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Tech News Roundup - 11/07/2017

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11/07/2017

Key Issues

Taxes

Red-state Democrats to discuss tax plan with top Trump aide. At least a half-dozen red-state Democratic senators are set to talk taxes on Tuesday with a senior aide to President Donald Trump, a sign that some of the party's politically vulnerable members have not ruled out backing a bill that the GOP sees as a must to keep hold of its congressional majority. (Politico Pro)

Tax lobbyists sprint to win changes to House bill. House Republicans kept their tax bill under wraps for as long as possible to hold back a deluge of lobbyists. After trade groups spent the weekend poring over the details, the flood is on. (Politico Pro)

Influential think tank retracts analysis of GOP tax bill. The Tax Policy Centeron Monday retracted its assessment of House Republicans' tax bill after discovering an error in its model, a mistake that could complicate the effort to evaluate the legislation by an organization that has long enjoyed broad, bipartisan credibility. (Washington Post)

GOP tax bill gets modest changes. House Republicans on Monday again rejected President Trump's push to use their tax bill to repeal a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act, instead making only modest changes to their legislation as they attempt to move it closer to a vote on the House floor. (Washington Post)

Why the GOP tax plan could lead to a brain drain. Graduate students and their professors say their careers and programs are threatened by a provision of the House Republican tax bill that proposes tens of thousands of dollars in higher income taxes on American doctoral students. (Axios)

Republican Plan Would Raise Taxes on Millions. Nearly half of all middle-class families would pay more in taxes in 2026 than they would under current rules if the proposed House tax bill became law, and about one-third would pay more in 2018, according to a New York Times analysis, a striking finding for a bill promoted as a middle-class tax cut. (New York Times)

Republicans Propose Last-Minute Changes to Tax Bill. Republicans outlined significant changes on Monday to the sweeping tax bill unveiled by House lawmakers last week, moving to tighten restrictions on so-called carried interest, alter rules aimed at preventing American companies from stashing profits offshore and further restrict a tax credit claimed primarily by low- and middle-income individuals. (New York Times)

Tax Overhaul Faces Major Hurdles. A House committee began considering a bill Monday that would reduce taxes by $1.4 trillion over 10 years, but disagreements over key pieces of the measure could force the GOP to make changes and slow down plans to pass it by year's end. (Wall Street Journal)

Two words in the GOP tax bill mean tens of billions for the super-wealthy. We're featuring this Ryan quote because it illustrates a bit of a mystery about the House GOP plan: Why does it allow the super-wealthy to escape taxation on a huge hunk of capital gains seemingly forever? (Washington Post)

Tech Politics

Russian Twitter Support for Trump Began Right After He Started Campaign. In three months after Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, tweets from Russian accounts offered far more praise for the businessman than criticism. (Wall Street Journal)

Tech and Congress did themselves no favors in hearings. Many people who followed last week's Russia hearings with Google, Facebook and Twitter thought both sides came out worse for it, losing confidence in how the companies and congressional leaders are addressing foreign election interference, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey Poll. (Axios)

It's Getting Harder for Tech Companies To Deny Responsibility for Content. During last week's hearings about the industry's role in the 2016 presidential election, one ominous moment for Big Tech came when California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the industry's representative in Congress and a Democrat, addressed the social media companies. (Bloomberg)

Global Trade

Trump Is Leaving Japan Empty-Handed on Trade. They autographed baseball caps emblazoned with "Donald & Shinzo." They played nine holes of golf with a Japanese sensation often compared to Tiger Woods and didn't keep score. They shared an intimate dinner and repeatedly showered each other with praise. (Bloomberg)
Globalisation marches on without Trump. When Donald Trump lays out his long-awaited vision for a new US strategy to engage with Asia later this week he will be doing so in a place replete with lessons about American misadventures. (Financial Times)
Wooing Trump, Xi Jinping Seeks Great Power Status for China. Chinese leaders have long sought to present themselves as equals to American presidents. Xi Jinping has wanted something more: a special relationship that sets China apart, as the other great power in an emerging bipolar world. (New York Times)

Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Researchers Leave Elon Musk Lab to Begin Robotics Start-Up. During a recent speech at the University of California, Berkeley, Pieter Abbeel played a video clip of a robot doing housework. (New York Times)

Immigration

U.S. Phases Out Deportation Protection for Nicaraguans. The Trump administration has decided to end a humanitarian program that shields about 5,000 Nicaraguan immigrants from deportation. (Wall Street Journal)

Public Sector

Industry tries to prune 'Amazon' amendment before NDAA is finalized. As House and Senate conferees close in on an agreement for the 2018 National Defense Authorization bill, the controversial "Amazon" provision remains in play. But it seems likely the final version will look a lot different than the current one. (ITAPS Trey Hodgkins Quoted, Federal News Radio)

New Wyoming CISO Sets to Work Amid Increased National Cybersecurity Concerns. For first time, state technologists have asked the Legislature to include specific funding for cybersecurity in the budget. (GovTech)

Cybersecurity

Equifax Board Continues to Probe Legal Officer's Share-Sales Role. Committee had issued report clearing executives on trades before breach disclosure. (Wall Street Journal)

How a Commerce department standards agency grew into a cybersecurity powerhouse. The orientation for new employees of the National Institute of Standards and Technology typically includes a story about the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. (NextGov)

Workforce/Diversity

Nonprofits Give 'Disconnected' Youths Another Chance. Jonathan's father always told him he would never amount to anything other than a drug dealer. He entered the foster care system when he was 12. At 18, he was in college, but had to drop out to take care of his ill grandmother. (New York Times)

Broadband/Communications

How Verizon and Comcast are working to ensure states don't pass their own net neutrality bills. Some of the nation's biggest Internet providers want to make sure that, once the Federal Communications Commission votes to deregulate the broadband industry, states won't be able to set up their own, new regulations to replace them. (Washington Post)

Internet of Things

Salesforce, Google form cloud partnership. Cloud-based software maker Salesforce.com Inc said on Monday it has entered into a partnership with Google's cloud platform G Suite, to support its rapidly growing global customer base. (Reuters)

Energy

BP, Shell lead plan for blockchain-based platform for energy trading. A consortium including energy companies BP and Royal Dutch Shell will develop a blockchain-based digital platform for energy commodities trading expected to start by end-2018, the group said on Monday. (Reuters)

What the royal purge means for Saudi Arabia - and its oil. The Saudi leadership shake-up and wave of arrests over the weekend have rattled potential investors in the kingdom's ambitious modernization drive to create a new city, diversify the economy and sell off a slice of the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil company. (Washington Post)

The Bipartisan Opportunity of Energy Efficiency. Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we're hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list. (New York Times)

Environment/Sustainability
Here's How Far the World Is From Meeting Its Climate Goals. Two years after countries signed a landmark climate agreement in Paris, the world remains far off course from preventing drastic global warming in the decades ahead. On Monday, the latest round of post-Paris international climate talks begin in Bonn, Germany, to discuss how to step up efforts. (New York Times)

Cost of wind keeps dropping, and there's little coal, nuclear can do to stop it. An annual look at the costs of generating power. (Ars Technica)

If you want your electric car to do the most good for the Earth, move to Albania. Electric vehicles may be zero-emission at the tailpipe, but the relative filth of the electric production they draw from has a big effect on just how green an electric car can be. (Los Angeles Times)

Tech Business

Apple's iPhone X has higher margin than iPhone 8: analysis. Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) new flagship iPhone X makes the company more money per phone than its iPhone 8 model, according to an analysis, which found the iPhone X's flashier parts cost Apple 25 percent more than the iPhone 8, but that it retailed 43 percent higher. (Reuters)

Rivals Intel and AMD Team Up on PC Chips to Battle Nvidia. New laptop-computer chip will combine an Intel processor and an AMD graphics unit. (Wall Street Journal)

Saudi Money Fuels the Tech Industry. It's Time to Ask Why. We need to talk about the tsunami of questionable money crashing into the tech industry. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits. The tech giant has found a tax haven in the island of Jersey, leaving billions of dollars untouched by the United States, leaked documents reveal. (New York Times)

US judge says "global de-indexing order" against Google threatens free speech. Canada's highest court sought to alter search results, but it won't apply in US. (Ars Technica)

Supreme Court rejects Samsung appeal of patent loss to Apple. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to step back into the years-long feud over patents between the world's top smartphone makers, declining to hear Samsung's appeal of a lower court ruling that reinstated a jury award of about $120 million in favor of Apple. (Reuters)

Facebook Messenger payments comes to UK. Facebook has chosen the UK as the first country outside the US to get its Messenger payments service. Later on Monday, local users will be able to send each other money in a message. (BBC)

Terrorism Is Faster Than Twitter. Did you catch the third issue of Rumiyah magazine? I did - Googled my way right to it in seconds. (New York Times)

Broadcom Targets Qualcomm in Largest-Ever Tech Deal. Broadcom unveiledon Monday a $105 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm, the biggest such effort ever in the technology industry and a prelude to a potential merger battle between two of the world's biggest chip makers. (New York Times)

Broadcom Bid Marks Upheaval in Chip Industry. Broadcom Ltd. made an unsolicited $105 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm Inc., the chip industry's boldest bet yet that size will equal strength at a time of technological upheaval. (Wall Street Journal)

Microsoft Hopes for Videogame Turnaround With Xbox One X. Microsoft Corp. debuts its new Xbox One X console Tuesday, hoping a focus on live services and high-end hardware can reverse its flagging fortunes in the videogame business. (Wall Street Journal)

Roy Price's Alleged Trail of Drinking and Sexual Harassment Challenges Amazon's Culture. Amazon.com Inc. is legendary for trying to know everything about its customers. When it came to its entertainment unit and the executive in charge there, though, the company appears to have fallen down on the job. (Wall Street Journal)

Rivals Intel and AMD Team Up on PC Chips to Battle Nvidia. Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., archrivals for decades, are teaming up to thwart a common competitor, Nvidia Corp. NVDA 0.45%. (Wall Street Journal)

Today on the Hill

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: 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and begin a period of morning business. Thereafter, proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of John H. Gibson II, of Texas, to be Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense.
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