“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you" … Sorry, I was just washing my hands before I hit send.
Today's Login is 1,449 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The remote work plan many companies are launching in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus doesn't work for everyone — even in the tech industry, and even for people whose jobs involve sitting in front of a screen all day.
Why it matters: While remote work can be an important tool for helping slow the spread of the disease, it's not a panacea.
Driving the news:
Yes, but: The key phrase in those work-from-home edicts was "those who can do so."
There are many tech jobs that don't lend themselves to remote work, beyond those you'd expect:
Some of the limits on these roles could change with added software and security features designed to protect customer data — but those would require care and time to implement.
The big picture: Those tech jobs are in addition to the more obvious examples of jobs that don't easily move to remote work:
The other side: Telecommute policies could help even those who do have to show up at the office.
The bottom line: Shifting to a new way of working so quickly will take some adjustment — both at the individual level, for telecommuting newbies and for the tech companies themselves.
Five years ago, Bill Gates gave a talk about how unprepared society was for a global health epidemic. Today, that advice seems prescient as the world grapples with COVID-19 — and as TED itself has announced that it's delaying its annual conference until July.
Why it matters: While the specifics of this coronavirus are indeed novel, the notion of a global pandemic shouldn't have surprised government and business leaders.
“Right now the world isn’t ready to fight a highly infectious disease. In fact, of all the things that could kill more than 10 million people around the world in the years ahead, by far the most likely is an epidemic, from either natural causes or bioterrorism.”— Gates, in a letter to those visiting the mock Ebola clinic at TED
Fast forward: Gates is also playing a role in the current outbreak, both by speaking out and by providing money to combat the coronavirus and mitigate its societal impact.
Go deeper: Watch Gates' 2015 TED talk
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
A bipartisan pair of senators, in a letter Tuesday, are urging the Justice Department to investigate Google's search operations as well as its advertising business, Margaret Harding McGill reports.
The big picture: The letter from Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) comes as the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee holds a Tuesday hearing on ways that digital platforms favor themselves over their competitors.
Details: Hawley and Blumenthal, both members of the Judiciary Committee and former state attorneys general, cite recent reports indicating the Justice Department is focusing its antitrust investigation into Google on the company's advertising business.
What's next: Luther Lowe, Yelp's senior vice president of public policy, will testify at the hearing that Google has biased its search results to favor its own products to the detriment of Yelp and consumers.
Quibi, the mobile video streaming service set to launch next month, has capped its ad partnerships for its first year at 10 companies, according to executives, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: Quibi has sold out its first year in ads — $150 million in revenue — ahead of its April 6 launch. That number is fixed via pre-sold ad agreements with those 10 companies.
Details: The 10 exclusive partners are Progressive, Discover, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, AB InBev, Taco Bell, Pepsi, T-Mobile, Google and Walmart.
How it works: Companies can run a pre-roll ad that can be either 6, 10 or 15 seconds long before an episode of any show. The ad load means that each brand will exclusively sponsor each episode of a show. The platform won't have any mid-roll ads or ad pods.
Quibi hasn't accepted any political ads as part of its first year of ad sales, according to a source familiar with its plans.
Be smart: Quibi CEO Meg Whitman told Axios in an interview in January that she expects the majority of subscribers to Quibi's service to choose the ad-supported tier, which puts more pressure on the company to get the ad experience right.
Sure, what the kids are doing on TikTok is impressive. But, arguably, even more so is what the olds are doing.