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Tech News Roundup - 09/12/2017

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Pope Francis warns "history will judge" climate change deniers. As Hurricane Irma, a tempest exacerbated by climate change, ravaged the Florida coast on Monday as a tropical storm, Pope Francis doubled down on his condemnations of those who choose to ignore the mounting evidence of the impacts of global warming. (Vox)

Global Trade

McEvoy to step down as NOP chief. Miles McEvoy, who has led USDA's National Organic Program for the last eight years, is stepping down from the post at the end of September. (Politico Pro)

You won't like Mexico when it's angry. In his landmark 1985 book, "Distant Neighbors," Alan Riding, then The New York Times Mexico City correspondent, wrote that the Mexican president, in the days of the one-party state, was all powerful except for two things he could never do. (Politico Pro)
Is China leaping past us?. Sixty years ago this fall, the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching into orbit Earth's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. (Politico Pro)


California files suit against Trump on DACA. California and three other states on Monday added to a barrage of states challenging President Donald Trump's decision to rescind protections for undocumented people brought to the United States illegally as children. (Politico Pro)


Google appeals against huge EU anti-trust fine. The regulator had ruled that positioning its own shopping comparison service at the top of Google search results was an abuse of power. (BBC News)

Artificial Intelligence

John Deere ploughs a new furrow with algorithmic acquisition. John Deere, the US tractor maker whose founder began by forging ploughs, is betting that the future of farming is in weed-spotting algorithms. (Financial Times)
What's next for agency cyber efforts?. When the White House issued its long-awaited executive order on cybersecurity in May, it formalized what many in government had long argued was necessary: adopting the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Cybersecurity Framework and embracing enterprise risk management at every agency. (FCW)

Equifax's struggle after massive security breach deepens. Equifax's struggle to deal with the fallout from a massive security breach is growing as lawmakers are asking questions about what happened and more consumers are lawyering up. (USA Today)
In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own. The robot was perched over a bin filled with random objects, from a box of instant oatmeal to a small toy shark. This two-armed automaton did not recognize any of this stuff, but that did not matter. (New York Times)

Internet of Things
U.S. to unveil streamlined autonomous vehicle guidelines Tuesday. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will unveil on Tuesday streamlined safety guidelines for automakers that want to deploy self-driving vehicles, a person briefed on the matter said Monday, as members of Congress push their own proposals to remove regulatory barriers to the technology. (Reuters)
Israeli start-up building thermal cameras for self-driving cars. An Israeli start-up believes it can solve some of the tricky problems faced by self-driving cars by employing thermal cameras to detect heat from pedestrians, animals and objects, the latest technology being tested in the fast-growing industry. (Reuters)

Google's Self-Driving Car Quest Runs Through Rocky Terrain: Detroit. John Krafcik can speak two languages, Motor City and Silicon Valley, and if Google makes progress in developing self-driving cars, it might have his translation skills to thank. (Wall Street Journal)
Senate wrestles with trucking in driverless vehicle bill. More than a month after Senate Commerce Committee leaders had hoped to mark up a driverless car bill, lawmakers are still battling over whether to include trucks in the legislation. (Politico Pro)

General Motors is starting to build cars that can eventually drive without a human. General Motors and its self-driving subsidiary Cruise have started to build Chevy Bolt electric vehicles that are being produced with fully autonomous hardware. In other words, once the software is ready - perhaps within months - these third-generation Bolt EVs will be able to operate themselves completely without a driver. (Recode)

Public Sector
Drones take center stage in Harvey recovery. Unmanned aerial systems exacerbated some rescue problems in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but they've also helped speed recovery there, according to the Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta. (FCW)

Tony Scott signs on with law and lobby firm. Former Federal CIO Tony Scott has a new home after leaving the public sector in January. Scott will be heading to law firm Squire Patton Boggs, where he will serve as senior data privacy and cybersecurity advisor. (FCW)

4 NDAA amendments to watch as Senate takes up bill. The Senate is likely voting on the 2018 defense authorization bill sometime this week or next and with it are nearly 400 amendments. (Federal News Radio)


Lawmakers jittery over lack of tax reform details. Congressional Republicans came back to Washington ready and eager to work on tax reform, but they're still missing one thing: a plan. (Politico Pro)
Forget Equifax. Facebook and Google Have the Data That Should Worry You. Just for a minute, imagine that hackers have gained access to a database containing sensitive information about hundreds of millions of people. (Bloomberg)

Facebook fined 1.2 million euros by Spanish data watchdog. Facebook has been fined 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million) for allegedly collecting personal information from users in Spain that could then be used for advertising, the national data protection watchdog said on Monday. (Reuters)

Tech Business

EU weighs strategy to compete in fintech with global rivals. European Union finance ministers will discuss this week a plan to attract more financial-technology companies, in a bid to bridge the gap with global competitors and offset the loss of Europe's main fintech market after Britain leaves the bloc. (Reuters)
Airbnb sees 80 percent jump in visitors to Britain. Airbnb has seen an 80 percent jump in visitors to Britain in the last year, the home rental firm said on Monday, as travelers pour in to the country to take advantage of the weaker pound. (Reuters)
It Distracted Us. It Gave Us Uber. It Made Selfies a Thing.. The first iPhone was released 10 years ago and swiftly turned the smartphone from a curiosity into our constant companion. It was not the first smartphone, but it has been responsible for cementing an always-connected way of life. (New York Times)

AT&T workers in contract dispute to protest at iPhone launch. AT&T workers are planning a demonstration outside Apple headquarters on Tuesdayduring the highly anticipated iPhone 8 launch to draw attention to their ongoing contract dispute. (The Hill)

Smartphones are driving all growth in web traffic. Smartphones are driving all growth in U.S. web traffic, while tablets and computer web access has declined, according to new data from Adobe Analytics. (Recode)

ITI Member News

Lucky 8? $1,000 price tag dampens iPhone enthusiasm in China. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will launch an expected "iPhone 8" on Tuesday, hoping the number's auspicious connotations in China will help turn around fortunes in the world's biggest smartphone market. (Reuters)

Amazon's China Hiring Signals Renewed Ambitions in Alibaba Battle. Inc. is hiring by the hundreds in China to fill jobs ranging from internet software engineers to designers for Alexa, positioning the company to recoup some of the market share it lost to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the world's largest online shopping arena. (Bloomberg)
Adobe Wants to Bring Digital Marketing to Your Car. Adobe Systems Inc. has helped companies tackle digital marketing on computers and smartphones. Now, it wants the next key device: your car. (Bloomberg)
Tagging fake news on Facebook doesn't work, study says. Facebook touts its partnership with outside fact-checkers as a key prong in its fight against fake news, but a major new Yale University study finds that fact-checking and then tagging inaccurate news stories on social media doesn't work. (Politico Pro)

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. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Today the Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R.2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
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