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Tech News Roundup - 01/17/2018

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U.S. lawmaker asks Intel, others for briefing on chip flaws. A Democratic U.S. lawmaker asked Intel Corp and two other microchip makers on Tuesday to provide a briefing on the recently detected Spectre and Meltdown security flaws that could allow hackers to steal information from most computers and devices. (Reuters)

Dem lawmakers push Apple on public health risks, iPhone slowdowns. A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) are pushing Apple to provide more answers on how its products can negatively affect consumers, as well as the company's slowed-down iPhones. (The Hill)
Most Americans say social media is making the news worse. A survey reveals that the majority of Americans polled aren't happy with the impact of social media on the news. (CNET)
Flurry of Lawsuits Filed to Fight Repeal of Net Neutrality. The legal fight against the Federal Communications Commission's recent repeal of so-called net neutrality regulations began on Tuesday, with a flurry of lawsuits filed to block the agency's action. (New York Times)


The Tax-Reform Stock Rally. Animal spirits are unleashed, but watch the Fed's great unwinding. (Wall Street Journal, Editorial)
Poll Finds Upturn in Sentiment on Tax Overhaul and Economy. Americans are warming to the Republican tax law, and becoming more confident in the economy as a whole. (New York Times)
Banks Are Big Winners From Tax Cut. The nation's banks are finding a lot to love about the Trump administration's tax cuts. (New York Times)
Companies Tout Tax Benefits as Earnings Season Begins. Some of the biggest U.S. companies are promising significant annual savings, bigger pension contributions, higher dividend payments and more extensive stock buybacks as executives start to discuss the impact of the federal tax overhaul. (Wall Street Journal)


House Republicans coalesce behind plan to avert shutdown. House Republicans on Tuesday night appeared to coalesce around a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown Friday - even as a bitter fight continued over the fate of more than 700,000 DREAMers. (Politico Pro)
Justice Dept., Fighting to Kill DACA, Asks for Supreme Court Review. The Department of Justice said on Tuesday that it will ask the Supreme Court to immediately review a federal judge's ruling that ordered the government to restart a program that shields some young illegal immigrants from deportation. (New York Times)
Fearing DACA's Return May Be Brief, Immigrants Rush to Renew. On the first day young immigrants were able to renew the permits giving them temporary protection from deportation - as ordered by a California district court last week and authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services over the holiday weekend - Ms. Alcaide, 17, had booked the first appointment of the day at the Legal Aid Society of New York. (New York Times)

Disputes Threaten 'Dreamer' Deal and a Government Shutdown. Each political party is planning to blame the other if any disruptions in services occur. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump on immigrants: 'I want them to come in from everywhere'.President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants immigrants coming in "from everywhere" in response to questions about his alleged remarks challenging U.S. admittance of people from "shithole countries."(Politico Pro)
Trump's Harsh Words, Not His Plan for Wall, Dominate Hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was intended to be a long-scheduled discussion of border walls, but suddenly Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, was being quizzed repeatedly about the vulgar word, or words, said to have been uttered by the president describing the countries of origin of African immigrants. (New York Times)
A burst of acrimony on Capitol Hill threatens immigration deal. A burst of public acrimony across Capitol Hill on Tuesday exposed how much negotiations on immigration and border security have been set back since President Trump's use of a vulgar expression during a meeting on the issue. (Washington Post)

Report: ICE plans Bay Area sweep, may arrest 1,500+ illegal immigrants.U.S. immigration officials are preparing for the "biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Trump," in which more than 1,500 undocumented immigrants could be arrested in the Bay Area, per the San Francisco Chronicle. (Axios)

'Your Visa Is Approved,' They Were Told. And Then It Wasn't. Hundreds of immigrants hoping to escape violence in Yemen and join their families in the United States received an official notice last year from the State Department that started with a long-anticipated message: "Your visa is approved." (New York Times)

Global Trade

China Reports Biggest-Ever Annual Trade Surplus With U.S. Result could bolster Trump administration's case for tougher penalties and other trade actions against Beijing. (Wall Street Journal)
G.M. Chief Cautions Trump Administration on Upending Nafta.
General Motors' chief executive urged the Trump administration on Tuesday not to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, and said any changes in the pact should account for the effect on American automakers and workers. (New York Times)

Maersk and IBM Partner on Blockchain for Global Trade. Shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk AMKBY -0.55% is the latest company jump onto the blockchain train. (Wall Street Journal)

Artificial Intelligence

AI beats humans in Stanford reading comprehension test. Alibaba and Microsoft put their AI to the test this month, literally. And their scores bested ours, but barely. (CNET)
How Slack will use AI to sort thousands of messages. To help users manage their messages and filter the most crucial information, Slack is adding artificial intelligence to its platform, per the MIT Tech Review. (Axios)

The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon. A few technology giants dominate their worlds just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did. Should they be broken up? (Wall Street Journal)

Public Sector

Will Edge Computing Change How Government Operates?. The adoption of IoT in the public sector is expected to grow significantly. It could revolutionize how data is distributed, processed and analyzed. (Gov Tech)
45 Percent of Federal Email Domains Miss Security Deadline. The Homeland Security Department, which ordered the security upgrade, is only 15 percent compliant. (Next Gov)


GSA signals new cyber rules for contractors. The General Services Administration plans to bolster cybersecurity protections and reporting requirements for vendors that access its unclassified systems and the sensitive data on them. (ITAPS Pam Walker Quoted, Federal Computer Week)

New Cyberattack on Cryptocurrency Investors Came From North Korea, Report Says. The hacking offensive's malware is similar to that used in Pyongyang's attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and WannaCry ransomware assault, according to cybersecurity researchers. (Wall Street Journal)

Oracle issues security patches for chip flaws. Oracle Corp said on Tuesday it issued a critical patch that provides fixes for certain of its products for Intel Corp chip flaws. (Reuters)
Should US companies hack back? It's complicated, says DHS chief. The Department of Homeland Security wants to make sure private companies are prepared for the next major cyberattack, but it's unclear whether "hacking back" adversaries should be part of it. (Federal Computer Week)


Senate advances bill to renew NSA's internet surveillance program. The U.S. Senate on Tuesday advanced a bill to renew the National Security Agency's warrantless internet surveillance program, as a final push by privacy advocates to derail the measure came up one vote short. (Reuters)
Surveillance bill survives last-minute drama, clearing key hurdle. A hotly debated surveillance bill Tuesday night moved one step closer to a final vote, barely clearing a key procedural Senate hurdle despite bipartisan opposition that nearly scuttled the vote. (Politico Pro)
A Google app that matches your face to artwork is wildly popular. It's also raising privacy concerns. A Google app that matches people's selfies to famous works of art and encourages users to share the side-by-sides on social media leaped to the top spot on the iTunes App Store charts this weekend, ahead of YouTube, Instagram and Facebook's Messenger, but it has also drawn concerns from some that the privacy of the users may be at risk. (Washington Post)
Senate, Rebuffing Privacy Concerns, Clears Path to Extend Surveillance Law. The Senate cleared the path on Tuesday for Congress to extend the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting bipartisan calls to first vote on amendments that would have imposed significant new privacy protections when the program sweeps up Americans' emails. (New York Times)

6 Tales of Censorship in the Golden Age of Free Speech. "In today's networked environment, when anyone can broadcast live or post their thoughts to a social network, it would seem that censorship ought to be impossible," Zeynep Tufekci writes in our special issue about online free speech. (Wired)


22 Attorneys General Sue to Block Net Neutrality Repeal. The attorneys general of 22 states filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to block the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of regulations that ensure an equal and open internet. (New York Times)
Senate Democrats Push for a Net Neutrality Vote. Do They Have a Chance?. Senate Democrats announced on Tuesday that they were one supporter away from winning a vote to restore the so-called net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission rolled back in December. (New York Times)
Senate Democrats say they're a vote shy of reviving net neutrality. They're doomed to fail anyway. Republicans control Congress, after all, and Trump could veto - but Democrats have other plans in mind. (Recode)


Google starts certificate program to fill empty IT jobs. Today the company is announcing a certificate program on the Coursera platform to help give people with no prior IT experience the basic skills they need to get an entry-level IT support job in 8 to 12 months. (Axios)

Internet of Things

Poll: Majority of Americans worried about sharing roads with driverless cars. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they are concerned about sharing the streets with driverless vehicles, according to a poll from Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety. (The Hill)
Automakers, U.S. lawmakers hope for progress on self-driving car bill. Automakers and lawmakers expressed hope on Tuesday that U.S. Congress would soon pass a stalled bill aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, even as safety advocates argued for more performance requirements. (Reuters)
Google Plans to Expand Huge Undersea Cables to Boost Cloud Business.
The search company hopes to lure customers from Amazon and Microsoft with new fiber-optic lines. (Wall Street Journal)
IoT Is Changing the Cybersecurity Industry. Despite a less-than-stellar record to this point, the Internet of Things space is forcing companies to think holistically about the security behind their devices. (Gov Tech)
Automakers, U.S. lawmakers hope for progress on self-driving car bill.Automakers and lawmakers expressed hope on Tuesday that U.S. Congress would soon pass a stalled bill aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, even as safety advocates argued for more performance requirements. (Reuters)

Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions. This year, trucks and other heavy-duty motors in America will burn some 3 billion gallons of diesel fuel that was made from soybean oil. They're doing it, though, not because it's cheaper or better, but because they're required to, by law. (NPR)
U.S. oil industry set to break record, upend global trade. Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day - toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago. (Reuters)

Pipeline Builders Outflank Opposition with Expansions. Some of North America's biggest new pipeline projects are already in the ground. (Wall Street Journal)


Huge Oil Spill Spreads in East China Sea, Stirring Environmental Fears. An oil spill from an Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea is rapidly spreading, officials said Tuesday, alarming environmentalists about the threat to sea and bird life in the waterway. (New York Times)
You're Stuck With Batteries-But New Tech Will Make Them Last Longer.Oooh, an adorable robot puppy! Two hours until he plays dead-for real. A cordless hair dryer! Hope you have short hair, it only lasts 14 minutes. A foldable electric scooter! When you forget the midweek charge, remember that hitchhiking is dangerous. (Wall Street Journal)

Tech Business

At Retail Trade Show, Technology Is the Star. The retail industry is doubling down on digital to keep its unexpectedly

ITI Member News

Apple Supplier Workers Describe Noxious Hazards at China Factory. At a Catcher Technology Co. manufacturing complex in the Chinese industrial city of Suqian, about six hours' drive from Shanghai, workers stand for up to 10 hours a day in hot workshops slicing and blasting iPhone casings for Apple Inc., handling noxious chemicals sometimes without proper gloves or masks. (Bloomberg)
YouTube Adds More Scrutiny to Top-Tier Videos.
The decade-plus evolution of YouTube from repository of cat videos and pirated content to potential TV replacement hit a road bump last year when marketers discovered their advertisements were showing up next to extremist videos and other unsavory content. (New York Times)

Facebook Doesn't Like What It Sees When It Looks in the Mirror.
Founded by young computer engineers, Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley companies have been happy to view their powerful inventions as neutral platforms. (New York Times, OpEd)

Amazon is hiring a health privacy expert for 'new initiative'.
Amazon is hiring a health privacy expert for 'new initiative'. Amazon is looking to hire an expert in a set of health privacy regulations known as HIPAA, according to a new job listing. (CNBC)

Conservative activist James O'Keefe has returned. In a series of illicitly filmed videos with current and former Twitter employees, the right-wing provocateur claims to have exposed partisan bias at the social network. (Wired)
Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders list. Reuters - Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) on Wednesday published its debut "Top 100 Global Technology Leaders" list with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in the no. 1 spot, followed by chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) and network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O). (Reuters)

To Woo Amazon, Cities Tackle Everything From Traffic to Housing. Inc.'s contest to find a place for its second headquarters is spurring civic leaders around the country to confront municipal problems that have confounded lawmakers and local leaders for decades. (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: 4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
The Senate will convene and resume consideration of the motion to concur in the House message to accompany S.139, the vehicle for the FISA Amendments Reauthorization bill.
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