ITI Daily News Roundup

02/07/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

House To Senate: You Go First On Immigration.  Despite being light years ahead of the Senate, the House is unlikely to lead on immigration.  (National Journal)

Flake: Rubio key on immigration.  Freshman Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of a bipartisan Senate group pushing immigration reform, says it’s imperative the gang of eight stick together to get any legislation passed and called his GOP colleague Marco Rubio the linchpin of the effort.  (Politico)

Poll: Obama backed on immigration.  A record 49 percent of Americans approve of the president's strategy, the survey finds.  (Politico)

Foreign governments lobby hard in favor of immigration reform.  Foreign governments are working to shape the debate on immigration reform as momentum builds in Congress.  (The Hill)

What The Most Prominent Latina In The U.S. Thinks About Immigration Reform.  New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is one of the Republican Party’s most prized ambassadors.  (National Journal)

How the President Can Aid Immigration Reform.  This is a case when 'leading from behind' might be useful.  (WSJ column/K. Rove)

Tax

Tax reform debate muddled by sequester.  Sure, the president and most congressional leaders say they want to rewrite the tax code to make it fairer, and help boost the economy.  But they’re coming at it from very different places.  Obama now wants to take multiple bites of the proverbial tax apple, starting with a few popular targets in the sequester debate. But Congress’s top tax-writers, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, have been eyeing those loopholes too, for an entirely different purpose: to jump-start a once-in-a-generation tax code rewrite.  (Politico Pro)

Idaho Wants to Tax the Cloud.  Businesses have found out that buying cloud services can help them cut their technology costs, but many companies in Idaho are now discovering it can also increase their tax bills.  (WSJ)

Should We Tax Content Providers to Fund Broadband Build-out?  With political leaders talking about general tax reform in D.C., it's also time to have a serious evaluation of how online content providers can help pay for the next generation of high-speed Internet and finally close the digital divide.  (Huffington Post/Nathan Newman, NYU)

Global Trade

Zients, Pritzker top candidates for trade and commerce jobs.  Acting White House budget director Jeffrey Zients is the frontrunner to become Trade Representative, and Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker is under consideration for Commerce chief.  (Reuters)

A poor trade-off:  India may lose more than it gains by staying out of WTO talks on tariff liberalization.  If India wants to remain a major player in the world trading system, it does not make sense not to participate in these ITA expansion negotiations.   (India Express)

U.S. Seeks WTO Consultations With India Over LCRs, Subsidies In Solar Sector.  The United States today (Feb. 6) requested formal consultations in the World Trade Organization in a longstanding trade dispute with India, challenging that country's local content requirements (LCRs) and subsidies for the production of solar panel products that qualify for a government-run initiative to boost India's solar power capacity. (Inside US Trade)

India Official Says Solar Program Follows WTO Rules.  India's program to increase solar power generation doesn't discriminate against foreign equipment makers, a senior official says in response to a U.S. complaint filed at the WTO.  (WSJ)

Mapping technology driving India's economic growth.  According to a BCG report commissioned by Google, the Indian geo services industry generated US$3 billion in revenue in 2011 alone, while accounting for approximately 135,000 jobs.  (ZDNet)

U.S.-EU Meeting Fails To Finalize HLWG Report, Release Remains Unclear.  Meetings held today (Feb. 6) between European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, Deputy National Security Adviser Michael Froman and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk have failed to finalize a report of the High-Level Working Group (HWLG), which is expected to recommend comprehensive negotiations for a U.S.-EU trade and investment deal, according to informed sources. (Inside US Trade)

Berners-Lee, Silicon Valley, and Australia's cultural cringe.  Sir Tim Berners-Lee's visit to Australia drew out the same cultural cringe that drives that eternal, daft question, "how can we create our own Silicon Valley?  (ZDNet)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

EU proposes new cybercrime rules.  Net firms, banks, hospitals and other may be required to report all cyber break-ins under new EU proposals.  (BBC)

Microsoft's cybersecurity report rethinks global web landscape.  How well are different countries tackling the threat of cyberattacks worldwide? Microsoft takes a look.  (ZDNet)

Microsoft and Symantec disrupt cyber crime ring.  Software makers Microsoft Corp and Symantec Corp said they disrupted a global cyber crime operation by shutting down servers that controlled hundreds of thousands of PCs without the knowledge of their users.  (Reuters)

More Executives Worry About Cyberattacks, Study Says.  More corporate executives are concerned about cyberattacks and data breaches than property damage and investment risk, according to a survey commissioned by insurer AIG.  (WSJ)

White House: Executive order is 'not magical,' cyber bill still needed.  Andy Ozment, a senior director for cybersecurity at the White House, said Wednesday that an executive order aimed at securing critical infrastructure from cyberattacks won't replace the need for comprehensive legislation.  (The Hill)

Rogers: China's hack a wake-up call.  The new threats could help lawmakers find common ground, the Michigan congressman says.  (Politico)

Get to Know the Nation-State Hacker Landscape.  Given the recent news about China hacking into the networks of U.S. media companies—and the increasing frequency of warnings from the U.S. government about the risks of a “cyber 9/11”—the world may seem like a confusing landscape of cyber threats. Not all of those threats are the same, however. Nation-state hackers have different goals, and pose different kinds of risks. U.S. companies may be more vulnerable to one kind of attack than another, but they should understand the entire spectrum of threat.  (WSJ)

Why your Android phone is not that safe.  The world’s most popular mobile operating system is more vulnerable than rivals to hackers, scam artists and a growing universe of malicious software.  (Washington Post)

Mobility

Wireless spectrum boost fuels growth.  Opinion: The result will be expanded technology, increased competition and new jobs.  (Politico/Steve Largent)

Regulation

GOP reboots with re-embrace of Internet freedom.  Republicans are ready for their comeback as Net freedom fighters.  The GOP is digging in its spurs as it seeks to rebrand a party viewed as technology-illiterate and gain redemption for backing much maligned anti-piracy legislation.  (Politico Pro)

Environment & Sustainability

One-Third of Companies Report Profits From Sustainability.  More than one-third of companies are reporting a profit from their sustainability efforts, a 23 percent increase from the previous year, according to an annual study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Boston Consulting Group.  A total of 37 percent of companies surveyed reported profits from their sustainability efforts, compared to 31 percent the previous year, according to the 2012 research report, The Innovation Bottom Line, which was released Feb. 5.  (Bloomberg)

Will driverless cars decrease fossil fuel consumption?  Autonomous vehicles have the potential to maximize gas mileage and connect to smart infrastructure. But will they also increase how much we use our cars?  (GreenBiz.com)

Energy and Climate Issues Get Shoved in the Closet.  Policy in these areas is taking a back seat to just about everything else on Capitol Hill these days.  (National Journal)

Innovation

Why big data matters and data-ism doesn’t.  Not all data analysis is created equal, and understanding the difference is critical as our society places a greater value on listening to the data. Using big data to cure disease is one thing, using statistics to ruin my sports-watching is quite another.  (GigaOM.com)

Will.i.am on the Internet of things.  Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas is happy to admit he's a tech geek. The musician, producer, philanthropist now has the title Director of Creative Innovation at the chipmaker Intel.  (Marketplace)

MC10: Turning microchips into ‘Second-skin'.  Davos is a hotpot for new and innovative tech companies, including MC10 who’ve devised a microchip that moulds to the body like a second skin. Nigel Hilditch meets CEO, David Icke.  (Reuters)

Tech Business

Tech, trust and the crisis in leadership.  In the 2013 Trust Barometer, released Jan. 21, technology continued to lead the 11 industries. But its trust among the general public in the United States dropped to 70 percent, the largest decrease in trust of any industry over the past year.  (San Jose Mercury News)

China made 1.2B mobile phones in 2012.  Mobile phones production in China jumped 4.3 percent from previous year, lifted by growth in local 3G and mobile Internet users; accounting for more than half of sales worldwide.  (ZDNet)

Yahoo taps into Google's ad network, expertise.  Yahoo is counting on rival Google to help accelerate its revenue growth. As part of a nonexclusive arrangement announced Wednesday, Yahoo's website will begin drawing upon Google's massive online advertising network to show marketing messages related to the content that's being perused.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Ex-Google and Twitter product guys reportedly launching new VC firm.  Hunter Walk and Satya Patel, formerly of Google and Twitter respectively, are reportedly raising a new fund for a VC firm called Homebrew. The two would bring deep experience as product managers in the Valley to a relatively small beginning in venture capital.  (GigaOM.com)

Instagram Change May Help It Finally Make Money.  Facebook-owned Instagram has launched a new product that enables users to view their newsfeed via the web, possibly opening up a way for the company to generate revenue.  (CNBC)

Electronics Arts teams with Samsung to build tech giant's apps store.  Electronic Arts and Samsung have teamed up to draw developers to the Korean giant's fledgling apps store, offering unusually strong financial incentives in hopes of expanding its library of games.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Cisco Loses Patent Argument.  A federal judge dismissed legal claims filed by Cisco Systems against a licensing company, in a decision that dims the network-equipment maker's hopes of thwarting so-called patent trolls.  (WSJ)

Digital music 'becomes mainstream'.  One in five music fans now buys all their music as downloads, according to new figures from the recording industry.  (BBC)

ITI Member News

Microsoft goes after Google with attack on Gmail privacy.  Campaign titled "Don't get scroogled by Gmail" encourages users of Google's free e-mail service to dump it for Microsoft's Outlook.com.  (CNET)

Google Buys E-Commerce Company to Improve Shopping Search.  Google is spending $125 million to buy Channel Intelligence in an attempt to create a better experience for retailers and consumers who are using Google's shopping search tool.  (NYT)

Sony loss underlines tough challenges.  Sony said on Thursday it had made a net loss in the third quarter, bringing its losses for the year to date to Y50.9bn ($544m), underscoring the challenges the Japanese consumer electronics group faces in staging a long-awaited comeback. (FT)

Dell Obsession With Small Stuff Confronts LBO Complexity.  Michael Dell’s faith in small stuff, which initially served his namesake company well, later contributed to its decline. Dell’s early success came from slashing pennies from component prices and tightening supply chains to trim days off delivery times -- not from inventing product categories or adopting bold new strategies. As chief executive officer, he avoided investing heavily enough in smartphones or music players, and he was late to the shift to cloud computing.  (Bloomberg)

eBay antitrust victory a warning to scheming customers.  eBay scored a victory when a California appeals court sided with the Internet shopping site in a long-standing antitrust case, sending a warning to customers that they can't misrepresent themselves in the online marketplace.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Apple's iPad Dominated PC Market During Holiday Season.  If you count tablets as computers, iPads far outsold personal computers in the fourth quarter worldwide.  (NYT)

Fujitsu cutting 5,000 jobs in restructuring.  Fujitsu is slashing 5,000 jobs, or nearly 3 percent of its global workforce, as it seeks to boost profitability by reshaping its computer-chip business and its overseas operations.  Fujitsu said Thursday the job cuts will be completed by the end of this fiscal year next month, and will rely on early retirement, layoffs and other methods. (AP)

Fujitsu, Panasonic to merge chip business in FY 2013.   Fujitsu Ltd and Panasonic Corp will merge their chip units in the next fiscal year, sources said, in the latest example of Japanese firms combining struggling units to compete with the likes of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.  (Reuters)

HP Stock Seeks Life After Debt.  Michael Dell thinks a little financial engineering can do wonders for his stock. A similar, though far less complicated, maneuver might also boost Meg Whitman's.  (WSJ)

Nokia boss pins hopes on Lumia smartphone.  Stephen Elop seems confident the company's Windows Phone handset can revive fortunes for the firm and Finland.  (Guardian)

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen stepping down.   Resignation comes after four tumultuous years at the helm of the struggling network equipment maker.  (CNET)

1600 Penn.

At 8 a.m. ET, the President, the Vice President, and the First Lady will attend the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton. The President will deliver remarks. Then, at 12:30 p.m., the President will be in Lansdowne, Va., to deliver remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference. 

Today on the Hill

Senate:  At 9:30 a.m. ET, the Senate resumes consideration of S. 47, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for five years.  At 12 p.m., Mr. William “Mo” Cowan of Massachusetts will be sworn in to temporarily fill the state’s vacant Senate seat.

House:  The House is not in session.

Subscribe by E-mail
ITI Daily News Roundup

By providing your email address below you agree to receive ITI's Daily News Roundup, a free daily email with the day's most relevant stories on tech policy and tech industry.