Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- The Pentagon could reconsider its decision to award a major cloud contract to Microsoft after protests from Amazon. The Defense Department said on Thursday that it would re-evaluate the awarding of a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft after Amazon claimed the decision was interfered with by the Trump administration, the New York Times reports.
- Google reportedly sent its Bangalore office employees home to work remotely after a worker there tested positive for COVID-19 and was put in quarantine. Google and property managers at the surrounding office park told employees to go home and work remotely, according to CNBC.
- Microsoft is canceling its massive Build developer conference due to the coronavirus outbreak, and will do it online instead. Other companies, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon, have similarly canceled their developer conferences, opting instead to take them online.
- France’s competition watchdog is set to fine Apple over anti-competitive behaviour. The watchdog could look to fine the iPhone manufacturer over anti-competitive practices in its distribution and sales network, Reuters reports.
- TikTok is filled with dark jokes and conspiracies about a notorious child kidnapping case. Clips featuring hashtags associated with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have received almost 5 million views.
- SpaceX asked a major European astronomy group for a meeting after it published a concerning paper about Starlink’s effects on telescopes. SpaceX has taken heat from some in the astronomy community for launching its satellites despite concerns that they could interfere with research.
- SoftBank has been spending increasing amounts on lobbying in a bid to aid its startups. The company’s lobbying bill climbed to $1.94 million in 2019, a step up from $225,000 in 2018, according to filings with Congress, Bloomberg reported.
- AT&T is lifting all internet data caps and Comcast is cutting some introductory service fees in response to the shift to more home use amid the coronavirus outbreak. AT&T is lifting overage fees and removing internet data caps for home broadband internet amid the significant changes that millions of Americans are going through due to coronavirus concerns.
- Russian trolls have become more sophisticated ahead of the 2020 Presidential election by moving their operations to West Africa. Unlike in 2016 where much of the trolling of the election came from St. Petersburg now accounts are operated out of Ghana and Nigeria, CNN reports.
- Two former Apple execs are building a startup for people who want a healthier relationship with technology. Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri founded Humane, a hardware and software startup currently operating in stealth, after running parts of Apple’s hardware business.
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