Empire State 2.0


New York’s Tech-Focused Future

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recruited former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to lead a commission aimed at "reimagining" the state after the coronavirus pandemic, Business Insider reports. Cuomo said during his daily briefing Wednesday that Schmidt would chair a 15-member group focused on telehealth, remote learning, and internet access and infrastructure.


Why Shopify Revenue Is Surging

Shopify this week reported first-quarter revenue that topped analysts’ estimates as businesses moved swiftly online during the coronavirus pandemic. Sales grew by 47 percent to $470 million compared with the same quarter a year ago, Ad Age reports.


How Anne Wojcicki Works and Leads Remotely

On a Zoom call with Protocol, while pedaling a bike, 23andMe CEO and mom Anne Wojcicki talks about life under COVID-19: "It's madness, and you can't do everything."


An Unfiltered Look at Instagram


It started as a photo-sharing platform, but Instagram quickly rose to become the most influential app of our generation. Now, a new book—"No Filter: The Inside Story of How Instagram Transformed Business, Celebrity and Our Culture"—reveals the strategies, struggles and eccentricities of the people behind Instagram, The Guardian reports.


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How the Apple-Google Tracker Will Work 


At the heart of the Apple-Google coronavirus exposure notification system under development is the ubiquitous Bluetooth short-range wireless communication technology—with some added cryptography. This piece on The Conversation explains how it will work.


Google Will Unwrap Android 11 Next Month

Google plans to hold a June 3 online event next month to unveil the beta version of Android 11, the next generation of its mobile operating system, CNet reports. Typically, Google unveils new versions of Android at Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference and its biggest event of the year, but the gathering was canceled this year due to the coronavirus.


Microsoft Expands Its Surface Lineup


Microsoft has made two long-awaited updates to its Surface lineup, reports Extreme Tech. On the low-end, it’s adding the new Surface Go 2, which is slightly larger and substantially faster than its predecessor. There’s also a new premium Surface Book 3 with an even higher price tag than the Surface Book 2 and the latest flagship Intel chips.


Will the Pandemic Help Us Reimagine the Gig Economy? 

The coronavirus crisis has revealed what’s broken in the independent, or gig, economy. Finding that better path will require a shift in how we think about building technology for freelance workers, argues Leah Solivan, founder of TaskRabbit, in a Fast Company piece.


Sixty Bucks for a Bag of Rice?

Dynamic pricing on Amazon isn’t just about supply and demand, reports The Markup. Experts say the fluctuations are often a result of the algorithms sellers use to optimize their sales.


Eusocial Media


The coronavirus pandemic has fueled a big increase in social media activity—including 1.7 million people who have joined a Facebook Group called “A group where we all pretend to be ants in an ant colony." The group’s popularity, Buzzfeed reports, may be due in part to the fact that users are not allowed to talk about COVID-19. "No human politics," either.