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Tech News Roundup - 02/08/2018

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Key Issues

Tech and the Media

When the media becomes a political weapon. Political operatives who once relied on one-sided media outlets and platforms during campaigns now acknowledge their role in the erosion of trust in media and facts in general. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, Axios)


Fears rise as spouses of high-skilled visa holders could lose work. Sometimes, it feels as though Prashanthi Reddy's life is just made up of deadlines and worry. (ITI Mention, The Columbus Dispatch)
Congressional Leaders Say They Agree on Budget Deal. Congressional leaders said Wednesday they had reached an agreement on a two-year budget deal, charting a path out of the turmoil over spending and immigration that had shuttered the government last month and left its long-term funding in jeopardy. (Wall Street Journal)
Nancy Pelosi Held House Floor for 8 Hours to Advocate for "Dreamers". Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, took to the House floor at precisely 10:04 a.m. E.S.T. Wednesday, intent on speaking about the young undocumented immigrants known as "Dreamers." (New York Times)
Conservatives slam budget deal. Fiscal hawks on Capitol Hill panned the budget deal reached by Republican leaders and Democrats on Thursday as fiscally irresponsible and an abrogation of the GOP's congressional majorities. (Politico Pro)
Global Trade

EU seeks U.S. compensation for solar panel tariffs: WTO. The European Union has sent the United States a demand for talks on compensation for steep U.S. tariffs imposed on imported solar panels, a World Trade Organization filing showed on Wednesday. (Reuters)
GOP senators got a rare meeting to bend Trump's ear on trade. They think he listened. Senate Finance Committee Republicans used a rare White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to stress how trade affects the American economy - urging him to preserve NAFTA and, in turn, jobs in their districts. (Politico Pro)


France, Germany want progress on taxing tech giants. France and Germany intensified calls on Wednesday for U.S. technology giants to pay more tax in the European Union, with Paris saying the new bill could amount to billions of euros. (Reuters)

Democrats say corporate shareholders have pocketed nearly $100 billion from GOP tax law. Twenty-seven of the United States' biggest businesses have already spent about $100 billion buying back stocks from shareholders in 2018, a move that shows how the new Republican tax law is primarily benefiting wealthy Americans and large corporations, says a new report unveiled by three Senate Democrats. (Washington Post)
Tech Politics

Debate over tech addiction descends on Washington. The growing national debate over the addictive properties of social media came to Washington's front step Wednesday, opening the door to what could be a new policy battle for the country's biggest technology companies. (Politico Pro)
Top Democrat sees evidence that tech can become addictive. The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday he thinks there's a mounting body of evidence that some major tech products can become addictive. (Axios)

Public Sector

Drones that automatically investigate gunfire may soon swarm in Louisville. The city has requested permission to operate the aircraft beyond visual line of sight, as allowed by an experimental "innovation zone" program started by the Trump administration. (State Scoop)
With New CIO at Helm, Baltimore Crafts First Strategic IT Plan. Former Intel executive Frank Johnson, Baltimore's new chief information officer, is spearheading creation of its first digital transformation plan. (Gov Tech)
DOD Issued a $7 Million Cloud Support Contract To a Company With One Employee. The Defense Department awarded a sole-source contract to Eagle Harbor Solutions, an Alaska-based small business with a single employee, to consult in its major cloud acquisition. (ITI Trey Hodgkins Quoted, Next Gov)
Inside North Korea's Hacker Army. The regime in Pyongyang has sent hundreds of programmers to other countries. Their mission: Make money by any means necessary. Here's what their lives are like. (Bloomberg)
U.S. shuts down cyber crime ring launched by Ukrainian. The U.S. Justice Department announced one of its largest-ever takedowns of a global cyber crime ring on Wednesday, saying it had indicted 36 people accused of trafficking in stolen identities and causing more than $530 million in losses to consumers. (Reuters)

Chinese Police Add Facial-Recognition Glasses to Surveillance ArsenalCensorship. Police are donning the devices as hundreds of millions of Chinese begin traveling for the Lunar New Year holiday. (Wall Street Journal)

Microsoft, Adobe and Mattel among 40 companies pledging to make workplace changes to help women succeed. At the annual MAKERS Conference in Los Angeles this morning, more than 40 business leaders took to the stage to pledge to make changes to help women in the workplace. (CNBC)
What inclusivity really means, from the woman who held the highest tech job in America. Tech and science are notoriously male-dominated fields, which means girls and women interested in STEM lack powerful female role models. (Quartz)
Why Breaking Into the Boardroom Is Harder for Women. Businesses prefer veteran female directors over untested ones, research shows. (Wall Street Journal)
Enter the robots: automation fills gaps in east Europe's factories. Plant manager Gabor Kiraly remembers the meeting a couple of years ago when he and his Austrian bosses learnt how severe the worker shortage in Hungary was about to become - it was, he said, a "shocking realization". (Reuters)

California says will block crude oil from Trump offshore drilling plan. California will block the transportation through its state of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs, officials told Reuters on Wednesday, a move meant to hobble the Trump administration's effort to vastly expand drilling in U.S. federal waters. (Reuters)

If the world builds every coal plant that's planned, climate change goals are doomed, scientists say. The much-heralded demise of the coal industry may be overstated, a new scientific analysis asserts - finding that if all planned plants were constructed, the world would have little chance of meeting its climate change goals. (Washington Post)

Tech Business

Twitter could report its first profitable quarter ever. It's been a long time coming. (Recode)

ITI Member News

Why Google's Bosses Became 'Unpumped' About Uber. Uber and Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google's parent company, Alphabet, used to be like brothers. (New York Times)
How YouTube Drives People to the Internet's Darkest Corners. Google's video site often recommends divisive or misleading material, despite recent changes designed to fix the problem. (Wall Street Journal)
Alphabet shifts thermostat maker Nest into Google. Alphabet Inc merged smart thermostat maker Nest, which had operated as an independent unit, into its Google hardware group, the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Samsung chairman named as suspect in $7.5 million tax evasion case. Samsung Electronics' (005930.KS) ailing chairman, Lee Kun-hee, was named by South Korean police on Thursday as a suspect in an 8.2 billion won ($7.5 million) tax evasion case that involved the use of bank accounts held by employees. (Reuters)

Toyota Bets on Future of Taxis With Ride-Hailing App Investment. Toyota Motor Corp. is doubling down on taxis. (Bloomberg)
Amazon to Deliver Whole Foods Groceries. Inc. said it would start delivering Whole Foods groceries via its fastest delivery option in four markets, marking the first major integration between its e-commerce operations and its new brick-and-mortar grocery chain. (Wall Street Journal)
Russian watchdog says to examine Facebook in second half. Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Thursday it would carry out an audit into Facebook's compliance with Russian legislation in the second half of the year. (Reuters)

Today on the Hill

The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m. and resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R.695, the vehicle for FY2018 Department of Defense Appropriations.
The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for morning hour and 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Last votes expected: TBD.
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