Microsoft expresses support for democracy. Not everyone is happy

It’s hard to do good these days.


Image: ZDNet

It’s one of the quandaries of business that you have to deal with politicians.

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Yet, as time has drifted the world toward disturbing strains of authoritarian agitprop, companies — and especially tech companies — have been dragged further and further toward overtly political statements and action.

Whether it be Georgia’s religious liberty laws or outgoing President Trump’s immigration policy, tech companies have expressed themselves more fully and forcefully, though not always to tangible effect.

Perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised, then, that Microsoft president Brad Smith took to Twitter to declare his company’s barely veiled support of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and, well, democracy as a whole.

He tweeted: “At Microsoft we believe a healthy business community depends on our Constitution, the rule of law, and the peaceful transition of power. Our democratic principles must come

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Data lake-focused Dremio raises $135M series D funding round

Dremio, founded by MapR alumni Tomer Shiran and Jaques Nadeau, is announcing today that it has raised $135 million in Series D funding. This round follows quickly upon the company’s $70 million Series C round in March 2020. This round brings Dremio’s total funding to just over $260M, and the company says it brings its valuation to $1 billion.

Also read: Startup Dremio emerges from stealth, launches memory-based BI query engine  

The Series D round is led by Sapphire Ventures with participation from existing investors Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Cisco Investments. Dremio says the investment will help it expand its engineering centers of excellence around the globe, grow its customer-facing organization, contribute to open-source initiatives, and invest in education and enablement of data lake practitioners.

Dremio is the key commercial entity behind Apache Arrow, an open source technology that enables

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In a reversal, NYSE says it will go ahead with its plan to delist China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, following Mnuchin criticism (Jesse Pound/CNBC)

Jesse Pound / CNBC:

In a reversal, NYSE says it will go ahead with its plan to delist China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, following Mnuchin criticism  —  The New York Stock Exchange will delist three Chinese telecommunication giants after all.  —  The stock exchange will remove U.S.-traded shares of China Telecom … … Read More

Operators join UK government’s kids’ mobile access scheme

As teachers and pupils alike take onboard the spectacular volte-face by the UK government to transition from declaring schools safe to a Covid risk in a matter of hours, the authorities have responded to concerns that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds will lose out as lessons move to exclusively online remote learning for the foreseeable future.

Mass availability to high-quality broadband connections and good mobile connectivity were already hugely contentious issues in the UK well before the pandemic hit and the first lockdown was declared in March 2020.

Research from UK comms regulator Ofcom in December 2020 noted that while the UK’s domestic networks coped well with the added strain of mass home working and fibre roll-out gathered pace, a small but significant number of properties were still struggling to get connected. Ofcom estimated that 43,000 premises could not access either a decent fixed broadband service or good 4G coverage indoors.

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