Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Google is recommending all employees in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to work from home because of the coronavirus. This is an expansion of Google’s policy for its employees in North America, who have been given the same advice.
- Apple is telling retail workers not to encourage customers to try on the Apple Watch or AirPods in a precaution against spreading the coronavirus. While Apple hasn’t eliminated try-ons, employees are being told not to offer it proactively and to only allow try-ons at the customer’s request.
- E3, one of the world’s biggest gaming events, has been canceled over coronavirus fears. In a statement sent to Business Insider, the Entertainment Software Association – E3’s organizer – said it was “very disappointed” but described the cancelation as “the right decision.”
- The UK will spend $1 billion on a moonshot agency to fund cutting-edge tech and compete with the US and China. The idea is to create a UK “blue skies” funding agency that mimics the US Advanced Research Projects Agency, a government agency which fuelled the invention of the internet.
- The Trump administration implored Silicon Valley tech giants to aid its fight against coronavirus. The federal government asked for assistance from companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Twitter, Politico reports.
- Magic Leap, the hyped-up smart-glasses startup that raised over $2.6 billion from investors like Google, is reportedly exploring a sale. Magic Leap is also exploring options including partnerships and a possible stock market listing, Bloomberg reports.
- The European Commission has set out a plan to move towards a ‘right to repair’ for electronics devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The proposals are part of a plan that’s designed to aid a Commission pledge to transition the bloc to carbon neutrality by 2050, TechCrunch reports.
- Millennial-focused bank Cogni is launching with fee-free checking accounts to disrupt the ‘expensive’ US banking market. Cogni is a new challenger bank backed by Barclays, Guggenheim Partners, and the CXO fund, among others.
- Googlers are jolted by life without free lunch as hundreds of thousands work from home — but insiders say ‘nobody could be more prepared’ than their company for COVID-19. The biggest impact for many Googlers is the loss of the company’s famous free lunches.
- Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has said Facebook ‘serves as a s— umbrella for Instagram.’ Mosseri said it’s “generally the case” that people trust Instagram more than Facebook, while admitting he isn’t as big a public figure as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
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