Feb 26, 2018

Axios Login

Hi from San Francisco, where this week I am monitoring Mobile World Congress from afar — and going to NewCo's Shift conference in person.

Supreme Court to weigh whether U.S. can regulate tech across borders

The Supreme Court case concerns foreign servers housing Microsoft's consumer email accounts. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will once again find itself wrestling with the balance between digital privacy and law enforcement — an uncomfortable yet increasingly common challenge for the justices, Axios' Sam Baker reports.

What's happening: In the case involving Microsoft, the court will have to decide just how much access the U.S. government should have over emails stored on overseas servers.

Not the last word: As Axios' Joe Uchill notes, the case is a key one, but raises issues beyond which the court can address. Both sides are looking to Congress to deal more comprehensively with the issues. One bill, known as the Clarifying Overseas Use of Information (CLOUD) Act, already has some bipartisan support.

Samsung Galaxy S9's debut at Mobile World Congress

Samsung's Galaxy S9 and larger-screen S9+. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

The big cellphone trade show has kicked off in Barcelona, with Samsung's Galaxy S9 (and larger-screen S9+) getting much of the early attention, as expected.

Buzz: As we noted in our story Sunday, the new phone retains the popular all-screen design from last year but adds Qualcomm's new high-end trip and a camera with several new photo tricks.

What's new: The best way to get a flavor is to watch the fun video that we put together. But for those who insist on text, here are the highlights:

  • Super slo-mo with short bursts of action captured at 960 frames per second.
  • AR Emoji — While somewhat similar to Apple's Animoji, the two features aren't the same. Where Apple focuses on putting your face and voice on other characters, Samsung's new feature creates your own emoji and avatar and syncs your speech to it.
  • The main rear camera on the S9 has dual aperture settings for better low-light capture.
  • The device will be available for pre-order March 2 and ships March 16. And, oh yeah, it has a headphone jack too.

Meanwhile, we'll be recapping all the other key announcements from MWC here.

Sprint, Delta, Airbus working to bring high-speed net to the skies

Photo: Airbus

A coalition of tech and aviation companies are working together to bring next-generation wireless technologies to future aircraft.

The details: The "Seamless Air Alliance" initially includes Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Indian carrier Bharti Airtel, though they expect others to join the effort. Its goal is to create an easy way for partners to deal with the costs and technical challenges of installing, maintaining and billing for in-flight connectivity.

“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air?" asks Greg Wyler, founder and executive chairman of OneWeb. “With the launch of our first production satellites set for later this year, we’re one step closer to bridging the global digital divide on land and in the air.”

Why it matters: Today's inflight internet access, while gradually getting better, tends to be slow and expensive. It remains to be seen just how much this group can solve the issues — but more competition seems like it could only help.

The AI optimist who is running for president

Delaney speaks during a Clinton County Democrats dinner in Iowa on Feb. 2, 2018. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Axios' Kim Hart has the low-down on Rep. John Delaney, a Maryland Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, who sees the dawn of artificial intelligence as a net positive — as long as the government is prepared for it.

"The cost of doing nothing is not nothing," he tells Axios. "You pay a huge price if you fail to act around change."

Why you'll hear about this again: Delaney co-founded the congressional AI Caucus and has sponsored "Future of AI" legislation. He's a technology booster — "History tells us innovation is always positive," he says — but one thing he's not so optimistic about is technology's impact on children.

Kim has more here.

Take Note

On Tap

Trading Places

  • Ford has named Kumar Galhotra as president of Ford North America, replacing Raj Nair who left abruptly last week after an internal investigation found he had violated the company's code of conduct.


  • Officials say it was Russia, not North Korea, that hacked into the opening of the Winter Olympics.
  • Dropbox filed to go public on Friday, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has served in Congress since 1992, didn't receive the California Democratic Party endorsement this weekend. Neither did her progressive challenger, Kevin de León, but he earned nearly 20 percentage points more among the delegates' votes, per Axios' Alexi McCammond.
  • A new study says the confluence of big data and artificial intelligence has softened legacy companies' anxiety, and made them think they — and not startups — are the new, new thing, Axios' Steve LeVine reports.
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Chicago rapper Towkio traveled 100,000 feet toward space to record his latest music video. Vice has the details here.