Techmeme
March 13, 2020, 10:10 PM

Top News

Peter Kafka / Vox:
Google confirms Verily is building a tool to expedite COVID-19 testing in the Bay Area initially; Trump says Google has 1,700 engineers working on the project  —  Dr. Debbie Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks at a White House press conference on Friday, March 13, 2020.
Microsoft:
Bill Gates has stepped down from the Microsoft's Board of Directors, will continue to serve as Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella  —  REDMOND, Wash. — March 13, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Co-Founder and Technology Advisor Bill Gates stepped down from the company's Board …
Apple:
Apple announces it will hold WWDC in June in “an entirely new online format”  —  WWDC 2020 to Feature an Online Format with a Keynote and Sessions Connecting Millions of Developers Around the World  —  Cupertino, California — Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, more ISPs join FCC-orchestrated “Keep Americans Connected Pledge”, will open Wi-Fi hotspots, not terminate service for late fees, more  —  AT&T, Comcast and Verizon joined dozens of telecom providers in agreeing to aid Americans who are out of work …
Karl Bode / VICE:
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
Source: Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models next week  —  Last March, MacRumors received an anonymous tip claiming that Apple would announce new iPad, iMac, and iPod models with three consecutive days of press releases the following week, and that information proved to be two-thirds accurate …
Karissa Bell / Engadget:
Instagram removes all AR effects that claim to diagnose or treat COVID-19 and will begin hiding other related AR effects from search results  —  Instagram is taking new steps to combat the spread of coronavirus-related misinformation.  The company has removed augmented reality effects that claim to …
Sam Biddle / The Intercept:
Some Facebook contractors at Accenture and WiPro say they are not permitted to work from home; Facebook says it is due to safety, privacy, and legal reasons  —  Like other tech firms scrambling in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Facebook is encouraging staff worldwide to work from home …
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:
YouTube introduces a new Explore tab on Android and iOS to replace Trending, featuring destination pages and creators and music artists “on the Rise”  —  After being in beta for shy of two years, YouTube is finally rolling out its “Explore” tab on both Android and iOS, a new home for trending content and much more.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Kenneth Chenault will be leaving Facebook's board following disagreements with Zuckerberg over the company's governance and political policies  —  Board member disagreed with founder over governance and political policies  —  Kenneth Chenault will be leaving Facebook Inc.'s board …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Apple confirms all 42 of its China stores will be open as of Friday after closing them in Feb. due to COVID-19; however, they will operate under reduced hours  —  Apple Inc. has reopened all 42 of its stores in China after it was forced to close them last month due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

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