Google uses accelerometers in interesting new ways, Twitter allows anyone to limit replies to tweets, and Mozilla announces major layoffs. This is your daily crisis for August 11, 2020.
The big story: Android Telephones are becoming earthquake alarms
Google said smartphone accelerometers are sensitive enough to detect P waves, which are the first waves to arrive during an earthquake. When your Android phone thinks it has detected an earthquake, it communicates with a central server for confirmation.
In California, Google is also working with the United States Geological Survey and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to provide earthquake warnings. For everyone else, this earthquake data will only be displayed if you search for "earthquake" or a similar term.
This is part of a broader line of Android-related announcements, including updates to Android Auto and Android's 911 service, new accessibility features, and a better night's sleep through the Android Clock app.
The technology giants
With Twitter you can now limit all responses to their tweets. A small globe icon will appear at the bottom of your Tweets. Tapping on it will allow you to limit replies to only those who follow you or just those who tagged the tweet yourself.
The latest Chromebook from Dell combines enterprise security with premium specifications. As soon as Chromebooks are used for consumer or educational purposes, they become increasingly important in corporate environments.
Tencent and Universal Music bring Chinese artists worldwide under the joint label Tencent Music Entertainment, which emerged from Tencent, and make up the lion's share of the Chinese music streaming industry.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Google, Nokia and Qualcomm are investing $ 230 million in the A2 series for Finnish phone maker HMD Global. Since the end of 2016, the startup has licensed the Nokia brand exclusively for mobile devices and is currently shipping around 240 million devices.
Atomwise's machine learning drug discovery service brings in $ 123 million. Atomwise has already signed contracts with corporate partners that include Eli Lilly & Co., Bayer, Hansoh Pharmaceuticals and Bridge Biotherapeutics.
Scribd Acquires SlideShare Presentation Sharing Service – According to LinkedIn, Scribd will take over operations of the SlideShare business on September 24th.
Advice and analysis of extra crunch
How Moovit went from a $ 900 million exit opportunity in 8 years – Private investor (and former president of Moovit) Omar Téllez shares the inside story.
No Pen Required: The Digital Future of Real Estate Closures – One possible silver lining of the pandemic, at least for the real estate world, may be forced settlement with the mortgage closing process.
Emergence's Jason Green still sees many opportunities for SaaS startups in companies – One consistent thread runs through Emergence's portfolio: They're focused on the cloud and the business, a thesis that has paid off very much.
(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program designed to democratize information about startups. You can register here.)
Mozilla fires 250 – This move comes after the organization laid off around 70 employees earlier this year.
EU-US Privacy Shield is dead. Long Live the Privacy Shield – The EU executive body and the US Department of Commerce have started talks to create a new "Privacy Shield".
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