Cornell students create Quarantine Buddy website to match friends

“You come on any time,” Benkendorf said from Sunrise, Fla. “I’ve got a dog you can play with. I’ve got a spare room. Anytime you need a vacation. If they close you down again, Stacie, you’re welcome.”

Weldon and Benkendorf have never met in-person, but over the past four months they’ve developed a friendship after matching with each other on a website. Quarantine Buddy, founded by two Cornell University students in April, matches people from around the world based on their background and interests, and they meet virtually.

The website has helped more than 50,000 people — spanning all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries — build friendships while stuck at home.

“We kind of realized how lonely and isolating this can be for so many people,” said Jordyn Goldzweig, a Quarantine Buddy co-founder. “The pandemic itself really brought out the fact that a lot of people are isolated, and even though we have technology, people aren’t utilizing it to meet other people. We really wanted to do our part.”

In March, Goldzweig and co-founder Sam Brickman left Cornell for their respective New Jersey and New York homes due to the coronavirus outbreak. A few weeks later, the junior computer science majors met with one of their professors, Pam Silverstein, on Zoom. After discussing a project, Silverstein expressed how thankful she was to speak with someone, because she hadn’t left her house in about a week.

Goldzweig and Brickman have worked on multiple projects together, including an application last year called “Zing” that connects classmates. They expanded that idea to assist people in situations such as Silverstein’s.

They spent two all-nighters shaping the website, staying awake on coffee and electronic dance music. They created a survey with nine questions that allows users to customize what they are looking

Cambridge researchers create VR software that allows scientists to ‘walk’ inside cells

A collaborative project between 3D image analysis software company Lume VR Ltd. and scientists at the University of Cambridge showed off a new virtual reality tool today that gives scientists a new view of the inner workings of human cells.

The researchers hope the Google Street View-style tool will provide an up close and personal way to understand fundamental problems in biology to help new treatments for disease. The details are published in the scientific journal “Nature Methods.”

By using VR, scientists can “walk” through the “byways” and “highways” within the cells themselves and see proteins fold and unfold. They also can potentially see where things go wrong when they go wrong and even rewind biological processes by looking through recorded and visualized datasets.

The software, vLUME, uses super-high-resolution microscopy data that is collected, collated and digested. After that, the data needs to be rendered in a manner understandable by humans, and that’s where the immersive nature of virtual reality comes in.

By donning a VR headset, researchers can then dive into the internal structures of a human cell and look at the structure of a cell wall, a Golgi apparatus (the part of a cell involved in intracellular transport), the warps and waves of a mitochondria (the provisioner of energy) or the folds of an individual protein that could be malformed. They can even pull back to view the roadmap of an entire cell.

“Biology occurs in 3D, but up until now it has been difficult to interact with the data on a 2D computer screen in an intuitive and immersive way,” said Dr. Steven F. Lee from Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the research. “It wasn’t until we started seeing our data in virtual reality that everything clicked into place.”

The team from Lume specialized originally in

7 Simple Steps to Create a Website for Your Small Business



a man standing in front of a window: A web designer working on code in an office.


© Getty Images
A web designer working on code in an office.

Online shopping is a major industry, and that’s an understatement. In the U.S. alone, we’re projected to have 300 million online shoppers by 2023. That’s more than 90% of the entire U.S. population. For any brick-and-mortar store or business, having an online store — or at least an online presence — is essential.

The convenience, speed, and accessibility of the Internet make it appealing to consumers, who use it for product purchases and product research. Your small business site will help you attract and retain customers, generating more profit.

Best of all, building a website no longer requires extensive knowledge of website development, web design, or even coding. You only need to follow a few simple steps.

• Choose a website builder

• Select your domain name

• Decide on a theme or template

• Add plug-ins

• Create pages and content

• Test your site and publish

• Market and maintain your website

Things to consider before beginning to make your website

Building a website is a fairly simple process, but it’s important to start with a solid plan in mind. Consider your purpose, brand identity, and budget before beginning.

1. What is the main purpose of your website?

Like any business endeavor, your website needs a clear purpose. Will your site simply provide information about your company, or will you sell products? The process of creating a website varies slightly depending on your main purpose.

Whatever the purpose of your website, it’s essential to clearly state what your business does on the homepage of your site. Define your purpose, then work on drafting a direct, concise summary of your business. Customers need to immediately recognize whether you can meet their needs.

2. What is your brand

Spark and NNNCo team up to create a roaming trans-Tasman LoRaWAN network

New Zealand telco Spark and Australian IoT network builder National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) announced an agreement on Monday that will allow LoRaWAN users to deploy on either side of the Tasman and roam on the other side of the ditch.

In order to implement the roaming arrangement, NNNCo’s enterprise platform, N2N-DL, has been integrated into Spark’s network core.

“Data from devices on the Spark NZ network will feed into N2N-DL giving customers access to data on a single platform from devices enrolled in either country,” the pair said.

“Spark can also do the same for customers with devices enrolled on the NNNCo network in Australia.”

One of the first customers of the network will be Parkable, a New Zealand parking app that is looking to expand in Australia.

“As the economy continues to be shaped by COVID-19, we could expect to see more partnerships like this; where carriers and partners work together to enable the deployment and scaling of IoT solutions across markets,” Spark IoT lead Tony Agar said.

Elsewhere on Monday morning, Australian telco Optus announced it was opening up its 5G network for its wholesale customers.

The telco said it has 900 5G sites across the country, but has yet to deploy any cells in Tasmania or Northern Territory.

Spintel is the first mobile virtual network operator to jump onboard.

Not to be left out, Australian incumbent telco Telstra said on Monday its network has hit 41% population coverage.

“Our 5G now covers an area that more than twelve million Australians live, work or pass through on a daily basis, giving them access to a superfast network at a time when connectivity’s never been more important and when there’ll be more 5G devices to choose from than ever,” Telstra group executive for networks & IT Nikos Katinakis

Tech Founder Hadiyah Mujhid Partners With AnnenbergTech And PledgeLA To Create Equity For Black And Latinx VC’s And Founders

In business, it takes money to make money. Yet for many Black and Latinx founders, access to capital is a barrier to entry into their respective industries. Another barrier is often access to venture capitalists who come from similar backgrounds as them, who understand them, and who believe in their ideas and businesses enough to invest in them.

According to research, only 1% of VC-backed companies have Black founders, and only 2% of firms have investment team members who identify as Black. 

San Francisco based technologist, Hadiyah Mujhid, has been solving for that equity problem as the founder and CEO of HBCUvc. Prominently known for building pathways for underrepresented investors and founders, HBCUvc has led the charge on developing the next generation of venture capital leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities through their strategic programming and partnerships. With the perspective that culture is a currency, Mujhid and her team nurture budding entrepreneurs and investors through training, coaching, mentoring, and immersive fellowships that are culturally responsive and inclusive for everyone involved.

“I like to think that our program is extremely comprehensive, and it’s culturally affirming of the identities that people bring to the space,” said Mujhid.

HBCUvc offers core programming throughout the year for HBCU students and alumni. And in the summer, they work with AnnenbergTech and PledgeLA to host a venture capital internship which places Black and Latinx interns at esteemed VC firms like Stat Zero and Crosscut Ventures.

As a part of the PledgeLA program, “We [HBCUvc] spend two weeks doing an immersive training with the fellows in LA and then they are placed with a firm for 8 weeks. During those 8 weeks, we still do one-on-one coaching support,” said Mujhid.

As firms and startups work