Tech companies are starting to let their employees work from anywhere — as long as they take a lower salary

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Software firm VMware will start cutting pay for employees who leave Silicon Valley, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

While employees can work remotely on a permanent basis, they could face an 18% pay cut for moving to a city like Denver, Bloomberg reports.

VMware isn’t the only company reconsidering employee pay. Facebook will start adjusting salaries in January based on where employees live, according to The New York Times.

Twitter has had a pay localization policy in place for years as part of a broader push to decentralize its workforce.

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Momentum for basic income builds as pandemic drags on

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A man shows off an Andrew Yang “Freedom Dividend” $1,000 bill sign on a street in San Francisco. Amid the pandemic and a global recession, basic income and a basket of related policies have gained unprecedented momentum.

When the idyllic upstate city of Hudson, New York, launches its basic-income pilot program in late September, it will become one of the smallest U.S. cities to embrace a policy once seen as far-fetched or radical.

“Basic-income” programs — designed to dole out direct cash payments to large swaths of people, no strings attached — were, until earlier this year, largely the realm of Washington, D.C., policy wonks and West Coast futurists.

But amid the pandemic and a global recession, both basic income and a basket of related policies have gained unprecedented momentum, surfacing everywhere from Capitol Hill to community Zoom meetings in cities like Hudson.

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As wealthy parents turn to ‘pandemic pods,’ startups aim to make them equitable

 

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Affluent families were quick to explore pandemic pods as an alternative to solitary virtual school. Now, startups are looking for ways to make the model available to all.

In certain communities across America, learning pods, or pandemic pods, have become all the rage. Parents eager to offer their children socialization and some form of in-person instruction (and working parents simply eager to solve the problem of child care) are banding together to turn basements, garages, and living rooms into minischools for half a dozen families. Some families are hiring a teacher to supervise and lead activities, and some are relying on one another. Most plan to maintain enrollment in traditional school and use the pod as a supplement.

Almost as soon as learning pods emerged as a trend, concerns about equity followed. Not every family has the resources to hire a private teacher, and not every family lives in a community where homes have extra space for desks, bean bags, and art supplies. Indeed, in many cases, families are grappling with far more essential challenges, such as putting food on the table or finding stable shelter. In New York City alone, 114,000 children are homeless.

But for a growing number of entrepreneurs, that resource imbalance is a problem to be solved, not a reason to give up on learning pods entirely. They argue that with the right approach to design and funding, learning pods could become a solution that works for everyone.

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Working from home : The new ‘industrial’ revolution

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Several centuries ago Europe and the USA underwent the industrial revolution, a transformation of our manufacturing processes enabled by the development of new machinery to support repetitive assembly line tasks within large factories.

The revolution served to bind workforces to specific locations and rigid working hours, triggering a fundamental societal shift as countries saw mass population migration from rural areas to the cities. Post-revolution life would never be the same again.

The question is, with millions of people currently working from home and showing little appetite to return to the office, are we witnessing a new industrial revolution across the knowledge economy?

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How cruise lines are rethinking pretty much everything

With many ships poised to return, operators are making hundreds of changes to improve the safety of sailing.

Big-name cruise companies have been on pause since mid-March, after they voluntarily ceased operations a day before the CDC issued a “No Sail Order” for any ships carrying more than 250 passengers. In the months since, smaller ocean and river lines have developed new pandemic-era health and safety guidelines aimed at restoring traveler confidence in cruising.

And travelers are interested, says Rob Clabbers, president of Q Cruise & Travel in Chicago and a member of T+L’s Travel Advisory Board. “We have some clients who literally can’t wait to get back on a ship,” he explains. When they do eventually board, vacationers will find a new routine — at least in the near term.

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What Coronavirus mean for the future of self-driving cars

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It’s 2025 and driverless cars still aren’t zooming around everywhere. Where are the chilled out passengers on their phones, or napping, as an invisible “driver” navigates a crowded intersection?

 They’re still mostly stuck in the backseat as a human driver shuttles them around. They’re likely in a highly automated and autonomous-capable vehicle, but a human is still there monitoring the machine. That doesn’t mean robo-vehicles aren’t on the road. Instead they’re working behind the scenes. They’re picking up our groceries, filling trucks with our endless online shopping purchases, and hauling crates of produce across the country.

The pandemic made us more comfortable with the idea of autonomous vehicles, but most industry experts still predict a slow transition to their widespread adoption in the U.S. When you’re avoiding exposure to a deadly disease, perhaps a driverless robotaxi, like the Waymo One service in suburban Phoenix, looks more attractive. But autonomous tech and testing regulations won’t accelerate just because of sudden mainstream acceptance and new social distancing norms.

Motional, the new brand from self-driving startup Aptiv and Hyundai, asked just over 1,000 U.S. adults in July about autonomous vehicle (AV) perception. More than 60 percent said AVs “are the way of the future.” A quarter of those surveyed said they are interested in experiencing the tech regularly. A year ago, the American Automobile Association (AAA) surveyed a similarly sized group of Americans and found 71 percent were afraid to ride in a self-driving car. (Note: How the two groups’ demographics compare is unknown.)

The next five years will likely continue to shift and refocus how we think about self-driving technology. While self-driving ride-shares won’t be the norm, more people will have experienced autonomy on the road. Motional CEO Karl Iagnemma thinks that by 2025, “if you haven’t taken a driverless journey you will know someone who has.”

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‘Do I really need this much office space?’ Pandemic emptied buildings, but how long?

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Empty offices sit above empty retail stores on Broadway in downtown Manhattan.

As commercial real estate continues to lie vacant around the U.S., it may contribute to a vicious economic cycle that reshapes our cities.

Adam Johnson enjoys going into the office. It helps that he works in one of the nicest buildings in Midtown Manhattan: a 35-story art deco high-rise at the corner of 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park and the Plaza Hotel.

Johnson’s a stock picker — he writes an investment newsletter called Bullseye Brief — and, ostensibly, he shares the sixth floor with a real estate showroom and an assortment of hedge funds. They all left months ago.

“I am the only person who’s been coming in here since April 1st,” he says.

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CRISPR-based COVID test is rapid, accurate and costs less than $1

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CRISPR’s claim to fame may be gene editing—and turning the scientific community on its head when it first debuted—but it may have another trick up its sleeve.

Recent studies have indicated CRISPR tools have the potential for in vitro diagnostics, something Chinese scientists have leveraged to develop a 100% accurate COVID-19 test that can be mass manufactured for 70 cents.

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‘Schoolcations’ are the latest hotel trend to attract remote learners

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As the nation’s children head back to school, it’s clear that for many, the school year will be like none before.

 With many students learning remotely, some families are looking at ways to take advantage of what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to take their families out of their hometown and on vacation at a time of year when it would typically not be practical. It’s a silver lining in what many parents think will be a difficult year ahead.

Hotels in the U.S. and Mexico are offering distance-learning vacations with everything from dedicated “classroom” space to private tutors to tech support.

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The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors

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The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors

 When it comes to reimagining what the events industry will look like in the near future, these are the four things we should all be thinking about.

If there was ever a catalyst to reimagine the events space, the coronavirus is it.

Over the years, corporate live events have transformed to include celebrity speakers, VIP access, exclusive private dinners, mobile-first ticketing, and a wide assortment of high production value add-ons—one of which being a film recording or, more recently, live streaming capabilities. But it wasn’t until the majority of the world went into quarantine that the concept of digital broadcasting went from being a cool addition to an in-person event to becoming its central focus.

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CDC: 94% of Covid-19 deaths had underlying medical conditions

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This image depicts the exterior of the CDC’s “Tom Harkin Global Communications Center” located on the organization’s Roybal Campus in Atlanta, Georgia.

 ATLANTA, Ga. (WEYI) – The Centers for Disease Control released information showing how many people who died from COVID-19 had comorbidities or underlying conditions as they are sometimes referred to by doctors.

According to the CDC, comorbidity is defined as: ” more than one disease or condition is present in the same person at the same time. Conditions described as comorbidities are often chronic or long-term conditions. Other names to describe comorbid conditions are coexisting or co-occurring conditions and sometimes also “multimorbidity” or “multiple chronic conditions.”

Comorbidity and underlying conditions can both be used to describe conditions that exist in one person at the same time. These can also contribute to a persons death who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

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LG unveils a battery-powered air purifier you strap to your face

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LG is releasing a face-mounted, battery-powered air purifier

Korean electronics giant LG has adapted its home air purifying technology into a battery-powered, air purifying face mask with twin H13 HEPA filters, multi-speed fans and a UV-LED sterilizing case. But there’s still a lot we don’t know.

The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, as LG is calling it, appears quite a remarkable device. It straps to the face with straps behind the ears like a regular face mask, but carries an 820-mAh battery to run an active air filtration and purification system for up to eight hours on low mode and two hours on high.

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