World News


Poland Government Minecraft Coronavirus
Countries around the world are going into lockdown mode to slow down the spread of COVID-19, and that includes Poland. The Polish government wants to help the restless students make good use of their time during the mandatory 14-day quarantine, so the Ministry of Digitization is launching a Minecraft server. It’s a part of their Grarantanna program, which is a series of online activities meant to both entertain and educate students who can’t go to classes during this time. Read more for a video and additional information.

EV BYD Face Mask Plant
Electrical vehicle company BYD decided to transform one of its industrial parks in Shenzhen, China to produce face masks and disinfectants to help stop the COVID-19 outbreak. They built the production lines from scratch, including the parts required for the machines, all of which are now used in the world’s largest mass-produced face masks plant with an output of 5-million face masks and 300,000 bottles of hand sanitzer / disinfectants per day. Read more for a video and additional information.

Razer Masks Coronavirus
Photo credit: Kotaku
R Λ Z Ξ R is best known as a global gaming hardware manufacturing company, as well as an esports and financial services provider established in 2005 in San Diego, California. Today, CEO Min-Laing announced that the company will be repurposing some of their manufacturing lines for surgical masks in an attempt to stem the coronavirus pandemic. Read more for additional information.

NBC Universal On Demand Movies
NBCUniversal has just announced that Universal Pictures will make its movies available on-demand the same day as their global theatrical releases. This will start with DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour (opening April 10 in the U.S.), and the company is also planning to make movies that are currently in theatrical release available on-demand starting as early as Friday, March 20 (The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma for now). Read more for a news report and additional information.

The Uncensored Library Minecraft
In several authoritarian countries, the government censors news sources and books, while “Minecraft” is not. So, Reporters Without Borders enlisted 24 builders, who used 12.5 million virtual Minecraft blocks, to build The Uncensored Library in the popular online computer game, packing it full of information that people in those countries, and elsewhere around the world, can access. Read more for two videos and additional informatioon.

Apple Store Closed Coronavirus
Photo credit: Georges Seguin
Social distancing is one way to prevent cluster outbreaks of COVID-19 and as many already know, is hard to accomplish in Apple Stores, especially on busy weekends. As of today, Apple has closed all of their retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. Everything is working as it should online, or for those without a computer, an alternative would be to download the Apple Store app on the App Store. Now if you were looking to get something repaired in person, that will have to wait for at least two weeks. Read more for a video of Steve Jobs touring the very first Apple Store.

E3 2020 Canceled
It’s official, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has canceled this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo video game convention due to the coronavirus outbreak. The show was set to have some big name exhibitors, despite PlayStation backing out of the event, including Nintendo, Xbox, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Capcom and lots more. Read more for two videos of the very first E3 show from 1995.

Stanford University Coronavirus
Stanford University officially announced today that a faculty member who works in a clinic has tested positive for the coronavirus, but fortunately has not been in the work environment since experiencing symptoms. Provost Persis Drell said in a letter Friday that beginning Monday, classes at the university will move to online formats in place of in-person instruction. Read more to see a Stanford University online seminar on robust manipulation in complex environments.

South Korea Coronavirus Google Play App
Coronavirus cases are surging in South Korea and app developers are looking to help stop its spread. Developers are now using public government data to enable users to see how close they are to where a confirmed Covid-19 patient has been. Once downloaded, the app shows the date a patient was confirmed with the disease, their demographic data, and most importantly, their location history. Read more for a video and additional information.

Boeing 777X First Flight
Boeing’s 777X jetliner took to the skies this past weekend in front of thousands at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, at 10:09 a.m. local time for a successful three hour, 51 minute flight over Washington state before landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field. This new widebody aircraft will deliver 10 percent lower fuel use and emissions and 10 percent lower operating costs than the competition through advanced aerodynamics, thanks to the latest generation carbon-fiber composite wing and the most advanced commercial engine ever built, GE Aviation’s GE9X. Read more for two videos and additional information.