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Error in England’s contact-tracing app means people can’t claim financial support
People who are told to self-isolate are being prevented from claiming a £500 government grant because a button to process claims wasn’t added to the contact-tracing app. Low-income workers in England and Wales are entitled to the grant if self-isolating prevents them from working, but anyone who is told they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive are unable to claim.
Netflix launches virtual bootcamp for tech students
Netflix has opened enrolment to join its training course for students looking to work in the tech industry. With involvement from online education platform 2U and Norfolk State University, the 16-week programme will cover data science, Java engineering and UX/UI design. Netflix and 2U will design each course. Netflix is covering the costs for all 130 students.
IBM and Pfizer build AI to identify early signs of Alzheimer’s
Pfizer and IBM researchers claim to have trained a machine-learning algorithm to identify early signs of Alzheimer's disease by looking at linguistic patterns in word usage. The team says that their AI achieved 71% accuracy when tested against a group of cognitively healthy people. “The mean time to diagnosis of mild Alzheimer's disease was 7.59 years,” the researchers said.
French contact-tracing app rebranded
In an effort to increase downloads, France has rebranded its contact-tracing app. The government has changed the app’s name from StopCovid to TousAntiCovid. The original app was downloaded by 2.8m people. The new app was hit with technical issues when it was launched on Thursday, with some users unable to activate it, text in English rather than French and sometimes no text in display boxes.
Pega and StepChange launch online tool to tackle COVID-19 debts
Pega is working with debt charity StepChange to launch a new online product that will make applying for financial relief easy in the wake of COVID-19. The tool will be available to UK citizens. Users will need to answer six online questions to assess suitability, before then completing another income analysis. Pega says the product was built in a matter of weeks.
Microsoft to cut down pollution from business travel
Microsoft has announced a new effort to reduce the pollution created from its employees’ business flights. The company will buy credits for sustainable aviation fuel from SkyNRG. SkyNRG will then supply cleaner-burning fuel to Alaska Airlines, who will operate the flights. SkyNRG claims that its fuel, made from cooking oils, emits 75% less CO2 emissions than traditional kerosene-based jet fuels.
SoundCloud founders raise $17.8m for e-bike subscription service Dance
Dance, the Berlin-based e-bike subscription service created by the founders of SoundCloud, has raised €15m in a Series A funding round, just three months after launch. The company plans to use the funds to expand its Berlin pilot programme. “Dance is built for the person interested in saving time, the environment and staying healthy," says Quidenus-Wahlforss, one of the company's co-founders.
Environment credits drive Tesla's fifth consecutive quarterly profit
Increased vehicle deliveries and sales of pollution regulatory credits to other carmakers have led to Tesla reporting a fifth successive profit on its revenue of $8.8bn. Environmental credits sold to rival manufacturers makes up $397m of Tesla’s revenue. The credits have become sought-after following several American states increasing the share of zero-emissions cars that carmakers have to sell.
Yuanfudao gets $2.2 billion from Chinese and international investors
Chinese edtech Yuanfudao has picked up $2.2 billion in fresh investment, valuing the company at $15.5 billion. The money came in two rounds, one led by Tencent and another led by DST Global. Yuanfudao operates live tutoring platforms and online homework services. It raised $1 billion in March. The company, based out of Beijing, says it has 400 million users in China.
UK and Thailand partner on smart cities
The UK is partnering with Thailand on smart cities. Projects are ongoing between the two countries, with the UK helping to create an improved flood management system for Lad Phrao, and also working on a data centre project for Bangkok. It is also delivering smart city workshops across the country, and the pair are teaming up on a "Smart City Handbook". 50% of Thailand's population live in cities.
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