President Obama

This is Obama’s $4bn, 10yr plan for America’s driverless cars

This is Obama’s $4bn, 10yr plan for America’s driverless cars

The US government aims to spend almost $4bn on autonomous driving in the next decade, pushing real-world trials that put computerized cars on roads. The investment was announced by US Transportation Department Secretary Anthony Foxx at a speech at the North American International Auto Show today, and came after US President Obama discussed wide-ranging support for self-driving vehicles in his State of the Union speech earlier this week.

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Obama to touch on self-driving cars in State of the Union Address

Obama to touch on self-driving cars in State of the Union Address

Today, President Obama, one of the more tech savvy, or at least tech conscious, president, will be discussing one of the thorniest topics in the tech industry in his State of the Union Address. And no, it's not about privacy and encryption this time, though we bet that will be included as well. According to government officials, the president will be touching on the topic of advanced transportation efforts in the country, which is to say self-driving cars. Their regulation, or rather the lack of it, has repeatedly been cited as one of the biggest hurdles in pushing the technology that would give the US an even more prominent spot in the automobile industry.

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White House’s latest social effort lands it on Snapchat

White House’s latest social effort lands it on Snapchat

It's no secret the White House has been working to increase its social presence, and latest among that effort is its new Snapchat account. According to the administration, the new “WhiteHouse” account on Snapchat provides a “behind-the-scenes glimpse” of current White House happenings and likewise gives the public a way to engage with the administration. This follows the VR holiday tour the White House released last month.

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Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

It's not a complete victory for security advocates, but still a reprieve they could rejoice in. White House spokesperson Mark Stroh told the press Saturday that the Obama administration isn't going to push for legislation that would require tech and network companies to provide backdoor access to their encrypted systems. At least not yet. The government still stands by its position on encryption despite increasing opposition from advocates and companies themselves. For now, however, they could breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have legislature breathing down their necks for a while.

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Justice Department spends $23m on police body cameras

Justice Department spends $23m on police body cameras

The Department of Justice has announced that it has spent upwards of $23 million in grants on police departments for the purpose of issuing body cameras. This follows the body-worn camera project pilot that was announced back in May; the money issued through the grants in part goes toward training police departments on how to use and troubleshoot the cameras, and partly toward research efforts that monitor the impact body cameras have (or don’t have) when it comes to curbing police violence.

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White House releases Clean Power Plan: power plants targeted

White House releases Clean Power Plan: power plants targeted

Today marks a big day for the US’s environmental progression, with President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator Gina McCarthy jointly releasing a final Clean Power Plan — the first in the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce the nation’s pollution levels and tackle the issue of climate change. The White House said in a statement this morning, “We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged … Taking action now is critical."

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Google, Apple, Microsoft pledge to fight climate change

Google, Apple, Microsoft pledge to fight climate change

Major businesses, including several tech companies, have taken up the White House's pledge to help combat climate change. In a statement today, the Obama administration detailed the threat climate change poses to the world as a whole, pointing out that 19 of the 20 hottest recorded years have happened in the last two decades, and that we’re already collectively experiencing things like bigger storms, longer droughts, and more frequent wildfires. That’s why the White House has launched its Climate Action Plan to cut pollution, and many companies have signed the American Business Act on Climate pledge to do their part.

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White House announces ConnectHome initiative to bring internet to low-income homes

White House announces ConnectHome initiative to bring internet to low-income homes

The Obama administration has announced a program today that aims to increase the number of low-income households who have access to high-speed internet. The initiative is called ConnectHome, and will see Google, along with internet service providers including Cox, Sprint, and Century Link bring broadband service that is either free or at a very cheap price to 275,000 families across the US, in 27 cities.

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White House (mostly) ends its ban on social media and photos

White House (mostly) ends its ban on social media and photos

After 40 years of banning photography -- and later on social media -- during White House public tours, the Obama administration has decided to lift the limitation. Michelle Obama announced the change today on the White House's Instagram page, showing the White House's photography ban sign and saying those rules no longer apply. She ripped the sign in half, and thus ends an era, at least for the most part. There are still some limitations on what you can use to snap your pictures.

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Obama signs bill to allow sanctions be placed on ‘malicious’ hackers

Obama signs bill to allow sanctions be placed on ‘malicious’ hackers

Taking dead aim at “malicious cyber attackers”, President Obama today signed into law a bill that will allow those who target US companies for things like DDoS attacks to have sanctions imposed upon them. In announcing the bill, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism chief Lisa Monaco said “by freezing assets of those subject to sanctions and making it more difficult for them to do business with U.S. entities, we can remove a powerful economic motivation for committing these acts in the first place”.

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