ford hasn’t released every detail on the three models — pricing on the Bronco Sport and Bronco 4, for instance. ( The base model Bronco 2 starts at $29,995, including $1,495 destination and delivery.)

There’s still plenty here. Let’s unpack it, starting with the basics of the Bronco two-door and Bronco four-door vehicles. Then we’ll dig deeper into some important themes including nostalgia, design, customization and technology.

Bronco 2 and Bronco 4

Pre-production versions of the 2021 Bronco, shown here, include Bronco two-door in Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat and Bronco four-door in Cactus Gray. Photo: Ford

Both models have a steel chassis and an independent front suspension, the aim here being to improve control. At the rear, the solid axle design features coil springs with five locating links to provide control off road and strength. The vehicles come with two possible engines — a 2.7-liter V6 or 2.3-liter four cylinder— and are available in 7-speed manual and 10-speed automatic transmissions. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter four cylinder engine has torque of 310 lb.-ft. with an expected 270 horsepower.

Ford gave Bronco 11.6-inch ground clearance, a 29-degree breakover angle and 37.2-degree departure angle. It also has water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches. Just to be safe, Ford designers added more protection and heft, including modular steel bumpers with integrated winch mount. Some of the higher-end versions of the Bronco comes with steel shields to protect critical hardware, including the engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank.

Oh, and how could I forget. Ford is making 35-inch off-road tires available in every trim level on the Bronco 2 and Bronco 4.

Bronco Sport

The all-new Bronco Sport Badlands series in Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat.

Meanwhile, the Bronco Sport is a slightly different animal aimed to be that go everywhere and do everything family truckster. The Sport offers a lot of the same off-road capability in a smaller package.

The Bronco Sport has two EcoBoost engines to choose from, depending on the trim. There’s a 2.0-liter  engine that produces 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque or a 1.5-liter engine with a targeted 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Certain trims of the Bronco Sport also come with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Digging deeper into the family of Bronco vehicles a few themes emerge, particularly with the Bronco 2 and Bronco 4. The vehicles are meant to remind us of the original while pushing forward to the future. They’re designed to be rugged and institute modern human-centered functional design, while embracing technology in some key areas.

Nostalgia

Ford Bronco vintage 2021 Bronco 2

Pre-production 2021 Bronco two-door SUV takes its design cues from the first-generation 1966 Bronco.

While technologists might cast a bit of side eye at nostalgia, there’s no denying its power. As TechCrunch’s Matt Burns noted last week Ford is going to use the old Bronco to sell the new Bronco, just like Nintendo uses past games to sell new games.

The 2021 Bronco 2 is clearly new, particularly once you look inside. But glancing over the exterior it’s hard to miss inspirations from the original.

The Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 has square proportions, short overhangs and a wide stance, all aspects that make these vehicles primed for off roading. They also harken back to the original design. From the side, you’ll notice distinct edges and flared fenders, again a nod to the first Bronco.

Customization

Here’s where the 2021 Bronco series really shines. Ford has comes up with innumerable ways to customize the Bronco 2 or Bronco 4 and even the Bronco Sport.

The automaker is offering seven different versions of the Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 with matching color and trim combinations. There are also 11 different paint choices and four content package. The options begin with the base no-frills version and ends with the Wildtrak and Badlands versions for for more extreme off-road adventuring. The Big Bend, Black Diamond and Outer Banks sit in the middle. And of course, there’s a limited-production First Edition that will be offered at launch.

The automaker also has more than 200 factory-based accessories.

The Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 are meant to be configured in multiple ways. For instance, the Bronco 2 models come with a standard three-section roof system. There’s also premium-painted modular top with four
sections that adds a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area. The Bronco 4 has four removable roof sections, all which Ford promises can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. The models are also available in soft or hardtops, or can be optioned with both. Even the large open wheel wells are a modular design with a quick-release attachment for customization.

Bronco_4dr_features_anim-alt

The doors of the Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 can also be removed. The doors are frameless, a design decision that aims to make them easy to remove and store in protective bags. The Bronco 4 is large enough to store all four doors onboard.

While it might not have the same degree of customization as the Bronco 2 and Bronco 4, there are plenty of ways to configure the Bronco Sport as well.

The vehicle is available in five trims, including the base model, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands and First Edition as well as four available accessory bundles. Ford is offering more than 100 factory-backed standalone accessories to transport a variety of gear including kayaks, skis and camping equipment.

Technology

Much of the technological focus is on the four-wheel drive system and is at the heart of the brand’s so-called Terrain Management System.

Ford is offering two different 4×4 systems on all Bronco models, a base setup and an advanced system. The base system uses a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case. The optional advanced
system has a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement that lets the driver select between 2H and 4H (two high and four high). The Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 have up to seven driver-selectable modes for off-road driving, including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl.

There is other technology in the vehicle beyond the 4×4 system such as the next-generation Ford Sync 4 infotainment system and a feature that stores more than 1,000 curated topographic trail maps that are accessible online or offline. The maps can also be shared with others.

The infotainment system features a multifunction color LCD instrument panel that Ford says were inspired by the first-generation Bronco. The SYNC 4 infotainment system includes an 8-inch or 12-inch center display.

SYNC 4, which has twice the computing power of the previous generation, will feature natural voice control, real-time mapping and will be able to be updated wirelessly just like the software on your smartphone.

Moving down the driver can interact with the transmission shifter/selector and G.O.A.T. Modes controller (off road modes) in the center console.

Customization details include an available leather-wrapped shift lever for the 7-speed manual transmission, as well as grab handles. Image Credits: Ford

Grab handles are actually integrated into the modular instrument panel and center console for those Oh S—T moments (obviously for the passenger).

Ford also included attachment points that are built into the instrument panel to mount pretty much any device you might want, including cameras, navigation units, phones or other devices.

The instrument panel in the 2021 Bronco two- and four-door models is ready for installation of accessories such as a bring-your-own-device rack shown on this prototype. Image Credits: Ford

Design

Another big piece of the Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 is the focus on functional design. This is meant to be an off road vehicle, after all. And it should function as such.

For instance, the trail sights on the front fenders also can be used as tie downs and can handle longer items like canoes. Those trail sights are placed so a user can tie off a boat or other equipment without scratching the paint or lights. But they can also be taken off or replaced with other gear, Bronco chief designer Paul Wraith noted in a briefing before the reveal.

Image Credits: Ford

“You can swap them out or bolt on extra lights or Go Pros,” Wraith said. “And, especially if you’re shorter, you can simply use them to tell you where the corners of the truck are, which just goes to show that innovation doesn’t always need a microchip.”

And as mentioned above, the interior is also designed with an accessory-hungry owner in mind. Other design features include a floor drain and flooring material on select models, hooks on the back seats for lashing down gear while on the road and a slide-out rear tailgate.

A slide-out rear tailgate. Image Credits: Ford

 

Want more photos? OK, click the gallery. (All photos from Ford).

[gallery ids="2016153,2016162,2016155,2016154,2016164,2016157,2016156,2016158,2016147,2016148,2016149,2016150,2016151,2016159,2016160,2016165,2016166,2016167,2016168"]


BigCommerce files to go public

As expected, BigCommerce has filed to go public. The Austin, Texas, based e-commerce company raised over $200 million while private. The company’s IPO filing lists a $100 million placeholder figure for its IPO raise, giving us directional indication that this IPO will be in the lower, and not upper, nine-figure range.

BigCommerce, similar to public market darling Shopify, provides e-commerce services to merchants. Given how enamored public investors are with its Canadian rival, the timing of BigCommerce’s debut is utterly unsurprising and is prima facie intelligent.

Of course, we’ll know more when it prices. Today, however, the timing appears fortuitous.

The numbers

BigCommerce is a SaaS business, meaning that it sells a digital service for a recurring payment. For more on how it derives revenue from customers, head here. For our purposes what matters is that public investors will classify it along with a very popular — today’s trading notwithstanding — market segment.

Starting with broad strokes, here’s how the company performed in 2019 compared to 2018, and Q1 2020 in contrast to Q1 2019:

  • In 2019, BigCommerce’s revenue grew to $112.1 million, a gain of around 22% from its 2018 result of $91.9 million.
  • In Q1 2020, BigCommerce’s revenue grew to $33.2 million, up around 30% from its Q1 2019 result of $25.6 million.

BigCommerce didn’t grow too quickly in 2019, but its Q1 2020 expansion pace is much better. BigCommerce will file an S-1/A with more information in Q2 2020, we expect; it can’t go public without sharing more about its recent financial performance.

If the company’s revenue growth acceleration continues in the most recent period — bearing in mind that e-commerce as a segment has proven attractive to many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic — BigCommerce’s IPO timing would appear even more intelligent than it did at first blush. Investors love growth acceleration.

Moving from revenue growth to revenue quality, BigCommerce’s Q1 2020 gross margins came in at 77.5%, a solid SaaS result. In Q1 2019 its gross margin was 76.8%, a slightly worse figure. Still, improving gross margins are popular as they indicate that future cash flows will grow at a faster clip than revenues, all else held equal.

In 2018 BigCommerce lost $38.9 million on a GAAP basis. Its net loss expanded modestly to $42.6 million in 2020, a larger dollar figure in gross terms, but a slimmer percent of its yearly top line. You can read those results however you’d like. In Q1 2020, however, things got better, as the company’s GAAP net loss fell to $4 million from its year-ago Q1 result of $10.5 million.

The BigCommerce big commerce business is growing more slowly than I had anticipated, but its overall operational health is better than I expected.

A few other notes, before we tear deeper into its S-1 filing tomorrow morning. BigCommerce’s adjusted EBITDA, a metric that gives a distorted, partial view of a company’s profitability, improved along similar lines to its net income, falling from -$9.2 million in Q1 2019 to -$5.7 million in Q1 2020.

The company’s cash flow is, akin to its adjusted EBITDA, worse than its net loss figures would have you guess. BigCommerce’s operating activities consumed $10 million in Q1 2020, an improvement from its Q1 2019 operating cash burn of $11.1 million.

The company is further in debt than many SaaS companies, but not so far as to be a problem. BigCommerce’s long-term debt, net of its current portion, was just over $69 million at the end of Q1 2020. It’s not a nice figure, per se, but it is one small enough that a good IPO haul could sharply reduce while still providing good amounts of working capital for the business.

Investors listed in its IPO document include Revolution, General Catalyst, GGV Capital, and SoftBank.


Snapchat tests TikTok-style navigation for exploring public content

Snapchat could be gearing up to more directly challenge TikTok. The company confirmed it’s testing a new experience that allows users to move through Snapchat’s public content with a vertical swiping motion — a gesture that’s been popularized by TikTok, where it allows users to advance between videos. Snapchat says the feature is one of its experiments in exploring different, immersive visual formats for community content.

The test is focused on content that’s published publicly to Snapchat Discover, not your friends’ private Stories. But because Stories can have multiple parts, users will still tap to advance through the Story, as before. But in the new experiment, a horizontal swiping motion — either to the left or right — will exit the experience, instead of moving you between Stories, as before.

For anyone who spends much of their time on TikTok, the vertical swipe now feels like a more natural way to move through videos. And it’s almost disorienting to return to Snapchat or other apps where the horizontal swipe is used.

This test was first spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, citing a post from Twitter user @artb2668. One photo being shared shows the pop-up in the app which explains how to navigate the new experience, while a video gives you an idea for the feel.

Snapchat declined to offer specific details about the test, beyond clarifying it’s in the early stages and only viewable by a very small percentage of its user base.

“We’re always experimenting with new ways to bring immersive and engaging content to our mobile-first Snapchat community,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The timing of Snap’s test is interesting, of course.

The Trump administration is currently threatening to ban TikTok in the U.S. due to the app’s ties to China and fears that Americans’ private user data will end up in the hands of China’s Communist Party. The app has already been banned in India for similar reasons. On Friday, Amazon instructed its employees to remove the app from their company-issued smartphones, before retracting that demand around five hours later. U.S. military branches have also blocked access to the app, following a Pentagon warning earlier this year. Meanwhile, Musical.ly (the app that became TikTok) has had its acquisition by China’s ByteDance come under a U.S. national security review. 

Amid the threat of TikTok’s removal, rival social apps have climbed the app store charts, including Byte, Likee, Triller and Dubsmash. Instagram, meanwhile, has been expanding its TikTok-like feature, Reels, to new markets, including India. Even YouTube began testing a TikTok-like experience in recent days.

It’s no surprise, then, that Snapchat would want to do the same among its own user base, as well, given that the TikTok U.S. audience could be soon up for grabs.

The test also shows how influential TikTok has become in terms of dictating the social app user experience. Where Snapchat once had its concept for short-form Stories stolen by nearly every other social app, including most notably Instagram, it’s now the swipeable TikTok vertical feed that everyone is copying.


Mighty Health created a wellness app with older adults top of mind

Virtual classes might make it easier to work out anywhere, anytime, but not for anyone. Mainstream fitness tech often targets the young and fit, in advertisements and cardio-heavy exercises. It effectively excludes aging adults from participating.

This gap between mainstream fitness and elders is where Mighty Health, a Y Combinator graduate, comes in.

Mighty Health has created a nutrition and fitness wellness app that is tailored to older adults who might have achy hips or joint problems. Today, the San Francisco-based startup has announced it raised $2.8 million in funding by Y Combinator, NextView Ventures, RRE Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital and more.

Founder and CEO James Li is the child of immigrants, a detail he says helped him lean into entrepreneurship. He had the idea for Mighty Health after his father was rushed to the hospital for emergency open-heart surgery.

“Growing up, we can often think of our parents as invincible — they look after you and take care of you, and you usually don’t worry too much about them,” Li said. His dad survived the surgery, and Li thought about the evolving health needs and limitations of folks over 50 years old. He teamed up with co-founder Dr. Bernard Chang, the youngest-ever ED doctor to receive a top-tier NIH grant and the vice chair of research at Columbia University Medical Center, to create Mighty Health.

Mighty Health’s product is focused on three things: live coaching; content focused on nutrition, preventative checkups and workouts; and celebrations that let family members tune into their loved ones’ achievements.

The app has inclusivity built into its functionality. Everyday, a user logs in and gets a set of three to five tasks to complete, distributed among nutrition, exercise and workouts. The workouts are pre-recorded videos with trainers that have focused on the over-50 population. Think indoor cardio sets focused on being kinder to joints or lower her impacts.

Image Credits: Mighty Health

One customer, Elizabeth, is a 56-year-old mother who joined Mighty Health after suffering a cardiac incident. The app got her to start walking 9,000 steps a day, lose weigh, lower cholesterol and, best of all, discover a love for a vegetable she had recently written off: brussels sprouts.

Mighty Health’s other core focus, beyond fitness, is nutrition. The app pairs users with a coach to help them create healthy habits around nutrition and lifestyle. The coaching is done through text message. Li says this was intentional because in the early days of Mighty Health, he saw that coaching in-app was difficult for users to navigate.

Image Credits: Mighty Health

“You have to meet them in the middle where they are,” Li said. The live coaching is also met with phone calls, although 90% of coach interactions are text-message based.

The nutrition program also accounts for a diverse user base. Mighty Health chose not to offer or push recipes upon members, unlike a lot of other applications, because all countries and cultures might not find generic recipes accessible.

“Instead, we focus on the ingredient level,” he said. “We send them ingredients that they can piece together however they like at home in the way that they cook their cultural meals.”

The company offers a free seven-day trail, followed by a membership fee of $20 per month. It’s also having discussions with a number of health insurers to offer Mighty Health as a benefit.

With the new capital, the startup hired a few engineers and a designer to build out product integrations with fitness trackers, plus add new content. For now, Li sees his father’s progress with pride.

“Though I’m sure he sometimes thinks I just went from nagging him directly to nagging him through my product, he’s been eating healthier and exercising nearly every day,” Li said. So far, his father has lost 25 pounds.


Former Tinder VP Jeff Morris Jr. opens up Product Club, an accelerator meant to stay small and focused

Startup accelerators tend to grow the size of each new class over time, as more of their portfolio companies find exits, their network of mentors expands and they find new ways to scale things up. The most recognized example of this is almost certainly Y Combinator, which started with a group of just eight companies in 2005 and has since grown to over 150 companies per recent batch.

VC and former Tinder VP Jeff Morris Jr. is taking a different approach with his new accelerator, Product Club: start small and stay small.

The first Product Club batch will be made up of just three companies. While Morris tells me this might grow a bit over time, he doesn’t see it expanding drastically. “I imagine it being up to 10,” he says. “But no more.”

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’ve built accelerators and have said ‘There’s no way you’ll find a winner with class sizes that small,’ ” Morris tells me. “But I’m kind of okay with that if it means we can be more hands-on.”

Product Club will invest $100,000 in each company, taking 5% equity in return. In addition to investment, the program will provide one-on-one mentorship with a different mentor each week, with each session “100% focused on product development.”

Though new, Product Club has already built up a pretty notable roster of mentors, including:

  • Danny Trinh (head of Design at Zenly)
  • Merci Victoria Grace (investor at Lightspeed, formerly head of Growth at Slack)
  • Scott Belsky (founder of Behance, CPO at Adobe)
  • Sriram Krishnan (investor, formerly led consumer product teams at Twitter)
  • Manik Gupta (investor, former Chief Product Officer at Uber)
  • Brian Norgard (investor, former CPO at Tinder)
  • Jules Walter (product monetization at Slack, co-founder of the BlackPM network)
  • Josh Elman (board partner at Greylock, investor, former VP of Product at Robinhood)

They’ve also partnered with a handful of product designers who will provide hands-on help to the companies on things like branding and UX.

Morris tells me that he intends for Product Club to be a good bit more transparent than other accelerators traditionally have been. Rather than keeping things largely under wraps until Demo Day, he says, they’re “just going to tell everybody from the start who’s in each batch,” with the intent of doing things like founder office hours with users, with product development and changes happening mostly out in the open “almost like a change log.” They’ll have a Demo Day for investors, but it’ll be more of an overview and less of a reveal.

Product Club will operate as part of Chapter One, the early-stage seed fund that Morris founded in 2017. Prior to becoming an investor, Morris led the revenue team at Tinder, where he built things like Tinder Gold — the dating app’s subscription tier that lets you see who “liked” you without you first having to swipe. He was also the director of Product Growth at Lambda School for a few months prior to parting ways with the company to focus on investing full time.

The program’s first session (the Summer 2020 batch) is scheduled to start on August 3, running for a total of 10 weeks. They’re accepting applications immediately, with the deadline to apply currently set for July 19. The program will be entirely remote, so applications are open globally.


SaaS and cloud stocks finally give back ground

After a heated run, SaaS and cloud stocks dipped sharply during regular trading on Monday.

According to the category-tracking Bessemer cloud index, public SaaS and cloud stocks dropped around 6.5% today, a material blow to the value of some of the world’s most highly valued companies, measured by sector-averaged revenue multiples.

After recovering all their COVID-19-related losses earlier this year, SaaS and cloud stocks kept on rising, reaching new all-time highs with regularity. But earnings season is starting, meaning that the value of modern software and digital infrastructure companies will soon be tested against Q2 results — results that were recorded fully during the global pandemic.

To hear bulls — both private and public — tell the story, COVID-19 and its ensuing workplace disruptions have provided software companies with a huge boon. Namely, that customers current and future have radically changed their procurement models and will need more software solutions, more quickly, than they previously anticipated. (Stay tuned to The Exchange for more on this later in the week.)

The thought that there are more and better customers coming for SaaS and cloud companies made them relative safe havens in otherwise turbulent public markets; while other industries had uncertain demand curves, the thinking went, software companies were being pushed forward by an accelerating secular shift.

Today, however, the broader markets slipped from early-day positions of strength while SaaS and cloud shares dropped sharply. Prior patterns in investor behavior didn’t hold up, in other words.

Why today brought such sharp selling is not clear. No more, really, than reasons for prior days’ gains were clear at the time. Profit taking? Rotation to other sectors? Whatever you want to ascribe to the day’s declines you can make stick.

For our purposes here at TechCrunch, the dropping share prices of public software companies serves as an anti-signal for late-stage valuations in SaaS startups, and a general headwind toward venture investors making more early-stage bets in the sector. Of course, one day doesn’t change the game. But several days of sharp losses could begin to change sentiment, and days when shares of modern software companies drop by 6% are few and far between.

Earnings are next, but for many companies in the SaaS and cloud world, reporting their results just got easier. When expectations drop, everyone loses a bit of worry, right?


A pledge to unite international students and tech

I count myself blessed to have been contributing my weekly Dear Sophie articles to Extra Crunch since the beginning of 2020. The inspiration for the column struck last December after I returned to the Bay Area from speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt. I was doing my hair, and I remember feeling the spark of the idea begin to take shape in my mind. Before I fully understood the shape of the thought, I knew it was already resonating in my heart.

The last three-and-a-half years have been hell for immigrants and hell for immigration lawyers. Probably a lot of caring government immigration adjudicators have felt it, too. But it’s like an abusive relationship: The people who keep getting knocked around by the administration are completely powerless and literally have no voice, as they are not entitled to the right to vote. Many immigrants live in fear that the cost of opening their mouths would be retaliation and deportation. So we need a new paradigm.

The latest insult to injury affecting high-skilled immigration, in the wake of consular closures and the the H-1B ban, is last week’s announcement that raises the possibility of the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of international students currently enrolled in U.S. higher ed for taking online-only classes during COVID-19.

Even with litigation by Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins, and some programs offering qualifying courses for students to maintain enrollment, the clock is ticking. My firm is inundated by requests from students both local and even abroad, struggling to find a way to continue to simply “be” in the U.S. legally.

Many others are desperate to find employment to remain in status in the U.S. on OPT and STEM OPT work permits. Working visas such as the H-1B, a common option for many recent graduates, are also disintegrating. So many are scared that they could be forced to leave, as they have been now, for years.

Why is it hard to leave? Well, think about it. Immigrants are people. Your friends, your neighbors. Like you. Some international grad students who have been here for almost a decade completing cutting-edge research put down roots and might be pregnant now or have U.S. citizen children, not to mention, potentially have been working for decades for lucrative job opportunities ahead.

And then, beyond the obvious COVID-19 health concerns about departing the U.S. on international flights in the midst of a pandemic, some home countries aren’t even accepting citizens immediately and returning students may face long waits for flights with potentially exorbitant fees. Many students, families and university administrators around the country and around the world are scared.

So many immigrants are trying their best, but under this administration it feels like a Sisyphean task — never enough — as the rock keeps rolling back down the hill.

All last week I found myself fielding The Zoom Calls of Panic: the brilliant UX designer who tells me he’s in purgatory; the accomplished Ph.D. who laments that “the U.S. is the only country that won’t take me after I get my U.S. Ph.D.”; the amazing business woman crying that she needs an extraordinary ability visa not for herself but so that she doesn’t disappoint all the families of all the people for whom she has created jobs in the United States.

Yet also, last week, there were so many glimmers of hope, opportunities for my clients to make decisions, and chances I got to take to show somebody that they can have choices, routes, strategies and hope.

One of the most inspiring things was all of the employers who have been coming out of the woodwork to support international students and grads to sponsor them for visas. Five years ago, that was simply a matter of routine business necessity in a system that was predictable, secure, navigable and easily accomplished in volume. Now, meeting a U.S. employer excited to sponsor international students as an act of solidarity gives me chills as an act of courageous heroism.

One of the events that almost moved me to tears last week was when I stayed up late one night and dragged myself to put on makeup after I finally got my elementary school kids to bed. Bleary, I provided a rambling 40-minute YouTube live stream interpreting the F-1 visa ban for international students after they had requested this from me on LinkedIn saying “In Sophie We Trust” (no pressure!). During the live stream, I received a comment from David Valverde, founder of Pranos.ai. He said that he had been an international student and that he would pledge to consider international students for job openings at his rapidly scaling startup.

We stayed in touch throughout the week on LinkedIn, and every time a stranded international student with a tech background who needed a job contacted me, I sent them David’s way. We finally connected on Friday, and somehow egged each other on to commit to volunteering in a self-imposed 2.5-day “hackathon for social good.”

This weekend’s result? We proudly announce the Community for Global Innovation (CFGI), a movement centralizing how companies and individuals around the world can stand in solidarity with international students and the belief that everybody deserves a chance to succeed.

CFGI is a constellation of top startups, VCs, professionals, nonprofits, international students and grads. We pledge to support international students, create awareness and effect change.

Through the platform, companies take the CFGI Pledge to support international students: “If you’re international, no problem. In our team, everybody has a chance.”

We also teamed up with Welcoming America, a leading U.S. nonprofit, accepting donations to make the U.S. more inclusive toward immigrants and all residents.

We’re actively seeking the support of volunteers, corporate donors and community members such as international startup founders who know it’s time to share their stories.

Growing up as the daughter of an immigration attorney and an immigrant, I know that innovation can truly come from anywhere. Diversity is critical for innovation.

The technology we rely on every day was often invented and created by people who had the courage to leave their homeland and start a new life. We all benefit as they continually create more jobs in the world as we move to a new global interconnected economy.

Life is not a zero-sum game: When we can come together to support one person to succeed, it benefits us all.

Everybody deserves a chance.

As a result of CFGI, I’m blown away by what David is doing, and I’m so excited to see how others contribute. David’s company Pranos.ai is a revolutionary mass media platform that converts any window into a transparent digital HD display. David told me:

“Especially in an early-stage technology company, every new hire has an incredible effect on the company’s destiny. Hiring highly skilled top-talent at the beginning is critical to how Pranos.ai will create many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs globally through the growth of the gig economy.”

Pranos.ai was the first company to take the CFGI Pledge. They are open to considering any candidate based on merit, regardless of immigration status. David is proud to recruit a diverse team and stand in solidarity with international students.

pranos.ai

Image Credits: pranos.ai

And why do I care about all of this so much?

I know what it’s like to be on the outside. Even though I practiced as an immigration attorney right out of law school, I gave up my career for many years to take care of my two small children.

I experienced postpartum depression and things snowballed as my dad, who was my dear mentor and friend, passed away unexpectedly and then my marriage came to an end. I wondered how I could survive in Silicon Valley as a single mom without a professional network.

Imposter syndrome shook me to my core. I longed to be an entrepreneur but I found reasons that it seemed impossible, like that I didn’t know the slightest bit about coding.

So, I decided to serve others. I began my immigration law firm out of my kitchen and met clients at a Peet’s on Castro Street in downtown Mountain View that has since turned into apartments.

I offered pro bono immigration services to people facing deportation who had experienced persecution based on their sexuality and individuals who had experienced domestic violence. I thought, “Well, at least I can support others.”

Little did I know that my clients were actually the ones supporting me: to believe in myself and create a new life. I’m inspired by the amazing courage of immigrants and the grit and tenacity of everybody who has the courage to follow their dreams.

I’m delighted by the access to information and spread of knowledge that we’ve all been able to pull off so far with “Dear Sophie.”

And now CFGI is here, where companies can take the pledge so they can be attractive to the world’s best and brightest who will know that hiring decisions are based on merit.

I’m also thrilled to see what will come next.

I stand here in deep appreciation of everybody who comes together in love and support of one’s neighbors. Because we all know, this is actually a very small, lovely blue dot in the universe, and we are all neighbors. The lines on the map that divide us that we call “walls” don’t actually separate the human spirit, or love, or ideas, or even germs, as we’ve all so keenly learned.

With so many global challenges and opportunities, I understand that our immigration struggles are simply a microcosm of so many things, and we can’t and won’t go back to the way things were.

We here who are privileged enough to live in Silicon Valley know how fortunate we are. This is where the future is being created, where the veil is thin between thoughts and things. Here, ideas rapidly come into creation and reality.

Here, we see each other on eye-level. We seek out challenge as opportunity. And we know that one focused person is more powerful than a million who are not, so innovation can come from anywhere, and one person can change the world.

So maybe here, on this leading-edge outpost, between the San Andreas fault and the crashing waves of the Pacific, we have an opportunity to take a stand:

We believe that everybody should have a chance to do well. Let’s start by standing in solidarity with international students and graduates through CFGI. And since what benefits one of us benefits us all, perhaps with the growing momentum, we can support others, such as children in immigration jail, asylum seekers, Dreamers and everybody else who deserves a chance.

Because, but for the grace of God, there could have been born I.

I am thrilled to announce CFGI. Remember, life is not a zero-sum game. If we can come together in love to support just one person, that ripples out and benefits us all.

I hope you’ll join me.


Learn how to make immigration work for you at Early Stage where immigration expert Sophie Alcorn will troubleshoot the many snags that can affect early-stage startups that are trying to bring talent into the country. Buy your tickets now. 

Read “Dear Sophie” on Extra Crunch; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two-year subscription for 50% off.


FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton on what newly remote companies tend to get right and wrong

Over the last few months, just about any tech company that can go remote has gone remote.

Are companies adopting remote for the long haul, or is it just a holdover until they can get people back in the office? What are newly remote companies getting wrong or right in the transition? If a company is going to be sticking with a remote workforce, what can they do to make their roles more enticing and to build a better culture?

FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton has been thinking about remote work for longer than most. She founded FlexJobs in 2007 — at a time when she herself was looking for a more flexible job — as a platform tailored specifically for jobs that didn’t keep you in an office all day. In 2015 she also founded Remote.co, a knowledge base for remote companies and employees to share the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

I recently got a chance to chat with Sara about her views and insights on remote work. Here’s the transcript of our chat, lightly edited for brevity and clarity.


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Here’s how to claim your payout in the iPhone slowdown settlement

Apple this year settled a lawsuit over its slowing down of older iPhones. Now you could potentially claim compensation for having owned one of those phones, under the terms of the settlement — though be warned, you’ll get $25 at most for it and probably won’t see that until December. But hey, $25 is $25. The lawsuit, in case you’re unaware, concerned Apple’s practice of introducing so-called performance management features to certain iPhones that diminished their useability — slowed them down, in other words. Apple claimed the features were to improve battery life on its older devices, but a cynical person…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Google ‘accidentally’ leaks the Pixel 4a in its own store

At this point, it feels like we know everything about the Pixel 4a, except an actual release date. As if we weren’t already confident enough in what the device is supposed to look like, Google today leaked the Pixel 4a in its own online store by accident (or was it?). For some mysterious reason, the device showed up on the company’s Canadian page for the Google Nest Wifi. Mistakes happen, but at least when Samsung made a similar mistake with the Note 20, it was on the page for its predecessor. Conspiracy theories aside, the leak all but confirms what we…

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Microsoft Flight Simulator fills our game-less gap this August

Microsoft just revealed we’ll finally be getting the new Microsoft Flight Simulator this August — meaning we’ll not only be taking to the skies again very soon, but we’ll actually have a game to play in mid-August after everything’s been delayed. It’s been six years since the last release in the series — fourteen if you don’t count the Steam release of Flight Simulator X. In case you’ve missed any of the pre-release info, the flight sim is the most detailed we’ve ever seen, with every major airport in the world lovingly recreated. It’s every fussy thing you’ve ever wanted from a…

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Microsoft’s creepy teenage chatbot Xiaoice is getting its own company

Microsoft is turning its Xiaoice chatbot into an independent company, the software giant announced today. Xiaoice — pronounced “Shao-ice” and translated as “little Bing” — is rather creepily programmed to act like an 18-year-old girl. The chatbot was initially released in China, but is now also available in Indonesia and Japan. According to Microsoft, the service has attracted more than 660 million online users since its 2014 launch. Xiaoice is designed to provide a more emotional experience than voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft‘s Cortana. While its rivals are programmed to perform specific tasks, Xiaoice is more of a digital…

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Tesla just became a top 10 US company, but it’s still not in the S&P 500

Tesla stock surged again on Monday, this time by more than 12% to reach an intraday high of $1,792. Now, not only is Elon Musk‘s electricity wunderstock absolutely the most valuable automaker in the world, but its $320 billion market value places it ahead of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, and inside the top 10 public companies in the US. To say that Tesla has performed well this year is a serious understatement. After all, $TSLA started 2020 at $424.50, and it’s worth $1,733 at pixel time — a 310% increase in a little more than six months. [Read: Watch Tesla’s meteoric…

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Why are scientists trying to manufacture organs in space?

Gravity can be a real downer when you are trying to grow organs. That’s why experiments in space are so valuable. They have revealed a new perspective into biological sciences, including insights into making human tissues. Gravity influences cellular behavior by impacting how protein and genes interact inside the cells, creating tissue that is polarized, a fundamental step for natural organ development. Unfortunately, gravity is against us when we try to reproduce complex three dimensional tissues in the lab for medical transplantation. This is difficult because of the intrinsic limitations of bio-reactors used on Earth. I am a stem cell…

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The Superstrata ebike is made of 3D-printed carbon fiber and tailored to your body

For all ebikes can do to make transportation easier and more pleasant, there’s one complaint that continues to haunt them: weight. Slowly but surely though, we’re beginning to see more ebikes approach the weights of traditional bikes using clever designs and lighter components. An upcoming bike called the Superstrata, launching for pre-order on Indiegogo today in both regular and electrified versions, claims to push the boundaries of lightweight ebikes even further by using a 3D-printed, unibody carbon fiber manufacturing process. Coming in at around 24.2 pounds for the electric model, dubbed the Superstrata Ion, the bike is not only lighter…

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What was the better investment in 1985: Super Mario Bros or Apple stock?

Wanna hear something disgusting? A vintage copy of Super Mario Bros. on the NES was just sold at auction for $114,000. Admittedly, it’s one of the most influential games ever (it introduces Mario to the world) and the specific copy was given a 9.4 grading, which means it’s in near-perfect condition. Oh, and there’s some weird technicality about a cardboard hanger tag that makes it super rare. But still… $114,000? This got me thinking — how good of an investment would it have been buying a copy of Super Mario Bros. and leaving it somewhere safe for 20-odd years? Well, I’m going to find out.…

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