Nov 11, 2018

Apple, Amazon deal and other tech news you missed this week

Photo: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The midterms gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives while the Republicans held onto the Senate. As Axios' David McCabe writes, the fallout is that Congress may start aiming harder at Big Tech. Here are five stories this week buried beneath the election coverage.

Catch up quick: Amazon will now sell Apple-authorized products; traditional sports are looking to new tech to survive; GitHub users created 100 million repositories; Tesla picked Robyn Denholm as new board chair; and the Supreme Court will not hear challenges to net neutrality regulations.

1. Amazon will now sell Apple-authorized products (CNET)

Why it matters: iPhones and iPads will soon be available on one of the most extensive e-commerce sites in the United States. However, as a part of the deal, Amazon will kick Apple refurbishers and secondhand sellers' products off the site after Jan. 4, leaving only "authorized retailers." Amazon is also not listing Apple's home speaker, which competes with its own Echo line.

2. Traditional sports look to new tech to survive

Why it matters, per Axios' Sara Fischer: If the leagues don't innovate, they risk losing the attention and entertainment budgets of younger audiences who are more interested in digital alternatives.

3. GitHub users created 100 million repositories (Venture Beat)

Why it matters: GitHub had 33,000 repositories 10 years ago when it was founded. Today, 31 million developers use the site, and it has come a long way. GitHub is now exploring ways to swap code between popular programming languages like Java and Python for efficiency.

4. Tesla picks Robyn Denholm as new board chair

Why it matters, per Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva: This is a welcome change in corporate governance for Tesla investors who have become concerned about Musk's workload, as he's also CEO of SpaceX. The move is part of a settlement with the SEC over Musk's false tweet that he had secured funding to take the company private.

5. Supreme Court will not hear challenges to net neutrality regulations

Why it matters: The Federal Communications Commission repealed the rules last year, a move that has already been challenged by state attorneys and special interest groups. The three remaining conservative justices said they would have moved to roll back a lower court ruling upholding the 2015 rules.

Go deeper

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 59 mins ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World

South Carolina "kingmaker" Jim Clyburn endorses Joe Biden

Joe Biden with Rep. Jim Clyburn at the World Famous Jim Clyburn Fish Fry in Columbia, South Carolina in June 2019. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black member of Congress, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday, days before South Carolina's primary.

Why it matters: Clyburn wields tremendous political influence in South Carolina, where a weak showing by Biden could be the death blow to his presidential campaign. Biden has long viewed the state as his firewall due to his strong support among black voters, who make up about 60% of South Carolina's Democratic electorate.