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NEM Ventures Launches  NEM Ignite virtual Incubator Programme for mentoring early-stage startups

NEM Ventures Launches NEM Ignite virtual Incubator Programme for mentoring early-stage startups

Last week, the team at NEM Ventures, the venture capital and investments arm of the NEM blockchain ecosystem launched Ignite virtual incubator program that provides financial support and mentoring for early-stage blockchain startups. The programme aims at preparing the blockchain startups for investment rounds, business…

Mr. Nikhil Kalla on India, South Africa, and the virtue of generosity

Mr. Nikhil Kalla on India, South Africa, and the virtue of generosity

Mr. Nikhil Kalla, an accountant at a South African based company made his recent trip to his hometown in India. In a brief discussion with him about his experience, he highlighted how his roots here in India matter and the family oriented culture keeps calling…

IBM introduces Cloudant for Transaction Engine

IBM introduces Cloudant for Transaction Engine

This week, the team at IBM announced that they are enabling Cloudant, an elastically scalable, serverless datastore for Transaction Engine

Introduced in 2014, this Apache backed database service has delivered scalability and availability while sacrificing some of the consistency and isolation guarantees of traditional relational database systems. By equipping Cloudant on Transaction Engine, the team is restoring them within the serverless, scalable environment.

IBM has also announced an ecosystem of partners that includes DataStax Enterprise, EDG and MongoDB for enabling IBM to enrich the database capabilities available on cloud with the latest innovations, enterprise capabilities, and authentic technology from the vendors themselves. 

What’s new about Cloudant?

Efficient Storage and Scalability

The new update gives major relief to the developers as the Cloudant instances running on the Transaction Engine now supports databases up to 100TB. Also the per-gigabyte storage pricing for these new instances has been reduced by 4x [1]. 

Data Security 

Cloudant on Transaction Engine implements native database encryption to make sure that the user data be represented as ciphertext before it hits the disk. The database is kept secured as it is encrypted with a unique Data Encryption Key without any additional cost and is traced back to IBM Cloud’s standard key management services.

Open by design 

Cloudant on Transaction Engine is integrated with the open source Apache CouchDB. The core database features powering the instances are being developed as part of the next release of Apache CouchDB

Adam Kocoloski, IBM Fellow & VP, Cloud Databases, writes, “While we firmly believe that Cloudant provides the best vehicle for clients to benefit from these innovations, we are committed to the principle that you own your data, and we will always support an open API and replication interoperability with the open source community.”  

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Berkeley-based Gatsby raises $28 million in Series B funding round led by Index Ventures

Berkeley-based Gatsby raises $28 million in Series B funding round led by Index Ventures

This week, the team at Gatsby, a website development tool, announced a $28 million Series B funding round which was led by Index Ventures. CRV and Trinity Ventures also joined this funding round. The team also announced that Shardul Shah, Index Ventures Partner, joined Gatsby’s…

WaitQ: An application to assist Social Distancing!

WaitQ: An application to assist Social Distancing!

We can make a difference in the COVID-19 world! Looking at the current issue wherein it’s difficult to maintain Social Distancing and people wait in long queues, we have come with a solution to this problem with our application- WaitQ which aims to assist the…

Susan Younger, Louisiana’s healthcare worker’s story on fighting COVID-19

Susan Younger, Louisiana’s healthcare worker’s story on fighting COVID-19

Miss. Susan Younger, a 55 years old home healthcare worker in Louisiana, USA still continues to work amidst the COVID-19 havoc. Her work involves taking care of elderly and disabled patients by going to their houses and helping them. 

While talking about the precautionary measures Susan takes, she makes sure to decontaminate herself and wear proper gloves before touching anything or doing anything when she returns back home. She is very cautious and takes all the necessary steps.

The US is currently leading with more than 1 lakh cases but healthcare teams have to be on the field. 

Susan says, “We are the fastest spreading in the world like once it hit Louisiana we were the fastest to spread it around. We had 1300 cases as of yesterday morning and 4 deaths.”

She further said that all the schools k-12 are shut down and colleges are all online or in the process of going online.

Ariel Younger, her daughter added, “Nonessential workers aren’t working. Essentials include anything with food, gas, health care of any type..and I think that’s it. All government buildings are shut down. We are expecting martial law soon. But right now, we have to stay 6 feet apart from everyone else. Stores have tape set on the floor in lines so you know how far you have to be from the person in front of you.”

Most of the stores are almost empty right now and people have already started panic buying and it’s difficult to get certain items including diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, wipes, baby wipes. Parks have been shut down and there is significantly less traffic on the roads. The limit to the number of people in a room is 10 or less so any social gathering dealing with more people is canceled or shut down.

Ariel said, “The only thing you can really do is walk outside as long as  you are 6 feet apart.”

When we asked Ariel if she is scared for her mother, she said, “I think my mom knows how to keep herself safe. If she gets sick, I don’t know what we can do. She is the only one that can drive and we live with my brother who is mentally ill. So if that happens, we will have to take it day by day. What else can we do!”

While talking about her thoughts on society, Ariel said, “I had to give a victim statement about some .. stuff that had happened in my past, and I was the last person who was allowed in the building before it shut down. My brother got approved for his disability check but before it can go through, they need to interview my mom, but they can’t because…no people working in government buildings.”

The USA still doesn’t have a complete lockdown yet. Though according to the Younger family, it could possibly be the next step. But it seems it has not been implemented yet to avoid panic. Ariel says that a lot of people there are paranoid about it and think that the media is blowing up how serious it is so the government can cover something up. While a few others think that society is going to break down and we are going to have to hunt for food again. 

She added, “Unfortunately these topics are not uncommon. When people are scared, they panic, and the government is trying their best to stop that from happening.”

She described the medical scenario in Louisiana and said that people are advised to go to the doctor only if they are bleeding or if there is a life-threatening scenario, they are telling us to call our doctors. In other cases, they are advised to call the doctors and not go to the hospitals.

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The pandemic is going to kill more than just humans

The pandemic is going to kill more than just humans

The ongoing pandemic has taken over the world and brought every country, large and small, to a standstill in a manner that is unforeseen. Even the mightiest of nations, individuals and organizations seem to be crumbling before the threat of this invisible agent of misfortune.…

Mr. Santosh Pradhan, ICT Research Scholar talks about types of coronaviruses, myths, projects to fight COVID-19 and much more!

Mr. Santosh Pradhan, ICT Research Scholar talks about types of coronaviruses, myths, projects to fight COVID-19 and much more!

Mr. Santosh Prandhan, a Ph.D. Research Scholar (Biochemistry) from ICT Mumbai and a consultant to Life Sciences, Food and Beverage industries share an interesting insight on COVID-19, research, and myths around it. To start with he first gave a brief about the novel COVID-19 infection,…

Joshua Ovalles’ take on fight against COVID-19, Social Distancing in Miami and work life amidst the chaos

Joshua Ovalles’ take on fight against COVID-19, Social Distancing in Miami and work life amidst the chaos

Joshua Ovalles, a writer, and poet at Vorfreude Community, a Security Supervisor in Miami has an interesting side to his life. Being a 22-year old, he still manages to work amidst the COVID-19 chaos going around the world. He makes sure that the floors are sanitized at the college in Miami and handles a team of officers. When most of us are working from home and everything has been shut down due to the deadly virus but he along with few other officers manage to work. When asked about how scared he is of getting affected by COVID-19, he said, “I am not scared, I just assume we will get sick. I am just afraid for my dad as he is 64 years old. I am worried about the people who are older than us.”

 

With more than 1,100 COVID-19 cases in Florida, people like Joshua are still working for our safety, he is saving Miami directly but indirectly saving the rest of the world! When asked about what keeps him motivated, he jokingly said, “My heart is beating and that’s more than enough.” He makes sure to wash his hands more often and he carries 70% alcohol with him to get away from the virus. He advises quitting smoking as it affects the lungs and COVID-19 gets an easy host that way. He says, “I think if people stopped smoking cigarettes they could save themselves a lot of unnecessary trouble with COVID-19.” He further advises to stretch and do deep breathing that will help to calm down the anxiety around the current scenario. 

 

The current scenario in Miami and Social Distancing

 

While talking about Miami, he said that everything is shut but UberEats is still working and people can pick up food from restaurants. There are issues with regards to the toilet rolls and hand sanitizers as there is a shortage. A lot of countries have adopted Social Distancing, as that has been the only effective choice left apart from experimenting with drugs.

 

According to Joshua, Social Distancing is effective and not so effective at the same time. He says, “It is an effective way to try and not get sick but society is built on being a community! Even when we are far from each other, we end up surrounding ourselves with people anyway. I shook my hands with my dad the other day and I felt guilty afterwards. This thing (COVID-19) is something that could be breathed in.”  He further added, “We have 1000 cases and that’s the count of the people who have gotten tested (what about others?). I am almost sure the world will likely get this. It will be harder to say who doesn’t have COVID-19. So, yes and no. Also, for many, it is difficult to implement social distancing.”

 

But he still has a positive instinct as he thinks people will recover and we will sail through this! He says, “Sadly the disease has got out of our individuals’ hands but we have got to wash our hands and keep them clean to prevent something that wants to get us. We have to take care of the ones who have come to existence before us (old people).” 

Photo Credit: Freepik.com

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AVA Labs announces its open-sources codebase of the AVA blockchain platform

AVA Labs announces its open-sources codebase of the AVA blockchain platform

AVA Labs, a software development company, has publicly released the codebase of the AVA blockchain platform on Wednesday. Its developers will now be able to use the AVA platform with its toolkit to create smart assets, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications, and easily launch blockchains. Businesses will now…