Reuters: Google makes $100,000 worth of tech training free to every U.S. business

Reuters: Google makes $100,000 worth of tech training free to every U.S. business. “Alphabet Inc’s Google will provide any U.S. business over $100,000 worth of online courses in data analytics, design and other tech skills for their workers free of charge, the search company said on Monday. The offer marks a big expansion of Google’s Career Certificates, a program the company launched in 2018 to help people globally boost their resumes by learning new tools at their own pace.”

Tubefilter: The video app Josh is making deep inroads in India. Its parent company just raised $805 million.

Tubefilter: The video app Josh is making deep inroads in India. Its parent company just raised $805 million.. “The Indian government’s decision to ban TikTok has turned the country’s short-form video landscape into a gold rush. American tech companies like Instagram and YouTube have made inroads in the world’s second-most populous nation, but the biggest winners of the post-TikTok era have been local platforms.”

Dutch News: Sex workers left struggling financially after coronavirus closures

Dutch News: Sex workers left struggling financially after coronavirus closures. “The coronavirus measures left many sex workers with financial problems, while others continued to work illegally despite the risks that entails, according to a new report by researchers at the Erasmus University medical centre and Soa Aids Nederland. In total 300 sex workers took part in the survey during the two years of the pandemic.”

The Verge: Google is using AI to update business hours that are out of date on Google Maps

The Verge: Google is using AI to update business hours that are out of date on Google Maps. “Google has shared how it’s using artificial intelligence, including its restaurant-calling Duplex tech, to try and keep business hours up to date on Google Maps. The company says that if it is confident enough in the AI’s prediction of what a business’s hours should be, it will update the information in Maps.”

AdAge: Facebook Small Advertisers Win Class-action Status In Fraud Suit

AdAge: Facebook Small Advertisers Win Class-action Status In Fraud Suit. “A lawsuit accusing Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook of overstating its advertising audience got a lot bigger Tuesday when a court expanded the pool of plaintiffs to include more than 2 million small ad buyers. Dismissing what he called a ‘blunderbuss of objections’ by the company, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the case can proceed as a class action on behalf of small business owners and individuals who bought ads on Facebook or Instagram since Aug. 15, 2014. “

Search Engine Journal: Google Removed 7 Million Fake Business Profiles In 2021

Search Engine Journal: Google Removed 7 Million Fake Business Profiles In 2021. “In a report from Google about how it keeps Maps information reliable, the search company reveals it removed seven million fake business profiles in 2021. Additionally, Google prevented tens of millions of fake business profiles from being created, and disabled over a million user accounts belonging to ‘bad actors.’”

NPR: Welcome to the wedding boom. How couples are handling the busiest season in 40 years

NPR: Welcome to the wedding boom. How couples are handling the busiest season in 40 years. “It’s not only the number of weddings that’s up this year; The Wedding Report estimates spending per wedding will also jump 15%. The wedding site ‘the Knot’ is projecting a 25% increase. Part of that is due to inflation and higher labor costs. That’s scaring some couples into shrinking their shindigs, but plenty of others are planning bashes bigger than ever. One sample cocktail napkin on display, sums up the sentiment: ‘We waited an extra year for this. Party accordingly.’”

ABC News: US retail spending slows as inflation starts to bite

ABC News: US retail spending slows as inflation starts to bite. “Retail sales increased 0.3% after registering a revised 4.9% jump from December to January, fueled by wage gains, solid hiring and more money in banking accounts, according to the Commerce Department. January’s increase was the biggest jump in spending since last March, when American households received a final federal stimulus check of $1,400.”

Canadian Press: Quebec sugar shack owners say the COVID-19 pandemic saved the iconic industry

Canadian Press: Quebec sugar shack owners say the COVID-19 pandemic saved the iconic industry. “The spring sugar shack experience — eating beans and ham at long tables with strangers, enjoying tractor rides through the melting snow and nibbling snow-chilled maple syrup on wooden sticks — was on the decline before the pandemic. But two years of COVID-19 lockdowns have forced the traditional industry to reinvent an outdated business model, and some say it is more sustainable than before the health crisis hit.”

Associated Press: Thousands of people leaving restaurant industry

Associated Press: Thousands of people leaving restaurant industry. ” The volatility of the industry, the health risks associated with COVID and worker burnout have led to a loss of 1.8 million hospitality jobs in the U.S. since February 2020. Working in the service industry has never been easy. The hours are long, the customer interactions can be stressful and the wages are relatively low. But COVID introduced new problems, which pushed many people to reconsider their circumstances, Larry Barton, professor of crisis management and public safety at the University of Central Florida, said.”