10 things in tech you need to know today, March 2

Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

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

  1. At least 3,200 Amazon delivery drivers will be laid off by the end of April as the company keeps cutting ties with contractors. Amazon is cutting ties with some of its third-party delivery partners, resulting in thousands of layoffs in recent months.
  2. The World Health Organization has joined TikTok to post ‘reliable’ advice about the coronavirus amid a stream of memes and misinformation. The WHO first posted a video to TikTok about COVID-19 prevention on Friday. On Saturday, it shared information about controversial face masks.
  3. Billionaire investor Paul Singer is reportedly looking to oust Jack Dorsey as CEO of Twitter. As first reported by Bloomberg, Elliott Management – the investment management firm founded by Singer – has purchased a sizeable stake in the social media company. 
  4. Nearly 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for interactive media conference SXSW to be canceled over mounting coronavirus worries. A person who authored the petition said she was “concerned about the hundreds of thousands of people who will be traveling” to Austin, Texas in March.
  5. Huawei is now shipping a significant number of mobile base stations free of US components. The Chinese telecoms giant sold over 50,000 in the fourth quarter, Bloomberg reports, as it looks to work around sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
  6. Developers say they aren’t putting games on Google’s Stadia platform because the tech giant didn’t offer enough money and won’t stick with gaming in the long run. Last November, Google finally launched a major gaming platform that was in development for years: Google Stadia.
  7. Uber has sent drivers guidance about coronavirus that some say ignores the realities of the gig economy. The guidance included four simple tips to prevent the spread of the virus. Some drivers tweeted that the advice was tone-deaf.
  8. One of Google’s biggest critics is launching a paid new service that it hopes will bring about the ‘absolute revival’ of email, outside of Google’s or Microsoft’s control. Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson says that email is broken, and its new service Hey is trying to fix it.
  9. China’s air pollution has dropped dramatically after the coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown has meant drastically lower emissions from cars and factories.
  10. Fear of coronavirus has split opinion among big VC firms over whether they should keep traveling to Asia. One of Darktrace’s biggest backers has shut down all travel while others say the crisis will pass within the next few months.

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