Breaking from Davos: President Trump met with three dozen tech leaders in Davos this morning for about a half-hour. Topics included education and the economy, with Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty both giving brief remarks.
And yes, today's Login is coming to you again from Davos, but you don't have to be a head of state or muckety-muck to read it. That said, hello to the muckety-mucks as well.
No matter who you are, today's Login is 1,228 words, a 5-minute read.
Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
European countries are caught in the middle of dueling pressure campaigns from the U.S. and China over whether to let equipment made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei into their 5G networks.
Why it matters: It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" choice that could leave Europe alienating a major trading partner either way.
Driving the news:
Background: Huawei is in the spotlight for a variety of reasons.
What they're saying: Even as it's been drawn into broader political battles, Huawei has made considerable technical progress, according to one tech executive.
Yes, but: Ekudden said that, regardless of who's winning the tech race on 5G, uncertainty over the rules of the 5G road has harmed business.
The big picture: U.S.-China tensions and the emergence of 5G have been key topics at this week's World Economic Forum. Both issues affect nearly every country and company.
Cruise Origin, a driverless EV that Cruise plans to use for ride-sharing. Photo: courtesy of Cruise
Cruise unveiled a six-passenger, electric, driverless vehicle in San Francisco Tuesday night. As Joann Muller reports, the GM-controlled company heralded it as the start of a new era of low-cost, shared transportation that will save the average household $5,000 a year.
Why it matters: With no steering wheel, pedals or gasoline engine, the boxy Cruise Origin, co-developed with Honda, represents "the transportation system you’d build if you could start from scratch," according to Cruise CEO Dan Ammann.
Yes, but: It's not clear how Cruise — which scrubbed plans to launch a robo-taxi service in San Francisco in 2019 — would turn that vision into reality, much less a viable business.
The math is a bit fuzzy, Joann reports. She has more here.
The effort to block a sale of the entity that controls the .org internet top-level domain is intensifying as more political leaders and tech leaders are speaking out against the deal.
Why it matters: The Internet Society, which gets much of its funding from .org, stands to earn more than $1 billion from handing control to a venture capital-backed private entity. Critics say that will put cash-strapped nonprofits at risk of exploitation.
Speaking to a group of reporters in Davos, nonprofit leaders including Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth pointed out long-term problems that could arise from putting .org in private hands. Ethos Capital could later decide to sell control of .org again, and there are plenty of ways private ownership could compromise groups that use .org.
Yes, but: Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and others have come out in favor of the deal, as noted on a website put up by the deal's backers.
Go deeper: Esther Dyson fights .org privatization
Senators from both parties were seen wearing Apple Watches during the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday, seemingly in violation of the chamber's ban on electronic devices, as Ursula Perano reports.
Why it matters: The no-phones rule in the decorum guidelines is meant to cut off access to the outside world. The latest versions of Apple Watches have cellular capabilities, meaning lawmakers and their staffers could text, call and surf the web even if they leave their other devices outside the room.
What we know: Per Roll Call, which first reported on the issue, lawmakers seen in the Senate chamber with watches on their wrists were:
Ever wonder why fancy hotels have telephones in the bathroom?