ITI Daily News Roundup

02/15/2013

Key Issues

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Most Americans Fear Cyber Warfare: Survey.  The majority of Americans fear the U.S. will either become the the victim of a major cyber attack, or target another country with cyber weapons during the next ten years, according to a recent survey.  In fact, Americans fear a U.S. attack so much that they're even willing to increase government spending to prevent such a threat.  (CNBC)

Privacy groups prepare to hit back on cybersecurity bill.  Privacy groups are preparing to mount opposition to a cyber threat information-sharing bill introduced this week.  (The Hill)

CISPA gets another go, as do its critics.  The authors of the so-called Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act revived their measure this week with the insistence that it won't result in a Web user's private data landing in the hands of the feds. But there's still a sense among some lawmakers and consumer groups that the bill lacks strong, proper legal checks.  (Politico Pro)

Economy & Global Trade

The Obama Free-Trade Agenda.  What does it say that the front-runner for the post of U.S. Trade Representative doesn't think the job should have cabinet status?  (WSJ column/Strassel)

Final HLWG Report Sidesteps GIs; Offers Little More Detail Than Interim Version.  The final report of the High Level Working Group (HLWG) on trans-Atlantic trade issued this week falls short of a key European Union demand that it make clear that bilateral negotiations with the U.S. include the issue of protecting products with geographic names other than wines and spirits.  (Inside US Trade)

India Official Calls for Better Infrastructure Funding.  Industrialized and emerging nations should jointly establish a funding mechanism to support investment in infrastructure as a means of reinvigorating the global economy, a senior Indian official said.  (Bloomberg)

G-20 Head Russia Pushes for Currency Manipulation Stance.  Russia wants to head off a global currency war by pushing policy makers to make stronger commitments against exchange-rate manipulation as Group of 20 officials search for common ground in Moscow this week.  (Bloomberg)

Tax

Democrats’ Plan Keeps Divide on U.S. Taxes as Cuts Near.  Senate Democrats unveiled a $110 billion plan to delay federal spending cuts that includes tax increases Republicans already say they won’t accept.  (Bloomberg)

Lawmakers roll out online sales tax redo.  Opponents continue to argue that changes would threaten economic growth — particularly with smaller retailers.  (Politico Pro)

To Limit Corporate Tax Avoidance, Tax Investors.  Tax avoidance by corporations is on the agenda for this weekend’s meeting in Moscow of finance ministers from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies. It is a real problem, and its scale is getting difficult to ignore. The answer, though, isn’t further tax-code complication, as some governments favor, but a shift of taxes from profits to investment income. (Bloomberg opinion)

Regulation

Court ruling ‘bad news’ for internet companies.  Google and its peers can be held responsible for comments on their websites.  (FT)

Obama: We're only halfway there on patent reform.  In a Google+ Hangout, the president says entrepreneurs need more protection against people who try to "extort" them.  (CNET)

Mobility

Broadband Firms Meet Speed Promises.  American Internet users generally receive the download speeds that companies advertise, with fiber and satellite connections frequently outperforming expectations, according to a new report from the Federal Communications Commission.  (WSJ)

Innovation

Device Offers Partial Vision for the Blind.  Regulators on Thursday approved the first method for giving some people who are blind the ability to discern shapes, using a technology called the artificial retina.  (NYT)

Group: Internet voting poses risk.  Computer security experts say the U.S. government shouldn't try it anytime soon.  (Politico)

Self-driving car given UK test run.  A system to enable a car to drive itself has been shown off at Oxford University, with a hope such technology could eventually cost just £100.  (BBC)

Tesla's Elon Musk posts data from disastrous New York Times test drive.  Paul Harris: Angry at what he called the paper's 'fake' review, Tesla founder supplies charts that appear to contradict reviewer's account.  (Guardian)

Environment & Sustainability

Intel aims to make matches for wastewater heaven.  The company seeks to fill the gap for producers in search of users such as industrial facilities and treatment plants.  (GreenBiz.com)

A*Star, Stanford partner on boosting electronics energy efficiency.  Singapore's government agency for R&D and Stanford University is working together on nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) switch tech to improve power performance on devices such as smartphones.  (ZDNet)

Tech Business

AT&T wins ruling in price-fixing lawsuit against LCD panel makers.  AT&T has won partial reinstatement of a price-fixing lawsuit against firms including AU Optronics and Samsung Display Co.  (ZDNet)

Salesforce CEO Benioff Tries Out Some New Material.  Salesforce.com, which makes software to help businesses hone their sales and marketing campaigns, is taking a red pen to its own corporate messaging. For the past couple of years, Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff has been pitching prospective customers on becoming “social enterprises,” capitalizing on the buzz around social networking.  (Bloomberg)

Facebook grabs most attention among social sites.  No social network comes close to Facebook when it comes to total time spent online, says a white paper from ComScore. Meanwhile, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram herald the rise of "the visual Web."  (CNET)

Is Amazon yesterday’s cloud?  ProfitBricks, which goes head-to-head with Amazon for the IT budgets of startups with a new promotion, says the time is ripe to disrupt the disrupter.  (GigaOM.com)

Samsung unleashes REX phones, targets emerging markets.  South Korean giant unveils four new REX-branded handsets in India, as it hopes to corner a portion of the 653 million entry-level mobile phones expected to ship this year.  (ZDNet)

Dropbox reportedly eyes IPO as it courts enterprise storage customers.  Dropbox has met with bankers about an initial public offering, according to a report. But while its market position is solid for consumer cloud storage, it hasn’t yet won the enterprise storage space.  (GigaOM.com)

Flextronics woos startups with Silicon Valley tech center.  Moving ideas from sketches on napkins to factory floors is often the toughest stage for a startup entrepreneur. Flextronics International Ltd thinks it can help with that.  (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Einhorn raised Apple stake by nearly 50%.  Hedge fund chief one of few to move in as others sold, filings show.  (FT)

Apple Siri lawsuit against Samsung may be put on hold.  Judge Lucy Koh, who is also presiding over last summer's landmark trial, suggests an appeals court decision on the first will cover the second as well.

Documents: Michael Dell agreed to accept lower price for his shares in buyout.  As Dell Inc. was reported to be arranging meetings with some major shareholders balking at its buyout deal, the company disclosed Thursday that founder and CEO Michael Dell had accepted a lower price for his shares in order to enable a higher offer to remaining shareholders.  (Austin American Statesman)

Google CFO: We want to fix 'broken' world.  Patrick Pichette says technology can and should change a "broken" world for the better, and its engineers are constantly concocting "crazy ideas" to fix the problems seen around them.  (ZDNet)

Google under fire for sending users' information to developers.  Google is coming under fire just as regulators in the U.S. and overseas are stepping up their scrutiny of how all the players in the industry -- mobile apps, stores, advertising networks and others -- handle consumers' private information. Regulators are pushing for greater transparency of what information is collected by apps and how.  (LA Times)

Sony Revamps Aging PlayStation in Bid to Recapture Cool.  For almost two decades, Sony Corp.’s PlayStation gaming console has been the pride of the company’s legions of engineers. Now President Kazuo Hirai hopes a makeover can keep it from tracking other Sony hardware hits into obscurity.  (Bloomberg)

BlackBerry Co-Founder Balsillie Sells His Stake.  Jim Balsillie, Research In Motion Ltd.’s co-chief executive officer until January of last year, sold his remaining 5.1 percent equity stake, severing his last formal ties to the company he helped found 20 years ago.  (Bloomberg)

HP Working on Android Tablet: Reports.  HP's reportedly hard at work creating a new Android tablet. TheStreet.com reports.  (CNBC)

AMD appoints new Asia-Pacific head.  AMD's president in Korea, David Kwon, has been promoted to the Asia-Pacific role.  (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

At 10 a.m. ET, President Obama hosts President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy for a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office.  At 11:10 a.m. ET, the President presents 18 recipients with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor.  At 2:45 CT, the President, in Chicago, will deliver remarks at Hyde Park Academy to discuss proposals unveiled in the State of the Union Address that focus on strengthening the economy.  

Today on the Hill

House:  At 9 a.m. ET, the House convenes to complete its work on legislation that would eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for federal employees. The chamber also takes up a resolution condemning North Korea for testing a nuclear device.  Votes expected to begin at 11 a.m.

Senate:  The Senate is not in session.

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