Coronavirus Updates: Newsom Relaxes Restrictions; Microsoft CEO Isn't Convinced of Working From Home Future

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.


  • CA Gov. Newsom announces loosening of restrictions
  • Microsoft CEO Nadella isn't completely convinced about working from home permanently

    CA Gov. Newsom announces loosening of restrictions

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at his daily update on Monday that "roughly" 53 of the state's 58 counties are now eligible to move into a less restrictive phase that may include reopening restaurants and office buildings, at each county's discretion. Newsom did not specify which five counties must remain under strict stay-at-home orders, but he mentioned that some of the "larger counties" will be able to advance their re-openings. The Governor emphasized that local officials will be empowered to move at their own pace based on local conditions.

    "We are also looking forward in the next few weeks to a number of significant milestones that are worthy of highlighting," he continued.

    If current rates hold, in-store retail could "be loosened up" statewide, and professional sports could resume without live spectators and under strict conditions as soon as the first week of June. Hair salons and barbershops are now eligible to open on a region-by-region basis and are candidates for statewide loosening if trends hold. Religious gatherings, too, were described as "a few weeks away – not months, weeks – if everything holds."

    "We are encouraged by the progress and the only thing that will set us back is if we move too quickly," said Newsom.

    Microsoft CEO Nadella isn't completely convinced about working from home permanently

    Microsoft is not taking the same financial beating as many of its peers due to the pandemic. Revenue jumped 15% in the first quarter of 2020, Microsoft Teams users increased by more than 70% in April, and the company's stock price is up 14% this year. But financials aren't everything to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

    He is still concerned about the changes to work that the coronavirus crisis is forcing. Nadella spoke with the staff of the New York Times this week about the challenges he's navigating as Microsoft's leader. "What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you're able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after," he said.

    Nadella's concern doesn't appear to be shared widely throughout the technology industry. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey notified staff this week that they should feel free to work from home indefinitely if they choose. Other big tech players have also given employees the option to telecommute for the rest of the year. --GeekWire

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    The Streamy Awards Prove that Online Creators and Traditional Media Are Still Disconnected

    Kristin Snyder

    Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

    tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
    Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

    Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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    Slingshot Aerospace Is Expanding Its Network of Telescopes To Make Tracking Data Even More Accurate

    Samson Amore

    Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

    Slingshot Aerospace Is Expanding Its Network of Telescopes To Make Tracking Data Even More Accurate
    Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

    Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

    The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

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    BlueLA, The Largest EV Car Sharing Program, Is Expanding

    David Shultz

    David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

    charging station
    Blink Charging

    It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

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