New US spectrum sale could trigger consolidation
Events Calendar (All Times Local)
China Tries to Reassure Foreign Companies over Industry Plan
China’s industry minister on Saturday defended a manufacturing development plan and rejected complaints foreign makers of electric cars and other goods might be pressured to hand over technology or forced out of promising markets. Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, tried to reassure foreign companies that the “Made in China 2025” industry plan treats all companies equally.
Trump Looms Large Over This Year’s South by Southwest Gathering
Donald Trump won’t be attending this year’s South by Southwest conference, which started Friday in Austin, Texas. But the president will be very much in evidence — if only in spirit — at the annual gathering of technologists, musicians and wannabe entrepreneurs.
ADL plans Silicon Valley center to fight cyberhate
The Anti-Defamation League is opening a Silicon Valley center to combat the rapid growth in online hate speech. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt planned to make the announcement during a panel on “The State of Hate” at the SXSW tech confab tonight.
How AI Is Transforming the Workplace
Move over, managers, there’s a new boss in the office: artificial intelligence. The same technology that enables a navigation app to find the most efficient route to your destination or lets an online store recommend products based on past purchases is on the verge of transforming the office—promising to remake how we look for job candidates, get the most out of workers and keep our best workers on the job.
Packed Calendar Has Investors in Holding Pattern
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1 percent as of 10:18 a.m. in London, inching higher for a fourth session in a row. S&P 500 futures dropped 0.1 percent.
Intellectual Property and Antitrust
Alphabet adds patent claim to Uber intellectual property theft lawsuit
Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car unit Waymo on Friday added a new patent claim to its intellectual property lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc and requested a preliminary injunction to stop the ride-sharing service from using what it says is proprietary information, a court filing showed. The two Silicon Valley companies are fighting over technology that is seen as part of the foundation of the future of transportation, self-driving vehicles.
Telecom, Wireless and TV
AT&T: Brief 911 outage hits customers in DC region
AT&T customers in the region were unable to place calls during a brief nationwide outage on Saturday. A hardware issue caused some calls to not connect, according to AT&T.
Alphabet Swaps Project Loon Leaders After Six-Month Stint for Latest CEO
Tom Moore, a satellite veteran brought in to lead Google’s Project Loon unit, has stepped down after about six months. Alastair Westgarth, who headed wireless antenna company Quintel, is taking the spot.
Mobile Technology and Social Media
Intel buys Mobileye in deal valued at $15.3B to expand in self-driving tech
First they partnered, and now comes the acquisition: the computing giant Intel has confirmed that it is acquiring Mobileye, a leader in autonomous driving technology, for $15.3 billion — the biggest-ever acquisition of an Israeli tech company. Specifically, “Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of Intel will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion,” the company noted in a statement.
Waymo Asks Court to Block Uber’s Self-Driving Car Project
Waymo, the self-driving car business spun out of Google’s parent company last year, asked a federal court on Friday to block Uber’s work on a competing self-driving vehicle that Waymo claimed could be using stolen technology. Waymo also filed testimony from employees and a Google security engineer describing how Anthony Levandowski, a former Google executive, discussed Uber’s interest in the technology and systematically stole proprietary company documents.
Austin’s Uber Replacements Flunked An Important Test During SXSW
Austin’s homegrown ride-hailing services, which sprung up after Uber and Lyft left the city in protest of a local rule, had hoped to ace the task of shuttling the global tech and media elite around the SXSW Conference and Festivals here this weekend. But these apps — which claim Uber can be replaced, and that there’s no “secret sauce” behind its spectacular success — failed a major stress test during their moment in the spotlight last night.
Uber Gears Up to Block Bid to Form a Union in Seattle
Before accepting rides on his Uber app each day, Seattle driver Fasil Teka must first choose whether to listen to company-run podcasts on voting rights, collective bargaining and city council hearings. He and other drivers in the city have received text messages, meeting invites and phone surveys from ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. in an attempt, the company says, to sway them against unionizing.
Uber Deal Giving Drivers $1 Each Fails to Win Over Judge
Uber Technologies Inc. failed to persuade a judge to approve a settlement offering 1.6 million California drivers an average of $1.08 each to dispense with alleged labor-code violations that their lawyer earlier claimed might have been worth billions of dollars. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson issued a tentative ruling rejecting a deal aimed at resolving one of the dozen-plus U.S. lawsuits challenging the company’s contractor-based business model.
Has Uber’s day of reckoning arrived?
Uber has been burning capital for some time now. This includes not just real money but also that intangible commodity known as goodwill.
California wants to give driverless cars their learners’ permits
Nearly 30 companies are testing automated cars on California’s roads, led by the original self-driving car advocate, Google. Until now, regulations have required an alert human to sit behind the wheel, ready to take over at any time, and that the technology must serve testing, not commercial purposes. On Friday, the state released proposed Department of Motor Vehicle amendments that lay the legal ground for cars to operate with no driver.
Cybersecurity and Privacy
EU reassured on U.S. privacy directive: source
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross gave no indication of any plans to change U.S. privacy protections underpinning a pact enabling billions of dollars of data flows during a meeting with the EU digital chief, a source said on Friday. U.S. President Trump’s administration has stoked concerns in Brussels that it may undo some of the privacy protections put in place by the previous administration that were crucial to a transatlantic pact allowing companies to store EU citizens’ data on U.S. servers.
FISMA 2016: White House claims progress against cyberattacks
The White House Office of Management and Budget released fiscal 2016 statistics on cybersecurity measures and incidents at U.S. agencies Friday, using new methodologies that make comparison with prior years essentially impossible, but nonetheless saying the government had made progress. For the first time, agencies were required to report only incidents that affected their operations, and to break those incidents down based on the attack vector used.
Russian Espionage Piggybacks on a Cybercriminal’s Hacking
To the F.B.I., Evgeniy M. Bogachev is the most wanted cybercriminal in the world. The bureau has announced a $3 million bounty for his capture, the most ever for computer crimes, and has been trying to track his movements in hopes of grabbing him if he strays outside his home turf in Russia.
GOP senator reports hacking attempts after WikiLeaks criticism
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) reported Saturday that he was facing hacking attempts on “basically every device, every platform, personal and govt” following his recent criticism of WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks aids doubters of Russian election hacking
WikiLeaks is helping to cast doubt on the conclusion of intelligence agencies that the Russian government was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee, in what appears to be the latest disinformation campaign orchestrated by Moscow. The site leaked a trove of purported CIA hacking tools this week and zeroed in on what it called the agency’s effort to “misdirect attribution” of cyber attacks to other nations, including Russia.
What the CIA WikiLeaks Dump Tells Us: Encryption Works
If the tech industry is drawing one lesson from the latest WikiLeaks disclosures, it’s that data-scrambling encryption works, and the industry should use more of it. Documents purportedly outlining a massive CIA surveillance program suggest that CIA agents must go to great lengths to circumvent encryption they can’t break.
A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:
Looking for something voters can agree on? Repeal the Durbin amendment. Recent polling shows that by a 2-1 margin voters think the Durbin amendment should be repealed. It is a failed policy, with retailers pocketing an extra $42 billion at their customers’ expense. Get the facts about retailers’ broken promises from EPC.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Time for the Government to Get Out of the Songwriting Business
As one could imagine, spending two decades as a songwriter in the music industry comes with a number of challenges. You can certainly anticipate the struggles involved with writing a hit song, finding the right performer to sing it and getting it played on the radio.
Resist the Internet
Search your feelings, you know it to be true: You are enslaved to the internet. Definitely if you’re young, increasingly if you’re old, your day-to-day, minute-to-minute existence is dominated by a compulsion to check email and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram with a frequency that bears no relationship to any communicative need.
Unlimited data plans offer boon to consumers
In the wireless industry, it’s back to the unlimited future. Years after three of the big four carriers ditched their unlimited data plans, all the major companies are offering plans that promise users they can access the mobile internet as much as they’d like.
A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:
Across party lines, a majority of voters identify the Durbin amendment as a price control. History has taught us price controls rarely work as intended and the Durbin amendment is another example of failed policy. It’s time to end the merchant markup once and for all. Learn how to take action now.
Standard Business Reporting: Open Data to Cut Compliance Costs
For companies as well as agencies, open data offers significant efficiencies by reducing processing time and costs. First, if government agencies standardize data fields and formats for the information they collect, rather than expressing that information as unstructured documents, reporting companies’ software can automatically compile and report it, reducing manual labor.
AT&T’s Digital Redlining Of Cleveland
A mapping analysis of Federal Communications Commission broadband availability data, conducted by Connect Your Community and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, strongly suggests that AT&T has systematically discriminated against lower-income Cleveland neighborhoods in its deployment of home Internet and video technologies over the past decade. Our analysis, based on newly released FCC Form 477 Census block data for June 2016, provides clear evidence that AT&T has withheld fiber-enhanced broadband improvements from most Cleveland neighborhoods with high poverty rates – including Hough, Glenville, Central, Fairfax, South Collinwood, St. Clair-Superior, Detroit-Shoreway, Stockyards and others.