10 things in tech you need to know today

mars curiosity rover

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is being driven by scientists working from home.

Reuters/NASA/JPL


Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

  1. Google CEO Sundar Pichai says tech companies “shouldn’t get carried away” with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and should let governments and health officials lead the response. In a new interview with Time magazine, Pichai also suggested that working from home may become more normal after the pandemic.
  2. Amazon shut all its warehouses in France because a court ordered it to reassess worker safety. Amazon said the risk of the fine was “too high” for it to keep its warehouses open, and has told all its warehouse staff to stay home for at least five days.
  3. The UK government is in talks with ID verification firms including Yoti and IDnow to develop COVID-19 immunity passports. A spokesman for IDnow, based in Berlin, told Business Insider conversations had revolved around preventing fraud, including people “selling” their certificates on.
  4. Amazon accused the White House of making a “blatant attempt” to derail a probe of Trump’s role in Microsoft’s $10 billion JEDI contract win. The Pentagon’s decision to award the contract to Microsoft last year was a stunning blow to Amazon, which has alleged that Trump interfered in the process because of his personal disdain for CEO Jeff Bezos.
  5. Facebook will alert users who interact with COVID-19 misinformation and redirect them to the WHO website. The new policy only applies to misinformation which the company believes will cause “immediate physical harm,” such as claims about fake cures.
  6. Stock-trading app Robinhood is raising a fresh $250 million at an $8 billion valuation, according to Bloomberg. The Robinhood app experienced multiple outages in March amid widespread market uncertainty caused by the coronavirus – with many Robinhood users unable to access it.
  7. Facebook is scaling back its digital currency project Libra as it tries to win regulatory approval. On Thursday, Facebook announced Libra would be linked to individual currencies and have additional oversight by watchdogs.
  8. Apple’s high-end over-ear headphones will reportedly have swappable parts like the Apple Watch. Rumors about the over-ear headphones have been circulating since 2018, and one Apple analyst has predicted they could make their debut in the first half of 2020.
  9. NASA scientists are having to wear red-blue 3D glasses to pilot the Mars Curiosity rover because their advanced goggles don’t work at home. NASA’s work-from-home setup appears to be effective, as the scientists were able to execute a rock-drilling operation.
  10. Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland is asking to be released early from a federal prison over coronavirus fears. Thousands of inmates have been released from prison in recent weeks in an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

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