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Tech News Roundup - 12/01/2017

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Republican Tax Bill Hits Snag Over Deficit Concerns. The Senate Republican tax bill, which had appeared to be cruising to victory, suffered a setback late on Thursday as lawmakers were forced to contemplate significant changes, including future tax increases, to help pay for the legislation. (New York Times)
Here's Where the GOP Tax Plan Stands Right Now. The Senate tax bill is headed for a round of marathon votes Friday with the goal of holding a final vote by the end of the work week. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day. (Bloomberg)
Trump's Red Line Is Holding Up Tax Cuts. Republicans suddenly have a fiscal headache in their tax bill. They can thank President Trump for it. (New York Times)
Republicans rewriting tax bill - with fight pushed into Friday. Senate Republicans are still scrambling to win over enough votes to pass their massive tax code overhaul, with major changes to the bill still up in the air and debate pushed into Friday. (Politico)
Senate grapples with tax cut plan's impact on federal deficit. U.S. Senate Republicans will grapple on Friday with the possibility of adding a tax increase to sweeping legislation meant to cut taxes on businesses and individuals, aiming to win support from fiscal conservatives worried about its impact on the federal deficit. (Reuters)
Public Sector

Can these tools get people to care about the census?. As a building fire breaks out in San Francisco, the character "super girl" has one simple mission: to collect five relevant data sets for first responders in under five minutes. (FedScoop)

Intellectual Property

Qualcomm files new patent infringement complaints against Apple. Qualcomm Inc said on Thursday it filed three new patent infringement complaints against Apple Inc, saying there were 16 more of its patents that Apple was using in its iPhones. (Reuters)

FBI, DHS Warn of Hacker Mercenaries Funded by Nation-States. Lines between government-backed hackers and cyber criminals are getting fuzzier, top officials told lawmakers Thursday. (NextGov)


Forget Facebook, Amazon or Google. Up-and-coming top tech talent is opting for startups. A flight to the top at the world's most established technology companies is no longer the most sought-after route to success. (Recode)

Government study shows lack of diversity in tech. A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report details a lack of racial diversity among technology firms, particularly among black employees. (The Hill)

Robots could replace nearly a third of the U.S. workforce by 2030. Over the next 13 years, the rising tide of automation will force as many as 70 million workers in the United States to find another way to make money, a new study from the global consultancy McKinsey predicts. (Washington Post)

Life After Blowing the Whistle in Silicon Valley. When Francisco Riordan suspected his company of breaking the law last year, he secretly reached out to federal regulators. (Bloomberg)

Internet of Things
Amazon Trumpets Its Cloud Lead With N.F.L. and Other Deals. Amazon Web Services, led by Andy Jassy, has more than 44 percent of the cloud computing market, analysts estimate. (New York Times)

Amazon adopts open cloud technology as competition heats up. Inc on Wednesday announced its adoption of Kubernetes, a popular open-source technology, in a sign of increased competition in the cloud computing business, which Amazon Web Services has long dominated. (Reuters)

GM plans large-scale launch of self-driving cars in U.S. cities in 2019. General Motors Co laid out its vision for self-driving vehicles on Thursday, telling investors it planned a commercial launch of fleets of fully autonomous robo-taxis in multiple dense urban environments in 2019, in a challenge to rivals such as Alphabet Inc's Waymo. (Reuters)

Energy Idea for Mars Yields a Clue for Powering Data Centers. As a scientist working for NASA in the 1990s, K. R. Sridhar developed a contraption that could use energy from the sun to transform the elements of the Martian atmosphere into breathable air or propulsion fuel. (New York Times)
Oil exporters agree to extend output curbs. The world's leading oil exporting nations have agreed to extend production curbs, aimed at boosting the oil price, by nine months. (BBC)
Oil Producers, Led by Saudi Arabia and OPEC, Likely to Extend Cuts. OPEC and other major oil producers looked close on Thursday to wrapping up a deal extending output cuts through the end of 2018, part of efforts to bolster prices. (New York Times)
How Elon Musk Brought the World's Biggest Battery to Rural Australia. The state of South Australia is expected to announce Friday that it has powered up the world's biggest battery: a feat already being heralded as one of this century's first great engineering marvels and a potential solution to the country's energy woes. (New York Times)

Score One for Corn: In Battle Over Biofuel, a Rare Setback for Big Oil. America's cars run partly on fuels derived from corn and soy. That's because of a decade-old federal mandate beloved by Midwestern farmers but opposed by an unusual coalition of oil refiners and environmentalists. (New York Times)

Electricity Prices Plummet as Gas, Wind Gain Traction and Demand Stalls. The rapid rise of wind and natural gas as sources of electricity is roiling U.S. power markets, forcing more companies to close older generating plants. (Wall Street Journal)


Tesla Going At 'Warp Speed,' But Lags In Race To Produce Mass Market Electric Cars. You can see how different Tesla is from the rest of the car companies at a place like the LA Auto Show. The tiny Tesla booth has only one car on display. There's no glitz, or models leaning seductively. But it was swamped during a showing for journalists. (Los Angeles Times)

Volkswagen's Namesake Brand to Build Electric Cars in U.S. Volkswagen AG's VW brand announced plans Thursday to build one or two electric vehicles in the U.S. by 2023, probably at its Chattanooga, Tenn. factory, as tougher emissions rules drive the global auto industry toward mass production of battery powered cars. (Wall Street Journal)

Two melting glaciers could decide the fate of our coastlines. In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage. (Wired)

Tech Business
Express Scripts CEO sees Amazon as a potential pharmacy partner. Express Scripts had a word of caution for Amazon as it weighs its push into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market. (CNBC)
Luxury auto brands adopt new strategies as the old run out of gas. Success in the United States used to come easily for German automaker BMW AG, whose sporty sedans in three sizes would be snapped up by affluent consumers. (Reuters)
Google May Reunite With Nest as It Takes on Amazon. Integration of Alphabet units would reverse an element of 2015 split as Google and Nest chase Amazon in home devices.Google is considering folding home-automation unit Nest Labs into its hardware team, according to people familiar with the talks, reversing a major element of Google's split two years ago into various businesses under holding company Alphabet Inc. (Wall Street Journal)
How 41 People in Lithuania Took Over Your Facebook Feed. Of all of Facebook's superpowers, perhaps the most disconcerting is how it can make online publishers disappear with the push of a button. (New York Times)
E-Commerce Boosts U.S. Shipping Networks. Resurgent demand in the long-stagnant industrial sector and a big seasonal boost in e-commerce are pushing more goods through shipping networks on the land, water and air, say operators who expect the strengthening U.S. economy to keep the growth going into 2018. (Wall Street Journal)
Tencent Music, Spotify in Talks to Swap Stakes Ahead of Planned Listings. The music group of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sweden's Spotify AB are in talks to swap stakes of up to 10% in each other's businesses ahead of their expected public listings next year, according to people familiar with the matter. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Amazon's Alexa heads to the workplace. The Alexa voice assistant has been Amazon's remarkable runaway hit this past year. (BBC)
Apple supports World AIDS Day with App Store, Apple Pay takeovers. In 2017, the money raised from Apple customers equates to 144 million days of medication that prevents the transmission of HIV from mothers to their unborn babies. (CNET)
Apple may make its own iPhone power management chips in 2018. The news from Nikkei hit Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor hard. (CNET)
Apple's Heart Study app can identify irregular heart rhythms. The app uses Apple Watch's sensor to calculate heart rate and rhythm, and can notify users who might be experiencing atrial fibrillation. (CNET)
BuzzFeed is losing website traffic as readers head for more traditional news sites. Major news sites have seen increased readership as Americans try to make sense of the tumultuous political climate, but BuzzFeed has seen its web traffic decline. (Recode)
Ex-Autonomy executive cuts deal with U.S. in HP fraud probe. A former executive at British software company Autonomy has agreed to become a cooperating witness to resolve U.S. charges that he and others schemed to deceive investors about the firm's performance before its sale to Hewlett Packard in 2011. (Reuters)
Can Antonio Neri Revive HP Enterprise After Meg Whitman?. Meg Whitman's tenure at Hewlett-Packard was marked by a series of splits and sales that reshaped the storied Silicon Valley company. Now, her successor, Antonio Neri, must take the remnants and reignite innovation. (Wall Street Journal)
Why Amazon Orders in Mexico Need Cash and the Corner Store. A lack of credit cards and a high rate of robberies put a twist on e-commerce. (Bloomberg)
Amazon patents self-destructing drone that falls apart in an emergency. One of the big worries about delivery drones is what happens if something goes wrong mid-delivery? We don't want people's parcels (or the drones carrying them) falling from the sky, causing damage and injury. Well, Amazon thinks this might not actually be a bad idea - as long as the drones fall safely. (The Verge)

Today on the Hill

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and resume consideration of H.R.1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
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