Daily LA: LA Startups Launch Effort To Buy N-95s For Local Hospitals, HopSkipDrive laid off 10%, FDA Loosens Restrictions On Gay Blood Donors

The federal government relaxed restrictions on receiving blood donations from gay men and other groups as the country confronts a severe drop in the U.S. blood supply that officials described as urgent and unprecedented. Read on.

Here’s your Daily LA for March 3, 2020.

Happening in LA

LA Startups Launch Effort To Buy N-95s For Local Hospitals

A number of Los Angeles area startups–including GOAT, Scopely, Honey, Factual, TotSquad, and others–has launched a new effort to buy N-95 protective masks for local Los Angeles area hospitals.

What You Need To Know About The $350B In Loans Now Available To Small Businesses

Starting today, small businesses can apply for the nearly $350 billion in loans available through the economic rescue plan from Congress.

Los Angeles rental prices drop for first time in a decade, possibly because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Stay-at-home orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic are the possible cause of average rental prices in the Los Angeles area falling for the first time in a decade, according to CoStar, a research firm that tracks commercial real estate information.

L.A. Mayor Garcetti announces criminal charges against 4 non-essential businesses, reopens 16 farmers markets

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday that 16 farmer’s markets would be open throughout the city over the weekend after he suspended operations pending approval of their social distancing plans.

Headlines

Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users’ location history

Google is giving the world a clearer glimpse of exactly how much it knows about people everywhere — using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to repackage its persistent tracking of where users go and what they do as a public good in the midst of a pandemic.

Zoom was secretly mining LinkedIn data and sharing it with some users

According to a report from the New York Times, when a user would enter a video conference, Zoom would take that person’s name and email address and run it through an internal system. This system would then match the name and email of the Zoom user with their LinkedIn profile information.

Even in the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese won’t work from home

Up until a few weeks ago, 52-year-old Hideya Tokiyoshi, who traveled into the capital from neighboring Saitama prefecture for work each day, was among them.

Apple Acquires AI Startup to Better Understand Natural Language

Apple Inc. acquired Voysis, an artificial intelligence startup that developed a platform for digital voice assistants to better understand people’s natural language.

Walmart will limit customers and create one-way traffic inside its stores

Starting on Saturday, only five customers per 1,000 square feet can enter a Walmart, which will be about 20 percent of each locale’s listed capacity, according to a statement by Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith.

Coronavirus Layoffs

ClassPass laid off or furloughed half its staff

ClassPass, a membership program for fitness classes, laid off 22% of employees and furloughed 31% more.

HopSkipDrive laid off 10% of team due to school closures

HopSkipDrive, a ride service for families and their children, laid off 10% of its team on March 13.

 

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