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10/18/2017

Key Issues

Taxes
McCain endorses budget bill in win for GOP tax-reform effort. The White House's push for tax cuts made crucial progress on Tuesday as Senate Republicans rallied behind a budget proposal the party needs to pass to keep alive its hopes of enacting sharp reductions in tax rates later this year. (Washington Post)

Trump, in Heritage speech on taxes, vows to return to Reagan-era economic boom. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Republican tax plan would lift the U.S. economy to heights not seen since the administration of President Ronald Reagan, delivering a speech filled with economic optimism to a receptive audience of donors to the Heritage Foundation, which has played a critical role in policy and staff matters for the Trump administration. (Politico Pro)

Mnuchin: Pass a tax bill or markets will tank. Steven Mnuchin has a stern warning for Congress: You could blow up the stock market if you fail to cut taxes. (Politico Pro)

Conservative group: Tax overhaul could help clean energy. The conservative think tank American Council for Capital Formation is releasing a report today showing how tax reform could help clean-energy technologies. Think tanks release reports almost every day, but this one stands out for three reasons. (Axios)

Treasury secretary: Pass a tax bill or markets will tank. Steven Mnuchin has a stern warning for Congress: You could blow up the stock market if you fail to cut taxes. (Politico)

GOP leaders differ on tax timing expectations. GOP leaders are working to manage expectations on tax reform - though they sometimes seem at cross-purposes. (The Hill)

Tech Politics

Rand wrecks GOP unity again. President Donald Trump and Senate GOP leaders are desperate for a show of legislative unity on tax reform after the collapse of Obamacare repeal. (Politico Pro)

Global Trade

Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility, and spousal abuse. White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter said. (Washington Post)

Artificial Intelligence

Intel says its computer chips will accelerate AI revolution. Artificial intelligence lets phones understand your voice and Google spot your pets. Nervana chips will make AI 100 times faster, Intel says. (CNET)

China's push to lead in AI. When it comes to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, China's government is focused not only on having them, but also on predicting future pitfalls -- and leveraging that foresight into cyber-superpower status. (Federal Computer Week)

What agencies need to navigate the AI frontier. Federal agencies overwhelmed by data and struggling with increased workloads are increasingly considering artificial intelligence solutions but they won't find a well-trodden path. (NextGov)

This Company's Robots Are Making Everything-and Reshaping the World. The headquarters of Fanuc sit in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, on a sprawling, secluded campus of 22 windowless factories and dozens of office buildings. The grounds approach the lower slopes of Japan's most famous peak, encircled by a dense forest that Fanuc's founding CEO, Seiuemon Inaba, planted decades ago to shield the company's operations from prying eyes-an example of the preoccupation with secrecy that once led Fortune to compare him to a bond villain. (Bloomberg)

Immigration

Judge Temporarily Halts New Version of Trump's Travel Ban. President Trump's attempts to block travelers from a handful of countries - most of them predominantly Muslim - from coming to the United States hit another legal snag on Tuesday, when a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order freezing most of Mr. Trump's third travel ban the day before it was to take effect. (New York Times)

Encryption

Google now offers special security program for high-risk users. The new opt-in program requires authentication with a physical security key. (Ars Technica)

Cybersecurity
Exclusive: Microsoft responded quietly after detecting secret database hack in 2013. Microsoft Corp's secret internal database for tracking bugs in its own software was broken into by a highly sophisticated hacking group more than four years ago, according to five former employees, in only the second known breach of such a corporate database. (Reuters)

Not just money and talent: Five ways the government can get better at cybersecurity. Federal agencies have made positive strides in how they approach protecting information systems in the past few years, experts said Tuesday at a D.C. CyberWeek event, but the government's cybersecurity efforts have room for improvement in several areas. (FedScoop)

After Equifax breach and ahead of 2018 filing season, IRS lays out plans to defend against tax frauds. The Equifax data hack impacted more than 145 million people and potentially put 209,000 social security numbers at a higher risk for identity fraud, but the breach is the least of the IRS' worries as the tax agency gears up for the 2018 filing season. (Federal News Radio)

Workforce/Diversity
Americans love automation, until it comes for their jobs. The Trump administration might not be worried about robots taking jobs. But the American public sure is. (Wired)

Broadband/Communications

FCC chairman defends First Amendment after Trump broadcaster threats. 'I believe in the First Amendment,' Pai said at a telecom law event in Washington, without mentioning Trump by name. (Politico)

FCC chair on Trump's NBC tweet: 'The FCC will stand for the First Amendment'. The Federal Communications Commission doesn't have the power to revoke any NBC station's broadcast license over the content it produces, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday, putting a damper on recent suggestions by President Trump that NBC should be penalized for its critical coverage of the White House. (Washington Post)

FCC Chair finally says agency won't censor Trump's enemies. Last Wednesday President Donald Trump took to Twitter to suggest the government should challenge broadcasting licenses for stations that air "fake news." (Wired)

California governor vetoes bill to expand 5G infrastructure. A bill that would have cleared the way for telecommunications companies to install small-cell wireless antennas across California was vetoed this weekend by Gov. Jerry Brown. (StateScoop)

Internet of Things

Microsoft Cloud can now host classified Pentagon data. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that the Defense Department can host secret classified data in its cloud. (NextGov)

Why the KRACK Wi-Fi mess will take decades to clean up. A vulnerability in Wi-Fi encryption has sent the entire tech industry scrambling; the so-called Krack attack affects nearly every wireless device to some extent, leaving them subject to hijacked internet connections. In terms of scope, it doesn't get much worse-especially for the Internet of Things. (Wired)

Self-driving Chevy Bolts will roam New York City streets next year. GM's self-driving arm Cruise will be testing its Chevy Bolts in a 5-square-mile part of lower Manhattan. (Recode)

Self-driving cars could ease traffic, but increase sprawl. A new study inspired by Boston's early experiments with self-driving cars finds that the technology could ease congestion, but might also lead to more cars on the road and further encourage urban sprawl. (Associated Press)
Energy

An Old Fracking Hot Spot Makes a Comeback. The Haynesville Shale in Louisiana is being reborn, with the number of active drilling rigs tripling in the past year. (Wall Street Journal)

Tech Business
Google and Levi's are working on their next smart jacket. The Commuter smart jacket came out only a few weeks ago, but the tech giant and denim company are already looking to innovate. (CNET)

Microsoft wants to reimagine VR. The world's biggest software maker is hoping to succeed where Facebook, HTC and Sony haven't yet. (CNET)

Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook's secretive hardware lab, is leaving the company. Dugan is departing after just 18 months to "lead a new endeavor." (Recode)

IBM beats revenue estimates; hints at sales growth. International Business Machines Corp's (IBM.N) shift to newer businesses such as cloud and security services helped it beat analysts' quarterly revenue estimates, and the technology major hinted at sales growth after nearly six years of declines. (Reuters)

Facebook Buys TBH, a Teen-Targeted Anonymous Poll App. Social-media giant grabbed another hot social-media app that could pose a threat to its dominance. (Wall Street Journal)

What is TBH, Facebook's newly acquired anonymous teen compliment app?. TBH, a mobile app that lets high school and college students compliment one another anonymously has been acquired by Facebook, the company announced Monday. (Washington Post)

Future of Tech and Media: Waging a War for People's Time. The war for tech supremacy is moving to newer technologies such as augmented reality and voice assistants, as giant internet companies grasp for an ever-fleeting portion of people's time. (Wall Street Journal)

How the Frightful Five Put Start-Ups in a Lose-Lose Situation. The tech giants are too big. But so what? Hasn't that always been the case? (New York Times)

Future of Tech and Media: Waging a War for People's Time. The war for tech supremacy is moving to newer technologies such as augmented reality and voice assistants, as giant internet companies grasp for an ever-fleeting portion of people's time. (Wall Street Journal)

New 'Smart City' Hatches Solutions to India's Urban Chaos. The government planners now dreaming up India's first "smart city" realize they have a problem. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Alphabet to develop high-tech waterfront site in Toronto. Canada has tapped Google parent Alphabet Inc to help plan a mixed-use development along Toronto's Lake Ontario waterfront using cutting-edge digital technologies and urban design. (Reuters)
Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to Create 'Smart' Neighborhood on Toronto Waterfront. Sidewalk has committed $50 million to initial phase of planning and pilot testing. (Wall Street Journal)
Twitter's new user rules crack down on nudity and 'unwanted sexual advances'. Twitter is still trying to make Twitter safe. (Recode)
Here are Twitter's latest rules for fighting hate and abuse. WHEN TWITTER COULD take credit for revolutionary political movements like the Arab Spring, it was easy for the company's executives to joke about their liberal stance on free speech. (Twitter, they said, was "the free speech wing of the free speech party.") But things are a bit more complicated now, as Twitter increasingly plays host to bullies, harassers, Nazis, propaganda-spreading bots, ISIS recruiters, and threats of nuclear war. (Wired)
Qualcomm expects to make nice with Apple - eventually. Despite their fierce patent fight, the two companies have a strong product relationship, Qualcomm's CEO says. (CNET)
Google Maps Pulls Calorie-Counting Feature After Criticism. Stephanie Zerwas, the clinical director of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina, was trying to find a restaurant in Orlando, Fla., last weekend, so she put the address into Google Maps for directions. (New York Times)
Google Serves Fake News Ads in an Unlikely Place: Fact-Checking Sites. The headlines are eye-catching. Melania Trump is leaving the White House! Home renovation cable star Joanna Gaines has abandoned her HGTV show and husband Chip Gaines! Televangelist Joel Osteen is leaving his wife! (New York Times)
Roy Price Quits Amazon Studios After Sexual Harassment Claim. The head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, resigned on Tuesday, just days after a producer publicly accused him of sexual harassment, a spokesman for the company said. (New York Times)
Denver Failed To Land Boeing. Now It's Using Lifestyle To Woo Amazon. Sixteen years ago, a Seattle-based company said it planned to move its headquarters to the city that would make it the best deal. (NPR)
New Jersey Offers $7 Billion in Incentives to Lure Amazon to Newark. New Jersey leaders outline host of tax breaks while New York extends nuanced appeal. (Wall Street Journal)
'First 5G mobile net connection' claimed by Qualcomm. Qualcomm has demonstrated mobile internet speeds of 1Gbps using a 5G smartphone chip. (BBC News)
Amazon Studios' Roy Price resigns amid harassment allegations. Amazon Studios chief Roy Price has resigned, Amazon said Tuesday, following allegations he sexually harassed a female producer. (CNET News)
Google Serves Fake News Ads in an Unlikely Place: Fact-Checking Sites. The headlines are eye-catching. Melania Trump is leaving the White House! Home renovation cable star Joanna Gaines has abandoned her HGTV show and husband Chip Gaines! Televangelist Joel Osteen is leaving his wife! (New York Times)
'A Major Distraction': Is A Mega-Deal Like Amazon's HQ2 Always Worth It?. On a wall in Greg LeRoy's office is a frame with a custom-engraved wrench and a photo of workers in front of the Diamond Tool and Horseshoe factory in Duluth, Minn. It's from his days helping unions fight plant closings - when he first started digging into the convoluted financial relationship of corporations and local governments. (NPR)
Nielsen Tries to Solve a Mystery: How Many Watch Netflix?. In the five years since Netflix started streaming original series like the Emmy-winning "House of Cards" and "Master of None," the shows have had a question hanging over them: How many people are watching? (New York Times)
Toyota Targets 620-Mile Range With Concept Fuel-Cell Vehicle. Toyota Motor Corp. is set to unveil a fuel-cell concept car that aims to offer 50 percent more driving range than its current hydrogen-powered sedan in a technology push that defies a rising wave of battery-driven vehicles. (Bloomberg)

Today on the Hill

The House is not in session today.
The Senate will convene at 9:30 AM and resume consideration of H.Con.Res.71, establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027.
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