I am fighting a cold, so you might want to take some vitamin C before reading today's Login (which, in case you were wondering, came in at 1,170 words).
Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals
The effort to bring tech talent into the federal government may have started with the Obama administration, but the same U.S. Digital Service whose founders rescued HealthCare.gov is still at work today trying to modernize other areas of the federal government.
"We’re still here," says Matt Cutts, the former Google engineer who now leads USDS. "We’re still working on things that matter and we’re hiring."
Why it matters: The government has lots of old code running on mainframe computers and is looking for help moving systems to modern, cloud-based infrastructure.
After Trump's 2016 victory, some participants in Obama-era gov-tech initiatives quit. Others, like Cutts, decided public service still made sense for them.
Yes, but: You don't have to stay that long. The USDS hires people for as little as 3 months, with just under 2 years being the average tour of duty. There are currently 180 people at USDS, but Cutts says there's room for as many qualified people as he can find.
The big picture: Many who join do so because they are attracted to the notion of working on bigger, more impactful projects, he says. For example:
The bottom line: In many cases, he says, the barrier to government modernization isn't legislation or bureaucratic entrenchment, but a lack of technical talent.
"There are projects involving people’s lives and hundreds of millions of dollars at risk of not being delivered for lack of one UI researcher, a few engineers or one good product manager."— Matt Cutts
What's next: Cutts is in the Bay Area for this week's Code for America Summit, looking to find as many recruits as possible — and perhaps even his own successor.
Photo: Godong/UIG via Getty Images
Nearly a third of teens take their phones to bed when they go to sleep, according to a new study from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit promoting safe use of technology amongst kids.
Why it matters: Studies show uninterrupted sleep benefits overall health and digital devices interfere with this.
By the numbers:
What they're saying: Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer tells Axios that he was particularly alarmed by the number of people taking their phones to bed when "we all know that devices are taking up too much of our time and that it is not healthy."
"If technology harms our health and relationships, we need to change our ways. It's as simple as that."— Jim Steyer
Meanwhile, the Pokémon Company announced late Tuesday that it's planning to bring Pokémon Sleep to market next year, which will turn players' sleep habits into an element of Pokémon games. Assuming, you know, anyone still sleeps by then.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
If you file taxes with TurboTax, use the budgeting app Mint, or run a small business with QuickBooks, Intuit — the parent company of all of these services — knows at least as much about you as your bank does, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
Why it matters: The company can cross-sell its own products as well as products and services from third parties — like a Capital One Platinum Credit Card or a loan from Lending Club — based on what it knows about you.
Driving the news: Intuit said Tuesday it had agreed to buy analytics company Origami Logic, effectively doubling down on the use of customer data to enhance its marketing.
Details: Whether you're a Mint user keeping a monthly budget or a DIY taxpayer who enjoys the ease of TurboTax, some of your information is shared across all of the company's platforms, per the company's privacy statement.
Intuit has data-sharing agreements with JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo that allow customers to import their bank information more easily to Intuit's platforms. Even if your bank doesn't have an agreement with Intuit, you can sync your accounts using your bank login and password so that Mint can "scrape" your transactions, finding out what bills you have and when they're due.
But, but, but: What Intuit can do with your data without your permission is regulated, thanks to a rule that prohibits tax preparers from using your information to sell you other services without your permission.
Go deeper: Courtenay has more here.
Apple updated its iPod Touch on Tuesday with a faster processor (albeit the same A10 chip that powers the iPhone 7) and support for augmented reality and group FaceTime chat. The new iPod Touch starts at $199 for a 32GB model and goes up to $399 for a model with 256GB of memory.
Why it matters: It's the first update since 2015, CNN notes. The iPod Touch is no longer a top seller for Apple, but still serves a valuable role, especially as an introduction to mobile devices for kids whose parents aren't ready to get them their first iPhone.
Check out some of the browsers that predate Netscape.