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Tech News Roundup - 12/15/2017

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What's in the new tax bill. Republicans reached agreement Wednesday on melding the House and Senate tax legislation into a single bill that they hope to send to President Donald Trump next week. (Politico)

Trump chose five families to show how the tax bill benefits them. Their stories show the reality is complicated. Bryant and Ashley Glick of New Holland, Pa., got a call Monday asking whether the couple would like to come to the White House and meet President Trump. They couldn't say yes fast enough. (Washington Post)

Last-Ditch Effort to Sway Senator on Tax Bill Involves Personal Pleas. As a group of progressive activists and constituents prepared for a 15-minute meeting on Wednesday with Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, they sat in the lobby of her office and developed a last-ditch strategy to persuade her to vote against the $1.5 trillion tax bill barreling through Congress: tears. (New York Times)

Republicans Hunt for Ways to Pay for Tax Cuts. A day after House and Senate Republican leaders said they had reached agreement on a merged version of their tax bill, they continued looking for ways to pay for the tax overhaul and faced the possible defection of a Republican senator, Marco Rubio of Florida. (New York Times)

Several Republican Senators Press for Late Changes in Tax Bill. Several Republican senators expressed last-minute doubts about the tax-overhaul plan in Congress, possibly an attempt to strengthen their negotiating positions before a compromise plan set to be released on Friday and final votes planned for early next week. (Wall Street Journal)

With GOP on the verge of a tax victory, Rubio throws in a wrench. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has finally thrown down the gauntlet and is saying no - at least for now. (Politico Pro)

Final tax plan expected to keep medical deduction and grad student waiver, a relief to millions. Andrew Devendorf has contacted Sen. Marco Rubio's office every other day for the past month to beg the Florida Republican to make sure Congress's final tax bill doesn't make graduate school unaffordable for him and 179,000 other PhD students in the United States. (Washington Post)

GOP considers letting tax cuts for families expire sooner. Congressional Republicans are looking at shortening the duration of tax cuts that their plan would give to families and individuals, a leading lawmaker said Thursday. (Washington Post)

Proposed tax for graduate students killed, student loan interest deduction saved in congressional bill. Senate and House Republican leaders have agreed to abandon many of the controversial proposals that higher-education leaders and students had rallied to thwart, according to congressional aides. (Washington Post)

The GOP tax bill could be even more costly than it looks. The Senate Republican tax bill is built on shaky assumptions, such as sunsets of the individual tax provisions that the GOP argues will never actually happen. (Axios)

Republican Tax Bill Faces New Uncertainty Ahead of Expected Vote. House and Senate Republicans faced a new round of uncertainty on Thursday about the fate of their $1.5 trillion tax bill with the possible defection of a Republican senator, Marco Rubio of Florida, amid continuing questions about how the bill will be paid for and how much of the benefits will flow to low- and middle-income people versus corporations. (New York Times)

With Billions at Stake in Tax Debate, Lobbyists Played Hardball. As the largest tax rewrite in decades powered through Congress, lobbyists found themselves sprinting to keep up and find ways to persuade, influence or cajole the small group of lawmakers empowered to tweak language in the final version of the joint Senate and House bill. (New York Times)

As Republican tax vote nears, more senators waver. President Donald Trump's drive to win passage of a sweeping Republican tax bill in the U.S. Congress hit potential obstacles on Thursday as two more Republican senators insisted on changes, joining a list of lawmakers whose support is uncertain. (Reuters)

Tech Politics

Silicon Valley is flipping elections in its spare time. Tech for Campaigns, a San Francisco group that connects tech volunteers with progressive and centrist campaigns, matched Simonds up with experienced digital marketers, designers, and video producers from companies such as Netflix, Google, and Amazon. (Quartz)

Global Trade

Canada's CEOs Warn Government on Trade Policy. Canada's most prominent business leaders are "deeply concerned" by setbacks to diversify trade in Asia in the face of uncertainty over the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a letter their lobbyist sent to Finance Minister Bill Morneau. (Wall Street Journal)

Artificial Intelligence

Google Brain co-founder teams with Foxconn to bring AI to factories. Andrew Ng, co-founder of some of Alphabet Inc-owned Google's most prominent artificial intelligence projects, on Thursday launches a new venture with iPhone assembler Foxconn to bring AI and so-called machine learning onto the factory floor. (Reuters)

Two new planets discovered with Google AI. A Google machine learning algorithm found two new planets in previously studied data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. (Axios)

AI advances at detecting cancer - but it can't see you now. Medicine is poised to be one place where AI makes a mark. In a study published this week, researchers report that a machine algorithm was as good - or better - than pathologists at detecting the spread of a type of breast cancer. (Axios)


Congress must act on the 'dreamers'. The holidays are upon us, and families across the United States are coming together to celebrate. Yet for about 690,000 of our neighbors, colleagues and friends, this holiday season is marked by uncertainty and fear. (Washington Post, OpEd)

The White House plan to shift Americans' views on immigration. The Trump administration is planning a push to convince the American public that the current U.S. immigration system is "bad for American workers" and "bad for American security," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told AP. (Axios)


AT&T Agrees to Contract, and Union Backs Time Warner Deal. Stemming the tide of rising economic insecurity for service workers, a major union has won significant job protection and increased pay for about 20,000 AT&T wireless employees, as well as a commitment to bring work back from overseas. (New York Times)


F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules. The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies the power to potentially reshape Americans' online experiences. (New York Times)

Why Net Neutrality Was Repealed and How It Affects You. The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules, which required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content without charging consumers for higher-quality delivery or giving preferential treatment to certain websites. (New York Times)

How the loss of net neutrality could change the internet. The repeal of net neutrality ushers in a new chapter of the internet that could eventually transform the way Americans communicate, shop and consume information online. (Politico Pro)

Here's how tech's responding to the net neutrality vote. The tech industry vocally opposed the FCC's decision to reverse Obama-era net neutrality policies. (CNET)

White House supports FCC net neutrality vote, 'free and fair internet'. The White House said on Thursday that it supported the Federal Communications Commission's vote to repeal 2015 rules that aimed to ensure free and open internet, but added that it would continue to support wide access to the internet. (Reuters)

FCC CTO worries about a world without net neutrality. The Obama administration-era policy that re-categorized the internet from an information service to a common carrier to give the Federal Communications Commission legal regulatory authority over internet providers was reversed in a 3-2 party-line vote Thursday. (Federal Computer Week)

New York state AG to sue over net neutrality reversal. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and at least two other state law enforcement chiefs said on Thursday he would lead a multi-state legal challenge to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission vote to reverse landmark 2015 net neutrality rules. (Reuters)

Washington AG to sue over net neutrality repeal. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that he would sue to block the end of net neutrality rules, becoming the latest state attorney general to announce a challenge to the repeal. (The Hill)

Facebook exec slams FCC rollback of net neutrality. Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg hammered the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its decision to roll back net neutrality rules on Thursday. (The Hill)

Netflix rips net neutrality repeal: 'This is the beginning of a longer legal battle'. Netflix on Thursday ripped the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality rules, calling it "misguided." (The Hill)

Net neutrality repeal gives Democrats fresh way to reach millennials. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission vote on Thursday to roll back net neutrality rules could galvanize young voters, a move Democrats hope will send millennials to the polls in greater numbers and bolster their chances in next year's elections. (Reuters)

Public Sector

White House Unveils Latest Plan to Fix Government Technology. The first center of excellence will be a partnership between the Agriculture Department, White House, General Services Administration and industry. (Nextgov)

White House to Launch Revamped Website. The White House has redesigned its flagship website in an attempt to match the multimedia capabilities of counterparts in the private sector, a senior administration official told reporters Thursday. (NextGov)

Game-changing attack on critical infrastructure site causes outage. Hackers who may have been working on behalf of a nation recently caused an operational outage at a critical-infrastructure site, researchers said Thursday. The attackers did so by using a novel piece of malware to target the system that prevents health- and life-threatening accidents. (Ars Technica)

Internet of Things

Ford Chooses a Detroit Base to Take On Silicon Valley. In a bid to link its historic past with its future products, Ford Motor said on Thursday that it had chosen a site near downtown Detroit as the base for a high-level team working on self-driving and electric cars. (New York Times)

No More Car Keys? There's a Smartphone App for That. The clunky key fob needed to enter or start cars could be joining the cassette player and other outdated components in the automotive history books. (Wall Street Journal)

Where wind farms meet coal country, there's enduring faith in Trump. Hoping for more unfettered production of coal, oil, and gas even as it erects wind farms, a Wyoming country sees the president as a key to job security. (New York Times)

Here's What Oil Drilling Looks Like in the Arctic Refuge, 30 Years Later. These satellite images of a small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge show the site of what, so far, is the only oil well ever drilled in the refuge, an exploratory well known as KIC-1 that was completed in the mid-1980s. (New York Times)

Time running out for opponents of Arctic drilling. Opponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) are running out of time and leverage. (The Hill)


How Republicans Think About Climate Change - in Maps. Over the past two decades, Republicans have grown increasingly doubtful about climate change, even as Democrats have grown increasingly convinced that it's happening and is caused by humans. (New York Times)

Tech Business
Koch Industries launches a venture capital group. Charles and David Koch might differ strongly with most of Silicon Valley on politics, but they believe there can be alignment when it comes to disruptive technologies. (Axios)

Siemens partners with Amazon as it ramps up industrial software platform. Siemens is partnering with Amazon as it accelerates the rollout of its MindSphere industrial software platform, the core of its bid to dominate the market in digital factory automation. (Reuters)

With Fox Deal, Disney Adds Hulu to Its Digital Kingdom. More than a decade ago, big Hollywood players created Hulu in a joint bid to fend off the threat from piracy on websites like YouTube. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Facebook Overhauls Video-Ad Strategy Again. Facebook Inc. is changing its video-ad strategy again, potentially amplifying tensions with many publishers who were already frustrated with their inability to earn significant money from videos posted on the platform. (Wall Street Journal)
Samsung, Honda sign up for IBM's quantum computing. IBM's quantum computers have taken a step out of the lab and into the real world as Samsung, Daimler, Honda, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and others have signed up to use the exotic machines for research. (CNET)
Oracle Shares Fall on Cloud Forecast. Oracle Corp.'s stock sank after hours following news that the growth of its cloud-computing business in the current quarter would fall below expectations. (Wall Street Journal)

Today on the Hill

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