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Situational awareness: Two big stories breaking this morning.
In the meantime, today's Login is 1,213 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Bipartisan bills to protect kids online, promote and secure new technologies like 5G and autonomous vehicles, and restrain tech giants' power are a real possibility in 2020 — despite a presidential election and impeachment proceedings preoccupying Washington.
The big picture: Sweeping legislation will still struggle to gain traction, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports. But narrower measures on issues like privacy and antitrust could help lawmakers show they can work across a bitter political divide.
What's next: Lawmakers are likely to unite around the following legislative priorities next year, Capitol Hill aides and industry sources tell Axios.
Yes, but: Last year looked promising for national tech legislation, too. And uncertainty still looms over lawmakers' very top tech policy priority: delivering sweeping online privacy legislation.
Margaret has more here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Misinformation about the coronavirus is testing governments, tech platforms and health officials — as well as a nervous public — in both the U.S. and China, as Axios' Sara Fischer and I report.
Why it matters: The new cycle of misinformation around the deadly disease is testing big tech platforms' ability to police rule-breaking content and China's ability to control domestic criticism.
Tech platforms — including Facebook, Twitter and Google — are scrambling to stop the spread of misinformation about the virus, much of which violates their own content rules.
The Chinese government is facing similar challenges — a change from past outbreaks.
Yes, but: The Chinese government is spreading some misinformation of its own in response.
The big picture: Health care has long been a target of misinformation, because it plays into existing fears. This is especially true for disease outbreaks, which can spread faster than the news cycle is equipped to handle.
Meanwhile: Facebook and hardware maker Razer are among companies restricting employee travel to China amid the outbreak, per the Verge.
When the iPad was introduced 10 years ago this week, there was much debate over whether the device was bringing in the next era of computing or if it was merely a companion device best suited for content consumption.
Why it matters: The iPad hasn't supplanted the computer to the degree that Steve Jobs envisioned. But the tablet has clearly found its niche and it continues to slowly add capabilities once limited to traditional computers.
I remember describing the iPad as nothing more or less than a giant iPhone, noting that such a device had lots of utility, even if it never did replace a computer.
What they're saying:
My thought bubble: As a writer, I still rely on my laptop daily and use an iPad only sporadically, mainly for entertainment on airplanes. But, each generation gets more capable, as evidenced by the recent arrival of Photoshop for the iPad.
Once again, all eyes will be on iPhone sales when Apple reports earnings later today.
Why it matters: Apple may be growing its services and wearables businesses, but both those units depend on a solid base of iPhones.
By the numbers: Per Seeking Alpha, Apple is expected to report:
Meanwhile: Other numbers to watch include iPhone unit sales, services and wearables revenue as well as how the company is doing in China.
This small, hopping insect has what look like mechanical gears to synchronize the kicks of its hind legs when it jumps.