Microsoft’s GitHub has announced several new features set to improve the developer experience for its 50 million users. The new tools include Codespaces, GitHub Discussions, Code Scanning, Secret Scanning, and GitHub Private Instances, all of which aim to bring software communities together to solve the problems that matter to them.
Currently, in a limited public beta, Codespaces is a new development environment within GitHub that makes contributions to projects easier. The solution includes a browser-based version of the Visual Studio Code editor, along with support for code completion, navigation, and terminal access. While the company is still working out the pricing details, it did note that its code-editing features will be free in the Codespaces IDE.
GitHub Discussions focuses on collaborating outside the codebase. According to the company, it wants to give developers a place where they can have open discussions. Code Scanning and Secret Scanning are new beta features that work to secure code. Lastly, GitHub Private Instances were designed for enterprises that needed more compliance and policy features.
This week, Shopify reported its first-quarter revenue and solidified its position as Canada’s largest public company. The e-commerce company’s shares surged 6.8% and pushed its market value to just over $121 billion. As the Coronavirus pandemic has brought more businesses online, the company has reported a 47% increase in sales from the same quarter last year. During the pandemic, Shopify launched a redesigned point of sale service to offer more flexibility in moving inventory, including curbside pickup and local delivery options. The e-commerce giant says it is closely monitoring the impact that rising unemployment has on new shop creation as well as consumer spending as habits continue to transition to online shopping. In the report, CEO Tobi Lutke said: “We are working as fast as we can to support our merchants by retooling our products to help them adapt to this new reality.”
In its latest effort to increase security, Zoom has acquired Keybase, a startup that provides encrypted communication services such as secure messaging and file sharing. The deal is part of the company’s 90-day plan to address security flaws brought to light by the recent surge in demand during the Coronavirus pandemic. In a blog post, Zoom said it plans to offer an end-to-end encrypted meeting setting to all paid accounts in the near future. The setting will prevent anyone from calling in by phone, and it will disable cloud-based meeting recordings.
Facebook’s WhatsApp is reportedly launching a new payment service in India called WhatsApp Pay by the end of the month. The new payments service has been in beta testing since February 2018 and will be integrated with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank. The State Bank of India will join at a later stage. Due to litigation raising security concerns, the plan to release WhatsApp Pay to its 400 million users was initially pushed back. The Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) filed a plea in the Supreme Court claiming that WhatsApp was not fully compliant with the data localization regulations set by the Reserve Bank of India. However, after its regional launch in May, Facebook has additional plans to go beyond India as WhatsApp Pay will now compete directly against Amazon Pay UPI, Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will loosen crowdfunding regulations for small businesses. This step is an effort to make it easier for them to raise alternative financing during the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement, “Today’s action responds to the feedback we have received from our Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee and others about the difficulties these companies may face while continuing to provide appropriate protections for investors.” The lifted restrictions are regarding reporting requirements that should accelerate the approval of crowdfunding listings, allowing main street businesses and small startups to raise funds from investors. For businesses to be eligible for crowdfunding, they will need to provide clear disclosure to investors about the fact that it is using the investment to support itself and pay Coronavirus related expenses.
This week the United States Patent and Trademark Office launched a new tech platform, Patents 4 Partnerships, to connect patent holders and potential licensees in key technologies. Patents 4 Partnerships allows users to search and sort information in a variety of easy-to-use ways, including by keyword, inventor name, assignee, and issue date. The online database is aimed at facilitating the licensing of technology related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Coronavirus, helping to bring to the marketplace new products and technologies. Patents for personal protective equipment, disinfectants, ventilators, and testing equipment make up the bulk of the current database.
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Save the date! On May 13, FE International founder, Thomas Smale, will join industry leaders from Pulse, and Payability for a live webinar. They will discuss how to adapt marketing tactics, secure funding, find cash flow clarity, and overcome other e-commerce obstacles. Reserve your spot here.
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