Jun 26, 2017

Google replaces Gchat with Hangouts today

Virginia Mayo / AP

The day dreaded by stubborn office workers around the country has finally arrived. At some point today, Google will replace its Google Talk feature in Gmail — known colloquially to most of the world as Gchat — with Google Hangouts.

  • The reasoning: Google's announcement of the switch back in March touts Hangouts' better features and integration with other Google products over the barebones Gchat, which launched way back in 2005.
  • Why it matters: Google's never really made much of a splash in social media — remember Wave? — so, as the company tries to position Hangouts as a business alternative to Slack or a social alternative to Facebook Messenger, it makes sense to force its core group of Gchat users to switch.
  • Why it (really) matters: Look only to the elegiac think pieces on Gchat's death over the past few months to understand why a relatively featureless text chat matters to so many people.

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Hungary's Viktor Orbán granted sweeping powers amid coronavirus crisis

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and its likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 737,929 — Total deaths: 35,019 — Total recoveries: 156,507.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.