ITI Daily News Roundup

12/19/2012

Key Issues

Fiscal Cliff

Republicans put squeeze on Obama in "fiscal cliff" talks.  Frustrated by their inability to wring more "fiscal cliff" concessions out of President Obama, Republicans announced that they expect to pass their own tax bill as a backup plan to avert the tax hikes and automatic budget cuts set to occur in January.   (Reuters)

Don't tie tax extenders to cliff.  We will be taking big risks if we delay passing tax extenders.  (Op-ed/Politico/Senator Jeff Bingaman)

Economy

How Global Headwinds Are Slowing Indian Growth.  India hasn’t been spared the effects of the recession and the recent slowing of global growth.  (Bloomberg/opinion)

German electronics lobby sees 2013 output up 1.5 percent.  Germany's electronics industry expects production to rise 1.5 percent in 2013 after shrinking 2 percent this year amid the euro zone crisis.  (Reuters)

Intellectual Property Enforcement

2012: A year of patents, mobile fights, and one big IPO.  Facebook finally went public, Windows 8 arrived, and Samsung topped Apple in smartphone sales. But nothing dominated the news like the fight over intellectual property.  (CNET)

Privacy

FTC to unveil new children's online privacy rules in Capitol Hill event.  The Federal Trade Commission will unveil its update to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) during an event on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.  Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, will join with FTC Chairman John Leibowitz to announce the new regulations.  (The Hill)

Advocacy

TechAmerica sued by own members.  For TechAmerica, one of the largest technology trade associations in the country, this has already been a difficult year. In the past few weeks, the trade group’s situation has apparently gotten even more challenging.  This column has obtained a copy of a lawsuit against TechAmerica that was quietly filed on September 18 in the Circuit Court of Lake County, Illinois by three of the association’s current member companies. The three firms –Zebra Technologies, PCTEL, and SigmaTron – allege that the association “breached its contractual obligations” when it closed the TechAmerica Midwest operation last June, thus “denying members access to a local office and the corresponding local benefits and opportunities.” In other words, they claim they didn’t get what they paid for.  (Examiner.com)

Energy & Sustainability

U.S. slaps duties on China wind towers, high-level talks begin.  The United States pressed forward on Tuesday with plans to slap steep punitive duties on wind turbine towers imported from China at prices deemed unfairly low, even as officials welcomed a high-level Chinese delegation for trade and economic talks.  (Reuters)

Coal May Pass Oil As World's No. 1 Energy Source By 2017, Study Says.  Coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven largely by growth in China and India, the IEA says, while the only large decline is seen coming in the United States.  (NPR)

Workforce

Foxconn Workers: 'Keep Our Overtime.'  Two years after a spate of suicides, workers at electronics manufacturer Foxconn's China campuses are concerned about limits on overtime.  (WSJ)

Life Inside Foxconn’s Facility in Shenzhen.  The Wall Street Journal visited Hon Hai’s “campus” in Shenzhen – home to more than 200,000 workers – in early December. On the day we visited, Hon Hai said they were conducting an audit, which meant we weren’t able to visit the main production facilities. We were, however, able to see the kitchen, a dormitory, the employee care center, and a cafeteria among other locations on campus – places that provided interesting insights into the everyday lives of the workers who churn out some of the world’s most popular electronics products.  (WSJ)

ITI Member News

EU's Almunia sets deadline for Google antitrust plan.  The European Union set Google an ultimatum on Tuesday, giving it a month to come up with detailed proposals to resolve a two-year investigation into complaints that it used its power to block rivals, including Microsoft.  (Reuters)

As Google deal nears, FTC under fire.  Antitrust case settlement that many observers called a slap on the wrist shows signs of fraying, critics say.  (WPost)

The Emperor of All Identities.  Google’s aim isn’t only to sell ads, it’s to collect your personal data.  (NYT op-ed/Pamela Jones Harbour)

ITC judge sides with Apple against Google on phone patent.  Google's Motorola Mobility unit cannot assert a patent against Apple Inc which covers a sensor that stops phone users from dialing wrong numbers on touchscreen devices, a U.S. trade judge ruled.  (Reuters)

Samsung Ends Its Push for a European Sales Ban on Some Apple Products.  Samsung had been seeking injunctions in a number of countries, contending that Apple had infringed on its patents. Pressure from Europe may have contributed to the decision.  (NYT)

Tim Cook's plan for manufacturing Apple's Macs in the U.S. should lead to the Bay Area.  Apple’s Tim Cook says the company will start making some Macs in the United States next year. Silicon Valley, with its strong manufacturing base, its Foxconn presence and its proximity to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, is an ideal place to put the factory.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Oracle beats outlook, shrugs off fiscal debate.  Oracle Corp said software sales growth will stay strong into the new year despite fears that there could be big tax hikes and U.S. government spending cuts that could cause a slump in spending by customers.  (Reuters)

Dell to up Thailand investment by 50 percent.  U.S. PC maker will invest more efforts in Thailand's consumer IT space and entice young people to buy its notebooks and tablets via more concept stores and product experience centers.  (ZDNet)

Intel-based Windows 8 tablets see spotty availability.  Intel-based Windows 8 tablets and hybrids from the world's two largest PC vendors, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, have been experiencing delays.  (CNET)

Nokia on the edge: Inside an icon's fight for survival.  CNET's Roger Cheng traveled to Finland to meet with employees of the struggling cell phone giant and to take the measure of CEO Stephen Elop's risky turnaround plans. (CNET)

Samsung set to overtake Nokia as No. 1 cellphone brand worldwide. For the first time in 14 years, Nokia will not be the No. 1 cellphone brand in the world.  Samsung is set to claim the top spot in the mobile handset market, accounting for 29% of worldwide cellphone shipments this year, according to market research firm IHS. That's up from 24% last year.  (LA Times)

1600 Penn.

There is only one event on the President’s public schedule for Wednesday.  In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the Diplomatic Corps Holiday Reception at the State Department.  During the day, fiscal-cliff discussions will continue.  Additionally, the White House is expected to announce a task force, to be led by the Vice President, to identify ways to reduce the gun violence in wake of the Connecticut school shootings.

UPDATED AT 8:10 A.M.:  Per the White House, at 11:45 a.m. ET, the President will deliver a statement from the White House Briefing Room about about the policy process the Administration will pursue in wake of the Newtown tragedy.  The Vice President also will attend.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House begins work at 10 a.m. ET for morning business, with legislative activity starting at noon.  Today, House members will consider several measures under suspension of the rules.

Senate:   With no votes expected today, the Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. and will resume consideration of the emergency appropriations bill to assist in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

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