Is it still dangerous for journalists in Myanmar?
Yes, unfortunately. So the good news is that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, the two Reuters reporters were freed. However, they were pardoned, which means they're still considered criminals. And there has been a real chilling effect on the press in Myanmar. The Irrawaddy, which is an independent newspaper, is being investigated. There are people being investigated for Facebook posts that the authorities don't like. So absolutely still dangerous.
Game of Thrones made a huge mistake last week. What is the best way to check your work?
Yes. Game of Thrones left a coffee cup on a Winterfell table. Not a good look. So, process is really the best way. Making sure that there are multiple people looking at your work and editing it, which I'm sure is the case at HBO. But you can still miss things. A trick that I use is changing the font or the layout on an article when I give it a last read. Or you can read it backwards. On video you can play with brightness, color saturation, and you can play just a sound, or just the image. Really anything that will trick your brain into thinking that you're looking at something new and therefore you can have fresh eyes and better see mistakes.
President Donald Trump has asserted executive privilege over materials special counsel Robert Mueller used to assemble his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Attorney General William Barr, who faces growing backlash from House Democrats after refusing a subpoena that called for the release of those very materials, has long been an advocate of broad executive power. Barr's past may offer some insights into the present situation.
Will the Arctic Council be able to agree on protection of that very sensitive environment up there?
Well, there's been a meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi in Finland. And for the first time it has failed to agree on a common declaration. And that is because the US refused any mention, any mention whatsoever, of climate change. That's a setback, no question about that, but let's hope that the participating states can agree on other measures to safeguard a better development of that very fragile part of our world.
How will President Macron and his party do in the European Parliamentary elections?
Well, looks somewhat more problematic if we look at the latest opinion polls. He has been having good momentum, but there has been more momentum for the nationalist forces in the last few weeks. We'll just have to wait and see.
Is global cooperation on climate change possible?
Sure, it's possible and as it gets worse, increasingly populations around the world, especially young people, are making it a priority. We've seen it in Finland, we see it in Australia. We see it even among left and right among young people the United States. That makes me feel, over time, we're going to see more cooperation.
How will the ANC - The African National Congress - fare in South Africa's elections?
They will win. But they're going to get a lot lower than they have in recent elections. They'll be lucky to get 60%. That makes it harder for Ramaphosa to actually engage in the anti-corruption that they desperately need. They need to go through what Brazil went through to make that country really work and the growth is going be slow.
Can Trump clinch a trade deal with China by Friday?
Well no, but I'd be really surprised if the Chinese do not back away from the backtracking they were already doing the last couple weeks. They were feeling more confident. They thought they had a deal with Trump that was basically in the bag. They backed off. Trump hit him hard with a couple of tweets. They do not want to see these big tariffs coming in. I'd be real surprised if we don't still move towards a deal. The markets will be happier and Trump will have something to announce. It will be positive.
Can trump stop Robert Mueller from testifying on Capitol Hill?
No, he can't stop it. He could try to slow it down with legal challenges, maybe even invoke executive privilege, but he cannot stop it.
What's up with all of Trump's tweets about China over the weekend?
I'm told by an administration official that Trump is trying to force China's hand to get a deal done by Friday, it could backfire. The Chinese do not like these kind of tactics.
Can Jared Kushner get his immigration plan through Capitol Hill?
No, there's people lining up on left and right already opposing it. Immigration had proved incredibly challenging over the last decade to get anything done. And Jared Kushner is not going to be the one who solves that.
Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg a moderate Democrat?
Well it's tough to slot him into any particular category but he's definitely more moderate than Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. He's also for 'Medicare for All' and fixing the environment. But he does care about debt and deficits and the long term impact on his generation.
And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence Microsoft On The Issues.
Will Facebook face a backlash over banning Louis Farrakhan and Alex Jones?
Yes! Every time Facebook bans somebody they will proclaim themselves a free speech martyr. That doesn't mean Facebook shouldn't have banned them.
Hey Google, what happened to revenue growth?
Google's earnings... not good. Revenue is not growing as fast as it has. Stock went way down. Why? I don't really know. I guess it has to do with YouTube ads and also Amazon taking market share. But Google for as analytic a company it is doesn't break things out the way it should.
Why did Apple just pay Qualcomm more than $4 billion?
Licensing! The interesting reason is that Intel proved unable to make 5G chips. So Apple is totally reliant on Qualcomm.
Could AC units help clean up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?
Yes! There is a really interesting scientific paper suggesting that you can retrofit your air conditioners. So instead of producing more carbon dioxide and actually also producing heat, they could pull it in and use it as a fuel source. That would be amazing and everybody should go work on that right now.
And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.
The Guardian is finally profitable! Can it keep it up?
Yes, The Guardian made £800,000 this year, which is a two-bedroom flat in London! But that's actually really good news because they were losing millions for years. Can they keep it up? Absolutely! Because most of their revenue is now from digital and it is from readers without a paywall. So, congratulations Katharine Viner and team! Who knew you could get good news in journalism?
What is going on at The Markup and The Correspondent?
The Markup is a highly anticipated tech publication out of New York, which hasn't published anything yet, but got a lot of money from big philanthropy and it kind of imploded in the past week because of disagreements between the co-founders, because of some questionable management practices, and most of the newsroom quit. The Correspondent is a news org out of the Netherlands, which had a massive crowdfunding campaign to expand to the U.S. Now, their first American employee quit when she realized that they weren't actually going to open a newsroom in the U.S. but we're going to expand to English language content from Amsterdam. And the question is whether people who participated in the campaign were misled. Two themes in common between these two stories. One) journalism has a bad management and business culture or not much of one. Two) Innovation is hard. Startups fail all the time. Now, what happens in media - it's all over Twitter. It's all in the news because we love to cover ourselves. And three) because it's usually funded by the crowd and not just a couple of venture capitalists. It makes a lot of people angry when it fails.