News Roundup: Tech’s response to Trump’s immigration ban
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News Roundup: Tech’s response to Trump’s immigration ban

A roundup of the week’s tech news including robots on wheels, driverless disengagements, and Amazon & Apache.

Immigration

Shockingly, most of this week’s headlines revolved around President Donald Trump has immigration ban. The technology industry - largely created by newcomers to the country – was not quiet.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: “This executive order is one we do not support…We’re a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook: “Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: “As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “Like many of you, I'm concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk: “The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges.”

Box CEO Aaron Levie: “On every level -moral, humanitarian, economic, logical, etc.- this ban is wrong and is completely antithetical to the principles of America.”

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston: “Executive orders affecting world's most vulnerable are un-American. Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths.”

Google (which also set up a $2 million crisis fund): “"We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that create barriers to bringing great talent to the U.S.”

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield: “It's still so hard to believe that this is real life. Nearly every action seems gratuitously … evil.”

IndieGoGo: “It is because we feel so strongly about how much immigrants contribute to our country and our culture that we are so strongly opposed to the Executive Order issued by Donald Trump last Friday.”

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: “The Executive Orders issued over the past week defy the heart and values that define the best of our nation.”

Nest Founder Tony Fadell: “It sends a terrible message and, if not overturned, will ultimately damage not only American technology competitiveness but American competitiveness overall.”

Blackberry CEO John Chen: “I am disheartened and do not agree with the sharpness of President Trump’s executive order and immigration ban.”

Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey: “It's time to keep a vigil, stay united, and overcome this together.”

In the wake of #DeleteUber, the company’s CEO Travis Kalanick has stepped down from Trump’s economic advisory group. Musk, however, will stay in order to make humanity a “multi-planet civilization.”

Who watches the AI?

Greater transparency is needed within AI systems, according to researchers at the Alan Turing Institute in London and the University of Oxford. In a new report, they call for a third-party watchdog that can investigate and audit decisions taken by AI systems to ensure they are fair.

Apache, Amazon, and MXNet

MXNet, the open source Deep Learning framework used by Amazon, has been accepted to the Apache Incubator. Joining the accelerator is the first step to becoming officially part of the Apache Software Foundation. Becoming part of the foundation should help drive adoption and speed MXNet’s development.

Who's heard of GDPR?

We’ve written about the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation – aka GDPR – a lot here at IDG Connect. It seems we need to do more though after a new study by Netskope found that more than 60% of the UK have never heard of the incoming rules. Hopefully, everyone at your company who needs to know about GDPR does, or you might be facing some steep fines come May 2018.

M&A

Tech exits were down in 2016 compared to previous years, according to new reports from both CB Insights and PWC.

Gaming PC maker Razer has acquired Nextbit, maker of the Kickstarter-funded Robin phone. Toshiba has spun off its memory business, Datto has bought Open Mesh, Kickstarter now owns Huzza, Accenture has purchased InvestTech Systems, HPE has got its hands on security analytics firm Niara, and Salesforce has splashed out for Sequence.

Cars

California’s DMV has released its disengagement reports; the filings driverless car companies submit showing how many times their autonomous systems disengaged and humans had to take over. Waymo – aka Google’s driverless car unit – has driven more than all the other companies listed combined, and seen a massive improvement in its system. Despite driving over 200,000 more miles in 2016 compared to the year before, the company saw the number of disengagements drop by two-thirds.

Germany has become the latest country to pass laws allowing driverless cars on public roads.

Alexa & Tintri

A recent survey of IT pros by Spiceworks suggested that 19% of businesses are currently using intelligent assistants/chatbots for work-related tasks on company-owned devices, which another 30% are planning to use them in business over the next three years. The days where we ask Alexa to do our IT work for us might only be around the next corner: storage virtualization provider TinTri is already working on chatbot integration for its services, and, according to the Reg, will soon be working on voice integration for Alexa.

Robots on wheels

What’s more terrifying than robots that can walk towards you? Robots with wheels that can roll towards you! More video gold from the guys at Boston Dynamics.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech, from driverless cars , AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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Comments

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Chris Malan on February 04 2017

It's disappointing to see people in technology just as divorced from reality as those in the arts and humanities. The connection between Islam and terrorism is undisputed. Ask any Islamic terrorist in the name of which religion he is doing what he does. Political correctness should have no place in the sciences. Keeping out Muslims has a very high probability of keeping out Muslim terrorists. And, yes, Muslim terrorists are a problem. This is not rocket science.

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Joseph Myers on February 04 2017

Subject: Trump is right again! ANOTHER REAL EYE OPENER. Wouldn't it be interesting if the protestors in New York, Boston and other places read the McCarran-Walter Act Of 1952?" Might do some our Senators a little good, as well. It has been a law for almost 65 years. Here are the historic facts that would seem to indicate that many, if not most, of the people we elect to work for us in Washington do not have the slightest idea of what laws already exist in OUR country. After several terrorist incidents were carried out in the United States, Donald Trump was severely criticized for suggesting that the U.S. should limit or temporarily suspend the immigration of certain ethnic groups, nationalities and even people of certain religions (Muslims). The criticisms condemned such a suggestion as, among other things, being un-American, dumb, stupid, reckless, dangerous and racist. Congressmen and senators swore that they would never allow such legislation, and our president called such a prohibition on immigration unconstitutional. As Gomer Pyle would say, "Well, surprise, surprise!" It seems that the selective immigration ban is already law and has been applied on several occasions. Known as the McCarran-Walter Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 allows for the "suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by the president, whenever the president finds that the entry of aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States." "The president may, by proclamation and for such a period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens, immigrants or non- immigrants, or impose any restrictions on the entry of aliens he may deem to be appropriate." Who was president when this was passed? Democrat Harry Truman. Who do you suppose last used this process? Democrat Jimmy Carter, no less than 37 years ago, in 1979 to keep Iranians out of the United States. But Carter actually did more. He made ALL Iranian students, already in the United States, check in with the government. And then he deported a bunch of them. Seven thousand were found in violation of their visas and a total of 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the USA in 1979. So, what do you say about all of the criticism that Donald Trump received from the Democratic senators, representatives and the Obama Administration? Additionally, it is important to note that the McCarran-Walter Act also requires that an "applicant for immigration must be of good moral character and in agreement with the principles of our Constitution." Therefore, one could surmise that since theQuran forbids Muslims to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, technically, ALL Muslims should or could be refused immigration to OUR country. Authenticated at: (look under 1952) http://library.uwb.edu/Static/ USimmigration/USimmigrationlegislation.html U.S.immigration/1952_ immigration and_nationality_ act.html

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Keith Fagan on February 18 2017

Exactly where does it say in the (The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952) also known as the McCarran–Walter Act that… The act requires that an applicant for immigration ”must be of good moral character” and “attached to the principles of the Constitution.”? I'll help you out... here's the whole Act. http://tucnak.fsv.cuni.cz/%7Ecalda/Documents/1950s/McCarran_52.html

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Chris W. on March 11 2017

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_Nationality_Act_of_1952: ==================================== President Harry Truman, a Democrat, vetoed the Act because he regarded the bill as "un-American" and discriminatory. His veto message said:[1][2][3] "Today, we are 'protecting' ourselves as we were in 1924, against being flooded by immigrants from Eastern Europe. This is fantastic. ... We do not need to be protected against immigrants from these countries–on the contrary we want to stretch out a helping hand, to save those who have managed to flee into Western Europe, to succor those who are brave enough to escape from barbarism, to welcome and restore them against the day when their countries will, as we hope, be free again....These are only a few examples of the absurdity, the cruelty of carrying over into this year of 1952 the isolationist limitations of our 1924 law. In no other realm of our national life are we so hampered and stultified by the dead hand of the past, as we are in this field of immigration." Truman's veto was overridden by a vote of 278 to 113 in the House and 57 to 26 in the Senate. ====================================

no-images

Chris Malan on February 04 2017

It's disappointing to see people in technology just as divorced from reality as those in the arts and humanities. The connection between Islam and terrorism is undisputed. Ask any Islamic terrorist in the name of which religion he is doing what he does. Political correctness should have no place in the sciences. Keeping out Muslims has a very high probability of keeping out Muslim terrorists. And, yes, Muslim terrorists are a problem. This is not rocket science.

no-images

Joseph Myers on February 04 2017

Subject: Trump is right again! ANOTHER REAL EYE OPENER. Wouldn't it be interesting if the protestors in New York, Boston and other places read the McCarran-Walter Act Of 1952?" Might do some our Senators a little good, as well. It has been a law for almost 65 years. Here are the historic facts that would seem to indicate that many, if not most, of the people we elect to work for us in Washington do not have the slightest idea of what laws already exist in OUR country. After several terrorist incidents were carried out in the United States, Donald Trump was severely criticized for suggesting that the U.S. should limit or temporarily suspend the immigration of certain ethnic groups, nationalities and even people of certain religions (Muslims). The criticisms condemned such a suggestion as, among other things, being un-American, dumb, stupid, reckless, dangerous and racist. Congressmen and senators swore that they would never allow such legislation, and our president called such a prohibition on immigration unconstitutional. As Gomer Pyle would say, "Well, surprise, surprise!" It seems that the selective immigration ban is already law and has been applied on several occasions. Known as the McCarran-Walter Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 allows for the "suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by the president, whenever the president finds that the entry of aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States." "The president may, by proclamation and for such a period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens, immigrants or non- immigrants, or impose any restrictions on the entry of aliens he may deem to be appropriate." Who was president when this was passed? Democrat Harry Truman. Who do you suppose last used this process? Democrat Jimmy Carter, no less than 37 years ago, in 1979 to keep Iranians out of the United States. But Carter actually did more. He made ALL Iranian students, already in the United States, check in with the government. And then he deported a bunch of them. Seven thousand were found in violation of their visas and a total of 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the USA in 1979. So, what do you say about all of the criticism that Donald Trump received from the Democratic senators, representatives and the Obama Administration? Additionally, it is important to note that the McCarran-Walter Act also requires that an "applicant for immigration must be of good moral character and in agreement with the principles of our Constitution." Therefore, one could surmise that since theQuran forbids Muslims to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, technically, ALL Muslims should or could be refused immigration to OUR country. Authenticated at: (look under 1952) http://library.uwb.edu/Static/ USimmigration/USimmigrationlegislation.html U.S.immigration/1952_ immigration and_nationality_ act.html

no-images

Keith Fagan on February 18 2017

Exactly where does it say in the (The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952) also known as the McCarran–Walter Act that… The act requires that an applicant for immigration ”must be of good moral character” and “attached to the principles of the Constitution.”? I'll help you out... here's the whole Act. http://tucnak.fsv.cuni.cz/%7Ecalda/Documents/1950s/McCarran_52.html

no-images

Chris W. on March 11 2017

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_Nationality_Act_of_1952: ==================================== President Harry Truman, a Democrat, vetoed the Act because he regarded the bill as "un-American" and discriminatory. His veto message said:[1][2][3] "Today, we are 'protecting' ourselves as we were in 1924, against being flooded by immigrants from Eastern Europe. This is fantastic. ... We do not need to be protected against immigrants from these countries–on the contrary we want to stretch out a helping hand, to save those who have managed to flee into Western Europe, to succor those who are brave enough to escape from barbarism, to welcome and restore them against the day when their countries will, as we hope, be free again....These are only a few examples of the absurdity, the cruelty of carrying over into this year of 1952 the isolationist limitations of our 1924 law. In no other realm of our national life are we so hampered and stultified by the dead hand of the past, as we are in this field of immigration." Truman's veto was overridden by a vote of 278 to 113 in the House and 57 to 26 in the Senate. ====================================

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