Just another reminder that Login will be off next week. So feel free to set your alarm two minutes later all next week. But be sure to check out Axios.com/technology to get your tech fix throughout the day. Kia, David, and Kim will be holding down the fort. I'll be trying to see if I can go without checking work email on my phone.
Do smartphones connect us to others or lead to greater isolation?
Of course the answer is both. A new article in the Atlantic is highlighting the negative potential — isolation, depression, and increased risk of suicide. And those issues should not be glossed over.
Before I get comfy on this soapbox, I know I am guiltier than most of living life with my head down in a smartphone. I'm addicted to email, check Twitter constantly, and play Pokémon Go most of the rest of the time.
As an experiment: I'm deleting work email from my phone on my upcoming weeklong vacation. I'll let you know how it goes. After I get back.
It's been a big week for Bitcoin: a "fork" in the digital currency's technology split it into two versions — Bitcoin Classic and the new Bitcoin Cash.
Access problems: How that worked was confusing enough for some people. But then accessing the new currency became a problem:
Kia's take: Sure, technical considerations — as well as whether the new currency will survive — are important. But customers' bailing on Coinbase en masse because it didn't want to support Bitcoin Cash doesn't bode well for the company.
A bill aiming to combat sex trafficking has riled up pretty much every corner of the tech industry, David reports.
Why? Of course, tech companies aren't in favor of sex trafficking. What's got them panicked is that the proposal could make them liable for what users post on their platforms. That's a death knell for platforms whose entire business models rest on user-generated content (hello, Facebook newsfeed and YouTube). Right now, these sites are shielded from that liability.
Heating up: You've got big, rich companies facing off against powerful lawmakers on an emotionally-charged issue — all the ingredients for a political confrontation. The level of noise internet companies are making on this underscores how big a deal it is for their business. Expect this to heat up as they put more lobbying might against the bill.
The tech industry was pleased when, late in his second term, President Obama created a way for foreign entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. to start companies. So there was much dismay earlier this year when the Trump administration announced plans to delay and eventually kill the effort.
Tax liability is among the tech industry's biggest concerns when it comes to regulatory issues affecting their business, according to a BDO analysis of recent annual shareholder reports from the 100 largest publicly traded firms. Potential U.S. tax reform and global tax regulations top the list, Kim reports.
Why it matters: Tax and trade changes affect all businesses, but tech companies are especially sensitive to tax structures because of their global supply chains and reliance on foreign markets for manufacturing and customers. Trump's tax reform framework released in April is still very much in flux. Still, many tech companies are reserving their political capital in Washington to take on the issue.
Tax changes tech wants to see:
On tap: It's National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Me going to grab one right now...
Trading places: As Dan Primack scooped yesterday, Social Capital's Mamoon Hamid is leaving to join Kleiner Perkins....The Senate confirmed former commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and current FCC official Brendan Carr to the agency's two open seats on Thursday.
Honored: GLAAD plans to present Y Combinator president Sam Altman with its Ric Weiland Award, given annually to someone who advances LGBTQ equality and acceptance through tech and new media. The award, named in honor of Weiland, a software engineer and philanthropist, will be given at a San Francisco event on Sept. 9. Past winners include former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
ICYMI: The researcher who helped foil the WannaCry ransomware attack was detained by U.S. authorities for his alleged role in another malware incident, according to CNN...Uber is said to have knowingly leased defective cars to Singapore drivers, according to report in the Wall Street Journal...For the first time, the NBA Live video game franchise will also let participants choose from WNBA players and teams, in addition to those from the men's league.