Thursday. Sorry, I thought you asked what day it is. (I had to look it up myself.)
Anyway, today's Login is 1,405 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The coronavirus pandemic is creating cracks in the federal government's long-held opposition to conducting business online, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
The big picture: Quarantines and social distancing are challenging the way legislators, judges and policymakers are used to operating — though some remain hesitant to upend centuries of tradition and rules.
What's happening: Federal officials are grappling with how to function remotely, with many looking to technological solutions.
Where it stands: As the pandemic crisis has propelled a cascade of emergency funding bills, the legislative branch arguably has the most urgent need to find alternatives to in-person meetings.
The other side: Supporters of remote operations say Congress shouldn't let tradition get in the way of doing more work virtually.
Be smart: 230-year-old institutions don't change quickly, especially ones that rely upon precedent for much of their work.
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Google will now require all advertisers, not just political ones, to verify their identities on all its platforms, including Google Search, Google News and YouTube, Axios’ Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: Verification tends to weed out spammy advertisers, including those that sell things like price-gouged hand sanitizer or fake coronavirus face masks.
How it works: Advertisers will need to submit personal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who or what they are and the country they operate in.
For marketers, the transition should be pretty painless. Google will be inviting advertisers to complete the verification program in phases.
The big picture: Google rolled out a similar process to verify political advertisers in 2018. Thursday's announcement was planned before the coronavirus pandemic, but it will help weed out spammy advertisers exploiting the crisis.
Meanwhile: Google is also announcing today a new feature in search that will alert users when it believes the results it is surfacing don't really answer the query.
Recent polling shows Americans are looking more favorably on the tech industry and are especially cheered by efforts to help track coronavirus cases, Margaret reports.
Why it matters: The industry's image was taking a beating over concerns around misinformation, privacy and other issues before the coronavirus pandemic. But sentiment has shifted as the virus has forced more Americans to rely on online services.
By the numbers: 38% of Americans say their view of the tech industry has become more positive since the start of the outbreak, according to a Harris Poll that surveyed 2,029 adults between April 18 and 20.
Background: Apple and Google earlier this month announced a Bluetooth-powered project to notify people via smartphone if they've come in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Yes, but: Another recent poll found mixed feelings when it came to Americans’ willingness to actually download a contact-tracing app and, in particular, let data from it be shared with health officials.
This week was to be the annual TED conference, with thousands of business leaders, celebrities, artists and scientists gathered in Vancouver to share ideas. Instead, Wednesday became the first step in the organizers’ effort to take their entire event online.
Why it matters: While many conferences have moved online, the shift is particularly tricky for luxury events, where much of the value is around in-person networking and socializing.
Driving the news: In many ways, Wednesday’s half-day “prequel” was not unlike a typical TED session. There were a series of talks and performances by musicians, along with short interstitial videos and time in between for hobnobbing in a chat room.
Between the lines: The challenge for TED, and others that do high-end events, is creating an experience that people will pay thousands of dollars for without the in-person schmoozing, gourmet food, unique expeditions and other perks. I was somewhat skeptical — but the talks were good, and I found myself using the breaks to check in with people I regularly see at TED.
Yes, but: Useful doesn't mean I'd pay big money for the experience. And my sense of community was largely based on the real-world connections I'd already made attending the event the last several years in person.
What's next: Wednesday's event was a preview of this year's fully virtual TED conference, which will stretch over eight weeks beginning in May.
Wait for it. The expression on this baby's face at the end of the video is priceless.