That’s right: After 10 years in D.C., I’ve packed up and relocated to New York City. I’m still the senior tech reporter at POLITICO, and it’s been a busy past few weeks — so here’s a taste of what you missed:
- Tech throws lobbying might behind Airbnb: “Tech giants and investors have rushed to Airbnb’s defense as it tries to ward off new housing regulations across the country, fearing that a loss for the home-sharing website could create headaches for the rest of the internet economy. . . Many of Silicon Valley’s leading players — including the trade groups that represent the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter — share Airbnb’s belief that the local rules violate the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 federal law that prohibits regulators from penalizing companies for the content and conduct of their users.”
- N.Y. bombing revives emergency alert debate: “An emergency smartphone alert sent by law enforcement during the manhunt for the Manhattan bombing suspect is sparking new calls to upgrade the system, which critics say is urgently in need of a technology boost. . . . [[T]he brief notification didn’t include a photo of Rahami — instead, it urged readers to “see media for pic” — and didn’t link to more information about the suspect. That’s because wireless alerts aren’t able to handle multimedia, like photos, video or maps, and they’re capped at 90 characters in length — limitations that irk officials who say much more data should be sent to the public.”
- White House eyes regulation around AI: “The White House plans to release a policy roadmap for the fast-growing field of artificial intelligence this fall, laying out its vision for potential regulation of an industry that encompasses everything from smartphones that talk back to their owners to cars that drive themselves to supercomputers that sift through reams of data to predict the spread of disease. The effort — with only months left in the Obama administration — comes as companies like Facebook and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, try to ensure government doesn’t overreact to the technology by creating rules that will hinder its development.”
For perhaps every political or technology reporter in all the land, July has proven to be an exceptionally busy month. So here’s a solid rundown of the stories I’ve done since my last update, plucked from my newsletter, sent earlier today. Which you should sign up to receive, by the way:
Spotify declared war on Apple again, and I had to go a solid 800 words without a single shot at Fifth Harmony. I also got the big scoop on everything in Hillary Clinton’s tech policy platform a day before she unveiled it. I spent a bunch of time creepin’ on Paul Ryan for a pair of exclusives about his trip to San Francisco and fundraiser with Apple CEO Tim Cook. I wrote about Tim Kaine, newly plucked Dem VP candidate and prototypical grandpa, who has at least some background on techy things. From the backseat of a car to Ptown (true story) I interviewed a bunch of members of Congress. who are putting together a broadband initiative that’s somehow already in trouble. And before D.C. melted from the summer sun, I did a piece on the feds exploring whether to ask foreign travelers to reveal their social media accounts.
Entering the convention, I scooped a story on Uber pairing up with Dems in Philly for a special VIP service for select convention attendees. (GOP folks didn’t get much.) And while at the DNC, I moderated a panel with top Clinton and Sanders digital folks about election 2016 and data.
Somehow, it’s still election season! Awesome! Here are two new scoops from me, if you missed them over the past two weeks:
Apple CEO raising cash for top House GOP’er: “Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a fundraiser with House Speaker Paul Ryan next week as the iPhone maker tries to strengthen its relationships with key Republicans — despite its decision to pull support for the GOP convention because of its distaste for Donald Trump.”
Hillary Clinton to release tech agenda: Before the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee released her platform, I snagged a draft copy. As predicted, it “strongly defends net neutrality, calls for a special commission to study encryption and commits to bringing broadband to 100 percent of U.S. households by 2020,” among other items.
Hello friends. As part of a new project to share my work more widely, I’ve decided to revive my old website. So, welcome to it! You’ll find a permanent link to a very small selection of clips on the left, along with a way to contact me about story ideas or other requests — and you can (and should!) subscribe to my new newsletter, no subject, if you haven’t already. (It is monthly, it is short, it features my work yet contains a lot of jokes about pop music.)
For now, here’s my latest scoop, published on Saturday: Apple won’t aid GOP convention over Trump:
Apple has told Republican leaders it will not provide funding or other support for the party’s 2016 presidential convention, as it’s done in the past, citing Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities.
Unlike Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which have all said they will provide some support to the GOP event in Cleveland next month, Apple decided against donating technology or cash to the effort, according to two sources familiar with the iPhone maker’s plans.