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Tech News Roundup - 02/13/2018

Tech News Roundup

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02/13/2018

Key Issues

Infrastructure

Trump's Infrastructure Plan Counts on States to Do Heavy Lifting. States get new flexibility and streamlined permitting, but finding funding for projects remains a challenge. (Wall Street Journal)

Infrastructure Plan Puts Onus on Local Governments. The Trump administration released a long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday that seeks to replace traditional federal publics-works programs with a new system of incentives intended to prod state and local governments to raise their own funds for physical improvements. (Wall Street Journal)

Democrats dogpile Trump infrastructure plan. The infrastructure proposal that President Donald Trump released Monday is already getting a thumbs down from Democrats in both chambers, whose support will be key to seeing any plan through to enactment. (Politico Pro)
Immigration

Senate begins the shaky search for an immigration deal. Senators on Monday kicked off an open-ended immigration debate that promises to test their rusty skills at bipartisan legislating, with no guarantee of success. (Politico Pro)

Senate to Hold Immigration Debate - With the Outcome Unknown. With the fate of hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants in the balance, the Senate on Monday will begin an open-ended debate on immigration - an exceedingly rare step that, in effect, will allow senators to attempt to build a bill from scratch on the Senate floor. (New York Times)
Tech Politics

Corker weighs his options as GOP frets about losing Tennessee. Retiring Sen. Bob Corker is "listening" to Republicans urging him to run for reelection, according to a person close to him, a development that would quell anxiety among Republicans over losing a must-win seat to Democrats this fall. (Politico Pro)
Taxes

California has a plan to skirt the GOP tax law. IRS veterans say it is likely doomed. California's plan to shield residents from a tax hike under President Trump's tax plan is likely to fail, said seven former high-ranking Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department officials. (Washington Post)

Global Trade

Trump Says He Plans 'Reciprocal Tax' on Some U.S. Trading Partners. President Donald Trump said Monday he planned to announce as soon as this week what he called a "reciprocal tax" on trade, aimed at countries that he said are taking advantage of the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)

Artificial Intelligence

Google Makes Its Special A.I. Chips Available to Others. A few years ago, Google created a new kind of computer chip to help power its giant artificial intelligence systems. These chips were designed to handle the complex processes that some believe will be a key to the future of the computer industry. (New York Times)
Universities Rush to Roll Out Computer Science Ethics Courses. This semester, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are jointly offering a new course on the ethics and regulation of artificial intelligence. (New York Times)

As China Marches Forward on A.I., the White House Is Silent. In July, China unveiled a plan to become the world leader in artificial intelligence and create an industry worth $150 billion to its economy by 2030. (New York Times)
How Artificial Intelligence Is Edging Its Way Into Our Lives. In Phoenix, cars are self-navigating the streets. (New York Times)

UK outs extremism blocking tool and could force tech firms to use it. The UK government's pressure on tech giants to do more about online extremism just got weaponized. (Tech Crunch)
Public Sector

OMB launches updated Performance.gov with IT modernization 'backbone'. As the Trump administration issued its budget request for fiscal 2019 on Monday, the Office of Management and Budget quietly re-launched the Performance.gov website with a new focus on IT modernization as a key driver to the White House's strategy for federal reform. (Fed Scoop)

White House budget calls for $210M for IT modernization fund. As expected, President Donald Trump's fiscal 2019 budget request proposes increased spending for IT, with an emphasis on modernization efforts. (Fed Scoop)
Cybersecurity

Cyber spending escapes budget cuts in Trump proposal. For the second-straight year, President Donald Trump has presented a budget crowing about its cybersecurity investments, a stark contrast to the financial cuts proposed across many areas. (Politico Pro)
What we know about the Olympic malware attack. The newly discovered malware known as "Olympic Destroyer" was specifically designed to attack the Olympics, researchers have found, although the first batch of investigations haven't been able to pin point the source. (Axios)
Privacy

German court rules Facebook use of personal data illegal. A German consumer rights group said on Monday that a court had found Facebook's use of personal data to be illegal because the U.S. social media platform did not adequately secure the informed consent of its users. (Reuters)
Broadband/Communications

5G Is Making Its Global Debut at Olympics, and It's Wicked Fast. The first to experience the future of wireless technology, well before most humans, will be South Korea's wild boars. That's because 5G, the fifth-generation wireless network, is making its worldwide debut at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. (Bloomberg)
Internet of Things

Self-Driving Car Safety Legislation Stalls in the Senate. Three Democratic senators place holds on bill that would ease restrictions on development of autonomous vehicles. (Wall Street Journal)
Oracle Leaps Into the Costly Cloud Arms Race. Computer giant plans to quadruple number of giant data-center complexes over next two years. (Wall Street Journal)
Cloud Bills Will Get Loftier. Capital spending by big cloud operators accelerated last year and is unlikely to slow this year. (Wall Street Journal)

Google hires former Samsung executive to coordinate Internet of Things projects. Google spokeswoman Jane Hynes confirmed to Reuters Rhee's hiring by Google's cloud computing unit, but declined to comment further. (Reuters)
Energy

Big Batteries Are Taking a Bite Out of the Power Market. Batteries charged by renewable energy are nibbling at power plants that generate extra surges of electricity during peak hours. (Wall Street Journal)
Trump seeks to shift Energy Dept. priorities with clean energy cuts, $2 billion boost to nuclear spending. The Trump administration's fiscal 2019 budget might never become law, but it's a declaration of intent, and it would reshuffle priorities at the Energy Department, boosting outlays on nuclear security and slashing spending on renewables and energy efficiency. (Washington Post)
Tech Business
Apple Music may finally have the muscle to knock off Spotify. Apple is turning up the volume on Apple Music, the streaming subscription that comes loaded on its devices, including the new HomePod smart speaker. (Washington Post)
Grocery delivery startup Instacart raises $200 million and prepares to battle Amazon. Grocery delivery service Instacart has raised $200 million in fresh funding, the company said on Monday, boosting its valuation and providing new resources for the startup to compete against heavyweight Amazon.com Inc. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Inside the two years that shook Facebook - and the world. How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all. (Wired)
Broadcom Secures as Much as $100 Billion of Debt Funding for Qualcomm Bid. KKR, CVC join Silver Lake in providing $6 billion in convertible debt for the bid. (Wall Street Journal)
Amazon is laying off hundreds of workers as it adds aggressively elsewhere. Amazon.com is laying off hundreds of workers in its Seattle headquarters and beyond, reversing a years-long trend of breakneck hiring and expansion, according to a person familiar with the company's decision. (Washington Post)
Facebook creating news section to guide readers to accurate sources. Campbell Brown, Head of Facebook's Journalism Project, said at the Recode Media conference on Monday that the company is experimenting with a news section within Facebook's video platform "Watch". (Axios)
One of the world's largest advertisers threatens to pull its ads from Facebook and Google over toxic content. One of the world's largest advertisers warned that it could pull its ads from online networks, such as Facebook and YouTube, if the tech companies do not minimize divisive content on their platforms. (Washington Post)
YouTube Revamped Its Ad System. AT&T Still Hasn't Returned. AT&T, one of the nation's biggest marketers, has yet to return to YouTube nearly a year after pulling its advertising from the platform because of concerns that it could appear alongside offensive material. (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
The Senate will convene and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R.2579, the vehicle for immigration legislation at 10:00 a.m.
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