ITI Daily News Roundup

05/17/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Canada comes to Silicon Valley to poach high-tech workers.  As Congress wrestles with a long-sought overhaul of America's immigration system, the Canadian government is trying to poach talented immigrants frustrated by U.S. visa policy. The campaign begins Friday with a four-day visit to the Bay Area by Jason Kenney, Canada's minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Hatch: Tech-backed H-1B visa measures key to his support on immigration.  "We've got to iron out the H-1B situation so it doesn't push businesses to hire people overseas," Hatch said.  (The Hill)

Senators battle over tech worker visas.  Silicon Valley tech companies are aggressively seeking looser requirements to “hire American workers first” to fill tech jobs, potentially splitting the bipartisan Gang of Eight coalition that put together the huge immigration bill.  (San Francisco Chronicle)

Senate Immigration Bill Could Benefit Hiring of Immigrants over U.S. Citizens.  The draft of the Senate’s immigration overhaul appears to give some employers a $3,000-a-year incentive to hire a newly legalized immigrant rather than an American citizen in order to avoid the new employer mandates in the health care law. “It needs to be addressed,” said John McCain, a member of the bipartisan group that drafted the bill.  (CQ Roll Call)

Bipartisan House Group Says It's Reached Immigration Deal.  The group of eight Republicans and Democrats says that it has overcome obstacles and agreed on a tentative plan to overhaul the nation's immigration system.  (NPR)

Laurene Powell Jobs Goes Public to Promote Dream Act.  Laurene Powell Jobs has taken on a public role, backing one of the most contentious causes in the U.S. today: immigration reform. And she is doing it using some of the tactics that her late husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, employed to great effect at the technology giant.  (WSJ)

Gang of 8 plan may hamper start-ups.  Opinion: Forcing start-ups to exhaust domestic options before a foreign hire will slow success.  (Politico op-ed/O’Farrell)

Foxconn Audit Finds a Workweek Still Too Long.  Foxconn Technology has made progress toward better safety conditions, but employees are still working longer than Chinese law allows.  (NYT)

Tax

Apple CEO Tim Cook to seek 'dramatic' corporate tax overhaul.  Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to propose a 'dramatic simplification' of corporate tax laws when he testifies for the first time before Congress next week, just as lawmakers are eyeing an overhaul of the tax code.  (Washington Post)

Apple on offense.  Apple is under so much pressure in Washington over its offshore cash that it’s doing things it almost never does.  CEO Tim Cook is coming to Washington to testify in front of a panel of senators about stashing more than $100 billion overseas, rather than sending a lower-level executive.  (Politico Pro)

Pro Q&A: Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.  Cook told POLITICO that the company's message to lawmakers next week will be its record creating jobs and contributions to the U.S. economy.  (Politico Pro)

After Google, Amazon to be grilled on UK tax presence.  Internet retailer Amazon.com will be called back to the British parliament to clarify how its activities in the UK justify its low corporate income tax bill.  (Reuters)

UK lawmakers challenge Google's 'smoke and mirrors' on tax.  Google Inc faced angry questions on Thursday from British lawmakers investigating its tax affairs and whether it had misled Parliament in testimony last year, adding fuel to a debate on taxation that has risen to the top of the UK political agenda.  (Reuters)

Internet sales tax could be a boon for transit.  With a number of transit agencies around the country relying on local taxes for much-needed revenue, train and bus systems stand to benefit from an Internet sales tax bill.  (Politico Pro)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Utilities Targeted by Hackers Raise Dire U.S. Warnings.  Cyber attacks on computers that run the nation’s energy grid, nuclear reactors and water-treatment plants are increasing with potentially lethal effects, the Department of Homeland Security’s top investigator said.  At the same time, the department doesn’t always share timely information about cyber threats with companies responsible for ensuring the security of those computers and some data provided can be confusing, Edwards said in written testimony for the a House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity.  (Bloomberg)

Google Glass spurs privacy questions.  Several congressional members send a letter to Google CEO Larry Page about concerns such as whether Google will use facial recognition technology with Glass.  (CNET)

Google's Privacy Shift Powers New Customized Maps.  The new Google Maps features tailor-made results based on users' habits and search histories. The features were made possible by the revisions Google made to its privacy policies last year, a change that removed most of the barriers between its various services.  (NPR)

Concerns Arise on U.S. Effort to Allow Internet ‘Wiretaps’.  A report cautioned that government wiretapping of the Internet could pose “serious security risks” to users.  (NYT)

Hacker group Anonymous plans attack on oil-and-gas industry.  The hacker activist group Anonymous said it plans to target the oil-and-gas sector in a June 20 operation.  (The Hill)

Global Trade

Digital coalition asks for a fair deal on TPP copyright provisions.  It has called on TPP negotiators to reject the copyright proposals.  (Australian Techworld)

'Review nation's involvement in TPP talks.'   The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) has urged the government to review the country's involvement in the negotiations for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) aimed at further liberalising the economies of the Asia-pacific region.  (Malaysia Business Times)

Regulation

Democrats accuse Republicans of distorting intent of spectrum law.  House Democrats urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday to reject the advice of a group of Republicans on the upcoming auction of broadcast TV licenses.  (The Hill)

Apple Fights Back in Antitrust Case Over E-Book Prices.  The company is scheduled to go to trial in June over the Justice Department’s accusation that it conspired with five publishing houses to fix prices on electronic books.  (NYT)

Tech Business

Elon Musk raises $1.3bn for green tech.  Wave of interest for Tesla Motors and SolarCity.  (FT)

Will Yahoo Try to Get Its “Cool Again” by Doing a Deal for Tumblr?  Earlier this week, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman spoke at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference and underscored the need for the aging Silicon Valley Internet giant to attract more users from the coveted 18-to-24-years-old age bracket. Along with more marketing, he explicitly said Yahoo needed to be “cool again.”  That could mean a strategic alliance and investment in or outright buy of perhaps the coolest Internet company of late:  Tumblr.  (All Things Digital)

More ITI Member News

IBM to Offer Up Watson to Software Developers.  International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) will offer its Watson technology, which beat humans in “Jeopardy!,” as a building block for startup companies making business software.  (Bloomberg)

Google Buys a Quantum Computer.  Google and NASA are forming a joint research lab to look at quantum computing for things like facial recognition and understanding of disease.  (NYT)

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?  As the CEO steps down, he leaves the Intel machine poised to take on the swarming ecosystem of competitors who make smartphone chips.  (The Atlantic)

New CEO vows Intel will be more responsive in mobile push.  Intel Corp's new CEO Brian Krzanich said on Thursday that under his leadership the top chipmaker will be more responsive to customers in an intensified focus on the fast-growing smartphone and tablet market where it lags its rivals.  (Reuters)

Dell's profit dives as billionaire battle rages on.  Dell Inc, the subject of a takeover battle between activist investor Carl Icahn and the company's billionaire founder, reported a 79 percent slide in profit as personal computer sales continued to shrink.  (Reuters)

AMD Rally Needs More Than Console Wins.  Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) was the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s best-performing stock in the past month after winning orders in video-game consoles. To keep that streak going, AMD must prove it’s got more going than games.  (Bloomberg)

A stretched Samsung chases rival Apple's suppliers.  Overtaking Apple Inc as the world's leading maker of smartphones has stretched Samsung Electronics Co's in-house supply lines, and the South Korean firm is now courting some of its rival's main parts suppliers.  (Reuters)

Apple Seen Losing Innovation Magic by 71% in Global Poll.  Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable technology company, has lost its edge among investors, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll.  (Bloomberg)

Apple says App Store hit 50 billion downloads.  Apple says its customers have downloaded more than 50 billon applications from its App Store since its launch in 2008.  (AP)

YouTube Worth $20 Billion by 2020: Morgan Stanley.  Google's YouTube could be a $20 billion business within seven years, according to a research note from Morgan Stanley.  (CNBC)

BlackBerry: iOS and Android to the rescue.  The very factor that decimated BlackBerry is now becoming one of the most important catalysts in its turnaround.  (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

1600 Penn. moves to Baltimore, Md., today as President Obama is back on the road to talk about needed investments in the U.S. economy.  At 11:30 a.m. ET, he will visit an elementary school that provides comprehensive early childhood services.  At 1 p.m., the president visits Ellicott Dredges, which manufactures dredge equipment being sold for infrastructure projects across the country and around the world.  Then, at 2:15 p.m., the president visits a community center that helps families by ensuring parents have the skills they need for a job in today’s workplace. 

Today on the Hill

House:  The House convenes at 9 a.m. ET.  Among the bills up for votes today is HR 1062, the SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, which would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before issuing a new regulation.

Senate:  The Senate is not in session today.  Members will return to Washington on Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

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