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'A third of Bangladesh underwater' after heavy rains, floods

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:58
At least 1.5 million people are affected, as rivers threaten to burst their banks, officials say.

Macron forsvarer voldtægtsanklaget minister

DR Nyheder - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:56
En kvinde beskylder den nyudnævnte minister for at have voldtaget hende i 2009.
Categories: Nyheder

Timbuktu's jihadist police chief before ICC for war crimes

BBC News - World - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:51
He is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape and making girls marry militants.

Højskole gav Laura troen på sig selv: Gratis ophold skal give flere samme oplevelse

DR Nyheder - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:45
En hjælpepakke på 20 millioner kroner skal få sårbare, udsatte og ældre godt gennem coronakrisen.
Categories: Nyheder

After customers pestered SignalWire about buying its internal video tool, it's finally launching it as a standalone product that it says is better than Zoom at mimicking real meetings

Businessinsider - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:44

  • SignalWire, which makes APIs and open source software for online communication, is releasing a new video conferencing platform that's meant to replicate an office environment in a virtual setting. 
  • Cantina runs in a browser and gives users the option to end-to-end encrypt meetings. It also has standing meeting rooms people can pop into to recreate the feeling of being in an office. 
  • SignalWire cofounders Anthony Minessale and Sean Heiney originally built it as an internal tool and released it publicly because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories

Anthony Minessale and Sean Heiney have been working together to create better video communication tools for the last decade. After meeting through Minessale's open-source communication project FreeSWITCH, they cofounded a video API startup, SignalWire, which is now launching a new video conferencing platform that they say works better than competitors like Zoom.

The app, called Cantina, is meant to replicate an office environment in a virtual setting and has the ability to host calls that are end-to-end encrypted, a technology feature that few video communications tools currently have. 

It started as a tool for internal use: SignalWire built it because, as a fully remote company, it wasn't satisfied with other options on the market. When team-members would use it for sales calls, they would always get questions from customers about where to get the tool. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Minessale and Heiney realized that the now-remote world needed a video communication system that could better mimic real-life, and decided to launch it publicly. 

"We basically just mandated that we would get a prototype done as fast as possible to demonstrate all the functionality that SignalWire has to offer," Minessale told Business Insider. 

With Cantina, users can host video calls and webinars for thousands of people, similar to Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, it has a unique overall philosophy for its users: More than solving the technical problems of communication tools, Cantina aims to solve some of the social problems that occur when everyone is working remotely, Heiney said. 

Companies can set up static virtual rooms that employees can drop in and out of to replicate the feeling of a shared office space, and it's all run out of a "command center" that all employees can see. The app runs in a web browser on desktop or mobile, no downloads needed.

"There's certain things that are lost in that office environment and we've done things to mitigate some of that, like the informal water cooler chatter is valuable sometimes," Heiney said. "We've worked through a lot of that over the last couple of years with some real features and functions around that, that make this a real remote work environment replacement." 

What led Minessale and Heiney to Cantina  

The process started in 2005 when Minessale created an open source project called FreeSWITCH which was a platform for online communications. Many well known companies, including Netflix, Amazon, and Vonage, used its open source code to build various communications systems like customer service or internal chat tools, SignalWire COO Heiney said. 

"It's literally been at the heart of the communications revolution of the digital era," he said. "Billions of dollars of value has been built upon it." 

Eventually, Minessale realized that he could build a formal business around the technology he had created. Companies that were using the code often came to him to ask for new features, or because they had run into issues when trying to scale it to meet the needs of a massive organization. That's when Minessale and Heiney created SignalWire, to sell application programming interfaces — APIs — for voice, video, and text communication, alongside FreeSWITCH's open source platform. 

SignalWire raised $11.5 million in Series A funding in 2019, and its backers include Storm Ventures, Samsung NEXT and Sequoia Capital and executives like Eric Yuan from Zoom and Jerry Yang from Yahoo. 

How SignalWire will sell Cantina

SignalWire has 250 customers trying out the new video conferencing service, and will soon start selling it outright. It just hired a new VP of business development and global channels — former Barracuda exec Ezra Hookano — to help with its sales strategy of selling through IT reseller partners.

The company is still deciding pricing for Cantina but Heiney said it will give customers a 30 day free trial, and then charge based on the total number of users, versus on a per user basis. 

Beyond replicating aspects of in-office interaction, Cantina has a security-first mindset and flexibility that will differentiate it from competitors, he said. 

"We were always designed with data privacy in mind from inception," Heiney said. "So we're not subject to the same kind of problems historically faced with some of the other vendors."

SignalWire runs its APIs and software in almost every available public cloud, and can adapt quickly to the specific needs of companies. For example, a customer in Bahrain requires all its data to stay within the country at all times, so for that customer SignalWire runs only in data centers in Bahrain. 

Cantina also gives users the open to end-to-end encrypt their calls. However, if they want a call recorded or transcribed then it can't be encrypted, Minessale said, because there's a third party involved. Calls between individuals can be end-to-end encrypted though.

This is similar to the model Zoom settled on for its encryption plans. Zoom was originally criticized for marketing itself as fully encrypted when it wasn't, and then faced an additional backlash for its initial plans to only give encryption to paid users.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at pzaveri@businessinsider.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What it takes to be a PGA Tour caddie


Esben Maaløe: Statsministeren advarede om, at vi ikke må forvente ”præcis det præcis samme velfærdssamfund” efter krisen. De mest udsatte ved godt, hvad det betyder

Ræson: Magasin om politik - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:40
Denne artikel er gratis. Men fuld adgang til RÆSON kræver årsabonnement: 250 kr./200 for studerende+pensionister (inkl. 4 trykte magasiner sendt med posten, nye betalingsartikler hver uge, rabatter, fordele og fribilletter) – klik her
Categories: Politik

The fight for DACA is not over

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:35
Take it from a former DACA recipient, the US Supreme Court's verdict is just the beginning.

Every Star Wars movie and show you can stream on Disney Plus — from 'A New Hope' to 'The Rise of Skywalker' and 'The Mandalorian'

Businessinsider - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:32

  • Disney Plus offers access to every Star Wars movie from the original trilogy through "The Rise of Skywalker" in 4K.
  • The service is also home to new exclusive Star Wars shows, such as "The Mandalorian," and the final season of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."
  • More original series, like a show focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi and an animated series called "The Bad Batch," are also in the works for Disney Plus.
  • Yearly subscriptions to Disney Plus are $69.99 a year and month to month subscriptions are $6.99 a month.
  • For more detailed Disney Plus impressions, check out our full Disney Plus review

The Disney Plus streaming service is home to a large selection of movies and TV shows from all of the studio's major brands, including the Star Wars franchise.

Every Star Wars movie, starting with 1977's "A New Hope" and concluding with 2019's "The Rise of Skywalker," is available to watch right now on Disney Plus. New original Star Wars shows are also available to stream, and more exclusive series are already in development. 

If you're a Star Wars fan looking for your favorite title to watch, we've broken down all the basics you need to know about streaming Star Wars on Disney Plus, including a full rundown of available movies and shows.

Updated on 07/14/2020 by Steven Cohen: Added details about the upcoming animated show "Star Wars: The Bad Batch." Added a link to our full review of Disney Plus.

What is Disney Plus and how much does it cost?

Disney Plus is Disney's new streaming service with two types of plans. An annual subscription costs $69.99 a year while a monthly subscription costs $6.99 a month (which comes out to $83.88 for a year). You can also sign up for a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 a month.

Here is a full breakdown of the prices.

Each membership gets you ad-free streaming and unlimited downloads for a growing collection of movies and shows from DisneyPixarMarvel, Star WarsNational Geographic, and 20th Century Fox.

What Star Wars movies and shows can I stream on Disney Plus?

Disney Plus features every major Star Wars movie released so far. This includes all of the episodic entries in the franchise, from "A New Hope" through "The Rise of Skywalker." All of the movies are available in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on supported devices.

HDR enables the best video performance when viewed on compatible TVs, allowing you to watch the films with expanded contrast and colors. Dolby Atmos, meanwhile, adds overhead audio effects when playing the movies on a Dolby Atmos speaker system.  

In addition to the movies, Disney Plus offers access to several Star Wars shows, including the new original series "The Mandalorian." The service is also home to several animated Star Wars shows, like "The Clone Wars" and "Rebels".

When will 'The Rise of Skywalker' be on Disney Plus?

"The Rise of Skywalker" debuted on Disney Plus on May 4 to celebrate "Star Wars Day."

"The Rise of Skywalker" is the ninth and final entry in the Skywalker saga. The movie is directed by J.J. Abrams, and stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac.  

What other Star Wars titles are coming to Disney Plus?

Several new Star Wars shows are also in the works for Disney Plus. Upcoming series include an as yet-to-be-titled show focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi, a series focused on the character of Cassian Andor from "Rogue One," and a new animated show titled "Star Wars: The Bad Batch."

A new season of the Disney Plus original series "The Mandalorian" will launch in October 2020 and will feature the return of Boba Fett, the bounty hunter and original Mandalorian character introduced in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in "Star Wars: Episode II," will reportedly return as Boba in "The Mandalorian," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Between all of the currently available Star Wars titles and all of the upcoming Star Wars shows, there is a ton to stream. With that in mind, we've listed every single Star Wars movie and show announced for Disney Plus so far.

Here are all the Star Wars movies and shows on Disney Plus:

SEE ALSO: Disney Plus: Everything you need to know about Disney's new ad-free streaming service

'The Rise of Skywalker' — available now

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" is the final chapter of the The Skywalker Saga, which started with "A New Hope" in 1977 and spans a total of nine movies. Daisy Ridley stars as Rey, the last Jedi to train under Luke Skywalker, while Academy Award nominee Adam Driver reprises his role as Kylo Ren, a Sith lord seeking to conquer the galaxy.

"The Rise of Skywalker" was released in theaters in December 2019 and went on to earn more than $1 billion in worldwide box office sales. The J.J. Abrams-produced film received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Editing.

'The Mandalorian' — season 2 coming October 2020

"The Mandalorian" is like an old Western take on the Star Wars legacy.

The big-budget show takes place five years after the fall of the Empire in the "Return of the Jedi" and focuses on a bounty hunter who journeys far out into the galaxy and beyond the rules of the New Republic.

Director and actor Jon Favreau ("Lion King" and "Iron Man") is the creator, head writer, showrunner, and co-executive producer of the series, which stars Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian alongside Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, and Carl Weathers.

All eight episodes of the show's first season are now available to stream. A second season of "The Mandalorian" has already been ordered and is tentatively scheduled to premiere in October 2020.

The upcoming season will feature the return of Boba Fett, the bounty hunter with Mandalorian armor who first appeared in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones," will reportedly return as Boba in "The Mandalorian."

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' - available now

All seven seasons of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" are now streaming on Disney Plus.

The animated show originally came to an end after its sixth season back in 2014, but Disney revived the series for one final season on Disney Plus.  Season seven consists of 12 episodes. The series finale premiered on May 4, 2020 as part of Disney's "Star Wars Day" celebration.

'Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian' - available now

This eight-part documentary series offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of "The Mandalorian." The show includes interviews, never-before-seen footage, and roundtable conversations with the cast and crew. Executive Producer Jon Favreau serves as the documentary's host.

The first episode of "Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian" premiered on May 4, 2020.

'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' - coming in 2021

Set after "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," this new animated series follows an elite squad of clones called the Bad Batch. Each of the clone soldiers has a unique skill, and together the mercenary group takes on missions throughout the galaxy.  

Dave Filoni is on board the project as an executive producer. Filoni is also one of the primary creative forces behind "The Mandalorian" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." An exact release date for "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" has not been announced yet, but the show is expected to premiere on Disney Plus sometime in 2021.

Cassian Andor Project - to be announced

This yet-to-be-named spy thriller project stars Diego Luna reprising his role as Cassian Andor from 2016's "Rogue One." Alan Tudyk also stars as the voice behind the droid K-2SO. 

Spoiler alert: both of these characters died at the end of "Rogue One" so this will obviously be a prequel. As of publication time, there is no date for when this will be released.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Project - to be announced

One of the most anticipated Star Wars projects boasts the return of Ewan McGregor in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The as-yet-untitled Kenobi series is set eight years after the events of "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith." Filming is slated to begin next year, so episodes won't be ready for streaming until 2021 at the earliest. 

Star Wars movies currently available on Disney Plus:

  • "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace"
  • "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones"
  • "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"
  • "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"
  • "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back"
  • "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"
  • "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens"
  • "Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi"
  • "Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker"
  • "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
  • "Solo: A Star Wars Story" 
  • "Empires of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy" (the 2004 documentary film directed by Kevin Burns)
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Other Star Wars series currently available on Disney Plus:

  • "Star Wars: Rebels"
  • "Star Wars Resistance"
  • "LEGO Star Wars All Stars"
  • "LEGO Star Wars The Freemaker Adventures"
  • "LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales"
  • "LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles Clash of the Skywalkers" 

Read everything else you should know about Disney Plus here:


UK's long relationship with Huawei may soon be over

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:31
Boris Johnson set to curb Chinese tech giant's 5G plan.

Sony's best noise-cancelling headphones are $42 off right now on Newegg

Businessinsider - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:21

  • The Sony WH-1000XM3 are arguably the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy.
  • They offer a great design, super comfortable fit, and excellent sound quality — making them a great choice for all situations.
  • Their full retail price is $280, but Newegg has them on sale now for $42 off, bringing their price down to $238.
  • That's among the best deals we've seen for these excellent headphones so far. 
  • Just note that these headphones were $350 at launch, and Sony's most recent $280 full retail price indicates that a new model is being released soon. Still, at their current price, no one would be making a mistake buying these, especially if they can find a deal. 
  • For more headphone recommendations, be sure to check out our regularly updated roundup of the best headphone deals.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones were long considered the best noise-cancelling headphones, but the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones have challenged the Bose for the top spot ever since their release in 2018. 

In fact, the Sony WH-1000XM3s now rank as the best noise-cancelling headphones overall in our guide, even beating out Bose's latest noise-cancelling headphones, the Bose 700. Check out the Sony WH-1000XM3 review here

The main downside to these headphones is their price, but right now, Sony's headphones are $42 off at Newegg. The discount brings the cost down to $238, which is one of the lowest prices we've seen for these headphones since they launched. 

The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones have a ton to offer. They boast a super nice over-ear design that's comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and you can get them in black or silver — either color option is a classy look. They also have a USB-C port and a touch-sensitive control panel, making it easy to turn the volume up or down, control playback, and so on.

These headphones boast plenty of bass response, plus a well-tuned mid-range, and there's a ton of clarity and detail in the high-end. In other words, they're relatively well balanced in comparison with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones.

The noise-cancellation tech on Sony's headphones is second-to-none, making them a great option for long flights, commuting, and so on. They also offer Alexa and Google Assistant integration, so you can quickly and easily talk to your digital assistant straight from the headphones.

We don't know how long the sale is running, so act quickly if you want a pair.

Buy the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones for $238 from Newegg here.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Leslie Odom, Jr.'s $500,000 gamble that led to a starring role in 'Hamilton'


Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell to appear in court

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:20
Jeffrey Epstein's longtime friend Maxwell expected to appear in Brooklyn court via video conference on Tuesday.

The EU still needs US help for a Serbia-Kosovo deal

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:20
After Trump's failure to tackle the Serbia-Kosovo issue, the EU has taken back the lead. But it cannot do it alone.

Iran nuclear deal 5 years on: Uncertainty after US withdrawal

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:20
The Iran nuclear agreement still survives five years after it was signed in Vienna, but the biggest test is yet to come.

Coronakrisen giver håndværkerne travlt: Udbetalte feriepenge skal bruges på boligen

DR Nyheder - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:10
Det er både de ekstra penge, men også den ekstra tid, der giver overskud til at sætte gang i byggeprojekterne, siger Dansk Industri.
Categories: Nyheder

Amazon's new grocery store will have a smart shopping cart that lets you skip the checkout line (AMZN)

Businessinsider - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:09

  • Amazon has announced a new smart shopping cart for the grocery store it plans to open in Woodland Hills, California, later this year.
  • The cart can tell which items you place in it and allows you to skip the checkout line by automatically charging your Amazon account when you exit. 
  • The Dash Cart also has a touch screen on its front, and Amazon's grocery store will have a specific lane for shoppers using the cart.
  • The announcement comes after Amazon confirmed in late 2019 its plans to open a new grocery store separate from Whole Foods. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon just provided a closer glimpse at what the shopping experience at its first grocery store will be like with the unveiling of the Amazon Dash Cart — a smart shopping cart that can detect which items you place in it.

The cart is designed for handling one or two bags of groceries, and customers using the cart will be able to skip the checkout line. Amazon says it's rolling out the Dash Cart at its grocery store in Woodland Hills, California, when it opens later this year.

The cart uses machine learning to identify items placed in the cart and comes equipped with a touch screen. When leaving the store, sensors identify the shopper's cart and automatically charge the associated Amazon account.

Based on Amazon's introductory video, the Dash Cart seems to work almost like a mobile self-checkout. Shoppers would log in using a QR code in Amazon's app before placing their bags in the cart. The cart identifies barcode items as they're placed in the bag, and shoppers can use the touch screen to type in codes for non-barcode items like produce.

The touch screen will also allow shoppers to view their subtotal and access their Alexa shopping lists, and each cart will also have a built-in coupon scanner.

Amazon's grocery store will have a specific checkout lane for shoppers using Dash Carts that allows them to bypass the checkout line.

Amazon confirmed its plans to open a new grocery store separate from Whole Foods after it began posting job listings for the store in late 2019, as CNET reported at the time. The confirmation came after previous reports from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal shed light in Amazon's grocery store ambitions.

Amazon has reportedly been considering combining the aspects of traditional in-store shopping with online pickup for its grocery stores, according to a New York Times report from last year citing an internal memo from 2017. The Wall Street Journal also reported in March 2019 that Amazon was planning to open dozens of grocery stores in major cities across the United States. Amazon has only confirmed the Woodland Hills location.

Amazon isn't the only company developing smart shopping carts designed to consolidate the shopping and checkout process. Companies such as Caper and Veeve have developed similar carts that can identify objects and allow customers to pay for items directly from the cart rather than the checkout counter. 

SEE ALSO: I tried Hey, the $99 a year email app that Apple threatened to remove from the App Store, and it completely changed the way I look at my inbox forever

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How 'white savior' films like 'The Help' and 'Green Book' hurt Hollywood


Death toll in Armenia-Azerbaijan border clashes reaches 14

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:08
Eight more people were killed in Azerbaijan and Armenia reported two fatalities as the two nations clash at the border.

Bastille Day: France honours health workers amid pandemic

BBC News - World - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:03
There is no parade and the audience is kept socially distanced amid the ongoing pandemic.

At least four civilians killed by Kabul roadside bomb

Al Jazeera - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:02
Four others wounded in the blast which occurred after a packed car hit a roadside bomb, Kabul police spokesman said.

Code collaboration startup Sourcegraph has raised $28 million and plans to double its headcount during the pandemic. Here's why companies like Amazon and Tinder love its developer tools

Businessinsider - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 15:00

  • Code search startup Sourcegraph just added $5 million to its Series B funding round, the company announced Tuesday, and has recently nabbed big clients like Amazon and Tinder.
  • Its platform makes all of a company's code searchable from the very first line, allowing software engineers to find, analyze, and fix code efficiently.
  • Code search let's developers "stand on the shoulders of giants, learn from the best, and avoid duplicating code," CEO Quinn Slack told Business Insider, and search and collaboration tools have become even more important during the age of remote work.  
  • Sourcegraph plans to use its Series B funding to double its headcount to 80 employees by the end of the year.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As more and more technology companies adopt a remote-first working philosophy, developers have to collaborate on lines of code in a way that's more communicative and efficient than before. 

Enter Sourcegraph. The 7-year-old San Francisco-based startup has built a platform to make all of a company's code searchable from the very first line written, allowing software engineers to find, analyze, and fix code efficiently.

Its tools have only gotten more critical during the coronavirus pandemic, and it's making moves accordingly. Sourcegraph raised $23 million in March, in a Series B round led by Craft Ventures, but just added $5 million more to its coffers, led by Felicis Ventures. Sourcegraph plans to use its Series B to double its headcount and is already making progress: It's grown to 50 employees from 40 in March as it aims to hit 80 by the end of the year. It's raised $46 million in total and although Sourcegraph declined to share its valuation, PitchBook estimated it at $103 million after its initial Series B in March.

In the past five months, Sourcegraph also hooked Tinder and Amazon as new customers, adding them to a roster of corporate clients including Uber, Indeed, Airbnb, and Yelp. Sourcegraph charges companies a flat monthly fee based on their numbers of employees, but has custom pricing for big customers like Amazon; thousands of individuals also use Sourcegraph's free, open-source tools.

Many tech companies, including Facebook and Google, use in-house universal code search tools to help developers understand large volumes of code in complex systems, but Sourcegraph aims to give the same capabilities to companies that don't have the desire or resources to build their own internal products.

Developers can use Souregraph to change chunks of code that they're assigned to fix or add to, sift through repositories, and analyze and learn how their company codes, something that could otherwise take new employees  months to nail down. The product also works alongside common developer tools, like analytics platforms and code editors.

As the coronavirus crisis has forced companies into temporary remote work — and spurred many, including Twitter, Spotify and Facebook, to embrace permanent remote work — working collaboratively across multiple code repositories can be difficult.

"How do you get by without code search? You go and tap people on the shoulder a lot," Sourcegraph cofounder and CEO Quinn Slack said. "But especially now with everything being remote, working from home, you can't tap people on the shoulder anymore. So code search becomes even more important."

Slack and cofounder and CTO Beyang Liu came up with the idea while both working at Palantir Technologies as software engineers. Beyang had previously interned at Google, which was infamous among software engineers and students for its massive, comprehensive code search that was easily editable and shareable. Slack and Liu wanted to make a code search tool for any developer to use. 

Code search let's developers "stand on the shoulders of giants, learn from the best, and avoid duplicating code," Slack said. Plus, the last decade of software development has made code search a crucial tool, according to Slack. 

"There's way more developers, way more code, way more complexity. And of course, for consumers like us, it's a good thing because we get these apps that are personalized and use machine learning," Slack said. "But from the point of view of the software developer, things have gotten so much harder over the last 10 years."

The company was remote-friendly from day one

When Sourcegraph was founded in 2013, the first two employees that Slack and Liu hired worked remotely. By January 2020, more than two-thirds of its employees were scattered across 11 states, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and a boat, instead of working at its Bay Area headquarters

That's when the company decided not to renew its office space and went fully remote. 

"Even if the company and the leadership says, 'Oh, it's your choice to come into the office,' it is so easy for everyone else to think, 'Is it really optional, if I want a promotion?'" Slack said. "It creates all of this stress in people."

Slack said he travelled often while working as a developer with Palantir and Bank of America, as did many of his colleagues. Working from home was normalized in his teams.

"I think tech companies, they sometimes like to think like we invented this remote thing. It's so silly because accountants and lawyers and all these kinds of small businesses, they've been doing remote all along." Slack said. "But they have shown that it works."

See also: Popular coding platform HackerRank is launching its first-ever virtual college career fair that its CEO says could help companies improve diversity: 'Your pool suddenly got 10x bigger'

Join the conversation about this story »

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Goldman Sachs quants overseeing $200 billion rolled out a new model for handling COVID-19 risk way back in January. 2 exec walked us through how it works, and how they've fine-tuned it amid market madness.

Businessinsider - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:57

  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Quantitative Investment Strategies team, which manages $200 billion, developed a risk factor specifically for the coronavirus and continue to maintain it today.
  • The signal was first created in January to understand the exposure QIS's Equity Alpha franchise had to the virus.
  • The QIS team has previously created several risk factors based on binary market events with potentially significant tail risk, but this is the longest they've maintained one.
  • A weekly meeting is now held with feedback from fundamental investors at GSAM to understand how to tweak the model.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A division of $320 billion Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) has maintained a risk factor focused on the coronavirus' impact to financial markets since the start of the year, illustrating Wall Street's increased use of big data to create signals for one-off events. 

Quantitative investors use risk factors to help map out how sensitive companies are to events that are moving the entire market, and to help guide their investment process and minimize risk to portfolios. 

And since January, GSAM's $200 billion Quantitative Investment Strategies team has been managing a factor to measure the exposure it had to COVID-19 within its Equity Alpha portfolio. 

Read more: Coatue is returning all outside capital in its $350 million quant fund after computer-driven trades broke down in extreme market volatility

Osman Ali, cohead of GSAM's QIS Equity Alpha franchise, told Business Insider that this isn't the first time the group has developed a specific risk factor around what he described as a "binary" market event with potentially significant tail risk. 

Brexit marked the first time QIS had taken such an approach, and it followed up with other elections or geopolitical shocks to the market. But unlike other events the firm has used factors for, the pandemic did not have a set date — like an election — that it was scheduled to hit.

The resulting market stress hit quants hard in March, with names like Renaissance Technologies, Bridgewater, Point72's Cubist, and more falling double digits.Coatue's quant fund returned outside capital as its data feeds struggled to keep up, and Credit Suisse closed its QT fund.

QIS's coronavirus factor is the longest-running signal the firm has had thus far, Ali said, and demonstrates how far they've come with the technique. 

"We've really started to polish and refine," he added.

Read more: Coatue is returning all outside capital in its $350 million quant fund after computer-driven trades broke down in extreme market volatility

The goal of the factor was to minimize exposure 

As concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in China began to pick up at the beginning of the year, Ali said, the QIS team decided to create a factor to measure its exposure to the virus. At the time, the virus was still mostly abroad, so the focus was finding different supply chain or customer-base problems that could arise should China be shut down for an extended period of time — or if the virus spread to other developed economies.

The team used a combination of fundamental insights to create the initial factor, which was then updated with real-time data feeds.

"At the time, we observed our exposure to this factor happened to already be negative," Ali said. "Our goal was to ultimately minimize the exposure to this factor, no matter the sign."

Dennis Walsh, global cohead of the Quantitative Equity Alpha business within QIS, said the factor wasn't about trying to make money betting on a pandemic to hit the US. 

The signal also wasn't about projecting whether a pandemic was actually going to happen, he added. It was merely protecting the firm in case it did.

"When we designed this specific factor it was all about risk, not alpha," Walsh said.

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The QIS team holds weekly meetings to tweak the signal

Seven months later, QIS's coronavirus signal is still going strong. In addition to the real-time data used to keep the signal updated, QIS reaches out to fundamental investors at GSAM — mostly human stock pickers and fixed-income portfolio managers — to question the firm's models. A weekly meeting is held to essentially figure out '"What are we missing?" Ali said. 

"The hope and goal," Ali said, is that the factor will be retired eventually. However, that decision will be left to a combination of fundamental analysis and data, as opposed to simply listening to the market to tell them when. 

Walsh said a key consideration now is the introduction of a tail event, either positive or negative. The rapid mass-production of a vaccine, for example, would send many names in the market soaring, hurting investors who are in defensive stances, he added.

"As the market prices in the pandemic, and we're going through that evolution now, we believe our models are well positioned to adapt to those changing dynamics quickly," Walsh said. 

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