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Tech News Roundup - 12/06/2017

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12/06/2017

Key Issues

Taxes

Lawmakers ponder fate of corporate AMT. The House and Senate have both passed tax bills cutting the rate that corporations pay. The lawmakers differ though on the details, including what to do with the corporate alternative minimum tax. (ITI Jennifer McCloskey Interviewed, Marketplace)
Senate Bill 'Bombshell' Could Raise Taxes on Tech. A last-minute change that U.S. senators made to their tax bill before passing it early Saturday morning would result in higher-than-intended taxes for technology firms and other corporations, tax experts said. (ITI Jennifer McCloskey Quoted, Bloomberg)

Atlanta tech companies worry that tax bill undermines research. Congress still needs to meld different editions of a proposed tax overhaul, but one version is causing worry among metro Atlanta's technology companies. (ITI Mention, Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Trump pressuring congressional Republicans to speed up on tax reform. President Donald Trump has told congressional leaders he'd like the final deal on tax reform to move even faster than the Dec. 22 goal they've set, according to White House officials. (Politico Pro)

Tax Plan Aims to Slay a Reagan Target: The Government Beast. It was the spring of 1985 when President Ronald Reagan first proposed to put an end to the state and local tax deduction. (New York Times)

Among the Tax Bill's Biggest Losers: High-Income, Blue State Taxpayers. While the Republican tax overhaul would add up to an overall tax cut for individual taxpayers, at least through 2025, millions could still immediately receive a tax increase. (New York Times)

How New Yorkers Would Lose Under the Republican Tax Bill. The tax bill approved by the Senate is many things, offering a huge tax cut for corporations, lower rates for the wealthy, and a big victory for Republicans and the White House. (New York Times)

GOP tax-cut proponents promise 3-4% growth. This economic milestone shows that's nearly impossible. Two lines just crossed on a chart, and they show why, by at least one prominent measure, the Republican tax plan is coming at a mighty strange time. (Washington Post)

Here's Where the GOP Tax Plan Stands Right Now. House and Senate lawmakers plan to begin working this week on compromise tax-overhaul legislation -- a key step in their drive to send a package of tax cuts for corporations and individuals to President Donald Trump by the end of the year. (Bloomberg)

Survey: CEO optimism is highest in six years as tax reform nears. With Congress moving ahead with plans for a sweeping overhaul of the tax system, optimism among CEOs is at its highest level since 2012, a survey shows. (Politico Pro)

Tax Plan Crowns a Big Winner: Trump's Industry. After a frenzy of congressional action to rewrite the tax code, salesclerks and chief executives are calculating their gains. Business was treated with the everyone's-a-winner approach that ensures no summer camper goes home without a trophy. (New York Times)

'Holy crap': Experts find tax plan riddled with glitches. Republicans' tax-rewrite plans are riddled with bugs, loopholes and other potential problems that could plague lawmakers long after their legislation is signed into law. (Politico Pro)

There's more to America's global competitiveness than the tax rate. An argument for the proposed GOP tax reform is that it will increase the global competitiveness of American companies, leading to the U.S. becoming a more attractive location for global firms to invest. (Marketplace)

Conservative Groups Seeking Support for Tax Cuts Find It a Hard Sell. A dozen high school students working for Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political network funded by Charles G. and David H. Koch, fanned out across the Little Havana neighborhood one day last week to make the case that the Republican tax bill was something to get excited about. (New York Times)

Making 2 Become 1: Ironing Out Senate and House Tax Bill Differences. The Senate tax bill, which passed early Saturday morning, contained several last-minute changes that only widened the differences with the House-passed bill. (New York Times)

House GOP exploring tax plan changes to help California, other high-tax states. Top House Republicans said Tuesday they were exploring changes to their tax plan that would lower tax bills for Californians and others who pay high state income taxes - including by allowing Americans to deduct some state income tax payments from what they owe in federal taxes. (Washington Post)

Tech Politics

Biden hits social media firms over lack of transparency. Former Vice President Joe Biden says social media companies like Twitter and Facebook need to do more to address how their platforms are used for political content after the 2016 election. (The Hill)

Former Obama CTO compliments Trump's tech initiatives. Aneesh Chopra, the United States' first chief technology officer under the Obama administration, told Axios' Mike Allen this morning that he believes expanding tech literacy is a "wildly bipartisan" issue in government today. (Axios)

The honeymoon is over in Silicon Valley. It was about an hour and a half into a hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee when Sen. Dianne Feinstein laid into Facebook, Google and Twitter. (CNET)

Global Trade
The coming trade war over data. Technology companies are facing growing international obstacles affecting how their most valuable asset - data - flows across borders. New trade agreements and laws are affecting how companies share and store their troves of data around the world. (Axios)

Artificial Intelligence

Google wants more humans to help solve the problem of child exploitation on YouTube. In announcing plans to hire many more human moderators to flag disturbing and extremist content this week, YouTube has become the latest Silicon Valley giant to acknowledge that software alone won't solve many of the problems plaguing the industry. (Washington Post)

Immigration

Senate Republican bill weds immigration enforcement and DACA. Top Senate Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday that would combine changes to legal immigration with a legislative solution for so-called DREAMers, undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. (Politico Pro)

Dreamers Are Not Safe Online. On September 5, the Trump administration released a memorandum effectively ending DACA, a federal program protecting certain undocumented people who immigrated to the United States as children from deportation. DACA's deportation protections could start to disappear in as little as four months, according to Homeland Security officials. (Motherboard)

GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration. The year-end immigration debate is splitting both parties as lawmakers eyeing campaigns in 2018 and 2020 are trying to push the discussion in different directions. (The Hill)

Broadband/Communications

Internet firms seize on Google's plan to block YouTube on Amazon service. Internet providers that want to see net neutrality rules repealed pointed Tuesday to Google's move to block YouTube from Amazon's Fire TV as evidence that Silicon Valley giants, not telecom companies, are threatening competition on the web. (Axios)

50,000 net neutrality complaints were excluded from FCC's repeal docket. The Federal Communications Commission docket for its repeal of net neutrality rules is missing something: more than 50,000 complaints that Internet customers have filed against their ISPs since the rules took effect in 2015. (Ars Technica)

FCC rejects calls to delay net neutrality vote. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intends to go ahead with a vote on Dec. 14 to repeal the net neutrality rules despite calls from Democrats and advocacy groups to delay the proceeding. (The Hill)

Cybersecurity
Trump's voter fraud commission plans to create a massive voter database. Former national security officials say it could be hacked. More than a half-dozen technology experts and former national security officials filed an amicus brief Tuesday urging a federal court to halt the collection of voter information for a planned government database. (Washington Post)
Army looks to tap civilian talent for cyber force. The Army has a possible solution to solve its need for more cyber forces - training private sector techies to serve as lieutenants in cyber operations. (Federal Computer Week)

Workforce/Diversity

A Reckoning on Sexual Misconduct? Absolutely. But How Harsh, Women Ask. In Boston, the leader of a businesswomen's group said that some women were so angry about the wave of sexual harassment revelations that they no longer wanted to hire more men. (New York Times)

Forget tax cuts. The economy needs more working women. If you really want to make America great again, get more women in the workforce. (Politico)

Environment/Sustainability

Electric black cabs hit London's roads. Electric black taxis have hit London's roads under plans to improve air quality but critics say their cost will put drivers off "going green". (BBC)
China Will Lead an Electric Car Future, Ford's Chairman Says. The world's automakers are just starting to bet on an electric car future - and already, one of the most powerful people in the industry says that future belongs to China. (New York Times)
Lithium Giant Eyes New Project to Tackle Electric-Car Boom. One of the world's largest lithium producers is looking to expand into a new country as prices surge to record highs amid a nascent electric-vehicle boom led by car makers such as Tesla Inc. and Mitsubishi Corp. (Bloomberg)
Trump Solar Tariffs Give Old First Solar Panel New Lease on Life. First Solar Inc. took the wraps off its long-awaited Series 6 panel Tuesday, but isn't turning its back on the workhorse model that's been sustaining the company. (Bloomberg)

Tech Business
Inside China's Big Tech Conference, New Ways to Track Citizens. An artificial intelligence company touted a robot that could help doctors with diagnoses. A start-up displayed a drone designed to carry a single passenger 60 miles per hour. (New York Times)
Xiaomi's next flagship will use Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip. Qualcomm confirmed the name of its next top-of-the-line processor, but offered little additional details beyond saying Samsung will build the chip. (CNET)
Qualcomm is building awesome Windows PCs out of smartphone parts. There was a time when every gadget did something completely different. (Wired)
$1B Lyft investment, led by Google, gets upped to $1.5B. Now valued at $11.5 billion, the ride-hailing company has extra fuel to compete with its rival Uber. (CNET)
Amazon's Australian Debut Brings Excitement, Dread and Defiance. Amazon quietly began operations in Australia on Tuesday, the start of what could be a shake-up of that country's retail market, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. (New York Times)
Apple wins EU trademark case against Xiaomi. Apple Inc succeeded on Tuesday in preventing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc from registering its "Mi Pad" tablet computer as an EU trademark because the name was too similar to Apple's "iPad". (Reuters)
Google Changes Game Plan in India to Accommodate Soaring Demand. Hundreds of millions of people are getting online for the first time, stretching their low-end smartphones to the limit. (Wall Street Journal)
Ad Holding Companies to Rapidly Increase Spending With Amazon. In search of a challenger to the Google and Facebook 'duopoly,' Publicis, Omnicom and WPP plan to boost their ad spending with Amazon between 40% and 100% in 2018. (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon's staggering dominance in the voice-assistant market. Amazon dominates the voice-assistant market, per eMarketer, which is skyrocketing in use amongst millennials - Amazon's Echo has 70.6%, Google Home takes up 23.8%, and everyone else: 6.6% (Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel). (Axios)
Technology Innovation Isn't Just for Tech Companies. Information-technology executives at companies of all kinds in the Drucker Institute's Management Top 250 ranking of the most effectively managed U.S. companies have found ways to incorporate the best strategies from the technology sector to promote innovation, collaboration and new business models. (Wall Street Journal)
The Hidden Player Spurring a Wave of Cheap Consumer Devices: Amazon. A few weeks ago, Wyze Labs, a one-year-old start-up in Seattle, sent me its first gadget to try. It's a small, internet-connected video camera, the kind you might use for security or to keep tabs on your dog or your baby. (New York Times)
Death of Retail? 2017 Was All About the Empire of Luxury E-Tail. At first glance, Lauren Santo Domingo may not strike you as an empire builder. A former Vogue editor and glossy blond socialite, she is married to the heir of a Colombian beer fortune and has a slew of "It girl" friends. She could appear easy to dismiss. (New York Times)
Fed's Kaplan Says Technology Is Holding Down Inflation. Robert S. Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, is ready to raise the Fed's benchmark interest rate at the Fed's final meeting of the year in mid-December. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Samsung just hypnotized me through my computer screen. "Unspoil Me" promises to let you rewatch your favorite TV series as if it were the first time. Here's everything I experienced while trying to forget "Big Little Lies." (CNET)
Google Bans Apps that Sneak Ads onto Phone Lock Screens. The extremely annoying practice might be gone for good. (NextGov)
Google pulls YouTube from Amazon devices, escalating spat. A rare public spat in the technology industry escalated on Tuesday when Google said it would block its video streaming application YouTube from two Amazon.com Inc devices and criticized the online retailer for not selling Google hardware. (Reuters)
Google and Amazon are punishing their own customers in a bitter feud. Amazon has just responded to Google's decision to remove YouTube from all Fire TV products and the Echo Show. "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website," a spokesperson told The Verge by email. "We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible." (The Verge)
The 250 Most Effectively Managed U.S. Companies-and How They Got That Way. A nearly century-old timber company is an unsung management gem. Investor-favorite blue chips haven't lost their luster in terms of how well they are run. And the tech giants shaping much of today's society are the most effectively managed U.S. companies. (Wall Street Journal)
Apple's Cook optimistic that apps pulled in China will be back. Apple Inc is optimistic that some of its popular apps removed from its China App Store this year to comply with government requests will be reinstated, the U.S. tech giant's Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

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: 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Last votes expected: 4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and begin a period of morning business.
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