Noteworthy of the arena is waking up to a strange original reality. As the coronavirus strain, COVID-19, swept across the planet, today may inch down in history as the day when tall numbers of countries had been largely united in a global shut-down to address the pandemic.
TechCrunch brings you a wrap of the technology world’s response to the virus so far in our own dedicated COVID-19 coverage.
• In Extra Crunch we cloak the way it is essential to aloof pitch a story in the era of COVID-19.
• Google says coronavirus has turn into its greatest search topic by a nation mile this year, and to continue its efforts to harness that attention in the handiest that you can think of way, late on Friday the company launched a original information portal dedicated to the pandemic as properly as an improved search abilities for desktop and mobile.
• In response to COVID-19, Hulu has added a free live news stream to its on-demand app for customers who simplest subscribe to its on-demand provider, now not its live TV add-on. The news coverage is supplied in partnership with ABC Information Live, and brings live news 24/7 to Hulu on-demand subscribers as part of their existing subscription.
• Unfortunately, “Robocalls”, which have been targeting the vulnerable and unsuspecting for years, are taking advantage of the latest global catastrophe to enhance their scams. The FCC warns that it has acquired a lot of reviews of coronavirus-related robocall cons in the wild — here’s what to search for.
• Two major tech companies — Amazon and IBM — have each announced programs to encourage developers to find solutions to a variety of complications related to the pandemic.
• Google announced on Twitter that it is cancelling its annual I/O developer convention out of challenge for the health and safety of all involved. It is probably now not holding any online convention in its place both.
• Rivian, the buzzy electrical car startup that is backed by Amazon and Ford, is shutting down all of its facilities due to the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. Rivian employs more than 2,000 staff across several locations, including its headquarters in Plymouth, Mich., a factory in Normal, In unfortunate health. as properly as operations in San Jose and Irvine, Calif., the place engineers are working on autonomous car technology. Rivian also has an workplace in the U.Okay.
• During two of this week’s White Apartment briefings, President Trump referred specifically to two potential treatments that have been known by medical researchers and clinicians. But no capsules or treatments have been confirmed as effective for both the prevention of contracting COVID-19 or for its treatment. While chloroquine has been outmoded for decades to treat malaria, and chronic rheumatoid arthritis, it can have dangerous side effects, including death, if taken incorrectly. Even when taken accurately, it can cause things appreciate stomach wound and even permanent damage to a person’s vision.
• The COVID-19 outbreak isn’t ideally suited affecting movie theaters — it has also halted TV and movie production around the arena. For Netflix, that has included production on high-profile titles appreciate “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things.” So the streaming company ideally suited announced that it has created a $100 million fund that it says will enhance the cast and crew who have all of sudden found themselves out of labor.
• Elon Musk tweeted Friday that Tesla and SpaceX staff are “working on ventilators” although he doesn’t imagine they’re going to be wanted. His confirmation on Twitter that each of the companies he leads are working on ventilators comes a day after Current York City Mayor Invoice de Blasio made a scream plea to Musk to aid alleviate a shortage at hospitals gearing up to combat COVID-19.
• Uber Eats is waiving delivery and activation prices in the UK to enhance restaurants hit by decreasing demand during the coronavirus disaster. The measure will apply till March 31 when it says this can review it. On Monday the on-demand food delivery giant announced a similar waiver of delivery prices in the US. The announcement by Uber Eats UK comes quickly after Fair correct Eat UK said it may well decrease its charge and waive some prices for 30 days — as part of an emergency enhance package for partner restaurants struggling to address disruption to their businesses.
• Privacy-hostile practices by tech giants face ongoing legislative challenges, but a pandemic is clearly an exceptional circumstance. These days, governments are now turning to the tech sector for aid. US President Donald Trump was reported last week to have summoned a resolution of tech companies to the White Apartment to speak about how mobile location data can be outmoded for tracking voters. And in another trend this month he announced Google was working on a nationwide coronavirus screening situation — in fact it’s Verily, a diversified division of Alphabet. But concerns had been speedy raised that the positioning requires customers to sign in with a Google account, suggesting customers’ health-related queries can be linked to other online activity the tech giant monetizes via ads.
• Diligent Robotics wants to give nurses a helper droid that can bustle errands for them around the hospital. The startup’s bot Moxi is supplied with a versatile arm, gripper hand and elephantine mobility so it can seek out lightweight medical resources, navigate a clinic’s hallways and drop them off for the nurse. With the arena facing a critical shortage of medical care professionals, Moxi may aid healthcare centers use their staff as successfully as that you can think of. And because robots can’t be infected by COVID-19, they’re one less potential carrier interacting with vulnerable populations.
In other news from around the online:
• The Telegram app emerged a few years ago as a challenger to WhatsApp and took off largely in non-Western countries. A story today in the China Tech situation Abacus explores how Telegram is emerging as an alternative source of reviews get open air China ‘Great Firewall’, and is being accessed by voters there who are hungry for uncensored news about the COVID-19 pandemic. The “2019-nCoV outbreak real-time broadcast,” channel now has more than 87,000 subscribers, with latest messages getting between 15,000 and 20,000 views, according to Telegram channel’s view counter.
• Another portray today in The Verge explores how Amazon staff across the US and in many other countries are finding themselves designated as “key staff” who must continue to reveal up to deliver items nations, appreciate the US, which have gone into an effective quarantine. Then again, many of these staff are involved that safety precautions, advantages, and protections have now not changed sufficiently to replicate the original reality of living and working in a pandemic, and that even Amazon warehouses that assist operating as everything else shuts down many staff there are after all probably to contract the virus.
• Getaround is a startup that actually launched at TechCrunch Disrupt several years ago, and the car-sharing company has soared in distribution and valuation in the last few years. But with the coronavirus outbreak all of sudden affecting of us unwilling or unable to share a personal car that may properly be owned by someone infected by the virus, Getaround is now experiencing a tall descend in demand. As a result, the company is now, according to Bloomberg. reportedly seeking a sale after finding itself “dangerously speedy on cash”, according to of us familiar with the matter.
• Over at Microsoft, the tech giant is now offering its Healthcare Bot provider to organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to aid conceal patients for potential infection and care. As an example, the CDC ideally suited released a COVID-19 assessment bot that can speedy assess the symptoms and risk factors for fogeys scared about infection, present information and suggest the following path of action such as contacting a medical provider or, for fogeys that attain now not want in-person medical care, managing the sickness safely at house.
The news is significant because several healthcare startups such as Babylon Health and Ada Health already provide such AI-powered ‘chat’ apps which many is normally turning to in this disaster.