The video conferencing app Zoom has become suddenly ubiquitous over the past few weeks, as the coronavirus shutdown closes schools, businesses, and keeps us all indoors. Shares of Zoom dropped 9% on Monday, adding to their sharp declines in recent days, as security and privacy vulnerabilities are reported. There is also new competition from other established video conferencing apps, who have access to more capital than Zoom. Skype, owned by Microsoft, is but one. Read the rest
Amazon will delay its annual marketing and money-making Prime Day due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest
Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau says the country has signed an agreement with Amazon.com for the distribution of critical emergency medical supplies such as masks, face shields, gowns, ventilators, and test kits in the COVID-19 crisis. Read the rest
On Friday, Disney announced that Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice. Read the rest
Cirque du Soleil just launched 'CirqueConnect,' where you can view shows -- it's especially great for kids stuck indoors during the pandemic shutdown.
All of the company's live shows are canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, and they are exploring financial options that include bankruptcy, reports Reuters.
Las Vegas casinos and resorts, including the one that hosts Cirque's shows, are all shut down. Read the rest
O'Reilly Media's events, from the old Emerging Tech Conference and OSCON to FOO Camps and Strata, have long been energized and productive gatherings of geeks from around the world. Communities were forged there and emerging ideas were accelerated to action. I have fond memories of those real-world scenes, including the 2005 ETech Conference, one of the very infrequent times Xeni, Mark, Cory, and I were all in the same place. Photo evidence below. Sadly, O'Reilly president Laura Baldwin has announced the shutdown of O'Reilly's in-person events division. That marks the end of an era in computer culture. From O'Reilly:
Read the rest
It has been a rough few weeks as we’ve seen the COVID-19 virus take a toll on our livelihoods, our families and the world economy. People are losing their lives, and businesses are suffering in the shadow of revenue losses and a volatile stock market. The virus has had a material impact on O’Reilly’s in-person Events division as well. We previously made the painful decision to cancel our Strata California and Strata London events. Today, we’re sharing the news that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all future O’Reilly in-person conferences and close down this portion of our business. Without understanding when this global health emergency may come to an end, we can’t plan for or execute on a business that will be forever changed as a result of this crisis. With large technology vendors moving their events completely on-line, we believe the stage is set for a new normal moving forward when it comes to in-person events.
Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its largest gain in a single day since 1933. Read the rest
Four senators, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, have written a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to ask what measures are being taken to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19. The coronavirus outbreak that causes this deadly disease has now infected more than 20,000 people throughout America. Read the rest
photo by Julian Mark
Restaurants and boutiques in San Francisco's Mission District -- a vibrant neighborhood at the heart of the City's struggle with gentrification and inequality -- are boarding up their windows apparently in fear of riots or robberies. The businesses are closed until at least April 7 due to the “shelter in place” mandate. From Julian Mark's story in Mission Local:
“We actually don’t want to do it,” said Dylan MacNiven, the owner of West of Pecos. “I don’t think it’s good for the public to see this, but now that everyone else has done it, we’re going to be the only one on the street without it.”
MacNiven was in the process of placing the final boards on his windows on Thursday afternoon, and he said the bar and restaurant was hesitant — but then a multitude of surrounding businesses had done the same[....]
“We’re doing it so we can sleep at night,” said Needles and Pens owner Breezy Culbertson.
Culbertson said she will be out $300 to board the windows. Just one of their front windows would cost $2,000 to replace. “It’s a bummer because it feels like it is bad for morale,” said a man named Scott who was helping Culbertson install the boards.
"Apocalypse Chic: Valencia Street businesses board up their windows" (Mission Local, thanks Tim Daly!)
Read the rest
“We’re doing it so we can sleep at night,” said Needles and Pens owner Breezy Culbertson.https://t.co/4h4XXViseD— Mission Local (@MLNow) March 20, 2020
Tesla has agreed to cut down on the number of active workers inside Elon Musk's electric vehicle factory in Fremont, CA, but authorities say they have yet to comply with other coronavirus lockdown measures, like not making more cars right now.
“Tesla needs to comply with the health order,” said a county spokesman Wednesday. Read the rest
"[We were] trying to figure out ideas, and one of our other general managers over at Cafe Touché said 'Hey what about this?'" (General Manager Tommy) Riemer said. "I immediately made a phone call to Trimark (which supplies toilet paper to the Beacon Tap) ... and ordered as much as I could so we could offer it to customers as a little comic relief."
Riemer ordered 300 rolls. He said the response from customers has been "amazing" and he has already given out 80 rolls.
Major U.S. passenger and cargo airlines say they need more than $50 billion in federal bailout money as the coronavirus pandemic closes businesses and dramatically slows down air travel.
A lobbying group that represents 10 U.S. passenger and cargo airlines said Monday that in a worst-case scenario, the airlines will “run out of money completely sometime between June 30 and the end of the year.”
The aid, if received, would be the industry’s first broad bailout since the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. It is also the clearest sign yet of the financial damage coronavirus and the draconian measures governments are taking to stop it are having on American businesses.
Airlines for America, which represents carriers including Delta, United, American, and Southwest, recommended passenger carriers immediately receive up to $25 billion in grants to compensate for reduced liquidity and in the medium-term $25 billion in low- or zero-interest loans.