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COVID-19

Another auto show bites the dust, temporarily. The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) has been postponed from April to late August, hardly prime time for a car show, on account of concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak. That makes three major auto shows called off recently: in China, the mid-February Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2020) was postponed from its April 21 opening date with no makeup date announced. The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) with public days March 5-15 was canceled in late February, the week before

Propping up your $900 stock price and cranking out the new Tesla Model Y is not “essential business.” And so the Alameda County Sheriff told Tesla Tuesday to cease operations at its massive Fremont, California, plant outside San Francisco. This a day after Bay Area counties told employers to shut down non-essential businesses and have employees shelter at home for three weeks in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Tesla’s largest factory is in Fremont. It had just begun producing, and shipping, the first Model Y compact SUVs in a

It’s been a tough week for Detroit, with the president yapping at US automakers to produce ventilators, shields, and masks faster. Now the date-shifted North American International Auto Show is kaput for 2020. Last held in January 2019 and slated this year for June 2020, the show organizers called it off when it became likely the downtown convention center, TCF Arena, would be requisitioned for use as a FEMA field hospital to support hospitals overtaxed treating coronavirus patients over the summer. The show has now been reset for June 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced many public spaces to temporarily close, but “essential” businesses can remain open even in US states that have issued closure orders. A leaked AT&T memo tells employees that it believes its retail locations are essential, but the people working on those stores have expressed fear and outrage on the company’s internal message board.  As the pandemic has unfolded, AT&T closed 40 percent of its locations, but many employees have been assigned shifts at the remaining 60 percent of stores that remain open. AT&T distributed

Since COVID-19 first began to spread, several of us with digital health wearables have been wondering whether their data could be used, either individually or in aggregate, to help diagnose the disease. However, with fever being the most commonly cited diagnostic, that rules out almost all popular health and fitness trackers. One exception is the Oura Ring, which tracks body temperature along with heart rate and respiration. In an exciting development, UCSF researchers have kicked off a joint project with Oura to equip 2,000 San Francisco emergency workers with rings

Companies the world over are scrambling to figure out how to deal with coronavirus and its associated impacts, and Apple is no exception. According to one insider, the company still plans to launch the iPhone SE 2 (rumored to be called the iPhone 9) in upcoming weeks, but that the iPhone 12 debut will be delayed. Analyst Jon Prosser has published a series of tweets in which he predicts that the iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 has entered production, that there will be a 5.5-inch version(!) of the phone, and that

For the past few years, manufacturers like Google, Intel, and IBM have been working on implementing universal quantum computers and demonstrating they can be used to perform useful work. Another company, D-Wave, has focused on building quantum annealers rather than a universal quantum computer. Quantum annealing can be used for a more limited subset of problems, but this approach also helped D-Wave be one of the first manufacturers to market. Now, the firm is opening up its quantum computers to anyone who has ideas for how to use them to

As another sign of the times, Stanford repurposed its planned Human-Centered AI (HAI) Conference into a digital-only, publicly accessible symposium on how technology has been and can be employed in fighting the spread and assisting in the treatment of COVID-19. We heard from researchers, doctors, statisticians, AI developers, and policymakers about a wide variety of strategies and solutions. Some of them have been working on this problem for a long time, some have quickly re-purposed their flu research, and others have shifted entirely from what they were doing before because

Many businesses are closed or operating with reduced hours as a way to encourage social distancing. Some countries and US states have even mandated that some types of businesses and public spaces close for the next few weeks. GameStop stores are still open, which seems inadvisable at best. However, one upshot is that the company has decided to release Doom Eternal today, one day early, in an effort to avoid crowds.  Doom Eternal is the sequel to 2016’s rebooted Doom title. It once again follows the Doom Slayer as he

GameStop has told its employees that it considers its own stores “Essential Retail” at the moment and that they should resist any law enforcement efforts to order a store closure. Employees were given flyers with the GameStop corporate number printed on them and instructed to hand them to the cops, should they show up to enforce a necessary public health order. Two days ago, GameStop told its employees to set demo stations back up after they were dismantled to prevent them from being infectious vectors. It also told them they

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