I've staked out my favorite place to be for SXSW: a spot thousands of miles away.
The Austin skyline at sunset. Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc. / Corbis via Getty Images
Much of the agenda at SXSW is the same every year: party, eat great food and self-promote. (This tweet from The Verge's Casey Newton captures it in a nutshell.)
That said, the parties and startups tend to have different themes and buzzwords each year, so Axios' Sara Fischer and Kia Kokalitcheva have a breakdown of what to expect this time.
The big SXSW 2018 trends, according to those two, who will also be moderating various panels and reporting back from the event:
In the wake of growing public concern over gun violence and a nationwide student movement, President Trump summoned leaders of the industry to the White House to explore their culpability. No, not the gun industry. The video game industry.
In a last-minute move, the long-anticipated meeting was closed to reporters but the Washington Post's Tony Romm did a good job of finding out the tone and substance of the meeting.
Here are the key takeaways, per WashPost:
North Korea fans at the recent Winter Olympics. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Tyson Meadors, the director for cybersecurity policy for the National Security Council (NSC), said Thursday that if North Korea ever decided to integrate with the world economy, it could be an outsize cybersecurity powerhouse:
"If we brought North Korea into the rest of the economy of the world... they could be a relatively complementary partner in the global economy."
Think of it as the carrot to Trump's stick, Axios' Joe Uchill explains. Meadors, who was speaking at a conference by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management and US Cyber Challenge, was saying that North Korea could have a place in the world if it retreats from persistent nuclear brinksmanship and joins the international community.
Could it happen? Possibly. Meadors noted later in the speech that many smaller countries, particularly Israel and Estonia, have considerable cybersecurity industries. Israel's industry comes largely from its military elite cyber forces, the venerable Unit 8200.
One last thing: "Cybersecurity talent can be used to many, many, many, many different ends. We're finding that countries that wield that power responsibly, that teach their workforce how to do so ethically — good things come with that," Meadors said.
U.S. athlete Kyle Mack competes at the recent Olympics. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images
Speaking of North Korea, it now appears that the malware that attacked the recent Winter Olympics may not have come from North Korea after all.
What's happening: Joe reports that researchers at Kaspersky Lab found evidence that the Olympic Destroyer malware, which briefly downed Pyeongchang systems in advance of this year's Olympics opening ceremonies, was a false flag operation designed to make it look like the attacks came from North Korea.
Why it matters: Attribution is a tricky business with real consequences. If the U.S. was to incorrectly attribute the attacks to North Korea, that could mean sanctions, war or a host of undesirable outcomes.
Joe has more here.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios
False news spreads faster than true stories, and it's because of humans, not bots, according to a new study published yesterday in Science. The MIT researchers' theory, reports Axios' Alison Snyder, is that our preference for novel news, which is often false, may be driving our behavior.
The bottom line: "It's important to avoid temptation to shift the blame elsewhere and focus on these non- human and foreign actors. Even if we solve bots and the foreign interference problem, it wouldn’t solve the problem of online misinformation," says Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College, who wasn't involved in the study.
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