Undocumented and Pregnant: Why Women Are Afraid to Get Prenatal Care

Undocumented women are risking their health by postponing prenatal care and giving birth at home in response to the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies.

#illegal-immigration, #immigration-and-emigration, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #texas


Texas Board Revises Sex Education Standards to Include More Birth Control

For the first time since 1997, Texas’ education board made major changes to its sex education standards, allowing the teaching of contraceptive methods to middle school students.

#abstinence-sexual, #birth-control-and-family-planning, #education-k-12, #sex-education, #texas


Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic, Not Home for the Holidays

This Thanksgiving, none of our grandchildren will be at our table. But the pandemic winter still leaves room for the imagination.

#anxiety-and-stress, #content-type-personal-profile, #lewis-c-s, #loneliness, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #texas, #thanksgiving-day


How Many Snowbirds Will Be Flying South for the Winter?

The tradition of flocking to Florida and other sunny shores for the winter, usually by retirees, looks different this year.

#canada, #florida, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #renting-and-leasing-real-estate, #southern-states-us, #texas, #travel-and-vacations, #winter-season


Sequoia-backed recycling robot maker AMP Robotics gets its largest purchase order

AMP Robotics, the manufacturer of robotic recycling systems, has received its largest purchase order from the publicly traded North American waste handling company, Waste Connections.

The order, for 24 machine learning enabled robotic recycling systems, will be used on container, fiber and residue lines across numerous materials recovery facilities, the company said.

The AMP technology can be used to recover plastics, cardboard, paper, cans, cartons and many other containers and packaging types reclaimed for raw material processing.

The tech can tell the difference between high-density polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene. The robots can also sort for color, clarity, opacity and shapes like lids, tubs, clamshells, and cups — the robots can even identify the brands on packaging.

So far, AMP’s robots have been deployed in North America, Asia, and Europe with recent installations in Spain, and across the US in California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In January, before the pandemic began, AMP Robotics worked with its investor, Sidewalk Labs on a pilot program that would provide residents of a single apartment building representing 250 units in Toronto with detailed information about their recycling habits.

Working with the building and a waste hauler, Sidewalk Labs  would transport the waste to a Canada Fibers material recovery facility where trash will be sorted by both Canada Fibers employees and AMP Robotics. Once the waste is categorized, sorted, and recorded Sidewalk will communicate with residents of the building about how they’re doing in their recycling efforts.

Sidewalk says that the tips will be communicated through email, an online portal, and signage throughout the building every two weeks over a three-month period.

For residents, it was an opportunity to have a better handle on what they can and can’t recycle and Sidewalk Labs is betting that the information will help residents improve their habits. And for folks who don’t want their trash to be monitored and sorted, they could opt out of the program.

Recyclers like Waste Connections should welcome the commercialization of robots tackling industry problems. Their once-stable business has been turned on its head by trade wars and low unemployment. About two years ago, China decided it would no longer serve as the world’s garbage dump and put strict standards in place for the kinds of raw materials it would be willing to receive from other countries. The result has been higher costs at recycling facilities, which actually are now required to sort their garbage more effectively.

At the same time, low unemployment rates are putting the squeeze on labor availability at facilities where humans are basically required to hand-sort garbage into recyclable materials and trash.

AMP Robotics is backed by Sequoia Capital,  BV, Closed Loop Partners, Congruent Ventures  and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, a spin-out from Alphabet that invests in technologies and new infrastructure projects.

#alphabet, #amp-robotics, #amps, #articles, #asia, #california, #china, #colorado, #congruent-ventures, #energy-conservation, #europe, #florida, #machine-learning, #materials, #matter, #michigan, #minnesota, #new-york, #north-america, #plastics, #recycling, #robot, #robotics, #sequoia-capital, #sidewalk-infrastructure-partners, #spain, #tc, #texas, #toronto, #united-states, #virginia, #water-conservation, #wisconsin


Biden Asked Republicans to Give Him a Chance. They’re Not Interested.

Joe Biden promised not only to win, but to “restore the soul of the nation.” But the deep divisions that animated President Trump’s tenure show no signs of receding.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #mason-texas, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government


What Places Are Hardest Hit by the Coronavirus? It Depends on the Measure

By different metrics, all sorts of locations in the United States are deeply troubling, from Minot, N.D., to New York City.

#avenal-state-prison, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #los-angeles-county-calif, #minot-nd, #navajo-indians, #new-york-city, #norton-county-kan, #sioux-city-iowa, #south-dakota, #texas, #wisconsin


Ken Paxton Fought Trump’s Legal Wars From Texas. Now He’s in Trouble.

The Texas attorney general, who fought against the Affordable Care Act and mail-in voting, has been accused of wrongdoing by his own aides amid calls for his resignation.

#attorneys-general, #paxton-ken, #texas


As Hospitalizations Soar, El Paso Brings In New Mobile Morgues

The nation hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations on Tuesday. The feared third wave has left cities like El Paso struggling with overloaded I.C.U. wards and scarce staffing.

#abbott-gregory-w-1957, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #el-paso-tex, #hospitals, #texas


Celebration and Sorrow: Americans React to the Election

We traveled the country to capture dispatches from a divided nation.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #pennsylvania, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government


26 Americans on Their Hopes for the Next Four Years

We asked voters about their hopes for the next four years — regardless of the occupant in the White House.

#atlanta-ga, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #maine, #omaha-neb, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #voting-and-voters


Amazon launches its first Amazon Air regional hub in Europe

Amazon has officially started operations at its first European Amazon Air hub, based out of the Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany. The new facility spans 20,000 square meters (65,600 square feet) and will host two Amazon-branded Boeing 737-800 aircraft, brining the company’s total operational air fleet to over 70 aircraft.

The retail giants says that the new hub will generate more than 200 jobs locally in the Leipzig area, where it already employs over 1,500 thanks to the presence of a large regional fulfilment center. Amazon also notes that this will help the company continue to offer timely delivery in Europe as the pandemic continues.

Amazon has steadily grown its Air cargo logistics operations since debuting the expansion of its delivery and shipping network in 2016. It has regional air hubs at airports in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida in the U.S., and plans to expand to Sand Bernardino International Airport in California and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021.

Back in June, it added a dozen new aircraft to its fleet in a move that was said to help it handle extra demand as a result of COVID. The addition of its European hub indicates it’s still prioritizing growing this aspect of its operations, which makes sense given demand for its services are likely spiking amid the current second virus wave in Europe and elsewhere globally.

#aerospace, #amazon, #amazon-air, #california, #cincinnati, #companies, #ecommerce, #europe, #florida, #germany, #leipzig, #publishing, #puerto-rico, #retailers, #tc, #texas, #transportation, #united-states


Tony Gonzales Defeats Gina Ortiz Jones, Keeping G.O.P. Hold on Texas House Seat

Tony Gonzales, a former Navy cryptologist, beat back a second attempt by Gina Ortiz Jones to flip the last remaining Republican district on the southern border.

#elections-house-of-representatives, #jones-gina-ortiz-1981, #texas, #united-states-politics-and-government


Houston-Area Sheriff Fights Off Democratic Challenge in Longtime Republican Stronghold

Troy Nehls defeated Sri Preston Kulkarni, maintaining Republican control of a sprawling suburban district long represented by the former House majority leader, Tom DeLay.

#democratic-party, #elections-house-of-representatives, #fort-bend-county-tex, #kulkarni-sri-preston, #nehls-troy-e, #republican-party, #texas, #united-states-politics-and-government


The Daily: Presidential Election Live Broadcast

Live conversations with correspondents and voters on a history-making day. Tap play to tune in: 4-8 p.m. Eastern time.

#arizona, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #florida, #pennsylvania, #polls-and-public-opinion, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #voting-and-voters


What We Know About Today’s Trump, Biden Polls

Here’s a look at the last major pre-election polls released in five swing states, with an eye toward what they say about the way the broader winds are blowing.

#arizona, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #florida, #georgia, #north-carolina, #polls-and-public-opinion, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j


Polls Today: What They Reveal About Where Trump and Biden Stand

Here’s a look at the last major pre-election polls released in five swing states, with an eye toward what they say about the way the broader winds are blowing.

#arizona, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #florida, #georgia, #north-carolina, #polls-and-public-opinion, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j


How Latinos Could Redefine the G.O.P. in Texas

Republican leaders are looking expectantly to the ethnically, racially and geographically diverse population that could shape the state’s conservatism for the future.

#conservatism-us-politics, #elections, #hispanic-americans, #mexican-americans, #minorities, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #texas, #united-states-politics-and-government


Statehouse Seats Are Up for Grabs, and With Them, Great Power

In most states, control of the state legislature comes with the authority to redraw state and federal electoral maps.

#democratic-party, #elections-state-legislature, #iowa, #minnesota, #north-carolina, #presidential-election-of-2020, #redistricting-and-reapportionment, #republican-party, #texas


Texas Supreme Court Denies G.O.P. Push to Throw Out 127,000 Votes

The Republican effort to invalidate the votes from Harris County, which includes Houston and is largely Democratic, now hinges on an effort at the federal level, where a hearing is set for Monday.

#democratic-party, #hanen-andrew-s, #harris-county-tex, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #supreme-courts-state, #texas, #voting-and-voters


In Texas, the Polls Open for a Graveyard Shift

Hoping to make voting easier during the pandemic, officials opened several polling sites in Harris County, Texas, for overnight balloting last week. Thousands showed up.

#harris-county-tex, #houston-tex, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas


I’m Dreaming of a Blue Texas

With every election cycle, the same question comes up: Is this the year the Lone Star State changes its color?

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #cruz-ted, #democratic-party, #orourke-beto, #polls-and-public-opinion, #texas, #trump-donald-j


Americans Surge to Polls: ‘I’m Going to Vote Like My Life Depends on It’

Anxious but determined, Americans are pushing through challenges like the pandemic and long lines to cast their ballot. The country is on course to surpass 150 million votes for the first time.

#abbott-gregory-w-1957, #absentee-voting, #atlanta-ga, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #elections, #green-bay-wis, #philadelphia-pa, #presidential-election-of-2020, #raffensperger-brad, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #voting-and-voters


When Trick-or-Treating Is Scary, for Real

Some New Yorkers are trying to find a way to celebrate Halloween despite concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

#bronx-nyc, #brooklyn-nyc, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #costumes, #crown-heights-brooklyn-ny, #de-blasio-bill, #halloween, #harlem-manhattan-ny, #holidays-and-special-occasions, #manhattan-nyc, #massachusetts, #new-york-city, #parades, #parties-social, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #texas


CoreCare raises $3 million for managing billing and payments from public health benefit providers

CoreCare, a provider of revenue management services for healthcare companies dealing with public health benefit providers, has raised $3 million in a seed financing round.

The company, which uses machine learning, automates large swaths of billing and revenue cycle management to reduce the burden on hospitals, according to chief executive, Dennis Antonelos.

Already, companies like Creative Solutions in Healthcare, a nursing facility operator in Texas, which operates nearly 80 locations has signed up for the service.

Antonelos started the company in January, had the first product up by March and was accepted to Y Combinator in April. It now boasts over a dozen customers in Texas.

With the new $3 million in hand from investors including Primetime Partners, Goat Capital, Funders Club and Liquid2Ventures, Antonelos said the company would look to expand its sales and marketing and product capabilities.

CoreCare automates processing of billing and paperwork and clinical notes by linking electronic health records and medicare and medicaid information services and payers.

“We’re going through the organization and eliminating administrative waste so the organization can invest newly found resources into patient care,” Antonelos said.

The company uses a standard software as a service payment model and charges somewhere between $300 to $500 per-facility, per-month, according to Antonelos.

“These initial results are outstanding,” said Gary Blake, president, and co-founder of Creative Solutions in Healthcare, and one of CoreCare’s early customers. “In only a matter of months working with CoreCare’s CoreAccess software, we’ve seen a notable impact on our financial position. It has truly exceeded our expectations. CoreCare has changed the way we work with Managed Care, from top to bottom. We have been able to streamline our entire billing process, reduce admin costs, shorten the number of accounts receivable (AR) days and free up cash for growth. Every healthcare provider that works with managed care should work with CoreCare.”

#articles, #goat-capital, #health, #health-insurance, #healthcare, #machine-learning, #medicare, #tc, #texas, #y-combinator


Texas Is a Tossup. So Why Won’t Trump or Biden Campaign There?

A victory by the Democrats would herald the arrival of a formidable multiracial coalition in the country’s largest red state.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #cruz-ted, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j


Bloomberg Funds Last-Minute Advertising Blitz for Biden in Texas and Ohio

The billionaire former New York City mayor has concentrated largely on Florida in the general election. But his private polling found President Trump vulnerable in two of the country’s biggest red states.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #bloomberg-michael-r, #democratic-party, #ohio, #political-advertising, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas


With Weakness Among Hispanic Voters, Biden Trails in Texas

Large Democratic gains among white suburbanites suggest risks down the ballot for Republicans in congressional and state House races, our poll shows.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #elections-house-of-representatives, #hispanic-americans, #polls-and-public-opinion, #presidential-election-of-2020, #suburbs, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #voting-and-voters, #whites


Biden Trails in Texas Due to Weakness Amongst Hispanic Voters

Large Democratic gains among white suburbanites suggest risks down the ballot for Republicans in congressional and state House races, our poll shows.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #elections-house-of-representatives, #hispanic-americans, #polls-and-public-opinion, #presidential-election-of-2020, #suburbs, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #voting-and-voters, #whites


Facebook steps into cloud gaming — and another feud with Apple

Facebook will soon be the latest tech giant to enter the world of cloud gaming. Their approach is different than what Microsoft or Google has built but Facebook highlights a shared central challenge: dealing with Apple.

Facebook is not building a console gaming competitor to compete with Stadia or xCloud, instead the focus is wholly on mobile games. Why cloud stream mobile games that your device is already capable of running locally? Facebook is aiming to get users into games more quickly and put less friction between a user seeing an advertisement for a game and actually playing it themselves. Users can quickly tap into the title without downloading anything and if they eventually opt to download the title from a mobile app store, they’ll be able to pick up where they left off.

Facebook’s service will launch on the desktop web and Android, but not iOS due to what Facebook frames as usability restrictions outlined in Apple’s App Store terms and conditions.

With the new platform, users will  be able to start playing mobile games directly from Facebook ads. Image via Facebook.

While Apple has suffered an onslaught of criticism in 2020 from developers of major apps like Spotify, Tinder and Fortnite for how much money they take as a cut from revenues of apps downloaded from the App Store, the plights of companies aiming to build cloud gaming platforms have been more nuanced and are tied to how those platforms are fundamentally allowed to operate on Apple devices.

Apple was initially slow to provide a path forward for cloud gaming apps from Google and Microsoft, which had previously been outlawed on the App Store. The iPhone maker recently updated its policies to allow these apps to exist, but in a more convoluted capacity than the platform makers had hoped, forcing them to first send users to the App Store before being able to cloud stream a gaming title on their platform.

For a user downloading a lengthy single-player console epic, the short pitstop is an inconvenience, but long-time Facebook gaming exec Jason Rubin says that the stipulations are a non-starter for what Facebook’s platform envisions, a way to start playing mobile games immediately without downloading anything.

“It’s a sequence of hurdles that altogether make a bad consumer experience,” Rubin tells TechCrunch.

Apple tells TechCrunch that they have continued to engage with Facebook on bringing its gaming efforts under its guidelines and that platforms can reach iOS by either submitting each individual game to the App Store for review or operating their service on Safari.

In terms of building the new platform onto the mobile web, Rubin says that without being able to point users of their iOS app to browser-based experiences, as current rules forbid, Facebook doesn’t see pushing its billions of users to accessing the service primarily from a browser as a reasonable alternative. In a Zoom call, Rubin demoes how this  could operate on iOS, with users tapping an advertisement inside the app and being redirected to a game experience in mobile Safari.

“But if I click on that, I can’t go to the web. Apple says, ‘No, no, no, no, no, you can’t do that,’ Rubin tells us. “Apple may say that it’s a free and open web, but what you can actually build on that web is dictated by what they decide to put in their core functionality.”

Facebook VP of Play Jason Rubin. Image via Facebook.

Rubin, who co-founded the game development studio Naughty Dog in 1994 before it was acquired by Sony in 2001, has been at Facebook since he joined Oculus months after its 2014 acquisition was announced. Rubin had previously been tasked with managing the games ecosystem for its virtual reality headsets, this year he was put in charge of the company’s gaming initiatives across their core family of apps as the company’s VP of Play.

Rubin, well familiar with game developer/platform skirmishes, was quick to distinguish the bone Facebook had to pick with Apple and complaints from those like Epic Games which sued Apple this summer.

“I do want to put a pin in the fact that we’re giving Google 30% [on Android]. The Apple issue is not about money,” Rubin tells TechCrunch. “We can talk about whether or not it’s fair that Google takes that 30%. But we would be willing to give Apple the 30% right now, if they would just let consumers have the opportunity to do what we’re offering here.”

Facebook is notably also taking a 30% cut of transaction within these games, even as Facebook’s executive team has taken its own shots at Apple’s steep revenue fee in the past, most recently criticizing how Apple’s App Store model was hurting small businesses during the pandemic. This saga eventually led to Apple announcing that it would withhold its cut through the end of the year for ticket sales of small businesses hosting online events.

Apple’s reticence to allow major gaming platforms a path towards independently serving up games to consumers underscores the significant portion of App Store revenues that could be eliminated by a consumer shift towards these cloud platforms. Apple earned around $50 billion from the App Store last year, CNBC estimates, and gaming has long been their most profitable vertical.

Though Facebook is framing this as an uphill battle against a major platform for the good of the gamer, this is hardly a battle between two underdogs. Facebook pulled in nearly $70 billion in ad revenues last year and improving their offerings for mobile game studios could be a meaningful step towards increasing that number, something Apple’s App Store rules threaten.

For the time being, Facebook is keeping this launch pretty conservative. There are just 5-10 titles that are going to be available at launch, Rubin says. Facebook is rolling out access to the new service, which is free, this week across a handful of states in America, including California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. The hodge-podge nature of the geographic rollout is owed to the technical limitations of cloud-gaming– people have to be close to data centers where the service has rolled out in order to have a usable experience. Facebook is aiming to scale to the rest of the U.S. in the coming months, they say.

#america, #android, #app-store, #california, #cloud-gaming, #computing, #connecticut, #delaware, #epic-games, #executive, #facebook, #google, #iphone, #jason-rubin, #maryland, #massachusetts, #microsoft, #mobile-app, #mobile-game, #new-jersey, #new-york, #operating-systems, #pennsylvania, #rhode-island, #software, #sony, #spotify, #tc, #texas, #tinder, #united-states, #virginia, #virtual-reality, #vp, #washington-d-c, #web-browser, #xcloud


Democrats Hope 2020 Is the Year They Flip the Texas House

Republicans have controlled the state government since 2003. An anti-Trump surge could give Democrats a crucial boost.

#elections-state-legislature, #fort-worth-tex, #orourke-beto, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2020, #state-legislatures, #suburbs, #tarrant-county-tex, #texas


Arrest Leads to Tragedy in the Rio Grande Valley

Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga’s death after a brutal arrest prompted protests that are rare in a region where undocumented immigrants often prefer to stay silent.

#edinburg-tex, #george-floyd-protests-2020, #hidalgo-county-tex, #immigration-and-emigration, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #rio-grande-valley-tex, #texas, #texas-rangers


SpaceX launches 60 more satellites during 15th Starlink mission

SpaceX has launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites, the primary ingredient for its forthcoming global broadband internet service. The launch took place at 11:31 AM EDT, with a liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This is the fifteenth Starlink launch thus far, and SpaceX has now launched nearly 900 of the small, low Earth orbit satellites to date.

This launch used a Falcon 9 first stage booster that twice previously, both times earlier this year, including just in September for the delivery of a prior batch of Starlink satellites. The booster was also recovered successfully with a landing at sea aboard SpaceX’s ‘Just Read the Instructions’ floating autonomous landing ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Earlier this week, Ector County Independent School District in Texas announced itself as a new pilot partner for SpaceX’s Starlink network. Next year, that district will gain connectivity to low latency broadband via Starlink’s network, connecting up to 45 households at first, with plans to expand it to 90 total household customers as more of the constellation is launched and brought online.

SpaceX’s goal with Starlink is to provide broadband service globally at speeds and with latency previously unavailable in hard-to-reach and rural areas. Its large constellation, which will aim to grow to tens of thousands of satellites before it achieves its max target coverage, offers big advantages in terms of latency and reliability vs. large geosynchronous satellites that provide most current satellite-based internet available commercially.

#aerospace, #broadband, #falcon-9, #florida, #outer-space, #space, #spacecraft, #spaceflight, #spacex, #starlink, #tc, #texas


Oil Industry Expresses Concern, Not Alarm, About Biden Comments

After the candidate called for a “transition” away from oil and gas, executives said the country would need fossil fuels for decades to come.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #coal, #debates-political, #energy-and-power, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #labor-and-jobs, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pennsylvania, #presidential-election-of-2020, #shale, #texas, #united-states


A Debate Pledge to ‘Transition’ From Oil Puts Climate at Center of Campaign Finale

Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s debate statement that he would “transition” the country away from oil gave President Trump an opening and thrust climate change center stage.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #debates-political, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pennsylvania, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government


A Biden Landslide? Some Democrats Can’t Help Whispering

Democrats are still haunted by the ghosts of 2016. But some are allowing themselves to contemplate a Biden victory big enough to reorder the nation’s politics.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #democratic-party, #dillon-jennifer-omalley, #georgia, #groh-wargo-lauren, #presidential-election-of-2020, #sasse-benjamin-e, #senate, #texas, #trump-donald-j


Belching Cows and Endless Feedlots: Fixing Cattle’s Climate Issues

The United States is home to 95 million cattle, and changing what they eat could have a significant effect on emissions of greenhouse gases like methane that are warming the world.

#agriculture-and-farming, #cattle, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #livestock, #meat, #methane, #texas, #your-feed-photojournalism


Vanessa Guillen Died ‘in the Line of Duty,’ Army Officials Say

The determination means the slain Army specialist’s family is entitled to military life insurance, final pay and allowance.

#bell-county-tex, #fort-hood-tex, #funerals-and-memorials, #house-of-representatives, #houston-tex, #sexual-harassment, #texas, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces


Security testing firm NSS Labs ceases operations, citing coronavirus

Security testing company NSS Labs “ceased operations” last week, the company said in a notice on its website, citing impacts related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Austin, Texas-based company was quietly acquired by private equity firm Consecutive last October. But last week, the company was reportedly preparing for layoffs, according to Dark Reading, which first reported news of the company’s shuttering.

In a brief post on LinkedIn, NSS Labs’ chief executive Jason Brvenik hinted at layoffs, adding: “If you are in need of excellent people that exceed my high standards, please get in touch.” (Brvenik listed himself as a former chief executive on his LinkedIn profile.)

Former employees told TechCrunch that they had been laid off as a result of the company’s closure.

NSS Labs, founded in 2007, was one of the most well-known product security testing companies, allowing customers to use real threat data to stress-test their products and discover potential vulnerabilities and security issues.

But the last few years have been rocky. NSS Labs retracted its “caution” rating for CrowdStrike’s Falcon platform in 2019, after the two companies confidentially settled a lawsuit challenging the results. NSS Labs also dropped its antitrust suit against the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO), Symantec and ESET, after the testing giant claimed it had discovered evidence of the companies allegedly conspiring to make it harder to test their products.

Spokespeople for NSS Labs and Consecutive did not immediately return requests for comment.

Send tips securely over Signal and WhatsApp to +1 646-755-8849.

#austin, #computing, #malware, #reading, #security, #startups, #texas


The Justice Department has filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google

The Justice Department said it has filed its long-awaited antitrust lawsuit against Google, confirming an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal.

In the suit, the Justice Department is expected to argue that Google used anticompetitive practices to safeguard its monopoly position as the dominant force in search and search-advertising, which sit at the foundation of the company’s extensive advertising, data mining, video distribution, and information services conglomerate.

It would be the first significant legal challenge that Google has faced from U.S. regulators despite years of investigations into the company’s practices.

A 2012 attempt to bring the company to the courts to answer for anti-competitive practices was ultimately scuttled because regulators at the time weren’t sure they could make the case stick. Since that time Alphabet’s value has skyrocketed to reach over $1 trillion (as of today’s share price).

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, holds a commanding lead in both search and video. The company dominates the search market — with roughly 90% of the world’s internet searches conducted on its platform — and roughly three quarters of American adults turn to YouTube for video, as the Journal reported.

In the lawsuit, the Department of Justice will say that Alphabet’s Google subsidiary uses a web of exclusionary business agreements to shut out competitors. The billions of dollars that the search giant collects wind up paying mobile phone companies, carriers and browsers to make the Google search engine a preset default. That blocks competitors from being able to access the kinds of queries and traffic they’d need to refine their own search engine.

It will be those relationships — alongside Google’s insistence that its search engine come pre-loaded (and un-deletable) on phones using the Android operating system and that other search engines specifically not be pre-loaded — that form part of the government’s case, according to Justice Department officials cited by the Journal.

The antitrust suit comes on the heels of a number of other regulatory actions involving Google, which is not only the dominant online search provider, but also a leader in online advertising and in mobile technology by way of Android, as well as a strong player in a web of other interconnected services like mapping, online productivity software, cloud computing and more.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, UNITED STATES – 2020/02/23: American multinational technology company Google logo seen at Google campus. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A report last Friday in Politico noted that Democrat Attorneys General would not be signing the suit. That report said those AGs have instead been working on a bipartisan, state-led approach covering a wider number of issues beyond search — the idea being also that more suits gives government potentially a stronger bargaining position against the tech giant.

A third suit is being put together by the state of Texas, although that has faced its own issues.

While a number of tech leviathans are facing increasing scrutiny from Washington, with the US now just two weeks from Election Day, it’s unlikely that we are going to see many developments around this and other cases before then. And in the case of this specific Google suit, in the event that Trump doesn’t get re-elected, there will also be a larger personnel shift at the DoJ that could also change the profile and timescale of the case.

In any event, fighting these regulatory cases is always a long, drawn-out process. In Europe, Google has faced a series of fines over antitrust violations stretching back several years, including a $2.7 billion fine over Google shopping; a $5 billion fine over Android dominance; and a $1.7 billion fine over search ad brokering. While Goolge slowly works through appeals, there are also more cases ongoing against the company in Europe and elsewhere.

Google is not the only one catching the attention of Washington. Earlier in October, the House Judiciary Committee released a report of more than 400 pages in which it outlined how tech giants Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Facebook were abusing their power, covering everything from the areas in which they dominate, through to suggestions for how to fix the situation (including curtailing their acquisitions strategy).

That seemed mainly to be an exercise in laying out the state of things, which could in turn be used to inform further actions, although in itself, unlike the DoJ suit, the House report lacks teeth in terms of enforcement or remedies.

#alphabet, #amazon, #android, #apple, #big-tech, #europe, #facebook, #google, #google-campus, #leader, #mobile-technology, #online-advertising, #online-search, #operating-system, #operating-systems, #search-advertising, #search-engine, #tc, #texas, #trump, #united-states


Oil Industry Turns to Mergers and Acquisitions to Survive

With the price of a barrel stuck around $40 and no recovery in sight, companies are combining to cut costs and ride out the pandemic.

#chevron-corporation, #concho-resources-inc, #conocophillips, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #devon-energy-corporation, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #natural-gas, #noble-energy-inc, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #permian-basin-north-america, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #shale, #stocks-and-bonds, #texas, #wpx-energy-inc


A Question of Life and Death Looms for Amy Coney Barrett

If confirmed, she may soon have to reconcile her Catholic morality and the law over a death penalty case.

#alito-samuel-a-jr, #barrett-amy-coney, #capital-punishment, #constitution-us, #criminal-justice, #first-amendment-us-constitution, #francis, #freedom-of-religion, #john-paul-ii, #kavanaugh-brett-m, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #prisons-and-prisoners, #roman-catholic-church, #supreme-court-us, #texas


Kara Swisher speaks to Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and expert on American elections

Inside the intricate legal battle to make sure every vote counts in 2020.

#absentee-voting, #campaign-legal-center, #federal-election-commission, #florida, #pennsylvania, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #texas


This U.S. Election Could Be the Most Secure Yet. Here’s Why.

With early voting underway, states are working to reassure voters that their ballots will be counted as cast. Our video shows how states’ responses to Russian hacking and the coronavirus crisis have helped make the election more secure than ever.

#cyberattacks-and-hackers, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #presidential-election-of-2016, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #voting-and-voters, #voting-machines


Why Early Voting in Some States Has Had a Rough Start.

The hurdles to early voting in places like Georgia and Texas resulted from a combination of intense voter interest that stressed local capacity and the sort of messiness long common to American elections.

#absentee-voting, #georgia, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #virginia, #voter-registration-and-requirements, #voting-and-voters


The Fight Over Absentee Ballots Intensifies Around Drop Boxes

Democrats are pushing to expand their use, while Republicans insist, without evidence, that they make fraud easier — even as they deploy their own in California.

#absentee-voting, #california, #colorado, #content-type-service, #ohio, #postal-service-and-post-offices, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #states-us, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government


Federal Judge Blocks Texas Governor’s Move to Limit Ballot Drop-Off Sites

Gov. Greg Abbott had ordered that counties in the state be limited to one site each.

#abbott-gregory-w-1957, #decisions-and-verdicts, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2020, #texas, #voter-registration-and-requirements


Trump’s Struggles Ripple Across the Sun Belt, Endangering G.O.P. Stronghold

President Trump is fading nationally as he alienates women, seniors and suburbanites, polls show. But private G.O.P. surveys show he is in close races in solidly red states, too.

#arizona, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #georgia, #graham-lindsey, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #whites


Texas Punk Rock, Straight From the Pit

Pat Blashill’s photo book “Texas Is the Reason” captures the energy and anarchy of Austin’s burgeoning scene between 1979 and 1987.

#big-boys, #butthole-surfers, #nineteen-hundred-eighties, #photography, #pop-and-rock-music, #texas


Gulf States Brace for Hurricane Delta

The governors of Alabama and Mississippi have declared states of emergency, while some parishes in Louisiana are under mandatory evacuation orders.

#alabama, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #gulf-coast-us, #gulf-of-mexico, #hurricane-delta, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #louisiana, #mississippi, #national-hurricane-center, #texas, #weather