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Maureen Dowd's new Vanity Fair article highlights the deep divide among the technorati over the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence.
Bottom line: Everyone needs to have a say.
Big-name advertisers are continuing to pull their ads from YouTube as the company scrambles to rethink how it deals with controversial content uploaded to its site. Rival Facebook may benefit as Google tries to sort things out, as may advertisers, who may have more leverage while Google is on the defensive, Sara Fischer reports.
The House is poised to vote Tuesday to withdraw privacy protections passed in the waning days of the Obama administration. The FCC-approved rules would have required broadband providers to get consumers' consent to share their data, including web-browsing history. But if, as seems likely, the House passes the bill and President Trump signs it, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and the like will remain free to do with your data as they see fit under their privacy policies (unless consumers specifically tell them to stop).
What it means: If you want to protect your internet traffic from being viewed from your Internet Service Provider, you have some options, including using a VPN, or virtual private network. That said, some content sites (such as Netflix) restrict use of VPNs, which can also be used to try to get around geographic restrictions. Former FCC staffer Gigi Sohn explains the consequences in this piece for The Verge.
While it saw a brief delay in some government spending late last year, Red Hat says that business has resumed and corporations are continuing to invest heavily.
"There's right now a sense of business confidence that is driving the stock market but also investment plans by companies," CEO James Whitehurst told Axios on Monday. "If anything, it's more positive than it's been in years."
Whitehurst's comments came in a phone conversation following the open source software company's better-than-expected quarterly earnings report.
When it comes to deciding when to join tech companies in speaking out against the Trump Administration and taking a position on other political topics, Whitehurst said he and North Carolina-based Red Hat are trying to strike a tough balance. Whitehurst has been personally outspoken against the travel ban and North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ HB2, aka the "bathroom bill," while the company has been more measured.
As for HB2, which has cost the state billions, Whitehurst said it hasn't hurt Red Hat, but has led some employees to choose to work at other company locations. "I do think it has hurt North Carolina," he said.
BART, aka Silicon Valley's subway system, saw service shut down between San Francisco and Oakland on Monday. The result was a crush of demand for public service alternatives like buses and ferries. But, as has also become customary, it was an opportunity to see Lyft's and Uber's surge prices in action.
Rides from Oakland to San Francisco topped $100 in some cases, according to SFGate and social media postings. While total shutdowns of public transit are rare, it could also provide a glimpse of what transit options could look like during peak times in a world dominated by surge price economics.
A report commissioned by the Technology CEO Council out this morning makes the case that technologies like AI, robotics and 3D printing will increase productivity in physical industries like manufacturing and will therefore create more jobs, not fewer. A few points the report makes:
Counterpoint: The National Bureau of Economic Research on Monday published a paper estimating that the U.S. has already lost between 360,000 and 670,000 jobs to robots since 1990, and the pace of displacement is set to accelerate. If automation proceeds at predicted rates, millions of jobs could be lost while wage growth is reduced by up to 2.6 percent between 2015 and 2025.
On Tap: A House E&C subcommittee on digital commerce and consumer protection will hold a hearing on the safety benefits of vehicle automation and self-driving cars. Chairman Bob Latta shared his approach in an Axios op-ed.
Trading Places: Facebook has hired Apple's Michael Hillman to run its Oculus hardware effort....Expedia has tapped hired LendingClub's Regi Vengalil to lead corporate strategy and business development; Eric Hart, who helped lead the acquisitions of Orbitz and HomeAway, will shift to a new role at Expedia-owned CarRentals.com, Bloomberg reported....Verizon communications VP Torod Neptune has joined Lenovo as its chief communications officer....Trump nominated Makan Delrahim to the top antitrust job at the Justice Department; if confirmed, he'll oversee the review of the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger.
ICYMI: Amazon has reportedly delayed the opening of its first cashier-free Amazon Go convenience store amid operational challenges....Uber's self-driving cars are back on the roads in Arizona after a Friday crash.... Johnny Depp is set to play John McAfee in the movie version of his exploits.
You have to check out this little girl who is convinced a broken water heater is a robot.
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