Good morning from D.C. I'll be hosting this party for the next 48 hours while Ina and Kim are out of town. As always, you can reply directly to this email and it'll go straight to my inbox. It's Monday and you lead a busy life — so let's get to the news.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has rewritten the rules of the information age so thoroughly that there's no mode of communication under his control where the regulations aren't looser than they were a year ago.
Why it matters: Many top Republican priorities have been stuck in Washington gridlock since Trump took office. Not so at the FCC. They're looking for another win when the FCC votes Thursday on Pai's controversial plan to repeal the net neutrality rules that have been in place since 2015.
While some of these moves were bipartisan, Pai's most aggressive proposals have divided the FCC and the nation. He's actively courted the right — most recently launching a broadside against Silicon Valley that attracted support from Trump backers — and inspired scorn on the left.
At an event last week, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren called him the "point man" for a "corporate takeover of the FCC."
The big question: What impact will Pai's deregulatory spree really have on consumers?
Yes, but: Big changes for consumers won't come immediately.
"In five years, we'll probably know whether eliminating the net neutrality rules was a mistake or smart policy, but in 2018 the internet will look exactly the same to consumers regardless of what the FCC does," Paul Gallant of the Cowen Washington Research Group tells Axios.
Go deeper: Flip through our card deck on Pai's biggest deregulatory moves in the Axios stream.
Axios' Kim Hart joins Sourced with everything you need to know ahead of the big vote. Watch it here.
Asus is known for being willing to try new things. The Taiwanese computer maker first attracted notice in 2007, when it introduced the Eee PC, the first tiny, low-cost "netbook." Since then, it has tried phones that become tablets, tablet-sized phones and other novel designs.
What's happening now: It's not surprising that when Qualcomm and Microsoft came up with the notion of always-connected Windows 10 PCs, Asus was among the first to sign up.
Asus CEO Jerry Shen says such devices play to the company's strengths:
"Almost all the PC players cannot do the smartphone well," Shen told Axios in an interview at last week's Snapdragon Summit in Maui. "We are lucky; we can do both."
Why it matters: Being a PC maker is tough. Being a smaller PC maker is even tougher. Having smartphone chops might just be Asus' ticket to survival in a brutally competitive market.
Read more: Ina's conversation with Shen is here.
More companies are using software to assign tasks to full-time workers similar to the on-demand economy, Sam Schechner writes for the Wall Street Journal. GE and Shell are trying out the approach. Both told the paper they're going to expand those projects in the new year.
Our thought bubble: Axios' Steve LeVine (sign up for his weekly Future of Work newsletter) joins me in saying that after decades of shearing off layers of workers at the bottom of the pyramid, automation is bubbling up into management, threatening middle-ranking jobs and, eventually, officers on top of the corporate ladder.
For your calendar: On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee holds a hearing on artificial intelligence.
This whole Twitter conversation about Ernest Cline's 2011 thriller seems especially relevant with the book's film adaptation by Steven Spielberg dropping next year. (Warner Bros. just released a new trailer.)
But Ready Player One is also an outlier to a broader trend I've noticed. Earlier this year, Business Insider spoke to 24 "big names in tech" about what books they were reading. The vast majority of them were nonfiction. That was also true of Y Combinator's list of summer reading recommendations.
Earlier this year, FT's Hannah Kuchler floated the idea of creating the "humanities equivalent of coding schools" that would "would give techies a taste of what they missed at college — perhaps even with reading lists themed around the most urgent problems their companies face."
This popular 99-cent photo app mimics a disposable camera, right down to the three days you have to wait before you can see your shots.