Jan 10, 2018

iPod designer says we need to track our digital lives

Tony Fadell, a former designer for Apple who's been called the "father of the iPod," said smartphones and social media have gotten so good at getting users to pursue "another dopamine hit" that tech companies must help users track their use.

Why it matters: Fadell is joining a growing chorus of big names in Silicon Valley who are warning that smartphones and social media are taking over our lives, and leading to everything from depression to the spread of fake news. The country's biggest business group will warn today of a coming "techlash" as the chorus grows.

Go deeper: "The growing war on tech addiction," by Axios' David McCabe.

Here's what Fadell said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:

“Just like we need a scale for our weight we need a scale for our digital lives,” Mr. Fadell said in an interview. He said he became concerned about the issue in recent years as he saw families at resorts spending time with devices rather than each other, or couples taking selfies on ski slopes rather than enjoying the views.

And in a series of Tweets yesterday (see the full Tweetstorm on the topic here), Fadell says the big tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter "are the only ones" who can give users the tools they need to limit digital overload.

Go deeper

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Go deeperArrow18 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.