ITI Daily News Roundup

02/25/2013

Key Issues

Cybersecurity & Privacy

A New Cold War, in Cyberspace, Tests U.S. Ties to China.  The Obama administration is weighing how directly to confront China over hacking as it escalates demands that Beijing halt the state-sponsored attacks it insists it is not mounting.  (NYT)

Confrontation with China over cyber spying carries risk.  The Obama administration is considering whether to use economic sanctions to retaliate for alleged hacking and spying.  (The Hill)

Silicon Valley tech experts should lead effort to protect against cyber-espionage.  Valley must help the president protect valuable public and private resources without trampling on the privacy rights of individual Internet users.  (San Jose Mercury News editorial)

Hackers attack Microsoft computers.  Microsoft becomes the latest US technology firm - after Apple and Facebook - to confirm that it has been targeted by computer hackers.  (BBC)

Tech trends increase cybercrime threat.  Cybercrime cost the UK economy between £18bn and £27bn last year, according to the National Audit Office – and it is businesses that are bearing the brunt.  (FT)

The near impossible battle against hackers everywhere.  Dire warnings from Washington about a "cyber Pearl Harbor" envision a single surprise strike from a formidable enemy that could destroy power plants nationwide, disable the financial system or cripple the U.S. government.  (Reuters)

Our own worst enemy in cyberwar.  Opinion: It is time to focus on the areas in which we do agree and end the zero-sum game.  (Politico op-ed/Tom Ridge and Howard Schmidt)

Twitter Hackings Put Focus on Security for Brands.  Social media platforms have become major advertising vehicles for brands, and with attacks on the Twitter accounts of Burger King, Jeep and others, security is a growing concern.  (NYT)

HTC settles with FTC over security issues in tablets, smartphones.  The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with HTC America over security holes in the company's smartphone and tablet software that left millions of users' personal information at risk.  (PC World)

Workforce

Bloomberg group launches ‘virtual march’ for immigration reform.  A new online campaign backed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg launches Monday to put digital pressure on Capitol Hill to support immigration reforms the tech industry says are critical to fostering creativity and growth. (Politico Pro)

Immigration roadblocks in Congress.  The push for reform has been in overdrive, but the issue is far from settled.  (Politico)

Californians' shifting views on illegal immigration.  The newest Field Poll shows that a whopping 90 percent of California voters now support offering a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have lived for years in the United States and have stayed out of trouble.  There's resounding support (76 percent) for guest-worker programs and for offering more visas to highly skilled immigrants (73 percent).  (SF Chronicle editorial)

Therma tour shows kids how math comes alive in the real world.  Sometimes the best way to spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — among students is to show them what good it all is. At the Therma manufacturing plant in San Jose, a group of high school kids recently saw math translated into sophisticated engineering projects by teams of number crunchers and pipe-fitters.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Global Trade

Abe-Obama talks set stage for TPP entry. Japan will not have to vow to remove all trade tariffs if it joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade initiative, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed Friday, setting the stage for the country’s early entry into the ongoing talks.  (The Japan Times)

Apple signals emerging-market rethink with India push.  As BlackBerry launches the first smartphone from its make-or-break BB10 line in India, one of its most loyal markets, the company faces new competition from a formidable rival that has long had a minimal presence in the country.  (Reuters)

India unveils plans for manufacturing hub.  Manufacturers' Association for IT signs an agreement to build a 100-acre electronics manufacturing cluster in Sri City, Chennai, as the government fast-tracks its ambition to become a production hub.  (ZDNet)

Tax

Outlook: Cuts before compromise.  All signs indicate the cuts must go into effect Friday before real movement toward a deal.  (Politico)

White House warns again of budget cuts.  The White House on Sunday ramped up its campaign to avoid across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take place in less than a week by releasing detailed estimates of what reductions could mean in every state.  (McClatchy-Tribune)

Levin on sequester: Avoid 'mindless' spending cuts by ending corporate tax loopholes.  Sen. Carl Levin believes Congress can avoid massive government spending cuts scheduled for Friday, and he's hopeful the looming deadline will spur bipartisan support for a plan that would include ending various tax loopholes.  (Michigan Live)

‘Online sales tax’ no longer fighting words.  The push for a federal online sales tax bill previously pitched the young Internet industry against the old retail sector.  But no more.  (Politico Pro)

Online tax bill would help Main Street.  Small shops (and large) are disappearing from our downtowns, affecting livelihoods, livability and public services. A bill that addresses the unfair competitive advantage online retailers have over brick-and-mortar stores - and the debilitating effects on our communities - is long overdue.  (SF Chronicle editorial)

French Tax Proposal Zeroes In on Web Giants’ Data Harvest.  Google and Facebook know that John Doe “likes” wine, is shopping for a Volkswagen and often e-mails Jane Doe. Soon, in France, they might have to pay for gathering that information.  (NYT)

Energy & Sustainability

Silicon Valley Shifting to Power Grid After Solar Sours.  Silicon Valley investors that helped build the solar industry are shifting cash into electricity-grid technology and energy-storage developers after bets on panel manufacturers failed to pay off.  (Bloomberg)

Bringing a little cheer to energy innovation.  Following the close of a year which saw the politicization of clean energy technologies, the struggles of dozens of solar manufacturers and electric car companies, and a “cleantech cliff” for startup investing, the 2013 ARPA-E Summit could be a sober affair.  (GigaOM.com)

Innovation

The Great Divide: Less Innovation, More Inequality.  One source of the outsize inequalities in America is the dynamism that made economic activity so rewarding. An economy open to new concepts and novel ventures is bound to generate unequal gains. To tax all of those gains would close off the prospects for success that many entrepreneurs need if they are to undertake ambitious ventures — a big mistake. But it would also be a mistake to misunderstand the relation of inequality and innovation. It is less innovation — not more — that has widened inequality in the United States in recent decades.  (NYT)

Home automation gets cheaper, smarter, easier.  Wouldn't it be great if you could push a button at night, and all of your doors would lock, your lights would turn off, and your alarm would set automatically? (Denver Post)

Regulation

ICANN CEO: 'We owe Asia a big apology'.  U.S.-based Internet administrator will decentralize with new EMEA and Asia hubs as part of wider plans for greater inclusion, says Fadi Chehade who will personally move to Singapore to support this strategy.  (ZDNet)

Mobility

Gaps Persist in High-Speed Web Access.  Federal stimulus programs that devoted $7.2 billion to bringing high-speed Internet access to rural communities have left some areas without access and others complaining they have too much.  (WSJ)

Data 'to overtake voice' by 2018.  The body that represents the mobile industry predicts operators will make more money from data than from voice by 2018.  (BBC)

Divide between European and U.S. telcos widens.   When the bosses of global mobile operators meet in Barcelona this week, there will be an elephant in the room: the widening gap between fast-growing and richly-valued U.S. telecoms companies and their ailing European counterparts.  (Reuters)

E.U. Governments Cautioned Against Cutting Tech Budgets.  Europe's telecommunications industry is lagging, despite having some of the most successful companies serving some of the most connected populations in the world. The European Union's official in charge of the digital agenda says the bloc is making a huge mistake by not investing more in this sector — depriving itself of a source of income and jobs it can ill afford to ignore.  (NPR)

How MasterCard plans to transform mobile purchases.  The head of MasterCard's emerging payments business talks to CNET about its MasterPass initiative, mobile payments, and beyond.  (CNET)

Tech Business

Huawei Builds Clout Through R&D.  Huawei Technologies, the telecom industry's low-cost giant, is pouring money into research, jumping ahead of its weakened rivals and leaving phone carriers worried about growing too reliant on the Chinese phone-gear maker.  (WSJ)

Huawei pleads global brand ambition, and a softer side.  At Mobile World Congress, Huawei unveils its latest smartphone and earnestly vows to become a top-tier consumer brand.  (CNET)

LG acquiring webOS from HP in smart TV push.  HP's mobile operating system webOS, which met an untimely demise thanks to the poor management show at the PC maker, will live on—in smart TVs and not in smartphones.  (ZDNet)

Mobile Revolution Buffets Taiwan PC Rivals.  The divergent fortunes of Acer and Asus expose both the mistakes and opportunities for personal computer makers amid a shift in how consumers use technology.  (NYT)

Global allies give Mozilla's Firefox OS a mobile foothold.  Partners backing the browser-based mobile OS include phone maker LG and 18 mobile network operators across the world. The first phones are due in the second quarter.  (CNET)

ITI Member News

HP Moves to Head Off Investor Revolt.  Chairman Ray Lane and three fellow board members plan to meet with about 20 of the computer maker's big investors Monday in hopes of heading off a campaign to unseat Mr. Lane and two other directors.  (WSJ)

HP makes move to Android for $169 Slate 7.  Hewlett-Packard is making a tablet comeback, switching to Android and taking on the Google Nexus 7 with the HP Slate 7. Oh, and it's got smartphones planned, too.   (CNET)

Intel’s new offerings focus on tablets.  Intel, the US-based semiconductor group, is launching a fresh assault on the mobile market with a new range of processors and a shift in strategy to focus more on tablets.  (FT)

Intel talks new chips, partners at Mobile World Congress.  The chip giant said its Clover Trail+ chip has double the performance and triple the graphics capabilities of its predecessor. And it reveals Asus to be a new customer for a couple of its mobile chips.  (CNET)

Nokia opens up Here platform with an eye to the future.  Nokia’s mapping and location-based services suite will be available on multiple platforms and open to third-party developers. This gives the company an OS-independent platform to exploit, and a chance to make the most of smart glass.  (GigaOM.com)

Nokia wakes up, smells coffee; aggressively ramps up China effort.  The Finnish phone giant is aggressively targeting the Chinese market, one with almost a billion potential cellular users, with a line-up spanning a Lumia handset and low-price feature phones. Nokia's last chance to save itself is now in clear, plain sight.  (ZDNet)

Siemens accelerates Nokia joint venture exit.  Siemens AG (SI) will speed up efforts to exit or shrink its 50% stake in telecoms equipment joint venture with Nokia Corp. (NOK), the FT reported on its website Sunday, citing an unnamed person close to the company.  (Fox Business)

BlackBerry Starts Z10 Phone Sales in India Tomorrow Before U.S.  BlackBerry will begin selling the Z10 handset in India tomorrow, before the phone’s introduction in the U.S.  (Bloomberg)

BlackBerry Z10 sales 'lower than expected'.  Struggling company could be at risk of fifth loss-making quarter in a row after analysts slash estimates for number of handsets sold. (Guardian)

Qualcomm baking Dolby Digital Plus directly onto chips to save time, money.  Qualcomm and Dolby are framing their new collaboration as a way to decrease both development costs and time-to-market for device makers.  (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

At 11 a.m. ET, the President and the Vice President will deliver remarks to the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room at the White House. 

The early look at the rest of the White House week has the President on the road on Tuesday, when he will travel to Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., to highlight the impact that the sequester will have on the local and national economies.  On Wednesday, the President will deliver remarks at the unveiling of a statue of Rosa Parks at the United States Capitol. In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the Business Council dinner in Washington, D.C. No travel is expected on Thursday and Friday.

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes 2 p.m. ET with a votes expected on two nominations:  Robert E. Bacharach to be circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary.  On the Hagel nomination, the vote is expected to be on a second effort to end debate on the nomination – a vote that failed before last week’s recess.

House:  The House convenes 2 p.m. with votes starting at 6:30 p.m.  Members will consider one bill under suspension of the rules -- HR 667, flight research center renamings.  

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