ITI Tech News Roundup


Key Issues

Tech Business

The $50 device that symbolizes a shift in North Korea. A $50 portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government's efforts to keep its people isolated - a symbol of change in one of the world's most repressed societies. (Reuters) 

HBO, Vice Media Announce Multi-Year News Programming Deal. HBO is teaming up with Vice Media to launch a daily newscast, the two companies said Thursday. (WSJ) 


Guthrie, Matsui renew bid to compensate federal agencies for spectrum. The co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Spectrum Caucus, Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) have introduced a bill to give agencies more options on how to use money realized in spectrum auctions. The measure would give agencies the option of using funds to offset sequestration cuts. (FCW)


FBI Denies Intentionally Deleting Encryption Tips from Its Website. The FBI did not intentionally delete tips on how to protect the security of cellphones from its website, including one recommendation for using encryption security, according to an agency spokesman. (National Journal) 

New U.N. investigator to probe digital spying. The United Nations top human rights body agreed on Thursday to appoint a special investigator to probe digital spying and violations of online privacy. (Reuters) 


House Advances Cybersecurity Bill Despite Surveillance Fears. The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a cybersecurity bill that would increase the sharing of computer data between government and the private sector, despite lingering concerns that the measure could allow for more government surveillance. (National Journal)

IT leaders lobby for broader cyber recruitment. A panel of past and present federal IT leaders argued Thursday for a broader approach to federal cyber recruitment and hiring. (FedScoop)

New York to Investigate Insurers’ Cybersecurity Work After Hacks. Insurers doing business in New York State must tell a regulator there about efforts to prevent computer hacking, detailing the precautions taken and the personnel devoted to the task. (Bloomberg) 


The vicious funding cycle that makes it hard for women to compete in tech. The jury is still out (literally) on the sex discrimination suit between Ellen Pao and her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (Washington Post)

Global Trade

Former DNC leaders urge Dems to back Obama on trade. Seven former chairmen of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) urged Democrats on Thursday to support President Obama's trade agenda. (The Hill)

Ryan still eyes busy spring on trade, opposes Ex-im. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said on Thursday that he still hoped to move a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill this spring despite a snag in the Senate, but he will oppose renewal of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, calling it an example of “crony capitalism.” (Politico Pro)

Textile group prepares to back TPP, fast-track. The National Council of Textile Organizations says it’s gearing up to support both trade promotion authority and a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal, spurred on by the U.S. trade representative’s promises on what will be included in the deal. (Politico Pro)

U.S. questions China at WTO on banking technology restrictions. The United States is concerned about China's restrictions on the use of foreign information technology equipment by the banking sector, according to a filing published by the World Trade Organization on Thursday. (Reuters) 

Environment and Sustainability

March Madness for renewable energy: How top colleges rank. This year Americans filled out an estimated 70 million brackets for the NCAA’s men’s college basketball tournament. And every year, family, friends and work colleagues look for the secret formula to completing the winning bracket. (GreenBiz)

Public Sector

DARPA releases plan for 'breakthrough' defense tech. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency unveiled its vision this week of America's future high-tech military superiority. (FedScoop)

Data at the heart of OMB's latest office space reduction goals. The Office of Management and Budget now has the data it needs to move agencies from just freezing their office space and real property to reducing it. (Federal News Radio) 

Federal News Radio Interview with Trey Hodgkins. Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, wants to alter the chain of command in the defense acquisition reform process. But his reform bill also zeroes in on the Pentagon's IT acquisition process. Trey Hodgkins is senior vice president for public sector at the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said those details of the bipartisan bill will help the Defense Department keep its technological edge. (Federal News Radio) 

Gerry Connolly: FITARA's force multiplier. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) tells a story about his first week as an elected official, when he was a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and asked about the return on investment on the technology budget. (FCW) 

Necessity is the mother of Navy acquisition reform. The Navy's enterprise IT shop has unveiled an acquisition model designed to address the longstanding challenge of keeping pace with industry innovation. The "Innovation Cell" run by the Navy Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems will get interested vendors involved in the acquisition process earlier on, officials say. (FCW) 

Oregon bill looks to boost private sector tech investment. In Oregon, a bipartisan agreement designed to retain and attract communications companies passed the state’s House of Representatives Tuesday. (StateScoop)


Engineering students extinguish fire with sound. A pair of engineering students created a new type of fire extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out flames. (CNET)

ITI Member News

Apple's Tim Cook will give away all his money: Fortune. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) Chief Executive Tim Cook is joining the roster of the very rich who are giving away their wealth. (Reuters)

As Twitter Introduces Periscope, Tech Titans Bet on Live Streaming Video. The premise of Periscope, Meerkat and others is simple: Capture video of yourself doing anything from exploring a new city to playing with your dog, all using nothing more than your smartphone camera. The apps notify others that you are streaming live video of yourself, and you can share it with your friends and followers. (NY Times) 

Everyone (Still) Wants to Work for Google. Once again, Google GOOGL -0.59% tops the list of in-demand employers for undergraduate computer-science majors, according to a new survey. (WSJ)

Facebook’s Aquila Drone Will Beam Down Internet Access With Lasers. As the second day of its F8 conference began here at Fort Mason in San Francisco, Facebook announced the first hardware it plans to use to beam the Internet down to billions of people around the world. (TechCrunch) 

H-P Nears Deal to Sell Control of Chinese Unit. Hewlett-Packard Co. is nearing a deal to sell control of its data-networking business in China to Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. (WSJ)

Microsoft buys Office collaboration tool maker LiveLoop: Sources. Microsoft has bought another productivity company. This time it's LiveLoop, a vendor of collaboration plug-ins and tools for Microsoft Office. (ZDNet)

Mobile Alters Landscape Where Google Operates. When federal antitrust regulators probed the search-engine business three years ago, they found that Google Inc.’s domination of the field was even greater than they had thought. (WSJ)

Neustar Loses to Ericsson as FCC Reassigns Numbers Contract. U.S. regulators switched a telephone-numbers management contract to Ericsson AB’s Telcordia unit from Neustar Inc., which provided the service for almost two decades. (Bloomberg)

Yahoo updates transparency report; promises to scale new email encryption by end of year. On the financial side of the spectrum, Yahoo's board also approved a new multi-billion stock buyback program. (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

In the afternoon, President Obama will meet with members of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Later, the president will meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew in the Oval Office.

Today on the Hill

They're out of here.

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