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Expert Voices
An essential plan for gathering global data
server room
Servers at a Facebook data center in Sweden. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images

There's a solution in Congress that will help law enforcement gather electronic evidence, often stored on servers abroad, while reducing conflicts of law facing cloud storage providers: the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act.

Why it matters: Data — meaning evidence — is now global. The CLOUD Act makes clear when U.S. warrants apply, considers the applicable laws of other countries, and creates a framework for bilateral cooperative agreements that allow for cross-border data requests to be handled through domestic legal processes. The proposed U.S.-UK agreement is a good model. 

Kia Kokalitcheva 4 hours ago
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Andreessen Horowitz invests in in digital custody startup Anchor Labs
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Andreessen Horowitz has invested in Anchor Labs, a stealthy startup planning to provide digital asset custody, according to multiple sources. The startup is raising up to $17 million in Series A funding, according to a Delaware filing from December that Axios obtained from Lagniappe Labs, though it's not clear whether the round has closed yet and who else participated.

Hot commodity: Anchor Labs opted to raise funds after acquisition talks with Coinbase didn't end in a deal. In November, Coinbase unveiled its own plans to provide custody services to institutional investors.

Haley Britzky 6 hours ago
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Facebook pulls VR shooting game out of "respect" for Parkland victims
Facebook's booth at CPAC.
The Facebook Help Desk at CPAC. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Facebook has shut down a demo of a virtual reality shooting game in its booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference out of "respect for the victims" of the Florida school shooting, BBC's Dave Lee reports.

Why it matters: Per Mashable, Facebook has been criticized "for its role in spreading conspiracy theories about the Parkland shooting." The demo was of the game Bullet Train, which "lets players use an imaginary gun to pretend shoot people in a train station," per Mashable.

Kia Kokalitcheva 9 hours ago
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Dropbox files for an IPO
Dropbox
Photo: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dropbox, a file storage and sharing company, has filed for a $500 million initial public offering.

  • Offering details: The San Francisco-based company plans to trade on the NASDAQ under ticker symbol DBX, with Goldman Sachs listed as left lead underwriter.
  • Financials: Dropbox is not profitable yet. It reported net losses of $210.2 million and $111.7 million in fiscal 2016 and 2017, respectively. Dropbox brought in $844.8 million in revenue during the fiscal year of 2016, and $1.1 billion in fiscal 2017.
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Microsoft and Xiaomi expand partnership

Microsoft and Xiaomi are expanding their partnership – working more closely together in AI, cloud computing and hardware.

Why it matters: After having dropped out of the mobile OS game, Microsoft is seeking other ways to remain important in phones, especially in China.

Kia Kokalitcheva 12 hours ago
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Car rental startup pushes back on airport fees lawsuit
A Delta Airlines Boeing 737 takes off at San Francisco International Airport's runway 10L. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental service, has filed a counter-suit in response to a lawsuit filed last month by the city of San Francisco over airport fees. The company says the lawsuit is the result of car rental company Enterprise's lobbying, and ignores local permit and tax laws.

Why you'll about this again: Transportation habits are fast changing and the legacy players aren't all taking it well. At the same time, the new generation of marketplaces and services that see themselves as "tech companies," haven't been shy about pushing for changes in regulations (or ignoring them altogether).

Ina Fried 12 hours ago
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Google expands AR, Google Lens to more devices
Google Lens now supports selecting text from within a photo
Google Lens can now select the text seen in a photo. (Photo: Google)

Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Google announced Friday it is bringing its augmented reality and Google Lens smart camera tools to more devices — and giving both new tricks.

Why it matters: Convincing developers to build for AR is, in part, a numbers game. Apple's ARKit is already supported on lots and lots of iPhones so getting Google's rival ARCore on more devices is important. Google Lens, meanwhile, is the evolution of the search box, using what the camera sees as the query.

Zachary Basu 12 hours ago
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DHL executive eyes potential savings from Tesla's electric trucks
Tesla Semi
Elon Musk steps out of the new 'Semi' electric truck during the unveiling for buyers and journalists last year. Photo by Veronique Dupont / AFP / Getty Images.

A shift from diesel to Tesla's electric Semi trucks could result in massive savings on maintenance and fuel, DHL executive Jim Monkmeyer told Reuters.

Why it matters: Tesla estimates the new line of trucks, set to be manufactured in 2019, will run at an operating cost of $1.26 per mile, compared to an industry-standard of $1.51 for diesel. DHL has only ordered 10 trucks as a test run, but Monkmeyer said early energy and maintenance figures indicate the company could pay off the difference between a Semi and a traditional diesel truck in just 18 months.

David McCabe 12 hours ago
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Anti-trafficking bill may move forward

The House is moving toward a floor vote on an anti-sex-trafficking package that has been a major headache for internet companies.

Our thought bubble: If it passes, the package will be the first concrete legislation to come out of a renewed "techlash" in Washington. This is the end result of a year when Facebook and Google were putting out so many fires — on Russia and tech addiction and extremist content — that they weren't able to keep this one at bay.

Steve LeVine 12 hours ago
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The U.K. gets into the battery race
The Faraday Institution will be housed in this building at Harwell in England. Photo: Harwell.

The U.K. has launched itself into the global race for a super battery, allocating $108 million for a new research center with the goal of competing with the U.S., China and others for a piece of the future electric car industry.

Quick take: By opening the Faraday Institution just south of Oxford, the U.K. joins a race that has been going on for a little less than a decade, pitting it against research and industry leaders China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.