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Tech News Roundup - 02/05/2018

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Tech Politics

The Techies running for Congress walk a fine line. Brian Forde shouts over the din of the crowd packed inside a coworking space on a November evening in Irvine, California. (Wired)

Early Facebook and Google Employees Form Coalition to Fight What They Built. A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build. (New York Times)


Apple plans to reduce $163B cash holdings after GOP tax law. Apple intends to reduce its large cash holdings of $163 billion to "approximately zero" following passage of the Republican tax-reform plan. (The Hill)
How Is Big Business Using the Trump Tax Cut? What We Know So Far. President Donald Trump's corporate tax cuts are already having a big impact. (Bloomberg)
For Companies on the Rocks, Tax Bill Doesn't Help Much. U.S. tax overhaul takes away a tool that struggling firms have long depended on to free up cash. (Wall Street Journal)
Bonuses After Tax Cut Don't Always Live Up to Their Billing. What's not to like? Scores of companies, including some of the country's biggest employers, are handing out bonuses, announcing with a flourish that they are sharing the windfall from corporate tax cuts with their workers. (New York Times)


'Dreamer' Talks Aim to End Budget Impasse. Republican Sen. John McCain, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons say they will propose path to citizenship for DACA participants, but no wall. (Wall Street Journal)

Durbin: DACA deal unlikely this week. The number two Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, said Sunday on CNN that he's not expecting a deal to be reached by Thursday - when government funding expires - to protect young immigrants from deportation. (Axios)
Congress weighs leaving Dreamers in limbo another year. Congress may just end up punting on its Dreamer dilemma. As lawmakers grasp for a solution for the young undocumented immigrants, one option is a temporary extension - perhaps one year - of their legal protections paired with a little bit of cash for border security. (Politico)
Public Sector

Overcoming Cloud Adoption Obstacles for Federal Agencies. The first step to overcoming cloud risks and challenges is understanding them. (Next Gov)
Justice taps big data in investigations. In the last few days, top Justice Department officials have unveiled two task forces that rely on analyzing complex sets of big data to crack down on financial fraudsters and dark web drug dealers. (Federal Computer Week)

The U.S. government is set to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, an 84 percent jump from last year. The federal government is on track to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year - Trump's first full year in charge of the budget. (Washington Post)
Booz Allen says awarded $621 million U.S. cybersecurity contract. Booz Allen Hamilton said on Friday it won a $621 million federal contract to develop and implement cybersecurity tools across the U.S. government. (Reuters)
Exclusive: U.S. consumer protection official puts Equifax probe on ice - sources. Mick Mulvaney, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has pulled back from a full-scale probe of how Equifax Inc failed to protect the personal data of millions of consumers, according to people familiar with the matter. (Reuters)

The Privacy Fight Is Dead In DC, And Not Even The Nunes Memo Is Likely To Revive It. Despite Republican concerns that the FBI misused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to gain a warrant to monitor Carter Page, Congress renewed the act less than a month ago. (ITI Mention, Buzzfeed)

Senate receives official net neutrality notice from FCC. The Senate has received the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) official notice of measures to scrap net neutrality rules, two congressional sources confirmed. (The Hill)
National Security Council official behind 5G memo leaves White House. The author of a memo arguing for a government takeover of development of the nation's 5G mobile network has been removed from the National Security Council staff. (Washington Post, OpEd)
Internet of Things

Battle of the Bots: Uber and Waymo Gear Up for Driverless-Car Trial. Technology companies are pouring billions of dollars into developing robot cars they hope will save lives, make human drivers obsolete and one day reap them riches. (Wall Street Journal)

Trump to Withdraw Nomination of Climate Skeptic as Top Environmental Adviser. The Trump administration plans to withdraw its nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White, a climate change skeptic, to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House official said. (New York Times)
Exxon Studies Climate Policies and Sees 'Little Risk' to Bottom Line. In one sign of the pressures that companies face to understand the business risks of stricter climate-change policies, one of the world's biggest energy companies on Friday offered its thoughts on how it would fare in a low-carbon world. (New York Times)

Tech Business

Exclusive: Broadcom to raise Qualcomm bid in push for talks, sources say. Broadcom Ltd plans to unveil a new approximately $120 billion offer for Qualcomm Inc on Monday, aiming to ratchet up pressure on its U.S. semiconductor peer to engage in negotiations, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. (Reuters)
Apple Music on Track to Overtake Spotify in U.S. Subscribers. Apple's U.S. subscriber-account base has been growing about 5% a month, versus No. 1 Spotify's 2% clip. (Wall Street Journal)
Is Dell's Debt Load Pushing It Into a Deal?. As Dell Technologies publicly confirmed that it was exploring a number of potential transactions - ranging from an initial public offering to a combination with VMware, of which it owns 80 percent - much of the media coverage has focused on why it's doing so. (New York Times)

Amazon Asked for Patience. Remarkably, Wall Street Complied. Allen Gillespie is one lonely stock analyst. Of the dozens of Wall Street analysts covering Amazon, he is the only one tracked by Bloomberg who recommends that investors sell the company's shares. (New York Times)

Algorithms are coming to town. In downtown Bethesda, Md., an Amazon bookstore is opening right down the street from a now out-of-business Barnes & Noble. Axios' Steve LeVine discusses the ramifications of the takeover. (Axios, Video)

ITI Member News

What Does Facebook Do Now?. The social network is running out of room for growth, but video remains the wild card. (Wall Street Journal)
Facebook patents technology that would estimate users' socioeconomic status. Facebook has patented a new system that could help it estimate a user's socioeconomic status. (The Hill)
Facebook using leverage to get advance notice about public info requests: report. Facebook is negotiating contracts where it requires local governments it reaches tax subsidy deals with to give the technology firm advance notice before responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. (The Hill)
Is Google Losing to Amazon?. Amazon's accelerating growth wins favor over Google's much bigger bottom line. (Wall Street Journal)
African American museum goes high tech. The National Museum of African American History and Culture today is launching a new interactive installation that was constructed via 3D scanners by Google's Black Googler Network. (Axios)
YouTube Takes Aim at Conspiracies, Propaganda. YouTube said it is planning changes to give users more context for videos promoting conspiracy theories or state-sponsored content, the latest effort by an internet giant to clean up its platform amid criticism over its role in spreading misinformation. (Wall Street Journal)

Tech Diets Catch on With Apple Executives, Facebook Billionaires and Googlers. Silicon Valley insiders, concerned about the attention-sapping effects of modern technology, experiment with ways to log off. (Bloomberg)

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 3:00 p.m. and begin a period of morning business. At 5:00 p.m., the Senate will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of Andrei Iancu, of California, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
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