Hi from Vancouver, where even the buses would like to apologize if they have inconvenienced you in any way.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
After more than 10 hours of grilling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Congress is no closer to regulating the platform's privacy practices than it was when the hearings started, Kim Hart and David McCabe report.
The bottom line: It's clear that lawmakers haven't coalesced around a regulatory end-goal, even though the threat remains. As House Energy and Commerce chairman Greg Walden put it after the hearing, "I don’t want to rush into legislation minutes after having the first hearing of this magnitude, but certainly if they can’t clean up their act we’ll clean it up for them.”
Regulation remains a long shot, even if we're hearing more about it. There were plenty of regulatory skeptics among Republicans at the hearings — and no single proposal emerged from the sessions as the go-to way to regulate Facebook.
Meanwhile: Here are some other notable takes on the hearings:
Supasorn Suwajanakorn speaks at TED2018. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED
Artificial intelligence is on the verge of reshaping human society. But whether that change will be for the better or worse has been the subject of much debate at this year's TED conference.
Why it matters: Even those laying out the case for a positive AI future painted a picture of society being fundamentally reshaped by the presence of significantly smarter computers. Some of the TED talks describe exciting — sometimes alarming — changes arising from this technology.
No poker face: Dolby Labs chief scientist Poppy Crum spoke in positive terms about the end of the poker face.
Crum talked about how being able to see that which has been traditionally hidden could allow a high school counselor to sense when a student is silently struggling or could enable police to tell the difference between a person who wishes to do harm from someone having a mental health crisis.
My thought bubble: I can't help but worry about a world in which the vulnerable are unable to keep even their innermost thoughts private.
New video tech: From there, things got even more exciting (and/or terrifying depending on your perspective) as Google computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn showed how current technology can be used to transform existing photos and videos to create new videos saying nearly anything.
But, but, but: Even if there's a good system in place to label such creations, just their existence could make it easier for people to deny real videos. And I'm skeptical that bad actors won't also get ahold of this or similar technologies to generate fakes without such warnings.
More to come: The discussion continues throughout the week, with Ray Kurzweil set to talk on Friday about whether AI will usher in the singularity.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
ESPN will officially launch new direct-to-consumer streaming service within the ESPN app Thursday called ESPN+. The move is the company's biggest step yet to offer something directly, rather than via pay TV operators, Sara Fischer reports.
It will cost $4.99 and will include most ESPN content with the big exception of the majority of live sports being shown on TV. For that, users will still need a pay TV subscription. Users can buy ESPN+ through the ESPN app.
Why it matters: While the new service is meant to be the rebirth of ESPN for the digital age, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro is adamant that the new service is meant to be an extension of the brand, not a replacement to its waning linear television business.
Harold and Kumar will soon have a new meatless option for their favorite burger. That’s right: White Castle will begin to sell a meatless version of its signature “slider” burger for $1.99 or as part of a meal in 140 locations in New York, New Jersey, and the Chicago area.
My thought bubble: Until this deal, the Venn diagram of White Castle and Impossible Burger was two adjacent, entirely non-overlapping circles.
Too soon! The Onion's take on the Zuckerberg hearings has a fictional congressman reassuring the Facebook CEO that he has nothing to worry about:
"We just need to pretend like we’re doing something right now, due to the fact that people are pretty mad at you. But once the heat dies down, you can go right back to whatever it was you were doing all along. Seriously, you can relax. Oil executives, big bank CEOs — they’ve all been in that chair before and have come out totally fine. You have absolutely no reason to worry."