I t h o u g h t a b o u t w r i t i n g t h e w h o l e n e w s l e t t e r l i k e t h i s, b u t I a m t o l d t h i s t y p e o f d i s t a n c i n g i s n o t h e l p f u l a n d j u s t p l a i n h a r d t o r e a d.
Anyway, today's login is 1,090 properly spaced words, a 4-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
As the coronavirus crisis forces daily life across the U.S. into a new homebound template, the tech industry is swooping in to reshape how we shop, eat and entertain ourselves, Axios' Scott Rosenberg, Kia Kokalitcheva and I report.
The big picture: Trends toward e-commerce, delivery services and online entertainment have long been underway, but this moment is accelerating them — and pushing the companies and industries behind them into a new position of dominance.
Online shopping was super-convenient in ordinary times, but it's even better when you're not supposed to leave the house.
Ordering groceries for delivery has also ramped up, helping with customers' jitters about staying stocked up with the essentials while avoiding crowded supermarket aisles.
Restaurants are also shifting fast to deliveries and curbside pickups as a way to stay in business and help consumers who still want to order hot meals.
With social distancing and new shelter-in-place rules multiplying, Americans are turning even more decisively to digital services not only for remote work but for entertainment.
Our thought bubble: The longer our public health crisis lasts, the more deeply these changes will etch themselves into the economy.
The bottom line: As one of its side effects, the coronavirus pandemic could seal the fate of the digital economy's offline competition.
A quick look at the iPhone App Store bestsellers shows just how much life has changed: the No. 1 download in the U.S. is videoconferencing service Zoom, with other top apps including Google Classroom, TikTok, Netflix and Disney+.
The big picture: We still live on our smartphones, even when we are practicing social distancing. We just use different apps.
Details: A number of app developers are offering extended free trials or discounted subscriptions, while Apple's editors have compiled a list of titles well suited to staying home.
Among the offers:
A new report out Tuesday from a non-profit focused on online free expression is calling on federal lawmakers to mandate more transparency from tech companies rather than weakening the industry's liability shield, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
Why it matters: Internet platforms could embrace policies like transparency requirements as a far more palatable alternative to eroding their immunity from lawsuits over user-posted content, which they say is vital to their existence.
Context: Lawmakers seeking to rein in platforms over a variety of concerns, including online child exploitation, are considering altering the longstanding shield, found in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
Details: Ranking Digital Rights, which is affiliated New America's Open Technology Institute, warns in "It's Not Just the Content, It's the Business Model: Democracy's Online Speech Challenge" that changes to Section 230 will lead to online censorship as companies take an overly cautious approach to content.
What they're saying: The report recommends legislation that would require online platforms to:
"This kind of transparency is not the end goal," Nathalie Maréchal, one of the authors, told Axios. "This kind of transparency is a necessary first step toward accountability."
What's next: Ranking Digital Rights plans to produce a second report later this spring on federal privacy legislation and improving tech company governance.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Google said Monday that it would not launch its nationwide web site for coronavirus information as planned, instead saying it hopes to have it up later this week, as Scott and I report.
Between the lines: As Axios reported this weekend, the national website was only planned after President Trump blindsided the company by announcing it at a Friday press conference.
The big picture: A separate site from Google's sister company Verily, aimed at helping patients determine whether they need coronavirus testing, launched Sunday in two Bay Area counties. But the site quickly reached capacity.
What they're saying: "With local and national guidance evolving rapidly, Google will continue working with relevant agencies and authorities to roll out a website later this week that will surface authoritative information for people in the U.S., including on screening and testing," a statement from Google read.
The penguins are running the aquarium.