Facebook And Twitter Pull Out Of SXSW

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Facebook And Twitter Pull Out Of SXSW
Number 1064
Broadcast Date MARCH 3, 2020
Episode Length 4:04
Hosts Sarah Lane

US tech jobs growing disproportionately, Amazon ramps up same-day deliveries, OnePlus plans 5G robot snowball fight.


Facebook and Twitter have both pulled out of the SXSW conference in Austin, TX, due to concerns related to coronavirus, although SXSW organizers say the event is still proceeding as planned in March. Facebook said it would be restricting social visits to physical offices and conducting job interviews with video conferencing tools. Twitter announced in a blog post, “Beginning today, we are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able. Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us — and the world around us.” Twitter has more than 4,800 employees.
Amazon announced it banned over 1 million products that claim to either cure or prevent the COVID-19 virus, and also terminated tens of thousands of deals from merchants that attempted to price gouge customers on hygiene masks and hand sanitizer.
Amazon announced that by adding smaller fulfillment centers in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando and Dallas, it will increase same-day deliveries in those areas by 3 million items. Prime Now, the existing same-day service, offers roughly 20,000 items for rapid delivery, along with groceries. Customers will see a new “Today by” tag on items that are eligible, with an overnight delivery option as well.
Foxconn expects revenue to drop 15% in Q1 due to shutdowns and travel restriction related to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, Foxconn believes normal production should resume by the end of March. Foxconn operates several factories in China and Apple is one of its biggest customers.
Sharp announced it will convert part of an LCD panel factory in Osaka, Japan to make surgical masks, with domestic supply exhausted amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Sharp will be able to produce 150,000 masks a day within weeks and could eventually reach 500,000. Foxconn previously converted a factory in Shenzhen, China to mask production. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to make 600 million masks available every month. US and UK health advice is that masks are useful for some patients and health practitioners but "there is very little evidence of widespread benefit for members of the public."
Apple tentatively agreed to a settlement in dozens of class action lawsuits over the company's practice of slowing down iPhones with aging batteries. Pending court approval, Apple will offer $25 to anyone who buys an iPhone 6 or 7 model, for a total settlement of $500 million.
Financial trading app Robinhood saw a second day of glitches Tuesday that prevented users from trading on its platform. A message on its website said, “We are experiencing a system-wide outage.” Earlier updates on the site said that all trading was “operational,” but users were still getting error messages. A Robinhood spokesperson said the outage was caused by “infrastructure that allows our systems to communicate with each other.”
New census data from Brookings Institution in a brief for the American Enterprise Institute show that since 2010, the overall number of tech jobs increased in numerous US cities, but only a few cities increased their overall share of tech jobs. The 10 metro areas with the highest shares of digital service jobs accounted for nearly half of these jobs nationwide in 2018, and about a third of the national increase was concentrated in San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Austin. The majority of cities either lost tech jobs or saw no change in that time period.
OnePlus announced the world's first 5G-powered interactive snowball fight using custom-built robots facing off against humans for 70 consecutive hours. The event will take place in Lapland, Finland, starting at 12pm GMT (4am PT) on March 9 and finishing on March 12, and will include a livestream. The snowbots can fire snowballs at 120mph and will have 5G chips from Qualcomm, which can be remotely controlled with their phones.


Preceded by:
"Facebook Rolls Out 3D Photos to All Images"
Facebook And Twitter Pull Out Of SXSW
Followed by:
"Google Assistant Now Reads Webpages"