First Read Tech

Drones ground Newark flights … Airbnb critics defend blocked law … and more of today’s tech news

| Shutterstock
The Latest

Drones halt Newark air traffic
Drone sightings at Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey led to a temporary ground stop to operations at nearby Newark International Airport Tuesday afternoon, with at least one flight diverted to Albany International Airport during the shutdown. (Times Union)

Airbnb critics defend blocked law 
A new report from critics of Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms claims New York City could lose nearly 11,000 housing units if new regulations on the companies don’t go forward. (The Associated Press)

License plate readers aid NYPD efforts
The New York Police Department has been using license plate readers for more than a decade – the readers were first added to the NYPD’s arsenal as part of its Lower Manhattan Security initiative, a counter-terror effort to secure streets. Today, they’re still instrumental in tracking down criminals. (New York Daily News)

UPS expands keyless entry system
United Parcel Service is expanding a keyless-entry system for package deliveries at apartment buildings after a successful test in New York using a remote-access lock made by New York-based Latch, furthering efforts by couriers to develop automation as customers demand swift, secure home delivery. (Crain’s New York Business)

NYPD gaming system targets teens
The NYPD is plugging into a $1 million-plus, first-of-its-kind virtual-reality gaming system that puts young people in wild situations on the street – and urges them to make safe choices, officials said Tuesday. (New York Post)

Virginia state Senate approves Amazon package
The Virginia Senate easily approved state tax incentives of up to $750 million over the next 15 years for Amazon to build a headquarters facility in Arlington, with supporters from both parties saying the headquarters would reap several times more than that in tax revenue. (The Washington Post)

Google’s big lobbying spend
The company disclosed in a quarterly filing that it spent $21.2 million on lobbying the U.S. government in 2018, topping its previous high of $18.22 million in 2012, as the search engine operator fights wide-ranging scrutiny into its practices. (Reuters)

New intelligence strategy identifies emerging tech as major threat
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats released the strategy meant to guide the U.S. intelligence community over the next four years, placing an emphasis on threats posed by new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and automation. (The Hill)

Companies try skirting shutdown’s IPO limbo
As the government shutdown continues, biotechnology companies Gossamer Bio and TCR2 Therapeutics have been exploring a little-used workaround that would let them begin trading without the usual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission signoff. (The Wall Street Journal)

Opinion

The right way to do scooter share
On Wednesday, the New York City Council’s transportation committee will consider creating an e-scooter pilot program. New York should adapt what works from other places and learn lessons from the Department of Transportation’s own dockless bike-share pilot last year. (Stephen Miller, Alex Baca and Noel Hidalgo, New York Daily News)

HQ2 adds to housing tension between public and private sector 
No matter the extent of positive job and economic growth that will follow the delivery of Amazon HQ2 to Long Island City, basic economics suggest a significant challenge arriving at the doorstep of New York’s housing market. For property owners, this presents another unprovoked challenge, adding pressure to the supply and demand of housing in New York City. (Robert S. Nelson, Crain’s New York Business)

Analysis

With Amazon’s arrival, a push for inclusion
Some are excited about the tens of thousands of jobs that Amazon has promised to bring to Long Island City with its new headquarters. Others wonder about getting access to those jobs and the strain on the area's already overburdened infrastructure. But there’s another, less impassioned response brewing in Queensbridge: apathy. (NPR)

How voting-machine lobbyists undermine the democratic process
The practice of democracy begins with casting votes; its integrity depends on the inclusivity of the franchise and the accurate recording of its will. Voting-system vendors, in partnership with elected officials, can jeopardize that process by influencing municipalities to buy proprietary, inscrutable voting devices that are less secure than paper ballots. (The New Yorker)

Profile

Ad-tech innovator Beeswax has been busy raising VC
The New York startup, known for enabling businesses to participate in real-time bidding for ad inventory, has raised $28 million and amassed a diverse set of big-name media and marketer customers, including Twitch and Foursquare Labs, despite an overall trend of declining investor interest in ad-tech businesses. (New York Business Journal)

New York
20190124