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Tech News Roundup - 02/01/2018

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Tech Politics

What Trump's State of the Union speech means for tech. President Trump didn't focus much on tech-specific issues, but he did raise a few notable things including Apple's investment announcement, immigration and trade. (Axios)

Twitter has notified at least 1.4 million users that they saw Russian propaganda during the election. And that may be just a fraction of the total users who saw Kremlin disinformation in 2016. (Recode)

Lawmakers press social media companies - again - on the forces behind the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign. Social media companies continued to face pressure over exploitation of their platforms, as lawmakers on Wednesdaychastised Facebook and Twitter for failing to explain the role pro-Russian accounts played in a large online campaign to release a classified memo related to the Russia investigation. (Washington Post)

Federal government will be unable to pay all bills sooner than expected, due to tax bill. The U.S. government's cash reserves are expected to run out faster than expected, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, a result of lost revenue from last year's tax cut law. (Washington Post)
Trump claimed that Apple's $350 billion investment is because of the new tax law. But the connection is not that clear. There wasn't a lot of talk about technology in President Trump's first State of the Union speech Tuesday night, but he did take time to highlight Apple, citing its announcement earlier this month that it will invest $350 billion in the United States. (Washington Post)
China's Lenovo swings to third quarter loss on U.S. tax reform, says outlook challenging. Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group swung to a loss in the third quarter from a year-ago profit, hurt mainly by a one-off charge of $400 million resulting from a U.S. tax reform, and said the short-term outlook was challenging. (Reuters)

Trump's $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Is Light on Federal Funds, and Details. President Trump's long-awaited plan for overhauling the nation's crumbling infrastructure includes spending $200 billion in federal money over the next decade to spur an additional $1.3 trillion in spending from cities, states and private companies on major projects, White House officials said on Wednesday, a formula that faces long odds on Capitol Hill. (New York Times)

GOP faces new shutdown threat from within. Congress is a week away from another government shutdown. And if it happens this time, the blame may lie with Republicans, who are struggling to keep their lawmakers in line. (Politico Pro)


Why Democrats have moved left on immigration. Of all the proposals from President Trump's State of the Union address, the only one to prompt jeers from Democrats was what he called his "fair compromise" on immigration - the issue that has divided Washington more than any other during in his presidency. (Axios)

Artificial Intelligence
Google Using AI to Predict Flight Delays. The skies might have gotten a bit friendlier. (Next Gov)

Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have.. Amazon and two other American titans are trying to shake uphealth care by experimenting with their own employees' coverage. By Chinese standards, they're behind the curve.
The 10 challenges facing the robot future. The current apex of useful commercial robots is a vacuum cleaner, and much work is left before machines can assume a more central role, from creating new basic materials to adopting ethical rules for their use, suggests a paper published today. (Axios)

Public Sector

Exclusive: Mattis seeking to ban cell phones from Pentagon. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is actively considering banning US military and civilian personnel from bringing their personal cell phones into the Pentagon, the world's largest office building, according to three US defense officials familiar with an ongoing review of the issue. (CNN)
Can DHS purchase innovation? Despite a storied history of funding and developing new technologies like the microchip and the Internet, the federal government still carries around a reputation as an innovation killer. (Federal Computer Week)
NIST deadline looms for agencies to improve digital authentication standards. As a deadline for implementation draws near, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is working with agencies to ensure their legacy systems are keeping up with its latest standards in identity management and authentication solutions. (Federal News Radio)


FCC chairman: U.S. is already winning race to 5G. FCC chairman Ajit Pai told reporters on Tuesday that he believes - contrary to the position articulated in a National Security Council memo published by Axios - the U.S. is winning the race to the next generation of wireless systems. (Axios)


Netflix parents get a paid year off and Amazon pays for spouses' parental leave. What major tech companies offer new parents. (Recode)

Women Once Ruled the Computer World. When Did Silicon Valley Become Brotopia? Lena Söderberg started out as just another Playboy centerfold. (Bloomberg)

Internet of Things

GM Ramps Up Testing of Self-Driving Cars, But Still Lags Waymo. General Motors Co. GM -0.68% reported progress in the consistency of its autonomous-driving system last year as it sharply increased testing on the roads of California, though it remained well behind the self-driving tech unit of Google-parent Alphabet Inc., GOOGL 0.41% according to state records. (Wall Street Journal)


White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration's preference for fossil fuels. The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department's renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. (Washington Post)


E.P.A. Blocks Obama-Era Clean Water Rule. The Trump administration has formally suspended a major Obama-era clean water regulation ahead of plans to issue its own version of the rule later this year. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Microsoft Sales Lifted by Cloud Computing. Microsoft has spent years adjusting its business to reflect a shift from traditional software sales to cloud computing services delivered over the internet. (New York Times)

Facebook Aims to Soothe Wall Street Over News Feed Changes. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, has embarked on an overhaul of what people see and consume on the social network. (New York Times)
Qualcomm Expands Licensing Deal With Samsung as Charges Cut Into Profit. Revenue beats expectations, rising to $6.07 billion. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Facebook's Profit Rises, but Users Spend Less Time on Network. Facebook Inc.'s dominance in digital advertising powered another surge in quarterly profit, though it said users were starting to shave back their time on its platform as it tries to address critics' claims that the social network has harmful effects. (Wall Street Journal)
Ahead of 5G rebound, Nokia royalty deals prop up results.Telecom network gear maker Nokia posted better-than-expected quarterly profits on Thursday and forecast a recovery in profits by 2020, encouraging investors spooked last year by a weakening equipment market and acquisition integration missteps. (Reuters)
EBay to Ditch PayPal for Dutch Processor Adyen. EBay Inc. will shift its payments business from long-time partner PayPal Holdings Inc. to Adyen BV, a global payments company based in the Netherlands, further distancing the companies that split in 2015 but remained intertwined through an agreement that fully expires in 2020. (Bloomberg)
Google's G Suite is no Microsoft killer, but still winning converts.
Alphabet Inc's Google has struggled for years to get big businesses to embrace G Suite, its hip alternative to Microsoft Office. (Reuters)
Apple, Amazon, Alphabet: The race to a trillion dollars. When it comes to predictions for 2018, most financial analysts agree on one thing: one tech firm is likely to become America's first ever trillion dollar company. (BBC)

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