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Tech News Roundup - 07/24/2017

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Tech Politics

Trump-era uncertainty has been lucrative for tech lobbyists . The Trump administration has ushered in an era of political uncertainty for the tech industry that's proving to be lucrative for lobbyists in Washington. (ITI's Andy Halataei Quoted, Politico Pro)

Energy and Environment

Trump to tap longtime coal lobbyist for EPA's No. 2 spot. President Trump will nominate a prominent coal lobbyist and former Senate aide, Andrew Wheeler, to serve as the Environmental Protection Agency's deputy administrator, according to two senior administration officials. (Washington Post)

Stakes for Exxon in Sanctions Case Go Far Beyond a $2 Million Fine. The $2 million fine that the Treasury Department levied on Exxon Mobil this week for violating sanctions against Russia is just a sliver of the oil company's $7.8 billion in profit last year. But Exxon has decided nonetheless to wage a legal battle - one that could make President Trump's cabinet meetings decidedly awkward. (New York Times)
This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change. Two California coastal counties and one beach-side city touched off a possible new legal front in the climate change battle this week, suing dozens of major oil, coal, and other fossil fuel companies for the damages they say they will incur due to rising seas. (Washington Post)

Climate change will force today's kids to pay for costly carbon removal technologies, study says. The longer humans continue to pour carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the closer we draw to leaving the next generation with an unmanageable climate problem, scientists say. (Washington Post)
Public Sector

Bill to expedite security clearances clears committee. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on July 19 passed a bipartisan bill aimed at expediting the security clearance approval process. (FCW)

Rules for IT radicals. In 1971, Saul Alinsky published Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. It is considered to be the seminal work on "disrupting" the status quo in order to bring about needed change. (FCW)

DHS makes mobile security a priority. Mobile security continues to be top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, and new initiatives are underway to address threats to federal mobile devices. (FCW)

Trump's improper payment goal not impossible, but needs investments in personnel and IT. Agencies have been told twice now, both by the Trump administration and members of the House Budget Committee, to make a solid dent in recovering billions of dollars in improper payments beginning in fiscal 2018. (Federal News Radio)

18F is looking for crowdsourced penetration testing systems to hit The General Services Administration's 18F digital team is making strides in developing the open-source, a single sign-on for government services, and is now looking to do some penetration testing. (FedScoop)

How local government IT leaders stay ahead of the curve on professional development. Local government IT leaders rely heavily on conferences and webinars to hone their professional skill sets, according to an infographic from the Public Technology Institute. (StateScoop)


Half of German companies hit by sabotage, spying in last two years, BSI says. More than half the companies in Germany have been hit by spying, sabotage or data theft in the last two years, the German IT industry association Bitkom said on Friday, and estimated the attacks caused around 55 billion euros' worth of damage a year. (Reuters)

Op-Ed: State AGs are flexing their muscles to protect your technology privacy. Headlines for state attorneys general (AGs) have been dominated by tangles with the Trump administration - from the travel ban case going to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenges to legacy regulations at federal agencies. (The Hill)

Internet of Things

As Self-Driving Cars Near, Washington Plays Catch-Up. Self-driving cars are zooming at breakneck speed toward America's roadways, and Washington is finally reaching for its seatbelt. (New York Times)

U.S. House Subcommittee Approves Self-Driving Legislation Pre-Empting State Regulations. On July 19, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection (DCCP) unanimously approved a legislative markup (PDF) to advance self-driving vehicle technology. (GovTech)

Lyft to Develop Self-Driving Car Technology in New Silicon Valley Facility. Controlling the future of the smartphone was the defining technology battle of the last decade. Now, technology companies are betting that the next 10 years and beyond will be spent battling for control of the self-driving automobile. (BNA)


White House to Tackle Manufacturing Gaps It Says Weaken U.S. Security. The White House said it is conducting a broad review of the strength of the U.S. defense-industrial sector to try to correct weaknesses in advanced technology and industrial policy. (Wall Street Journal)

Mexico Suggests Solution to U.S. Trade Deficit: More Cross-Border Commerce. Mexican authorities are willing to discuss ways for the U.S. to reduce its trade deficits under the North American Free Trade Agreement as long as they don't threaten to curb Mexico's ability to export, the country's economy minister said. (Wall Street Journal)

The big China meeting with the 'un-Trumpian' ending. No need for the lipstick, just show them the pig. (Politico Pro)


In China, Silicon Valley Giants Confront New Walls. Facebook is the world's largest social network, with more than two billion users. LinkedIn was sold to Microsoft for $26 billion last year. And Apple is Apple, the most valuable company in the world. (New York Times)


Lawmakers unveil 'Code Like a Girl Act' to close tech gender gap. Lawmakers are pushing legislation to encourage young girls to learn how to code and help close the tech industry's gender gap. (The Hill)

Silicon Valley sexism backlash: 'Boys will be boys'. Female start-up founders who have come forward with stories of unwanted physical contact and repeated propositions for sex by venture capitalists have received a wave of support from Silicon Valley. (USA Today)

Artificial Intelligence

Next Leap for Robots: Picking Out and Boxing Your Online Order. Robot developers say they are close to a breakthrough-getting a machine to pick up a toy and put it in a box. (Wall Street Journal)

China's Got a Huge Artificial Intelligence Plan. China aims to make the artificial intelligence industry a "new, important" driver of economic expansion by 2020, according to a development plan issued by the State Council. (Bloomberg)

Google's Algorithmic Photographers Are Almost as Good as the Real Deal. For the most part, the first tasks to be outsourced to machines are the most routine, since these jobs are relatively easy to reduce to quantifiable parameters that can be used to train an algorithm. (Motherboard)

How Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Retailers Bridge The Gap Between Online And Offline Data. As fewer shoppers choose to frequent stores, retailers are looking for new ways to rejuvenate the shopping experience, whether through a wholesale reinvention of the retail space or by doubling down on efforts to send consumers targeted ads. (Forbes)

Tech Business

Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber?. A little over a year before Bozoma Saint John became the first chief brand officer at Uber, the transportation company's best hope to rehabilitate its tarnished image, she hailed a ride from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, Tex., to a nearby business dinner. What pulled up was a wreck. (New York Times)
One Family, Many Revolutions: From Black Panthers, to Silicon Valley, to Trump. For generations, the Horowitz family has cheered on the revolution. (New York Times)

U.K. Imposes Rules on Hobby Drones. The U.K. will require operators of many hobby drones to register them with the government and take a test to assure proper use amid growing global concern the increasingly popular unmanned planes pose a threat to aviation. (Wall Street Journal)

Pittsburgh Gets a Tech Makeover. In 2015, Monocle magazine, a favorite read of the global hipsterati, published an enthusiastic report on Lawrenceville, the former blue-collar neighborhood here filled with cafes, hyped restaurants and brick rowhouses being renovated by flippers. (New York Times)

For the Impact of Trump Slashing Science Funding, Look North. No modern American president has been more hostile to federal support for the sciences than Donald Trump. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

What Will Service Work Look Like Under Amazon?. At 9 p.m. Eastern time on July 10, Amazon initiated its annual show of force: Prime Day, a 30-hour exercise in the fullest possible expression of what Amazon can do. (New York Times)
Toyota eyes mass EV output in China as early as 2019. Toyota Motor Corp is likely to begin mass production of electric vehicles (EVs) in China as early as 2019, the Asahi daily reported on Saturday. (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

Today, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Today at 4:00 p.m. the Senate will convene and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of David Bernhardt, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior.
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