Nadella's book "Hit Refresh" goes on sale Tuesday. Photo: Microsoft

If it seems like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is all over the media, it's not your imagination. He has a new book out called "Hit Refresh," and the promotional interviews have generated some new nuggets:

Microsoft should not have bought Nokia's phone business. It's long been clear that Nadella didn't like the deal, which he rapidly unwound upon becoming CEO. But in the book, Nadella makes it clear he had voiced his opposition directly to then-CEO Steve Ballmer.

  • "I voted no," Nadella writes, referring to an open poll Ballmer did of the senior leadership team. "We were chasing our competitors' taillights."
  • He noted that months later Microsoft wrote off the entire value of the deal and laid off thousands of former Nokia workers. "It was heartbreaking."

Nadella once shadowed Reed Hastings. Concerned that he had spent his entire career at one company, he spent a year being mentored by the Netflix CEO, who was a member of Microsoft's board.

  • "I had not seen any other large organization or a fast-growing organization from the inside," Nadella said in an interview with the Washington Post. "He let me do that for a little while. That was the kind of thing I sought out.

Thoughts on AI worries: Both Nadella and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates think Elon Musk's concerns about machines with smarter-than-human intelligence are overblown.

  • "The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about isn't something that people should feel is imminent," Gates told WSJ. Magazine as part of a joint interview with Nadella. "This is a case where Elon and I disagree. We shouldn't panic about it. Nor should we blithely ignore the fact that eventually that problem could emerge."

The need to control design and data: Nadella raised what he says are more pressing concerns, including the near-term issues resulting from machines making decisions based on data fed to them by humans.

  • "There are still a lot of design decisions that get made, even in a self-learning system, that humans can be accountable for," he said. "So we can make sure there's no bias or bad data in that system. There's a lot I think we can do to shape our own future instead of thinking, 'This is just going to happen to us.'"

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Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

President Trump cast an outdated vision of "the 'suburban housewife'" as he swiped this week at Joe Biden's newly minted running mate Kamala Harris — building on his months-long play to drive a wedge through battleground-state suburbs by reframing white voters' expectations.

The big picture: As he struggles to find an attack that will stick against the Biden campaign, Trump for a while now has been stoking fears of lawless cities and an end to what he's called the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream.” It’s a playbook from the ‘70s and ‘80s — but the suburbs have changed a lot since then.

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
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