CAN THE NEWS INDUSTRY SURVIVE CORONAVIRUS?The economic fallout of the pandemic is crippling the advertising business, as Gannett furloughs staff, BuzzFeed cuts pay, and the Tampa Bay Times reduces printing. Coronavirus has led to a surge in readership—and an existential threat. BY CHARLOTTE KLEIN   March 30, 2020 As Americans are turning in large numbers to media outlets for coronavirus coverage, the industry itself is struggling to stay afloat. “The Coronavirus Is Killing Local News,” read an Atlantic headline last week, while BuzzFeed dubbed the pandemic a “media extinction event.” Alternative weeklies, local dailies, and digital-only newsrooms are struggling with the current advertising free fall, compounding the long-running issue of advertising revenue migrating to big tech platforms like Facebook and Google. BuzzFeed announced last week it would cut pay for its employees through May in an attempt to avoid layoffs, while newspaper giant Gannett, which owns papers such as USA Today,…

47 Million Americans Work in Jobs at High Risk of Layoffs, Federal Reserve Analysis Says

47 Million Americans Work in Jobs at High Risk of Layoffs, Federal Reserve Analysis SaysinBusinessNewsMarch 30, 2020 United States Federal Reserve analysts said the unemployment rate may soar past 32 percent and the coronavirus freeze on the economy could cost 47 million Americans their jobs. Economists at the Federal Reserve’s St. Louis district estimated Monday that the coronavirus impact on the economy may lead to 47 million jobs lost, pushing the nationwide total to 52.8 million people when the estimated 5 million already without work are included. This would push the U.S. unemployment rate to 32.1 percent, which is significantly higher than the 24.9 percent rate of unemployment last marked during the worst stretch of the 1930s Great Depression, Forbesnoted. Last week, a record number of Americans filed for unemployment benefits, 3.28 million – more than quadruple the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982. But the Fed analysis shows the worst of the novel coronavirus’ negative eff…

Is The COVID-19 Outbreak A Trojan Horse To Increase Smartphone Surveillance?

Is The COVID-19 Outbreak A Trojan Horse To Increase Smartphone Surveillance?by Tyler DurdenSat, 03/28/2020 - 22:55Authored by Aaron Kesel via,The coronavirus outbreak is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies increased digital surveillance via our smartphones. All over the world, starting with China – the suspected origin of the COVID-19 outbreak – governments are increasing surveillance of citizens using their smartphones. The trend is taking off like wildfire; in China citizens now require a smartphone application’s permission to travel around the country and internationally. The application is AliPay by Ant Financial, the finance affiliate controlled by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat. Citizens now require a green health code to travel, Yahoo News reported.
China isn’t the only country looking towards smartphones to monitor their citizens; Israel and Poland have also implemented their own spying to monitor those…

Government Tracking How People Move Around in Coronavirus Pandemic

Government Tracking How People Move Around in Coronavirus PandemicGoal is to get location data in up to 500 U.S. cities to help plan response; privacy concerns call for “strong legal safeguards,” activist saysThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started to get data through one project, dubbed the Covid-19 Mobility Data Network.ByByron TauUpdated March 28, 2020 6:50 pm ET WASHINGTON—Government officials across the U.S. are using location data from millions of cellphones in a bid to better understand the movements of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic and how they may be affecting the spread of the disease. The federal government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local governments have started to receive analyses about the presence and movement of people in certain areas of geographic interest drawn from cellphone data, people familiar with the matter said. The data comes from the mobile advertising industry rather than cellphone c…

Asia deploys innovative, if invasive, tech to curb virus

Asia deploys innovative, if invasive, tech to curb virus
Jerome Taylor and AFP reporters • March 19, 2020
Hong Kong is using tech to track the coronavirus Electronic bracelets and phones that report your whereabouts, text messages if you stray too far from quarantine and digital detectives tracking where you've been -- Asian countries have embraced innovative, if somewhat invasive, tech to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
When Hong Kong stylist Declan Chan flew home from Zurich earlier this week he was greeted by officials who placed an electronic device on his arm. The wristband was connected to an app that he had to install on his phone as he headed into two weeks of compulsory self-quarantine at home. It allows authorities to check his location as Hong Kong tries to halt fresh infections from people returning from overseas after two months of making impressive headway against its own outbreak. Speaking to AFP by phone from home Chan, 36, said he was getting used to having a tracker t…

Google Just Confirmed A Powerful Chrome COVID-19 Security Move That Will Impact All Users

Google Just Confirmed A Powerful Chrome COVID-19 Security Move That Will Impact All Users
Kate O'FlahertySenior Contributor CybersecurityMar 19, 2020, 05:32am EDT
Amid the growing COVID-19 crisis and growing security risk, Google has made a powerful move to pause all Chrome releases until further notice.  It is hoping that by pulling back on new releases, it will allow Google’s reduced and remote workforce to focus on the most important aspect to protect users–security. In an update on March 18, Google said: “Due to adjusted work schedules at this time, we are pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases. Our primary objectives are to ensure they continue to be stable, secure, and work reliably for anyone who depends on them.” Google confirmed that it will “continue to prioritize any updates related to security,” which will be included in Chrome 80.  You should follow its blog (or my page) for further updates. The move comes as Chrome 81 for desktops and Android was supposed to start r…

France fines Apple $1.2 billion for anti-competitive acts

France fines Apple $1.2 billion for anti-competitive acts
March 16, 2020
PARIS (AP) — French regulators fined Apple 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) on Monday for striking deals to keep prices high, in the biggest-ever such sanction by France’s Competition Authority.
The agency said Apple and top re-sellers agreed to align prices with Apple’s own pricing for its iPads and some other products. The deals did not concern iPhones.
Calling the fine “disheartening,” Apple defended its operations in a statement saying its “investment and innovation supports over 240,000 jobs across the country.”
Apple added that: “It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards thirty years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries.”
Two “premium” French Apple re-sellers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, were also fined a total of 139 million euros ($155 million). The competition authority said Apple and the re-sellers agr…