IN THE NEWS: WASHINGTON STATE NET-NEUTRALITY
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington has become the first state to enact its own net-neutrality requirements. That will likely set up a legal fight with the Trump administration. The Federal Communications Commission voted in December to gut rules that are meant to prevent broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. And when it did so, it also prohibited state laws from contradicting its decision. Opponents at the time warned it will lead to lawsuits. Several other states have also introduced similar measures, but so far Washington State is the first to pass one.
IN THE NEWS: GOOGLE-EXPANSION
NEW YORK (AP) – As New York City waits to hear whether it’s been chosen as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters, recent moves by another tech giant, Google, to expand its footprint in the city are helping to legitimize New York’s claim to be Silicon Valley East. Google is reportedly close to a reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add a landmark Meatpacking District building to its already substantial New York campus. Chelsea Market, sits across the street from Google’s current New York City headquarters, a massive, art deco, former shipping terminal that also occupies an entire city block. If the sale goes through, it would be among the priciest real estate transactions for a single building in city history. It would also give Google a remarkable Manhattan campus to supplement its still-growing main headquarters in Mountain View, California.
IN THE NEWS: MICROFIBER SOLUTIONS
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The fight to keep tiny pollutants from reaching the dinner plate might start in the laundry room. Innovators are coming up with tools to keep tiny pieces of thread that are discharged with washing machine effluent from reaching marine life. Such “microfibers” are too small to be caught in conventional filters, so they eventually pass through sewage plants, wash out to waterways, and can be eaten or absorbed by marine animals, some later served up as seafood. The microfiber trappers take various forms. Guppyfriend, the laundry bag, is sold by clothing company Patagonia for $29.75. Cora Ball retails at $29.99 and is a multicolored ball designed to bounce around the washing machine, trapping microfibers in appendages that resemble coral. Lint LUV-R costs $140 or more and is a filter that attaches to a laundry water discharge hose.
N THE NEWS: TECH BUSES-CAMERA TRACKING
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – A transit agency in Silicon Valley set up six cameras to count how many buses carrying Apple and Google and other tech employees are using its roads after the companies refused to share that information. The agency is examining the impact of corporate bus fleets on traffic to analyze ways to improve vehicle flow on Highway 85, which is frequently jammed with traffic through the Silicon Valley. The agency said it asked companies for shuttle bus data but did not receive it. The double-decker buses are common in the San Francisco Bay Area and popular with workers. The campuses of Facebook and Apple are each about 4 miles from the closest rail station.