The coronavirus is officially a pandemic and has eclipsed many other news. We have stories of all the big news from yesterday, including the president’s speech and the suspension of the NBA season.
But that other news continues and it turns out I have a lot of little things to say about a lot of the tech news – from my Galaxy S20 review to the Pixel 4A rumors to a newly launched cell phone service called Yahoo Mobile.
We live in an era where technology brands such as Nokia, Palm, Blackberry and Polaroid are taken out of the trash, dusted and shot again. But there is something about Yahoo Mobile that is breaking my brain. I don’t know what Verizon’s strategy is, but when my days of working from home become weeks, I suspect I’ll be bored enough to want something from what the managers smoke.
See you tomorrow. Thanks again for registering Processor, a newsletter about computers. Thanks also for having so broadly defined “computers”. We’ll see you again tomorrow.
┏ Lenovo Yoga C740 review: par for the course. Monica Chin reviews a laptop many people are likely to get because it is relatively inexpensive at $ 729 in-store.
┏ Samsung Galaxy S20 review: just right. Here is my review of the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus. I’ve heard feedback from a few readers that 5G is great in their environment, but I still find it a bit unfortunate that it’s essentially mandatory for any Android phone that uses a top or even mid-tier Qualcomm chip. I just don’t think the extra cost it puts on the phone is worth it.
I would also like to briefly note that Samsung should commit to more than two years of software updates for this phone. It should at least match the Pixel’s three years, but frankly, both could do better. As of this writing, I am looking at a 2016 iPhone SE running the latest version of iOS. Everything is today: I wish I could say that the S20 will age well in three years. For $ 999 and up, I think it should.
My main point in the review is that this is a phone that many people will take for granted, especially as it lands in the shadow of the somewhat disappointing Galaxy S20 Ultra. No. If you want to have the best Android phone on the market and the price isn’t an issue then the Galaxy S20 or S20 Plus is it. Given the pace of Android releases, that can of course change at any time.
Anyway, I would appreciate it like you watched and shared the video. My colleague Brennan King did almost everything himself and I think it worked out well.
Launches and leaks
┏ Pixel 4A leak reveals $ 399 from price. I said on Twitter today that I was hoping for $ 299. I know this is unrealistic and even if I got my wish, we would be talking about the issue of the company causing Android to lose potential to gain market share – a classic monopolistic movement. Still, I think Google should have found a way to lower the price. We saw plenty of very cheap, pretty good Android phones last year, well under $ 400.
┏ Amazon’s Ring announces the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
┏ Verizon launches Yahoo Mobile telephone service. I have questions. So many questions. Here are a few:
- Verizon already owns an MVNO called Visible, now it has Yahoo Mobile. WHICH WILL SURVIVE?
- Is Yahoo Mobile a division of Yahoo, a division of Verizon Media?
- Shouldn’t Yahoo be about content while Verizon handles the communication stuff?
- What else can the Yahoo brand be beaten for in an effort to squeeze the very last drops of goodwill and value it left behind?
- How about and stay here with me, Yahoo! Pro! Biotics !, a delicious yogurt that helps stimulate a healthy digestive system?
- Does anyone else have a strange warm feeling about Yahoo’s OG mobile WAP services and therefore feel a little sad that this new service is tarnishing Yahoo’s original, great mobile offering?
- Despite all of the above, someone else is fond of the tilted Yahoo! exclamation marks as signal strength bars logo?
Earlier this week, I continued to bring up Pascal’s bet: It is better to overreact to your preparations and precautions. Of course you are wrong and everything will be fine, but if so you have only lost the time, money and dignity you have spent on that preparation. If you’re right, you’re glad you prepared.
We all will, because battling the coronavirus is not an individual act, it is one that helps everyone. By practicing social distance, you help society. There will be many people who do not have the luxury of working from home and many health workers in difficult situations around the world, please do what you can to help them.
┏ It is official: The WHO declares that the outbreak of the new coronavirus is a pandemic.
┏ Trump bans most travel from Europe for 30 days amid a coronavirus pandemic. Last night’s President’s speech was a colossal mistake at every level. The proposed policy does address a problem, but not the major one, that the virus is already present and spreading in the US. It is not a ‘foreign virus’, as Trump called it. It is a virus and we do not know how large it is because we have not tested enough in the US.
Put that aside and note that what the president announced was not really the policy. Our reporter Makena Kelly had to return an hour later and change the story because what the President said on live TV about our government response to a literal global pandemic was factually incorrect. The The White House had to correct the president. Our story contains full details of the travel ban and other suggested policies.
We will recover from this mess and I pray that as citizens we work together to support each other and prevent the worst possible results of this pandemic. If we do that (I call it a ‘when’, not an ‘if’, because I’m an optimist), it will happen despite what happened last night instead of around it.
┏ NBA suspends season as player tests positive for Coronavirus.
┏ E3 2020 has been canceled. We are getting to the point that a conference that is not being canceled will be news.
┏ E3 and GDC cancellations force the gaming industry to think like Nintendo. If the head looks weird, I assure you it isn’t. Megan Farokmanesh spoke to a bunch of people in the game industry about their announcement plans now that E3 is being canceled. To explain the headline; Nintendo has famously chosen to do regular video live streams for game announcements rather than live events.
┏ Amazon is restricting sales of face masks and hand sanitizers because of price gouges from the corona virus. Overall, I’m happy with how aggressively Amazon and eBay have handled this issue, but I wouldn’t be impressed. We come to a real ‘do your part’ moment and great tech also has responsibilities.
┏ Apple is closing all its stores in Italy indefinitely because of the corona virus.
┏ How much will the new coronavirus affect you?. Down-to-earth, informative Vergecast with Nicole Wetsman, Liz Lopatto and Nilay Patel. It was recorded about a week ago and it has gone fast since then – very little of what they discussed is out of date.
┏ How you work at home. This is good advice from Kim Lyons. I want to emphasize the importance of working hours and dressing as if you were going to the office. Those limits make a huge difference. See also Natt Garun’s story about self-quarantine – which she started some time ago after traveling to Italy before we all realized how serious the corona virus was. Another handy tip if you use Zoom for video conferencing, here’s how to hide your cluttered room.
More from The Verge
┏ The EU plans to introduce a ‘repair right’ for phones and tablets by 2021. Yesterday I wrote about how regulation can affect the details of your user experience. Here, regulation would literally affect your phone’s hardware design. I still remain in conflict about this kind of top-down decision making and its effect on potential innovation, but I see the other side just as clearly. We make all kinds of compromises for the good of society and the future of the planet – we should make more! There are no absolute truths here, but it should be reasonably stated that the right to repair falls within the category of reasonable restraints on the wellbeing of all at the expense of product innovation.
┏ California will not appeal the T-Mobile-Sprint case, which means the merger can go ahead. Will this offset the problems that this merger will cause for the mobile industry and consumers? Of course I don’t think so, but it is clear that the merger is a done deal, so I hope more states can win concessions like this as the battle ends.
Under the terms of the settlement, the new T-Mobile, as the combined company is called, is now required to make cheap mobile plans available in California for the next five years, including a $ 15-per-month 2 GB subscription and a subscription of $ 25 per month of 5 GB. It is to provide 100 GB of free high-speed Internet service and a free mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device to 10 million low-income households that have been denied access for five years.
┏ Lordstown Motors wants to avoid the ‘massacre’ of other EV startups. Good interview by Sean O’Kane with CEO Steve Burns. No idea if this company will make it, but starting with the factory seems the right way.
So that’s how we’re going to make it where others haven’t. Most of the others, the massacre … conventional wisdom is that you build something, you get some orders, you start saying how you’re going to make this in quantity, you set a price. And then you look at, okay, now we have to build the factory. And boom, it stops there. None of the massacre that happened more than 20 years ago, except Tesla, no one came to a factory. And we start with a factory. So it’s pretty cool to know that there isn’t that big of a $ 2 billion raise that we need to do later. And that is a great comfort.