Google wants employees to work with nonprofits

Google.org Fellowship is an initiative that lets employees take paid sabbaticals, up to six months, to work with nonprofits on special projects. The first formal fellowship class will work with Goodwill Industries to create a data strategy that helps identify effective programs operating within the organization's various chapters.

N.C. STEM school adds VR equipment

A North Carolina science, technology, engineering and math school has added HTC Vive virtual-reality equipment, thanks to a donation. Some students are using the equipment to recreate the worlds featured in the novel "A Wrinkle in Time," and the school plans to add a green screen to offer more immersive experiences.

May: UK Parliament should look again at Brexit deal

With a key vote approaching, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Parliament to take a second look at the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU. Parliament is widely expected to reject the agreement.

Chick-fil-A spices up limited-time menu in Ariz.
USA Today

Chick-fil-A will test three spicy chicken menu items including a breakfast sandwich at select stores in three Arizona markets, building on last year's test of Spicy Chick-n-Strips. The chain is also testing a chocolate fudge brownie in three markets.

New VA CIO urged to avoid past EHR modernization mistakes

James Gfrerer, who was recently confirmed as assistant secretary for information and technology and CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, should avoid repeating past mistakes related to an EHR modernization project, according to a letter written by Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee ranking member Jon Tester. "EHR modernization cannot be allowed to fail, and your leadership is essential if VA is to ultimately achieve a truly interoperable health record for veterans," Tester wrote.

Facebook extends market-specific election ad rules
Reuters

Facebook has announced that it's rolling out political interference tools and stricter ad policies in markets with significant elections this year, including the EU, India, Ukraine and Nigeria. The policies will vary in each market to reflect engagement with local groups and local legislation, says Facebook's Katie Harbath.

Lampert's $5.3B bid wins Sears bankruptcy auction

Edward Lampert won a bankruptcy auction for Sears Holdings by increasing his $4.4 billion bid for the retailer to $5.3 billion, according to sources. The rescue plan, which must be approved by the bankruptcy judge, would keep approximately 400 stores open.

New ransomware attack also includes phishing scam

A new ransomware attack appears to offer PayPal as an option for regaining access to files held for ransom in the attack, but those who choose that option are then hit with a second potential security breach. The ransomware/phishing blend, the first attack of its kind in 2019, was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam.

Azar vows to work with Congress to lower drug prices, Cummings says
The Hill

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said HHS Secretary Alex Azar pledged to work with him to lower prescription drug prices. "We are headed for the same goals, but not necessarily the exact same legislation, so I've got to tell you I came out of the meeting feeling hopeful that this is something that we can do on a bipartisan basis," said Cummings, one of a group of lawmakers who recently unveiled sweeping legislation to lower drug prices by permitting drug importation and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

AI to come to the fore for telecom sector in 2019

Artificial intelligence will be implemented in networks, industrial applications, services and virtualization in the coming year, analysts say. It will also play a part in 5G cellular communications, the internet of things and expanding bandwidth for video streaming, they note.

What CES had in store for the roofing industry

CES 2019, held last week, had some business and productivity solutions that apply to roofing contractors, reports Rick Damato. Among advances were the use of autonomous vehicle technology that may make construction sites safer, and drones equipped with infrared camera lenses for roofing inspections.

Colo. may boost local government involvement in decisions on oil, gas

New Colorado Gov. Jared Polis unveiled plans for legislation that would grant more power to local governments in decisions related to the state's $32 billion oil and natural gas industry. Polis said that solidifying local control would improve market confidence and investor certainty.

SpaceX moves one step closer to manned Crew Dragon flight

SpaceX took one step closer to a manned mission as the company raised a Falcon 9 rocket with its Crew Dragon capsule into position at its Florida launchpad. A test flight anticipated within about a month and the Crew Dragon will eventually take astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Security checkpoints slow as more TSA officers call in sick
Skift

Passengers at Georgia's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport faced wait times of more than an hour at security checkpoints Monday as more than twice the usual number of Transportation Security Administration officers called in sick amid the partial government shutdown. Texas' George Bush Intercontinental Airport closed its Terminal B checkpoint and ticket counter to consolidate operations and keep checkpoints in other terminals running.