ICYMI we have a new date of our next #BrusselsCalling. We will now host Director General of DG Competition Olivier Guersent on 22 October at 10:30am as moderator of online our media panel on how journalists are covering competition news in these strange and virtual times. Register here, we would love to “see” you there!

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Tech Team

Wait, wait…Covid test can be quicker! [Wired]

The usual Covid-19 testing method involves many cumbersome steps and while this form of testing has proven to be effective, the necessary laboratory analysis means it’s not very efficient. With the coronavirus outbreak still underway, rapid, cheap and easy-to-use diagnostic tests have become a priority. Scientist Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of the CRISPR gene-editing technique, thinks the biotech tool for cutting and gluing pieces of DNA could be essential for combating Covid-19. New tests using the CRISPR genetic modification tool are emerging as a potential solution, as they offer test results in just a few minutes and can also be used at home. Looking forward to one day getting our super-fast, at-home tests.

Be the star of your next video call [The Verge]

Roughly six months into the pandemic and (almost) all of us are pros at changing our backgrounds in video calls to breathtaking beaches or impressive city skylines. But the latest add-on for platforms such as Zoom, Skype or Slack goes even further. It identifies specific gestures and adds comic book style dialogue boxes on your screen. For instance, if you wave, a “Hello” speech bubble appears and if you give a thumbs up a “Yes” graphic appears on screen. This new feature will not only make video calls more efficient but also way more entertaining. Let’s try it!

Greening Silicon Valley [The Guardian]

Google and Facebook join Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, in the race for carbon neutrality, but with two different plans of attack. Google already started its environmental transition in 2007 and announced it has managed to retroactively offset all carbon it has ever emitted since its 1998 founding. It now wants to exclusively use renewable energy by 2030. When it comes to Facebook’s green plans, the company aims to entirely eliminate carbon-emitting generation thanks to renewable energy and wants net-zero emissions for its entire “value chain” by 2030, including its suppliers and users. The question is whether this genuine awareness of the impact of technology on the climate or just another green-washing campaign…

The clock stops on TikTok (maybe) [Bloomberg]

We (might) have a deal! TikTok’s plan to become a stand-alone entity still majority owned by its Chinese parent ByteDance with Oracle having a minority stake has reportedly been accepted by the US Treasury Department. But the saga isn’t over yet…it still has to be approved by both Trump and the Chinese government. As someone who has never used TikTok, all of the drama over trying to keep it accessible in the US could tempt me to see what all the fuss is about. Brussels has been relatively quiet on this topic, although Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton recently ruled out an EU-wide ban but said European data should stay in Europe. Let’s see how this pans out.

In case you haven’t had enough…

Conservative group used a bunch of teens to evade Twitter and Facebook moderation [The Verge]

Luther.AI is a new AI tool that acts like Google for personal conversations [TechCrunch]

Cheaper air quality sensors arrived just in time for the climate catastrophe [The Verge]

Why Are 2 Million People Still Getting Netflix DVDs by Mail? [Wired]

400,000 people have registered to vote through Snapchat [The Verge]

Love getting #TechAways every Friday? Share it with your friends and colleagues, they can subscribe here. Ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Send them our way!