Black Facebook staff anonymous letter describe workplace racism

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 13th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –

A group of Facebook workers say they are treated as if they ‘do not belong’ at the company

One year after a former Facebook manager accused the company of having “a black people problem” – failing its black employees by allowing the proliferation of a hostile workplace culture — an anonymous group of tech workers at the social media giant have penned a letter in which they argue that the problem has only metastasized.

“Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments,” they write. “It’s in the small actions that mount up over time and build into a culture where we are only meant to be seen as quotas, but never heard, never acknowledged, never recognized, and never accepted.”

The memo, published last week on Medium, includes descriptions of discrimination and hostility that 12 current and former employees of color, including black and Latinx workers, said they’ve experienced at the company. The writers say the alleged incidents all had witnesses and corroboration.

One Facebook program manager said they were told by two white employees to clean up after their breakfast-mess and that when the employee raised the issue their supervisor only said the worker should “dress more professionally”.Other writers said supervisors and colleagues called them aggressive and arrogant for sharing opinions in ways similar to their white colleagues.

“[W]e are sad. Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here,” employees write in the memo.

The employees further alleged they were brushed aside by human resources staff when they asked that the aggressions be addressed.

Facebook did not immediately respond to an email from the Guardian, but in a statement sent to reporters on Friday, Bertie Thomson, Facebook’s vice-president of corporate communications, apologized.

“No one at Facebook, or anywhere, should have to put up with this behavior,” Thomson wrote. “We are sorry. It goes against everything that we stand for as a company. We’re listening and working hard to do better.”Advertisement

The memo on Medium included screenshots of an app that allows Facebook employees to comment anonymously on issues and colleagues at the site.

“These people make it seem like they work for the KKK,” one staff member reportedly wrote, referring to employees of color and last year’s viral post from Mark Luckie, the former employee who thrust the company’s race relations into the spotlight.

“They should feel privileged that they were diversity hires and got into the company after we lowered our hiring standards. That’s just my opinion, though.” The screenshot is followed by a poll showing that more than 66% of respondents felt that black employees “just complain to get attention”.

The recent letter has garnered buzz, but concerns over race relations at Facebook are long-standing. A 2013 diversity report showed that the companys’s US workforce – in particular its leadership – was dominated by white men, while black and Hispanic employees made up just 2% and 4% of its staff, respectively. Two years later, its percentage of black employees had barely changed.

Luckie, the former Facebook employee, wrote in his 2018 memo that the company’s lack of diversity has led to racially biased content removal and account suspensions. In a claim echoed by this year’s anonymous letter, Luckie wrote that Facebook leadership paid strong lip service to creating equitable policies and building a diverse staff, but doesn’t back up its stated convictions in practice.

“In some buildings, there are more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than there are actual black people”, Luckie wrote last year.

By Mario Koran

Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk chooses Berlin for engineering and design centre

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 13th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –

Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, has said Berlin will be the site of its first European factory as the carmaker's expansion plans power ahead.

“Berlin rocks,” Mr Musk said, adding Tesla would build an engineering and design centre in the German capital.

Tesla previously said it aimed to start production in Europe in 2021.

The moves come as the firm, which has also invested heavily in a Chinese factory, faces intensifying competition in the electric vehicle industry.

Mr Musk made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Germany on Tuesday.

“Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding and that's part of the reason we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany,” he said.

Mr Musk also cited risks surrounding the UK's exit from the EU for his decision, according to AutoExpress.

“Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” he told the trade magazine.

Mr Musk said the facility would be located near the new Berlin airport and later gave more details on what the factory would produce on Twitter.

The focus on Germany comes amid rising appetite for electric cars in Europe.

Over the coming years, the biggest electric car production plants will be in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, industry analysis showed.

Some 16 large-scale lithium-ion battery cell plants are confirmed or due to begin operations in Europe by 2023.

China push

Tesla's European plan comes as the carmaker also moves ahead with a $2bn (£1.6bn) factory in Shanghai.

The firm is looking to ramp up production in China, the world's biggest car market, where sales have been hurt by tariffs triggered by the US-China trade war.

The Shanghai facility will produce Model 3 and Model Y cars. The automaker reportedly showed off its new China-made vehicles to local media this week.

Still, Tesla has struggled with years of losses, fuelling investor doubts and casting a shadow over its shares in recent years.

The firm has yet to turn an annual profit, although it recorded positive results in the final two quarters of 2018.

Last year, Tesla took aggressive steps to slash expense, cutting thousands of jobs and reining in other spending.

Vodafone sinks to a £1.6bn loss after a ruling by India’s top court

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue , 12th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –

The firm says the “situation is critical” and could pull out of the country, where it is the largest foreign direct investor.

UK-based mobile giant Vodafone sank to a loss of £1.6bn after a ruling by India's top court threatens to land it with huge fees and penalties.

The firm has described it as a critical situation and warned it could pull out of the country, where it is the largest foreign direct investor.

The court judgment against the telecoms industry relates to a decade-long battle over the calculation of licence and other regulatory fees.

Vodafone said its liability appeared to be at least £3.2bn but warned it “could be substantially higher”.

The mobile operator said it may seek a review of the supreme court's decision, which saw it post a loss in the six months to 30 September.

Announcing its results for the period, the company said: “In October the Supreme Court in India ruled against the industry in a dispute over the calculation of licence and other regulatory fees, and Vodafone Idea is now liable for very substantial demands made by the Department of Telecommunications in relation to these fees.

“We are actively engaging with the government to seek financial relief for Vodafone Idea.”

Vodafone chief executive Nick Read said: “The situation is critical. I think the government are left in no doubt on our position.

“We are India's largest foreign direct investment investor and I think there's a moment where you have to say we've been commercially successful and our brand is strong.

“What we need is a supportive regulatory environment and prices that are sustainable.

“It's been a very challenging situation for a long time and, if you look at the share price in India, it is effectively has zero value.”

Mr Read revealed he had travelled to India with Vodafone's chairman, Gerard Kleisterlee, last month to lay out the company's demands to ministers.

He has asked for a two-year moratorium before any payments are made, lower taxes in the country, the waiving of interest and fines associated with the judgment, and to spread out the fee costs over 10 years.

Mr Read added: “We've committed a lot of capital to India and we've made a decision we will not put further capital in (until the issue is resolved).”

Elsewhere in the business, Vodafone said its overall revenues over the six-month period had gone up after a return to growth “supported by improvements in South Africa, Spain and Italy, with solid retail performance in Germany and strong commercial acceleration in the UK”.

The company's reported revenues rose 0.4% to €21.9 (£18.8bn).

Vodafone also increased its profit guidance to €14.8-€15bn (£12.7bn-£12.9) from €13.8-€14.2bn (£11.9bn-£12.2bn), pointing to the acquisition of Liberty Global's assets in Germany and the sale of its New Zealand business.

Next Gen Farming Growing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Without Soil and 90% Less Water

Source: Grateful

Aeroponics grows fruits and vegetables faster, cheaper and better. Vertical farming with Tower Gardens is on the ‘rise' and rightfully so. You can grow a variety of plants without ANY soil and 90% LESS water. It also requires 10x less space so you can do a lot more in a smaller area. That means easily growing fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers both indoors and out. And because everything is grown and picked fresh, the flavor is unbelievable!

Airbnb to verify every single property on its platform 11 years after launch

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Thur, 7th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –

Airbnb says it will verify every single property on its platform after a news website found a series of scams.

In October, Vice News uncovered a pattern of false or misleading property listings posted on the rentals site.

Airbnb said it would review every property by December 2020, and also promised to refund customers if they were misled by inaccurate listings.

It is the first time Airbnb, which launched in 2008, has pledged to verify every home promoted on its platform.

During its investigation, Vice News spoke to several people who had booked accommodation on Airbnb and been scammed.

When the guests arrived for their holiday, they typically received a last-minute phone call from the landlord saying the property was no longer available, due to an emergency or double-booking.

They would then be moved to another property, often in a different area and without the amenities promised in the original booking.

In many cases the guests felt they had no option but to stay at least one night, after arriving late at night in a city far from home.

But they say Airbnb then refused to give them a full refund despite the misleading bookings.

In a series of tweets, Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky said: “Airbnb is in the business of trust. We are making the most significant steps in designing trust on our platform since our original design in 2008.”

He pledged:

  • to review every home and host on Airbnb, aiming to verify every listing by December 2020
  • to refund guests the entire cost of their booking if the accommodation does not meet “accuracy standards”, and if the company cannot find another property “that is just as nice”
  • to launch a phone line so “anyone can call us any time, anywhere in the world and reach a real person”

Adam French, a consumer rights expert from Which?, told the BBC: “Holiday booking fraud is on the rise, with people losing millions every year to fraudsters tricking them out of their money with holiday lettings that do not actually exist.

“Steps from Airbnb to finally verify all of its listings are positive, but the industry must do more to ensure people are no longer being stripped of their money and having their holiday plans left in tatters.”

On 2 November, Airbnb said it would ban “party houses” after a mass shooting at a California home rented through the company left five people dead.

And in 2017, it changed its security policy, after a BBC investigation found criminals were hijacking accounts and burgling homes.

Facebook changes logo to Facebook – to avoid confusion

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 5th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –

The company Facebook, which owns the social media network Facebook, wants users to realise there's a difference between the two.

Facebook, the company behind the social media platform also called Facebook, wants to avoid being confused with Facebook – but instead of changing its name, like Google did to Alphabet, it is changing its logo.

The new logo is still just the word Facebook, but it is capitalised where the social media platform's logo is in lowercase.

An animated image released by the company shows the logo in various colours, distancing it a little from the blue of the main Facebook platform – which the company is increasingly describing as an app.

Explaining the change, the company's chief marketing officer, Antonio Lucio, said “Facebook started as a single app”, although in truth Facebook started as a social networking website for Harvard students – not a single application.

But, as Mr Lucio continued: “Now, 15 years later, we offer a suite of products that help people connect to their friends and family, find communities and grow businesses.”

This range of products all under the Facebook umbrella has grown increasingly diverse. They include the major four platforms, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as others which have a much smaller market share or are yet to launch.

Oculus, Workplace, Portal and Calibra are mentioned by Mr Lucio as sharing infrastructure as well as development teams – and the company is keen to avow that these are Facebook products.

For a company such as Google, the value of its Search brand benefits its other services, including Maps and Gmail – and they are available as interconnected services at the point of delivery.

However, for Facebook, which has expanded primarily by acquiring these other social media platforms which were foreign to its own development teams, the focus has been on assimilating those platforms and their users into its own business structures.

For a long time there was very little clarity about how the company would do this and if it could do so legally.

Earlier this year the company's executives were called in for an “urgent briefing” by the Irish data protection commissioner after confirming plans to integrate the Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms.

Those plans would see the company combine its data collection on the hundreds of millions of users of its separate platforms around the world – potentially bringing it into conflict with strict EU laws on how companies handle personal data.

Facebook's information campaign around its new branding would potentially increase its ability to argue that users had provided their informed consent to continue using these joined-up platforms.

“We started being clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook years ago, adding a company endorsement to products like Oculus, Workplace and Portal,” explained Mr Lucio.

“And in June we began including ‘from Facebook' within all our apps. Over the coming weeks, we will start using the new brand within our products and marketing materials, including a new company website.”

Whether such signalling will be enough to address concerns about the company's market share remains to be seen.

By Alexander Martin

Can Desalination of Sea Water Save The World?

Source: CNBC

Today, one out of three people don’t have access to safe drinking water. And that’s the result of many things, but one of them is that 96.5% of that water is found in our oceans. It’s saturated with salt, and undrinkable. Most of the freshwater is locked away in glaciers or deep underground. Less than one percent of it is available to us. So why can’t we just take all that seawater, filter out the salt, and have a nearly unlimited supply of clean, drinkable water?

Facebook agrees to pay £500,000 Cambridge Analytica fine to UK

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 30th Oct 2019) London, Uk – –

Facebook has agreed to pay a £500,000 fine imposed by the UK's data protection watchdog for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

It had originally appealed the penalty, causing the Information Commissioner's Office to pursue its own counter-appeal.

As part of the agreement, Facebook has made no admission of liability.

The US firm said it “wished it had done more to investigate Cambridge Analytica” earlier.

James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner of the ICO said: “The ICO's main concern was that UK citizen data was exposed to a serious risk of harm. Protection of personal information and personal privacy is of fundamental importance, not only for the rights of individuals, but also as we now know, for the preservation of a strong democracy.”

Harry Kinmonth, a Facebook lawyer, noted that the social network had made changes to restrict the information app developers could access following the scandal.

“The ICO has stated that it has not discovered evidence that the data of Facebook users in the EU was transferred to Cambridge Analytica,” he added.

“However, we look forward to continuing to cooperate with the ICO's wider and ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes.”

Researcher Dr Aleksandr Kogan and his company GSR used a personality quiz to harvest the Facebook data of up to 87 million people.

Some of this data was shared with London-based Cambridge Analytica.

The ICO argued that Facebook did not do enough to protect users' information.

The Smart Car Pulled Out of The US, Now It’s Betting On China

Source:CNBC

The tiny Smart car was meant to be a revolutionary new idea in urban mobility. But more than 20 years after its creation, the Smart car pulled out of the U.S. after years of increasingly dismal sales. Now, its parent company, Daimler, is looking in a new direction.

Who Wants To Be A Trillionaire?

Source: Bloomberg

There are millions of asteroids in our solar system. Because some are full of materials that are rare on Earth, they have been valued at stupendous amounts. But the most valuable resource in space may be something that's abundant back on the ground.

UK’s mobile operators team up to tackle rural ‘not-spots

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 25th Oct 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s four mobile network operators have agreed to build a shared rural network, backed by government funds, banishing countryside “not-spots” where consumers are unable to get an adequate signal.

EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three will collectively spend 532 million pounds ($684 million) over 20 years, according to the plan published on Friday, potentially supported by a 500 million pound investment from the government.

The operators would invest in new and existing phone masts they would all share under the proposal, which the government hopes will be formalized early next year.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said she is determined to make sure no part of the country is left behind in mobile connectivity.

“Brokering an agreement for mast sharing between networks alongside new investment in mobile infrastructure will mean people get good 4G signal no matter where they are or which provider they’re with,” she said.

“But it is not yet a done deal and I want to see industry move quickly so we can reach a final agreement early next year.”

The operators have agreed to share existing masts and infrastructure in areas where there is coverage from at least one but not all operators.

If this is delivered, the government will then commit up to 500 million pounds of investment to eliminate total not-spots – the hard-to-reach areas where there is no coverage from any operator.

The agreement will bring high-quality 4G coverage to 95% of Britain by 2025, the government said.

Poor mobile coverage in rural areas has been a problem in Britain for many years, affecting residents and visitors including former Prime Minister David Cameron, who has said he had to cut short holidays in Cornwall, in England’s south west, because of poor communications.

The government has pushed operators to come up with a solution, including proposing “in-country roaming”, where customers would switch to rival networks if they could not connect to their own.

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said the networks started working on the plan a year ago, before engaging with government and the regulator Ofcom.

“It will result in great coverage for the country in the most cost-effective way,” he said. “We are sharing our infrastructure as much as possible, it’s great for consumers, who will have maximum choice wherever they live in the UK.”

The allocation of costs had been agreed between the operators, depending on existing levels of coverage, he said.

The infrastructure sharing plan was far superior to in-country roaming, which was technically difficult, would drain users’ batteries and hamper competition and investment, he said.

By Paul Sandle

WeWork warns staff to expect major job cuts after shake-up at struggling co-working company

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 23rd Oct 2019) London, Uk – –

WeWork leaders have warned staff to expect major job cuts after a shake-up at the struggling co-working company.

Softbank, the firm's biggest outside investor, has agreed to invest billions in the firm after the collapse of WeWork's flotation plans and ouster of co-founder Adam Neumann.

Its chief operating officer said WeWork must now “right-size” the business to stem its losses.

Media reports say the firm would cut thousands of workers.

The Financial Times put the figure at as many as 4,000 – about a third of its staff, which numbered more than 12,500 as of June.

WeWork did not respond to a request for comment on the figures.

Major cuts had been expected but postponed, as the cash-strapped company, which lost $900m in the six months to June, needed money to pay severance, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

On Tuesday, WeWork's board accepted a financing offer from Softbank that includes $5bn in debt.

As part of the deal, Mr Neumann is to receive an exit package worth nearly $1.7bn – a move that had spurred anger among workers fearing for their jobs.

‘Right-size the business'

In a memo to staff posted by CNBC, Softbank's chief operating officer Marcelo Claure, who was named to lead WeWork's board, said those affected by the cuts would be “treated with respect, dignity and fairness”.

“I am totally committed to open and transparent communication with you,” he wrote. “Yes, there will be layoffs – I don't know how many – and yes, we have to right-size the business to achieve positive free cash flow and profitability. But I will promise you that those that leave us will be treated with respect, dignity and fairness.”

WeWork, which rents office space on flexible terms to companies and freelancers, grew rapidly from its founding in New York City in 2010 to more than 500 locations around the world.

For years, the focus on growth overrode concerns about profitability and led the company to experiment beyond office rentals, opening apartments and schools. Those businesses are among the units expected to be sold.

WeWork is also likely to focus on the US, Europe and Japan, pulling back from regions that include China and much of Latin America, the Financial Times reported.

“To be candid, what we are lacking is focus on our core business,” Mr Claure wrote.

“The past two months have been challenging, and I am not going to minimize those challenges,” he wrote. “Fortunately, we have all the necessary ingredients to make this one of the most amazing comeback stories ever, and prove our detractors wrong.”

Inside the United Kingdom’s Tech Renaissance

Source: Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance heads to England to find out how the country is fighting to inject new life into its technology industry. The trip starts out in Bletchley Park. From there, it’s off to Cambridge, the heart of England’s technology scene. Vance hangs out with learned cows and artificial intelligence whizzes, bikes past Newton’s famed apple tree (at least a reasonable replica of it), and goes punting with the inventor of the Raspberry Pi computer. From Cambridge, it’s off to the Cotswolds and the headquarters of Dyson to see its latest creations. And then on to London to check out some startups and whine about Brexit while drinking the world’s most exotic cocktails at the Langham Hotel.

The Entrepreneurs and Visionaries Making New Business of Space The Next Giant Leap

Source: Bloomberg

In the not-too-distant future, entirely new industries will be developed in space. These are the stories about the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are taking that next Giant Leap.

The Deluxe Stretch Van That Feels Like A Private Jet

Source: BI

Klassen is a German tuning company that builds deluxe stretch vehicles. Many of their available cars are expanded by over a full meter. Each vehicle's private cabin is adorned with everything one needs for luxury traveling.

Boeing staff messaged about 737 Max issue in 2016

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 18th Oct 2019) London, Uk – –

Boeing employees exchanged instant messages about issues with the automated safety system on the 737 Max as it was being certified in 2016.

In documents provided by Boeing to lawmakers, a pilot wrote that he had run into unexpected trouble during tests.

He said he had “basically lied to the regulators [unknowingly]”.

The safety system has been tied to two deadly crashes that killed 346 people.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called the document “concerning” and said it was asking Boeing for an “immediate” explanation for the delay in turning over the documents, which Boeing provided to lawmakers ahead of hearings this month.

Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg is due to testify. He was recently stripped of the title of chairman of the company, though he remains chief executive.

Boeing said it is cooperating with the investigation of the 737 Max, which has been grounded globally since March following the crashes.

“We will continue to follow the direction of the FAA and other global regulators, as we work to safely return the 737 MAX to service,” Boeing said.

Reviews since the crashes have found fault with Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates flight safety, for inadequate review of the risks associated with a new anti-stall software control system known as Mcas.

Boeing reportedly uncovered the messages, which date to 2016, “some months ago”. The pilot no longer works for the company.

In response to the pilot's message, the other Boeing employee wrote: “It wasn't (sic) a lie, no one told us that was the case”.

Shares in the company dropped more than 5% on Friday following the reports.

US private equity group Thoma Bravo to buy Abingdon-based company in grees £3.1bn takeover

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 14th Oct 2019) London, Uk – –

US private equity group Thoma Bravo to buy Abingdon-based company, which has 3,400 staff

The UK cybersecurity firm Sophos, which assisted the NHS and a number of businesses during a massive WannaCry ransomware attack two years ago, is to be bought by a US private equity group for $3.9bn (£3.1bn).

The FTSE 250 company, which is based in Abingdon near Oxford and employs 3,400 people, said it would unanimously recommend the offer from Thoma Bravo. It is the first acquisition outside the US for the Chicago-based buyout firm. Sophos shares jumped 37% to 585p, in line with the bid terms of $7.40p a share (583p).

Sophos floated at 225p in June 2015, valuing the firm at just over £1bn, in one of the biggest technology IPOs in the UK that year. It was its third attempt at going public.Advertisement

The company was founded in 1985 by Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer, who stepped down as joint chief executives in 2005, although they still act as special advisers to the board. They have committed to selling their stakes, a combined 16.3%, to Thoma Bravo and will make £218m and £250m respectively.

The chief executive, Kris Hagerman, will make £16.4m from selling his 0.57% stake, while Nick Bray, the outgoing chief financial officer, will pocket £1.7m from his 0.06% holding.

Sophos is the latest UK company to be taken over by an overseas firm taking advantage of the fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote in June 2016. The London-based money transfer company WorldFirst was sold to Ant Financial, controlled by the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, reportedly for £520m.

“Another day, another takeover of a UK company by a foreign business,” said Russ Mould, investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell. “Sterling weakness has made pound-denominated assets look cheap and so we’ve seen many overseas firms pounce on UK assets in the past few years.”

Sophos makes software to protect organisations against cyberattacks and there has been strong demand for its products in recent years. However, in January it warned that growth was slowing.

As well as the NHS, its 400,000 clients around the world include the animation studio Pixar, the carmaker Ford, the retailer Under Armour, the aerospace and defence firm Northrop Grumman and Japanese conglomerate Toshiba.

Sophos also caters for many small and medium-sized firms, arguing that its security software is made simple so firms without sophisticated IT departments can be well protected.

Thoma Bravo has acquired more than 200 software and technology companies during its 40-year history. It said the existing Sophos management and employees would be key to the business’s success going forward. Bray announced his departure earlier in the year and a search for a successor is under way.

“Today marks an exciting milestone in the ongoing journey of Sophos,” said Hagerman. “Sophos is actively driving the transition in next-generation cybersecurity solutions, leveraging advanced capabilities in cloud, machine learning, APIs [application programming interface], automation, managed threat response and more.”

By Julia Kollewe

How Billionaire Daniel Dines Has Spawned a New Shift in Tech Known as RPA

Source: Forbes

Daniel Dines is Romania's newest billionaire. UiPath, the company Dines cofounded, creates bots—blocks of code that automatically carry out repetitive tasks. You might associate bots with Russian election ruses or customer service stand-ins, but UiPath recently garnered a $7 billion valuation by selling a more humdrum kind that can pull numbers from invoiced PDFs into accounting software, or process insurance claims. This shift has spawned an entirely new tech category, known as “robotic process automation,” or RPA. Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui bank group, a UiPath customer since April 2017, projects that reducing employee busywork and improving accuracy will have saved it nearly $500 million by next year. Giants like Toyota and Walmart have flocked to UiPath for similar magic. Setting up virtual robots is faster and cheaper: UiPath bot does the task endlessly, without complaint, for up to $15,000 a year. Some companies use thousands at a time.

Alibaba’s ambitious keyless and cashless hotel plans for the future

Source: CNBC

Imagine skipping hotel check-in and walking straight to your room with a scan of your face. This could soon become a reality at many hotels in China and around the world. CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi experiences what the hotel of the future may look like and Alibaba’s ambitious plans for the sector.