Daily LA: California Prisons Will Release 3,500 Inmates Early, Marriott Got Hacked 5.2M Guest Records Stolen, Rover.com Lays Off 41%

Eat out more. Buy gift cards from your local restaurants to give them some much-needed cash flow right now—and help them help a worthy cause while you’re at it.

Here’s your Daily LA for March 31, 2020.

Happening in LA

Los Angeles-based challenger bank HMBradley officially opens its virtual doors

The Los Angeles-based digital challenger bank, HMBradley, opened its virtual doors to the public today, allowing the thousands of waitlisted would-be users to set up direct deposits and collect their sign-up bonuses. The company is offering banking customers an up to 3% return on their savings based on the percentage they save of their quarterly deposits.

Los Angeles To Shut Down Farmer’s Markets

5 things you can do to help L.A. restaurant

If you have the means, consider buying a meal for somebody in need, Akuto said. Gift cards are a great way to support your favorite restaurants, but buying food right now helps keeps workers employed.

California public schools likely to stay closed through the end of the academic year, superintendent says

California public school campuses are unlikely to reopen for the remainder of the academic school year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, state Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Tuesday in a letter to school district officials.

The Health Department Has Shut Down One Restaurant’s Pop-Up Grocery Store

A number of local restaurants have turned their unused dining rooms into spaces to offer produce, pantry items, and household essentials beyond what might be on their typical menu. The idea is to keep staff working while also offering an alternative to Angelenos who either don’t feel comfortable visiting major supermarkets or haven’t been able to get the supplies they need. But, as one restaurant in Playa del Rey discovered, it turns out you might need a permit to do that.


California Prisons will release 3,500 inmates early, fearing COVID-19 outbreak

Thousands of inmates in California prisons will be released early as officials fear overcrowding could spark a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus. The move comes in the middle of a pandemic as the nation desperately tries to get a handle on how to stem the disease. Fact is … jails and prisons are breeding grounds for the virus, with conditions that are often filthy and way too many people packed inside. Yikes!

Marriott says 5.2 million guest records were stolen in another data breach

Marriott has confirmed a second data breach in three years — this time involving the personal information on 5.2 million guests.

Mark Zuckerberg is teaming up with Bill Gates to try to find a drug to treat coronavirus

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are putting $25 million of their money behind an effort to develop therapeutic treatments for the Covid-19 coronavirus. It’s one of the biggest gifts yet from tech billionaires in response to the crisis.

Boeing wins $1.5 billion contract for a fresh batch of P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $1.5 billion production contract for the next 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, buoying the company’s defense business.

From Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga, Stars Are Giving Back During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and forces many businesses to close, celebrities are rallying together to help those in need and aid in relief efforts. Stars like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Ciara, and Russell Wilson have all stepped up and donated to food banks and charities, while others like John Legend, Charlie Puth, and Chris Martin are putting on live-at-home performances for fans who are self-isolating.

SF marijuana dispensaries see big shift to edibles amid coronavirus

While customers are purchasing with regularity, their buying habits may be changing, at least in the short term. Cannabis delivery company Eaze said that since March 9, the company has seen sales of edibles rise from 15% to 30%, while the sale of the plant itself has decreased from 25% to 17%.

WordPress 5.4 arrives with new blocks, 14% faster editor, and privacy improvements

WordPress.org today launched WordPress 5.4, which focuses on “more ways to make your pages come alive” as well as “boosts in speed you can feel.” Version 5.4, which was developed by 552 volunteer contributors, includes new blocks, clearer navigation, a faster editor, privacy improvements, and developer additions. You can download the new release now from WordPress.org/Download.

Online Credit Card Skimmers Are Thriving During the Pandemic

Digital skimmers—malicious code that hackers inject into legitimate websites to grab payment data—already posed a potential risk to online shoppers long before the Covid-19 crisis. But just as scamming activity spikes during peak shopping times like Black Friday, the pandemic creates prime conditions for more attacks—especially because companies are distracted and adapting to remote work.

Zoom’s sudden spike in popularity is revealing its privacy (and porn) problems

Zoom was released in 2013 and steadily climbed the videoconferencing app ranks, becoming one of the most popular business apps out there for the last several years. When the pandemic hit, forcing millions of workers and students to work remotely and friends and family members to interact virtually, many of them turned to Zoom.

Coronavirus Layoffs

Sports Illustrated owner Maven cuts 9% of staff and lands $12M line of credit

Maven, the Seattle-based media company that purchased Sports Illustrated last year, is laying off 31 employees (9% of its staff) due to the coronavirus crisis.

Macy’s is furloughing most of its 125,000 employees

Macy’s is furloughing most of its 125,000 employees because coronavirus-fueled store closures have caused its sales to all but disappear.

Pet care startup Rover lays off 41% of workforce due to COVID-19 impact

Seattle-based startup Rover laid off 41% of its workforce today due to the economic impact and uncertainty from the COVID-19 outbreak. Rover put an additional 9% of staff on standby. There were 194 employees affected, including 138 at the company’s Seattle headquarters. The company has about 275 remaining employees on payroll.


Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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