ITI Daily News Roundup

04/19/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

'Gang of Eight' say they believe immigration bill will pass.  The eight senators who authored the newly unveiled bipartisan immigration reform bill said Thursday they are confident their efforts will not collapse the way a bipartisan gun control bill did this week.  (USA Today)

Black caucus troubled by Senate plan to replace ‘diversity’ visas.  Civil rights groups are urging lawmakers to preserve the visas, which are often used by African and Caribbean immigrants.  (The Hill)

Bill Gates On Education: "We Can Make Massive Strides."  Bill Gates, in an exclusive interview, offers his cure for what ails the education system.  (Fast Company)

Tax

Internet sales tax, here we come?  A Senate vote on the first ever Internet sales tax, which is backed by Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, could come as soon as next week.  (CNET)

Online sales tax bill set for vote in the Senate.  “Harry Reid is hell-bent on bringing it to the floor," Sen. Orrin Hatch said.  (The Hill)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Strong House Vote Should Spark Senate Action.  After a strong bipartisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to approve the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), ITI President & CEO Dean Garfield hoped the action would lead to similar progress in the Senate.  (ITI)

House passes cybersecurity bill as privacy concerns linger.  The House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday designed to help companies and the government share information on cyber threats, though concerns linger about the amount of protection the bill offers for private information.  (Reuters)

CISPA changes fail to win over privacy advocates.  Changes made to a cybersecurity bill that passed the House on Thursday failed to win over privacy advocates who argued it would infringe on people's rights. (The Hill)

D.C. remains at cyber odds as threats increase.  Chinese cyberspies are stealing businesses' trade secrets. Iranian hackers are targeting U.S. banks. And the federal government is grappling with cyber-espionage almost daily — even as it's spending more than ever to stop it.  Yet Washington — again — appears on the verge of another cyberwar with itself. (Politico Pro)

Global Trade

EU-U.S. trade deal seen reaping rapid benefit.  Companies would race to profit from a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the United States, bringing a near instant boost to both economies, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said.  (Reuters)

Japan's PM previews "third arrow" economic policy, short on detail.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday previewed the "third arrow" of a three-part economic policy aimed at boosting growth in the long-stagnant economy, promising to open the economy through free trade deals, make it easier for women to work and promote growth sectors with private and public support.  (Reuters)

TPP in sharp focus as APEC ministers meet.  During the two-day meeting starting Saturday in Surabaya, the ministers of 21-member APEC, which accounts for nearly half the world’s economic output, are scheduled to discuss free-trade schemes to increase economic integration and ways to attain sustainable growth and eliminate protectionism.  But the meeting also provides a chance for ministers of the countries already involved in the U.S.-led TPP to gather in one place, and Japan is aiming to gain their backing to join the rule-making process as early as July.  (Japan Times)

U.S. Wants Japan In TPP By July, But APEC Announcement Still Uncertain.  Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration hopes that Japan will be able to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in July. This statement raises expectations that all TPP members will formally welcome Japan into the talks at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this weekend and suggests that TPP members may, as many have suspected, schedule another formal round of talks in July.  (Inside US Trade)

India is not imposing restrictions on investments, says Chidambaram.  Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday rejected suggestions that India is imposing restrictions on investments and said the country's economy is opening up in a gradual manner.  "I think the right way to look at it is we are not restricting. We are opening up in a gradual manner. Where were we in 1991. What are we today, in 2013? In the space of 22 years we have opened practically 90 per cent of India's economy," Chidambaram told the popular Charlie Rose Show in an interview.  (India Today)

Environment & Sustainability

Senate energy approves Moniz.  The energy secretary nominee passes his first test in Congress and even wins over some Republicans.  (Politico)

China's BYD mulls leaner, greener "re-birth" plan.  BYD Co, one of the better known Chinese brands thanks to a stake held by billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffett, may stop making conventional gasoline-fuelled cars within two years and focus on 'new energy' battery models as part of a "re-birth plan" to arrest a slump in sales.  (Reuters)

Regulation

Google again beats Viacom in YouTube lawsuit.  A federal judge has again thrown out Viacom's copyright infringement lawsuit against Google over the latter's YouTube service, a year after a federal appeals court had revived the case.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Tech Business

Apple Slowdown Threatens $30B Supplier Web.  Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s slowing sales are rippling through a supplier network that has long benefited from the company’s ability to churn out iPhones and iPads.  (Bloomberg)

Tech's Rust Belt Takes Shape.  Technology has long distributed its riches unequally. But the sector has seldom seemed so sharply divided between disrupters and the disrupted.  (WSJ)

Yahoo adds new global public policy lead in D.C.  Tekedra Mawakana has joined Yahoo's Washington team and will serve as deputy general counsel and vice president of global public policy. Mawakana will direct Yahoo's global government affairs efforts and work with lawmakers and regulators on issues such as privacy, intellectual property, cybersecurity, high-skilled immigration reform and human rights.  She previously serviced as senior vice president of public policy and deputy general counsel at AOL. 

A Silicon Valley Vision for San Francisco.  Ron Conway has in two short years become one of San Francisco’s power brokers, using his wealth and contacts to pursue his vision of the city.  (NYT)

ITI Member News

AMD results beat expectations in declining PC market.  Advanced Micro Devices Inc forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street's expectations as it rushes to find new markets to offset its declining core business of PC chips.  (Reuters)

Next Big Push for Lenovo: Servers.  Lenovo's potential acquisition of part of IBM's server business would help it secure a new source of growth and profit at a time when world-wide PC sales are plummeting.  (WSJ)

Cloud keeps looking good for IBM, and flash storage could help in the months ahead.  Despite gains in cloud computing revenue, IBM did not meet Wall Street’s expectations of the legacy technology vendor. Flash storage could help bring more revenue later this year.  (GigaOM.com)

Blackstone Ends Pursuit of Dell.  Blackstone Group has ended its pursuit of Dell, less than a month after the private-equity firm said it would try to top a leveraged buyout by the computer maker's founder and a rival private-equity firm.  (WSJ)

SAP's cloud computing push stalls in Asia.  SAP AG's Asian business stumbled at the start of 2013 when top sales managers left the business software company, giving rivals an edge just as customers were switching from hardware to cloud computing.  (Reuters)

After Apple’s Rise, a Bruising Fall.  Shares of Apple were trading for more than $700 last year, but they have tumbled back and analysts are trying to understand why.  (NYT)

Microsoft CFO to leave; profit, shares rise.  Microsoft Corp Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein is leaving at the end of June after 3-1/2 years in the post, as the world's biggest software company struggles with sharply declining personal computer sales and a lukewarm reception for the new Windows 8 operating system.  (Reuters)

Microsoft working on 'small touch devices' running Windows.  Outgoing CFO Peter Klein all but confirms rumors that Microsoft is developing a Windows 8-powered tablet.  (CNET)

Software Sales Bolster Microsoft, Leading to a 19% Rise in Profit.  Despite a slump in global sales of personal computers, the company said its software product sales drove the increase, which exceeded Wall Street estimates.  (NYT)

Google Internet business solid despite Motorola losses.  Google Inc's core Internet business grew net revenue 23 percent in the first quarter, softening the effect of a sharp decline in its Motorola mobile phone division.  (Reuters)

Google, Soothing Investors, Plays Up Its Innovations.  Analysts pointed to Google’s mobile business as a weakness because consumers are rapidly shifting from computer use to mobile devices.  (NYT)

Nokia cuts first-quarter loss.  Nokia has reported a first-quarter net loss of $357 million, mainly thanks to cost cutting.  (AP)

1600 Penn.

There are no public events on President Obama's schedule.  However, it should be considered to be a fluid schedule depending on how events unfold in and around Boston.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House is not in session.

Senate:  The Senate is not in session.  However, at 10 a.m. ET, the Senate Judiciary committee is holding a hearing on an immigration overhaul, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano scheduled to testify.

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