Skip to main content

Tech News Roundup - 08/17/2017

Tech News Roundup

Go Back

Key Issues

Global Trade

U.S. sets tough tone with Canada and Mexico as NAFTA talks begin. The Trump administration set a tough tone Wednesday at the start of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, driving a wedge into its relationship with Canada and Mexico. (Politico Pro)

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday that the NAFTA negotiating tables were just being set and that all sides are not yet in the weeds on any issues after this first day of talks. (Politico Pro)

NAFTA talks must include discussion on fintech: Mexican negotiator. Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must include a discussion of new financial services, a Mexican negotiator said on Wednesday, singling out so-called fintech companies rapidly gaining ground in the region. (Reuters)

Tech Politics

Trump fallout with business leaders could chill relations with tech industry. The fallout between President Donald Trump and business executives this week is likely to chill his already icy relationship with tech industry leaders, even as the White House pushes ahead with plans to enlist their help in modernizing federal technology. (Politico Pro)

Trump accuses Amazon of hurting 'tax paying retailers'. President Donald Trump lashed out again Wednesday morning at the online retailer Amazon, accusing it of harming "tax paying retailers" and stripping jobs away from towns and cities across the country. (Politico Pro)

Trump, in tweet, hits Amazon over taxes, jobs. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized on Twitter over taxes and jobs and accused the global retailer, without offering evidence, of hurting U.S. localities and causing job losses. (Reuters)

In New Political Status Quo, Big Business Bucks the Right. In January, conservative legislators in Texas backed by Gov. Greg Abbott introduced a bill to regulate transgender access to public facilities such as bathrooms. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump's Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect. Two of President Donald Trump's councils of top business leaders are disbanding following Tuesday's controversial remarks by the president about the weekend's violence in Virginia. (Wall Street Journal)

Apple's Tim Cook 'disagrees' with Donald Trump's take on neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville. Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday called for an "unequivocal" denouncement of the recent neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, stressing he disagreed with comments by President Donald Trump that attributed the violence there to "many sides" - and not white supremacists. (Recode)


Why are the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals Stalling?. It's the most ambitious project in the history of humankind. If successful, it would solve many of civilization's most pressing challenges. But due to a single, fatal defect, it's poised to fail-catastrophically. (Pacific Standard)

Is LinkedIn trying to protect your data - or hoard it?. When you create a public profile on a social network such as LinkedIn, it isn't just your friends and contacts who can see that data. For better or for worse, other companies can legally download that information and use it for themselves, too. (Washington Post)

Election officials: 'Frightening' cyber drill showed need for improvement. Federal and local election officials today said a recent cybersecurity exercise displayed the need for prompt action to defend voting systems from hackers. (Politico Pro)

NIST retools security and privacy controls for IoT era. The internet-of-things ecosystem is extending the reach of computer systems and data -- and increasing risks for government, enterprise and everyday users. (FCW)

Public Sector
DHS cyber shop seeks CTO. The Department of Homeland Security's cyber and communications infrastructure department is looking for an expert to help it with technology oversight and strategies. (FCW)

Former agency execs weigh 'serious' reorg recommendations. Could a BRAC be in the future for civilian agencies?It's not out of the question, but Robert Shea, a former Office of Management and Budget executive under the President George W. Bush administration, said chances are slim Congress would give the go-ahead on a proposal that would relinquish some of its power during a government overhaul. (Federal News Radio)

Ask your security clearance questions - How well do you understand the clearance process?. Have a question about the security clearance process, federal suitability or cleared careers? (Federal News Radio)
Why has the NDAA become the fast lane for essential tech bills?. The Modernizing Government Technology Act is a bipartisan bill designed to solve the pressing problem of upgrading federal IT and commands broad support on Capitol Hill. (FedScoop)

How open data fuels key business sectors. At the end of July, the Office of Management and Budget and the Center for Open Data Enterprise co-hosted a Roundtable on Open Data for Economic Growth. (FedScoop)

DATA Act part two? OMB supports move to common data formats for contractors, grantees. Just months after the federal government reached a major milestone in requiring agencies to begin reporting their financial data in a standardized format per the DATA Act, the Office of Management and Budget now faces yet another considerable challenge getting its arms around the totality of government spending. (FedScoop)


Brady says tax reform could lose revenue early on. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said Wednesday that tax reform could increase the deficit in its "early years" but that the GOP plan would ultimately balance the budget. (Politico Pro)

Trump's Charlottesville Uproar Overshadows GOP Tax Roadshow. Top Republican tax writers went to a national shrine for tax cutters -- former President Ronald Reagan's California ranch -- hoping to make a sales pitch for a historic overhaul of the U.S. tax code. (BNA)

3 takeaways from Texas Rep. Kevin Brady's speech urging Congress to defeat 'monster of a tax code'. Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the House's top tax writer, urged Congress on Wednesday to defeat America's "monster of a tax code," saying that lawmakers must face down the "monumental challenge" that's stifling economic growth. (Dallas News)

Internet of Things

Fiat Chrysler Joins BMW in Race to Make Self-Driving Cars. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will cooperate with BMW to develop self-driving cars, the companies said Wednesday, as traditional automakers look to defend their turf against cash-rich Silicon Valley giants eager to upend the industry. (New York Times)


Science Doesn't Explain Tech's Diversity Problem - History Does. n 2017, the idea that biological differences drive social inequality is considered fairly offensive. For the incurious, the taboo around this argument makes it exciting. (The Verge)

Tech Business

A Start-Up Suggests a Fix to the Health Care Morass. If you watched the drama in Washington last month, you may have come away with the impression that the American health care system is a hopeless mess. (New York Times)
China's Online Giants Back $12 Billion Deal to Shake Up State Firm. Some of China's biggest technology players are backing a plan to invest nearly $12 billion in one of the country's telecommunications giants, the latest move in a broader government push to shake up the country's bloated state-run companies. (New York Times)
Tech Firms Break From Hands-Off Approach With Bans on White Supremacists. Technology companies' recent moves to crack down on white supremacists thrust them into unusual territory for corporations that often take a more hands-off approach to who uses their services and how. (Wall Street Journal)

Uber sorry for Philippines 'misunderstanding', but suspension stands. The Philippine transport regulator stood by its one-month suspension of Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] on Wednesday, despite its apology for a "misunderstanding" in failing to heed a directive to stop accepting new driver applications. (Reuters)

Internet firms shift stance, move to exile white supremacists. Silicon Valley joined a swelling backlash against neo-Nazi groups in the United States on Wednesday as more technology companies removed white supremacists from their services in response to weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

'March on Google' postponed. The protests planned to be held at several U.S. Google offices this weekend have been postponed by organizers. (Axios)

Microsoft Teaches Autonomous Gliders to Make Decisions on the Fly. As the glider turned and flew south, four men gave chase in a sport utility vehicle below, rolling through the Nevada desert. (New York Times)
Apple Inc. AAPL -0.48% has set a budget of roughly $1 billion to procure and produce original content over the next year, according to people familiar with the matter, as the iPhone maker shows how serious it is about making a splash in Hollywood. (Wall Street Journal)
How Oracle Engineered Its Sales Staff for the Cloud. Oracle Corp. ORCL +0.86% is starting to see the benefits of revamping its sales force, addressing longstanding questions from Wall Street about the software company's commitment to cloud computing. (Wall Street Journal)
New Nokia 8 phone targets surging demand for video-streaming. HMD Global, the Finnish start-up looking to reinvigorate the Nokia phone brand, unveiled the Nokia 8 on Wednesday, hoping to cash in on rising consumer demand for high-quality audio and video features. (Reuters)
With a New Smartphone, Nokia-Maker Takes on Apple and Samsung. Finnish company HMD Global Oy unveiled its latest Nokia-branded smartphone in a first bid to win over Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. customers. (Bloomberg)

Amazon continues heady UK expansion with new distribution centre. Online retailer Inc said on Wednesday it would open a distribution centre in Bristol, south west England, in 2018, continuing a rapid expansion that saw its investments in the UK triple last year to over 400 million pounds ($513.96 million). (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

Both chambers are not in session today.

Share this News Roundup on: