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Tech News Roundup - 01/31/2018

Tech News Roundup

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Key Issues

State of the Union

Trump didn't say much about tech in his first-ever State of the Union address. President Donald Trump pledged in his first-ever State of the Union address to reform immigration laws, rethink U.S. infrastructure and respond to threats like North Korea's nuclear ambitions. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Recode)
What The Tech Industry Wants From Trump's State Of The Union Tonight. Donald Trump will give his State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m. EST in the House of Representatives' chamber. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Fast Company)

The industry viewer. Information Technology Industry Council CEO and President Dean Garfield said he's listening for three talking points key to his member companies, which include Amazon, Apple, Google and IBM. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Politico Pro: Morning Tech)

First Trump State of the Union Speech Makes Appeal for Unity. President Trump challenged Democrats on Tuesday night to join him in overhauling immigration policies and in rebuilding the nation's infrastructure in his first State of the Union address. (New York Times)
Slow Night for Big Tech. Mr. Trump's praise for Apple Inc. and its plan to invest $350 billion in the U.S. probably marked the high point of the night for big tech and telecom companies, which aren't getting a lot of attention in the State of the Union speech. (Wall Street Journal)
Winners and losers from the State of the Union. President Trump delivered his second address to Congress and his first official State of the Union address Tuesday night. (Washington Post)

Global Trade

Trump signals trade action on China. The president sent a clear signal that he plans to act against China for what administration officials have said is its longstanding theft of U.S. trade secrets as well as policies that force American companies to surrender their proprietary technologies in return for access to the Chinese market. (Washington Post)
Trade Talks Resume in Seoul in Wake of U.S. Tariffs. A week after the U.S. government imposed safeguard tariffs that hit South Korean washing machine makers, negotiators from the two nations will meet in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss how to revise their free-trade deal. (Bloomberg)


How the Tax Overhaul Will Affect Tech Companies' Earnings. Firms such as Alphabet, Apple and Amazon tend to pay low effective rates, which limits the tax cut's benefit. (Wall Street Journal)
California Senate Passes Tax Workaround Bill. Governor has shown support but questioned whether the federal government would quash the plan. (Wall Street Journal)

What Companies Are Doing With Their Savings From the Tax Law. The tax overhaul has prompted hundreds of employers, including at least 40 members of the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, to pass on savings to workers. (New York Times)


Immigration Talks Proliferate on Capitol Hill, but No Deals. Eight groups of lawmakers have been meeting about Dreamers and related issues. (Wall Street Journal)
Federal Judge in Brooklyn Criticizes Trump and Sessions in DACA Hearing. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis calls president's previous comments on Latinos 'incendiary,' as he considers how much to weigh them in court decision. (Wall Street Journal)
Republicans balk at Trump's cuts to legal immigration. It's no surprise that Democrats have panned the White House's immigration framework. But now Republicans are increasingly uncomfortable with President Donald Trump's proposal to deeply cut legal immigration in exchange for protecting nearly two million DREAMers. (Politico Pro)

Corporate world prepares for chaos if DACA isn't renewed. Companies that employ "Dreamers" are scrambling to find out what kinds of legal trouble they could face if DACA isn't renewed by the March 5 deadline. (Axios)
Democrats furious over Trump's immigration rhetoric. Democrats were infuriated by President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech, claiming the president put an immigration deal even further out of reach with what they called bigoted remarks during the 80-minute address. (Politico)
Artificial Intelligence

Ford patents driverless police car that ambushes lawbreakers using artificial intelligence. Imagine a police car that issues tickets without even pulling you over. (Washington Post)
Andrew Ng's latest AI project: a $175 million fund. Andrew Ng has yet another AI-related effort on his plate: a new $175 million fund. Ng, who formerly led Baidu's artificial intelligence group, is today announcing the AI Fund. (Axios)
AI Scans of Preemie Baby Brains Could Block Future Disease. 'You will see the novel therapies affecting the babies within days and weeks, rather than within years.' (Daily Beast)

Google Rivals Ask EU to Toughen Measures in Antitrust Case. After being ordered to treat comparison-shopping services equally, in Germany, Google is winning 98% of ad spots it auctions off. (Wall Street Journal)

Public Sector

DHS prepping TIC 3.0 under White House IT modernization push. The Homeland Security Department is beginning a complete redesign of the Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) program for the future - whatever the future might look like. (Federal News Radio)
Government-Focused Information Exchange Goes Live. A new information network is putting the collective wisdom of public sector IT agencies within reach of their colleagues and trying to solve some of the big problems that vex government. (Gov Tech)
Digital Transformation Exchange opens to share best ideas in government tech. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is positioning a new website as the go-to spot for state and local governments looking for best practices and case studies. (State Scoop)
Wyoming governor orders state IT to consider local companies first. In a bid to grow Wyoming's technology sector, state government is giving local companies the first crack at its IT contracts. (State Scoop)

Why DHS is changing the way agencies connect to the internet. The federal government is currently in the process of revamping its policies around Trusted Internet Connection, with a focus on encouraging greater cloud adoption - a major IT modernization goal. (Federal Computer Week)

The Latest Data Privacy Debacle. Did you make a New Year's resolution to exercise more? Perhaps you downloaded a fitness app to help track your workouts, maybe one that allows you to share that data online with your exercise buddies? (New York Times, OpEd)

What He Did on His Summer Break: Exposed a Global Security Flaw. When Nathan Ruser, an Australian university student, posted on Twitter over the weekend that a fitness app had revealed the locations of military sites in Syria and elsewhere, he did not expect much response. (New York Time)


FCC Wants To Ensure Only Those Affected By Natural Disasters Get Emergency Messages. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai is proposing changes in the way alerts are sent to cell phones, hoping to make them more targeted. Such changes might have better informed residents of Houston during last year's hurricane related flooding and California residents during wildfires. (NPR)

House lawmakers clash over broadband infrastructure. Lawmakers expressed support across party lines for efforts to bolster broadband infrastructure during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday; however, Democrats and Republicans clashed on how to best approach this goal. (The Hill)
Hawaii Missile Alert Wasn't Accidental, Officials Say, Blaming Worker. The Hawaii emergency management services worker who sent a false alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile this month had a long history of poor performance and sent the warning because he thought the state faced an actual threat, officials said on Tuesday. (New York Times)

Lawmakers question price tag of Trump's SOTU infrastructure pitch. President Donald Trump made a fresh plea Tuesday night for bipartisanship on rebuilding the nation's crumbling roads and bridges. But lawmakers in both parties left his State of the Union still wondering about how Trump wants to pay for it. (Politico)
States Partner to Get Girls Interested in Cyber, IT. A new online cybersecurity training pilot for high school students in 18 states and one territory aims to generate increased participation from an under-represented population: young women. (GovTech)
Internet of Things
There's no MOS for cloud. Organizations across the Defense Department are preparing their IT staff to move to the cloud as part of the agency's plan to use big data analytics. (Federal Computer Week)
Secrets or Knowledge? Uber-Waymo Trial Tests Silicon Valley Culture. After nearly a year of legal wrangling, dramatic last-minute delays and uncooperative witnesses, a jury will soon hear arguments in Waymo's high-profile lawsuit accusing Uber of stealing driverless car technology. (New York Times)
California start-up Nuro unveils autonomous delivery van, raises $92 million. Silicon Valley start-up Nuro said on Tuesday it raised $92 million to launch a self-driving delivery vehicle, joining automakers, shippers and a host of little-known companies developing autonomous vehicles for local commerce. (Reuters)

Exxon Mobil Tripling Its Bet on the Hottest U.S. Shale Field. Exxon Mobil announced on Tuesday that it would triple its oil and gas production in the nation's hottest shale field by 2025 in the newest sign that the boom in national crude production is gaining momentum. (New York Times)
Coal firms plead to courts, Trump for West Coast export terminals. Coal producers filed two recent lawsuits against governments in Washington state and California challenging local decisions to block port projects on environmental grounds. The industry is also lobbying the Trump administration to override the local bans. (Reuters)

Tech Business

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Team Up to Disrupt Health Care. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced on Tuesdaythat they would form an independent health care company for their employees in the United States. (New York Times)
Can Amazon and Friends Handle Health Care? There's Reason for Doubt. The announcement on Tuesday that Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway would be joining forces to create a health care company moved stock markets and prompted optimistic predictions of major reform in a notoriously complex industry. (New York Times)
The 'Amazon Effect' Rattles Health-Care Stocks. The looming presence of is spooking the health-care industry again. (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon already has huge amounts of our data. What happens when you add health care to the mix?. As the online retailer expands into new industries - cloud computing, drones, tech gadgets, moviemaking and now health care - some privacy experts say the company's increasingly dominant role in our lives raises concerns about how personal data is collected and used. (Washington Post)
Surging Samsung Electronics Takes Intel's Chipmaking Crown. Intel Corp. posted record revenue in 2017, but it wasn't enough. (Bloomberg)
AMD's earnings top estimates as graphics chip demand rises. Chipmaker AMD on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that handily exceeded Wall Street forecasts, as it sold more graphics processors used in data centers and computers. (Reuters)
Big Tech eyes live sports broadcasts. "But as NBC is set to blanket the two biggest sporting events on American calendars - Super Bowl LII (Feb. 4) and the 2018 Winter Olympics (Feb. 9-25) - across screens everywhere next month, tech titans are making an unmistakable advance on sports telecasts." (Axios)
Tackling the Internet's Central Villain: The Advertising Business. You don't need a crazy wall to figure it out, because the force to blame has been quietly shaping the contours of life online since just about the beginning of life online: It's the advertising business, stupid. (New York Times)
Amazon Health-Care Move May Be Next 'Home Run' Like Cloud Services. Inc.'s foray into health care won't be the first time it has disrupted an entire industry by starting with an effort inside the company. (Bloomberg)

Samsung is now the world's biggest chipmaker. Intel has been the dominant company in chip manufacturing for literally decades, but in 2017 it ceded its crown to Samsung, as evidenced by the two companies' annual financial reports. (The Verge)
Technology? Samsung Has Something Cooler. But as everyone else slices and dices each of Samsung's business units to divine the past, present and future of the world's most powerful technology company, I want to take a step back for a bigger-picture view of what it means to investors. (Bloomberg)
Twitter Followers Vanish Amid Inquiries Into Fake Accounts. More than a million followers have disappeared from the accounts of dozens of prominent Twitter users in recent days as the company faces growing criticism over the proliferation of fake accounts and scrutiny from federal and state inquiries into the shadowy firms that sell fake followers. (New York Times)

ITI Member News

Apple Faces Two Federal Probes Over iPhone Battery Issue. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating potential securities violations. (Wall Street Journal)
Scoop: Apple delays iOS features to focus on reliability, performance. Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues, Axios has learned. (Axios)
Facebook Bans Ads for Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies. Want to get rich quick through Bitcoins or other virtual currencies? You'll have to do it without Facebook. (New York Times)
Al Gore Buys Into Facebook Co-Founder's Vision for a Better Workplace. Justin Rosenstein and Dustin Moskovitz are trying to fix a problem they played a role in creating. In 2008, they co-founded Asana Inc., a San Francisco startup devoted to making project management software that lets employees focus on the task at hand while fighting pesky nuisances like email and app notifications. (Bloomberg)
Google's new ad reckons with the dark side of Silicon Valley's innovations. Google debuted a new ad during Sunday's Grammy Awards that spotlights the mental-health implications of the tools that it has helped put in the hands of billions of smartphone users. (Washington Post)
Google Bets a Billion Dollars More Brains Can Help Take On Apple. Google officially closed its $1.1 billion deal with HTC Corp., adding more than 2,000 smartphone specialists in Taiwan to help the search giant chase Apple Inc. in the cut-throat premium handset market. (Bloomberg)
Google aims to get 'diverse perspectives' into search results. Alphabet Inc's Google will put more of a premium on "diverse perspectives" in its search results, saying in a blog post on Tuesday that answers highlighted at the top of result pages would soon display multiple viewpoints on topics for the first time ever. (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

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