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Tech News Roundup - 07/25/2017

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Tech Politics

The government should fight 'corporate villainy' in tech, Senator Cory Booker says. Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker says "anti-democratic forces" are "undermining the strength and power of citizenship" in America. And he's not talking about Russia - he's talking about corporations. (Recode)

Energy and Environment

'It was really a surprise': Even minor global warming could worsen super El Ninos, scientists find. Even if we meet our most ambitious climate goal - keeping global temperatures within a strict 1.5 degrees Celsius (or 2.7 degree Fahrenheit) of their preindustrial levels - there will still be consequences, scientists say. (Washington Post)
Senate Democrats call for an investigation of climate scientist whistleblower complaint. Eight Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee asked the Interior Department's deputy inspector general on Monday to investigate Secretary Ryan Zinke's decision to reassign roughly 50 senior career officials last month, on the grounds that it could constitute an "abuse of authority." (Washington Post)
We may have even less time to stop global warming than we thought. At least since 2013, one of the biggest concerns in the climate change debate has been the so-called carbon budget - a fixed limit to the volume of carbon dioxide emissions that we can put into the atmosphere before irrevocably committing to a considerably hotter planet. (Washington Post)
Public Sector

How cloud can take open data to new heights. According to IDC, the volume of data being produced each day is growing at an explosive rate, and is now estimated at 2.5 exabytes. That's equivalent to producing 250,000 Libraries of Congress every single day. (FCW)

Bill to limit appeals, make new hires 'at-will' federal employees reappears in the House. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) finally re-introduced legislation that would classify all new federal hires as "at-will" employees. (Federal News Radio)

Sonny Bhagowalia out as CIO at Treasury. After close to three years as CIO of the Department of Treasury, Sonny Bhagowalia is out. (FedScoop)

NASA issues $145M solicitation for headquarters IT and cloud services. NASA has launched the highly anticipated $145 million solicitation for IT and cloud computing services at its headquarters. (FedScoop)


House panel to consider bill to revamp DHS cyber team. The House Homeland Security Committee will consider legislation this week that would reorganize and elevate the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity branch. (The Hill)

In Cyberwarfare, Everyone Is a Combatant. This is already a banner year for hacks, breaches and cyberwarfare, but the past week was exceptional. (Wall Street Journal)

Internet of Things
Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety's Sake . Proponents of self-driving cars say they'll make the world safer, but autonomous vehicles need to predict what bicyclists are going to do. Now researchers say part of the answer is to have bikes feed information to cars. (NPR)


U.S., U.K. should move past 'geographical' trade agreements. The United States and the United Kingdom need trade deals based less on geographic proximity and more on creating opportunities for their world-class financial services and technology firms, U.K. Secretary of International Trade Liam Fox said Monday. (Politico Pro)

Eurozone Economy Slows in July, Survey Shows. The eurozone economy slowed in July, according to a survey of businesses, an indication that it may not perform as strongly in the second half of the year as it has in the first. (Wall Street Journal)

The United States and United Kingdom kicked off preliminary trade talks today under the newly established Trade Working Group to eventually create an "ambitious free trade agreement," the two nations' top trade officials said. (Politico Pro)
Qualcomm accuses tech group of 'misdirecting' trade regulators. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) fired back in its case against Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Monday, accusing its critics of waging a "coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting" trade regulators. (Reuters)


AT&T discussing merger conditions with DOJ. AT&T is in preliminary discussions with the Department of Justice (DOJ) about potential conditions to win approval for its pending merger with Time Warner, according to Bloomberg. (The Hill)

Democrats are slamming cable and telecom companies in their new 'Better Deal' platform. Democrats are taking cable and telecom companies to task over what many consumers have long bemoaned: rising prices and a lack of competition in the industry. (Washington Post)

Alphabet's EU fine will overshadow its second quarter earnings. When Alphabet reports its second quarter earnings Monday, the elephant in the room will be the recent $2.7 billion fine from European regulators for anticompetitive behavior. (Recode)


'Boys will be boys' gets a new spin in Silicon Valley sexism scandal. 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

Inside Microsoft's Plan to Bring AI to its HoloLens Goggles. Tech companies are keen to bring cool artificial intelligence features to phones and augmented reality goggles-the ability to show mechanics how to fix an engine, say, or tell tourists what they are seeing and hearing in their own language. (Bloomberg)

Op-Ed: Time to get smart on artificial intelligence. One of the biggest problems with Washington is that more often than not the policy conversation isn't grounded in the facts. (The Hill)

Tech Business

SoftBank, Didi Hand $2 Billion to Uber's Biggest Asian Rival. Grab raised $2 billion from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp. in the largest-ever venture fundraising in Southeast Asia, joining forces with two companies instrumental in driving Uber Technologies Inc. out of China. (Bloomberg)
Digital revolution: student touts prosthetic third thumb. "I've only got one pair of hands", is the refrain of overworked office staff or stressed parents everywhere. (Reuters)
As ESPN Falters, Sports Startup Chases Fans Tired of 'Old Fluff'. 2017 is shaping up to be a rough year for sports journalism. ESPN, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo Sports have all cut staff positions in the last several months, showing the deep cracks in the predominant business model of online sports news. (Bloomberg)
Alphabet's Profit Dragged Lower by Hefty EU Fine. Google parent Alphabet Inc.'s GOOGL 0.45% quarterly profit fell by 28% because of a $2.7 billion fine from European regulators, but other metrics show the company's massive ad business continues to hum. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Singapore Startup Takes Bitcoin Into Real World With Visa. A recurring challenge for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is how to make them work in the real world. A Singapore-based startup says the answer is its Visa card. (Bloomberg)
Organic ranchers eye Amazon distribution ahead of Whole Foods deal. Inc plans to meet on Wednesday with a dozen U.S. ranchers, seeking to expand distribution of organic and grass-fed meats as it takes over Whole Foods Market Inc, according to the meeting's organizer. (Reuters)
Alphabet appoints Google CEO Pichai to board. Alphabet Inc said it appointed chief executive of its Google unit, Sundar Pichai, to its board. (Reuters)
Google leads the world in digital and mobile ad revenue. Advertising is the lifeblood of the internet. Ahead of Google's second-quarter earnings today, here's a look at the state of the company's ad revenue and how it has grown over the years. (Recode)

Rest in peace, Microsoft Paint. Fans of Microsoft's long-standing Paint program are suddenly feeling very blue. (Washington Post)

EU increases pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter over user terms. European Union authorities have increased pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter to amend their user terms to bring them in line with EU law after proposals submitted by the tech giants were considered insufficient. (Reuters)

Samsung Releases Arthritis Drug in First Foray Into U.S. Pharmaceuticals. Americans suffering from arthritis can now find relief from an unexpected new player in the pharmaceuticals market. (Wall Street Journal)

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: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Today the Senate will convene at 12:00 p.m. and recognize the Majority Leader.

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