Roaming ‘robodog’ politely tells Singapore park goers to keep apart

Far from barking its orders, a robot dog enlisted by Singapore authorities to help curb coronavirus infections in the city-state politely asks joggers and cyclists to stay apart.

The remote-controlled, four-legged machine built by Boston Dynamics was first deployed in a central park on Friday as part of a two-week trial that could see it join other robots policing Singapore’s green spaces during a nationwide lockdown.

“Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” the yellow and black robodog named SPOT said in English as it roamed around. “For your own safety and for those around you, please stand at least one metre apart. Thank you,” it added, in a softly-spoken female voice.

Despite the niceties, breaches of Singapore’s strict lockdown rules can result in hefty fines and even jail.

The city-state of 5.7 million people has more than 21,000 cases, one of the highest tallies in Asia, largely due to mass infections among migrant workers living in cramped dormitories in areas little visited by tourists.

Under rules to enforce the lockdown in place until June 1, residents can only leave their homes for essential trips like grocery shopping and must wear a mask at all times in public. Exercise outdoors is permissible but must be done alone.

Another robot, in the shape of a small car, has been deployed at a nearby reservoir to warn visitors “not to loiter” and that “gatherings are not allowed”.

The authorities behind the latest trial – the government technology and cyber security agencies – said in a statement that SPOT could better cross rough terrain in parks and gardens.

As well as broadcasting messages reminding visitors of social distancing measures, SPOT is fitted with cameras and analytics tools to estimate the number of people in the park.

Authorities said the cameras would not be able to track individuals or record personal data.

SPOT has also recently been trialled for use at a temporary hospital delivering medicines to patients.

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Google announces company holiday on May 22 to stem virus burnout

Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it has asked employees to take a day off on May 22, to address work-from-home-related burnout during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai announced the move in a memo to employees on late Thursday, which was first reported by CNBC.

Google said it would begin reopening more offices globally as early as June, but most Google employees would likely work from home until the end of this year.

Facebook Inc also said on Friday it would allow workers who are able to work remotely to do so until the end of 2020.

The virus, which has infected more than 3.9 million people globally so far, has forced strict lockdowns in most countries and changed the way businesses function, with work from home emerging as the new norm.


White House considers more coronavirus aid as jobs picture worsens

The White House has begun informal talks with Republicans and Democrats in Congress about what to include in another round of coronavirus relief legislation, officials said on Sunday, while predicting further U.S. jobs losses in the coming months.

Officials in President Donald Trump’s administration, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, said they were holding discussions with lawmakers on issues including potential aid to states whose finances have been devastated by the pandemic.

Another White House economic adviser, Kevin Hassett, said future legislation could include food aid to help Americans struggling with hunger amid widespread job losses that have ruined the finances of many people. It also could include broadband access for those who lack it, Hassett added.

While Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, are moving to unveil new legislation as early as this week, the White House signaled it is in no hurry to pass another relief bill.

“Let’s take the next few weeks,” Mnuchin told the “Fox News Sunday” program.

Since early March, Congress has passed bills allocating $3 trillion to combat the pandemic, including taxpayer money for individuals and companies to blunt an economic impact that includes an unemployment rate to 14.7% in April after U.S. job losses unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“We just want to make sure that before we jump back in and spend another few trillion of taxpayers’ money that we do it carefully,” Mnuchin said. “We’ve been very clear that we’re not going to do things just to bail out states that were poorly managed.”

Pressure for further action may mount as the near-term economic picture worsens.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Hassett said the U.S. unemployment rate could rise to somewhere “north of 20 percent” in May or June before the economy moves into what administration officials have said will be a robust recovery in late 2020.

The April unemployment rate announced by the Labor Department undercounts some out-of-work Americans, economists say.

Asked if the country could now be facing a “real” unemployment rate of close to 25 percent, Mnuchin replied: “We could be.” Such a rate also includes people who have lost jobs and are not actively seeking employment and people considered underemployed.


Trump has previously threatened to withhold more coronavirus relief funds from states that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement – a stance critics said would exploit a public health crisis to advance political goals. Advisers said last week the White House would not consider new stimulus legislation in May.

Democrats are pushing for another massive relief bill that would include more money for state and local governments, coronavirus testing and the U.S. Postal Service.

“It’s not that we’re not talking. We are. It’s just informal at this stage,” Kudlow told ABC’s “This Week” program, referring to White House discussions with lawmakers.

“We’re collecting ideas for next steps, which will undoubtedly be data-driven,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow said he took part in a Friday conference call with House lawmakers from both parties, and plans to do the same on Monday with members of the Senate, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans.

“If we go to a phase-four deal, I think that President Trump has signaled that, while he doesn’t want to bail out the states, he’s willing to help cover some of the unexpected COVID expenses that might have come their way,” Hassett said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The White House is “absolutely” pushing for a payroll tax cut, Mnuchin said. Trump has called for a cut to the tax, which is paid by employers and workers and funds the social safety-net programs Social Security and Medicare. The proposal has garnered little congressional support.

White House predictions on the economy and how quickly a coronavirus vaccine could be rolled out were questioned on Sunday by both Democrats and Republicans.

The United States will need more tests before schools can reopen later in the year, said Republican Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Alexander appeared to question the White House’s ability to meet a target of having 100 million vaccine doses by autumn and 300 million by the end of 2020. Alexander called it “an amazingly ambitious goal” and added, “I have no idea if we can reach that.”

No such vaccine for this pathogen has been approved though a number are under development.

Neal Kashkari, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, told ABC’s “This Week” he would welcome a robust recovery.

“But that would require a breakthrough in vaccines, a breakthrough in widespread testing, a breakthrough in therapies, to give all of us confidence that it’s safe to go back,” Kashkari said. “I don’t know when we’re going to have that confidence.”


Oil falls on fears of second coronavirus wave

 Oil prices fell on Monday as investors worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections, but new output cuts from Saudi Arabia tempered worries about oversupply and limited price losses.

Brent crude futures fell $1.04, or 3.4%, to $29.93 a barrel by 12:58 p.m. EDT (1658 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 30 cents, or 1.2%, to $24.44 a barrel.

Global oil demand has slumped by about 30% as the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed movement across the world, leading to growing inventories globally. While crude futures have fallen more than 55% this year because of the virus, prices have gained the past two weeks, supported by a modest rebound in demand as some travel restrictions are eased.

However, fears about a second wave of the virus weighed on futures.

Germany reported on Monday that new coronavirus infections were accelerating exponentially after early steps to ease its lockdown. Elsewhere, Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak in China, reported its first cluster of infections since the city’s lockdown was lifted a month ago.

South Korea also warned of a second wave of the virus on Sunday.

“Traders stepped back from last week’s enthusiasm, contemplating the possibility of a second wave of the epidemic, which, if realised, could drive demand lower than the market hopes and expects for the second half of 2020,” said Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, Bjornar Tonhaugen.

Prices received a boost, however, after a Saudi energy ministry official said the ministry has directed national oil company Saudi Aramco to reduce its crude oil production for June by an extra 1 million barrels per day.

The reduction is on top of a pact by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers – a group known as OPEC+ – to cut production from May 1 by about 10 million bpd in an effort to support prices.

“It’s a balance between OPEC production cuts versus concerns about the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group. “It’s those two emotions that have been bouncing the market back and forth today.”

In the United States, fears that the country is running out of oil storage space sent WTI prices into negative territory last month, prompting some U.S. producers to rein in output.

The number of operating oil and gas rigs in the world’s largest oil producer last week fell to 374, a record low according to data going back to 1940 from energy services company Baker Hughes Co.


Richard Branson to sell 25 million shares in Virgin Galactic to battle pandemic impact

Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Group said on Monday that it may sell up to 25 million shares of space tourism company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc to raise funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The company said it intends to use the proceeds to support its portfolio of global leisure, holiday and travel businesses that have been affected by the impact of the coronavirus.

Shares of Virgin Galactic, which have gained 69% this year, were down 3.1% at $19.54 in afternoon trade.

Based on Friday’s closing price, the offering would raise as much as $504.5 million.

The company, which aims to offer the first commercial space flight later this year, said in April it would keep running as a critical infrastructure business during the pandemic.


Boeing CEO sees passenger levels under 25% in September, pain for airlines: NBC interview

Boeing Co (BA.N) Chief Executive Dave Calhoun does not expect passenger traffic to reach even a quarter of its levels in September, creating the need for airlines to make “adjustments” as they weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with NBC to be aired on Tuesday, Calhoun said: “Traffic levels will not be back to 100%. They won’t even be back to 25%. Maybe by the end of the year we approach 50%. So there will definitely be adjustments that have to be made on the part of the airlines.”

Asked whether there might be a major U.S. carrier that has to go out of business, Calhoun said: “Yes, most likely. You know, something will happen when September comes around.”

In response to Calhoun’s comment, Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said: “He was speaking to the general uncertainty in the sector, not about any one particular airline.”


Coronavirus Refunds: French Open Fans To Get Reimbursed

The coronavirus pandemic is upsetting normal life the world over, and plenty of consumers want refunds on things they paid for but aren’t able to use. Organizers are offering refunds to fans who have purchased tickets for large events — such as a well-known tennis contest — that have been delayed because of the health crisis.

The French Tennis Federation said that those who have tickets to the French Open would receive reimbursements, The Deccan Herald reported. The organization arrived at the decision to cancel and reimburse all the tickets that have been bought, “pending having drawn up all the outlines.”

Also known as Roland-Garros, the competition was initially set for May 24 to June 7, and will now likely occur from September 27 to October 11. In a note, the Federation told those who had purchased tickets, “The current health situation linked to COVID-19 and the extent of this pandemic are causing uncertainty for all events bringing together the public, all over the world.”


Hiring Now ( Smart Design – Project Coordinator)

We are looking for a Project Coordinator (intern or temporary employee with potential for full time) to join our team! Youll help keep projects moving forward, providing operational & administrative support to design teams, project managers & the studio all to exceed clients expectations. As a Project Coordinator, you will gain experience with managing projects, timelines, & budgets in a creative (dog friendly) environment.


  • Help Project Managers plan, execute, & manage projects profitability.
  • Help manage changes to scope, budget & time frames with honest, accurate & composed communications.
  • Schedule meetings with clients, user research, & internal teams.
  • Administrative project tasks including travel, research, requesting supplies, organizing/securing project boards,arrange catering as needed, printing project materials, etc.
  • Input key project information into our project tracking system and/or excel as needed.
  • Coordinate & help facilitateregular status meetings with internal & client teams & maintain periodic status reports on project progress & budget usage.
  • Help acknowledge team success, & monitor morale.
  • Provide back-upStudioreception & operations support as needed.

Naturally You Have:

  • Lots of initiative eager to take ownership of your work
  • A positive attitude, even with the most administrative tasks
  • Passion for keeping things organized
  • Interest in design or creative services
  • Analytical skill set comfortable with data entry & excel

Direct applicants only.We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time


Hiring Now ( Shutterstock – Content Researcher)

Content Researcher Enterprise Sales, New York, NY


Headquartered in New York, Shutterstock is an innovative e-commerce company & a leading provider of royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, video footage & music. Shutterstock licenses more images worldwide than any other brand.

As a Content Researcher, you will be responsible for high quality photography, illustration, video footage, & music research from across Shutterstocks different websites.


  • Re actively & according to client briefs, create collections from our in-house collections of visual & audio content for use by creative departments within companies, advertising agencies & media organizations worldwide.
  • Proactively curate collections under the direction of the Content Research Manager that anticipate client needs for both commercial & editorial content according to industry verticals, market trends & editorial events & holidays.
  • Meet or exceed established SLA in regard to accurate & timely completion of research requests on a daily basis.
  • Partner with the Account Management Team to provide stellar customer service to Enterprise clients.
  • Attend client meetings to discuss creative briefs & projects
  • Learn Key client brand guidelines & create quarterly collections with the newest content fitting their style
  • Conduct content research for high priority projects
  • Record detailed descriptions of content gaps, request trends & communicate these needs to Content Research Team Manager & Content teams
  • Offer guidance to Sales representatives about how to communicate with clients about Content Research services & best research practices
  • Manage the team workload while the Content Research Manager is busy at meetings or out of the office


  • BA/BFA/BS in Photography/Video/Graphic Design or a related discipline
  • Related work experience or education within the field of communication arts, graphic design, or art history
  • Possess a clear aptitude for visual, auditory & verbal problem solving
  • Strong verbal & written communication skills (multiple languages a plus)
  • Must be confident & articulate while speaking to clients on calls & in meetings
  • Affinity for the English language & its many nuanced & different ways of describing concepts, ideas & stories
  • Highly organized & resourceful with a meticulous attention to detail
  • A discerning curatorial eye & for different genres of photography, illustration & video
  • Conscientious & able to work under deadline pressure in a calm & collected manner both individually & as part of a larger team
  • Ability to manage time effectively, prioritize duties, & track research requests


  • 3-4 years experience in the stock industry or a closely related field a definite plus

About Shutterstock:

Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK), directly & through its group subsidiaries, is a leading global provider of high-quality licensed photographsvectorsillustrationsvideos & music to businesses, marketing agencies & media organizations around the world. Working with its growing community of over 1 million contributors, Shutterstock adds hundreds of thousands of images each week, & currently has more than 297 million images & more than 16 million video clips available.

Headquartered in New York City, Shutterstock has offices around the world & customers in more than 150 countries. The companys brands also include Bigstock, a value-oriented stock media offering; Shutterstock Custom, a custom content creation platform; Offset, a high-end image collection; PremiumBeat, a curated royalty-free music library; & Shutterstock Editorial, a premier source of editorial images for the world’s media.

For more information, please visit & follow Shutterstock on Twitter & on Facebook.

Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V


Hiring Now ( Unified – Technical Business Analyst)

Job Description

Unified helps marketers make informed & impactful decisions with the industry’s only business intelligence platform purposely designed for social advertising. With experience collecting & enriching over $3 billion dollars of social investment data, Unified is passionate about providing Fortune 2000 brands & agencies greater transparency into their many teams, tools & strategies. The Unified Platform & service teams are specifically built to ensure data quality, optimize investments & answer critical business questions. Unified has offices in Austin, Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco, & Los Angeles.

For the last four years, Unified has been recognized by AdAge & Crain’s as one of the Best Places To Work. For more information, visit or follow @Unified on Twitter. Unified is an equal opportunity employer.

General Description

Unified is looking for a Technical Business Analyst to join the Product Management team. This person will own the requirements process & serve as an internal expert with regards to technical systems & third party API’s. The ideal candidate will be focused primarily on maintaining & optimizing our vast data streams, working with product & engineering teams to collaborate on processes, developing reports & tools for internal users, & fostering technical processes, policies & procedures


  • Scope, document & validate business requirements for technical projects
  • Translate business requirements (stories, etc) into technically relevant specifications
  • Identify, model & validate data requirements for projects
  • Monitor, document & report on all third party ad network publisher (social, display, DSP, search, ) API updates/changes
  • Ensure proper communication channels are established between technical & business resources
  • Monitor project progress by tracking activity, resolving problems, publishing progress reports to project & product managers
  • Facilitate technical requirements gathering sessions for product managers
  • Identify, report & advise on business process updates & efficiencies
  • Improve systems by studying current practices, designing modifications
  • Recommend controls by identifying problems, writing improved procedures
  • Prepare technical reports by collecting, analyzing, & summarizing information & trends


  • Ability to analyze & document complex business processes
  • Strong organizational skills & ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Strong analytical problem solving, writing & verbal skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or other STEM-related majors with demonstrable IT skills
  • Familiar with Agile & Scrum SDLC & traditional business analysis methods including working with an agile backlog, drafting technical user stories & acceptance criteria for upcoming sprints
  • Ability to make effective decisions under pressure
  • Experience working with external vendors
  • Experience creating functional & technical documentation
  • Experience & familiarity with extracting data from API end points
  • Basic experience with SQL and/or a high-level programming language (Python, Javascript, R, etc.), with interest in further developing these skills
  • Basic working web development knowledge of HTML, CSS, XML, & JSON.
  • Experience designing data models or table schema
  • Comfortable working closely with technical teams – both onshore & offshore
  • Positive, upbeat & customer-service oriented
  • Ability to manage changing priorities within a highly dynamic environment
  • Ability to work well under deadlines
  • Ability to perform duties with limited oversight
  • Willing & able to learn new skills as required