Hi again from Las Vegas, where it's been a long week here at CES. Wait, I'm being told it's only Tuesday. That can't be right.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, speaking at CES 2018. Photo: Intel
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich certainly pulled out all the stops for his CES keynote Monday night. The two-hour talk included a demonstration of autonomous cars, a flying taxi and a drone light show, along with a host of product announcements.
The key points: Intel was trying to show its Mobileye deal is paying off, demonstrating one of its prototype self-driving cars and announcing a new deal with China's SAIC Motor.
Highlight reel: Krzanich also brought out former NFL player and current broadcaster Tony Romo to talk about the company's Intel True View technology that lets you view sports from any angle. But Krzanich initially mentioned Romo before showing a clip of Patriots QB Tom Brady.
“People get me mixed up with Tom Brady all the time,” Romo quipped. Krzanich joked the same thing happens to him.
Tackling the elephant in the room: Intel didn't shy away from talk about the recently disclosed chip flaw affecting it and the rest of the industry. Krzanich praised the industry for working together and noted that as yet there haven't been any customer data losses.
"We are working tirelessly to ensure it stays that way," he said.
Encore: The drone display, which Krzanich said broke a Guinness record for largest indoor display without use of GPS, didn't end with the keynote. A couple hours later Intel augmented the Bellagio's usual water-and-light show with another round of dancing drones.
A poster at CES2018 showing some of the speakers who aren't white men. Photo: Ina Fried / Axios
How eager is CES to show appear diverse? It's got me on a giant billboard as you enter the event, along with a few other women and people of color.
The reality: While it calls us "featured speakers," all the solo keynote speakers are men, a fact that has engendered lots of criticism. As for my role, I am moderating a small breakout session on Thursday afternoon on the future of robotics. I'm hoping it will be a good discussion on an important topic, but I am hardly a featured speaker.
What CES says: I had a long chat with CES senior VP Jeff Joseph on how CES approached this year's speaker lineup and its thinking going forward. Here are his key points:
My thought bubble: I respectfully disagree. My small presence is augmented, not diminished, by hearing from other diverse speakers, especially those in prominent roles.
When it comes to tech leaders, there are plenty of women and people of color. True, we are not all CEOs, or even close. But a broad audience on the future of consumer electronics can certainly benefit from hearing from women and non-white leaders who are not chief executives. Plus, there are a fair number of people of color and women who are CEOs, and I think it's fair to say a good-sized cross section would enjoy hearing from them.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
The addictive power of the technology that dominates every aspect of daily life is getting more and more attention from people who may have enough influence to do something about it.
Why it matters: Criticism of technology's impact on society is not new, but smartphones and social media are becoming even more pervasive, particularly for children and teenagers. Now a larger number of mainstream voices from former execs to investors are raising pointed questions about the impact of iPhones and Facebook on the mental health of the people who use them.
Axios' David McCabe has more here on what people are saying in D.C., across the tech industry and at CES.
My thought bubble: While some people here certainly have views on the subject, it’s hardy the center of conversation at CES. People here are more interested in what’s the next gadget they can add to their collection than addressing the fact they already have too many.
That doesn't mean it's not an issue worth paying attention to (she says, looking down at her phone.)
Sinclair's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media would give the conservative-leaning company control of an additional TV station in Des Moines, Iowa — one of the most important presidential primary media markets in the country.
Why it matters: It underscores Democrats' worries about the deal giving a right-leaning company significantly more control over local news. The Sinclair-Tribune deal is expected to be approved by regulators this quarter. Sinclair also already has a significant footprint in other major primary states, including New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Why local news matters: Local news is still the most popular way for people in America to get their news — something merger opponents fear could be exploited if a conservative-leaning broadcaster reaches more than 70% of American households.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, told us that if the merger goes through, Sinclair will have "extraordinary power to influence what we see, hear, and learn."
Don’t forget: We still don't know which stations the Justice Department might push Sinclair to divest from, before allowing the deal.
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