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.

Go deeper

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo courtesy of Twitter.

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning them that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
25 mins ago - Science

NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon

Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pence no longer expected at Amy Coney Barrett's final confirmation vote

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence no longer plans to attend the Senate's final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Pence aide confirmed to CNN and Politico on Monday. On Sunday, Senate Democrats' claimed that his presence after possible exposure to the coronavirus would be a "violation of common decency."

Driving the news: Five of Pence's aides were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, including his chief of staff, who is currently quarantining. Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure, which goes against CDC guidelines.

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