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Data Sheet—Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Live journalism has become one of the critical pillars of our multi-platform experience at Fortune. In many ways, it’s the least technological form of communication we have: We bring together the best and the brightest and the most relevant people we know to have face-to-face conversations with each other. But, oh the topics they’ll discuss.

This morning I’m pleased to share with you a small handful of the technology industry luminaries who will participate in Fortune Brainstorm Tech, our annual get-together in Aspen, Colo.

Robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are on everyone’s mind this year. MIT’s Cynthia Breazeal and Nest’s Yoky Matsuoka will have a wide-ranging conversation on the future of robotics. Kyle Vogt, CEO of GM-owned Cruise Automation, will discuss the prospect for robotic cars.

This also is the year that cybersecurity threats went from corporate dilemma to political crises. Three experts who’ll attack the problem on our stage will be Keith Alexander, former director of the U.S. National Security Agency; Oren Falkowitz of Area 1 Security; and HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos.

One of the hallmarks of Brainstorm Tech is our attention to finance. We like to be able to share with our attendees where the smart money is looking, and we bring together investors who invest at different stages of a company’s life. A few who’ll join us in Aspen include Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures, General Atlantic’s Anton Levy, and David Trujillo of TPG.

Big-company CEOs are a hallmark of our conference. Brian Cornell of Target will join us. So will Jeff Wilkie, CEO of Amazon’s retail business. Michael Dell, who bought back his company recently, will appear with the man who helped him do it, Egon Durban of private-equity investor Silver Lake.

This is meant to be a mere taste of who’ll be in Aspen. A handful of others include GE Transportation chief Jamie Miller, Linda Kozlowski of Etsy, and Slack’s April Underwood.

More information on participants at Brainstorm Tech can be found here. Please check back for updates as we get closer to July.

Adam Lashinsky


I invented that. James Gosling, credited with creating the Java programming language used to build much of the world’s business software and Android mobile apps, joined Amazon Web Services as a distinguished engineer. “He invented Java,” says Sebastian Stadil, chief executive of Scalr. “AWS clearly hired him to win every enterprise Java workload out there.”

I didn’t invent that. A day after being sued over patents for it Apple Pay service, Apple resolved a smartphone patent dispute with Nokia, agreeing to make an undisclosed upfront payment and pay additional recurring revenues.

I invented that. No, I invented that. The Supreme Court delivered a major blow to so-called patent trolls by making it much harder to bring lawsuits in friendly venues like East Texas. In a unanimous ruling, the court said that patent owners must sue companies in the districts where they are incorporated or have a regular place of business.

A billion here, a billion there. Private equity firm TPG Capital continued rolling up medium-sized cable and Internet service providers. It’s grabbing Wave Broadband, a West Coast operator, for $2.4 billion. Combined with prior acquisitions RCN and Grande Communications, TPG will become the sixth-largest operator in the country.

Apolitical. Mark Zuckerberg shot down rumors that he was considering entering politics after he started a multi-state tour earlier this year. “I’m doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we’re best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook and doing the best work to promote equal opportunity at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” the Facebook founder wrote on Facebook.


Autonomous driving technology will not only allow for the proliferation of self-driving cars, but also much larger vehicles like long haul trucks.

Over 3 million people are employed driving trucks and many could be put out of work by self-driving fleets, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs, which forecast the loss of 300,000 driving positions a year. Semi- and fully-autonomous cars will grab about one-fifth of the auto market between 2025 and 2030, the report estimated.


Facebook Needs to Be More Transparent About Why It Censors Speech by Mathew Ingram

AT&T Strikers Return to Work After Weekend Walkout Forced Store Closings by Aaron Pressman

Amazon’s Alexa Can Now Help Dish Network Viewers Change Channels by Jonathan Vanian

New ‘Borderless’ Accounts From TransferWise Make It Easier To Bank Overseas by Jeff John Roberts

Some Apple Music Free Trial Users Charged Fee for Access by Don Reisinger

Bill Gates and Paul Allen Invest More Money in Autonomous Tech Startup by Barb Darrow


In what could be the start of the most entertaining financial arbitrage of all time, a man who accidentally bought two tons of unsorted Lego bricks created a neural net-based image classifier to sort the bricks by color and shape. Unsorted bricks sell for only about $10 per kilo, while sorted Legos sell for $45 or more.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.