Read for Later - "The economic fallout from the pandemic does not appear on track for the quick V-shaped recovery that many had originally hoped for"

This week’s headline quotes one of the key take-aways from online rental platform Apartment List’s July 2020 National Rent Report as rental numbers continue to decline across the country –  the platform’s July housing payments report finds that 32% of U.S. households had not made their full housing payments for the month as of July 8th. (CNBC "32% of U.S. households missed their July housing payments")

You can always check out the Center's trend collection – including our Coronavirus page – to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures.

What new information has sparked your interest? Drop me a line to let me know what you're reading or discovering that helps you consider the future of libraries.

Five Highlights

CNBC "32% of U.S. households missed their July housing payments"
A survey by online rental platform Apartment List finds that 32% of U.S. households have not made their full housing payments for July (as of July 8th), with about 19% having made no housing payment at all during the first week of the month and 13% having paid only a portion of their rent or mortgage – the federal eviction moratorium put in place at the beginning of the pandemic has been extended to the end of August, but many people are still worried about an imminent wave of evictions across the country.

Bloomberg "More U.S. young adults return home as pandemic reduces options"
Utilizing data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s current population survey, sociologist Philip Cohen estimated that 24.8 million young adults were living at home with the biggest increases among 21-year-old men and 20-year-old women – shutdowns of colleges, a lack of opportunities for newly minted graduates, and limited job options are exacerbating the trend.

CNET "Scrabble bans racial and ethnic slurs from the board game"
Hasbro announced updates to the game rules for Scrabble, making clear that slurs are not permissible in any form of the game – Hasbro will continue to update the Merriam-Webster Scrabble Players Dictionary as its official word list in North America and will work with the North American Scrabble Players Association to enforce similar rules in competitive tournaments.

The New York Times "Facebook’s decisions were ‘setbacks for civil rights,’ audit finds"
Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies delivered an 89-page final document stating that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and ads and that its decisions to leave up President Trump’s inflammatory posts were “significant setbacks for civil rights.” See also Bloomberg "Facebook mulls political-ad blackout ahead of U.S. election"

TechCrunch "US online grocery sales hit record $7.2 billion in June"
New research by industry analysts Brick Meets Click and Mercatus finds that U.S. online grocery sales hit a record $7.2 billion in June, up 9% over May, as 45.6 million households turned to online grocery pickup and delivery services for a larger portion of their grocery needs.

Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines

Government Technology "Citibot announces chatbot for local government websites"
South Carolina-based chatbot company Citibot has launched Citibot Web Chat, a built-in web assistant that’s open-ended in what kinds of questions it can answer – the chatbot integrates with a wide range of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and addresses any type of customer service request, leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing developed over years of working with government.

Economics and the Workplace

CNET "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledges $3M to guaranteed income programs"
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey promised to donate $3 million to the group Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, which advocates for a federal guaranteed income.

Entertainment and Media

The Ringer "We’re going to run out of TV"
For a few months, the time lag between production and distribution made TV a unique refuge from the effects of COVID-19, but as reality starts to catch up with the television industry, there are concerns that fall programming options may be limited – the first shows to be affected by stay at home orders were those which were easiest to adjust, including daily, news-driven, unscripted programming, but other genres, particularly scripted shows shot on crowded, enclosed sets, have not been so fortunate, with many studios left with a finite and dwindling supply.

The Verge "Quibi reportedly lost 90 percent of early users after their free trials expired"
Streaming service Quibi only managed to convert a little under 10% of its early users into paying subscribers, according to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower – the short-form video platform signed up around 910,000 users during its launch in April, but only about 72,000 remained after the three-month free trial. See also Vulture "Is anyone watching Quibi?"

The Internet

The New York Times "Amazon backtracks from demand that employees delete TikTok"
Amazon asked its employees to delete the Chinese-owned video app TikTok from their cellphones, before reversing course hours later and saying that the email to workers was sent in error – there is growing suspicion about the app, which has been popular with young audiences, but has come under scrutiny over its security because of its Chinese ownership and heightened tensions between the United States and China over issues such as trade and technology. See also NBC News "Wells Fargo tells workers to delete TikTok as security, privacy concerns grow" and TechCrunch "TikTok saw a rise in government demands for user data"

Engadget "Google Fiber's first expansion in four years is in West Des Moines"
Ten years after starting its high speed internet push, Google Fiber announced a new expansion into West Des Moines, Iowa, leasing space in an open conduit network that the city is building, with plans to offer service throughout the entire network.

Gizmodo "Alphabet's internet-beaming Loon balloons now providing service in Kenya"
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has deployed a fleet of internet-delivering, high-altitude balloons in Kenya, an initiative that the company’s CEO said will be “the first of many” future commercial deployments in other parts of the world – the launch marked the first use of the technology in Africa, as well as the first time Loon had been used for internet connectivity in a non-emergency context.

CNN "Instagram bans all content promoting conversion therapy"
Instagram will ban any content that promotes conversion therapy, a pseudo-scientific process that professes to change a person's sexuality but that has been widely discredited and condemned as harmful by major medical associations – the action follows appeals from activists to block providers from advertising their services online and expands on Intagram’s previous ban on advertisements for the process.

Restaurants, Retail, and Spaces

The New York Times "Uber buys Postmates for $2.65 billion"
Uber has agreed to acquire the food delivery start-up Postmates for $2.65 billion – Uber will combine Postmates with its own food delivery subsidiary, Uber Eats, which has been growing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Recode "Walmart’s Amazon Prime competitor will launch in July"
Walmart plans to launch a new subscription service later this month called Walmart+ that will cost $98 a year and include perks like same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early access to product deals.

The New York Times "Our cash-free future is getting closer"
Social distancing requirements and concerns over hygiene are leading more customers to use credit cards or contactless payments, even among older shoppers, who had usually been among the most reluctant demographic to adopt digital payments – the shift benefits credit card companies, banks, and digital platforms, which benefit from the use of cards and smartphone apps that yield lucrative fees and data.