Apple to make face shields for medics amid Covid-19 pandemic
Apple is making face shields for medical workers in a bid to help health services deal with the coronavirus crisis.
In a tweet Apple chief executive, Tim Cook, said the tech company plans to make more than one million shields a week, the first shipment of which was delivered last week to hospitals in Silicon Valley, California. The plastic face shields, which can be assembled in less than two minutes, will be also be distributed globally.
In addition, Apple has sourced 20 million face masks, which it is donating worldwide to help protect people from the virus.
Describing the response to coronavirus as a truly global effort, Cook said Apple was working “continuously and closely with governments” to ensure that the masks and face shields reach those in need.
He added: “Our focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require. For Apple, this is a labour of love and gratitude, and we will share more of our efforts over time.”
YouTube squashes conspiracy theories linking 5G to coronavirus
YouTube will remove content spreading conspiracy theories about the links between 5G and coronavirus after four phone masts were attacked across the UK in 24 hours.
A spokesperson reiterated that YouTube has “clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus” and said the platform was quick to remove such videos.
“We have also begun reducing recommendations of borderline content such as conspiracy theories related to 5G and coronavirus, that could misinform users in harmful ways,” the spokesperson added.
Content that promotes conspiracies about 5G tech, but does not mention Covid-19, will not be removed. However, “borderline content” could be suppressed, causing the loss of ad revenue.
The move from YouTube comes after Vodafone confirmed two of its own masts, and two it shares with O2, were targeted over the weekend, while a further three were attacked last week.
Vodafone UK chief executive, Nick Jeffery, condemned the destruction of the tech infrastructure that is providing “essential connectivity to the emergency services” during the lockdown.
Channel 4 pays out £5m in bonuses as TV ad market falters
Channel 4 has handed out £5m in bonuses to staff as it contemplates cost-cutting measures to cope with the hit to ad revenue being caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Guardian reports that the broadcaster paid out the bonuses, which it was committed to pay based on performance last year, despite reportedly being in talks to access a government-backed £75m credit facility.
According to the publication, Channel 4 is also expected to announce a series of cost-cutting measures, including a temporary 20% pay cut for the executive team and board.
Last week, ITV confirmed that chief executive Carolyn McCall and her top team will not take a cash bonus this year and will commit to a 20% salary cut for the duration of the UK lockdown.
Channel 4 is under particular pressure during the crisis, the Guardian reports, because its £1.1bn annual revenues are derived almost entirely from advertising and sources say the broadcaster could experience a slump of more than 40% in advertising during the second quarter of 2020.
Gaming industry adopts ‘stay at home’ messaging
Video games including Candy Crush Saga and Dirt Rally 2.0 will feature ‘stay at home’ messaging in a bid to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
Games from three of the UK’s leading developers will feature ads saying ‘Stay home. Save lives.’ These include Activision Blizzard-owned King, the publisher of Candy Crush, which has also donated 230 in-game digital advertising screens to carry coronavirus information.
Fellow games developer Rebellion has offered advertising space in its comics for government messaging. Rebellion’s games will display the ‘stay at home’ message on a screen shown before play begins within its Strange Brigade and Sniper Elite titles. PC gamers will also be served a link containing further information about the virus.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has now invited the UK’s remaining 2,000 games developers to get involved.
Vodafone teams up with the British Red Cross on new campaign
Vodafone had launched a new campaign in aid of the British Red Cross as it hopes to spread the message of staying connected during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The mobile company is using its airtime to encourage donations via a short text code shown at the end of the ad. Viewers are prompted to text to donate £5, with 100% of the donation going to the British Red Cross to support its work with vulnerable communities during the coronavirus crisis.
The ‘Keeping the UK Connected’ ad features footage of families during the lockdown exercising together, home-schooling their children, playing instruments, offering cooking demonstrations and contacting their relatives.
Other companies to have launched campaigns over the past week showing the UK staying connected during the nationwide lockdown include Giffgaff, Virgin Media and Barclays.
The release of the Vodafone campaign comes as the telecoms giant had two of its phone masts, and two it shares with O2, attacked over the weekend amid conspiracy theories linking 5G tech with the spread of the coronavirus.