Tech news you need to know today




This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.


Google's parent company Alphabet launched a pilot website through its company Verily to help screen and distribute tests for COVID-19 on Sunday, CNBC reports. The tests are limited to Bay Area cities for now, and users have log in using Google.


President Trump addressed the website launch on Sunday, and appeared to chide Google by dropping a company statement onto the floor. Trump caused some media confusion by announcing the website on Friday, claiming Google would build the website and the tests would be distributed nationwide.


Many Apple engineers are still having to come into work at its HQ because its systems make it difficult to access sensitive information from home, the Wall Street Journal reports. Apple is conducting daily health screenings of all its on-site staff.


Apple announced on Friday it would close all of its stores outside of China until March 27. Apple will continue to fulfill purchases made online or through the Apple phone apps.


Airbnb is letting guests around the world cancel their reservations for a full refund and no cancellation fees. Airbnb bookings have taken a hit as the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the world


Elon Musk reportedly told SpaceX employees they have a much higher chance of dying in a car crash than from the coronavirus. Musk said the evidence he'd seen showed the virus wasn't among the 100 biggest health risks in the US, according to Buzzfeed.


Oracle CEO Safra Catz told all of its workers, except for "critical employees," to work from home because of the coronavirus crisis. "We need each of you to focus on your health and helping to contain the spread of the virus," Catz said in a memo.


Activists created a 12.5 million block digital library in "Minecraft" to bypass censorship laws. The virtual building is called "The Uncensored Library," and was created by Reporters Without Borders.


Tech billionaire Michael Dell says Dell is donating millions of dollars in cash and tech to fight the coronavirus. Dell does not yet have a mandate for employees to work from home, and employees who must be on site to work are expected to report — but the company has increased the frequency of cleaning its office to three times a day.


One of Facebook's board members is leaving after a spot opened on the board of Berkshire Hathaway. Facebook board member Kenneth Chenault is stepping down, the latest in a series of recent big moves on the board of directors.

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