Unemployment claims drop, but Bay Area tech firms prep layoffs

SAN JOSE — Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began in March — but a few Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

In November alone, Hitachi Vantara, Boston Scientific, Marvell Semiconductor and PayPal have revealed plans for job cuts in Silicon Valley, according to official state filings.

Despite the improvement in unemployment claims in California, the tech industry layoffs and weekly jobless filings that remain far higher than what is typical are disquieting reminders that the economy in the state and the Bay Area remains feeble.

“The California economy is in a suspended state,” said Michael Bernick, a former director of the state Employment Development Department and an employment attorney with law firm Duane Morris. “There is little new hiring and no economic uptick over the past two

Read More

Gartner: Global smartphone sales drop again in Q3

STAMFORD — Worldwide smartphone sales dropped nearly 6 percent year-over-year to about 367 million units in the third quarter, as the market continues to see the effects of the coronavirus crisis, according to a report released this week by Stamford-based consulting and research firm Gartner.

Smartphone sales remain below last year’s levels despite the introduction of a number of 5G smartphones and a relaxation of government guidelines on shelter-in-place restrictions in some regions, Gartner officials said. But the results still pointed to a potential rebound, as the sales decrease was smaller than the declines of 20 percent in the previous two quarters.

“Consumers are limiting their discretionary spend even as some lockdown conditions have started to improve,” Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, said in a statement. “Global smartphone sales experienced moderate growth from the second quarter of 2020 to the third quarter. This was due to pent-up demand

Read More

When a hurricane blows out your internet, a drone can drop an instant Wi-Fi network

The deadliest hurricane in Puerto Rican history began as a cluster of thunderstorms off the western bulge of Africa on Sept. 13, 2017. Fueled by evaporation from warm tropical water just north of the equator, the storms began to form into circular bands and rotate around the area of low pressure moving west across the Atlantic Ocean. Three days later as the winds in those bands reached 75 mph, Hurricane Maria was officially born. 

After pummeling the Lesser Antilles, Maria approached Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 as a powerful Category 4 storm. Traversing the island, the storm created devastation with violent winds (speed records were unreliable after land-based wind sensors were destroyed) and torrential flooding (almost 40 inches of rain fell on the mountain town of Caguas). Maria caused $90 billion in damage and, according to a George Washington University study commissioned by the commonwealth’s governor, left 2,975 people dead. 

Read More

Amazon’s Channels Platform Will Drop HBO Next Year

Tony Goncalves, Chief Executive Officer of Otter Media, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019, in Burbank, California.

Tony Goncalves, Chief Executive Officer of Otter Media, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019, in Burbank, California.
Photo: Presley Ann (Getty Images)

Starting next year, you won’t find HBO among Amazon’s Prime Video Channels selection anymore, CNBC reports. That was apparently one of WarnerMedia’s conditions in the months-long negotiations to bring its subscription streaming service, HBO Max, to Amazon Fire TV devices.

Once the companies’ current placement deal expires next year, subscribers will have to navigate to the dedicated HBO Max app instead of watching HBO’s library by way of Amazon’s Fire TV interface. The difference may sound negligible, and from a user standpoint, it kind of is. But for WarnerMedia, it’s potentially a huge win. Consolidating access to its content to a single entry point, the HBO Max app, makes it

Read More

Argos Black Friday 2020 deals drop today across tech and appliances

Best Black Friday deals for 2020



Argos has announced its Black Friday 2020 period starts today.

The retailer will be taking part in the famous November sale with some mega savings across top brands, but it will be dropping deals now in the lead up to the main event.

While Black Friday lands on Friday, November 27, Argos shoppers can get their hands on some major deals before hand.

What’s more, customers can collect Nectar points on Argos Black Friday purchases both in store and online.

a close up of a sign: Argos Black Friday 2020 deals drop today across tech and appliances

© Getty Images
Argos Black Friday 2020 deals drop today across tech and appliances

Offers dropping today include:

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – was £349.99, now £199.99 (save £150.00)

Dyson V8 Absolute Extra Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – was £399.99, now £299.99 (save £100.00)

Canon EOS M50 Vlogger Kit – was £729.99, now £649.99 (save £80.00)


Read More

iPhone 12 Mini drop test: Ceramic shield seems indestructible

The iPhone 12 Mini is a tough phone to crack. We’ve already drop tested the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 , but we decided to do it all over again with the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini to see if the smaller phone yielded different results. Mainly, we wanted to see if we could break the screen. Spoiler: We didn’t, but we managed to break other things in the process. Covered in Apple’s new ceramic shield glass, the iPhone 12 Mini’s screen proved to be virtually indestructible in our drop test. It also seems to be even better at handling repeated drops than its larger-screened sibling.  

a person sitting on a sidewalk: Chris Parker/CNET

© Provided by CNET
Chris Parker/CNET

Even though it looks exactly the same as regular glass to the naked eye, the ceramic shield on the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max is no ordinary glass. It’s glass that’s

Read More

Interest on Dating Apps Drop for Women Named Karen

Finding love is hard as it is in 2020, but neo-acts of racism among white supremacists have made that quest even harder. 

The dating app Wingman released research stating that it’s now more difficult for women with the name Karen to get a date. The app found that matches for women named Karen dropped more than 20 percent in 2020 when compared to results from the previous year. Also, responses to messages sent by women named Karen dipped close to 33 percent. 

Wingman CEO and founder Tina Wilson claims that she wasn’t surprised by these stats because dating sites seem to reflect real-world issues. 

“The trends we observe with online dating usually reflect what’s going on in the real world,” Wilson said in a press release, per Yahoo!

This comes after the term “Karen” became a popular way to describe aggressive white women displaying classist, racist, and/or other prejudices

Read More

Watch Volvo Drop a Bunch of Cars From the Sky for Science

Photo credit: Volvo
Photo credit: Volvo

From Road & Track

Volvo has always been at the forefront of safety. So it’s no surprise to see it go to extreme lengths to help the effectiveness of emergency services workers. For its latest science-backed stunt, the company dropped a handful of new cars suspended nearly 100 feet from the ground by a crane. While cool to watch, it also serves as a valuable method for simulating high-speed crashes.

Obviously, the real goal with this exercise wasn’t to create cool crash footage. Volvo wanted to provide Swedish rescue workers with new cars to test out new metals and devices for cutting out trapped occupants. Usually, these workers have to make do with decades-old cars found in scrapyards. Using these new cars provided them insights into how newer cars differ in metal type and construction, giving them an idea of how their tools can be improved to

Read More

Some mothers can’t drop out in Covid pandemic but have no choice

Before the pandemic hit, Juanita Dutton was working hard.

a person sitting in front of a laptop: Since moms are more likely to handle child care, women's jobs have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and its economic crisis.

© Shutterstock
Since moms are more likely to handle child care, women’s jobs have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and its economic crisis.

A single mother, she has two kids, 8 and 10, one with severe autism and the other with dyslexia. Dutton was employed as a hotel housekeeper while working toward her associate’s degree in computer science. She was doing the impossible: surviving on a low income, taking care of her kids and working toward a better future.

“I was very busy,” she said.

The one thing that made her life work, no matter how hard that life was: Her kids were in school full time.

Once everything shut down, there was no way for her to maintain her studies or go to work in Lawrence, Kansas. There is no one else to provide medical care or educational

Read More

Asian shares drop amid worries over spreading COVID-19 cases

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares have opened lower as rising cases of coronavirus infections in the U.S., Europe and Asia add to worries that economies will once again be hamstrung by pandemic restrictions on travel and businesses.

Reports of surging COVID-19 cases have had a sobering effect on markets that had advanced on hopes for a vaccine and expectations that pro-business policies will continue after last week’s U.S. elections.

“It feels a bit deflated today as investors look to hunker down for what is bound to be a winter of discontent. But beyond the market concerns, the vaccine cannot get here quick enough as what should be a festive time of the year looks bound to be weeks of holiday gloom,” Stephen Innes of Axi said in a report.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 sank 1.0% to 25,254.31. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 6,383.70. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2% lower

Read More