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Google’s Back to Office Plans

  • May 04, 2021

Tip of the Week

If you’re planning to restart your commute to the office soon, you might be surprised to see technologies newly in use for buses, subways and other shared transportation. Brian X. Chen, The New York Times’s consumer technology columnist, runs down some of the options to digitally pay for transit:

With workers gradually returning to offices, many are preparing to commute. Something to be aware of is that your options to pay for public transportation may have changed over the past year to include touch-free options, like paying with the tap of a smartphone rather than inserting a ticket or a card. That’s a boon in a pandemic-induced era of germophobia.

For iPhone owners, Apple Pay is now accepted by many transit operators in areas like the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. For Android owners, Google Pay is also accepted by dozens of transit agencies.

So how do you set this up? The sites will vary slightly depending on where you are commuting, but the first place to check is your transit agency’s website. For example, Bay Area commuters can visit the Clipper website and click on Pay With Your Phone. From there, the site will list steps to transfer or start a new Clipper card on Apple Pay or Google Pay.

  • A big lawsuit with big stakes: In a trial that starts on Monday, the maker of the Fortnite video game is claiming that Apple uses the power of its App Store to stifle competition and hurt app developers. My colleagues Jack Nicas and Erin Griffith wrote about what this court case means for the world of apps and iPhone users. (Jack also told DealBook what he’s eager to hear from witnesses.)

  • The Clubhouse town square, or a weapon of authoritarians? Vivian Yee and Farnaz Fassihi explore the ways that Clubhouse, the audio-only conference app, is becoming one of the few places for people in repressive countries across the Middle East to freely connect and discuss taboo issues. My colleagues also ask: Will Clubhouse — like Facebook and Twitter — morph from a tool of free expression to another way for many governments in the region to control their citizens?

  • Quarantine necessity is the mother of invention: Bloomberg News wrote about several websites that have sprung up in Singapore during the pandemic to rent stuff like exercise bikes, portable washing machines and electronic pianos to travelers who are required to isolate in hotels or other government-chosen facilities for two weeks.

The washer and dryer can be musical instruments? Yes, they can. (Turn the sound on for the full experience of this Rick Astley tune, belted out in laundry machine beeps and slamming doors.)

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