ITI Tech News Roundup

04/01/2015

Key Issues

Tech Business

Europe’s Digital Single Mistake. Brussels has long used antitrust cases to achieve policy outcomes it can’t achieve otherwise, and so it is with the European Commission’s new plan to create a “digital single market,” or DSM. (WSJ) 

Nasdaq Builds Nursery for Start-Ups. The Nasdaq OMX Group has long courted technology companies as they seek to go public. (NY Times)

Silicon Valley Leaders, New to Social Issues, Come Together Over Indiana Law. The technology industry’s leaders have found their collective voice on a social issue in the last week, rallying with great intensity against a new Indiana law that will allow businesses, they predict, to discriminate against gay couples. (NY Times) 

When April Fools’ Day Gets More Love Than Good Policy. Here is something to ponder: Silicon Valley will have gotten more work done on its April Fools’ Day jokes tomorrow than Washington has gotten done in the past several years. (TechCrunch) 

Cybersecurity

Interagency group of bank regulators calls for improved cyber risk management. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council – which includes the nation's top banking regulators – is urging financial institutions to better manage the risk of cyber attacks that could steal credentials or destroy data. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Security is key for government BYOD. When Hillary Clinton chose to use a personal BlackBerry as secretary of state because it was more convenient to carry just a single phone, she was instituting a one-woman “Bring Your Own Device” policy at Foggy Bottom — and now some federal agencies are starting to do likewise for their entire workforce. (Politico Pro) 

Singapore Launches New Cybersecurity Agency. The latest sign of growing global concerns over cybersecurity: Singapore has established a new ministry to combat bad guys lurking in the Internet’s shadows. (WSJ) 

U.S. to establish sanctions program to combat cyberattacks, cyberspying. President Obama on Wednesday will sign an executive order establishing the first sanctions program to allow the administration to impose penalties on individuals overseas who engage in destructive attacks or commercial espionage in cyberspace. (Washington Post)

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality emails raise suspicions. A number of messages to lawmakers purporting to be from average constituents who oppose the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules don’t appear to have come from people within their districts, according to the company that manages the technology for some House members. (Politico)

Tax

Japan's parliament passes Abe's plan for corporate tax cut. Japan's parliament approved a corporate income tax cut to help spur economic growth by encouraging companies to increase investment and raise wages. (Chicago Tribune)

Privacy

The Healing Power of Your Own Medical Data. Some of the most advanced medical centers are starting to make medical information more available to patients. (NY Times)

Verizon Wireless Customers Can Now Opt Out of ‘Supercookies’. Verizon Wireless customers now have the ability to completely opt out of the phone carrier’s controversial ad-targeting program that tagged users with undeletable tracking codes, which critics called “supercookies.” (NY Times) 

Workforce

An Action Plan For Getting More Women In Tech. How can more women be encouraged into technology careers? It’s a question that is often put to delegates at tech conferences, but one which continues to be far harder to answer than it is to ask. (TechCrunch)

Gender-based STEM gaps in government declining — OPM. In a new report, the Office of Personnel Management says there are more opportunities for women today than there were a decade ago. (FedScoop)

'Thanks Ellen' ad runs in Palo Alto newspaper. In an example of the strong feelings around the Ellen Pao case, a group of tech workers in Silicon Valley took out a full-page ad in the Palo Alto Daily Post Tuesday that read simply, "Thanks Ellen." (USA Today)

Global Trade

Free-Trade Democrats Face Campaign Pressure. Key Democratic groups are threatening to turn Capitol Hill trade policy battles into campaign fights—a rare situation for a party that has largely avoided the ideological litmus tests that have plagued Republicans. (National Journal)

Environment and Sustainability

US makes climate pledge to UN. The US has pledged to tackle climate change by cutting its carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025. (BBC)

What the Energy Sector Can Learn From Uber. Moving beyond solar, smartphone apps could allow people to invest in other renewable sources of energy, like landfill gas. Already people can purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) to support the generation of green sources of energy. (WSJ) 

Public Sector

'A tale of two contracting methods'. March 31 marks the end of the 30-day comment period for the final draft of the proposal for the first piece of GSA's $50 billion next-generation telecommunications contracting strategy, as well as the kickoff for the comment period for the draft of the agency's Alliant 2 Government Wide Acquisition Contract. (FCW)

Library of Congress rudderless on IT, says GAO. The Library of Congress has not aligned a strategic plan for information technology with its overall strategic plan, leaving the agency "without a clear direction for its use of IT," according to a new Government Accountability Office report. (FCW)

Innovation

V-Nova streaming tech produces 4K compression 'worth watching'. A new method of data compression could see ultra-high definition video - also known as 4K - being streamed to TVs and other devices using around 50% of the bandwidth currently needed. (BBC)

ITI Member News

Facebook’s “Empathy Lab”: How Facebook designs for disabled users. Facebook is releasing the principles it uses to make sure the social network accessible to all users -- regardless of physical ability. The "accessibility toolkit," which the company will make public Tuesday, includes everything from how Facebook ensures that its engineers think about those issues to its strategies for building accessibility features into the site. (Washington Post)

Google Lab Puts a Time Limit on Innovations. Google Inc. is embracing a leaner, faster way to find the next big thing amid questions about the Internet giant’s heavy spending on long-term research projects. (WSJ) 

HP sues Autonomy founder Lynch and former CFO for $5.1bn. Hewlett Packard has filed a lawsuit against Autonomy's founder and former chief financial officer, seeking $5.1bn in damages. (ZDNet)

Japan's Sony Corp. halves stake in Olympus. Japan's Sony Corp has halved its stake in camera and endoscope maker Olympus Corp and is no longer its top shareholder, according to Olympus. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the president and the vice president will meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room. 

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