Paul Hudson / Flickr CC

Not at South by Southwest this year? No problem—here are some of the highlights for tech industry watchers:

  • Ride-hailing woes: Uber and Lyft left town last year over a fingerprinting regulation, but the alternatives didn't hold up on Saturday night when rain and thousands of visitors created a massive spike in demand.
  • Policy: Among the many topics on display this year, policy issues seem to be getting extra attention, which is not surprising given the recent election and subsequent White House transition. Among the standouts, a talk by Texas Competes chief Jessica Shortall on her advocacy for LGBTQ rights.
  • Nick Denton: Gawker's founder had to sell his media company last year, and now he's finally spoken publicly about the ordeal, the future of media, and what he'll do next.
  • Joe Biden: The former VP took the stage on Sunday to talk about his cancer moonshot, and encouraged the tech industry to use its talents to help cure cancer. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker spoke on Friday.
  • Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca: The investors separately took the stage to chat about investing and politics. Sacca also addressed the recent Uber sexism scandal.
  • Tumblr and Planned Parenthood team up: The two announced an initiative to rally the tech industry behind the health organization.

Go deeper

House prepares to pass revised COVID relief bill as White House talks hit roadblock

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House appeared likely to move ahead Thursday with Democrats' revised $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill as 11th-hour negotiations with the White House continued.

The latest: After meeting for more than 90 minutes on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shared a phone call at 1 p.m. Thursday. They plan to speak again later this afternoon, according to a Pelosi aide. Wednesday's meeting was the first in-person meeting between the two since August, when negotiations stalled.

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The prime example of something highly improbable that became conventional wisdom: The idea that both interest rates and inflation will remain near zero for well over a decade.

Why it matters: As Axios' Dan Primack writes, private equity firms (the polite rebranding of "leveraged buyouts") have historically bought companies and loaded them up with debt.

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Our febrile world is not normal.

The big picture: The precautions that we're taking against the spread of COVD-19; the way in which the president of the U.S. delights in violating political norms; the fires, hurricanes and other signs that catastrophic global warming has arrived; the virulent spread of the QAnon conspiracy theory — all of these things, and many more, represent a stunning break with the world as we knew it.