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07/28/2016

Key Issues

Tech Politics

The Trumpian Dreams of Silicon Valley. There were more than a few dropped jaws when the Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel agreed to a prime-time speaking slot on the final night of the Republican National Convention, barely an hour before the acceptance speech of Donald J. Trump. (New York Times)

Encryption

Comey: Conversations about encryption issue still needed. FBI Director James Comey said government and the tech industry need to sort out their differences over encryption before "something terrible happens" that would make productive conversations impossible. (Houston Chronicle)

Global Trade

McAuliffe tries to clarify TPP comments. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is still cleaning up after his comments that Hillary Clinton would support the Trans-Pacific Partnership after being elected. (Politico Pro)

Clinton camp cleaning up McAuliffe’s TPP mess. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is furiously pushing back against a close ally’s claims that the Democratic nominee will reverse her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership if elected president. (The Hill)

Broadband/Communications

Internet providers won’t rest until the government’s net-neutrality rules are dead. Internet providers who oppose the government's net-neutrality rules will once again take the issue to court this week as they ask more than a dozen federal judges to throw out the regulations. (Washington Post)

Scalise says FCC chair should abandon set-top box plan. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) wants the Federal Communications Commission to abandon a proposal to open up market for television set-top boxes. (The Hill)

Colorado building map of broadband infrastructure to guide future expansion. Colorado’s IT department is kicking off a new push to map the state’s broadband infrastructure and give policymakers a comprehensive look at where people still lack access to high-speed internet. (StateScoop)

Privacy

Brazil prosecutor freezes $11.7 million of Facebook funds due to WhatsApp case. The public federal prosecutor in the Brazilian state of Amazonas said on Wednesday the court there froze 38 million reais ($11.7 million) of funds held in Facebook Inc's account for failing to comply with a court order to supply data on users of the company's WhatsApp messaging service who are under criminal investigation. (Reuters)

Intellectual Property

East Texas judge backs off restrictive “abstract” patent motion rules. US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas hears more patent cases than any other federal judge. Last year, he installed a set of controversial rules for those cases, leading to rare public criticism. Changes to Gilstrap's order (Word file), dated last week, suggest some of those rules have been withdrawn. (Ars Technica)

Unified Patents files legal challenges against top three patent trolls of 2016. The three biggest patent trolls of this year will all soon face new legal challenges to their most valuable "inventions." (Ars Technica)

Public Sector

Understanding how FITARA grades are calculated. The grades most agencies have received for their efforts to implement the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act have not been good. To understand why, it's important to understand the scoring process. (FCW)

Dispelling the myth of 'perfect' security. Because governments are the most-attacked organizations in the world, there has been broad recognition that the old approaches to security, based on the impossible premise that security must be perfect, aren't working, and a new approach, based on the premise that security doesn't have to be perfect to still be successful, is needed. (FCW)

OMB issues A-130 update. The Office of Management and Budget has released the long-awaited update to Circular A-130, the overarching framework for federal information policy. (FCW)

Dispelling the myth of 'perfect' security. Because governments are the most-attacked organizations in the world, there has been broad recognition that the old approaches to security, based on the impossible premise that security must be perfect, aren't working, and a new approach, based on the premise that security doesn't have to be perfect to still be successful, is needed. (FCW)

Congressman looking for answers to transit benefits for feds. A Capital Beltway lawmaker is joining the chorus of federal employees calling for their retroactive transit benefits. (Federal News Radio)

White House releases finalized A-130 revision. The White House released the finalized revisions to the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-130 Wednesday, the first significant update to the policy since 2000. (FedScoop)

Data center closures a workforce concern. Closing and consolidating data centers is not just a technical shift for agencies but a management and workforce concern as well, officials said at an event Tuesday. (FedScoop)

GSA IT contracts have 'widely varying prices' — watchdog. The General Services Administration is struggling to keep prices fair and reasonable for some IT products because resellers are listing them at varying prices, often well above what they cost commercially, according to its inspector general. (FedScoop)

States see opportunity for innovation as they update old IT. States have a unique opportunity to innovate how they do business as they update their legacy information technology systems, according to a group of state technology executives. (StateScoop)

Environment/Sustainability

Relax about robots but worry over climate change. An oddity about the gangs of robot labourers that are supposedly about to take our jobs, leaving humanity to watch daytime TV and survive off a universal basic income, is that people who make robots for a living tend to talk them down. (Financial Times)

3 key sustainable business policy battles to watch. As the election season kicks into high gear, sustainability policy cannot take a back seat to the many other issues on the table. Whoever takes the reins in January will face an array of ongoing economic challenges, but without sustainability, all other issues will be increasingly difficult to remedy. (GreenBiz)

Workforce/Diversity

Cyber worker shortage hurting operations. Although the U.S. is in the top tier for educating new cybersecurity workers, the small talent pool is still a significant challenge for industry and government, according to a new survey. (FCW)

Report: global cybersecurity talent shortage is hurting businesses. A diverse swath of organizations across the globe are struggling to find cybersecurity talent, a report published Wednesday by Intel Security shows. 71 percent of the study’s respondents said that this irrefutable skills gap is also causing “direct and measurable damage” to their organizations. (FedScoop)

Tech Business

In China, Apple’s Local Competition Takes a Bite Out of Its Revenue. Apple has a China problem, and it may only worsen as Chinese smartphone makers offer better products and appeal to consumers to buy homegrown hardware. (Wall Street Journal)

China to Officially Make Ride-Hailing Legal. Ride-hailing services in China have attracted billions of dollars in investments. They have pulled in money from some of the world’s largest tech companies, like Apple and Alibaba. They have become a crucial road test for America’s best-known start-up, Uber. (New York Times)

Brands Born Online, Reshaping the Retail Landscape. The world might be a mess, but look on the bright side: Men’s shaving products are much better than they used to be. (New York Times)

Semiconductor Industry Shrinks Some More With Latest Deal. Analog Devices agreed on Tuesday to acquire the Linear Technology Corporation for $14.8 billion, accelerating the already brisk consolidation within the semiconductor sector. (New York Times)

Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A.. Many manufacturers perform a cost-benefit analysis when deciding whether to move production abroad. Others, however, are determined to make their products in the United States, even when the costs are higher. (New York Times)

Exclusive: Alibaba, eBay, CVC bid for Polish auction site Allegro. Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba (BABA.N), U.S. online retailer eBay Inc (EBAY.O), and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners are among the bidders for Eastern Europe's No.1 auction website Allegro from South Africa's Naspers (NPNJn.J), sources said. (Reuters)

Airbnb's data shows that Airbnb helps the middle class. But does it?. Airbnb and Uber pitched the “sharing economy” as a key antidote to wage stagnation and inequality at the Democratic national convention with a campaign that critics say reflects the technology corporations’ pattern of deploying questionable data in its political battles. (The Guardian)

Fast growth, dating services come between Sofi and bank license: CEO. Online lender Social Finance Inc is unlikely to seek a banking license because its fast growth and involvement in unorthodox activities like dating services would make it hard to win approval from regulators, according to its chief executive. (Reuters)

Comcast profit drops on film sales, beats Wall Street estimates. Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) reported a 5 percent drop in quarterly earnings on Wednesday, hurt by lower film division sales, but managed to beat Wall Street expectations due to growth in its business services and high-speed internet units. (Reuters)

Florida judge: Bitcoins aren’t currency, so state money laws don’t apply. A Florida judge has decided in favor of a bitcoin vendor charged with violating local money-laundering laws, because, she found, the cryptocurrency is not money as defined under state law. (Ars Technica)

Inside Tesla's gigantic Gigafactory. The chief executive of Tesla is, in a post-Steve-Jobs world, the stand-out visionary voice in Silicon Valley. There's no question about that. (BBC News)

Tech groups told Europe funds 'on pause'. Groups that rely on European funding for tech projects have been told the money is "on pause" in the wake of the Brexit vote. (BBC News)

T-Mobile's John Legere says Verizon-Yahoo is 'slippery slope'. John Legere wishes Verizon luck with its pending acquisition of Yahoo’s core asset. (USA Today)

The Chinese Company Behind the Vizio Deal. The Chinese company that is buying American TV brand Vizio Inc. defies a simple definition. (Wall Street Journal)

The Netflix of China Just Bought Vizio to Conquer the US. When I sat down with Mark Li last spring, he didn’t like it when I casually referred to his company, Letv, as the Netflix of China. (Wired)

ITI Member News

IBM is throwing computer power at Brazil’s Zika outbreak. On top of concerns about Olympic pandemonium and government corruption, Brazil has been suffering from the Zika virus outbreak (it's the country most afflicted by the epidemic.) Today IBM announced a slew of tech donations to address the problem. (Fast Company)

IBM steps up efforts in fight against Zika. International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it would provide its technology and resources to help track the spread of the Zika virus. (Reuters)

Samsung profits boosted by smartphone sales. Strong smartphone sales have helped Samsung Electronics post its best quarterly results in more than two years. (BBC News)

Samsung Electronics tips 'solid' second-half profit on components pickup. South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) said on Thursday it expects solid earnings to continue in the second half of 2016, with stronger components demand likely offsetting heightened margin pressures for smartphones. (Reuters)

Adobe teams up with Nvidia to create 3-D printing app. Adobe and Nvidia’s Project Wetbrush technology, which simulates the texture of 3-D oil paints, allows creatives to brush, blot, and blend—without ever having to get their hands dirty. (Gizmodo)

It's official: Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones. The iPhone isn't even 10 years old, but its impact on the tech industry, and Apple itself, has been huge. Now it's reached a new milestone. (CNET)

Apple's billionth iPhone is a rare milestone in tech. You know what’s cool? A billion iPhones. (Recode)

Apple bulls should hope a car is a ways off. Investors betting that an Apple car will be a future revenue growth driver for the company may also want to start hoping one doesn't get here too quickly. (USA Today)

Yet Another Sign Apple Is Making A Car. Apple is once again beefing up the team leading its secret car project. (Huffington Post)

Facebook’s well on its way to taking over the world. Facebook is riding high off all of your likes and shares. (Washington Post)

Facebook Profit Nearly Triples on Mobile Ad Sales and New Users. Facebook’s growth appears to know few limits. And even when one source of growth is set to slow down, the social network is ready with another. (New York Times)

Facebook surges on mobile ads boon. Facebook’s advertising business maintained its vigorous growth in the latest quarter on a surge in mobile messages, pushing its earnings well above expectations and driving a 6 per cent jump in its shares to a new record high. (Financial Times)

Yahoo was all too human for the internet. As Marissa Mayer an­nounced the $4.8bn acquisition of Yahoo’s operating business by Verizon, the US telecoms company, she gave a eulogy to the company she has headed for four years. Yahoo “humanised and popularised the web, email [and] search”, she said. (Financial Times)

Bytes and barrels: the origins of oil traders' love of Yahoo. For the oil industry, Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O) decision this week to sell its core business to Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) for $4.8 billion does not matter all that much. Their world already changed a few months ago, when the company said it would jettison its messaging system that has been the norm for oil traders since the late 1990s. (Reuters)

The Lesson of Yahoo: Focus. With Yahoo Inc.’s deal to sell its core assets for a mere $4.8 billion, it is easy to forget that it once was more than an internet-industry curiosity. (Wall Street Journal)

Facebook making moves to become 'video first'. Facebook is setting its sights on becoming "video first." (USA Today)

You’re more valuable to Facebook than ever before. Facebook stock is up after the company beat all Wall Street’s earnings expectations for the second quarter on Wednesday. One of the big reasons why is that it’s generating more dollars for every user, which is interesting given that the second quarter is generally not a heavy advertising season. That usually comes toward the end of the year. (Recode)

Twitter hits fresh boulders on road to recovery. Jack Dorsey’s job was never likely to be easy when he returned a year ago to try to rebuild Twitter. (Financial Times)

Disappointing earnings revive speculation on Twitter's future. Twitter Inc disappointed investors yet again on Tuesday with second-quarter earnings that missed estimates and a lower-than-expected outlook, reviving chatter about a possible sale of the company and the future of Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

Today, in the morning, the President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the President will attend meetings at the White House.

Today on the Hill

Today, the House is not in session.

Today, the Senate is not in session.