Hi, and welcome to the debut edition of Login, Axios' tech newsletter. We're thrilled you're here, bright and early, for the start of what promises to be a fun ride. We aim to break down the biggest tech news—and break news, too (hint, hint). Tell us what you think, and tell your friends to sign up here.
Login will start each Monday with a short interview. For the first one, we decided to go to the father of the modern tech industry, Bill Gates. You can read the full Q and A here. But since we are all about smart brevity here at Axios, here are Gates' three main points:
On Trump's move to cut foreign aid and pull back on environmental regulation:
By investing in the scientific and technical work that we need to create the energy mix of the future, we'll not only help solve climate change, we'll also create new industries and companies in the United States. When it comes to foreign aid, investing to improve health and development around the world keeps America more secure and brings stability to parts of the world that are vulnerable.
On whether virtual reality and augmented reality are the next platform of computing:
There are a lot of "next frontiers" in computing. Mixed reality is one of them, and so are AI and quantum computing... But the full immersive experience of VR makes it impractical for daily life, and that's where augmented reality and mixed reality experiences can take the lead.
On what he's doing these days at Microsoft:
Most of my time is focused on my foundation work, but I still spend a lot of time meeting with Satya and some of the other leaders at the company to do product reviews and talk about their visions for the future and how we can innovate our way there. The work Microsoft is doing in cloud computing and AI is really exciting.
Intel is making a major move in the self-driving car wars, Axios' Dan Primack reports this morning, agreeing to buy Israel's Mobileye for approximately $15 billion. We expect an announcement to come soon.
No, not when it comes to corporate stuff. That's all still a mess.
But Uber, the service, was firing on all cylinders. In fact, the week of Feb. 27 set a record in terms of the number of Uber trips taken in the U.S., according to my sources.
Here are two big reasons why many riders are sticking with Uber:
1. Lyft is not a credible alternative in many Uber markets. That leaves people with the option or cabs or public transit, and it's fair to say those aren't beloved entities either.
2. Drivers are essentially Uber's customer relations department and people love their drivers. However bad things are at HQ in San Francisco, most people's interaction with Uber are via an app and with their drivers.
That's not to say Uber doesn't have long-term problems on its hands. It has been losing a lot of key talent which could hamper its long-term ambitions to morph from a driver-based service to an autonomous car company. And, as Business Insider pointed out Friday, the situation could get worse once Uber employees collect last year's bonus.
Tech isn't top of mind in Washington right now, as Obamacare consumes Congress and the White House puts off hiring for major positions. But the FCC is quickly moving forward with new Chairman Ajit Pai's policy agenda, so, as David McCabe reports, a lively topic of conversation is who will fill the last Republican seat at the agency.
Here's your cheat sheet to the contenders, according to the chatter:
The bottom line: No matter who Trump picks, it won't change the commission's deregulation trajectory which puts it on a collision course with much of Silicon Valley — particularly when it comes to net neutrality rules.
On Tap: The cool nerds (yeah, I know that's an oxymoron) are flocking to Austin for South by Southwest. Our own Kim Hart will be there for a bit, but if you see something really geektastic, take a picture and then send a note to me or Kim (reach her at Kim@axios.com). I, not being cool, will remain in San Francisco. I hear there is a Hadoop conference in town...
Trading Places: The head of Alphabet's Project Loon is leaving his role at the Google parent company after just six months, Bloomberg reported... RealNetworks said CFO Marj Thomas is leaving for a non-profit gig, replacement TBD.
ICYMI: Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were spotted having dinner together in Palo Alto last week... Tinder CEO Sean Rad said the dating service has helped make 250,000 transgender matches after expanding its gender options last year.
Each day we'll feature a link for something fun for you to do after you read this and before, you know, you start doing real work.
In getting ready for Login, I found out you can run hundreds of Apple II programs over the Internet or tool around on an early IBM PC. And if you are still using command lines, there's this OS X terminal app that resembles an old green screen (also, you should probably get a new job that doesn't require a terminal app.)
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