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Tech News Roundup - 08/23/2017

Tech News Roundup

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Key Issues

Global Trade

U.S., South Korea at odds as Lighthizer pushes for 'substantial improvements' to trade deal. Washington officials are facing stiff resistance from their South Korean counterparts as they look to adjust a five-year-old free trade deal known as KORUS. (Politico Pro)

America's permanent export emergency. In 1994, with trade fights raging over NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, the White House faced an urgent problem: It was about to lose most of its power to block exports for national-security reasons. (Politico)

Labor Wants to Make Nafta Its Friend. Here's the Problem.. Can Nafta be re-engineered to raise workers' wages? (New York Times)


Stop hiding 47,000 net neutrality complaints, advocates tell FCC chair. The Federal Communications Commission is being pressured to release the text of 47,000 net neutrality complaints before going through with Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to eliminate net neutrality rules. (Ars Technica)

Verizon to start throttling all smartphone videos to 480p or 720p. Verizon Wireless will start throttling video streams to resolutions as low as 480p on smartphones this week. Most data plans will get 720p video on smartphones, but customers won't have any option to completely un-throttle video. (Ars Technica)

Artificial Intelligence

FTC may take a deeper look at artificial intelligence. Acting FTC Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen said the agency hopes to take a closer look at artificial intelligence "because it has a consumer protection element to it but also has a competition element to it." (Axios)

Should robots kill?. Over 100 robotics and artificial intelligence experts worldwide warned the United Nations about a future of war that includes autonomous killing machines. (FCW)

Robot makers slow to address danger risk. Researchers who warned half a dozen robot manufacturers in January about nearly 50 vulnerabilities in their home, business and industrial robots, say only a few of the problems have been addressed. (Reuters)


California has a climate problem, and its name is cars. In 2006, California passed its groundbreaking climate legislation AB 32, which put in place a target for greenhouse gas reductions and set in motion a cascade of regulations, subsidies, and performance standards that has continued unabated ever since. (Vox)


Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency. Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of online security - the mobile phone number - is also one of the easiest to steal. (New York Times)
Time's Running Out To Prevent a Massive Cyberattack on Critical Infrastructure, Advisory Group Says. U.S. infrastructure is in "a pre-9/11 moment" when it comes to cybersecurity and time is running short to shore up its cyber defenses, an industry advisory committee warned Tuesday. (Nextgov)


Driver's license facial recognition tech leads to 4,000 New York arrests. The state of New York says its driver's license facial recognition technology has led to the arrest of 4,000 people in connection to identify theft or fraud crimes. This number is likely to skyrocket in the wake of the state doubling the number of measurement points for photographs. (Ars Technica)

Public Sector

State Department employees frustrated over looming budget, workforce cuts. Amid a dearth of nominations for top leadership posts, a mandate to trim its workforce and the prospect of major budget cuts, State Department employees have had plenty to talk about. (Federal News Radio)

Congress needs more tech expertise. This fellowship is trying to help out. Travis Moore was working on Capitol Hill, in former California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman's office, when he realized he needed a little technical expertise. Conversations following the Snowden leaks, the debate around CISPA and more convinced him that, increasingly, tech affects all issues. (FedScoop)


Los Angeles seeks to join lawsuit over U.S. sanctuary policies. The city of Los Angeles on Tuesday sought to join a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over federal restrictions on some law enforcement grants to so-called sanctuary cities, according to a court filing. (Reuters)

Trump Heads To Arizona To Push Border Wall Funding, Rally Supporters. President Trump is returning to a red-meat topic for his political base - building a border wall and cracking down on illegal immigration. (NPR)

Judge prepared to order first DREAMer deported under Trump back to U.S. to make his case. A federal judge said Tuesday he was preparing to order the Trump administration to return the first known DREAMer it deported back to the United States to make his case for staying. (USA Today)


AT&T-Time Warner Deal Challenged by Brazil Antitrust Agency. Brazil's antitrust watchdog said AT&T Inc.'s $85.4 billion deal for Time Warner Inc. poses a high risk to competition, a potential complication that threatens to delay the final approval process. (Bloomberg)
Internet of Things

Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions for a Self-Driving Car. As new employees were brought into Apple's secret effort to create a self-driving car a few years ago, managers told them that they were working on the company's next big thing: A product that would take on Detroit and disrupt the automobile industry. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Millennials ditch texts, communicate in groups. Millennials are moving away from plain texting to communicating through visuals, according to Nielsen's latest millennial media report. (Axios)

Startup aims to be a LinkedIn for job seekers with a criminal record. We attended the first leg of Y Combinator's "demo day," its twice-a-year event at which startups participating in its accelerator program present their businesses in front of a room of investors and journalists. (Axios)

What's New in the iPhone 8. In June, Apple Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told Bloomberg: "We don't feel an impatience to be first. It's just not how we're wired. Our thing is to be the best and to give the user something that really makes a difference in their lives." (Bloomberg)

The Nuclear Tech Breakthrough That Could Make Oil Obsolete. We hear a lot about the approaching end of the fossil fuel era. But as various companies work on wind and solar, there's a group of scientists quietly working on another method of generating electricity, in the lab that once created the atomic bomb. (Bloomberg)
Companies scramble to combat 'fake news'. It is not just politicians who have cause to complain about fake news. (Financial Times)

Austria, carmakers agree to update software of 600,000 diesel cars. Austria's Transport Minister Joerg Leichtfried said on Tuesday he had agreed with carmakers to update the software of 600,000 diesel cars to reduce pollution following a similar deal struck in Germany after a large-scale emissions scandal. (Reuters)

Kleiner Perkins to Invest $40 Million in Toronto-Based Inc., whose mobile software allows sales associates and retailers to engage more effectively with customers, has raised $40 million in a new round of venture-capital financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (Wall Street Journal)

The Problems With Internet Platforms Policing Hate. "Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn't be allowed on the internet," Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote in an email to staffers last week. (The Ringer)

Estonia wants to launch its own cryptocurrency. Estonia is considering taking advantage of the cryptocurrency hype to do an initial coin offering (ICO) for its own country. (The Hill)

ITI Member News

Samsung faces a crucial smartphone launch as its top executive faces a sentencing hearing. Samsung faces two potentially crucial moments this week - the launch of a new smartphone and a hearing that will determine whether its vice chairman will spend the next 12 years in jail. (Washington Post)
Google touts Titan security chip to market cloud services. Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google this week will disclose technical details of its new Titan computer chip, an elaborate security feature for its cloud computing network that the company hopes will enable it to steal a march on Inc (AMZN.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O). (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

Both chambers are not in session today.

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