ITI Daily News Roundup

02/13/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Dean Garfield: Immigration reform means a stronger Silicon Valley and U.S. economy.  As an immigrant who spent six years separated from his mother as she dealt with the immigration bureaucracy, I understand the moral imperative of immigration reform. That said, there should be no doubt that reform is in the best interest of Silicon Valley, of California and of our nation.  (San Jose Mercury News op-ed)

Silicon Valley and Immigrant Groups Find Common Cause.  Silicon Valley executives, who have long pressed the government to provide more visas for foreign-born math and science brains, are joining forces with an array of immigration groups seeking comprehensive changes in the law. And as momentum builds in Washington for a broad revamping, the tech industry has more hope than ever that it will finally achieve its goal: the expanded access to visas that it says is critical to its own continued growth and that of the economy as a whole.  (NY Times)

Giovanni Peri: The Economic Windfall of Immigration Reform.  From 1990-2010, scientists and engineers admitted by the H-1B visa program added $615 billion to the economy.  (WSJ op-ed)

Obama Wants More Engineers And Entrepreneurs.  During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for reforms to the nation's immigration system that would help highly-skilled immigrants remain in the country.  (Huffington Post)

Obama emphasizes economic benefits of immigration overhaul.  President Barack Obama emphasized the economic benefits of overhauling the country's immigration laws in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday as he urged Congress to send him legislation to sign into law in the next few months.  (Reuters)

Startup Act gets reboot in immigration talk.  Sens. Jerry Moran, Mark Warner and Chris Coons plan to reintroduce a bill aimed at foreign-born entrepreneurs.  (Politico Pro)

5 House Republicans Who Are Key to Immigration.   A secretive bipartisan working group is “on the cusp” of a deal, according to one of its participants. Meanwhile, a cautious, conservative Judiciary Committee chairman has been staying under the radar.  Republicans in the group include Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, John Carter of Texas, Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho and Sam Johnson of Texas. Democrats include Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois, Xavier Becerra of California and Zoe Lofgren of California.  (CQ/Roll Call)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Obama Orders Infrastructure Cybersecurity Rules.  President Barack Obama bypassed Congress and issued an executive order to boost U.S. cybersecurity while telling lawmakers they still must act to further strengthen the nation’s computer defenses.  (Bloomberg)

Highly anticipated executive order on cybersecurity signed.  President Obama on Tuesday signed an executive order aimed at bolstering the cyber defenses of the country's critical infrastructure.  (The Hill)

Latest cybersecurity efforts are 'a train wreck'.  As Congress gears up to debate Cispa again, Anonymous threatens to shut down stream of Obama's state of the union.  (The Guardian)

Victims Of Cyberattacks Now Going On Offense Against Intruders.  Some affected private companies are so frustrated by their inability to defend against attacks that they have opted to go on the offense themselves. Some cybersecurity firms are now marketing cyberweapons and attack strategies to companies that want to go after their adversaries.  (NPR)

Hardware-based security more effective against new threats.  Securing hardware components would prove more effective in today's security environment, given that many online threats are delivered via software or network vulnerabilities.  (ZDNet)

Oracle's Java software still a major worry, despite recent fixes.  Despite a flurry of recent updates to patch security holes in Oracle's Java software that exposed millions of computer users to possible cyber attacks, the product continues to arouse widespread concern, confusion and frustration.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Tax

Obama seeks tax reform, paring corporate tax breaks.  Lowering the corporate tax rate while scrubbing the code of deductions and asking the richest to pay more were among familiar proposals outlined by President Obama in his State of the Union speech to Congress. (Reuters)

Obama Renews Call For Elimination Of Some Corporate Tax Loopholes.  Solving the never-ending budget crisis and reducing the deficit will require corporate tax reform, President Obama said.  Obama called for tax reform that "lowers incentives to moves jobs overseas," and "lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs in the U.S." (Huffington Post)

Economy & Global Trade

Obama commends Apple, Intel for U.S. manufacturing jobs.  In his State of the Union address, the president gives a shout-out to the two tech companies for creating jobs in the U.S.  (CNET)

EU, U.S. fire starting gun for free trade talks.  The United States and the European Union agreed on Wednesday to push for the launch by the end of June of talks to create a free trade alliance that could be a benchmark for global partners to follow.  (Reuters)

No sectors excluded from U.S. free trade talks:  EU trade chief.  No commercial sectors have been excluded from the European Union's free trade talks the United States, but the EU will introduce "sensitive sectors" later, EU trade chief Karel De Gucht said on Wednesday.  (Reuters)

Obama Announces ‘Talks’ On Comprehensive U.S.-EU Trade And Investment Deal.  President Obama in his State of the Union address tonight (Feb. 12) announced that he plans to pursue a comprehensive trade and investment agreement with the European Union, and also reaffirmed his commitment to complete negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  (Inside US Trade)

Economic fights test GOP-CEO bond.  There is a sense that business groups have taken positions that favor Democrats.  (Politico)

Energy & Sustainability

President Obama: If Congress won’t act on climate change, I will.  President Obama made one of his most aggressive declarations to using market-based means to fight climate change since early on in his first term.  (GigaOM.com)

EPEAT green electronics registry adds printers, copiers.  The registry for environmentally preferable electronics now includes imaging products along with computers and monitors.  (GreenBiz.com)

The State of Green Business, 2013.  While companies engage in a wide range of sustainability initiatives, the costs to the environment continue to grow.  (GreenBiz.com)

Tech Business

Big Data Dominated By Marketing, Sales.  A recent Microsoft study shows that big data is being driven by marketing and sales initiatives as companies focus more on the customer.  (EWeek)

Enterprise Software's Next Generation.  Recently FORBES brought together nine tech entrepreneurs notable for the inroads they're making in the stodgy $270 billion business software industry.  (Forbes)

Mobile phone sales 'go into reverse.'  Sales of mobile phones declined by nearly 2% in 2012, a study suggests.  (BBC)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on reviving Yahoo: It's all about mobile.  Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer talked up her ability to turn around the struggling Internet pioneer, saying she would focus on "the dozen or so applications that people use all the time on their phone" to encourage users to spend more time and advertisers to spend more money on them.  (LA Times)

ITI Member News

Apple Chief Hints at Shareholder Rewards to Come.  Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is likely to suggest ways to reward investors, who have been wanting more cash from the company.  (NYT)

High stakes if Apple e-books antitrust case goes to trial in U.S.  As the only remaining defendant in the U.S. government's e-books antitrust case, Apple Inc appears headed for a high-stakes trial that could significantly increase the personal computer company's liability in related litigation.  (Reuters)

CEO: Apple has no limits.  Tim Cook, Apple's top executive, says the company still has its magic and still has the capability to do anything it wants. (CNET)

Intel's TV service will be on mobile devices too, exec says.  Erik Huggers, head of Intel's TV business, tells CNET that the company is staying away from the Intel brand with its new service so people don't automatically think of "Intel Inside."  (CNET)

Broadcom first LTE chip to compete with Qualcomm.  Broadcom Corp said its customers are now testing its first chip based on the latest high-speed wireless technology, creating new competition for bigger rival Qualcomm Inc, which was years ahead of the rest of the market.  (Reuters)

T. Rowe Price joins growing opposition to Dell buyout.  Dell Inc's third-largest shareholder, T. Rowe Price Group, on Tuesday joined a growing number of investors putting pressure on Michael Dell and his partner Silver Lake to sweeten their $24.4 billion buyout offer for the PC maker.  (Reuters)

Microsoft: Office 365 sees growing adoption in India.  Indian firms considering a move to the cloud are choosing the Microsoft service over rival Google Apps. Adoption is not only strong among enterprise customers, a majority are also small and midsize businesses.  (ZDNet)

Panasonic CEO Attacks Sprawl in Bid for Profit.  In its 95-year history, Panasonic Corp. has grown into a consumer-electronics giant producing everything from TVs to eyelash curlers. New President Kazuhiro Tsuga is deciding what it can’t afford to make any more.  (Bloomberg)

Report shows Nokia clearly dominates Windows Phone market share.  HTC and Nokia are the two primary players in the Windows Phone market and some recent data from AdDuplex shows Nokia has something like 78 percent while HTC is near 14 percent.  (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

The White House focuses today on amplifying the State of the Union themes.  At 11:30 a.m. ET, the President will be in Asheville, N.C., to tour the Linamar North Carolina factory and then deliver remarks to highlight the manufacturing policies offered last night.  This is the first of three days of travel for the President. 

Today on the Hill

Senate:  At 10 a.m. ET, The Senate begins debate on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense.  No votes are expected today.  There are two hearings to note:

  • The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on a comprehensive immigration overhaul. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies.  9:30 a.m., 216 Hart
  • The Finance Committee holds a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Jack Lew to be secretary of the Treasury.  10 a.m., 215 Dirksen

House:  At 12 p.m. ET, the House convenes and considers a bill (HR 592) that would clarify that houses of worship are eligible for disaster relief. The chamber also votes on legislation to improve hydropower (HR 267).  Votes are expected around 1 p.m.

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