Tech News Roundup


Key Issues

Tech Politics

Social Media Is Not Contributing Significantly to Political Polarization, Paper Says. Why has the United States become so politically polarized? (New York Times)


George W. Bush makes case for foreign aid and immigration reform. Former President George W. Bush made the case for continuing to fund foreign aid programs and offering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in a recent interview with NPR. (Politico)

Legislation allowing warrantless student phone searches dies for now. In January, a California lawmaker introduced legislation, backed by school administrators, that would give K-12 school administrators broad powers to search the phones and electronic devices of their students without a warrant. (Ars Technica)

Global Trade

In Ending Ex-Im Bank Impasse, Trump Sides With Business Establishment. When President Donald Trump signaled Wednesday he would end a yearslong debate within the Republican Party over the U.S. Export-Import Bank, he sided with the business establishment to restore an agency that some conservative Republicans, including members of his own administration, wanted to cripple. (Wall Street Journal)

Small U.S. Manufacturers Struggle to Bring Jobs Back Home. GAM Enterprises Inc., a manufacturer of precision mechanical components used in factory automation, began moving operations back to the U.S. from Germany three years ago to hold on to customers frustrated by long lead times and shipping delays. (Wall Street Journal)

Pence expected to deliver soft trade message in South Korea. Vice President Mike Pence is unlikely to press South Korea to reopen negotiations on a five-year-old free trade agreement when he visits Seoul next week, even though President Donald Trump and top advisers criticized the pact throughout last year's campaign. (Politico Pro)

Trump's lurch toward corporatism, globalism shows why Bannon's marginalization matters. It is clearer than ever that whoever has Donald Trump's ear controls the direction of the country. (Washington Post)


T-Mobile, Dish bid $14 billion in U.S. airwaves auction: FCC. T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) bid $8 billion and Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) $6.2 billion to win the bulk of broadcast airwaves spectrum for sale in a government auction, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Microsoft says U.S. foreign intelligence surveillance requests more than doubled. Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it had received at least a thousand surveillance requests from the U.S. government that sought user content for foreign intelligence purposes during the first half of 2016. (Reuters)

Former intel chiefs fear future election hacks. As investigations continue into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential elections, former top intelligence officials said they worry it's only the beginning of a long, insidious fight. (FCW)

Who Should Regulate Cybersecurity for Connected Cars?. As vehicles become increasingly high-tech and connected, should cybersecurity standards be set by the same federal agencies that regulate safety? (GovTech)
Internet of Things

Self-driving 'arms race' complicates supplier alliances. The race to develop and exploit autonomous vehicle technology is reshaping the hierarchy of the automotive industry, replacing traditional top-down manufacturing relationships with complex webs of alliances and acquisitions. (Reuters)

Silicon Valley engineer launches driverless car sensor start-up. A 22-year-old Silicon Valley engineer, who was paid by a venture capitalist to skip college, has launched a start-up which aims to solve one of the toughest technical challenges in autonomous driving. (Financial Times)
Artificial Intelligence

Society 'flying blind' over robots' impact on jobs. An information vacuum about the sweeping impact of robotics and artificial intelligence has left governments badly positioned to respond to the coming upheaval in employment, say two US professors who have been co-ordinating a broad study on the subject. (Financial Times)

Sandberg Called `Hypocrite' as Facebook, Google Shield Pay Data. When Grace Anderson prints out her resume, she notices 20 percent of it is missing. Still, her qualifications are so good that she's offered the job she seeks by a man who says, "We think you'll be pleased with the offer -- that we gave someone else. You'll be making 20 percent less." (Bloomberg)

Right to Repair
Right to Repair Policies are Government Mandates and will Jeopardize Consumer Privacy. Whether consumers should have the right to repair electronic devices, cars, and other products with a software component is a tough debate. (ALEC)
'If I were the Federal CIO': Setting Technology Priorities in the Digital Age . As a new business-minded administration takes office-and as Congress considers revamping the Modernizing Government Technology Act-federal agencies have a tremendous opportunity to get it right. Imagine a world where taxpayers' 1040 form were pre-populated with data, where seniors could handle all their Social Security life events online, and where citizens never have to enter a government office. (NextGov)
'If you're a really good federal worker, you should welcome' the reorganization plan, OMB says. The Office of Management and Budget' new memo on reorganizing and restructuring makes clear what President Donald Trump has long suggested - that his administration can run the government more efficiently and effectively with a smaller federal workforce. (Federal News Radio)

Former D.C. tech chief returns to government as a Virginia county CIO. Prince William County, Virginia, has called on Robert Mancini, a former chief technology officer of Washington, D.C., to be its next chief information officer. Mancini replaces Tom McQuillan, who retired as the county's CIO roughly one month ago. (StateScoop)
Tech Business
New Tools Needed to Track Technology's Impact on Jobs, Panel Says. America needs new tools for the timely measurement and monitoring of technology, jobs and skills to cope with the advance of artificial intelligence and automation, an expert panel composed mainly of economists and computer scientists said in a new report. (New York Times)

Uber's Interest in Google Executive's Driverless-Car Startup Was Immediate, Lawyers Say. Uber Technologies Inc. was considering buying the driverless-car startup of a former Google engineer two days after he resigned from the tech giant, and was already anticipating a lawsuit if it did, attorneys for Google parent Alphabet Inc.GOOGL +0.00% said in federal court here on Wednesday. (Wall Street Journal)

Instagram Finds Focus Under 'Efficiency Guru'. Soon after joining Instagram as chief operating officer two years ago, Marne Levine asked to see its annual budget at a team meeting. The room was quiet until another executive piped up: "What do you mean 'the budget'?" (Wall Street Journal)

Airbus Joint Venture Seals Iran Air Plane Order. Iran's controversial effort to upgrade its airliner fleet has taken another step with a deal valued at up to $1 billion to buy planes from a joint venture of Airbus EADSY -0.75% SE and LeonardoLDO 0.69% SpA. (Wall Street Journal)

Online Upstarts Seek to Disrupt Used-Car Buying. Emily Hurwitz, an advertising supervisor who lives in San Francisco, doesn't like buying cars from traditional dealerships. (New York Times)

Samsung putting Note 7 behind it as S8 pre-orders surpass S7's. Pre-orders for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone have exceeded those of its predecessor S7, the firm's mobile chief said on Thursday, suggesting many consumers are unfazed by last year's Galaxy Note 7 fires. (Reuters)

Robots are now doing food deliveries. Much attention has been paid to flying delivery robot prototypes from Amazon and Google, but a San Francisco startup called Marble just released a product that - while a bit less futuristic - could turn out to win the robot delivery wars. (Vox)

US chipmaker Broadcom leads race for Toshiba unit. US chipmaker Broadcom appeared to pull ahead as an early frontrunner in the $18bn-plus auction for Toshiba's flash memory business on Thursday as it emerged that its bid had the financial backing of at least two major Japanese lenders. (Financial Times)

ITI Member News

Facebook failed to remove reported extremist posts . Facebook failed to remove dozens of instances of extremist and child pornography even after the social network's moderators were directly informed of the potentially illegal content, an investigation by The Times showed on Thursday. (Reuters)

Facebook Buys Full-Page Ads in Germany in Battle With Fake News. Facebook Inc. published full-page ads in Germany's biggest newspapers advising readers on how to detect fake news, after Angela Merkel's government pressured the company to do more to combat such content on its network. (Bloomberg)

Facebook cracks down on 30,000 fake accounts in France. Facebook said on Thursday it is taking action against tens of thousands of fake accounts in France as the social network giant seeks to demonstrate it is doing more to halt the spread of spam as well as fake news, hoaxes and misinformation. (Reuters)

Toyota develops robotic leg braces for older people. The Welwalk WW-1000 system is designed for people with severe mobility loss in one leg, such as stroke patients. (BBC News)

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