ITI Daily News Roundup

01/07/2013

Key Issues

Tax Reform

In Apple's War on Taxes, Surrender Costs $28 Billion.  With the U.S. Senate reportedly finishing an investigation into how Apple and others dodge taxes, and with Apple fighting for an officially sanctioned tax holiday, it’s worth taking stock of Apple’s tax liabilities. Dealing with the tax man, it turns out, could cost the company upward of $28.5 billion or send it on a shopping spree abroad.  (Wired)

Durbin: Tax reform as part of debate.  He says Congress should look at closing loopholes in the debt discussion.  (Politico)

Democrats look for up to $1 trillion in new tax revenues this year.  The emerging Democratic consensus is for the next round of deficit reduction to reach $2 trillion, with half from taxes.  (The Hill)

Indian govt seeking to amend controversial tax rules next month.  The government is likely to approach parliament next month to water down retrospective tax rules that damaged investor confidence, two finance ministry officials said on Monday, in a move that may help settle UK-based Vodafone Group Plc's long-running $2 billion tax dispute.  (Reuters)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

U.S. nuclear lab removes Chinese tech over security fears.  A leading U.S. nuclear weapons laboratory recently discovered its computer systems contained some Chinese-made network switches and replaced at least two components because of national security concerns, a document shows.  (Reuters)

‘Shell-shocked’ lawmakers shy away from online piracy in new Congress.  Nearly a year after online protests killed two anti-piracy bills, lawmakers are skittish about moving forward with new legislation.  (The Hill)

Economy

Fiscal crisis seen hurting tech earnings.  Warning to investors: major U.S. technology companies could miss estimates for fourth-quarter earnings as "fiscal cliff" worries likely led some corporate clients to tighten their belts last month and refrain from spending all of their 2012 IT budgets.  (Reuters)

Japan stimulus plans include $4.9 billion business support.  Japan's new government will set up schemes worth nearly $5 billion to boost businesses, including helping them buy foreign companies, according to a draft economic stimulus package seen by Reuters on Monday that could be approved this month.  (Reuters)

Brazil Analysts Cut 2013 GDP Forecast, Raise Inflation Call.  Analysts covering Brazil lowered their forecast for growth this year and raised it for inflation, as the world’s second-biggest emerging market struggles to rebound from a slowdown that has lasted more than a year.  (Bloomberg)

Workforce

Students Rush to Web Classes, but Profits May Be Much Later.  New companies are partnering with universities to offer online courses, in an effort that could define the future of higher education — if anyone can figure out how to make money.  (NYT)

Education Group Gives Failing Grades to 12 States.  StudentsFirst, led by the education advocate Michelle A. Rhee, looked at issues like tenure and teacher evaluations.  (NYT)

Mobility

India Lowers Forecast for Wireless-Company Levy, Official Says.  India lowered the amount it expects to collect from a levy on mobile-phone operators by as much as 110 billion rupees ($2 billion), a government official said after prices in the next spectrum auction were reduced.  (Bloomberg)

India govt to foster app ecosystem for Aakash tablet.  Country's government wants to develop a constantly-growing ecosystem of education-related apps for the budget tablet aimed at students.  (ZDNet)

Tech Business

Global gadget spending projected to hit $1.1 trillion in 2013.  Global spending on consumer electronic devices is projected to hit $1.1 trillion in 2013, according to the Consumer Electronics Assn.  Steve Koenig, senior director of market research for CEA, said that figure would represent about 4% growth from 2012. And, fingers crossed, it would reflect a turnaround of sorts from 2012, when spending unexpectedly fell about 1%.  (LATimes)

Electronics Develop Sixth Sense.  Technology companies are striving to help gadgets more effectively exchange information and track users' movements, gestures, voices and anticipate their intentions.  (WSJ)

'A-Round crunch' worries Silicon Valley startups.  As venture capital firms continue to tighten their belts — or disappear — experts say thousands of cash-starved startups could go out of business.   (San Jose Mercury News)

Toyota and Audi roll out new self-driving cars.  Toyota and Audi are both preparing to show off cars with driverless technology at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Google has been working on driverless cars for years, and big automakers like Toyota and Audi are getting serious about the technology as well.  (CS Monitor)

ITI Member News

Critics of Google Antitrust Ruling Fault the Focus.  Some critics of the inquiry say the Federal Trade Commission should have considered harm to Google’s advertisers, not just searchers.  (NYT)

Can the FTC enforce Google deal?  The commission's head says the agency is largely relying on the firm to behave itself.  (Politico)

Google head, official in N Korea.  Former governor Bill Richardson and Google chairman Eric Schmidt are in North Korea on a visit described as unhelpful by the US government.  (BBC)

Google concedes defeat over China censorship.  US company quietly drops warning message that Chinese users saw when searching for politically sensitive phrases.  (The Guardian)

IBM’s Services Chief Will Step Down.  IBM said Senior Vice President Mike Daniels is retiring after 36 years with the company, leaving two lieutenants in charge of services, the company’s biggest division. (Bloomberg)

Lenovo launches Erazer X700 gaming PC with one-button overclocking.  The Chinese computing giant enters the gaming desktop world in a big way with an aggressively styled system due in June.  (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

The President has no public events on his schedule; however, media reports this morning state that he is expected to nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense and John Brennan, current Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, to lead the CIA.  Both nomination announcements could come today at an afternoon event at the White House

Today on the Hill

House:  The House has adjourned until 2:00 p.m. ET on January 14.

Senate:  The Senate has adjourned until 11:30 a.m. ET on January 21.

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