Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- Hackers tried to infiltrate the World Health Organization, the latest in a string of cyberattacks aimed at health officials during the coronavirus pandemic. WHO Chief Information Security Officer Flavio Aggio said the identity of the hackers was unclear, but the effort was unsuccessful.
- Tech billionaires including Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg promised 18 million masks to fight COVID-19. Panic buying means masks are in short supply even for hospital staff, so much so that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that as a last resort healthcare workers should use a bandana or scarf.
- Microsoft canceled its Inspire partner conference ‘as an in-person event’ due to coronavirus crisis. The decisions follows Microsoft’s earlier cancelation of its Build developer conference, which it moved it to an online-only event.
- Amazon Prime deliveries are delayed for as much as a month as the company shifts to focus on coronavirus. Customers ordering items deemed “non-essential” during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are seeing delivery dates up to a full month away.
- SoftBank-backed real estate brokerage Compass just slashed 15% of staff as coronavirus hits the housing market. An email to staff reviewed by Business Insider also revealed other cost cutting measures, including a 25% reduction in the executive team’s salary and CEO Robert Reffkin reducing his salary to $0.
- Elon Musk has delivered 1,000 ventilators to help California hospitals treat COVID-19 patients, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Musk has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, but said last week that his factories would produce ventilators, “if there’s a shortage.”
- An Amazon’s Oklahoma City general manager told employees in a voicemail on March 23 that an Amazon fulfillment center worker in the city was diagnosed with coronavirus. Amazon is working with the local health department to determine what the effect may be on other employees, according to the voicemail shared with Business Insider.
- As startups face layoffs and cash freezes, will-writing startup Farewill is hiring extra staff to deal with an increased demand for its service. The firm finds itself in the unusual position of trying to hire 15 to 20 new staff to cope with a spike in demand, in part thanks to older customers now being unable to access high-street services.
- Airbnb hosts are furious that the company is sticking them with the cost of letting guests cancel due to the coronavirus crisis. Many say their business have been hit hard by the change Airbnb made; some say they can only last a few months without the money they make from Airbnb, because it represents the bulk of their income.
- Amazon is offering some kids movies and TV shows for free as families stay inside amid the coronavirus outbreak. Shows like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and movies like “Shrek Forever After” are now available to stream for free on Amazon’s Prime Video service.
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