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Tech News Roundup - 09/05/2017

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Tech Politics

Want to understand how dominant tech companies have become? Look at the number of issues they lobby on.. A firing this week by a Washington think tank has exposed the deep and often hidden influence in the nation's capital of tech companies who are driving key governmental decisions affecting consumers both on and off the Internet. (Washington Post)

Breaking from tech giants, Democrats consider becoming an antimonopoly party. A messy, public brawl over a Google critic's ouster from a Washington think tank has exposed a fissure in Democratic Party politics. On one side there's a young and growing faction advocating new antimonopoly laws, and on the other a rival faction struggling to defend itself. (Washington Post)

Forget Wall Street - Silicon Valley is the new political power in Washington. The scholar Barry Lynn worked at the New America Foundation, a Washington thinktank, for 15 years studying the growing power of technology companies like Google and Facebook. For 14 of them, everything was, he says, "great". (The Guardian)

Will Hurd: Congressman says border security and cybersecurity go hand in hand. If Congressman Will Hurd isn't in Washington, D.C., he's likely on the road. (San Antonio Magazine)

Summer break is over, but urgent matters on Capitol Hill being scrambled like carnival ride. The midways are now vacant. The slick patter of carnival barkers have fallen silent as the temperatures chill, hinting fall is in the air. Summer is drawing to a close. No more state and county fairs. No more weekend church festivals or beach vacations. (Fox News)


Op-Ed: If You Want to MAGA, Save DACA. What is it, really, that makes a country great? (New York Times)

Op-Ed: What Do Dreamers Do Now?. President Trump is expected on Tuesdayto rescind protections for young immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children, but with a six-month grace period to let Congress respond. (New York Times)
Editorial: President Trump, leave DACA alone. José Manuel Santoyo, 24, knows little about the country he would be sent to if the Trump administration begins deporting folks like him. (USA Today)
Trump's punt to Congress on DACA threatens new GOP rift. President Donald Trump's expected decision to punt the fate of nearly 800,000 DREAMers to Congress promises to drive yet another rift through an already fractured Republican Party, which has for years struggled to coalesce around immigration reform proposals. (Politico Pro)

Pelosi wants to meet with Ryan to help DREAMers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to meet as soon as possible with Republican leaders in a bid to help young, undocumented immigrants avoid losing their legal protections. (Politico Pro)

GOP leaders add their voices to the chorus calling for DACA program to stay. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other Republicans on Friday urged President Trump not to rescind an Obama-era program that allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants to stay in the country legally, reflecting fears among some GOP leaders that his decision could be politically damaging for the party. (Washington Post)

Tim Cook says he stands behind the 250 Dreamers currently working for Apple. Tim Cook was among the top tech leaders who sat down with Trump ahead of inauguration in hopes of helping shape the new president's tech policy. (Techcrunch)

Tech industry's support for DACA strikes a personal tone. The tech industry has long been engaged in the fight for immigration reform for the sake of its bottom line, but the latest groundswell of support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program reflects an interest on the part of companies that extends beyond their own need to hire foreign-born workers. (Politico Pro)

Mark Zuckerberg calls on Trump to protect 'dreamers' from immigration reforms. Initiated more than five years ago by the Obama administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program grants leniency to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. (CNBC)

Tech Companies Are Signing This Letter In Defense Of DACA. On Thursday, Fox News reported that Trump will end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program also known as DACA, as early as Friday. (Buzzfeed News)

Senate panel expected to hold hearing on immigration visas. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is expected to hold a hearing in the coming weeks focused on immigration visas, an area of interest to the Trump administration. (The Hill)

Global Trade

Democrats target Trump on trade. Democrats facing reelection next year in states President Trump won are seizing on trade at this early stage as a crucial issue and a Republican vulnerability. (Washington Post)

U.S., Canada Facing Off on NAFTA Procurement Goals . The Trump administration's America First agenda will run smack into Canada's goals for more open government procurement under the North American Free Trade Agreement, as the second round of NAFTA talks are underway in Mexico City. (BNA)

Trump mulling withdrawal from Korea trade deal. President Donald Trump could start the process of withdrawing from a free trade agreement with South Korea as early as next week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a note to its members urging them to initiate an "all hands on deck" action to stop the decision. (Politico Pro)

Trump's mutiny against trade has some countries worried about their national security. When President Donald Trump walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he set off a series of geopolitical recalculations across Asia. (CNBC)

Trump: Maybe we'll end all trade with countries that trade with North Korea. Everyone: Huh?. In the wake of North Korea's test of its most powerful nuclear bomb yet Sunday, President Donald Trump has made another vague, ominous threat on Twitter. (Vox)

Op-Ed: To respect labor, help workers with a reworked NAFTA. Labor Day is a time to remember and honor the achievements of working people across America. For our country and our commonwealth, it's been a long year. (Post-Gazette)

BRICS nations oppose protectionism as China blasts Trump's trade threat. The BRICS bloc of five major emerging economies redoubled a commitment to oppose protectionism during a summit in China on Monday as a Chinese government official denounced President Donald Trump's threat to halt U.S. trade with nations that do business with North Korea. (Politico Pro)


Apple breaks silence to defend net neutrality. Apple broke its silence on net neutrality Thursday, urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to keep in place rules on how broadband providers treat web traffic. (The Hill)
Apple's call for 'strong' net neutrality rules is a hint about the future of its business. Apple has broken its silence on net neutrality with a first-ever filing on the issue at the Federal Communications Commission, urging regulators to avoid repealing large swaths of the regulations that are aimed at constraining Internet providers. (Washington Post)

How smart phones bridge the internet access gap. While Hispanic and black Americans are less likely to own a personal computer or home broadband than whites, they are almost just as likely to own smartphones, according to a recently published study by Pew Research. (Axios)

Virginia adopts cybersecurity framework to get everyone speaking the same language. In what is just one in a string of recent cybersecurity announcements, Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared Thursday that Virginia is the first state to adopt the National Initiative for Cyber Security Education (NICE) Framework, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in an official capacity. (StateScoop)
Trump not rushing to find a permanent head for DHS. A month after former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly decamped for the White House, President Donald Trump has yet to formally interview any potential candidates to replace the retired general as the head of the department. (Politico Pro)

Public Sector
A key White House science council is still vacant - but the Trump administration doesn't plan to kill it. A White House council that's supposed to study everything from nanotechnology to biological warfare has sat dormant for more than seven months under President Donald Trump - but the administration says it'll staff up and resume its work soon. (Recode)

White House floats vision for IT modernization. The White House released a plan to modernize federal IT by accelerating cloud adoption, consolidating networks and prioritizing key applications for needed upgrades. (FCW)
White House issues long-awaited IT modernization report. The White House's American Technology Council and Office of American Innovation issued their long-awaited draft report Wednesday to President Donald Trump on the efforts needed to continue to modernize federal technology. (FedScoop)
3 ways Congress can pass an IT modernization bill (and what's most likely). Though Congress and the White House have expressed public support for current legislation to change the way the federal government buys information technology, one powerful adversary remains: the congressional calendar. (FedScoop)


To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now. Gail Evans and Marta Ramos have one thing in common: They have each cleaned offices for one of the most innovative, profitable and all-around successful companies in the United States. (New York Times)

Scanning The Future, Radiologists See Their Jobs At Risk. In health care, you could say radiologists have typically had a pretty sweet deal. They make, on average, around $400,000 a year - nearly double what a family doctor makes - and often have less grueling hours. (NPR)

Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues. One of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States teaches third grade here at Mapleton Elementary, a public school with about 100 students in the sparsely populated plains west of Fargo. (New York Times)

Op-Ed: In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers. Silicon Valley prides itself on "thinking different." So maybe it makes sense that just as a lot of industries have begun paying more attention to work-life balance, Silicon Valley is taking the opposite approach - and branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice. (New York Times)


Editorial: The False Promises in President Trump's Tax Plan. As they return to Washington this week from their August recess, House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee have their work cut out for them. (New York Times)
Pessimism abounds on Trump tax reform effort. Tax lobbyists and Wall Street rate the prospects of tax reform as very low. (The Hill)
Intellectual Property

Op-Ed: A better US patent system will spur innovation. Imagine that you are the founder of a small biotech company. You have spent millions of dollars and years of time developing a new diagnostic test for a blood disease. You are about to revolutionise your field. (Financial Times)

Research and Development

Tech companies spend more on R&D than any other companies in the U.S. Tech companies lead top U.S. companies in R&D spending. (Recode)

Artificial Intelligence

Secretive Apple Tries to Open Up On Artificial Intelligence. The battle for artificial-intelligence expertise is forcing Apple Inc.AAPL 0.03% to grapple with its famous penchant for secrecy, as tech companies seek to woo talent in a discipline known for its openness. (Wall Street Journal)

Op-Ed: How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence. The technology entrepreneur Elon Musk recently urged the nation's governors to regulate artificial intelligence "before it's too late." Mr. Musk insists that artificial intelligence represents an "existential threat to humanity," an alarmist view that confuses A.I. science with science fiction. (New York Times)

Katrina. Sandy. Harvey. The debate over climate and hurricanes is getting louder and louder.. Almost exactly 12 years ago, when Hurricane Katrina put much of New Orleans under water, it touched off a massive dispute among scientists about the relationship between hurricanes and global warming. (Washington Post)

Chemical companies have already released 1 million pounds of extra air pollutants, thanks to Harvey. Oil refineries and chemical plants across the Texas Gulf coast released more than 1 million pounds of dangerous air pollutants in the week after Harvey struck, according to public regulatory filings aggregated by the Center for Biological Diversity. (Washington Post)

Internet of Things

One of the biggest challenges of self-driving cars: The humans inside them.. Replacing human-driven cars with fully autonomous vehicles will take 30 years or more, Aurora CEO Chris Urmson says - but there are some important things we should keep in mind in the intervening decades. (Recode)

Tech Business

Alexa and Siri Escalate Battle of Virtual Assistants. Apple Inc. AAPL 0.03% and Inc. AMZN -0.24% are bolstering the teams that run their Siri and Alexa virtual assistants, part of a string of recent moves by technology giants to step up competition in an area seen by many as the future of computing. (Washington Post)

Roku files for IPO of up to $100 million. Video streaming device maker Roku has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of up to $100 million. (The Hill)

Hurricane Harvey: Technology, how we need you. Hurricane Harvey showed the power of technology - and just how much we suffer when it lets us down. (USA Today)

Why a 24-Year-Old Chipmaker Is One of Tech's Hot Prospects. Engineers at, an imaging-technology start-up in Poland, are trying to popularize a more comfortable alternative to the colonoscopy. To do so, they are using computer chips that are best known to video game fans. (New York Times)

Tinder tops Apple App Store with new feature. It beat Netflix and Candy Crush to the top grossing spot in the US, according to analyst App Annie. (BBC News)

ITI Member News

Michael Dell, Tech Billionaire, Pledges $36 Million in Harvey Relief. Michael Dell, the billionaire Texan who founded Dell Technologies, has pledged $36 million of his foundation's money to help disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. (New York Times)

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