Technology

Why it matters: From the Valley to D.C., Big Tech players like Facebook, Google and Amazon are under more scrutiny than ever as new technology develops and privacy and antitrust concerns grow in lockstep with companies’ ambitions.

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Mobile ad tech company Applovin files for IPO

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Applovin, a mobile ad tech company that's expanded into video game publishing, has filed with the SEC to go public on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol APP.

Why it matters: Applovin was one of the more high-profile casualties of CFIUS' heightened scrutiny of deals involving Chinese investors early on during Donald Trump's presidency.

4 hours ago - Podcasts

CryptoKitties, Grimes and the rise of NFTs

Collectibles and art have gone digital, enabled by a new sort of technology known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Just recently, Canadian singer and visual artist Grimes earned $6 million via an NFT auction, while a maker of digital basketball cards was valued at around $2 billion by venture capitalists.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the NFT craze with David Pakman, a partner with VC firm Venrock and one of the earliest investors in one of the earliest NFTs, called CryptoKitties.

Gideon Lichfield named global editorial director of Wired

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED

Gideon Lichfield, who has been editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review since 2017, has been named global editorial director of Wired, the company announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Lichfield replaces Nicholas Thompson, who left the company to become CEO of The Atlantic earlier this year. Thompson's title had been editor-in-chief.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 7 hours ago - Technology

Microsoft sees its future in VR

Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman appears via hologram at the Ignite 2021 conference suing Microsoft Mesh. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is using its Ignite customer conference to highlight its commitment to mixed reality, announcing new cloud services for hosting virtual objects that can be shared across devices and delivering Tuesday's keynote speech from within its Altspace VR virtual world.

Why it matters: Mixed reality, including VR and AR, is widely seen as the next frontier of computing interfaces. Although Facebook's Oculus tends to get more attention, Microsoft has been steadily investing in both its Hololens headset as well as Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets from HP and others.

9 hours ago - Technology

Aussie news fight goes global

Data: Chartbeat; Chart: Axios Visuals (NOTE: Traffic drops during evening hours.)

Traffic to Australian news sites has sprung back after Facebook struck a last-minute deal with lawmakers last week to pay some publishers and resume link-sharing on its platform, according to data from Chartbeat.

The big picture: The news showdown in Australia is advancing conversations globally around a more equitable payout structure between the world's biggest tech firms and news publishers.

John Frank, author of Denver
11 hours ago - Axios Denver

Bipartisan Colorado officials take aim at Big Tech

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Colorado officials are taking a leading role in the efforts to challenge Big Tech, both in Congress and the courts.

What's happening: The attention to the issue is bipartisan and the proposed solutions overlap.

Ina Fried, author of Login
13 hours ago - Technology

China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more, commission warns

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few years' lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Real estate company Compass files for IPO

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Real estate software company Compass filed for its long-rumored IPO on Monday.

Why it matters: It's the latest company in SoftBank's Vision Fund portfolio to file for an IPO — a source of much of the megafund's good fortunes over the past year.

Mar 1, 2021 - Technology

Twitter to label COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, implement strike policy

Photo: Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter announced Monday that it will label tweets with potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, and introduce a strike system that can lead to permanent account suspension.

The big picture: Tech companies are taking an increasingly aggressive stance against users who attempt to share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines on their platforms.

Mar 1, 2021 - Technology

Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic

Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

All Apple stores in the U.S. are open for the first time since businesses began widespread closures due to the coronavirus last spring, the company confirmed to CNBC.

Why it matters: The milestone is a sign that the pandemic is winding down in the U.S. The stores closed nearly a year ago as COVID-19 first began to spread rapidly across the country.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Mar 1, 2021 - Economy & Business

California drone-maker Skydio valued at $1 billion

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Skydio, a Redwood City, Calif.-based autonomous drone-maker, raised $170 million in Series D funding led by existing backer Andreessen Horowitz at a valuation north of $1 billion.

Why it matters: It comes just two months after drone-market dominator DJI was put on a U.S. national security blacklist, thus creating new opportunities for homegrown rivals. Plus, it's now notable that an AV unicorn like Skydio opted for a private financing instead of a SPAC.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Miami mayor acknowledges Big Tech plans could hurt the city's poor

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez's ambitions to attract Big Tech has generated a lot of headlines — but it will likely come with some negative impacts for current residents, for which the mayor admits there may not be solutions.

What he's saying: "Gentrification is real," Suarez told "Axios on HBO." But even with his efforts to promote affordable housing, he argues that "government has a limited amount of resources and a limited amount of ability to stop things that are market driven."

Trump's assault on Chinese tech left loose ends galore

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's haphazard war on Chinese tech has left the Biden administration with a raft of unfinished business involving efforts to restrict Chinese firms and products in U.S. markets.

Why it matters: The Chinese and American tech industries are joined at the hip in many ways, and that interdependence has shaped decades of prosperity. But now security concerns and economic rivalries are wrenching them apart.

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