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Tech News Roundup - 03/02/2018

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Key Issues

Global Trade

Sen. Cornyn Said Circulating Foreign Investment Bill Changes. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC), which represents tech giants such as Apple Inc., Google Inc., and IBM Corp., welcomed the changes and is reviewing them. (ITI Josh Kallmer Quoted, Bloomberg Law)
From Bulldozers to Beer, Tariffs Could Ripple Through U.S. Economy. Plans for steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum raise concern among American industries about higher costs and retaliation. (Wall Street Journal)
Trump Summons Steel, Aluminum Executives for Meeting on Trade Curbs. President could use event to announce tariffs or quotas on imports in the name of national security. (Wall Street Journal)
Trump blasted at home and abroad for plan to impose steel, aluminum tariffs. President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum reverberated across the world Thursday, spurring retaliatory threats from some of the nation's closest allies and sending stock prices plummeting on investors' fears of the global economic fallout. (Politico Pro)
Trump's tariff war nudges Cohn toward White House exit. Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, has been rumored to be on the brink of leaving the White House for months but stayed for one main reason: to stop the president from imposing steep tariffs. By Thursday afternoon, Cohn had lost the fight. (Politico Pro)
Tech Politics

Facebook to End News Feed Experiment in 6 Countries That Magnified Fake News. Facebook said on Thursday that it would end an experiment in six countries that separated posts from news sites and publishers from other material on the social network. (New York Times)
Facebook, Google Get One Hour From EU to Scrub Terror Content. EU announces guidelines to tech giants for removing terror and other illegal content from their websites. (Wall Street Journal)

Boom in Share Buybacks Renews Question of Who Wins From Tax Cuts. U.S. companies are buying back their shares at an aggressive pace, stirring questions in Washington and on Wall Street about the way that the new corporate tax cuts are being used. (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. After-Tax Incomes Rise Due to Tax-Code Changes, Spending Slows. The incomes of U.S. households jumped in January, reflecting tax law changes that are reducing tax withholding and led to one-time bonuses for some households. (Wall Street Journal)
Pushed From the U.S., They Find Hope in Mexico's 'Silicon Valley'. Hola Code looks like any other coding academy, with twenty-and thirty-somethings seated in computer-lined rows eager to learn software programming and land a good job. (Wall Street Journal)
Artificial Intelligence
DARPA: Next-generation artificial intelligence in the works. The head of the Defense Department's advanced research arm pushed back Thursday on concerns that countries like Russia or China could soon outpace the United States on artificial intelligence developments. (Federal News Radio)


The Supreme Court Case That Could Give Tech Giants More Power. Big tech platforms - Amazon, Facebook, Google - control a large and growing share of our commerce and communications, and the scope and degree of their dominance poses real hazards. (New York Times)
Public Sector

Sidewalk robot test program extended in Washington, D.C., with strong government support. City council is standing behind a pilot program that it says could both relieve congestion on city streets and enable new data collection to support operations. (State Scoop)
Trump nominee: Russia, China don't expect 'much' U.S. response to cyber attacks. Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the U.S. Cyber Command, said on Thursday he did not think Russia, China and other countries expected much of a response from the United States to cyber attacks. (Reuters)
Microsoft president: Cyber is the new war. Axios managing editor Kim Hart spoke with Microsoft president Brad Smith, who says 2017 was a "wake up call" and that the tech community will need to put more focus on working together to fight the security breaches. (Axios)

Equifax's massive 2017 data breach keeps getting worse. Equifax said Thursday that 2.4 million more consumers than previously reported were affected by the massive data breach the company suffered last year, adding to an already stunning toll. (Washington Post)
Internet of Things
U.S. regulators seek public views on self-driving trucks and trains. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Thursday that regulators will seek public input on rules for self-driving commercial vehicles and trains, as the administration grapples with how to regulate their expected future use. (Reuters)

Toyota Announces New Company Devoted to Self-Driving Cars. Toyota Motor Corp. said it would spend nearly $3 billion to build software for autonomous cars, the latest sign that Japan's biggest car maker is pushing to get the cars into the hands of consumers. (Wall Street Journal)
Why are there few women in tech? Watch a recruiting session. New Stanford research shows how companies alienate women while they're still in school, during recruiting sessions. (Wired)
U.S. Jobless Claims Hit Lowest Level Since 1969. The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since December 1969, offering fresh evidence of health in the labor market. (Wall Street Journal)

Russians used social media to stir divisions on U.S. energy policy: lawmakers. Russian operatives attempting to discourage U.S. energy production posted thousands of messages on social media supporting environmental activists in their campaign to limit oil and gas projects, a report by Republican lawmakers said on Thursday. (Reuters)


EPA moves to overhaul Obama-era safeguards on coal ash waste. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed significant changes to an Obama-era initiative to regulate coal ash waste, giving states and utilities more latitude in how they dispose of the potentially toxic substance. (Washington Post)
Washington State Is Set to Vote on a Carbon Tax. For the Governor, It's a Gamble. This week in the statehouse in Olympia, Wash., Gov. Jay Inslee is battling to bring a vote on a historic climate change policy that he has pursued for years: instituting the nation's first tax on planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution. (New York Times)
Investors Want to Talk Food Waste With Amazon. Green Century Capital, others ask SEC to force Amazon to explain plans to mitigate environmental impact and cost of wasted food at its growing grocery operations. (Wall Street Journal)
Tech Business
Bit by Bit, Whole Foods Gets an Amazon Touch. Some signs are subtle, like the "Whole Foods + Amazon" one near the bananas. Others are more obvious, like the kiosk with Amazon devices for sale. (New York Times)
Alphabet-Backed Startup Clover Health Posts $22 Million Loss in 2017. Insurance company agreed to disclose some financial information in an interview with Bloomberg. (Bloomberg)
With Dell Merger Speculation Swirling, VMware Reports 14% Sales Growth. VMware Inc., the software company whose future is being evaluated for the second time in less than three years by parent Dell Technologies Inc., said sales continue to grow despite the uncertainty and competitive pressures. (Bloomberg)

ITI Member News

IBM urges lawmakers to crack down on internet platforms. IBM is calling for lawmakers to crack down on internet platforms, arguing that companies like Google and Facebook face little regulation and enjoy broad legal immunity over what happens on their services. (The Hill)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Gives Blunt Assessment of the Company's Failures. New remarks by social-media firm's chief hammer home need to prevent problems instead of reacting. (Wall Street Journal)
Broadcom's Bid for Qualcomm Ignites Debate Within Administration. Justice, Defense officials have national security concerns and want to review deal now, but Treasury demurs. (Wall Street Journal)
An interview with Facebook about safety on the platform. Tune in as Axios Managing Editor Kim Hart interviews Facebook's head of global safety policy, Antigone Davis and vice president of product management, Guy Rosen. (Axios, Video)
Activists urge Bezos to choose LGBT-friendly state for new headquarters. A group of activists, actors, politicians and executives is asking founder Jeffrey P. Bezos not to put a second Amazon headquarters in a state lacking legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, pressing the executive to use his company's high-profile relocation to further a cause he has personally supported. (Washington Post)
Nonprofits scramble to comply with new Google ad policy. Thousands of nonprofit organizations could lose a monthly advertising grant from Alphabet Inc's Google as soon as Thursday, cutting off an important source of traffic to their websites. (Reuters)
Twitter's asking for help on how to be less toxic. Twitter on Thursdayannounced plans to take a more critical look at its dark side and asked for outside help to develop ways that it can elevate the tone of online conversation. (Washington Post)
Social media's safety reckoning. Facebook and Twitter are rolling out sweeping public relations campaigns, as well as product and operational changes, to re-assure critics that their products are safe for their users' health. (Axios)

Today on the Hill

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