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Tech News Roundup - 12/04/2017

Tech News Roundup

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12/04/2017

Key Issues

Taxes

What We Know About Corporate Winners and Losers in U.S. Tax Bill. The tax bill passed by Republicans in the U.S. Senate over the weekend may boost profits for industries from banking to retail to fossil fuels. It also could put the squeeze on hospitals and renewable energy firms. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Bloomberg)

How a Company Actually Plans to Spend Its Tax Cut Money. Republicans have pitched their tax plan as an economic godsend that will offer deliverance from middling growth and set off a torrent of investment, hiring and raises. But at a quarry here in Southern California's high desert, the outcome doesn't look so straightforward. (New York Times)

Tax Bill Offers Last-Minute Breaks for Developers, Banks and Oil Industry. The overhaul by Republican lawmakers of the nation's tax laws percolated for weeks with virtually no public input, and by the end it turned into a chaotic mad dash with many last-minute changes on Friday night and Saturday morning, some handwritten in the margins of the nearly 500-page bill. (New York Times)

Who Gains From the Tax Plan? Economists Face Off. Republican leaders say their proposals will fuel investment and job creation. Critics say that the rich are the beneficiaries and that debt will weigh on growth. We asked two economists, one from each side, to make their cases. (New York Times)

FACT CHECK: How Does Paul Ryan's Case For Tax Cuts Match The Facts?. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is moving close to victory. After a frustrating year in which Republicans who control Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is moving closer to approving its first major legislation of 2017. (NPR)

Passage of Senate Tax Bill Puts R&D Tax Credit in Doubt. Senate Republicans, in their final push last week to pass a sweeping tax bill, may have undermined a research-and-development tax credit many companies count on to encourage innovation. (Wall Street Journal)

Senate Tax Revisions Mostly Favorable to Venture-Capital Firms. The Senate's passage of a proposed overhaul to the U.S. tax code caps a period of uncertainty for the tech industry, spurring a sigh of relief from venture-capital investors. (Wall Street Journal)

Hours after Senate GOP passes tax bill, Trump says he'll consider raising corporate rate. Hours after the pre-dawn passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut, President Trump suggested for the first time Saturday that he would consider a higher corporate rate than the one Senate Republicans had just endorsed, in remarks that could complicate sensitive negotiations to pass a final bill. (Washington Post)

How an unequal tax cut grew more unequal. When Senate Republicans introduced their tax bill in mid-November, they faced competing interests: Some senators thought it wasn't generous enough for working-class families. Others thought it didn't deliver enough to business owners. (Washington Post)

House committee clashes over plans to delay Cadillac tax. Bipartisan House negotiations to delay several Obamacare taxes by the end of the year have been bogged down amid disagreements over when to delay the Cadillac tax on high-cost health plans and the looming threat of a possible government shutdown, according to Republican and Democratic sources. (Politico Pro)

How McConnell got a win on taxes. On a recent phone call to discuss the GOP's tax push, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested President Donald Trump focus his personal lobbying efforts on one senator in particular: Ron Johnson. (Politico Pro)

What's next on tax reform. Republicans are confident they can quickly overcome the differences between the House and Senate tax bills and send President Donald Trump a plan he can sign into law by year's end. (Politico Pro)

Another delicate challenge for Republicans: Reconciling House and Senate tax bills. Republicans will try Monday to urgently reconcile the tax overhaul bills they passed in the House and Senate, entering a delicate period where they have to retain the support of their party's conservative and moderate members. (Washington Post)

What happened when North Carolina cut taxes like the GOP plans to for the country. For a peek into a world after a massive tax cut, visit North Carolina and ride along with factory owner Eric Henry. (Washington Post)

Tech Politics

Congress faces frantic week with possible shutdown, taxes, Russia. Congress faces another frantic week as GOP leaders and President Donald Trump wrestle with a possible government shutdown; immigration, tax and gun policies; multiple allegations of sexual harassment against lawmakers and the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. (Politico Pro)

Twitter doesn't know why Trump's anti-Muslim tweets are still up. Initially, Twitter said the anti-Muslim videos retweeted by President Trump would stay up because of public interest. Now, it says it's reconsidering. (CNET)

G.O.P. Pushes to Avoid Government Shutdown, but the Path Is Tricky. Republicans are moving toward passing a two-week stopgap measure to avoid a looming government shutdown, but the path in the coming weeks is treacherous, with obstacles on both sides of the aisle as lawmakers push their own priorities, some unrelated to government spending. (New York Times)

Global Trade

Internet Liability Question Holds Up NAFTA Digital Trade Chapter. A provision to shield companies such as Yelp Inc. and Twitter Inc. from liability for third-party content on their sites is one of a handful of sticking points left before negotiators can finalize a digital trade chapter for a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexican and Canadian officials said Dec. 1. (BNA)

Canada's Trudeau Steps Up on Trade, as America Under Trump Pulls Back. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau landed in Beijing on Sunday, with expanding trade with China at the top of his agenda. As the United States under President Trump becomes increasingly protectionist, Canada is moving in the opposite direction. (New York Times)

Artificial Intelligence

China's A.I. Advances Help Its Tech Industry, and State Security. During President Trump's visit to Beijing, he appeared on screen for a special address at a tech conference. (New York Times)

'Intelligent' Policing and My Innocent Children. Last month I spoke at a gathering of African-American technology professionals. I'm a transactional lawyer at a tech company and my husband is an engineer, so the industry is at the center of our lives. (New York Times, OpEd)

Future wars may depend as much on algorithms as on ammunition, report says. The Pentagon is increasingly focused on the notion that the might of U.S. forces will be measured as much by the advancement of their algorithms as by the ammunition in their arsenals. (Washington Post)

Immigration

Court overrules DHS delay on Obama's entrepreneur visa rule. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned the Department of Homeland Security's delay of President Obama's International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) on Friday. (Axios)

Trump administration takes DACA documents fight to Supreme Court. The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to block a judge's demand that the government compile a broad set of records about how officials decided to shut down the program offering quasi-legal status and work permits to so-called DREAMers. (Politico Pro)

U.S. appeals courts to consider legality of Trump's latest travel ban. Federal appeals courts in the states of Washington and Virginia are set to hear arguments this week on the legality of President Donald Trump's most recent travel ban, which sharply limits visitors and immigrants from eight countries, six of them Muslim-majority. (Reuters)

'This is the moment': Dreamers face make-or-break push on immigration fight with Trump. Through three presidents over a decade, young undocumented immigrants known as "dreamers" have emerged as a potent political force and the sympathetic public face of the immigration debate. (Washington Post)

Antitrust

Tim Wu's new book calls for tighter antitrust enforcement. The man who coined the term "net neutrality" is now calling for "a return to sort of Progressive Era style antitrust enforcement that is focused on concentration and size." (Axios)

Broadband/Communications

Preparing for the End of Net Neutrality, City Tech Leaders Warn of Widening Digital Divide. As municipal governments in New York City, Seattle and elsewhere vocally oppose a repeal, leaders also say they are preparing resources to monitor its impact once it happens. (GovTech)

FCC's net neutrality repeal sparks backlash. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) plan to scrap net neutrality rules governing how internet providers handle web traffic has unleashed a wave of intense opposition. (The Hill)

FCC wants to kill net neutrality. Congress will pay the price. FCC Chair Ajit Pai's plan to repeal net neutrality provisions and reclassify broadband providers from "common carriers" to "information services" is an unprecedented giveaway to big broadband providers and a danger to the internet. (Wired)

From the Arctic's Melting Ice, an Unexpected Digital Hub. This is one of the most remote towns in the United States, a small gravel spit on the northwest coast of Alaska, more than 3,700 miles from New York City. Icy seas surround it on three sides, leaving only an unpaved path to the mainland. (New York Times)

The F.C.C. Wants to Let Telecoms Cash In on the Internet. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to let Comcast, Verizon and other broadband companies turn the internet into a latter-day version of cable TV, in which they decide what customers can watch and how much they pay for that content. (New York Times, Editorial)

Public Sector

Single-Source Cloud Effort Triggers Concerns of Waste, Monopoly. The recent Defense Department request for information about how best to acquire cloud computing services is causing contractors and several trade groups to issue stern warnings about the potential effects of choosing just one cloud provider. (ITAPS Trey Hodgkins Quoted, BNA)

The Government's Struggle to Hire Young Tech Talent is Worse Than You Thought. In the federal IT workforce, the number of employees age 60 or older is more than quadruple the number of specialists under the age of 30, according to a Nextgov analysis. (NextGov)

The new class of Presidential Innovation Fellows is here. On Tuesdayafternoon, the new class of Presidential Innovation Fellows took a trip to Capitol Hill to meet with the man who made their current jobs possible. (FedScoop)

Digital-Currency Fever May Spread to Federal Reserve. It is time to start thinking about Fedcoin. (Wall Street Journal)

Internet of Things

Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump. A driverless car bill that had been speeding through the Senate hit a speed bump in the upper chamber this week. (The Hill)

Censorship
China's Top Ideologue Calls for Tight Control of Internet. Little heard from but hugely influential, the professor-turned-Communist theoretician who has been a major adviser to three Chinese leaders finally stepped out of the shadows on Sunday. (New York Times)

China's Xi says country will not close door to global internet. Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday the country will not close its door to the global internet, but that cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of internet development. (Reuters)

U.S. Tech CEOs Tout China Cooperation Amid Tighter Internet Rules. China's tightening grip on the internet has forced U.S. companies to recalibrate their efforts here, but there was little outward sign of friction as American executives on Sunday touted their commitment to the crucial Chinese market during the government's annual cyberspace conference. (Wall Street Journal)

Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Promotes Censorship. Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai made their first appearances at China's World Internet Conference, bringing star power to a gathering the Chinese government uses to promote strict online censorship. (Bloomberg)

Cybersecurity
Banks Build Line of Defense for Doomsday Cyberattack. U.S. banks have quietly launched a doomsday project they hope will prevent a run on the financial system should one of them suffer a debilitating cyberattack. (Wall Street Journal)

Workforce/Diversity
Silicon Valley Struggles to Add Conservatives to Its Ranks. This summer, Twitter Inc.'s new diversity chief met employees to discuss whether they felt welcome at work. Among those who said they sometimes felt excluded, according to people familiar with the matter, were conservatives. (Wall Street Journal)

Sheryl Sandberg thinks workplaces have a long way to go when it comes to empowering women. Like so many women who've spoken up this year, Sheryl Sandberg has experienced sexual harassment by men in power. (Mashable)

Now on Oracle's Campus, a $43 Million Public High School. Tech companies ship all kinds of products to public schools: laptops, online writing programs, learn-to-code lessons and more. (New York Times)
Facebook opens new London hub, to create 800 UK jobs. Facebook opened its new London office on Monday and said it would add another 800 jobs in the capital next year, underlining its commitment to Britain as the country prepares for Brexit. (Reuters)

Energy
World's Largest Battery Is Turned On In Australia As Tesla Ties Into Power Grid. The power grid in South Australia now includes a huge Tesla battery tied to a wind farm, allowing the system to supply electricity around the clock. (NPR)
Exclusive: Coal and nuclear firms seek billions in new tax credits. Two separate lobbying pushes are underway urging Congress to create new multi-billion dollar tax credits benefiting virtually all coal and nuclear power plants across the United States. The price tags: up to $65 billion for coal and $4.8 billion for nuclear. (Axios)

Environment/Sustainability

From the Arctic's Melting Ice, an Unexpected Digital Hub. The receding ice has opened new passageways for high-speed internet cables. Point Hope, a gravel spit in northwest Alaska, is along one of the new routes. (New York Times)
Trump's First Major Trade Fight With China Could Be Over Solar Panels. With President Trump vowing to get tougher on trade, troubled American makers of everything from steel tubing and aluminum foil to washing machines have lined up to ask Washington for protection from foreign rivals. (New York Times)
5 Takeaways From The Times's ClimateTECH Conference. Technology and business leaders gathered here on Thursday to discuss solutions to rising global temperatures at ClimateTECH, a conference hosted by The New York Times. (New York Times)

Tech Business
Apple's Tim Cook says developers have earned $17 billion from China App Store. Apple Inc's chief executive Tim Cook said developers using its platform in China number 1.8 million and have earned a total 112 billion yuan ($16.93 billion), representing roughly a quarter of total global App Store earnings. (Reuters)
The U.S. companies with the most cash parked overseas. Many of the largest U.S. companies - especially big tech players like Apple and Microsoft and pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer - have trillions of dollars parked in offshore subsidies. And they'd benefit immensely from the Republican tax overhaul, which would allow them to bring cash back into the U.S. at very low tax rates. (Axios)
A Virginia start-up embraces cryptocurrency to raise $700,000. Inexperienced entrepreneurs have long been at a disadvantage in the search for investment dollars, as many wealthy individuals brave enough to bet money on start-ups tend to favor seasoned business people. (Washington Post)

ITI Member News

Twitter Lite with lower data usage becomes available in 24 new countries. Twitter is rolling out its "Lite" version, after a successful trial in the Philippines. The Android app will become available in two dozen countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. (Tech Crunch)
Instacart is surviving the Amazon-Whole Foods deal just fine. When Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods back in March, some viewed it as a death knell for grocery delivery unicorn Instacart (whose best known customer, at the time, was Whole Foods). (Axios)
Safe Spaces Are an Answer to the Ever-More-Hostile Internet. America is finally waking up to the fact that the internet is an increasingly hostile and unsafe place to do business, hang out or share with friends. (Wall Street Journal)
Broadcom set to unveil challenge to Qualcomm's board: sources. Chipmaker Broadcom Ltd will take its first formal step on Monday toward a hostile bid to take over Qualcomm Inc, unveiling nominees whom Qualcomm shareholders can vote on to replace the U.S. semiconductor company's board of directors, according to people familiar with the matter. (Reuters)
Dialog shares tumble on warning Apple could build its own chips. Dialog Semiconductor said on Monday top customer Apple could build its own power-management chips into future iPhones rather than rely on the Anglo-German chipmaker, sending its shares plunging as much as 19 percent. (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

On Monday, the House will meet at 6:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m. and proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen, of Virginia, to be Secretary of Homeland Security.
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