ITI Daily News Roundup

02/04/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Secret House group close to immigration-reform agreement.  The spotlight has been on proposals from Obama and senators, but House members could produce a plan within two weeks.  (The Hill)

H-1B visa cap battle looms on the horizon.  Proposals to expand the visa cap were a sticking point the last time Congress tried to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  (The Hill)

Crovitz: The Economics of Immigration.  Silicon Valley is the poster child for today's dysfunctional immigration policy. Foreign technologists trained in the U.S. are routinely denied work visas and return home to become successful entrepreneurs in China and India. For many years, half of Silicon Valley startups have had an immigrant founder, but this trend is in decline as fewer foreigners can find a foothold on the path to citizenship.  (WSJ)

Immigration, education action needed for valley to keep edge.  Silicon Valley is tops in patent generation. But while success breeds success, the valley won’t remain the world’s idea center without policies that encourage immigrant entrepreneurs and improve education for would-be entrepreneurs already here.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Bill Gates on immigration: High talent immigration has kind of been held hostage.  Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates talks immigration with Christine Romans. He says the U.S. is losing potential talent.  "The high talent immigration has kind of been held hostage," Gates tells her.  (CNN)

Lessons to learn from failed immigration reform of 1986.  Lawmakers can take a note from past efforts.  (WPost)

Once BlackBerry Focused, a Campus Widens Its View.  The University of Waterloo, a world-class engineering school in Canada, is a feeder campus for big-name global tech companies like BlackBerry, a neighbor and Waterloo offshoot.  (NYT)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

US tech groups criticised for EU lobbying.  The head of the European coalition of data protection authorities has sharply criticised intensifying pressure from US lobbyists on behalf of Google and Facebook to relax EU privacy laws to suit Silicon Valley businesses.  (FT)

Data Protection Laws, an Ocean Apart.  The United States and Europe are struggling to bridge a divide in the way their citizens are shielded against the use of their personal data.  (NYT)

Google boss labels China 'IT menace.'  Google Chairman Eric Schmidt uses a new book to call China an Internet menace that backs cyber-crime for economic and political gain, reports say.  (BBC)

The New York Times and hacking's layer cake.  The infiltration of the American newspaper by hackers reckoned to be working for the Chinese government is a demonstration of the layered model of hacking: from noisy to silent, amateur to professional.  (The Guardian)

Broad Powers Seen for Obama in Cyberstrikes.  The administration is moving to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack.  (NYT)

Mobility

Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks.  The $178 billion wireless industry is fiercely lobbying against the federal government’s plan to create powerful WiFi networks across the nation, but Google, Microsoft say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark major innovation.  (WPost)

Economy

Editorial:  A Million Jobs at Stake.  The dire effects of the sequester are clear, but no one in Washington seems able to stop it.  (NYT)

Obama: 'No doubt' nation needs more tax revenue to lower deficit.  Obama said he would press for "additional revenue, coupled with smart spending reductions," to bring down the deficit.  (The Hill)

Reid: Budget deal must have revenue.  "The American people are on our side,” he says.  (Politico)

Environment & Sustainability

First Solar May Sell Solar Cheaper Than Coal.  First Solar Inc., the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar panels, may sell electricity at a lower rate than new coal plants earn, according to a regulatory filing from a project it purchased in New Mexico. (Bloomberg)

Batteries included?  The search for better ways of storing electricity is heating up.  Batteries are a hugely important technology. Modern life would be impossible without them. But many engineers find them disappointing and feel that they could be better still. Produce the right battery at the right price, these engineers think, and you could make the internal-combustion engine redundant and usher in a world in which free fuel, in the form of wind and solar energy, was the norm. That really would be a revolution.  (The Economist)

Are Mini-Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Power? The prefabricated nuclear reactors, which would be small enough to build in a factory and shipped on trucks, would generate about one tenth the power of a typical nuclear power plant. It's potentially a growth opportunity for American industry, but critics say the mini-reactors carry host of safety, security, environmental and economic concerns.  (NPR)

Innovation

50 Most Innovative Countries: Bloomberg Rankings.  When you think about the most innovative countries, the U.S. and South Korea often come to mind.  But what about Iceland or Iran?  How do they compare?  (Bloomberg)

Atoms Versus Bits: Where To Find Innovation.  Bits are transforming how atoms are being used.  (Forbes)

Electric cars head toward another dead end.  The electric car is still not ready for prime time - and may never be. In the meantime, the attention of automotive executives is beginning to swing toward an unusual but promising new alternate power source: hydrogen.  (Reuters)

3D printing goes big with help of Loveland's Aleph and Denver store.  Finally, 3-D is ready for prime time. Not the technology that requires eyeglasses to experience, but the kind that enables consumers to make their own iPhone cases at home and startups to inexpensively manufacture prototypes in-house.  (Denver Post)

Regulation

FTC issues guidelines for mobile applications.  The Federal Trade Commission has issued a wide-reaching set of new guidelines for makers of mobile platforms and developers of applications for mobile telephones and tablets to safeguard users' privacy.  (Reuters)

Tech Business

Tech Titans Clash in the 'Cloud'.  Microsoft and Google are increasingly trying to unseat Amazon in the lucrative business of renting out computing storage and number-crunching to thousands of companies, a fast-growing area of technology known as "cloud services.  (WSJ)

Less money went to startups in 2012: But is that good or bad news?  Venture firms put less cash into startups last year than in 2011, and investors continue to be choosy -- but some say those are healthy trends.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Mobile commerce growing dominance in APAC.  Online shops in Asia are moving quickly to offer mobile-optimized Web sites or mobile apps to better serve their customers, as more here are using smartphones and tablets to purchase products and services.  (ZDNet)

Samsung's Super Bowl Teaser Shows Humor About Apple Lawsuits.  The company has released a teaser for its Super Bowl commercial that stands as a wonderful reminder of the intensely litigious world of smartphone manufacturing.  (Forbes)

Calling China: How Mobile Startup Jolla Will Sell An Android Alternative.  After Nokia canned them and their open source mobile platform, a group of engineers decided to relaunch and looked East.  (Forbes)

America's Most Promising Company Is Redefining Mobile: Meet 3Cinteractive.  Creative tension among its cofounders keeps 3Cinteractive in the forefront of connecting brand advertisers and their customers via mobile. Can they stay on top of this rapidly morphing business?  (Forbes)

ITI Member News

Dell Talks Aim at Deal in Days.  Talks for a potential buyout of Dell Inc. continued, as people involved in the negotiations aimed to finalize a deal within days, according to people familiar with the discussions.  (WSJ)

Why Microsoft wants a piece of Dell.  As Dell explores going private, Microsoft is an interested investor. It needs computer companies that focus on Windows-powered machines.  (Marketplace)

BlackBerry searching high and low in India, Indonesia.  Research in Motion Ltd must chart a tough course in its two key emerging markets of India and Indonesia: quickly launch cheaper handsets to woo lower-end subscribers while restoring its tattered brand among the countries' status-conscious.  (Reuters)

Mercury News interview: BlackBerry vice president Richard Piasentin.  In a recent interview, BlackBerry executive Richard Piasentin talked about the company's prospects and why its new phones and software are poised to do what Microsoft and Palm failed to do -- successfully take on Apple and Google.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Panasonic Jumps Most in 38 Years on Profit.  Panasonic, Japan’s biggest television-maker after Sony Corp., rose the most in more than 38 years in Tokyo trading after posting an unexpected profit because of a weaker yen, asset sales and job cuts. (Bloomberg)

Google's Chromebook gains momentum: Just enough to annoy Microsoft.  HP's move to join the Chrome OS army may mean just enough volume for Chromebooks and Google to be a thorn in Microsoft's side.  (ZDNet)

Google Surges to Record on Growth Potential.  Google, operator of the world’s largest search engine, closed at a record high after reporting earnings last week that topped estimates, buoying investor sentiment about growth prospects.  (Bloomberg)

Apple is biggest US phone seller for 1st time.  The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones have made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the US for the first time, research firm Strategy Analytics said Friday.  (AP)

1600 Penn.

In Minneapolis today, the President will visit the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations Center to deliver remarks and discuss with local leaders and law enforcement officials his comprehensive set of commonsense ideas to reduce gun violence.  Roundtable starts at 12:30 p.m. CT, and remarks are set for 1:30.

Today on the Hill

House:  On Monday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. ET for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. ET and, after morning business, resumes consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act.

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