ITI Daily News Roundup

04/22/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

IT firms may be visa fall guys.  There will likely be more restrictions and harsher penalties on H-1Bs in exchange for more visas.  (Politico)

Schumer, Graham: Boston brings urgency to immigration reform.  "What happened in Boston … should urge us to act quicker, not slower," said Sen. Graham.  (The Hill)

Young Adults With Autism Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs.  Finding a job is hard enough for recent graduates, but for those on the autism spectrum the search can be even harder. One training program in Texas is helping these young people prepare for jobs in the tech industry.  (NPR)

Want More Gender Equality At Work? Go To An Emerging Market.  In the U.S., 3 percent of the CEOs at top companies are women; in India, that figure is 14 percent. Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett says women in India and other emerging economies, like China and Brazil, are surpassing their American and European counterparts. They're "pointing the way," she says.  (NPR)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

U.S. Eyes Pushback On China Hacking.  The Obama administration is considering a raft of options to confront China more aggressively over cyberspying, officials say, a potentially rapid escalation of a conflict the White House has only recently acknowledged.  (WSJ)

Silicon Valley companies quietly try to kill Internet privacy bill.  A letter signed by 15 businesses and trade groups — including TechAmerica, which represents Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others — demanded Internet privacy bill's author, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, drop the bill.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Wall Street vs. Its Employees' Privacy.  State efforts to block companies from monitoring employees' personal Facebook and Twitter accounts are under fire from a new front—securities regulators.  (WSJ)

Toughening cyberdefenses.  Congress must authorize sharing of cyberthreat data with the private sector.  (Washington Post editorial)

Tax

Senate poised to back Internet sales tax.  Supporters argue the bill would close an unfair loophole that benefits online retailers over local brick-and-mortar stores.  (The Hill)

eBay CEO enlists users' aid to defeat online sales tax bill.  John Donahoe e-mails users to prevent enactment of a national internet sales tax he argues would place an unreasonable burden on small retailers.  (CNET)

Google boss defends UK tax record.  Speaking to the BBC, Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, defends his company for paying just £6m in UK corporation tax in 2011. (BBC)

Innovation

Big Data, Trying to Build Better Workers.  Work history does not matter as much as we think it does, and bosses matter more — these are findings from an emerging field called work-force science.  (NYT)

World's first smartphone for blind invented in India.  The handset uses Shape Memory Alloy technology in its innovative "touchscreen", where a grid of pins form shapes and Braille characters according to content it receives.  (ZDNet)

Environment & Sustainability

How CA Technologies and Grainger workers push sustainability.  Companies realize they must move past a few dedicated green champions to involve more employees to push their sustainability agendas.  (GreenBiz.com)

Google Wants Renewables Offerings at Utilities.  Google Inc. (GOOG), which has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy projects and buys wind- generated electricity, said utilities should offer large customers more options for using clean power.  (Bloomberg)

Tata Faces Crisis as $20 Billion Spent on Water: Corporate India.  India, the world’s second-most populous nation, is doubling spending on water management to a record as conglomerates from the Tatas to Adani face shortages that the United Nations calls an impending crisis.  (Bloomberg)

Regulation

EU regulators say smart cart chipmakers may have been in cartel.  A group of smart card chipmakers may have taken part in a cartel to keep prices high in breach of EU antitrust rules, the European Commission said on Monday.  (Reuters)

Tech Business

SV 150: Silicon Valley's chip industry suffered downturn in 2012.  While most of the Bay Area's biggest tech companies shook off the recession and staged a rebound, the semiconductor industry waged a bloody battle for every dollar of declining profits and sales as consumers shifted from personal computers to mobile gadgets.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Yahoo Names AOL Exec as New Policy Head.  Yahoo has named Tekedra Mawakana as the new director of its global public policy and strategy team. She'll be working global governmental affairs and will head up policy initiatives with industry and government agencies. Mawakana had worked at AOL since 2001 as senior VP of public policy and deputy general counsel.  (WSJ)

Taiwan Tries to Shore Up Its Defenses Against Samsung.  There are fears on the export-reliant island that Samsung has deliberately focused on Taiwanese companies in a campaign to undermine their competitiveness.  (AP)

Forecast for the cloud: it will come in a million varieties.  The cloud is dominated by massive, super-scale providers like Google and Amazon. But that is going to change, and eventually every business big or small will have a cloud suited specifically to their needs.  (GigaOM.com)

ITI Member News

The Case of H.P.’s Obstinate Director.  It took the combined efforts of Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive, other board members and the company’s largest shareholder to get Raymond Lane to give up his role as H.P.’s chairman.  (NYT)

Apple's dimming luster roils suppliers, investors.  Apple Inc marketing chief Phil Schiller let slip during last August's courtroom battle with Samsung that when setting forecasts for new iPhones, the inside joke was that people should assume sales would equal all previous versions combined.  (Reuters)

Google Play revenue surges, but still far short of Apple: data.  Google's app store revenues are growing much faster than those of Apple Inc, but Apple still dominates overall sales, market research data taken from the first three months of the year shows.  (Reuters)

Google CEO Hints At New Motorola Hardware.  Motorola has shown "impressive velocity and execution" with new products in development, says Larry Page.  (Information Week)

EBay Punches Above Its Weight.  On paper, eBay Inc. looks like the underdog in a pending Senate fight over interstate sales tax that pits the online-shopping website against such retail giants as Wal-Mart and Amazon.com.  But eBay has influential allies swinging into action. The bill would let states require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes from in-state customers. (CQ Weekly)

Get ready to ditch those old releases - we're going Saas in a big way, says CA Technologies.  CA is aiming to move as many products as possible to a software as a service delivery models - and hopes to persuade customers to upgrade to the latest versions too.  (ZDNet)

How Microsoft defied PC gravity.  One clue is the Surface – which managed to hide the erosion that is eating away at the heart of one key Microsoft business.  (The Guardian)

How Microsoft's cloud evolution is dissolving the separation between enterprise and consumer.  Picking apart Microsoft's latest financials shows you can't split the company neatly between home and business any more, thanks to the cloud.  (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

At 1:30 p.m. ET, President Obama will host the White House Science Fair and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country.  The president hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire students to excel in math and science. 

Today on the Hill

House:  The House is not in session today.  The next meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Senate:  At 2 p.m. ET, the Senate will convene.  Senators will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.743, the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow additional taxes to be levied on online entrepreneurs.  Also, the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a marathon hearing on immigration reform beginning at 10 a.m. in Hart 216. 

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