The story that truly mattered in tech yesterday was, of course, the coronavirus. Another big conference got canceled, Google I/O in May. That means the big, uncanceled tech events include Apple’s WWDC and its rumored spring event, Microsoft’s Build, and of course SXSW. SXSW starts next week and despite the fact that yet more companies pulled out of it (including longtime SXSW stalwart Mashable), the conference itself hasn’t come around to canceling. We’ll see.
Since the big cancellation came from Google, I’m going to steal one of Google’s favorite cliches: it’s still “early days” for this virus. Yet more cases are being discovered in the US and that pace will likely increase as testing does. What the effects on big tech will ultimately be is still unclear.
Don’t shed a tear for media who can’t go to these events, but do feel bad for developers who won’t get one-on-one time with engineers. Mostly, though, please just have empathy for the human cost and do your part to help ensure the spread is limited.
Nicole Wetsman continues to keep our main article on what you need to know about the coronavirus continually updated, please give it a read.
The other big story that mattered yesterday, of course, was the Super Tuesday primary election. We kicked off our election coverage in an official way with a series of explainers on the tech policy that’s going to matter this year. They’ll be updated on a regular basis and the whole project is something I’m proud to be associated with — but all the credit for the work goes to our policy team.
Last note: for those who have been asking if I am going to review the regular Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus, the answer is that I finally got them yesterday. I’ve got a pretty good idea what to focus on, but if you have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Okay actual last note: I will say that I haven’t come around to a clear line of thinking about the latest Apple rumors about the MacBook beyond the obvious: hurry the hell up and get those bad keyboards replaced with something new as soon as possible.
Coronavirus and big tech
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The Verge covers the 2020 election
┏ Why we’re covering the 2020 election. Nilay Patel:
If you need help sorting through data privacy bills or keeping the Justice Department rumors straight, we’ll have a single place where you can see everything laid out as clearly as possible. We’ll be refreshing these guides through the election — so whatever happens between now and November, they’ll stay up to date.
┏ Our landing page for all the guides are here: The Verge guide to the 2020 election, and here are the guides we’ve published yesterday:
- What the 2020 election means for encryption, by Zoe Schiffer
- How Congress is taking on big tech companies, by Makena Kelly
- The regulatory fights facing every major tech company, by Russell Brandom
- Section 230: everything you need to know about the law protecting internet speech, by Casey Newton