Plus: Apple drops its Q1 guidance and blames Trump and China; a Fortnite gamer earned nearly $10 million last year; cute robots are coming to next week’s CES.
The 116th Congress gets sworn in today — a historic day for women in government.A whopping 102 women will take their seats in the House — that’s nearly a quarter of its voting members. Of those women, 35 (or 34.3 percent) are entering Congress for the first time. Exactly a quarter of the Senate will now be made up of women, as 25 women, five of whom are new, will be sworn in. The majority of women serving in both chambers are Democrats. Other noteworthy events: Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will likely be elected the next speaker of the House, and she says she intends to immediately hold a vote on the government shutdown. C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 will be streaming the ceremony, which is set to begin at 12 pm ET; here’s what to watch for. [Monica Hunter-Hart / Bustle]
Apple cut its sales outlook for its fiscal 2019 first quarter by nearly 8 percent to $84 billion. The company had previously said it expected $89 billion to $93 billion in sales for the holiday quarter, which ended December 29. In a letter to investors, CEO Tim Cook blamed “emerging market challenges” and lackluster iPhone sales; in both instances, China was a driving force behind the lower-than-expected numbers, and Apple’s statement seems to be a not-so-thinly-veiled stab at President Donald Trump’s trade battle with the world’s most populous country. But that’s not the only reason people are buying fewer iPhones. [Rani Molla / Recode]
The Federal Communications Commission will suspend most of its services by midday today if the partial government shutdown continues. The FCC plans to furlough more than 20 percent of its staff and will cease all work that is not “required for the protection of life and property” or related to spectrum auctions, which are funded by the sale of spectrum licenses. The agency’s wind-down would impact electronics makers, consumers, broadcasters, and many federal employees. [Chris Welch / The Verge]
A federal judge dismissed lawsuits that sought to hold Facebook, Google, and Twitter liable to victims of the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino that killed 14 people and injured 22 others. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco found that while the platforms were “generally aware” that the Islamic State used their services, the shooting was not a direct result of the companies providing resources to the terrorist group. [Jonathan Stempel / Reuters]
Netflix pulled an episode of “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” in Saudi Arabia after the government there leveled a legal threat over a segment in which the comedian criticizes US ties to the regime and ridicules Saudi attempts to explain the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Netflix said it was simply complying with a local cybercrime law; human rights group Amnesty International said Netflix’s action is “further proof of a relentless crackdown on freedom of expression.” The 27-minute episode, titled “Saudi Arabia,” remains available on Netflix in all other territories. [Todd Spangler / Variety]
Popular Fortnite streamer Tyler Blevins, a.k.a. Ninja, earned nearly $10 million in 2018, with 70 percent of the revenue coming from Twitch and YouTube. Every time one of Ninja’s 20 million-plus YouTube subscribers watches a pop-up ad on his channel, he earns a percentage of the ad sale; most of his videos on YouTube have been viewed millions of times. More than 12.5 million users follow him on Twitch and almost 40,000 pay to watch, forking over either $4.99, $9.99, or $25 per month to watch him blast his way to big bucks. The rest of his income is from sponsors like Samsung, Uber Eats, and Red Bull, which leads to a question about him and his peers in the burgeoning eSports community: Are they athletes? Blevins said he sees himself instead as a small business owner. [Dave Briggs / CNN]
How much of the internet is fake? A lot of it, as it turns out. Studies suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human, and a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people” — a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.” Here’s a grim look at our new post-Inversion unreality, in which the metrics, businesses, content, people — even ourselves — are questionable. How many times this year were you asked online to prove that you’re a human? [Max Read / New York]