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Tech News Roundup - 01/29/2018

Tech News Roundup

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Key Issues

Global Trade

Canada, Mexico Reject Proposal to Rework Nafta Corporate Arbitration System. U.S. says ISDS system erodes sovereignty by allowing multinational companies to circumvent domestic courts. (Wall Street Journal)
NAFTA talks that were supposed to end last year might continue into 2019. Talks aimed at reaching a new trade agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico are expected to continue for months beyond a March 31 deadline and could even extend into 2019, according to industry executives and others close to the negotiations. (Washington Post)
Trump's high-risk reversal of 70 years of trade progress. In 1944, as the Allies were closing in on Nazi Germany, they did two things to try to ensure that the world would never again face a global war. (Washington Post)
NAFTA revamp should wait until after Mexico vote: frontrunner. The leftist frontrunner in Mexico's presidential race said on Friday that the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should wait until after the July election. (Reuters)
Autos officials hopeful that industry can avoid a NAFTA disaster. Auto industry officials fretting about hardline U.S. NAFTA demands with the potential to turn a globally integrated industry upside down now are hopeful that a Canadian compromise plan could avert disaster. (Reuters)

US economy loses steam as imports surge. US economic growth slowed unexpectedly to an annualised rate of 2.6% in the last three months of 2017, the Commerce Department said on Friday. (BBC)
Tech Politics

Republican lawmaker says tech execs should watch what they say. Outgoing Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California thinks it's bad for Silicon Valley to fight with President Trump. Oh, and he's also glad net neutrality is dead. (CNET)

Twitter: Russian bots retweeted Trump nearly 500,000 times in last months of election. Russian bots on Twitter retweeted President Trump hundreds of thousands of times during the last months of his presidential campaign, Twitter told Congress. (The Hill)
Mueller's team has interviewed Facebook staff as part of Russia probe. The Department Justice's special counsel Robert Mueller and his office have interviewed at least one member of Facebook's team that was associated with President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, according to a person familiar with the matter. (Wired)
Social media giants pressed on foreign bots after memo campaign. An internet campaign pushing for the release of a classified memo produced by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee has brought new scrutiny to how foreign groups can use social media to manipulate U.S. politics. (The Hill)

At Davos, Big Tech Is Waiting for Its Grace Period to Run Out. Earlier this week, Edelman's annual Trust Barometer report suggested that trust is collapsing in America. But as Americans' trust in nearly every institution dissipates, one industry seems insulated: Tech. (Wired)

Women aren't backing the GOP tax law Ivanka Trump is touting. First daughter Ivanka Trump, adviser to the president, is in South Carolina to talk to women about the new tax law. (Washington Post)


Lawmakers call on Trump to drop bid for legal immigration cuts. Lawmakers in both parties said Sunday that the immigration debate should focus narrowly on efforts to legalize young immigrants known as "dreamers" and beef up border security, suggesting that President Trump's demands to slash legal immigration levels are likely to sink a deal. (Washington Post)


Trump's $1 trillion plan inspires 'Hunger Games' angst. President Donald Trump won the White House promising a $1 trillion, 10-year blueprint to rebuild America - an initiative he said would create millions of jobs while making the nation's highways, bridges, railroad and airports "second to none." (Politico Pro)

Artificial Intelligence

Don't make AI artificially stupid in the name of transparency. Artificial intelligence systems are going to crash some of our cars, and sometimes they're going to recommend longer sentences for black Americans than for whites. (Wired)
Artificial Intelligence Nears the Summit of Hype in Davos. Artificial intelligence approached the summit of hype at this year's World Economic Forum. (Bloomberg)

Public Sector

Trump picks federal CIO. Suzette Kent is your new federal CIO. (Federal Computer Week)

For government contractors, no end in sight to budget uncertainty. For most in Washington, last week's short-lived government shutdown seemed to be mostly an annoyance, causing little more disruption than a passing snowstorm. (Washington Post)

Here's A Way To Boost Congress' Tech Savvy. A think tank wants Congress to bring back a tech research office it scrapped in 1995. (Next Gov)
Facebook's Newsfeed Algorithm Will Negatively Impact Government. Efforts to shake up the amount of commercial content on the popular social media platform are affecting government agencies that use it as a way to reach their constituents. (Gov Tech)
Philadelphia's Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation Works to Overhaul City Services. While working on a new city website, technologists within city hall have their sights set on the bigger goal of making all that the municipal government does easier to find and simpler to understand for constituents. (Gov Tech)

Intel Warned Chinese Companies of Chip Flaws Before U.S. Government. Decision to disclose issue to select few customers, including Lenovo and Alibaba, has ripple effects through security and tech industries. (Wall Street Journal)
'Worst Year Ever' For Cyberattacks. And most of them could have been avoided with basic cyber hygiene. (Next Gov)
DHS, auto industry group team up on cyber. A month after the Department of Homeland Security said it planned to step up information sharing efforts with industry, an automotive group signed an agreement to improve cyber threat information sharing and analysis with the agency. (Federal Computer Week)

Microsoft issues emergency Windows update to disable Intel's buggy Spectre fixes. Microsoft has been forced to issue a second out-of-band security update this month, to deal with the issues around Intel's Spectre firmware updates. (The Verge)

Tech Giants Brace for Europe's New Data Privacy Rules. Over the past two months, Google has started letting people around the world choose what data they want to share with its various products, including Gmail and Google Docs. (New York Times)

Facebook makes privacy push ahead of strict EU law. Facebook said on Monday it was publishing its privacy principles for the first time and rolling out educational videos to help users control who has access to their information, as it prepares for the start of a tough new EU data protection law. (Reuters)

U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging. An interactive map posted on the Internet that shows the whereabouts of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit also reveals highly sensitive information about the locations and activities of soldiers at U.S. military bases, in what appears to be a major security oversight. (Washington Post)

Trump security team sees building U.S. 5G network as option. President Donald Trump's national security team is looking at options to counter the threat of China spying on U.S. phone calls that include the government building a super-fast 5G wireless network, a senior administration official said on Sunday. (Reuters)

Scoop: Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network. Trump national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation's mobile network to guard against China, according to sensitive documents obtained by Axios. (Axios)

AT&T: Work on 5G "already well down the road". Responding to an Axios report that some in the Trump Administration are calling for the U.S. government build its own 5G network, AT&T said Sunday that private sector work is well under way. (Axios)

U.S. Memo Urges Big Push on 5G Wireless Technology. Some White House officials view next-generation 5G wireless service as a "key area of competition," and they say that the threat from China, in particular, justifies a "moonshot" government effort like the construction of the interstate highway system, an internal memo shows. (Wall Street Journal)

The dirty war over diversity inside Google. Fired Google engineer James Damore says he was vilified and harassed for questioning what he calls the company's liberal political orthodoxy, particularly around the merits of diversity. (Wired)

Struggling to Fill Jobs, U.S. Employers Look to Storm-Battered Puerto Rico. Faced with worker shortages, employers are trying to lure Puerto Rico residents to the mainland with the promise of jobs for many on the island devastated by Hurricane Maria. (Wall Street Journal)
Internet of Things
Most Americans wary of self-driving cars: Reuters/Ipsos poll. While 27 percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable riding in a self-driving car, poll data indicated that most people were far more trusting of humans than robots and artificial intelligence under a variety of scenarios. (Reuters)
Regulating, securing IoT market remains a work in progress. There's a global race to regulate smart devices, but how to do so remains elusive. (ITI John Miller Quoted, Federal Computer Week)
Oil Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy. A substantial rise in oil prices in recent months has led to a resurgence in American oil production, enabling the country to challenge the dominance of Saudi Arabia and dampen price pressures at the pump. (New York Times)
A 15-year look at how energy changed in the US, state by state. Data from 2000 to 2015 let's us reflect on what 2015 to 2030 will look like. (Ars Technica)
California, Colorado governors target electric vehicle sticking point-charging. States recognize charging facilities are an issue. (Ars Technica)
Canada's Oil Producers, in Standoff With Railways, Sit Out Oil-Price Rally. Railroads have a strong hand in negotiating with oil producers because of limited available capacity in Canada-to-U.S. pipelines. (Wall Street Journal)

California looks to ramp up electric vehicle sales. California said on Friday it would ramp up efforts to boost electric vehicles even as it holds talks with the Trump administration over the fate of fuel efficiency standards through 2025. (Reuters)

Tech Business

Twitter is selling a new kind of ad: Sponsored Moments. New ads mean new revenue. (Recode)

New York investigates company accused of selling fake Twitter followers. New York's chief prosecutor says the state is opening an investigation into a firm that allegedly sold millions of fake followers to social media users. (BBC)

Tech stocks reach record, bond yields rise again. Technology stocks rallied on Monday at the start of a big week of earnings for the sector globally, while bond yields hit multi-year highs as investors braced for major central banks to step back from ultra-easy monetary policies. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

The Follower Factory. Everyone wants to be popular online. Some even pay for it. Inside social media's black market. (New York Times)
Facebook to give scholarships to journalism students. The social-networking giant is doling out $1 million over the next five years to students pursuing degrees digital media, journalism or communications. (CNET)
How Amazon's Ad Business Could Threaten Google and Facebook. has valuable data its tech competitors can't access: Its own sales. (Wall Street Journal)
Where Might Amazon Build a Second Headquarters?. See how the cities on Amazon's HQ2 shortlist rank based on factors such as culture fit, state taxes and cost of living. (Wall Street Journal)
Promising Billions to Amazon: Is It a Good Deal for Cities?. When New Jersey announced a $7 billion package of tax incentives to try to lure Amazon's second headquarters to Newark, local officials saw a chance to jump-start a city that has long struggled with poverty and joblessness. (New York Times)
For finalists in the Amazon headquarters sweepstakes, the fun has turned serious. For America's mayors,'s search for a second massive headquarters with as many as 50,000 jobs started as a free publicity ride, a chance to make clever promotional videos and woo the retail giant with attention-getting gag gifts. (Washington Post)
Side Benefit to Amazon's Headquarters Contest: Local Expertise. The other week, 218 cities and states lost in the sweepstakes to be the home of Amazon's second headquarters, failing to make the list of 20 finalists. (New York Times)
Google experiments with local information app called Bulletin. Google is testing an app that aims to collect hyper-local news and information from everyday people, like little league scores, that can be shared with local news outlets to make the news-gathering process more cost-efficient for them. (Axios)
Google confirms investment in Indonesia's ride-hailing leader Go-Jek. Google has confirmed its investment in Go-Jek, the hail-railing service that rivals Uber and Grab in Indonesia. (Tech Crunch)
Facebook is trying to teach chatbots how to chit-chat. Despite the death of its personal AI assistant M, Facebook hasn't given up on chatbots just yet. (The Verge)
Google's pestering ads get 'mute' button. Google will now let people "mute" advertisements that encourage them to buy products from websites they have previously visited. (BBC)
Apple's iPhone battery 'slowdown' to be optional. A software update will let iPhone owners switch off the "battery saver" feature that slows down some models, Apple has confirmed. (BBC)
Amazon UK to create 400 jobs in a new fulfillment center in Rugby. Amazon UK said on Monday it would open a new fulfillment center in Rugby, central England, increasing its 2,500-strong workforce in the Midlands by another 400 people. (Reuters)
The future of Apple: Beyond the iPhone. Axios Chief Technology Correspondent Ina Fried and Business Editor Dan Primack discuss the moves Apple could make this year to transform and move beyond the iPhone. (Axios)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 2:00 p.m. and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.2311, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
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