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Tech News Roundup - 07/12/2017

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To Close Digital Divide, Microsoft to Harness Unused Television Channels. Silicon Valley has dreamed up hot air balloons, drones and constellations of mini-satellites to connect the world to the internet. Now Microsoft is adding its own moonshot to solve the digital divide into that mix. (New York Times)

Microsoft Pushes Fast Internet for U.S. Heartland to Bridge Broadband Gap. For years, Microsoft Corp. focused its efforts to expand high-speed internet access on developing markets around the world. (Bloomberg)

Internet giants launch 'day of action' on net neutrality. The biggest U.S. internet companies aim to marshal their millions of users Wednesday in the fight to preserve net-neutrality rules - a summon-the-masses strategy that successfully killed Hollywood-backed anti-piracy legislation five years ago but which may carry less power in today's GOP-dominated Washington. (Politico Pro)

Online Protest Planned Over Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules. Major internet companies are preparing to launch online protests Wednesday over Republican efforts to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules, employing a tactic that has helped drive policy shifts in past years. (Wall Street Journal)

AT&T is joining a pro net neutrality rally even as it fights to kill current net neutrality rules. When Amazon, Facebook, Google and a chorus of startups and activists commence a massive online protest Wednesday to defend net neutrality, they'll be joined by a company they don't exactly believe is on their side: AT&T. (Recode)

Your favorite websites might look a little different soon. Here's why.. Visitors to Facebook, Google, Netflix and dozens of other websites will likely be greeted Wednesday by a special message about the future of the Internet, as part of a broad campaign by the companies to stop what they say is a threat to the Web as most consumers know it. (Washington Post)


IoT cybersecurity a hot topic for White House adviser. In remarks at the Department of Homeland Security's 2017 Cybersecurity Showcase and Technical Workshop on June 11, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce, said a lapse in his IoT security has already made him a little hot under the collar. (FCW)
Local governments are lining up for cybersecurity audits in Washington state. No one wants to get audited, but in Washington state, local governments are literally asking for it. (StateScoop)

Public Sector
What's coming in's next revamp. The federal government data repository is due for a revamp, according to contracting documents released as part of a sole-source extension granted to contractor REI. (FCW)

OMB fiscal 2019 budget guidance calls for 'bold reform'. The fiscal 2019 budget may be more than a year away, but the Office of Management and Budget already has a forecast: a chance of more reorganization. (FedScoop)

Former U.S. CISO Touhill lands as president of Cyxtera federal division. Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill, the first U.S. chief information security officer, has taken over as president of Cyxtera Federal Group, the newly formed federal contracting arm of secure infrastructure company Cyxtera Technologies. (FedScoop)

As CIOs Grapple with Shadow IT, a New Attitude Emerges. In recent years, especially as cloud has blossomed up over the tech landscape, IT professionals have started to talk realistically about the threat that is shadow IT. (GovTech)


EPA chief wants scientists to debate climate on TV. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the early stages of launching a debate about climate change that could air on television - challenging scientists to prove the widespread view that global warming is a serious threat, the head of the agency said. (Reuters)

U.S. Cities, States and Businesses Pledge to Measure Emissions. A coalition of American states, cities and businesses that have pledged to stick with the Paris climate pact will team up with experts to quantify their climate commitments and share their plans with the United Nations, vowing to act in spite of the Trump administration's exit from the accord. (New York Times)

Turning dirt into climate goals via carbon farming. Having just returned from VERGE Hawaii: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, I confidently can say Hawaii is awesome. (GreenBiz)

5 ways Trump's Paris withdrawal reignited climate action. President Donald Trump's regrettable decision to withdraw the United States from the historic Paris Climate Agreement was met with widespread dismay. However, the reactions from many political leaders, multinational businesses and the general public have been one of emboldened support for climate action. (GreenBiz)

Energy efficiency is a 'win-win' for investors. Between now and 2050, the biggest contribution to global emissions reduction has to come from economy-wide energy savings. (GreenBiz)


E-Commerce as a Jobs Engine? One Economist's Unorthodox View. Retailing is dead. Sales clerks are losing their jobs by the thousands. The employment picture for young people with only a high school education is going to get even worse. And all this is happening because of Amazon and its ilk, which are driving the shift among consumers toward e-commerce. (New York Times)

Business group sets goals for U.S.-U.K. free trade deal. The U.S. and the U.K. should explore the possibility of uniting their huge financial services industries "under one regulatory umbrella" and developing a new state-of-the-art mechanism for resolving investment disputes, the British-American Business Council said in a set of 10 recommendations for talks on a U.S.-U.K. free trade agreement. (Politico Pro)


The Next Job Humans Lose to Robots: Real Estate Appraiser. Twenty-five years ago, Brian Weaver was told at a seminar that the real estate appraisal profession would be killed off by technology in five years. It didn't happen. (Bloomberg)

Hiring women to work at my tech company taught me a hard truth about fixing the wage gap. I recently sat down with a woman who'd been hired to join my company, Zinc. (Quartz)

Internet of Things

House panel to unveil self-driving car legislation soon. U.S. House Republicans expect to introduce bills later this week that would bar states from setting their own rules for self-driving cars and take other steps to remove obstacles to putting such vehicles on the road, a spokeswoman said. (Reuters)

Google Faces $1.3 Billion French Ruling Amid `Tax Populism'. Google will find out this week if it owes 1.12 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in back taxes to France, just days after it was slapped with a record antitrust fine by the European Union. (Bloomberg)

Tech Business

Saving Face: Investment in Recognition Technology Heats Up in China. A Chinese startup that sells facial recognition systemsto police forces secured venture-capital funding that values it at more than $1.5 billion, underscoring the sector's emergence as one of technology's hottest areas of interest. (Wall Street Journal)

Around 40 percent of Americans were harassed online. Roughly four-in-ten Americans have personally experienced online harassment, most commonly on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Foreign automakers vie to appear more American. Foreign automakers have tried repeatedly over the years to make Americans understand that they have invested billions in U.S. plants and employ thousands of U.S. workers. (USA Today)

ITI Member News

Paying Professors: Inside Google's Academic Influence Campaign. Google operates a little-known program to harness the brain power of university researchers to help sway opinion and public policy, cultivating financial relationships with professors at campuses from Harvard University to the University of California, Berkeley. (Wall Street Journal)
Facebook says all advertisers can soon buy ads inside Messenger. Facebook is expanding the list of marketers that can buy ads inside Messenger, the company's standalone messaging app. (Recode)
Twitter Names Intuit Senior Vice President Ned Segal as CFO. Twitter Inc. named Ned Segal, a senior vice president of finance at Intuit Inc., as chief financial officer effective next month. (Bloomberg)

'Alexa, Where Have You Been All My Life?'. The other day, a newly single friend confessed that lately she had found herself not just chatting up Alexa, Amazon's crisp-voiced domestic bot, but also looking forward to her responses. "That's a road," she said darkly, "you don't want to be heading down." (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Last votes expected: 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Today at 12:00 p.m. the Senate will convene and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of David Nye, of Idaho, to be United States District Judge for the District of Idaho.
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