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Tech News Roundup - 07/26/2017

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Tech Politics

The Agenda: What happened to Trump's war on data?. On May 16, three months' worth of data vanished quietly from the website of the U.S. Census Bureau. The figures included age, sex and employment data, crucial for calculating key statistics like the monthly unemployment rate. (Politico Pro)


Republicans want the CEOs of Facebook, Google, AT&T and Comcast to testify to Congress about solving net neutrality. House Republicans are asking the chief executives of tech and telecom rivals - including Facebook, Google, AT&T and Comcast* - to appear before the U.S. Congress in September and help settle the debate over net neutrality once and for all. (Recode)

House Republicans invite tech, telecom CEOs to testify on net neutrality. House Republicans are asking the CEOs of technology and telecommunications giants to weigh in on the net neutrality debate as the Federal Communications Commission pushes through an effort to repeal its Obama-era rules. (The Hill)

Energy and Environment

Democrats slam EPA head, want to understand his climate inquiry. Lamar Smith, head of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has a penchant for releasing letters in which he complains about issues related to climate change. (Ars Technica)


Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Sold. Your Roomba may be vacuuming up more than you think. (New York Times)

Public Sector

Tech and wall are inseparable, border security managers say. As the first installment of a new wall along the southern border gets underway, top border security managers told lawmakers they're already working with a combination of technology and physical barriers, but extending situational awareness to agents in the field is a key ingredient of border security. (FCW)

Agencies should look to industry for scaling shared services. To expand the government's use of shared services, agencies should look to the private sector, said Beth Angerman, executive director of the General Services Administration's Unified Shared Services Management office. (FCW)

Rep. Hurd wants a smart border wall, not a dumb one. With the fiscal 2018 budget likely to include early funding for President Trump's promised border wall - and billions more likely to follow - Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, would like to see more of it spent on improving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's technology. (FedScoop)


House, Senate clash over key business tax benefit. A key business benefit in House Speaker Paul Ryan's tax reform plan looks to be headed for the chopping block. (Politico Pro)

Republicans battle within party over online sales tax bill. Members of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday sparred over the implications of a bill that aims to take away states' ability to collect online sales taxes. (ITI Mentioned, The Hill)


New Challenge to U.S. Power: Chinese Exceptionalism. Li Xiaopeng once idolized the West. While a student, he broke through China's internet firewall to read news from abroad, revered the U.S. Constitution and saw the authoritarian Chinese government as destined to fade away. (Wall Street Journal)

Is Asia moving forward without the US?. The TPP 11 is an example of how Asia is moving ahead without U.S. leadership, says Steve Okun of the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce. (CNBC)

Lego Boost Review: Meet Your Child's New Coding Coach. Learning programming is awesome when you're making Lego robots fart. (Wall Street Journal)

Dems introduce cyber workforce bill. Three House Democrats on Tuesdayintroduced a multi-layered bill aimed at boosting the cybersecurity workforce. (The Hill)

India's transport chief: Driverless cars will kill jobs. India's top transport official warned this week that the new technology would increase unemployment among a young population already struggling to find jobs. (CNN)

India says no to driverless cars to protect jobs. Nitin Gadkari said the government would "not allow any technology that takes away jobs". (BBC)


Justice Department makes new move against sanctuary cities. The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it will impose new grant conditions in a bid to make sure that federal money does not flow to so-called sanctuary cities. (Politico Pro)

Intellectual Property

Apple ordered to pay $506 million to university in patent dispute. A U.S. judge on Monday ordered Apple Inc to pay $506 million for infringing on a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm, more than doubling the damages initially imposed on Apple by a jury. (Reuters)

Artificial Intelligence
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg clash over the future of artificial intelligence. Two of the technology industry's most powerful leaders are at odds when it comes to artificial intelligence. (LA Times)

Tech Business

For Alphabet, a Record Fine Is Both a Footnote and a Warning. Not many companies can turn a $2.7 billion fine into a financial footnote. (New York Times)

SoftBank Said to Consider an Investment in Uber. SoftBank, the Japanese technology and media giant, is weighing an investment in Uber at a time when the ride-hailing company's leadership is in flux, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. (New York Times)
America's Hottest Properties: Data Centers and Cell Towers. E-commerce has been blamed for the struggles of retail real estate, but is proving to be a boon for owners of data centers and cell towers. (Wall Street Journal)
In Silicon Valley, the Big Venture Funds Keep Getting Bigger. Giant venture-capital funds are piling up in Silicon Valley, a sign that foundations, pension funds and endowments are still willing to rush money into the risky startup sector despite lingering concerns about overheated valuations. (Wall Street Journal)

AT&T's Profit Rises as Customers Bundle Services. AT&T Inc. kept losing phone and TV subscribers in its core U.S. market but enjoyed a more profitable second quarter, thanks to customers with bundled services. (Wall Street Journal)

To Keep Drivers From Leaving, Uber Tries To Treat Them Better . Uber's leadership already has a lot on its plate, starting with finding a new CEO after former chief Travis Kalanick resigned abruptly last month. (NPR)

Uber's New CEO Short List Is Said to Include HPE's Meg Whitman. Uber Technologies Inc. hopes to name a new leader by early September to replace its ousted chief executive officer and steer the ride-hailing business out of a turbulent period. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

Google Parent Posts Strong Ad Growth, but Earns Less for Each Click. Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL -3.02% said its advertising business continued to hum, but its fastest-growing segments-mobile and YouTube advertising-are less lucrative than desktop ads. (Wall Street Journal)
Google tells judge: Don't let Canada force us to alter US search results. Google is taking legal action in the US to stop Canada's Supreme Court from controlling its search results worldwide. (Ars Technica)
Google's Canada head exits, company seeking permanent replacement. Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) said on Tuesday that Sam Sebastian, the head of its Google Canada operations, has left the search engine company. (Reuters)
Trump Says Apple CEO Has Promised to Build Three Manufacturing Plants in U.S.. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said in an interview that Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook has committed to build three big manufacturing plants in the U.S., a surprising statement that would help fulfill his administration's economic goal of reviving American manufacturing. (Wall Street Journal)
Texas Instruments Signals Growing Demand in Chips for Cars. Texas Instruments Inc., the largest maker of analog semiconductors that are the basic building blocks of every electronic device, gave a forecast that indicated steady demand from the automotive industry. (Bloomberg)
Twitter faces new criticism from Congress amid charges it briefly blocked net neutrality critics. Two top Republicans in the U.S. Congress sharply rebuked Twitter on Tuesday following reports that the website briefly blocked its users from posting links to a blog post that criticized the U.S. government's net neutrality rules. (Recode)

We have unrealistic expectations of a tech-driven future utopia. No one likes to think about limits, especially in the tech industry, where the idea of putting constraints on almost anything is perceived as anathema. (Recode)

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: 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Today the Senate will convene at 9:30 a.m. and resume consideration of H.R.1628, To provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2017.
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