PSA: Google Meet to limit meetings to 60 minutes on free plans September 30th

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google said in April it would allow unlimited-length meetings in its Google Meet video chat platform for all users until September 30th, and it looks like the company is sticking with that timeline. After September 30th, free versions of Meet will be limited to meetings no longer than 60 minutes.

“We don’t have anything to communicate regarding changes to the promo and advanced features expiring,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge in an email Friday. “If this changes, we’ll be sure to let you know.”

Under the extension, anyone with a Google account could create free meetings with up to 100 people, and with no time limit.

Also going away September 30th are access to advanced features for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers,…

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Author: Kim Lyons

US tightens trade restrictions on Chinese chipmaker SMIC

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The US Commerce Department has added China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), to its entity list, after it determined there an “unacceptable risk” that equipment SMIC received could be used for military purposes, Reuters reported.

The move blocks US computer chip companies from exporting technology to SMIC without an export license. SMIC is the latest major Chinese firm to be put on the entity list; the Trump administration added phone manufacturer Huawei to the list in 2019.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Commerce Department wrote in a letter to the computer chip industry on Friday that exporting products to SMIC would “pose an unacceptable risk of diversion to a military end…

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Author: Kim Lyons

The coronavirus pandemic by the numbers

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

I’m dwelling on numbers because this week, the US officially counted 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. Words like “grim milestone” just don’t seem adequate in the face of that toll.

Numbers are valuable. Case counts help scientists track the infection’s spread. Death tolls help policy makers figure out where things are going right — or horribly wrong. They’re utilitarian.

They can also hit like a derailed train.

Since I started this column two months ago, more than 345,470 people have died of COVID-19 around the world. 57,993 of those deaths were in the US.

That’s 345,470 people, each with families and friends and coworkers and enemies and cats and dogs and people who just saw them on the street while walking to the bus. They’re gone. Their…

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Author: Mary Beth Griggs