Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Apple announced the new iPhone SE, a smaller, cheaper iPhone that’s about half the price of the iPhone 11. Apple is making the phone available to preorder on Friday before it starts shipping on April 24.
- The US government is in talks with AI startup Onfido to roll out immunity passports for those recovered from COVID-19. In documents seen by Business Insider, Onfido said its immunity passport would “include test results tied to a person’s identity”, and claimed it could rapidly scale up to nationwide distribution.
- Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt says people should “be a little bit grateful” for companies like Amazon that have “really helped us out” in the coronavirus fight. “Think about what your life would be like in America without Amazon,” Schmidt said during a video interview hosted by The Economic Club of New York on Tuesday.
- The Defense Department’s inspector general cleared Microsoft’s $10 billion JEDI cloud contract award, but said it couldn’t fully investigate rival Amazon’s claim that President Trump interfered in the process. The Pentagon watchdog said the White House asserted a “presidential communications privilege” in preventing witnesses from discussing communications between the White House and DoD officials on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure.
- Airbnb hosts will be charged fees if they cancel summer bookings due to coronavirus concerns. Some Airbnb hosts have decided they won’t be taking people into their homes through summer because of health concerns, but if they cancel bookings now Airbnb will penalise them.
- Vandals have now set 50 cellphone masts in the UK on fire because of a conspiracy theory linking the coronavirus with 5G. One such attack forced the evacuation of some homes, while another damaged a mast providing coverage to an emergency coronavirus hospital.
- The federal fraud trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes will be delayed until October due to the pandemic. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the judge ruled that it was not “realistic” to expect the trial to start as scheduled in July without putting participants in the case at risk of exposure.
- MIT researchers built a wearable glove to encourage lucid dreaming. The device is still in development, but has been tested on over 50 people.
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google will “significantly” slow down hiring for the rest of the year. The pandemic has forced many companies to go on hiring freezes.
- Amazon has shut all warehouses in France after a court order that it can only ship essential items. The court ruled Amazon isn’t doing enough to protect its warehouse workers from the coronavirus.
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