Daily Crunch: FDA approves speedier coronavirus test

A just-approved test could speed up the rate of coronavirus testing, the stock market had a historically bad day yesterday and Russian trolls shift to outsourcing. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 13, 2020.

PS: Hope you’re all staying safe!

1. FDA approves new coronavirus test that could speed rate of testing up to tenfold

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency approval for use of a new test that can increase the rate of testing patients by up to 10 times compared to methods in use currently, Bloomberg reports.

That speed improvement refers specifically to the technical capabilities of the testing process, meaning access to testing is still a separate issue, but it’s still the first commercially available test that has received emergency approval and for which equipment exists in fairly high volume across the United States.

2. Stocks dive on Dow’s worst day since 1987, tech crashes and Bitcoin is no haven

Yesterday was a terrible day for the stock market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by just under 10% — the largest single-day percentage decline since the stock market crash of 1987.

3. Russian trolls are outsourcing to Africa to stoke US racial tensions

According to a pair of reports out from Facebook and Twitter, a disinformation campaign run by individuals linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency is back and focused on the U.S., but this time it’s being run out of Africa.

4. Slack shares plummet 20% after its growth forecast fails to excite investors

Slack’s current-quarter revenue guidance is a tiny bit light, while its full-year revenue guidance is in the middle of expectations. Why is the company being punished, then? Because the world has changed in the last two weeks, and Slack had a very rich valuation.

5. Maintain data security when staff is working from home

Remote work policies are increasingly popular across the tech industry as companies push flexible working arrangements. In doing so, these companies have to prepare their IT infrastructure to accommodate remote working. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Verizon increases network infrastructure investment by $500M

Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) said Thursday it will boost investment in network infrastructure to prepare for the rise in telecommuting and online learning amid the coronavirus outbreak.

7. Reporters Without Borders uses Minecraft to sneak censored works across borders

The organization — collaborating with reporters, Minecraft pros and, of course, a creative agency — has produced an enormous in-game “Uncensored Library” that hosts a variety of suppressed reportage from places like Saudi Arabia, Russia and Vietnam.

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