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Tech News Roundup - 11/14/2017

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15 Dems urge FEC to adopt new rules for online political ads. Fifteen Democratic senators signed comments to the Federal Election Commission in support of new rules for online political advertisements after Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. (The Hill)
Facebook wants 'flexibility' in political advertising regs. Facebook says that it supports the government's push to further regulate election ads on digital platforms, but qualifies that it wants flexible rules. (The Hill)

Court limits DOJ warrant for Facebook data on Trump protesters. A court in Washington, D.C., has moved to limit the scope of search warrants obtained by federal investigators for Facebook data in connection with an ongoing investigation into criminal rioting on Inauguration Day. (The Hill)
Trump advisor says Silicon Valley relationship not as strained as it seems. While many tech CEOs dropped their formal advisory roles with the Trump administration after Charlottesville, the dialogue both ways continues even amid areas of disagreement, White House adviser Reed Cordish said Monday. (Axios)

EU wants feedback on impact of fake news to help draft strategy. The European Union is seeking feedback on the impact of fake news as part of a move to help the bloc's 500 million citizens assess news sources and make sure that social platforms such as Facebook live up to their responsibilities. (Reuters)

The Man Playing Peacemaker Between Trump and Tech. As tensions mount between President Donald Trump and his fiercest critics in Silicon Valley, Michael Kratsios has the thorny task of playing peacemaker. (Wall Street Journal)

Silicon Valley criticizes GOP proposal to tax employees' stocks. Silicon Valley investors and firms are speaking out against a provision in the Senate Republican tax-reform plan that would change how employees are taxed on stock-based compensation. (The Hill)
Here's Where the GOP Tax Plan Stands Right Now. The Senate tax-writing committee continues hammering out the details of its tax cut proposal on Tuesday, while the House may vote on its bill as soon as Thursday. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day. (Bloomberg)
Senate Republicans must still figure out how to eliminate tax bill's deficit after 10 years. As Republicans race to enact a tax overhaul this year, most of the focus has been on the cost of the cuts over the next decade. (Los Angeles Times)

Haste on Tax Measures May Leave a Trail of Loopholes. "Slow down" is the last thing that supporters of the Republicans' proposed tax overhaul want to hear. (New York Times)
Silicon Valley is trying to stop the U.S. Senate from taxing employees' stocks. Even the mere possibility of a stock tax drew a sharp rebuke from leading companies and their investors. (Recode)

Is A Corporate Tax Cut Really What The Economy Needs Right Now?. Republicans in Congress say cutting corporate taxes would improve the balance sheet for U.S. businesses, giving them more money to spend on jobs and investment. (NPR)
Why startups are panicking about the GOP tax plan (But maybe shouldn't). The internet loves a good outrage, even over something as mundane as taxes. (Wired)

Steven Mnuchin Says Trump Won't Bend on Corporate Tax Rate of 20%. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration wouldn't support tax legislation with a corporate tax rate of more than 20% as part of any future compromise between the House and the Senate. (Wall Street Journal)
It's Time to Tax Companies for Using Our Personal Data. Our data is valuable. Each year, it generates hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of economic activity, mostly between and within corporations - all on the back of information about each of us. (New York Times)
Global Trade

Trump's biggest mistake in Asia: rejecting trade. Reactions to President Trump's Asia trip have focused on a few key themes: his continued unwillingness to confront Vladimir Putin, his public trashing of U.S. intelligence officials, his exchange of personal insults with Kim Jong-un, and his uncritical embrace of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte. (Axios)

Artificial Intelligence

Five Technologies That Will Rock Your World. After the Russian hacking of the 2016 election, many people worry that technology has gone too far. And yet it continues to evolve rapidly. (New York Times)
AI can help Apple Watch predict high blood pressure, sleep apnea. The world's most valuable company crammed a lot into the tablespoon-sized volume of an Apple Watch. (Wired)

Missouri Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google. Missouri's attorney general has opened an investigation into whether Google's business practices violate its consumer protection and antitrust laws amid growing concern over the influence of powerful technology companies. (New York Times)
Trump is right to demand that AT&T sell CNN, but he's doing it for the wrong reason. Given the hand-wringing over the Trump administration's reported demand that AT&T divest CNN as a condition of approving its $85-billion acquisition of Time Warner, CNN's parent, you'd think that Trump was interfering in a merger that could only do good things for the public interest. (Los Angeles Times)
Here's why AT&T and the Justice Department are at odds over Time Warner. Last week, many were caught off guard by reports that AT&T's massive bid for Time Warner had hit a rough patch. (Washington Post)
Public Sector

How 'Amazon,' 5 other acquisition provisions changed in final defense bill. If you are keeping score at home, chalk one up for industry in the battle to keep Amazon from dominating how agencies buy commercial products. But don't expect this to the final score by far. (ITAPS Trey Hodgkins Quoted, Federal News Radio)
Foiling Cyberspies on Business Trips. The admonitions to business travelers headed to other countries should be familiar by now: Keep your laptop with you at all times. Stay off public Wi-Fi networks. Don't send unencrypted files over the internet. (New York Times)
Why it's harder than you think to hack a voting machine. Over the summer, an alarming series of stories trickled out of DefCon, one of the world's largest hacker conventions hosted in Las Vegas. (Federal Computer Week)

NDAA pushes more oversight of cyber. The National Defense Authorization Act appears to be in the home stretch. The conferenced House-Senate compromise has will force the military's cyber leaders to define offensive strategies, develop and manage cyber weapons and lay a foundation for a stronger cyber workforce. (Federal Computer Week)

House Dems want FCC chairman investigated over Sinclair-Tribune merger. Top House Democrats are calling for the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to be investigated over whether he has been improperly clearing regulatory hurdles for the Sinclair Broadcast Group's pending acquisition of Tribune Media. (The Hill)
Barry Diller, Reddit CEO split on necessity of net neutrality rules. IAC Chairman Barry Diller and Reddit CEO Steve Huffman offered contrasting views Monday about the importance of net neutrality rules. (Axios)

New York City Wants New Ideas on Providing Internet Access. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration Tuesday will make a request for information from companies interested in helping it expand broadband internet access, an action that could challenge cable giant Charter Communications Inc.'s market dominance in New York City. (Wall Street Journal)
Internet of Things

Self-Driving Trucks May Be Closer Than They Appear. Trucks will someday drive themselves out of warehouses and cruise down freeways without the aid of humans or even a driver's cab - about that there seems little disagreement. The question is how soon that day gets here. (New York Times)

Self-driving trucks are now delivering refrigerators. If you live in Southern California and you've ordered one of those fancy new smart refrigerators in the past few weeks, it may have hitched a ride to you on a robotruck. (Wired)

Digital Pills That Talk to Your Doctor Are Here. U.S. authorities approved the world's first digital drug, an antipsychotic pill that signals smartphones once it reaches the gut so doctors can track whether patients are taking their medication. (Wall Street Journal)

Bill Gates dedicates $80 million to building a smart city from scratch. An investment company tied to billionaire investor and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is throwing $80 million into building a smart city from scratch in Arizona. (StateScoop)
Some state-level policies really do curb energy sector emissions. Hint: "Mandatory" rules always produce better results than "voluntary" ones. (Ars Technica)
Protesters Jeer as Trump Team Promotes Coal at U.N. Climate Talks. The Trump administration made its debut at a United Nations conference on climate change on Monday by giving a full-throated defense of fossil fuels and nuclear energy as answers to driving down global greenhouse gas emissions. (New York Times)


The model for recycling our old smartphones is actually causing massive pollution. This fall, iPhone 8s and Xs are hitting shelves across North America, setting in motion that most time-honored of rituals - the smartphone funeral. (Recode)

Tech Business

Qualcomm rejects Broadcom's $103-billion takeover bid. Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc on Monday rejected rival Broadcom Ltd's $103-billion takeover bid, saying the offer undervalued the company and would face regulatory hurdles. (Reuters)
Something really is wrong on the Internet. We should be more worried. "Something is wrong on the internet," declares an essay trending in tech circles. But the issue isn't Russian ads or Twitter harassers. It's children's videos. (Washington Post)

Steve Jurvetson Quits Venture Capital Firm Amid Investigation. Steve Jurvetson, a founding partner of one of the best-known venture capital firms in Silicon Valley and a board member of Tesla and SpaceX, is leaving the firm after it began an investigation into his behavior with women, the firm told investors on Monday. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Yale Professors Race Google and IBM to the First Quantum Computer. Robert Schoelkopf is at the forefront of a worldwide effort to build the world's first quantum computer. (New York Times)

Google cracks down on power-user apps that use Android's accessibility API. Accessibility APIs offer powerful controls to apps, but Google says "no more." (Ars Technica)

YouTube removes dead extremist's videos. YouTube has removed nearly 50,000 videos featuring radical Islamist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in 2011. (BBC)

Bill Gates invests $100 million in Alzheimer's research. Bill Gates will invest $100 million toward fighting Alzheimer's, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder announced Monday. (The Hill)

Bill Gates plans to build a smart city in the Arizona desert. An investment firm controlled by the Microsoft co-founder buys land for a city that will feature cutting-edge tech at its core. (CNET)

Apple, Google, and the constant chase for tech that can’t be reverse-engineered. One of my favorite things about the tech industry is how quickly innovations from the big companies and premium products trickle down into more affordable devices. The rampant stealing of ideas isn't so awesome when it happens between small companies - or, as in the case of Facebook treating Snapchat like its incubation lab, when a big company copies a smaller one. (The Verge)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the nomination of Steven Gill Bradbury, to be General Counsel of the Department of Transportation.
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