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Tech News Roundup - 06/16/2017

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Tech Politics

Liberal groups urge tech CEOs to bail on Trump meeting. Liberal advocacy groups are calling on tech industry workers to pressure their employers to disengage from the Trump administration ahead of a White House meeting with tech executives on Monday. (Politico Pro)


Rural America is Stranded in the Dial-Up Age . Jeanne Wilson Johnson raises sheep and angora goats, and to sell the wool and mohair online she drives 4 miles to the parking lot of Roy's gas station, the closest spot for decent internet access. (Wall Street Journal)
Netflix joins Amazon and Reddit in Day of Action to save net neutrality. Netflix is now planning to participate in the "Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality" on July 12, protest organizers said today. (Ars Technica)

Netflix will join net neutrality protest on July 12. Netflix will join a growing list of internet companies and advocacy groups taking part in an online protest against the Trump administration's efforts to roll back net neutrality rules, according to campaign organizers. (Politico Pro)

American Hispanics are still less likely to access the internet. Hispanics are less likely than other demographic groups to access the internet, while whites continue to be more connected than anyone else, according to new data from internet research company eMarketer. (Recode)

Public Sector

Trump tech office reaches out to feds. A priority of the new White House office tasked with reinventing government business practices and fixing federal IT is meeting with feds to forge and foster collaboration among siloed tech groups. (FCW)

DHS execs own FLASH fail. The Department of Homeland Security's failure to launch its high-profile agile services contract can serve as a teachable moment, according to the agency's procurement managers. (FCW)

COOs can make government work better -- if they're hired. Agency chief operating officers can and should take the lead in improving government efficiency and service delivery, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton. (FCW)

U.S. commits $250M to spur supercomputing speeds. The Department of Energy hopes to accelerate development of the nation's first exascale computer, with over $250 million in funding to some of the country's top computer makers. (FCW)

Modernizing government services is a "relay race," and the key to sustained progress is collaboration, the president's special assistant for innovation said Thursday. (FedScoop)

USDA moves toward future in precision agriculture and hybrid IT. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has its sights set on continuous digital transformation via hybrid IT as it works toward a future in precision agriculture, says Michael Valivullah, CIO at USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. (FedScoop)

Digital health IT startups reap $250K via Massachusetts incubator. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker furthered the state's investment in healthcare technology Tuesday with a $250,000 contribution to the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative (MDHI), funding that will go to the program's Digital Health Innovation Labs. (StateScoop)


The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching.. The wind over the canal stirred up whitecaps and rattled cafe umbrellas. Rowers strained toward a finish line and spectators hugged the shore. Henk Ovink, hawkish, wiry, head shaved, watched from a V.I.P. deck, one eye on the boats, the other, as usual, on his phone. (New York Times)

Energy Department Closes Office Working on Climate Change Abroad. The Energy Department is closing an office that works with other countries to develop clean energy technology, another sign of the Trump administration's retreat on climate-related activities after its withdrawal from the Paris agreement this month. (New York Times)

4 ways AI helps business protect the environment. The environment is a hot topic, literally. As global temperatures have warmed since 1850, the discussion on what to do about it has heated up as well. Humanity is having an undeniable impact on the natural world. (GreenBiz)


Company Lost Secret 2014 Fight Over 'Expansion' of N.S.A. Surveillance. An American communications company in 2014 balked at an "expansion" of the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program, but was ordered to comply by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a newly declassified document shows. (New York Times)


NSA links Wannacry worm to North Korea. The Washington Post said there was "moderate confidence" in the report's findings, while the spy agency said the worm was meant to boost regime coffers. (BBC News)

Internet of Things

U.S. states could not set self-driving car rules under Republican plan. California and other states would be barred from setting their own rules governing design and testing of self-driving cars, while federal regulators would be blocked from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous vehicle technology, according to a U.S. House Republican proposal reviewed by Reuters on Thursday. (Reuters)

Envisioning the Car of the Future as a Living Room on Wheels. Swiveling seats? Movies projected across the windshield? Social media feeds on the windows? As driverless car technology develops, companies, design institutes and researchers are asking the question: What does the car of the future look like on the inside? (New York Times)

Davy Andrews is so adept at technology that he's become the de facto IT troubleshooter in his office. But there's one bit of tech he won't touch: self-driving cars. (BNA)


Pressure grows to loosen deficit constraints on tax reform. The conservative chorus to abandon revenue-neutral tax reform is growing, amid worry the window of opportunity for reform could close. (Politico Pro)


Prospects Slim for U.S.-Japan Trade Deal, Lawmaker Says . The Trump administration's hopes for a U.S.-Japan bilateral trade deal is unlikely to play out any time soon, a U.S. lawmaker said June 14, basing his prediction on conversations in Tokyo with Japanese officials. (BNA)

President Emmanuel Macron had unveiled a raft of measures aimed at luring foreign talent to France and fostering tech innovation as he seeks to cement the country's position as a "startup nation." (Financial Times)

President Trump's ballyhooed Cuba travel policy is topsy-turvy. My first reaction to President Donald Trump's ballyhooed Cuba policy was to message my millennial American daughter to let her know that she can go ahead with her plans to visit Havana: "You can book your cruise." (Miami Herald)

Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel and trade. Making good on a campaign pledge, President Donald Trump on Friday will announce a significant rollback of former President Barack Obama's accord with Cuba by clearly banning tourist travel to the island, restating the importance of the 56-year-old trade embargo with the island and instituting a broad prohibition on financial transactions with companies significantly controlled by the Communist government's military, according to a draft version of the directive obtained by POLITICO. (Politico Pro)

Inside Rubio's campaign to shape Trump's Cuba crackdown. Facing President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio issued a blunt warning: The administration's plan to crack down on Cuba trade and travel was under threat. (Politico Pro)

Artificial Intelligence

Facebook Will Use Artificial Intelligence to Find Extremist Posts. Responding to complaints that not enough is being done to keep extremist content off social media platforms, Facebook said Thursday that it would begin using artificial intelligence to help remove inappropriate content. (New York Times)
Facebook Enlists AI, Human Experts in New Push Against Terrorism. Facebook Inc. has hired more than 150 counterterrorism experts and is increasingly using artificial intelligence that can understand language and analyze images to try to keep terrorists from using the social network for recruiting and propaganda. (Bloomberg)


New Senate Apprenticeship Bill. A bipartisan Senate bill that aims to use tax breaks to kick-start apprenticeship programs was introduced by Democrat Maria Cantwell and Republican Susan Collins yesterday. (BNA)

Tech Business

American Chipmakers Had a Toxic Problem. Then They Outsourced It. Twenty-five years ago, U.S. tech companies pledged to stop using chemicals that caused miscarriages and birth defects. They failed to ensure that their Asian suppliers did the same. (Bloomberg)

Five Reasons Why an Amazon-Slack Deal Could Make Sense. Any tech giant that sells enterprise software has reason to keep its eye on popular workplace chat service Slack Technologies Inc. (Bloomberg)

Jeff Bezos is searching for philanthropic ideas. Jeff Bezos, the world's second-richest person, is asking the public for charitable ideas. (CNET)

The Investor Who Took On Uber, And Silicon Valley. Uber is a mess - the "bad boy" ethos shattered, a nervous breakdown in its place. This week, the CEO announced he is taking a sudden leave of absence. A former U.S. attorney general released a brutal audit of the startup's culture. (NPR)

U.S. tech stocks shaken, but market not stirred. The five largest U.S. technology companies may have lost enough market capitalization over the past week to buy plane maker Boeing, but the benchmark S&P 500 stock index .SPX has managed to remain within a stone's throw of its record high. (Reuters)

Snap's Challenge: How to Grow Without Getting Awkward. When the company behind Snapchat hatched plans to make money from its popular messaging app, it told advertisers their ads would only appear beside content curated by people. (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. Invests $258 Million in Supercomputing Race With China. The U.S. government is trying to stave off China and other countries challenging the U.S. for dominance in the next generation of the world's fastest computers. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Facebook reveals measures to remove terrorist content. The move comes after growing pressure from governments for technology companies to do more to take down material such as terrorist propaganda. (BBC News)
Facebook turns to AI to help block terror posts. Facebook has developed artificial intelligence technology to help it identify terrorist posts, while increasing its team of counter-terrorism specialists to more than 150, as the social network pushes back against accusations it does not do enough to stop extremist propaganda spreading online. (Financial Times)

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