ITI Daily News Roundup

02/05/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Obama meets CEOs over immigration push.  President Barack Obama will appeal to business and labour union leaders to support his efforts to overhaul the US’s immigration system on Tuesday, presenting its reform as crucial for economic growth and competitiveness.  (FT)

Immigration, education action needed for valley to keep edge.  Silicon Valley has plenty to be proud of in the latest Brookings Institution report placing it on top of the patent-generation leader board. But while success breeds success, the valley won’t remain the world’s idea center without policies that encourage immigrant entrepreneurs and improve educational opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs already here.  (San Jose Mercury News)

House Judiciary Committee to examine high-skilled immigration reform.  Advocates for high-skilled immigration reform will call for lawmakers to allow for more foreign engineers, scientists and graduates of U.S. universities with advanced technical degrees to stay in the United States during Congress's first immigration hearing of the year on Tuesday.  (The Hill)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

EU to Propose New Cybersecurity Rules.  The European Union will propose new rules on Thursday for cybersecurity, requiring search engines, energy providers, banks and others to report disruptions to government authorities.  (WSJ)

Privacy groups request meeting with U.S. officials on backlash against European privacy rules.  More than a dozen privacy advocates on Monday requested a meeting with top-ranking U.S. administration officials to discuss supporting the European Union's effort to strengthen its online privacy laws, saying the initiative aligns with President Obama's views on the issue.  (The Hill)

Ruling makes it easier for Apple, online businesses to collect personal data.  California Supreme Court rules that state consumer law does not apply to online commerce; retailers can collect personal information to verify credit card purchases.  (CNET)

Obama acts to toughen computer security.  The White House is set to order stronger cybersecurity measures by the end of this month as a rash of unprecedented cyber attacks against financial institutions and energy companies are prompting some big companies to rethink the need for government intervention.  (FT)

Hackers hit U.S. Department of Energy.  During a cyberattack on the agency's computers and servers, the personal data of employees and contractors is stolen, but, reportedly, no classified data is leaked.  (CNET)

Twitter to boost login security to fight hacking.  Social media firm to introduce 'two-factor authentication' system, making it impossible for hackers to break into accounts.  (The Guardian)

Global Trade

Obama puts trade at heart of agenda.  The Obama administration is readying several new cabinet appointments which will put the president’s seal on what is likely to be a significantly expanded second-term agenda for trade and the international economy.  After a first term in which domestic priorities largely shunted aside an activist international economic policy, the administration already has two potentially large trade negotiations on its plate this year.

Biden: U.S.-EU Negotiations 'Within Reach,' Could Be Mentioned In State Of The Union.  Speaking in Germany, Vice President Joe Biden said he believes the political will exists to overcome the longstanding differences that have plagued the U.S.-European Union trade relationship, and that a bilateral trade and investment deal can be successfully negotiated.  (Inside US Trade)

Brazil: The Social Media Capital of the Universe.  Brazil is a bright spot for social-media companies as they seek more growth outside the U.S. and Europe.  (WSJ)

Mobility

Cloud firms demand right to use French government's €285m 'sovereign cloud'.  After financing two initiatives designed to let the public sector store data in the cloud without fear of it being accessed by foreign governments, France's 'sovereign cloud' project is under attack.  (ZDNet)

South Korea telecoms regulations need relook.  The overly competitive telecoms market in South Korea has led to handset subsidy wars and unlimited data plans, and policies should be refreshed to ensure the market does not overheat.  (ZDNet)

Environment & Sustainability

Exit Interview: Bruce Klafter, Applied Materials.  What he learned about getting stuff done on the road from EHS to CSO.  (GreenBiz.com)

Tata Seeks Investors for Clean-Energy Expansion.  Tata Power Co., India’s second- largest generator, is seeking investors to help its renewables unit more than double capacity in five years and acquire projects at home and overseas.  (Bloomberg)

Tech Business

U.S. groups flex their muscles in Brussels.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the nation’s top business group — now has an office in Brussels and nine registered lobbyists in the European Union. As of 2011 (the most recent year records are available), Google has seven lobbyists in the European capital and has spent just under $1 milion on lobbying. Facebook has three lobbyists, and has spent about a half-million dollars on lobbying. ExxonMobil has 8 lobbyists, Microsoft has 17.  (Politico Pro)

A Billion-Dollar Club, and Not So Exclusive.  An unexpectedly large number of high-technology start-ups are valued at $1 billion or more.  (NYT)

Twitter buys social TV analytics company BlueFin Labs.  According to Business Insider, the social media giant's acquisition would be its largest ever. Such a deal would give Twitter strong insight into how users mix TV and social media.  (CNET)

Samsung launches new $100M fund for cloud, mobile.  The Korean electronics giant will use its new Silicon Valley operations, early stage investment fund, and its $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund to boost its presence in the U.S.  (CNET)

Netflix support coming to ARM-based Chromebooks.  One corner of the computing world can't use the streaming-video service: the $249 Samsung Chromebook. Netflix and Google are working to change that, though.  (CNET)

ITI Member News

Dell board said to be meeting tonight to vote on buyout deal.  An agreement to take the PC maker private is reportedly close to completion, with a buyout offer totaling about $24 billion.

Microsoft and Huawei of China to Unite to Sell Low-Cost Windows Smartphones in Africa.  The Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone will cost $150 and initially will be sold in seven African countries.  (NYT)

Windows co-chief looking for surge with new hardware.  The new Windows 8 system is off to a "solid" start and should get a boost in sales over the next few months as new touch-screen devices hit the market and Microsoft Corp hones its retail strategy, according to a top executive.  (Reuters)

I.B.M. Slims Down Its Big Data Offerings.  In an effort to compete more aggressively with the makers of industry-standard computers, I.B.M. is cutting the price on its least-expensive Power server computers by 50 percent to appeal to small- and medium-size businesses.  (NYT)

Oracle to Buy Acme Packet for $2.1 Billion.  Oracle will buy network equipment maker Acme Packet for $2.1 billion, putting the Redwood City software giant in a better position to compete with Cisco Systems in moving data securely over Internet networks.   (San Jose Mercury News)

U.S. court says won't expedite Apple appeal versus Samsung.  A U.S. appeals court on Monday rejected Apple Inc's request to fast-track its bid for a sales ban on several Samsung Electronics Co Ltd phones, ruling the iPhone maker could not argue its case to the full appeals court right away.  (Reuters)

Nokia CEO:  We're looking closely at offering a tablet.  Nokia has been focused on making mobile phones, but the Finnish company may no longer be able to ignore the popularity of tablets.  (LA Times)

1600 Penn.

In separate meetings today, the President will meet with social and labor groups (11 a.m. ET) and then with business leaders (3:20 p.m.) to focus on immigration reform.  While the meetings are closed press, we expect to see news coverage of each session.

Participants at the meetings include: 

Social and Labor Group Leadership

  • Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change
  • Marshall Fitz, Center for American Progress
  • Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Marielena Hincapie, National Immigration Law Center
  • Deepa Iyer, NCAPA/SAALT
  • Ben Jealous, NAACP
  • Cristina Jimenez, United We Dream
  • Eliseo Medina, SEIU
  • Mee Moua, Asian American Justice Center
  • Janet Murguia, National Council of la Raza
  • Ali Noorani, National Immigration Forum
  • Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers
  • Frank Sharry, America’s Voice
  • Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality
  • Gustavo Torres, Casa de Maryland
  • Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO

 Business Leadership

  • Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs Group
  • Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions
  • Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution LLC
  • Joe Echevarria, CEO, Deloitte LLP
  • Paul Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Qualcomm
  • Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca Cola Company
  • Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
  • Monica Lozano, CEO, Impremedia
  • Marissa Mayer, President and CEO, Yahoo!
  • Greg Page, Chairman and CEO, Cargill
  • Jeff Smisek, Chairman and CEO, United Continental
  • Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International

Today on the Hill

House:  The House convenes at 12 p.m. ET and will debate HR 444, a bill that would require the President to submit a budget that shows eventual balance.  First votes are expected no earlier than 2 p.m.

Senate:  The Senate is not in session Tuesday and Wednesday while the parties hold their policy retreats.  The chamber reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and resumes consideration of a the legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for five years.

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