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Data Sheet—Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Social media, especially Twitter, played a central role in Donald Trump’s rise from celebrity TV host and real estate magnate to the 45th president. So it seems fitting that Twitter was also the scene of a strange kind of guerrilla uprising on Tuesday against the Trump administration and its practices involving public information.

What seems to have triggered the revolt was the treatment of a National Park Service Twitter account over the weekend. After re-posting Twitter updates that called into question the size of the crowds at Trump’s inauguration, the account’s activity was frozen. The following day, the tweets in question had been deleted, replaced by an apology for “the mistaken retweets.”

Other government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture’s research arm, have also had their social media accounts frozen indefinitely as of Tuesday, and staff memos have said that these accounts will likely be more “centrally controlled” in the future.

In the face of all this, the Twitter account for Badlands National Park in South Dakota posted a series of tweets on Tuesday calling attention to the rise of global warming, something President Trump has publicly referred to as a hoax. The posts drew cheers, along with thousands of retweets, and the account quickly gained tens of thousands of new followers.

Unfortunately for fans of the account, however, this short-lived rebellion was quickly put down. The tweets in question were deleted just hours after the series began—including one that quoted from the 1916 law that created the National Park Service. But thanks to the Internet, screenshots of the anonymous social media editor’s attempts to speak truth to power continue to circulate.

Mathew Ingram


Cisco saves AppDynamics the trouble of going public. The networking giant will pay a whopping $3.7 billion to buy the firm, which sells technology for managing and monitoring software applications to big companies like Nike and Kraft. AppDynamics filed to go public in December. Cisco plans to meld its services into its broader Internet of things strategy. (Fortune)

LinkedIn’s top engineer gets major promotion at Microsoft. Kevin Scott, who was senior vice president of infrastructure for the social networking company, was named chief technology officer for the software giant—in charge of ensuring its business software applications are closely tied to LinkedIn services. Technically speaking, he shares that title with others. But there’s one big difference, unlike most of his peers, Scott will report directly to CEO Satya Nadella. (Fortune)

With high-profile Oscar nomination, Amazon is ready for its closeup. The e-commerce giant’s big bet on streaming media paid off Tuesday with six Academy Awards nominations for Manchester by the Sea, including best picture. Another release, The Salesman, is up for best foreign film. If it wins, Amazon would be the first Internet company to earn this distinction. (Fortune, Wall Street Journal)

AT&T is having a rough week. First, it was sued in Los Angeles for breach of contract by a former executive, who was fired after an incident involving racist text messages. Now, the carrier is bracing for an escalation in stalled contract talks with its two main labor unions—and affecting close to 38,000 workers. A public protest is planned Wednesday by some of the company’s wireless unit employees in New York. (Fortune, Fortune)

HP Inc. recalls more laptop batteries over fire concerns. Anyone who bought one of its Compaq or HP branded laptops between March 2013 and October 2016 could be affected. About 101,000 batteries were recalled, on top of a previous recall for 41,000 of them. (Fortune)

Bankrupt Nortel Networks can finally start paying back creditors. After eight years of courtroom drama—and almost $1.9 billion in litigation costs and legal fees—the telecommunications equipment maker received approval Tuesday for its $7 billion plan to clear its debts. The Canadian company once had a market cap of $250 billion. (Reuters, Wall Street Journal)

SAP raises sales expectations for cloud services after strong fourth quarter. The German business software company’s cloud “bookings” grew 40% in Q4, while revenue tied to subscriptions and support expanded 31%. SAP’s total revenue was approximately $23.8 billion. Approximately 61% of its revenue now comes from those “predictable” sources of sales. (Bloomberg, MarketWatch)

Target will launch its own mobile payments service this year. The retailer’s new financing scheme will compete with offerings from Apple, Alphabet, Samsung and retail rival Walmart (which introduced its own offering in December 2015). (Reuters)


Why this trucking company turned to the cloud. Commercial truck drivers spend more time than you would think doing busy work, including data entry, instead of driving. Massive carrier Swift Transportation hopes to streamline that paperwork by issuing new Samsung tablets to the drivers of its 18,000 big rigs, all to be connected to the Microsoft Azure cloud service. Fortune‘s Barb Darrow has the details about the fleet company’s bet on modern Samsung tablets and the Internet of things.


Is the World Big Enough for Chinese Smartphone Leader Huawei? by Scott Cendrowski

Wireless Competition Is Finally Catching Up to Verizon, by Aaron Pressman

Cisco Joins Microsoft, Google With Release of Digital Whiteboard, by Jonathan Vanian

Apple Downgraded on Over-Hyped ‘iPhone 8’, by Don Reisinger

What Trump Means for the U.S. Patent System, by Jeff John Roberts

Box Gets More Serious About Its Note-Taking App, by Heather Clancy

Wait, Peter Thiel Is a Citizen of New Zealand? by Kevin Lui


Sorry, but Mark Zuckerberg isn’t running for President. Despite speculation otherwise. And at least for now. (Fortune)

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.
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