Hello. Hope you had a meaningful day off and got to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
As you read this, I am once again headed to an airport. After all, I was home for almost four days. I'll be in D.C. this week meeting up with my Axios colleagues, and then headed to Munich for DLD.
CES 2018. Photo: Steven Sinofsky
Andreessen Horowitz' Steven Sinofsky has been offering his take on CES for years, dating back to the internal reports he used to do for the Windows and Office teams. Since leaving Microsoft, Sinofsky has offered his take publicly, in a blog post.
The report: Sinofsky did so again this year, offering his take on the big trends of the show, including the ones we saw around voice interaction and cars. At 10,000 words, though, his report is hardly a quick read. It's definitely a worthy one, if you have the time.
If not, here's my Axios-style summary of the key points:
Voice (clearly the big trend at CES 2018)
Separately, Axios' Sara Fischer also says it is voice — not video — at the center of user adoption and functionality for the Internet of Things, which is connecting life in unprecedented ways, from health care to home entertainment to transportation.
DeRay McKesson was among those who tried out Google's art-matching app. Photo: Screenshot by Axios
Google has found a way to get people to care about classical art — add selfies to the mix.
What's happening: The search giant has managed to turn its obscure Arts & Culture app into a viral hit, thanks to a new feature that matches people's selfies to a piece of classic art. The iOS and Android app has become a bona fide hit, with techies and celebrities posting the results to Twitter.
Not new: The app debuted in November 2015 and the selfie feature arrived in the middle of last month, but interest in the app really didn't take off until the last couple of days.
Fears overblown: While Google does use a bit of machine learning to do the matching, it isn't (as some have fretted) storing people's selfies or even training its algorithms further using those images, Axios confirmed with Google. The images are stored on Google's servers just long enough to find a match.
A worker at Google. Photo: Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Speaking of Google, the company has a new effort to help fill the estimated 150,000 open IT jobs in the U.S.
A certificate program on the Coursera platform, being launched today, aims to give people with no prior IT experience the basic skills they need to get an entry-level IT support job in 8 to 12 months.
Why it matters: Entry-level IT jobs are typically higher-paying than similar roles in other fields. But they’re harder to fill because, while IT support roles don’t require a college degree, they do require prior experience.
Read more: Axios' Kim Hart has more here.
Police and firefighters are finally getting the priority communications network they were promised in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In exchange for building it, AT&T gets $6.5 billion in government funds over the next five years and access to a large chunk of valuable airwaves for 25 years.
Why it matters: Technical failures and incompatible radios have been a chronic problem for first responders — especially on 9/11, when firefighters rushing to the scene from different jurisdictions couldn't talk to each other. AT&T won the contract to build a national mobile broadband network — FirstNet —specifically dedicated to first responders, which is the final recommendation by the 9/11 Commission.
The state of play: Governors of all 50 states opted to participate in the network, rather than build their own. Now AT&T takes on an aggressive schedule to meet government requirements and sign up 60,000 first responders across the country, from the big-city police squads to small-town volunteer fire departments.
Go deeper: Read Kim's full story on how FirstNet will work, the timeline and the response from Verizon.
After an erroneous emergency alert message left millions of people in Hawaii believing a missile attack was imminent, BlackBerry issued a blog post Monday suggesting how to avoid such problems (and plugging its own federally certified software). (BTW, here's how that emergency alert system works.)
While unfortunate and obviously traumatic for the people of Hawaii, this false alarm also presents an opportunity for real and valuable reform. The U.S. Federal Government can today show leadership in putting forth a comprehensive plan that ensures nothing is spared when it comes to communicating in times of crisis.— BlackBerry
My thought bubble: It's a bold strategy that risks being seen as taking advantage of a bad situation. But it also might reach an audience ready to pay up to avoid a repeat of what happened in Hawaii.
Separately: BlackBerry announced new software designed to find security flaws in self-driving car technology.