Techmeme
March 25, 2020, 11:50 AM

Top News

New York Times:
While traffic surges on Facebook, with messaging up 50% from last month in many countries, their now-remote workforce struggles to handle its own IT snafus  —  The social network is straining to deal with skyrocketing usage as its 45,000 employees work from home for the first time.
New York Times:
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:
Google brings its Podcasts app to iOS and unveils a redesign of Android app, with users' listening habits syncable across platforms via Google Podcasts for Web  —  Just in time for our collective house arrests, Google has unveiled a redesigned version of Podcasts.
Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC:
WHO partners with Facebook, Microsoft, and other tech companies on #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon to develop software tackling COVID-19 challenges, starting Mar. 26  —  - The World Health Organization has partnered with Facebook, Microsoft and several other tech companies for a hackathon to promote …
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Apple updates Safari to fully block third-party cookies by default, months after Google said it would do the same in Chrome by 2022  —  Beating Google by two years to the privacy feature  —  Apple on Tuesday released a major update to its Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) …
Chris Freeland / Internet Archive Blogs:
Internet Archive launches National Emergency Library, letting users borrow 1.4M+ digitized books without joining a waitlist during the COVID-19 crisis  —  To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of today, March 24, 2020 …
Debby Wu / Bloomberg:
iPhone makers Foxconn and Wistron have suspended all production at their Indian plants to comply with a nationwide lockdown  —  - Foxconn and Wistron are both complying with surprise lockdown  — PM Modi has ordered population to stay at home for three weeks
NBC News:
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
App Store rules, like a ban on services that stream from the cloud, limit iOS users from accessing rival gaming services from Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia  —  Video-game fans suddenly have their pick of a huge menu of titles thanks to a raft of new mobile subscription services from Apple Inc. …
Stephanie Condon / ZDNet:
How 3D printer makers like Stratasys, Protolabs, and other companies like Ford, are helping fight COVID-19 by 3D printing face shields and medical equipment  —  With critical medical gear in short supply, additive manufacturing is an “essential part” of the pandemic response, the industry says.
Hariz Baharudin / The Straits Times:
Singapore will open source its contact-tracing app TraceTogether, which uses Bluetooth to identify people in extended close contact with COVID-19 patients  —  SINGAPORE - In a move to help the international community combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Government will be making the software …
Katie Notopoulos / BuzzFeed News:
Facebook's Portal makes a lot of sense during a quarantine: it is great for video chatting and staying in touch, especially with kids and the elderly  —  The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus.
Jay Greene / Washington Post:
Six US Amazon warehouses have at least one worker testing positive for COVID-19, with some facilities temporarily shut for cleaning and some workers quarantined  —  The spike in positive tests for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus comes as the ecommerce giant races to hire 100,000 workers to meet massive shopper demand.
Craig Mod / Wired:
The iPad's cursor, a translucent circle with momentum and the ability to change form based on the context, is more convincing and simply more fun  —  Apple's new iPadOS 13.4 adds enhanced support for trackpads.  And with that, a shiny new cursor.  —  I gasped when I first saw the iPad's new cursor …
Stephen Palley / The Block:
NY federal court issues preliminary injunction against Telegram's 2018 $1.7B ICO, finding the distribution of Gram tokens likely violates US securities law  —  The $1.7 billion 2018 fundraising effort by Telegram hit a major snag today when a Federal Judge in New York issued …
Antony Sguazzin / Bloomberg:
WHO's WhatsApp global COVID-19 information service is launching in 20+ languages, aiming to reach 50M people, after successful trials in South Africa  —  - World Health Organization steps up social media communication  — Service employs articial intelligence to offer range of topics
More: TechCrunch
Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Espressive, which aims to develop AI-driven chatbots to reduce calls to company help desks, raises $30M Series B led by Insight Partners  —  Espressive, a four-year-old startup from former ServiceNow employees, is working to build a better chatbot to reduce calls to company help desks.
More: FinSMEs
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Apple SVP of People and Retail says in internal memo that Apple expects to start reopening its retail stores in the first half of April on a staggered basis  —  Apple Inc. expects to start re-opening its retail stores in the first half of April on a staggered basis and has extended remote work abilities …

Sponsor Posts

Smartsheet:
Smartsheet offers free Gov product to governments and agencies  —  Smartsheet Gov, the FedRAMP authorized Smartsheet environment, is now free of charge or obligation for any US government agency responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mattermost:
Remote work when SaaS is not an option  —  A free, self-hosted messaging platform for security-conscious teams to collaborate remotely.  Download Free.
Google Cloud:
What does the future of cloud computing hold  —  and what does this mean for businesses?  We looked at the data, talked to luminaries, and listened to customers across the world.  Here's what they said.
Zoho:
The Working from Home Guide: Remote Collaboration with Show  —  The current COVID-19 pandemic has made remote work the norm.  But, the real question is, “Can the lack of commuting and convenience of working from home match the in-office productivity?”

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