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Tech News Roundup - 06/19/2017

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White House meetings add to tech's awkward dance with Trump. The fraught relationship between the country's leading tech executives and President Donald Trump is about to get even more tense. (Politico Pro)

What Tim Cook will tell Trump. Apple CEO Tim Cook will be at the White House tomorrow for tech meetings organized by Jared Kushner's Office of American Innovation. It's the first of two heavy-hitter meetings in what the White House is calling "Technology Week." (Axios)


French President Macron launches tech visa to make France a 'country of unicorns'. France launched a technology visa on Thursday which aims to attract international talent, with newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron talking about the need to strip out regulation to become a "country of unicorns". (CNBC)


Trump's apprenticeship program: Good, but maybe too little. President Trump's executive order on Thursday to greatly expand apprenticeships and jobs training to fill some of the 6 million open jobs in the U.S. was met with hope and skepticism by business leaders. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, USA Today)

US workforce: paying young Americans to learn the right skills. When Levi Hall first saw the advertisement for a 12-week technology training programme that offered a stipend to students with only a high-school qualification and helped place them with a decently paid full-time job at the end of course, he thought it was a scam. (Financial Times)

Amazon's Move Signals End of Line for Many Cashiers. Imagine this scene from the future: You walk into a store and are greeted by name, by a computer with facial recognition that directs you to the items you need. (New York Times)

We're getting old. We need robots to take care of us. To say that Japan's population will shrink over the next 83 years is an understatement. According to official state figures, the country will go from about 126 million people today to about 50 million in 2100, a 60% plunge. (Axios)

Verizon supports controversial rule that could help Google Fiber expand. Verizon is supporting a controversial rule that would help network operators deploy fiber much more quickly by giving them faster access to utility poles. (Ars Technica)

Mobile Broadband Bill Would Require FCC to Map Service . The Federal Communications Commission would be required to identify whether rural areas have access to high-speed mobile broadband under legislation introduced June 15. (BNA)

Public Sector

DOD to Congress: continuing resolution threatens modernization. The secretary of defense told Congress that 10 years ago he would have yawned at concerns about cyberthreats from adversaries. But in his testimony this week, James Mattis could not have been more emphatic about the need to invest in cybersecurity, cyber training and cyber capabilities. (FCW)

Senators: Reorg plans must balance workforce cuts against mission success. Agencies expect to hit the first deadline set by the White House's plan to restructure government and reduce the size of the workforce, but lawmakers want to make sure their efforts don't come at the expense of effective operations. (FCW)

The 59 OMB policies your agency no longer has to worry about. The Office of Management and Budget is cleaning out its policy closet and in its first sweep found 59 data reporting requirements that are no longer necessary. (Federal News Radio)
How Cisco is helping agencies wrap their arms around the NIST framework. The cybersecurity executive order charges federal agencies to manage risk across the U.S. government as a whole, holds agency heads personally responsible for the protection of their networks and places modernization efforts at the forefront of a greater push to bolster computer security. (FedScoop)

State CIO Frontis Wiggins harnesses FITARA to drive innovation. State Department CIO Front Wiggins has his hands in about only a third of the department's total IT spend, he said. So to drive innovation at State, he's leveraging his powers in the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act to bring more of that budget under his authority. (FedScoop)

HHS finds a new CTO in Bruce D. Greenstein. The Department of Health and Human Services recently named a new chief technology officer - Bruce D. Greenstein is the fourth person to fill the top data and technology role since its creation in 2009. (FedScoop)

Idaho appoints first cybersecurity director. Following announcement of the position's creation in January, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced Monday the appointment of Jeffery Weak as the state's first state director of information security. (StateScoop)


Digital dominance and the competition cops. The EU competition authorities opened their probe into Google in late 2010. The company was a world-beater back then. (Financial Times)

Google/EU: fine, for now. A week's turnover is all it would take for Alphabet to pay a €1bn fine, assuming that the European Commission levies one. (Financial Times)


Both Climate Leader and Oil Giant? A Norwegian Paradox. On an unseasonably warm day in May, Norway's climate minister, Vidar Helgesen, strolled through a vast parking lot for electric cars, counting Teslas. (New York Times)

Scientists stunned by Antarctic rainfall and a melt area bigger than Texas. Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm. (Washington Post)

Lyft Has Unveiled Its Plan To Bring Emissions Way Down By 2025. Lyft has started mapping its course to a lower carbon footprint, and plans to bring in electric and self-driven vehicles along the way. (Forbes)

Browsing the New Contours of the Online Privacy Debate . Merely six weeks after Republicans in Congress successfully used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2016 Broadband Privacy Order, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and leader of the CRA effort in the House, introduced the Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly Act of 2017, or the BROWSER Act, on May 18. (BNA)


Canada cyber-spy agency expects hacktivist attacks in 2019 vote. Canada's electronic spy agency said on Friday it was "very likely" that hackers will try to influence Canada's 2019 elections and it planned to advise political parties next week on how to guard against cyber threats. (Reuters)

NHS cyber-attack was 'launched from North Korea'. Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) led the international investigation. (BBC News)

FBI extradites Latvian for malware scheme. A Latvian man the FBI had sought for the last six years for allegedly scamming an American newspaper and computer users with fake antivirus software finally appeared in a federal court on June 12. (FCW)

Internet of Things

Portland announces plan for self-driving vehicle pilot by 2018. With self-driving vehicle pilots popping up in a growing number of cities, Portland, Oregon, is reaching out to auto manufacturers and tech companies for ideas that will start the city on the road to testing. (StateScoop)

How self-driving cars could determine the future of policing. I was recently asked to predict the future of policing. My first reaction was curmudgeonly. It can't be done, I responded, at least in a useful way. My second reaction was to run with the question and to make a prediction, or at least to hazard the following guess: Self-driving cars will cause major shifts in policing strategies. (Washington Post)

House Self-Driving Car Proposals Would Put Feds in Driver's Seat . A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has circulated discussion drafts of 14 bills that could set the first major national laws for autonomous vehicles, according to a copy of the proposal reviewed by Bloomberg BNA. (BNA)


Op-Ed: A warning to Washington from Kansas. Last week, Republican state legislators in Kansas finally acknowledged what we have known since 2012: Gov. Sam Brownback's "Kansas Experiment" burdened our businesses, wrecked our state's finances, and mortgaged our children's future, all in the name of giving tax breaks to the wealthy. (CNN)

Republicans debating remedies for corporate tax avoidance. President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress will soon confront a complex challenge for tax reform: how to limit U.S. corporate tax avoidance schemes that take advantage of low tax rates in foreign countries. (Reuters)


The strange story of the first Cuban import in half a century. If you were to guess who brought in a load of artisanal charcoal earlier this year from Cuba - the first commercial Cuban import to the U.S. in more than 50 years - you probably wouldn't have picked Scott Gilbert. (Politico Pro)

Business groups slam Trump's decision to reverse course on Cuba. President Donald Trump's decision to roll back former President Barack Obama's historic opening to Cuba could give other countries more influence over future developments on the island to the detriment of the United States, U.S. business groups said Friday. (Politico)

Trump rolls back Obama's 'terrible and misguided' Cuba deal. President Donald Trump on Friday announced a rollback of his predecessor's policy of warming relations Cuba, declaring before a raucous Miami crowd that "our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and for the United States of America." (Politico)

U.S. Exports to Mexico Fall as Uncertainty Over Nafta Lingers. Friction between the U.S. and Mexico over trade is starting to cut into sales for U.S. farmers and agricultural companies, adding uncertainty for an industry struggling with low commodity prices and excess supply. (Wall Street Journal)

President Donald Trump's promises to radically rewrite American trade policy helped him win in the industrial Midwest, dealing a blow to the elite, business-friendly consensus on the issue. (Huffington Post)

Trump Is Offering Populism, Minus the Free Candy. The thing about populism is it usually involves doing things that are popular. (New York Times)

Artificial Intelligence

Is The Concern Artificial Intelligence - Or Autonomy?. There's a provocative interview with the philosopher Daniel Dennett in Living on Earth. (NPR)

How AI is taking over the global economy in one chart. For decades, corporate America has spurned big-lab research-and-development spending, the type that delivered the dizzying and broad tech and economic progress of the last century. (Axios)

Tech Business

Uber's Business Now Depends on These Three Millennials. As Uber Technologies Inc. tries to move past an array of scandals without its founding leader, running the core business falls to a trio of 30-somethings who had no experience managing anything of this scale before joining the startup. (Bloomberg)

As Uber Leaders Step Aside, Arianna Huffington's Influence Grows. In April, Wan Ling Martello, the head of Nestlé in Asia, found herself seated across from Arianna Huffington, an Uber director and a founder of The Huffington Post, at the Union Square Cafe in Manhattan. (New York Times)

In Whole Foods, Bezos Gets a Sustainably Sourced Guinea Pig. When big tech companies make big moves, it's natural to see the news in earthshaking terms. (New York Times)

Airbnb Tries to Behave More Like a Hotel. For nine years, Jill Bishop enjoyed the camaraderie of renting out her spare bedroom on Airbnb. (New York Times)

Arianna Huffington's fix for Uber: Work less, sleep more. As the crisis at Uber reached a critical moment this week, a familiar voice filled the company's San Francisco headquarters. (Washington Post)

Silicon Valley's acquisition targets aren't just in tech anymore. For once, the target of an extravagant tech industry acquisition wasn't a small start-up unfamiliar outside of Silicon Valley, but a household name. (LA Times)

ITI Member News

Amazon Is Leading Tech's Takeover of America. Why does a phone maker get into banking transactions? Why does a social network build a virtual-reality headset? Why does an online retailer buy a grocery chain? (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, wielding online might in brick-and-mortar world. Inc said on Friday it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc for $13.7 billion, in an embrace of brick-and-mortar stores that could turn the high-end grocer into a mass-market merchant and upend the already struggling U.S. retail industry. (Reuters)

Walmart and Amazon in acquisition shopping spree in retail battle. For years Walmart, the 54-year-old monolith of retail, has aimed to catch up online with Amazon, the technology group that has sought to disrupt every aspect of shopping. (Financial Times)

Bezos's Grocery 'Waterloo' Is Now His Biggest Opportunity. Two years ago, speaking at a conference table at his offices in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market Inc. founder and then co-Chief Executive Officer John Mackey predicted imminent doom for rival Inc. in the fiercely competitive grocery business. (Bloomberg)

Today on the Hill

Today, no votes are expected in the House.
At 4:00 p.m. the Senate will convene and begin a period of morning business. At 5:00 p.m. it will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of Brock Long to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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