New study tracks COVID-19’s effects on small tech firms

Elva Mankin

New study tracks COVID-19's effects on small tech firms

A new study by the UO’s Lauren Lanahan seeks to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small high-tech firms and track the challenges and opportunities they face as the crisis continues to unfold.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced substantial disruptions to the U.S. and global economies, and in turn the innovative ecosystem,” said Lanahan, an assistant professor of management. “We seek to characterize changes in the landscape of high-tech small firms that result from the ongoing pandemic and related policy responses, as well as to examine the direct impacts of these institutional policy decisions on the structure and health of the innovation ecosystem and its ability to supply and support public initiatives.”

Lanahan’s project, “Examining the Innovative Ecosystem During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” is funded by a one-year $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and was prioritized through the NSF’s Rapid Response Research funding mechanism. The program allows

Read More

Uniswap Token Goes Live, Now Available On Coinbase Pro

Elva Mankin

KEY POINTS

  • Uniswap released UNI, its governance token, Thursday
  • All historical Uniswap users received at least 400 tokens
  • Those who provided liquidity received more tokens

Uniswap, a decentralized Ethereum trading platform, launched its governance token UNI on Thursday and announced that all its users could now claim 400 UNI (a process known as “airdrop”) while those who provided liquidy could claim more.

The surprise airdrop has put UNI in wild price volatility in the last 24 hours. This frenzy has continued as more exchanges, including Coindesk Pro, started to list the governance token.

With a total supply of 1 billion tokens, UNI has a market cap of $3.53 million based on current circulating supply, according to data aggregator CoinGecko. The price of UNI has been on a roller-coaster ride between $2.5 and $5 in the last 36 hours. 

Uniswap has raised $11 million through venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Square

Read More

Amazon sinks cash into EV startup Rivian as part of Climate Pledge

Elva Mankin

Amazon delivery vans, courtesy of Rivian, coming soon.


Amazon

This past June, Amazon announced a $2 billion investment as its first step on the road toward becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2040. On Thursday, the online retail giant and technology company revealed the first group of companies that will benefit from the Climate Pledge Fund. Chief among them is electric vehicle startup Rivian.

Amazon didn’t disclose how much Rivian receives in the round of investment, but it said the Climate Pledge Fund “participated in Rivian’s latest investment round in July.” To be clear, this not a separate investment, but a clarification noting the most recent Amazon investment actually came from the Climate Pledge Fund. The monies will further develop and integrate Rivian’s “connected electric platform with Amazon’s last mile delivery network,” Amazon said.

Read More

Comcast shut off Internet to hundreds, saying they were illegally connected

Elva Mankin

A Comcast/NBC logo.

Comcast says that a broadband reseller illegally sold Comcast Internet service in residential buildings in the Denver area and has terminated the connections to those buildings.

As reported by Denver7 this week, the shutoff affected hundreds of people who live in buildings serviced by AlphaWiFi, “which installs and services Internet in approximately 90 apartment buildings across Denver.” The shutoff came as a surprise to residents, including Kaley Warren, who has been working at home during the pandemic.

“It is my entire lifeline,” said Warren, who said that without warning last Friday, her Internet service disappeared. “I felt lost. It was truly the first time during the pandemic that I… had the feeling of ‘What am I supposed to do?'”

When contacted by Ars, a Comcast spokesperson said that “AlphaWiFi is under a standard commercial agreement which expressly prohibits the resale of Comcast services.” Comcast did not answer questions about how

Read More

WeChat decision by U.S. Commerce expected by Sept. 20

Elva Mankin

In a court filing Wednesday, the Trump administration underscored the complexity of cutting ties with WeChat, a ubiquitous app in China that is also used by many Chinese speakers in the United States, some of whom filed a lawsuit trying to block the government from taking action against the app.

A Trump administration filing in that case said the Commerce Department is still reviewing “a range of transactions” related to WeChat for possible prohibition. The government does not plan to impose criminal or civil penalties on individuals for downloading or using the app for personal or business activities, but users may find the app “impaired” by other steps Commerce takes, said the filing in federal court in San Francisco.

Other steps could potentially include requiring Apple and Google to remove WeChat from their app stores, trade lawyers not involved in the case said.

Tencent declined to comment for this story.

Read More

What to expect at Apple’s September 15 ‘Time Flies’ event

Elva Mankin

Apple’s annual special event is only days away on September 15. Here’s what you can expect to be announced during the presentation, alongside the “Apple Watch Series 6″

Apple confirmed it would be holding its usual special event on September 15, continuing its annual tradition for one more year. While it will be a “virtual” presentation instead of one with a live audience, the show will still include a number of new product launches.

Apple Watch Series 6

For a start, there have been suggestions of a new plastic version alongside the existing metal and ceramic roster of casing materials. In theory, this would make for a new entry-level model that could be aimed at first-time buyers wanting an inexpensive timepiece.

Plastic could join the existing list of Apple Watch casing materials in 2020.

Plastic could join the existing list of Apple Watch casing materials in 2020.

A secondary market for a plastic Apple Watch could be children, with a

Read More

Amazon, Apple, and Google’s open-source smart home standard is on track for a 2021 launch

Elva Mankin

Project Connected Home over IP — the ambitious attempt to bring together Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance with a unified, open-source smart home platform — has just posted its latest update on the project. The group has announced (in the first major update since the standard was revealed) that work on the project is still ongoing, and it’s targeting a 2021 release, along with the first clear idea of what devices the standard is aiming to work with.

The project is still on track to provide a “draft specification” for the new standard by the end of the year, with a full launch set for 2021, according to the blog post shared by the Zigbee Alliance (a group that includes Ikea, Samsung SmartThings, and Signify / Philips Hue as board members).

Additionally, the announcement clarifies what sorts of smart home devices the Project Connected Home over IP is

Read More

Apple’s next big launch event will take place on September 15th

Elva Mankin

That threw the usual timetable into disarray and led to a handful of off-the-mark guesses, which are unavoidable even now. Persistent rumors have suggested that the iPhone 12 series won’t actually be unveiled until some time in October, so it’s possible this event could exclusively be about devices like the iPad and Apple Watch. Meanwhile, the event’s tagline — “Time Flies” — indicates that the Apple Watch will be the show’s major player.

Update (9/8, 12:02PM): Bloomberg’s Mike Gurman, who correctly predicted a launch event would be announced today, strongly suggests that Apple won’t unveil any iPhones next week:

That updated version of the Apple Watch — the Series 6 — that’s said to pack a larger battery, no Force Touch, and all of the improvements available in watchOS 7. If we’re lucky, we’ll also get our first glimpse at a new low-cost Apple Watch, which the company has allegedly

Read More

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Earbuds 500: Everything We Know

Elva Mankin

The true wireless earbuds category has been exploding in recent months. We’re not just talking about the sheer number of models available — which now number in the hundreds, if not the thousands — but also what these personal audio products are capable of doing.

Apple, Sony, Jabra, Sennheiser, and Google — just to name the biggest brands — have all released new or updated versions of their true wireless earbuds in the last 10 months, all with improved battery life, sound quality, wireless connectivity, and even active noise cancellation (ANC). However, the one company that hasn’t debuted a new true wireless product since 2018 is Bose, whose SoundSport Free remain its only true wireless offering.

When will Bose finally release something new, and what will it look like when it does? Here’s everything we know about Bose’s next true wireless earbuds.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Bose

Speaking of active noise

Read More

America’s Federal Robot Subsidy Hurts Workers

Elva Mankin

A  tax subsidy for automation would overturn an assumption made by economists since at least the 1930s. The assumption is that technology, in order to displace human labor, must perform a workplace task more efficiently than a human. If tax policy penalizes the employment of human labor relative to the deployment of robots, the basis for expecting even these “efficiency gains” as an upshot of a vanishing human workforce also vanishes. Machines can displace workers while still lagging them in productivity. They can win due to a subsidy that rigs the game in their favor.

It’s not science fiction, but economic fact: We’re all living in this world. For decades, the U.S. government has unwittingly subsidized expenditures on robots in lieu of human labor. And as this robot subsidy has grown over time, the robots have grown in their taste for specifically American workplaces, accelerating their rate of arrival here

Read More