Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Google has announced its Stadia gaming service is now free to anyone who signs up with a Gmail address. Until now, users needed to subscribe to the $9.99-a-month Pro version of the service, which lets you stream games at 4K HDR and provides access to a selection of games.
- Google has banned the Zoom app from all employee computers over ‘security vulnerabilities.’ The company sent an email to all employees with the Zoom app on their computers and told them that the app would stop working this week.
- The UK’s unicorn founders issued a dire warning that COVID-19 will crush promising tech startups without financial help. Deliveroo, Darktrace, and Graphcore are all valued above $1 billion and were among the 12 startups that cosigned a letter demanding access to support from the UK government.
- Zoom has turned to Facebook’s former security chief to help fix its mounting privacy issues. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former security chief, announced that he will be working with Zoom as an outside consultant to help the growing video-chat platform improve its security, privacy, and safety.
- Airbnb is already looking to raise another $1 billion to see it through the coronavirus crisis. According to Bloomberg, the company is still on the hunt for further investment and is weighing up different types of debt, from first-lien debt to convertible notes.
- Zoom is being sued by a shareholder accusing the company of hiding security and privacy flaws in its app. Shareholder Michael Drieu accused the company of overselling its privacy standards and failing to disclose that calls were not end-to-end encrypted.
- Buzzy fintech startups have seen a boom in downloads since the start of coronavirus lockdowns in Europe, but experts predict an eventual market shakeout. Research from Finch Capital indicates that the challenger banking space will see one or two key players emerging in Europe and the US respectively.
- Wing, Alphabet’s drone company, says it’s seeing a significant uptick in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toilet paper is one of the top three items being demanded right now, the firm said, while Wing is also delivering soup, baby food, and over-the-counter medicines from Walgreens.
- Google’s Gmail service was down for more than 2,000 users on Wednesday morning, according to the website Down Detector. Google’s status website acknowledged the disruption, and said it had fixed the problem late Wednesday morning.
- Couples living in Wuhan, China were so eager to marry after the city’s strict lockdowns ended that they flooded and crashed the marriage application system. A local marriage application system run by Chinese tech platform Alipay saw a 300% increase in traffic, causing a temporary logjam.
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