Google Slows Hiring; Apple & Jony Ive Split; Ransomware Attack on Bill Collector; Amazon & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Partner on Vaccine Trial

In a memo from CEO Sundar Pichai, Google has told employees it is slowing down hiring for the rest of the year. According to theverge.com, the CEO says they need to ‘be more entrepreneurial’ and work with “greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.” Google notes they will still hire for engineering, technical, and other critical roles. 

After 28 years as a key employee, then 2 more as a consultant, Jony Ive and Apple have split the sheets. Ive had moved back to London and set up his LoveFrom design business there. Macrumors.com reports that when he left in 2019, Apple signed him to a multiyear contract worth over $100 million. Ive was the design alter ego of Steve Jobs, and virtually everything Apple passed through his studio the last 30 years. A device couldn’t be thin enough, light enough, or pretty enough for Ive. It will be interesting to see if Apple products become more utilitarian looking now, or if there are enough of Ive’s former employees still there to push the elegance and beauty of Apple devices into smaller and smaller packages. Since Ive’s departure, Jeff Williams has been overseeing the Apple design teams, and will continue to do so. Industrial design continues to be led by Evans Hankey, and software design is led by Alan Dye. Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak is also said to have a central role in product design choices. 

A ransomware attack has hit an under the radar debt collector that serves hundreds of hospitals and medical facilities. Techcrunch.com says it is one of the biggest breaches of personal and health info this year. The firm is Professional Finance Co out of Colorado. In a data breach notice, PFC says it affects over 650 healthcare providers, and the ransomware attackers got patient names, addresses, outstanding balance info, and other information about their account. In ‘some cases,’ they also grabbed birth dates, Social Security numbers, health insurance, and treatment info. A total of around 1.91 million patients are affected. 

In some possibly rosier health news, Amazon is teaming up with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to do a clinical trial on anti-cancer vaccine. Amazon will pitch in their machine learning expertise and computing horsepower from Amazon Web Services. The trial is for patients with certain types of breast cancer or melanoma. It is expected to be a multi-year process, but if the results are promising, will be quite a step forward in the fight against cancer.



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