The Leader’s Weekly Schedule – Week of 1/7/19


WEEK OF JANUARY 7TH

MONDAY, JANUARY 7TH
On Monday, no votes are expected in the House.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8TH
On Tuesday, 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.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. ___ – Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019 (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone / Energy and Commerce Committee)

2) H.R.____– Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (Sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo / Energy and Commerce Committee)

3) H.R. 251 – Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act (Sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson / Homeland Security Committee)

4) H.R. 226 – Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management (Sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velázquez / Small Business Committee)

5) H.R. 227 – Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act (Sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velázquez / Small Business Committee)

6) H.R. 128 – Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act (Sponsored by Rep. James Comer / Small Business Committee)

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9TH
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

Complete Consideration of H.Res. 6 – Adopting the Rules of the House for the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress (One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer)

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 116 – Investing in Main Street Act (Sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu / Small Business Committee)

2) H.R. 206 – Encouraging Small Business Innovators Act (Sponsored by Rep. Harley Rouda / Small Business Committee)

3) H.R. 246 – Stimulating Innovation through Procurement Act (Sponsored by Rep. Abby Finkenauer / Small Business Committee)

4) H.R. 190 – Expanding Contract Opportunities for Small Businesses Act (Sponsored by Rep. Roger Marshall / Small Business Committee)

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10TH AND THE BALANCE OF THE WEEK
On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 31 – Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 (Sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) H.R. 115 – Protecting Diplomats from Surveillance Through Consumer Devices Act (Sponsored by Rep. Joaquin Castro / Foreign Affairs Committee)

3) H.R. 133 – United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act (Sponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar / Foreign Affairs Committee)

4) H.R. 192 – Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership Act (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Foreign Affairs Committee)

5) H.R. 221 – United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)
6) H.R. 135 – Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act of 2019 (Sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings / Oversight and Reform Committee)

7) H.R. 136 – Federal Intern Protection Act (Sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings / Oversight and Reform Committee)

8) H.R. 202 – Inspector General Access Act (Sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond / Oversight and Reform Committee)

9) H.R. 113 – All-American Flag Act (Sponsored by Rep. Cheri Bustos / Oversight and Reform Committee)

10) H.R. 247 – Federal CIO Authorization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Will Hurd / Oversight and Reform Committee)

11) H.R. 150 – Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act (Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx / Oversight and Reform Committee)

Possible Consideration of Legislation Related to FY19 Appropriations
Committee activity for the week of January 7 can be found here.

Source: The Leader’s Weekly Schedule – Week of 1/7/19

Snacks on Wheels: PepsiCo Tests Self-Driving Robot Delivery


Forget vending machines, PepsiCo is testing a way to bring snacks directly to college students.

The chip and beverage maker says it will start making deliveries with self-driving robots on Thursday at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Students will be able to order Baked Lay’s, SunChips or Bubly sparkling water on an app, and then meet the six-wheeled robot at more than 50 locations on campus.

Source: Snacks on Wheels: PepsiCo Tests Self-Driving Robot Delivery

The Shifting Workplace Culture of Manufacturing


It is sad to say the popularity of a career in manufacturing, a former mainstay of employment, has waned substantially with the shortage of a skilled industrial workforce over the past few decades. Now, as the generation known as the Baby Boomers increasingly settles into retirement, the need to attract and retain a younger manufacturing workforce cannot be ignored.

Those of us in the manufacturing industries have long fought against the rising tide of the skilled workforce shortage, and, while the issue is pressing, it also prompts a thoughtful look at the reasons for this problem and opportunities to turn it around.

Training and education are a key elements in attracting new workforce members.

Source: The Shifting Workplace Culture of Manufacturing

Apple Really Is in Trouble This Time | Light Reading

Apple haters love to predict the company’s demise. Several times a year for more than a decade, skeptics have declared that Apple has lost its mojo, the company is failing, it has forgotten how to innovate, it’s on the way out.

The haters are at again, following Wednesday’s announcement from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook. But this time it’s different. This time, Apple really is in trouble. (See iPhone Upset Leads to Apple Crumble.)

One of the primary goals for any public company is to keep investors informed — particularly of bad news. And Apple has failed in that responsibility.

Worse for Apple: its business challenges aren’t going away.

Apple on Wednesday announced a significant shortfall in its holiday iPhone sales, expecting revenues of $84 billion for the quarter ending in December, down from previous expectations of $89-$93 billion. (See Apple Delivers Post-Holiday Turkey, Lowers Revenue Guidance.)

Apple has two problems here: failure to communicate expectations, and failure to innovate.

Source: Apple Really Is in Trouble This Time | Light Reading

When Standards Change | EE Times

nullWe have standards from the local government, state government, and the federal government. We have international standards, industry standards, safety standards, EMC standards, materials standards, and so on.

Without the standards we count on, life would be far more chaotic and we’d work even harder, despite a claim that standards are technological socialism.

Standards, however, can change. They change because technology evolves, tastes change, or other random events. Often, the standards don’t change rapidly enough to keep up with technology.

Many standards are, fortunately, written to account for the fact that legacy parts and equipment will be used for years after a new standard is adopted. That’s why you can, for example, run 10Base-T Ethernet on NIC (network interface cards) designed for 1000Base-T and higher speeds.

Here’s a case where a standard, or at least common measurement, changed and paid the price in time and money.

Source: When Standards Change | EE Times

Capacity Media | AT&T closes $1.1bn data center sale to Brookfield


AT&T has completed the sale of its data center colocation operations and assets to Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners.

Under the terms of the deal, first announced amid a strategic alliance in June 2018 which included the transfer of the operations and assets, AT&T has received $1.1 billion.

The funds will support the company’s goal of reducing its net-debt-to-EBITDA-ratio to the 2.5x range by the end of 2019.

Source: Capacity Media – global telecoms news, events and community

Are We Ready to Accept Digital Security as a Human Right? | EEWeb Community


After I attended the RISC-V Summit a couple of weeks ago — see “RISC-V Summit was a Haunting Experience (With Apologies to Charles Dickens)” — I posted a short LinkedIn video and a more in-depth column on the issue of designed-in security for products based on the open-source instruction set.

Essentially, I said that software companies involved in building secure devices were more than willing to talk about their efforts; by comparison, hardware companies either shooed me away or gave a variation of the “it’s not our problem” excuse.

Oh boy, did my DMs and email box get filled up with requests to meet and “clarify” the positions of the hardware folks! I would like to thank all of the responders for showing me that I have a broader readership than some people thought.

(It’s amazing what happens when a company realizes that it needs to do some press training for their booth staff.)

Source: Are We Ready to Accept Digital Security as a Human Right? | EEWeb Community

Phononic Devices Could Lead to Next-Gen Technology


Scientists have developed microscopic components that could usher in the next generation of sensors, mobile phones and quantum computing.

A Caltech research group has created new versions of the components that make up mobile devices called phononic devices, which have the ability to vibrate extremely fast, moving back and forth up to tens of millions of times per second.

To develop the improved devices the researchers created 90 nanometer thick silicon nitride drums that they then arranged into grids with different grid patterns containing different properties.

The arrangement of the arrays of these drums acts as a tunable filter for signals of different frequencies. The researchers also found that the devices could act like one-way valves for high-frequency waves to keep the signal stronger by reducing interference.

Source: Phononic Devices Could Lead to Next-Gen Technology

Seagulls Inspire Improved Airplane Wing Design


Understanding seagulls’ ability to maneuver through windy conditions could be the key to developing new and improved airplane wings.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) believe that mimicking the single elbow joint that allows gulls to adapt their wing shape to windy conditions could improve the design of airplane wings.

Gulls ultimately sacrifice stability for maneuverability, as wind speeds and gusts increase, by altering the angle of their elbow joint and pulling the tips of their wings in and back, changing from an extended wing configuration to a flexed configuration.

This new flexed shape gives the bird more control as they soar through difficult conditions.

Source: Seagulls Inspire Improved Airplane Wing Design

A Year of Evolution: Top 5 Satellite Trends in 2018 | Via Satellite


It has been a year of great change in the satellite industry. Evolving customer needs and requirements in 2018 have led to the need for fast-paced innovation from manufacturers and operators alike.

With so much happening in the industry, it was difficult to narrow down key trends — but here are the final, top 5 trends for 2018.

Source: A Year of Evolution: Top 5 Satellite Trends in 2018 – Via Satellite –