Overnight Technology

Overnight Tech: Rubio tackles Uber economy

LEDE: Jeb Bush has caught a ride in an Uber to show that he’s paying attention to the on-demand economy. Hillary Clinton has said companies like the ride-hail giant and Airbnb are “raising hard questions” about the way Americans work. Now, it’s Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) turn to talk about the on-demand economy on the campaign trail.

He’ll be appearing at the Civic Hall in New York City on Tuesday to talk about “the unique challenges facing businesses in the sharing economy that have resulted directly from outdated leaders in government.”

{mosads}That’s very much in line with his earlier writing on the subject: the second chapter of his recent book is entitled “Making America Safe for Uber.” In it, he writes of how his college political science students turned indignant when he made the case to them that they could not use Uber in Miami because of over-regulation of the ride-hailing service.

“I explained to them that it was because of regulations created by government,” he wrote in the book, American Dreams. “Politicians, I said, had passed rules to stifle competition that might threaten their constituents and supporters in the existing taxi and sedan service industry.”

He’ll join a growing club of presidential candidates who have used the on-demand economy to talk about government regulation and the way technology is changing the nature of work in America. The aforementioned Bush photo-op took place just days after Clinton made her own comments. Her remarks, made in part of a much larger speech on economic policy, brought backlash from some Republicans, including presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

FINAL ROUND OF NET NEUTRALITY BRIEFS: A group of telecom trade groups filed their final round of reply comments to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, urging the court to strike down the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality regulations. The brief argues Internet service is fundamentally different than telephone voice service, and should not be regulated similarly. The groups say the FCC is misreading a prior Supreme Court case on the subject and rebut the FCC’s main argument that the court should give regulatory deference to the expert agency because the underlying law is ambiguous.  

“The fact that the FCC has suddenly discovered that so many longstanding statutory interpretations and prior orders, adopted on independent rationales over several decades, are now simultaneously ‘incorrect’ precludes any deference and exposes the FCC’s aboutface,” the brief reads.

DORSEY MAKES IT PERMANENT AT TWITTER: Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who has been serving as the company’s interim CEO since this summer, will take on the job full time. He will stay on as CEO of Square, the payments company he also co-founded.

TRUMP’S TWITTER HABITS: The New York Times profiled Donald Trump’s twitter habits, as the billionaire has successfully used the social networking platform during his months-long lead atop GOP presidential polls. Among other insights, Trump said he wished he could use more than 140 characters in about 10 percent of tweets. He also said deleting a tweet creates a bigger story than the content of the tweet itself.

THE 15-SECOND AD: As more of the political conversation moves to the Web, campaign ads are getting shorter. New 15-second web ads, compared to the traditional 30-second TV spot, are more front-loaded with grabby content at the start, the New York Times reported.

JOBS LEGACY DEBATED AHEAD OF MOVIE RELEASE: The legacy of Steve Jobs is once again under debate as a major film about the Apple creator’s life is set to be released Friday. Some Apple board members and allies are pushing back on the film’s depiction of Jobs and his complicated personal life. The movie is based on the book by Walter Isaacson, which spurred similar debates when it was published in 2011.

A HACKATHON FOR FISH?: Not quite. But the State Department is holding the third iteration of an event called Fishackathon in April. It “calls on coders from all around the world to come together to create new applications and tools for use on mobile phones, devices, and other end-solutions, which can help fishers work smart and more safely in sustainable fishing.”

STARTUP WILL HELP YOU CANCEL YOUR CABLE: Comcast customers looking to cancel their service have another option if they don’t want to call the customer service line themselves. A startup called Airpaper is making a business of navigating bureaucracies for people, starting with Comcast cancellation. For $5, they’ll send a cancellation letter to Comcast.



At 9 a.m., Marco Rubio gives remarks in New York about the on-demand economy.

At 9:15 a.m., the American Enterprise Institute is holding a talk on “the case of Microsoft’s servers in Ireland.”



Obama administration officials believe a major trans-Pacific trade deal struck early Monday morning will help companies protect their digital property abroad and preserve online privacy.

And tech advocates are hoping it protects cross-border data flows.

Pocket dials accounted for about 20 percent of all 911 calls in San Francisco last year, according to a study conducted by Google.

Facebook and satellite company Eutelsat will start beaming Internet service to parts of Africa under a new deal announced Monday.

Donald Trump predicts there would be a “major collapse” in cable news ratings if he dropped out of the presidential race.


Please send tips and comments to David McCabe, dmccabe@thehill.com and Mario Trujillo, mtrujillo@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @HilliconValley@dmccabe 

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Marco Rubio Rand Paul
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