What to Watch Tonight, April 1, 2020

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It’s April 1st, which means a ton of new content has dropped on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. The COVID-19 pandemic has also moved a lot of would-be live events to the web.

Each day we’ve been rounding up some of the best options out there for streaming. Yesterday we told you about the MLB streaming classic baseball games, a live Melissa Etheridge concert, and how you can tour Buckingham Palace from your couch.

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Today we found a whole new set of things to keep you occupied ranging from experimental films to workouts you can do at home.

Underneath our slideshow of today’s suggestions, you’ll find a rundown of the many options out there we’ve highlighted already.

Find something great we haven’t written about yet? Tell us about it in the comments and we might feature it in a future post.

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Check out these ongoing streaming shows and events, as well

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RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Anker

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

The best Anker and Eufy deals for April 2020 are here.

Anker makes so many of the accessories to help us make the most of our portable devices, whether it’s on-the-go battery packs, charging cables, wireless earbuds, and so much more. Meanwhile, its Eufy brand focuses on easy-to-use smart home devices, including video doorbells, security cameras, and brainy robo-vacuums.

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Whether it’s Anker or Eufy, they’re united by the fact that the devices are often cheaper than rivals—and right now, we’ve found the best of the best deals for both, taking significant savings off of the already-reasonable prices.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S | $160

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Eufy

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If you’re spending a lot more time at home right now, then that means you’re making more messes than usual—whether you realize it or not. Luckily, social distancing won’t stop you from bringing in a robo-helper to sweep up after you.

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Anker’s eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S Robot Vacuum is the slimmest of Eufy’s vacuums to date, plus it adapts its sucking capabilities depending on the surface it’s currently rolling over. It’s currently $70 off at Amazon.

Anker PowerWave Wireless Charging Pad | $9

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Graphic: Andrew Hayward

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Charging your smartphone with its cable will typically get you faster speeds, but nothing beats the convenience of wireless charging—especially when you can pop down your phone for a quick top-up while you’re working at your desk or busy elsewhere.

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Luckily, Anker makes it incredibly easy to add wireless charging to your home or office with its PowerWave Wireless Charging Pad, which is 25% off right now at Amazon at just $9 apiece. These pads don’t come with charging bricks, so make sure you have a spare handy.

Eufy Wi-Fi Video Doorbell | $160

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Eufy

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Want to make sure your social distancing plan isn’t interrupted by an unexpected visitor? Add a video doorbell to your home! Eufy’s Wi-Fi Video Doorbell provides a 2K-resolution view outside your front door, letting you hold a two-way conversation with anyone who buzzes … or simply ignore them if you see fit.

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This version requires existing doorbell wiring and installation, but you’ll get it for just $160. Alternatively, there’s a battery-powered version that’s easier to set up, but it costs a bit more at $170.

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Anker Powerline Lightning Cables (3-Pack) | $20

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Anker

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If you have a number of iPhones and iPads around your home, then you really can’t have enough Lightning cables around. They wear down, get lost, and never seem to be handy when you need them. Luckily, Anker has an affordable solution.

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This three-pack of Anker Powerline Lightning Cables gives you a trio of Apple MFi-certified 3ft cables that the company claims is five times more durable than competitors’ cables. At just a few bucks a pop, it’s worth stocking up and having these cables ready and waiting.

eufyCam 2-Cam Wireless Security Kit | $196

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Eufy

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Eager to keep an eye on your surroundings? Eufy’s two-camera wireless security kit lets you get started with ease, giving you a pair of eyes to mount outside your place without worrying about wiring.

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Better yet, you don’t have to pay any subscription fees, as the included base station has 16GB of local storage. Each camera has a 145-degree field of vision and a battery life of up to 180 days, while human detection software helps reduce the amount of false alerts. It’s $44 off the usual price for the set right now on Amazon.

Anker PowerWave Stand Wireless Charger | $14

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Graphic: Andrew Hayward

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Anker’s PowerWave Stand costs a few bucks more than the flat one, but as you can clearly see from the image above, it comes with a pretty handy perk: it keeps the phone upright while charging.

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That means that you can easily view notifications and continue using your phone with ease while the battery fills up, making it ideal for your desk during the workday. It’s currently 30% off.

Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 PD Power Bank | $42

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Image: Anker

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There’s nothing worse than traveling to a new and unfamiliar location and running out of power on your smartphone while away from where you’re staying. Luckily, Anker’s PowerCore Essential PD Power Bank has enough backup juice to potentially last your entire location.

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This hearty cell can recharge a top Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy handset four to five times before depleting, plus it can charge an iPad Mini a couple times over. Even if you’re not traveling far from home, a power bank like this is handy to have around—especially now that it’s 29% off at Amazon.

Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker | $22

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Anker

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Want to fill a space with sound without lugging around a hefty speaker? Anker’s SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker is up for the job. This portable speaker is just over 6 inches wide and weighs less than a pound, but you can count on it to boost your smartphone or tablet’s music in a pinch.

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At 6W of power, it’s definitely an entry-level option—but for just $22 and with a 4.6-star rating from Amazon users, it might be all you really need. Anker does have a more powerful 12W SoundCore 2 version that sells for $35 with clipped coupon as of this writing.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C | $190

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Eufy

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Eufy’s more advanced BoostIQ RoboVac 30C model is built to fit seamlessly within your smart home, with this robo-vacuum trained to take voice commands via Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. You can also command it from your smartphone with the EufyHome app.

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With powerful 1500Pa suction, this tiny, quiet cleaning machine can get all of the hard-to-reach dust and dirt that you might not even know is there. Best of all, it’s a steal right now at $110 off of the normal $300 price point.

Anker PowerCore+ 10,050mAh Power Bank | $20

Illustration for article titled RoboVacs, Power Banks, and Wireless Charging: The Best Anker and Eufy Deals of the Day

Image: Anker

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That aforementioned Power Bank is enormous at 20,000mAh, but you don’t need several phone charges in a portable battery, maybe Anker’s PowerCore+ 10,050mAh Power Bank will do the trick.

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This smaller pack holds 3-4 charges for flagship smartphones like iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices, and currently selling for 50% off at $20, it’s a bargain for reliable, on-the-go battery life in a pinch.


Notion hits $2 billion valuation in new raise

Notion, a startup that operates a workplace productivity platform, has raised $50 million from Index Ventures and other investors at a $2 billion valuation, the company told The New York Times.

A Notion spokesperson confirmed the raise and valuation to TechCrunch.

As startups across the board begin looking at layoffs or raising at less than favorable terms, Notion has been in the favorable position of turning investors away for years. With this raise, the firm has amassed $67 million in total funding, the company says. Their last raise of $10M valued them at $800 million.

The company’s highly customizable note-taking app allows enterprise customers to create linked networks of databases and documents.

In November, COO Akshay Kothari told TechCrunch that the company was hoping not to raise outside funding again, “So far one of the things we’ve found is that we haven’t really been constrained by money. We’ve had opportunities to raise a lot more, but we’ve never felt like if we had more money we could grow faster.”

What’s changed? Just the global economy.

The firm told the Times that this new raise puts them in a more stable position and should leave them with enough funding for “at least” ten years.

That said, the startup’s team has expanded rapidly in recent months, growing 40 percent since November. Their user numbers appear to also be growing rapidly, with Kothari telling the Times that total users have “nearly quadrupled” from one million, a figure the company released in early 2019.

Notion offers free and paid accounts, ranging from $5 to $25 billed monthly.

Don’t Click on Links in Public Zoom Chats Right Now

There happens to be a vulnerability in the way Zoom converts URLs into hyperlinks that hackers can use to collect your Windows login credentials and potentially access your desktop remotely. Until Zoom fixes this, resist the urge to click URLs from people you don’t trust—namely all those public Zoom meetings you’ve been attending to stave off coronavirus-induced boredom.

Zoom converts both internet URLs and UNC (universal naming convention) paths—such as “C:\Users\Public,” for example—into generic hyperlinks. Click one, and Windows will try to open these UNC hyperlinks to access remote files, which makes the PC’s username and password hash (basically the jumble of code containing a user’s password) visible to anyone watching from the other end. That password hash can be decrypted using easily available software, then used to access your PC and/or network remotely.

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It’s unclear if Zoom company is working on a fix at this time—we hope they are—but there is a workaround that can keep you safe in the meantime. Fair warning: It’s a chore to set up.

The better approach is to pay attention to links dropped into chat. If it looks like a server, something like “\\uhoh.com.tk\images\awesome.jpg,” don’t click on it. To the untrained eye, that might look like a simple hyperlink to yet another website, but it’s instead pushes Windows to try to connect to that remove server via SMB—opening the door to the password attack. These same links can even be used to launch applications on a user’s computer, though at least you’ll get a pop-up warning you’ll have to confirm before the app launches.

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How to prevent UNC hyperlinks from sharing your Windows login info

This change will not prevent Zoom from displaying UNC links, nor will it stop Windows from trying to access UNC pathways. However, it will prevent your Windows login credentials from being shared with the remote server or PC. Thanks to Bleeping Computer for originally pointing out the fix.

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Illustration for article titled Dont Click on Links in Public Zoom Chats Right Now

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

  1. Search for “Registry Editor” in the Windows 10 toolbar.
  2. Right Click “Registry Editor” and Run as administrator. Click “Yes” if Windows asks if you want to let the app make changes to your computer.
  3. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\MSV1_0.”
  4. In the MSV1_0 folder, Right Click > New > DWORD (32 bit)
  5. Name the new key RestrictSendingNTLMTraffic.
  6. After it’s created, right-click RestrictSendingNTLMTraffic and click “Modify.”
  7. Set the “Value” field to 2. Click “Okay” to close, then close the Registry Editor.

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If this change causes any issues, it can be undone by simply deleting the RestrictSendingNTLMTraffic registry key you made from the MSV1_0 folder using Registry Editor.

Stocks fall sharply as U.S. government warns of hard weeks ahead

A recent redbound in domestic equity prices faded further into the distance today, as American stocks fell for a second consecutive day following modest Tuesday declines.

After rising from new 52 week lows, all domestic indices after the American president warned of difficult weeks ahead as the country reels from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19. The day’s trading left stocks down heading into Thursday, when a new unemployment claim number is expected.

Some are anticipating a worse number than last weeks 3.3 million claims, a result that was historic in size. If tomorrow’s report is as bad as some expect it would underscore the scale of economic damage the country endures as it seeks to stem the spread of COVID-19 after an initially slow national response that has since splintered into a patchwork of state-led efforts. Many Americans are staying home, a condition that could persist for weeks or months, exacerbating economic damage.

Here’s the day’s results:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: -973.65, -4.44%
  • S&P 500: -114.09, -4.41%
  • Nasdaq Composite: -339.52, -4.41%

Shares of SaaS and cloud companies, as tracked by the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index fell 4.83% today. As with the broader technology industry, SaaS firms saw their shares fall sharply before recovering some; and, like their industry peers, they are now trending down yet again.

Pressure on automakers

The Big Three Detroit automakers GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also saw stocks slide after reporting first quarter sales declines. GM reported a 7.1% drop in sales in the first three months of the quarter ended March 31 compared to the same year ago period. FCA reported a 10.4% decline in sales. Ford is expected to report its quarterly sales numbers on Thursday. Tesla, which saw its shares fall 8.1% to $481.56, is expected to report deliveries this week.

GM shares fell today 7.31% to $19.26, while FCA saw its price drop 5.15% to $6.82.

GM and FCA were hardly the only automakers to see a drop in sales caused by falling demand for cars, trucks and SUVs. Hyundai, Nissan and Porsche also reported declines.

With the close of a turbulent Q1 behind us, we are not yet free of the first three months of 2020. Earnings season looms, and with it an endless retrace of the outbreak of the pandemic domestically, as sketched by the numbers of domestically-listed companies. For some firms Q1 numbers will prove a bonanza. For most, however, they will likely show the opposite. So get ready for another quarter of confusion, it’s going to be a long three months.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Money From Your Retirement Account, Even Now

Illustration for article titled Why You Shouldnt Take Money From Your Retirement Account, Even Now

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The coronavirus relief package that was signed into law last week included relaxed rules for taking money out of your retirement account. But while the option now exists for those who need the financial lifeline, there are several considerations to keep in mind before you start moving money around.

First, let’s look at the changes.

Early withdrawal rules for retirement accounts

You can take a distribution of up to $100,000 from your retirement account for “coronavirus-related” purposes. The usual 10% penalty is waived. You have until the end of the year to do this.

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If you replace the money within three years, you don’t have to pay income tax on the amount. Otherwise, you have three years to pay the taxes on that money.

You can also choose to take a loan from your 401(k) (or 403(b) or other employer-sponsored account) for up to $100,000 instead of the usual $50,000. (You can’t take a loan from your IRA.)

This option is only available for 180 days after bill passed on March 27—so, the end of September.

Typically, you can’t withdraw more than half your balance, but that’s suspended during this period. If you have a loan out and it’s due back this year, you get an extra year to pay back the full amount.

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Who’s eligible for a penalty-free early distribution?

The expanded early distribution rules apply to three categories of people:

  1. Those who were diagnosed with the coronavirus
  2. People who have a spouse or dependent diagnosed with coronavirus
  3. Anyone who faces financial hardship due to the coronavirus

That third group is where it gets tricky. Here’s what’s included in that “financial hardship” category:

  • Being quarantined
  • Being furloughed or laid off
  • Having work hours reduced
  • Being unable to work due to lack of child care
  • Closure or reduction of hours for a business you own or operate
  • “Other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury”

“The interpretation is really loose,” said Whitney Morrison, a CFP and director of financial advisory at LegalZoom. “It’s available to most people.”

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This is your last resort

Before you take a distribution or loan from your nest egg, make sure you exhaust your other options.

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“$100,000 is a lot,” Morrison warned. She said that while small business owners with payroll to cover may need that much to float them over this uncertain period, it could be risky for an individual to access anywhere near that much. “You could potentially liquidate your entire 401(k),” she said.

“The market is down and it’s been really bumpy,” Morrison said. “Any distribution you take right now, even if you put money back in later, is locking in that loss.”

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While taking a distribution or loan is a better option than high-interest debt like a payday loan, Morrison said it should only be considered if you don’t have income, savings, family who can help, or no interest/low-interest options like a credit card balance transfer offer.

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Don’t forget about the other resources available right now, said Jorge Soriano, a CFP and financial advisor at GTE Financial in Tampa. From your relief check to expanded unemployment benefits to requesting accommodations for your mortgage or utilities, “Work out a way you can pay [your bills] before withdrawing any money from your plan,” he said.

If you must take this route, Morrison said not to get overzealous because you’re worried you won’t have enough cash to get by—or worse, because you’d rather have cash than wait out a rocky stock market. “Start with small amounts, and if you need more, take more out later,” she said. With loans available until September and distributions available until December, you can revisit your retirement funds if you need an emergency boost down the road.

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A retirement distribution or loan doesn’t require a credit check, which can make it a more feasible option if your credit is poor. But even if you don’t have to pay penalties and you get extra time for taxes, “you’re still taking away from future you,” Morrison warned.

The younger you are, the riskier it is

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you might think you have plenty of time to get back on track after taking money out of your nest egg. But Morrison warned that you could be a the greatest disadvantage. “Think about what makes retirement accounts so powerful: The long time to grow and build thanks to compound interest,” she said. If you take money from your retirement account at 55, you won’t lose too much growth potential, whereas someone who’s 35 will miss out on decades of growth potential.

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“It hurts your retirement a lot when you withdraw when the markets have had such a huge pullback as we’ve seen in the last month,” Soriano said. “That return will be very difficult for you to get back to.”

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Take a look at some quick math on this. Say you start saving for retirement at 25 by putting away $5,000 per year with a 5% return (we’re going super conservative here, humor me).

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That’s a nice nearly $604,000. But say you started that account, then wiped it out back to $0 when you’re 29. The following year, you start saving again. You only lost five years of progress, right? True, but it’s more like five years plus the compounding interest of those five years and each year to come.

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Yes, you got through some hard times, but you put your future self at a $153,000 disadvantage.

If you do choose to take a distribution now, “Consider withdrawing from the position that hasn’t taken a big fall,” Soriano said. That might be a cash-equivalent IRA or a money market account. The more conservative the investment, the better you can minimize the loss when you take out cash.

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Prepare yourself for the eventual tax bill

Although you won’t have to pay an early distribution penalty on the money you withdraw, you’ll still need to pay income tax on that money.

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Morrison said some firms will automatically withhold 20% of your funds to cover taxes before giving you the rest. If that’s not the case for your account, make sure to set aside at least 20% for your taxes.

If you know your tax rate, Soriano said it can be your guide to putting aside what you’ll owe on these funds. If your tax rate is 24% and you take a $100,000 distribution, you’ll owe $24,000 on that withdrawal.

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“Hold it in a savings account and put it aside,” Morrison said. “If you have to eventually use that money down the road, you can potentially set up a payment plan with the IRS” for the taxes you owe.

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Talk to someone before you do this

Although Morrison and Soriano agreed that taking a retirement distribution should be your last resort, they also stressed the importance of talking to someone first. “It always pays to have a second set of eyes,” Soriano said.

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If you already work with a financial planner, don’t start filling out online forms late one night without telling them your plans. Take time to sit down and talk through all your optionsIf you don’t have an advisor, there are low-cost and pro-bono options available during the pandemic.

Self-driving car engineer Anthony Levandowski files motion to force Uber into arbitration

Anthony Levandowski, the star self-driving car engineer who was at the center of a trade secrets lawsuit, has filed a motion to compel Uber into arbitration in the hopes that his former employee will have to shoulder the cost of at least part of the $179 million judgment against him.

The motion to compel arbitration filed this week is part of Levandowski’s bankruptcy proceedings. It’s the latest chapter in a long and winding legal saga that has entangled Uber and Waymo, the former Google self-driving project that is now a business under Alphabet.

The motion represents the first legal step to force Uber to stand by an indemnity agreement with Levandowski. Uber signed an indemnity agreement in 2016 when it acquired Levandowski’s self-driving truck startup Otto. Under the agreement, Uber said it would indemnify — or compensate — Levandowski against claims brought by his former employer, Google.

In Uber’s view the stakes are at least $64 million, according to the ride-hailing company’s annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Levandowski, who was ordered in March 2020 to pay Google $179 million, is clearly shooting for more.

“For much of the past three years, Anthony ceded control of his personal defense to Uber because Uber insisted on controlling his defense as part of its duty to indemnify him. Then, when Uber didn’t like the outcome, it suddenly changed its mind and said it would not indemnify him. What Uber did is wrong, and Anthony has to protect his rights as a result,” Levandowksi’s lawyer Neel Chatterjee of Goodwin Procter said in an emailed statement to TechCrunch.

The backstory

Levandowski was an engineer and one of the founding members in 2009 of the Google self-driving project, which was internally called Project Chauffeur. The Google self-driving project later spun out to become Waymo, a business under Alphabet. Levandowski was paid about $127 million by Google for his work on Project Chauffeur, according to the court document filed this week.

Levandowski left Google in January 2016 and started Otto, a self-driving trucking company, with three other Google veterans: Lior Ron, Claire Delaunay and Don Burnette. Uber acquired Otto less than eight months later.

Before the acquisition closed, Uber conducted due diligence, including hiring outside forensic investigation firm Stroz Friedberg to review the electronic devices of Levandowski and other Otto employees, according to the recent court filing. The investigation discovered that Levandowski had on his devices files belonging to Google, as well as indications that evidence may have been destroyed.

Uber agreed to a broad indemnification agreement in spite of the forensic evidence, which would protect Levandowski against claims brought by Google relating to his previous employment. Levandowski was worried that Google would attempt to get back any or all of the $127 million in compensation he had received.

That forecast didn’t take long to come true. Two months after the acquisition, Google made two arbitration demands against Levandowski and Ron. Uber wasn’t a party to either arbitration. However, it was on the hook, under the indemnification agreement, to defend Levandowski.

Uber accepted those obligations and defended Levandowski. While the arbitrations played out, Waymo separately filed a lawsuit against Uber in February 2017 for trade secret theft. Waymo alleged in the suit, which went to trial and ended in a settlement, that Levandowski stole trade secrets, which were then used by Uber. Under the settlement, Uber agreed to not incorporate Waymo’s confidential information into their hardware and software. Uber also agreed to pay a financial settlement that included 0.34% of Uber equity, per its Series G-1 round $72 billion valuation. That calculated at the time to about $244.8 million in Uber equity.

Meanwhile, the arbitration panel issued an interim award in March 2019 against each of Google’s former employees, including a $127 million judgment against Levandowski. The judgment also included another $1 million that Levandowski and Ron were jointly liable for. Google submitted a request for interest, attorney fees and other costs. A final award was issued in December.

Ron settled with Google in February for $9.7 million. However, Levandowski, disputed the ruling. The San Francisco County Superior Court denied his petition in March, granting Google’s petition to hold Levandowski to the arbitration agreement under which he was liable.

As the legal wrangling between Google and Levandowski and Uber played out, the engineer faced criminal charges. In August 2019, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets while working at Google. Last month, Levandowski reached a plea agreement with the U.S. District Attorney and pleaded guilty to one count of stealing trade secrets.

What’s next

Levandowski’s lawyers argue that when the final judgment was entered against him, Uber reneged on its indemnification agreement. Levandowski said he was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because Uber has refused to pay.

“While Uber and Levandowski are parties to an indemnification agreement, whether Uber is ultimately responsible for such indemnification is subject to a dispute between the Company and Levandowski,” Uber said, using similar language found in its annual report filed with the SEC.

Even if Levandowski’s legal team is able to convince a judge to compel Uber into arbitration, that doesn’t mean the outcome will be positive. Arbitration could take months to play out. In the end, Levandowski could still lose. But the filing allows Levandowski to speak out — albeit using legalese — and share details of his employment at Google and Uber. Among those are details about what Uber knew (and when) about Levandowski’s activities in recruiting Google employees as well as information he had downloaded onto his laptop and discovered during the forensic investigation.

The first cracks between Uber and Levandowski appeared in April 2018, based on a timeline in the court document. It was then that Uber told Levandowski it intended to seek reimbursement for expenses used to defend him in the arbitration, according to claims laid out in the motion. Uber told Levandowski at the time that one reason it was seeking reimbursement is because Levandowski “refused to testify at his deposition through an unjustifiably broad invocation of the Fifth Amendment.” Levandowski had used the Fifth Amendment in the deposition during the arbitration with Google.

Uber never requested Levandowski waive his Fifth Amendment rights and testify during the arbitration, according to the court document. Levandowski said that he immediately alerted Google and the arbitration panel that he was willing to testify and offered to make himself available for deposition before the arbitration hearing.

Levandowski-Uber Motion to Compel by TechCrunch on Scribd

Olive, a startup developing an automation tool for healthcare administration, raises $51 million

Time is money as the old adage goes, and this is doubly true in healthcare systems operating with thin margins now made even thinner thanks to the loss of revenue caused by a freeze on elective procedures.

Stepping in with a technology that automates much of the time-consuming backend processes hospitals and healthcare providers need to keep up with is Olive, a startup out of Columbus, Ohio.

The company, which counts over 500 hospitals representing some of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. among its customers, has raised a new round of $51 million as it sees significant growth for its business.

The round, raised from investors including Drive Capital, Oak HC/FT, Ascension Ventures, was led by General Catalyst, which recently closed on $2.3 billion in new capital to invest in early stage companies.

As a result of the investment, Ron Paulus, the former president and chief executive of Mission Health, will join the board of directors, the company said in a statement.

Olive’s software toolkit automates administrative tasks like revenue cycle, supply chain management, clinical administration and human resources, the company said in a statement. And demand for the company’s technology is surging. 

According to data provided by the company, roughly half of hospital administrators intend to invest in robotic process automation by 2021,

“There’s a growing, multi-billion dollar problem: healthcare doesn’t have the internet. Instead, healthcare uses humans as routers, forcing workers to toggle between disparate systems — they copy, they paste, they manipulate data – they become robots. They click and type and extract and import, all day long — and it’s one of the leading reasons that one out of every three dollars spent in the industry today is spent on administrative costs,” said Olive chief executive Sean Lane in a September statement.

Olive doesn’t just automate processes, but makes those processes better for hospitals by identifying problem areas that could lead to lost revenues for hospitals. The software has access to pre-existing health claim status data, which allows it to identify where mistakes in previous claims were made. By using accurate coding, hospitals can add additional revenue.

“As a recent health system CEO, I appreciate the duress our hospitals are under as they focus on delivering the best patient care possible under challenging circumstances all while needing to keep the lights on,” said Dr. Ronald A. Paulus. “Olive’s reliable automation of essential back-office processes saves time, reduces errors and allows staff to focus on higher-order work. I am excited to be working closely with Olive’s management team to maximize the outsized positive impact we can have in healthcare on both the administrative and clinical fronts.”

What We Know About the Coronavirus So Far

 

Illustration for article titled What We Know About the Coronavirus So Far

Photo: Shutterstock

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, was first discovered in China in late 2019. The first U.S. case was detected in January 2020, in a recent traveler who arrived in Washington State. Since its early beginnings, the story of COVID-19 has been rapidly evolving, with new information coming out daily.

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On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a pandemic, and measures have been enacted on a local, state and federal level in order to limit the spread. As of this point in time, the U.S. has more confirmed cases than any other country in the world, and that number is changing by the moment.

Keeping in mind that this is a rapidly moving situation, this is a summary of what we know so far:

Who is getting sick?

People of all ages have gotten sick, although cases tend to be more severe in older patients or those with underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or a compromised immune system. That still doesn’t mean that young people aren’t at risk of serious complications or death, and even those afflicted with mild cases can still spread the infection to someone else who might develop severe complications.

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What are the symptoms?

The primary symptoms are a fever, cough and shortness of breath, typically manifesting within 2-14 days of exposure. Less common symptoms include sore throat, muscle and body aches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and a temporary loss in taste or smell.

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What do we know about the virus?

We have its genome. The virus has been isolated and sequenced, and we know it’s part of the coronavirus family. Some coronaviruses cause mild, cold-like illnesses, while others are more severe. If you recall the SARS outbreak that occurred in China in 2003, or MERS in the Middle East (discovered in 2012), both were coronaviruses.

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The official name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2, although even the World Health Organization has backed away from using that name, as it dredges up memories of the disease SARS. Instead, people usually simply call it the coronavirus, or more specifically, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Is there a cure or a vaccine?

Not yet. Several treatments are being tested right now, but none have been verified in rigorous clinical trials. There are also vaccines in development, but experts have warned that it will likely be 12 to 18 months before one is widely available.

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What has the spread looked like?

Although the virus originated in China, it has since spread around the world, with the first case in the U.S. detected in January. Since then, cases have multiplied rapidly, to the point that on March 11th, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a pandemic.

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Since then, the number of cases in the United States has risen exponentially, while a number of lockdown and stay at home orders have been issued, meant to enforce physical distancing measures that might slow the virus’ spread. This includes restricting restaurants to drive-thru or pickup only, shutting down bars and retail stores, requiring all non-essential employees work from home and the cancellations of all sporting events and large gatherings.

What should I do?

It is absolutely essential everyone do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19. This means maintaining a distance of at least six feet from people outside of your immediate family group, limiting trips out of the home to the absolute essentials like going to grocery store or pharmacy, and practicing safe hygiene practices, which includes frequent and thorough hand-washing and disinfecting high-contact surfaces.

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For people who are showing symptoms, it is essential that they self-isolate; for people who may have been exposed, a strict quarantine, one in which they don’t leave the house under any circumstance, is in order. These measures will help slow the spread of the disease so hospitals and healthcare workers can handle the numbers of people who are sick at one time.

This is a continuously evolving situation, which means that it is important to stay up-to-date on current guidelines and recommendations. In the meantime, take every precaution you can to avoid getting you or others sick. We are all in this together.

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Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article, originally titled “What is the Coronavirus and How Much Should You Worry About It?” that was originally published in January 2020. The article has been updated as of April 1, 2020 to reflect a rapidly changing global crisis.

You Should Definitely Fry Any and All Leftover Chicken Skin

Illustration for article titled You Should Definitely Fry Any and All Leftover Chicken Skin

Photo: Claire Lower

I have never anyone who doesn’t relish eating the skin off of a roasted chicken. (This includes my mother.) Crispy skin, whether fresh out of the oven or off the Costco rotisserie spit, is one of the highlights of poultry consumption. Those who leave it behind are fools.

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If I’m alone, I will often pull all the skin off at once and eat it immediately, but apparently some people find that off-putting. Sadly, once the skin cools in the fridge, it becomes leathery, gummy, and just not so great overall. But if you’re stuck with slimy leftover skin, you can give it a new—dare I say better?—life by frying it.

Fried skin of any kind is delicious, but the fried skin of an already cooked chicken is something special. It has already been cooked once, so much of the fat has been rendered and the collagen melted, so it crisps up easily and quickly. It’s also usually already seasoned, and those seasonings will become concentrated as the skin fries, shrinking into a perfect chicken chip. Even grey, flabby skin from the bottom of the bird transforms into something golden and crunchy in mere minutes.

Making it is easy. Just (gently) peel any skin off of your cooked chicken and place the pieces in a cold nonstick pan. Set the pan on a burner, turn the heat to medium, and let the pieces cook until they are golden and crispy, flipping once to get both sides (chopsticks work best for this). Transfer to paper towels, salt (if needed) and enjoy in sandwiches or salads, sprinkled on top of pasta or all on their own.