Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Jennifer Elias / CNBC:
Google creates an application portal to help New York State with the recent surge of unemployment filings, says it could bring a similar service to more states  —  - The state of New York announced a partnership with Google for an online unemployment application system.

Jay Greene / Washington Post:
Amazon says it has begun assembling equipment to build a lab to screen its workers for COVID-19, may be working on antigen testing  —  With workers in at least 64 warehouses and shipping facilities testing positive, the e-commerce giant says it hopes to start testing a small numbers of employees ‘soon’

I remember how hard it was to stop smoking in the years before I actually did. I would make a little progress, and feel okay I can have one now, I've been good, and then I go right back to two packs a day. Getting rid of the virus is going to be like that. Just when we feel like we have it licked is when you have to double-down on the commitment. It's so easy to let up, relax. And go back to the thing that was killing you.

A look at how Google Classroom has doubled its active users to 100 MAUs amid COVID-19, with the ubiquity of Chromebooks, affordability, deep LMS integrations  —  - Google Classroom users double to 100 million during the crisis  — Company has spent years entrenching itself in schools

Kirsten Korosec / TechCrunch:
Starship Technologies expands its autonomous food delivery robot service to Tempe, AZ, following launches in Washington, D.C., and Irvine, citing rising demand  —  Starship Technologies has launched a robot food delivery service in Tempe, Arizona, as part of the autonomous delivery startup's …

Bani Sapra / Business Insider:
Facebook files lawsuit against Basant Gajjar, founder of LeadCloak, alleging its software helped scammers run deceptive ads on Facebook and Instagram  —  - Facebook announced that it filed a lawsuit against the founder of a company called LeadCloak on Thursday, alleging that it was helping …

Nick Statt / The Verge:
Google rebrands its business-focused teleconferencing app Hangouts Meet to Google Meet and Hangouts Chat to Google Chat, leaving Hangouts brand for consumers  —  Following the official change from Hangouts Meet to Google Meet  —  Google has officially removed the Hangouts brand …

Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Facebook begins rolling out “Quiet Mode” app feature that mutes most notifications and helps schedule breaks; coming to iOS in April and Android in May  —  Facebook is rolling out a new feature today that allows users to mute all notifications from the social network.

2002: "Tomorrow is Day 70 of No Smoking Dave. Ten weeks. A non-smoking story at the Bowie concert last week. As I'm walking out I see people lighting up everywhere. Smell of smoke all around. It smells good. I really want one. In my mind I outline the steps it would take to be smoking and the amount of time it would take. I would ask someone if they could spare a cigarette. If they said no I'd offer them $1. Oh hell, just offer $1 to begin with. Whoo, where would I get a match. I'd ask for a light. Take a drag. Estimated time, 15 seconds to one minute to first nicotine rush. My heart started beating faster. I felt scared like you feel on a NY subway platform as a train is entering the station and you're standing on the platform and in the instant before it passes you think how you could end your life by leaning forward."

I've heard it said in the news that the virus is "peaking" in the US. Pretty sure that's not true. It may be peaking on its first go-around in NYC, but elsewhere it's just ramping up.

Dave Gershgorn / OneZero :
Analysis of efforts by 25 governments to track the COVID-19 pandemic using new surveillance programs, such as using location data or releasing an app  —  At least 28 countries are ramping up surveillance to combat the coronavirus  —  an attempt to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic …

Bijan Stephen / The Verge:
Twitch expands Watch Parties beta to all US creators, allowing streamers to broadcast Prime Video content with their viewers; global rollout in following months  —  Now, you can watch stuff on Amazon Prime with your favorite streamers  —  Twitch announced today that it's bringing …

Yesterday Jeff Bezos visited an Amazon warehouse and a Whole Foods supermarket. The video would have been hard to anticipate just a few weeks ago. Why is he walking around like that, alone, not shaking anyone's hand. If that were a scene in a movie it would win an award. Foreboding. Ominous. Weird.

Tina Bellon / Reuters:
Uber says it plans to ship millions of face masks to its active drivers and food delivery people around the world, and has started shipping to drivers in NYC  —  (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) on Thursday said it plans to ship millions of face masks to its active drivers …

In a filing, DOJ and other federal agencies urge the FCC to revoke China Telecom's permission to operate in the United States, which it has held since 2007  —  - Defense and Justice departments cite national security threat  — Security agencies file at Federal Communications Commission

Eric Newcomer / Bloomberg:
The political landscape in 2020 now seems less ominous for tech giants, as critics Warren and Sanders drop out and COVID-19 ramps up need for tech platforms  —  The candidates calling to break up Big Tech have faded away  —  There has been concern for months in Silicon Valley …

David Canellis / The Next Web:
Report: Travelex paid hackers 285 BTC, worth around $2.3M, to regain access to its systems after a ransomware attack on New Year's Eve  —  Travelex paid hackers $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin to regain access to its computer systems after a devastating ransomware attack on New Year's Eve, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Hayden Field / Protocol:
DARPA selects 17 orgs for its AI defense program, with Intel leading efforts to defend against physical attacks like use of stickers to trick self-driving cars  —  The Pentagon is teaming up with some of the biggest names in tech to combat hacks designed to mess with the automated systems we'll rely on in the near future.

Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Ferrum raises $9M seed to build its service that prevents medical mistakes using AI, such as by double checking radiology scans  —  Ferrum, a startup developing an AI patient safety platform to prevent medical errors, today announced that it secured $9 million in seed funding.

The Fake Friends of Facebook are getting so freaking obvious and numerous. Every day I get ten or twenty friend requests from "people" who are obviously made-up. Here's a screen shot of some of them. I'm amazed Facebook's algorithm can't filter these.

Biden can assemble a panel of scientists and medical doctors to keep the public informed. An hour a day, press conference style. What the CDC would be doing if Trump weren't president.

And he (Biden) would step back, an example for what Trump should do. Let the doctors and the military manage it. Stop campaigning while thousands of Americans are dying. Biden wouldn't even have to say it. It would make Trump look immediately tone deaf which he most certainly is.

What makes this idea so appealing right now is that the governors are linking up and sharing resources. Someone should be providing the science for them. The government is failing. But there's plenty of unused talent out there, it just needs to be managed.

Another reason -- it would mean that in order to compete, Trump would not only have to enable his scientists, he would also have to start using the US government money as it must be used, not for whatever bullshit he has planned. If he doesn't why should anyone listen to him? By giving him TV power the networks have made it unnecessary for him to use the government's economic and military power.

A couple of months ago it started to bug me that I didn't have a DVR for my TV, haven't had one since I gave up my TiVO when I left Massachusetts in 2004. Now my cable setup is Spectrum, because that's the only cable supplier where I live, and their TV package, including HBO, Showtime, and the rest of the stuff. I used it mainly for HBO, MSNBC, Law & Order and the occasional Knicks game. I set out on a quest for an alternative, and the best I came up with is YouTube TV which I am now subscribed to. The other choice was Hulu, which I have used and liked. Not sure which is better. Anyway, I got my DVR, so I can watch last night's Maddow when The Trump Show is on in the early evening. And I don't need sports, because there aren't any. And I use the HBO app, along with Netflix and Amazon. It's a good setup.

We can't wait until 2021 for Trump to leave office. Too many Americans will die needlessly. I don't want to be one of them, do you?

According to this emergency room doctor in NYC, Covid-19 is a new disease. Not ARDS. The disease is like being dropped at the summit of Mt Everest without acclimation. He says the standard treatment hurts the patients. Here's the writeup in Stat.

A new thread. Pornography of the future. We will watch movies of beautiful happy people in social settings with other beautiful happy people, exchanging in-person conversation, experiencing exotic smells and waves of oxytocin. Multitudes of beautiful, interesting and happy people wander by, exchanging knowing glances and suggestive smiles. No one is wearing a mask. Their faces are literally naked. In public. Naked. Va va voom.

When I sit down at a lovely dinner, with interesting, humor-filled friends in a beautiful spot, I am as rich as I can possibly be. A billionaire couldn't have more. I first realized this at a sushi restaurant in Sausalito, where the chef had prepared the most amazing looking and tasting bouquet of fresh fish and rice. Literally this is as rich as you can get.

Occam's News says that Trump threatened to withhold money from the World Health Organization because their test worked and his didn't and that made him look bad.

The math behind social distancing.

I'd like to see one of the cable channels continue their regular broadcast without airing The Trump Show every night. It's very bad for our country, in the spirit of Jon Stewart's appeal to the Crossfire guys so many years ago. They never did help us, and now thousands of Americans are dying. What will it take to wake the owners of the networks up. And the people, why are you watching this deadly animal garbage? Don't you get it? If you didn't watch they wouldn't broadcast. Don't you care about your own lives?

The Cuomo briefing podcast is now available in the iTunes store. And of course it's available via RSS. Tell your friends.

How much of the press coverage amounts to this:

Headline: Trump is a horrible person.

Sub-head: We are truly fucked.

Fours years of this crap.