By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
June 29, 2017

Good morning, Aaron in for a vacationing Adam again today.

New technologies often have a way of making old laws seem obsolete. And that can set off a flurry of activity at every level, from cities and towns to states to the federal government, as lawmakers try to catch up and fill any gaps. This week witnessed several of those flurries, worth following if you’re interested in how quickly, safely, cheaply or fairly new technologies and new markets will develop.

Self-driving cars is a great area to watch. So far, regulating autonomous vehicles has largely been the purview of states and the various tech companies large and small have been able to push their agendas in some areas. But on Tuesday, Congress held a hearing to consider more than a dozen bills to nationalize the rules of the road.

Some regulatory efforts are percolating at the state level to combat national legislative moves, though. After Congress and President Trump revoked strong online privacy protection in April, 18 states are considering re-imposing similar restrictions. Illinois lawmakers approved a bill to restrict the use of location information this week and it’s now up to Gov. Bruce Rauner to decide whether to sign proposal into law.

Another clash between national and local legislators may be brewing over drones, with a proposal in Congress to give state and local governments the ability to decide for themselves how to regulate drones flying 200 feet or under over their regions. Higher-flying gadgets would still be regulated at the federal level.

Of course, sometimes new technology just leads to confusion, which seems to be the case with President Trump’s tweet that Amazon doesn’t pay “Internet taxes.” There are no such taxes, although Trump may have been referring to state and local sales taxes. A controversial subject for the e-commerce giant years ago, Amazon now collects applicable sales taxes for customers nationwide.


You may have noticed wall-to-wall coverage of today’s 10th anniversary of the iPhone across the Internet. At Fortune, we’ve added our fair share. Highlights include Don Reisinger’s comparison of the latest iPhone 7 to the original (did you know they both weigh 4.8 ounces?) and the all-time worst iPhone rumors. iPhone Shuffle, anyone? I also gathered up some of the best and worst quotes about the iPhone over the years and took a look at which models were best for investors in Apple’s stock.

The Fortune archives are chock full of even better, much deeper coverage of the history of the iPhone. Peter Lewis had it just about right two years early in a 2005 story about the terrible phone that resulted from Apple’s collaboration with Motorola: “Perhaps Apple is keeping a low profile while it develops its own music phone, the mythical iPhone that, like the white buffalo of Native American lore, will herald Apple’s return to dominance of the computer industry.”

Adam was early on the behind-the-scenes manufacturing maestro of the iPhone, Tim Cook, and dug deep into a review of Jobs’ successful run as Apple CEO, focusing on the “rare pairing of micromanagement with big-picture vision.”

And Betsy Morris interviewed Jobs in 2008, revealing lots of interesting background about the iPhone, including the famous genesis of the idea: “We all had cellphones. They were so awful to use. The software was terrible. The hardware wasn’t very good. We talked to our friends, and they all hated their cellphones too.”

Not many hate their phone anymore. Now we can barely ever put it down.

Aaron Pressman


You May Like