Skip to main content

Tech News Roundup - 01/05/2018

Tech News Roundup

Go Back

Key Issues


Senators and Trump Inch Toward DACA Deal, but a Wall Divides Them. Four months after President Trump rescinded an Obama-era program shielding young unauthorized immigrants, the White House and Senate negotiators are inching toward a deal that would restore the protections, while also beefing up border security. (New York Times)

Inside the faltering Dreamer talks. Congressional negotiators and the White House are publicly touting progress toward a deal to shield hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. But behind the scenes, Democrats and Republicans appear to be struggling more than ever on a plan that can earn President Donald Trump's signature and bipartisan backing from Capitol Hill. (Politico)

Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall. The Trump administration is asking Congress for nearly $18 billion to construct more than 700 miles of new and replacement barriers along the southwest border, offering its most detailed description yet of the president's vision for a border wall with Mexico. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump's Immigration Priorities Complicate 'Dreamer' Talks. The gulf over legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation appeared wide Thursday as President Donald Trump insisted that any deal include funding for his promised border wall and new limits on legal immigration to the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)

Tech Politics

CEO Zuckerberg sets 2018 goal: 'fix' Facebook. Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday his goal for 2018 was to put the business he co-founded on a more solid footing, a break with his longstanding practice of setting a purely personal annual goal. (Reuters)

Germany, France begin legal fight against fake news. French President Emmanuel Macron announced in a speech this week that he plans to have a law in place by the end of the year that will ban fake news from elections. (Axios)


Companies Warn of Hits From Tax Cuts. Don't Be Fooled. Pifzer, Apple, Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle account for about one-third of the $235 billion in taxes that an analyst estimates American companies will have to pay on repatriated overseas profits. (New York Times)

Internet Users in China Expect to Be Tracked. Now, They Want Privacy. Ant Financial, an affiliate of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has apologized for automatically enrolling users in a program that tracks personal relationships and behavior patterns. (New York Times)

Global Trade
EU Governments to Negotiate With Parliament Over Digital Economy Data Transfer Law. The Council of the European Union (EU Council), which represents the governments of the 28 EU member countries, has decided to open negotiations with the European Parliament on a new law to ease the flow of non-personal data. (ITI's Guido Lobrano Quoted, Bloomberg)

Artificial Intelligence
Could New York City's AI Transparency Bill Be a Model for the Country?. The New York City Council met early in December to pass a law on algorithmic decision-making transparency that could have real significance for cities and states in the rest of the nation. With the passage of an algorithmic accountability bill, the city gains a task force that will monitor the fairness and validity of algorithms used by municipal agencies. (Gov Tech)

Leave A.I. Alone. December was a big month for advocates of regulating artificial intelligence. (New York Times, Op-Ed)

Can Washington Be Automated?. It's a brisk late November afternoon in an 8th-floor office overlooking downtown Washington's Thomas Circle. The White House is an easy five block walk; the Hart Senate Office Building, a 15-minute cab ride. (Politico)


FCC releases final net neutrality repeal order, three weeks after vote. The Federal Communications Commission today released the final version of its net neutrality repeal order, three weeks after the December 14 vote to deregulate the broadband industry and eliminate the rules. (Ars Technica)

How the Battle for Net Neutrality Will Continue in 2018. Federal regulators may have opted to toss net neutrality rules last month, but opponents of the repeal are looking to extend the fight for a free and open internet well into the new year. (Next Gov)

It ain't over: Net neutrality advocates are preparing a massive new war against Trump's FCC. The fiercest advocates for net neutrality are readying a new war in the nation's capital, hoping to restore the rules that the Trump administration just eliminated - and galvanize a new generation of younger, web-savvy voters in the process. (Recode)

FCC Chairman Cancels Appearance at Electronics Show. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, canceled an appearance at an upcoming consumer electronics show in Las Vegas because of death threats, according to a person familiar with the matter. (Wall Street Journal)

Public Sector
The Pentagon's Cloud Strategy Is 'Evolving'. The department hasn't made a final decision on how many contracts it will award, a Pentagon spokesman said. (ITAPS Trey Hodgkins Quoted, NextGov)

Congress requires mobile-friendly websites. With federal government websites often a generation behind commercial sites, Congress in late December passed the Connected Government Act, which requires all federal agencies that create or redesign websites for public use ensure to the "greatest extent possible" that their websites are mobile friendly. (Federal Computer Week)

Rash of data breaches forcing agencies to rethink how they verify employees' identities. Now that agencies have figured out how to use smart identity cards to better secure their computers, it's time for them to take the next step. (Federal News Radio)

What DHS employees need to know about OIG data breach. The Homeland Security Department is shedding new light on the details of a personal data breach from last year, and offering credit monitoring services to hundreds of thousands of DHS employees potentially affected by the breach. (Federal News Radio)

Pooling IT resources might help OIGs, but talent shortfall complicates the job. A federal report's recommendations on how inspectors general should pool their resources - including information technology - may still not be enough to overcome a shortfall in IT talent, experts say. (Fed Scoop)

Virtual reality for public safety? NIST seeks help in some early-stage research. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology believe that virtual reality could be a useful tool for the public safety community - they're just not exactly sure how. (Fed Scoop)

Securing government email is a critical step for U.S. cybersecurity. The Department of Homeland Security issued a binding operational directive (BOD 18-01) in October, requiring all federal agencies to implement several key measures to increase the security of their email and their websites. (Federal Computer Week)

Internet of Things

U.S. Autonomous-Car Startup Signs Deal With VW And Hyundai. Aurora, a startup company led by three veterans of Google, Tesla, and Uber, has signed deals with both Volkswagen and Hyundai with the goal of putting autonomous vehicle technology on the market within three years - and doing so "quickly, broadly and safely." (NPR)

Iranian Hackers: Sophisticated, Frustrated and a Rising Global Threat. Between breaking into the email accounts of United States government officials, political dissidents and international human rights organizations, Iranian hackers liked to joke about their slow internet service, poor pay and lack of skilled colleagues. (New York Times)

What You Need to Do Because of Flaws in Computer Chips. Technology companies are rushing to fix two major flaws in popular computer chips. Businesses and consumers can protect against one of them if they keep their software up-to-date with patches. The other? It's not so easy. (New York Times)

Meltdown and Spectre: All Mac devices affected says Apple. Apple has said that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by two major flaws in computer chips. (BBC)

Intel Wrestled With Chip Flaws for Months. The disclosure of security flaws in computer chips dealt Intel Corp. what seemed like a sudden crisis, but behind the scenes it and other tech companies and experts have been grappling with the problem for months. (Wall Street Journal)

Intel says widespread vulnerability won't slow future chips. Despite the revelation of a massive vulnerability affecting more than a decade's worth of chips, Intel says it believes it has the issue well in hand, both for current and future chips. (Axios)

Nope, no Intel chip recall after Spectre and Meltdown, CEO says. Hoping the Meltdown and Spectre security problems might mean Intel would be buying you a shiny new computer after a chip recall? Sorry, ain't gonna happen. (CNET)

Robust Apprenticeship Program Key To Germany's Manufacturing Might. Manufacturing accounts for nearly a quarter of Germany's economy. In the U.S., it's about half that. A key element of that success is Germany's apprenticeship training program. (NPR)

How to buck the brogrammer culture and get women into stem. To develop an interest in programming, girls need a low-cost, low-pressure space to play and experiment with code. (Wired)

The Ed-Tech entrepreneur diversifying Silicon Valley. Mandela Schumacher-­Hodge recently left Kapor Capital to start Founder Gym, an online resource for underrepresented entrepreneurs. (Wired)

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling. The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard. (New York Times)


We Only Know What Happens to a Fifth of the World's Electronic Waste. The amount of electronic waste - refrigerators, televisions, computers, smartphones, and other devices thrown out or recycled - produced worldwide increased to 49.3 million tons over the last year, up from 46.1 million tons in 2014, according to a new report from the United Nations. (Electronic Design)

Global Warming's Toll on Coral Reefs: As if They're 'Ravaged by War'. According to a study published Thursday in the journal Science, the frequency of coral bleaching has increased to the point that reefs no longer have sufficient recovery time between severe episodes. (New York Times)

Shellfish Industry, Scientists Wrestle With Potentially Deadly Toxic Algae Bloom. A new threat to New England's shellfish industry seems to be establishing itself more firmly, and regulators are trying to stay ahead of potentially deadly blooms of toxic algae that may be driven by climate change. (NPR)

Tech can't prevent the next 'bomb cyclone,' but it can help businesses survive it. Innovations like "digital twins," predictive analytics and blockchain can help companies prepare for and react to severe weather events. (Recode)

Washington state readies carbon tax push. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, will unveil a carbon tax proposal in his address to the state Tuesday, local media reported Thursday. (Axios)

In Norway, Electric and Hybrid Cars Outsell Conventional Models. Sales of electric and hybrid cars in Norway outpaced those running on fossil fuels last year, cementing the country's position as a global leader in the push to restrict vehicle emissions. (New York Times)

Tech Business
London was top destination for tech funding in 2017: PitchBook. London was the top city in Europe for technology investment last year, with more funding going into companies in the British capital than into firms based in Paris, Berlin and the next seven cities combined, data showed on Friday. (Reuters)

Abode's excellent security system teams with Google Assistant. You'll be able to control Abode's lights, switches and dimmers with a voice command to Google, and more features are on the way. (CNET)

App Store hit record $300 million in sales. App Store customers rang in the new year with record app purchases on January 1, racking up $300 million in purchases on that day alone. (Axios)

Samsung Elec on track for record fourth quarter earnings. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is expected on Tuesday to forecast a record quarterly profit in the fourth quarter, as a world hungry for processing power and high-tech smartphones snaps up its semiconductors and screens. (Reuters)

Amazon Plans Bid for Premier League Streaming Rights. Inc. plans to bid for the rights to stream Premier League matches in the upcoming auction in the U.K., according to a source familiar with the matter, part of a broader strategy to bring more sports content to its global customers. (Bloomberg)

Google eyes Chinese e-sports market with investment in Chushou. Alphabet Inc's Google has joined an investment in Chinese live-stream mobile game platform Chushou that brings the startup's total funding to $120 million, as the U.S. firm eyes new inroads to China where its search engine is blocked. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Amazon gives Alexa more cooking chops, invests in June Oven. Amazon just doubled down on the smart kitchen in a big way. (CNET)
Apple joins alliance to shrink your online videos. The iPhone maker becomes the last of tech's biggest companies to endorse compression technology designed to go easy on your data plan. (CNET)
Report: Jimmy Iovine to leave Apple Music in August. Jimmy Iovine, the co-founder of Beats Electronics (formerly Beats by Dre) will be leaving Apple in August, Billboard reports. Sources tell Billboard his departure coincides with the timing of his Apple shares fully vesting. (Axios)
Intel CEO sold $24M in stock after firm knew about cyber vulnerabilities. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold more than $20 million worth of company stock after his company had been informed of a massive cybersecurity flaw in its chips and prior to the company publicly disclosing the flaw. (The Hill)
Apple's Latest Trend: Product Delays. As Apple Inc.'s longtime chief operating officer, Tim Cook was known for ensuring that new products hit the market on schedule. (Wall Street Journal)
Run, don't walk, to replace your iPhone battery for $29. Rarely is tech advice this cut and dried: If you bought an iPhone in 2016 or earlier, make an appointment at a Genius Bar as soon as possible. Apple just started a program that can make old iPhones feel new again - for just $29. (Washington Post)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at Noon in a pro forma session. No votes are expected in the House.
The Senate is not in session today.
Share this News Roundup on: