This article on parenting during a pandemic hit home. I'd tell you more but I'm hoarse from arguing with a 7-year-old all weekend.
Today's Login is 1,498 words, a 6-minute read.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Nearly every aspect of daily life has moved online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but voting via the internet is still largely a non-starter, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
The big picture: Officials grappling with making elections compatible with social distancing are focusing on tried-and-true methods like mail-in ballots rather than online voting platforms, which have a limited track record and raise major election security concerns.
Details: Before the pandemic, states including Utah, Washington and Oregon had been experimenting with online voting on a limited basis.
Between the lines: The technology just isn't there yet to build a wide-scale online voting system that supports both a secret ballot and auditable elections, said Dan Guido, co-founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Trail of Bits.
What they're saying: Voatz and Democracy Live agree that it's not yet time for online voting at scale. But, as the pandemic drags on, they're drawing more interest from states in trialing their tech on a targeted basis.
Yes, but: States are already facing budget crunches and can't spend big on cybersecurity, as banks do — all while still accepting a risk of fraud that states likewise can't afford.
Where it stands: Federal lawmakers concerned about the coronavirus are looking to conventional alternatives to crowding the polling places on Election Day.
The annual South by Southwest festival has long been the launchpad of choice for new social apps looking for attention — but even with the festival's cancellation this year during the pandemic, app makers are finding ways to garner buzz, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
Driving the news: Over the last few days, Silicon Valley insiders have been obsessing over a new app called Clubhouse, which lets users join group audio chat rooms.
Yes, but: Just like the many apps that saw fast success among SXSW attendees and subsequently faded into obscurity, the same can easily happen now. Only Twitter and Foursquare have truly endured in the years after hot SXSW debuts.
Notably, Davison was behind Highlight, an app that became the breakout hit of SXSW in 2012. (Remember Highlight? Didn't think so.)
The bottom line: Don't be surprised if more social apps take advantage of the collective need for new entertainment and digital socializing to become hits — but lasting beyond that will be the real challenge.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The anti-Huawei movement continues even as attention shifts to the coronavirus, with a group of tech firms urging the U.K. to find alternatives to using Huawei gear in 5G networks.
The big picture: The approach they propose has also been pursued by some in the White House, though many have cast doubt on its viability, especially in the short term.
Driving the news: The letter, addressed to House of Commons Defense Committee chair Tobias Ellwood, calls on Britain to scrap its current plan, which would allow "high-risk" vendors like Huawei to build up to 35% of its 5G network, as long as they don't supply gear for the network core.
"In short, the U.K. now has the opportunity to put in place the most technologically advanced 5G infrastructure without needing to rely at all on 'high-risk vendors.'"— Letter seen by Axios
The letter is signed by nine less well-known tech companies who have been pursuing whats known as "ORAN," an alternative to traditional radio access network gear using standard servers and open source software.
The best-known company is Japan's NEC, along with Airspan, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, Microelectronics Technology, Super Micro Computer, Altiostar, GigaTera Communications and World Wide Technology.
Yes, but: Such an approach is likely to take time and not be a ready alternative to traditional telecom systems for the first wave of 5G networks. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr blasted it as "pie in the sky."
Bond Capital, a Silicon Valley VC firm whose portfolio companies include Slack and Uber, told its investors on Friday via email that the coronavirus' high-speed spread and impact has similarities to the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
Why it matters: Bond's best-known partner, Mary Meeker, is a former bank analyst renowned for her annual Internet Trends Report, which many investors and entrepreneurs use as a touchstone for where tech is now and where it's going. Her 28-page report to Bond's limited partners, obtained by Axios, shares some structural similarities, Axios' Dan Primack reports.
Meanwhile: Other venture capitalists are also weighing in.
You know what's even better than nuns playing basketball to burn off steam? Nuns playing basketball in a crisis, with play-by-play by (a parody of) NBA announcers.