Skip to main content
Header

Tech News Roundup - 11/08/2017

Tech News Roundup

Go Back
11/08/2017

Key Issues

Taxes

US tax reform changes fail to quell corporate outcry. Republicans have failed to quell a corporate outcry over plans to impose a new tax on cross-border payments by multinationals, as lobbyists criticised revisions to a sweeping reform bill this week as insufficient. (ITI Jennifer McCloskey Quoted, Financial Times)

Conservatives demand changes to House GOP tax bill. House Republicans are facing new pressure from conservatives to make changes to their sweeping tax plan, days before Senate GOP leaders are slated to release a bill that would need support from party moderates to pass. (Washington Post)

What is 'carried interest' and why it matters in the new GOP tax bill. At a conference in September, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin broached a sensitive topic for thousands of wealthy investors: the fate of the preferential tax treatment many of them receive from running a hedge fund or private equity fund. (Washington Post)

GOP tax bill would end deduction for wildfire and earthquake victims - but not recent hurricane victims. The House Republican tax bill would eliminate the deduction for personal losses from wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, but keep the break for victims of the recent severe hurricanes. (Los Angeles Times)

Republican tax bill includes big break for startup employees. House Republicans may win some new fans in Silicon Valley, with a new tax proposal that would help employees of highly valued startups that have not yet gone public. (Axios)

Multinationals Scurry to Defuse House Tax Bill's 'Atomic Bomb'. Multinational companies including Apple Inc., Pfizer Inc. and others would face a new tax on payments they make to offshore affiliates under the House Republicans' tax bill -- a surprise provision that has stunned tax experts. (Bloomberg)

Republicans thrown on defensive after study shows tax hike. Republicans are on the defensive after a new analysis shows some middle-income people would see tax increases under their plan to rewrite the tax code. (Politico Pro)

House Moves Ahead With Tax Bill as Pushback Mounts. An analysis of the Republican tax bill released Tuesday predicted that tax cuts for lower- and middle-income taxpayers would fade over the course of a decade, more so than they would for high earners. (New York Times)

Democratic senators get surprise call from Trump on taxes. President Donald Trump called a dozen Democratic senators Tuesday to court support for tax reform, but didn't appear to change many minds. (Politico Pro)

Tax hike reports throw Republicans on political defensive. House Republicans are on the defensive after a new analysis, the latest in a string, shows some middle-income people would see tax increases under their plan to rewrite the tax code. (Politico Pro)

Push to restore adoption credit gains steam. House Republicans are facing growing pressure from anti-abortion groups and conservatives to restore an adoption tax credit to their bill to overhaul the tax code. (The Hill)

The Republican tax plan could financially devastate graduate students. Kathleen Farley, a graduate student in biological sciences, paid $2,824 in taxes on her stipend of $25,969 last year. If President Donald Trump's tax plan takes effect, she calculates that she'll have to pay $5,174 - almost double what she's paying now. (The Verge)

Republican Tax Plan Would Slam California Housing Market. California's biggest housing markets figure to be among the losers if a Republican-sponsored tax overhaul becomes law, according to two analyses of local market data. (Wall Street Journal)

Tax Bill to Have Uneven Effect on Households, Study Says. The Republican $1.4 trillion tax cut proposal making its way through Congress hits U.S. households unevenly. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump, wooing Democrats, says he asked accountant how he'd be affected by GOP tax bill. President Trump on Tuesday made a personal appeal from across the globe to ask moderate Senate Democrats to support the emerging Republican tax plan, saying he has explored the impact of the plan on his personal finances and believes it won't help the rich. (Washington Post)

Big business is a big winner of GOP small business tax plan. House GOP leaders have hailed their new tax proposals as helping the small-business owner, but small-business associations say they help big enterprises, not small ones, and vowed Tuesday to sink the bill in its current form. (Washington Post)

Tech Politics

Did 'bots' inflame online anger over controversial ad in Va governor's race?. The campaign of Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for Virginia governor, says it has evidence that automated social media accounts - or bots - were used to inflame online chatter about a controversial TV ad launched by a progressive group that's backing Northam. (Washington Post)

Most oppose government regulating tech like media. A majority of Americans across political ideologies do not feel that the federal government should regulate large social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) that display but don't produce content the way the government regulates media companies, according to the latest Axios/SurveyMonkey poll. (Axios)

Twitter tests free speech as it tries to police content. Twitter has been clamping down on accounts that it feels violates its policies with the content they post or promote. (Axios)

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been subpoenaed to testify to Congress about the company’s 2013 security breach. Senate lawmakers quietly subpoenaed former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in October in order to compel her to testify before a key committee that's investigating a 2013 security breach at the tech giant that has affected three billion of its users. (Recode)

Twitter Users Have Sued Trump Over His Practice Of Blocking Critics. Seven Twitter users have sued President Trump claiming he has violated their First Amendment rights. (NPR)

Facebook's fake news experiment backfires. A Facebook test that promoted comments containing the word fake to the top of news feeds has been criticised by users. (BBC)

Senate Committee Subpoenaed Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. A Senate committee moved last month to force former Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to testify in a hearing Wednesday about corporate data breaches, after she initially declined lawmakers' invitation. (Wall Street Journal)

Why Google and Facebook folded on the sex-trafficking bill. Silicon Valley folded in a fight over a major anti-trafficking bill after months of mounting pressure from both political parties. The industry forged a compromise with Senators that, while better for tech than the original proposal, amounts to the first major legislative defeat for tech giants Google and Facebook. (Axios)

Global Trade

China's Technology Ambitions Could Upset the Global Trade Order. When President Trump arrives in Beijing on Wednesday, he will most likely complain about traditional areas of dispute like steel and cars. But Washington officials and major global companies increasingly worry about a new generation of deals that could give China a firmer grip on the technology of tomorrow. (New York Times)

After Spell in New York, Chinese Tech Giant's Stock Heads Home. Chinese security-software company Qihoo 360 Technology Co., formerly traded in New York, is planning a domestic listing through a $7.6 billion deal that could unleash a wave of similar homecomings. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump prepares for the first test of his relationship with Xi. When it comes to China, there are two Donald Trumps. (Politico Pro)

Trump Lands in China Seeking Progress on Trade, North Korea. President Donald Trump toured parts of Beijing on Wednesday after arriving for a high-stakes state visit where he'll look for wins from Xi Jinping on everything from the U.S.'s massive trade deficit to reining in North Korea. (Bloomberg)

In Asia, Trump keeps talking about Indo-Pacific. When Americans talk about the region that includes China, Japan and Korea, they usually refer to Asia-Pacific - a phrase that's in the name of the organization whose conference President Donald Trump will attend later this week in Vietnam. (Politico Pro)

Trump's Visit to China: More Business Deals Than Trade Pacts. President Trump will arrive in China on Wednesday backed by campaign-trail promises to get tough against the United States' largest trading partner. He will be accompanied by the chiefs of some of the country's most ambitious and influential companies: Boeing, Goldman Sachs, Westinghouse Electric and Qualcomm, among others. (New York Times)

Trump's Asia trip highlights lack of trade deals. President Donald Trump is likely to tout new business deals as he barnstorms through Asia this week, but his trip is highlighting a broader failure on the world stage: None of the countries he's visiting wants to negotiate a two-way trade deal with the United States. (Politico Pro)

Artificial Intelligence

What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Is Taught To See Like Humans. Scientists have developed a computer model that breaks through a key test used to tell a human from a bot. (NPR)

Artificial intelligence is putting ultrasound on your phone. If Jonathan Rothberg has a superpower, it's cramming million-dollar, mainframe-sized machines onto single semiconductor circuit boards. (Wired)
Public Sector

Frustration grows over nearly yearlong vacancy in key Commerce Department tech post. Lawmakers are growing frustrated with what's nearing a yearlong vacancy at the helm of the telecom arm of the Trump administration's Department of Commerce. (Politico Pro)

Hacking the vote: Threats keep changing, but election IT sadly stays the same. The outcome of the 2016 presidential election is history. But allegations of voter fraud, election interference by foreign governments, and intrusions into state electoral agencies' systems have since cast a pall over the system that determines who makes the laws and enforces them in the United States (Ars Technica)

Lawmakers blast Trump's proposed cuts to DHS tech directorate. Despite the Trump administration's advocating for more innovation and technology advances in government, proposed budget cuts to the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate have the potential to hamstring those efforts, stakeholders say. (FedScoop)

Emerging technologies empower government to respond to constituent demand. Ten years ago, the newly introduced iPhone was a tech sensation. For the first time, the internet was freed from the confines of desktop computers. Users could access websites and search the internet from a 4.8-ounce device carried around in their pockets. (StateScoop)

Baltimore's New CIO is Veteran Intel Executive. After roughly three months of searching, Baltimore has hired a veteran technology executive as its new chief information officer and chief digital officer. (GovTech)

Cybersecurity

Why Trump is sticking with Obama's China hacking deal. President Donald Trump has broken with a host of Obama-era international agreements, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Paris climate pact - but he's showing every sign of sticking with a 2015 hacking accord with China. (Politico Pro)

Hacking the vote: Threats keep changing, but election IT sadly stays the same. Election security hasn't changed much in over a decade, but the threat model has. (Ars Technica)

Privacy

FBI says it can't access Texas church shooter's phone. The FBI cannot access the locked phone of the suspect in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting, a bureau official told reporters today. (Politico Pro)

Intellectual Property

Biz Lobby Wants Trade Secrets High On USTR Agenda. A collection of 10 influential technology and business associations pressed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to make the protection of industrial trade secrets abroad a top priority for the White House, suggesting that the time is right for a serious dialogue on the issue with major partners. (ITI Mentioned, Law 360)

Workforce/Diversity

From Post-it Notes To Algorithms: How Automation Is Changing Legal Work. Shannon Capone Kirk's first job as a young lawyer in the late '90s was "document review." (NPR)
Internet of Things

Waymo's Autonomous Cars Cut Out Human Drivers in Road Tests. The self-driving car is edging closer to becoming driverless. (New York Times)

Workhorse to test electric vans for new customer in California, Ohio. Electric delivery van maker Workhorse Group Inc said on Tuesday it will test its new lightweight N-Gen electric van in cities in Ohio and California as the race to develop mass-market electric delivery vehicles heats up. (Reuters)

To save the most lives, deploy (imperfect) self-driving cars ASAP. Cars crash a lot: Nearly 37,500 Americans died on the roads last year. Autonomous cars would crash less (for one thing, they don't drink or text or yell at their kids in the backseat). But that doesn't mean drivers are ready to give over the wheel. (Wired)
Environment/Sustainability

Investors bullish on potential for sustainable infrastructure. Ten months into the Trump administration, private-sector investors are still waiting for clarity on how exactly the feds expect to stimulate $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. (GreenBiz)

Syria Joins Paris Climate Accord, Leaving Only U.S. Opposed. Then there was one. Syria announced during United Nations climate talks on Tuesday that it would sign the Paris agreement on climate change. (New York Times)

As Trump Steps Back From UN Climate Talks, Coke and HP Move In. On the fringes of the ongoing global climate summit in Bonn, U.S. leaders will once again demonstrate their commitment to the issue, with a packed agenda of film screenings, panel discussions and cocktail parties where they will highlight the country's carbon dioxide cuts. (Bloomberg)

Tech Business

VW, Google announce quantum computing partnership. Volkswagen and Google are teaming up on quantum computing, with the goal of creating smarter cars and better infrastructure. (CNET)
Snap Plunges Nearly 20% as Quarterly Loss More Than Triples. Snap Inc. said its quarterly loss more than tripled, disappointing Wall Street again as it failed to significantly grow the number of people using its app daily or the amount of money advertisers are spending to reach those users. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Apple says no operations were moved from Ireland. Apple Inc said none of its operations were moved from Ireland and that changes made to its corporate structure in 2015 were specially designed to preserve tax payments to the United States, and not to reduce taxes anywhere else. (Reuters)

E.U. competition chief asks Apple for details on tax arrangements. European authorities have asked Apple to share details of its recent tax arrangements as the company faces an order to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes while leaked documents have revealed new details of its alleged tax planning. (Washington Post)

Israeli start-up says Apple copied its patented smartphone camera technology. An Israeli startup has sued Apple Inc, accusing the iPhone maker of copying its patented smartphone camera technology. (Reuters)

Tweeting in 280 Characters? Now You Can Do It, Too. The first sentence of this article about Twitter was written in 140 characters, so we can show what has long been the top length of a tweet. (New York Times)

As a conspiracy theory video spread after Texas shooting, YouTube works to tweak its algorithm. A day after the mass killing at a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., a conspiracy-theory video suggesting the shooter's motives popped up as one of the top search results on YouTube. (Washington Post)

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: 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Peter B. Robb, of Vermont, to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board for a term of four years.
Share this News Roundup on: