Reminder for our LA readers: Tomorrow is our Driving Cities of the Future event, hosted by Axios and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where our Mike Allen will lead a conversation on the impact of technology and innovation on city infrastructure. We will interview Mayors Garcetti and Landrieu, Dan Katz of Hyperloop, and Mory Gharib of the CAST Center at Caltech. The event will take place at 8am PT at Union Station. You can get more information and register here.
For today's Login, it's another day of politics mixed with tech, but I tried to work in some plain old tech news in too.
Facebook, Google and Twitter took quite a beating over two days of congressional hearings on Russian election interference and social media. It's clear that Washington is mad, but just what did we learn and what should we expect will come of all this?
Here's the skinny from our resident expert David McCabe:
The big takeaway: Lawmakers' rebukes went far beyond the companies' responses to Russia's interference. They also repeatedly revealed a discomfort with the size, power and limited accountability of the large web platforms.
What else we learned:
What's next? All of the companies indicated their investigations are ongoing, so the scale of the Russian disinformation campaign could turn out to be even bigger than we know now.
Despite all of the issues surrounding Russia and the election, Facebook reported quarterly earnings well ahead of what Wall Street was expecting.
By the numbers:
Threading the needle: Facebook had to strike a difficult balance on its earnings call, highlighting the strength of its advertising business without appearing too powerful. Sensitive to the issue, CEO Mark Zuckerberg aimed to show the company was taking its responsibilities seriously.
"We're serious about preventing abuse on our platforms," Zuckerberg said. "We're investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits."
There's really two big questions that investors and analysts want to know out of Apple's earnings report later today. And they are the two things we forecast would be challenges ahead of this year's iPhone release.
What we're watching: How many iPhone Xs can Apple supply over the next few months and just how much will the high-end iPhone dent demand for the iPhone 8, which Apple is able to make in significantly greater quantity.
Of course, other numbers will also be closely watched, including Apple's sales and earnings forecast for the all-important holiday quarter. That said, iPhone 8 demand and iPhone 10 production will be key components of the coming quarter's earnings.
By the numbers: Analysts are expecting Apple to report per-share earnings of $1.87 on revenue of $51.2 billion, according to Zacks.
Swing Left, an organization whose aim is to flip House seats to the Democrats in the 2018 election, hosted its first fundraising event in San Francisco last night. Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva was there and said, despite the evening's political theme, things felt more like a typical startup party — and not just because of the techie-filled crowd. Hosts included Google's Jason Spero, Eniac Ventures' Nihal Mehta, and Homebrew's Satya Patel.
What we saw: In the same spirit as tech startups, Swing Left is trying a creative approach to political fundraising — "hacking" it, to borrow the Silicon Valley term for developing unorthodox solutions.
Why it matters
: Since President Trump's election last November, there's been a heightened sense of political activism within the tech industry, which largely leans to the left. So it's no surprise to see members of the industry rally around organizations like Swing Left that appeal to their sense of clear action and solutions.
There were two noteworthy developments in the world of augmented reality on Wednesday.
Why it matters: Furniture sellers like Wayfair and Ikea have been early adopters of AR, but people buy from Amazon a lot more frequently. This has the opportunity to make AR a much more mainstream part of online shopping and could set a bar that other retailers will have to match.
Google's move, meanwhile, addresses a major hurdle for all sorts of companies that want to do AR and VR work: It's just a lot harder to make three-dimensional objects and there are far fewer people skilled in that area.
On tap: Apple reports earnings (see above), as does Pandora and Activision Blizzard.
ICYMI: Doppler Labs raised more than $50 million to build smart earbuds, but is shutting down after weak sales of its debut product, The Wired writes...People are already lining up outside Apple Stores for the iPhone X, which goes on sale Friday...Gaming PC maker Razer debuted its first smartphone, a $699 Android device with high-end specs but unclear differentiation from the many similar phones on the market, The Verge says...The CIA released the contents of Osama Bin Laden's hard drive, which included erotic video games, YouTube videos, Hollywood films and more, The Verge reports...Per Reuters, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the current and former CEOs of Equifax are being called before the Senate Commerce Committee next week for a hearing on data breaches.
Don't miss: This thread from actor Kumail Nanjiani (aka Dinesh on HBO's Silicon Valley) talking about the tech industry's lack of consideration toward unintended consequences of their products.
Yes, I'd like to withdraw a large cheese, please... I'm sorry, your account appears to be overdrawn.