ITI Daily News Roundup

07/11/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

House Republicans Balk Over Senate Immigration Bill.  Republicans indicated they would not take up anything resembling the Senate bill, putting in jeopardy the future of sweeping legislation that includes a path to citizenship.  (NYT)

House GOP United Against Senate Immigration Bill, but Not on Critical Legalization Issue.  House Republicans emerged Wednesday afternoon from a special closed-door conference meeting on immigration more determined than ever to reject the Senate’s bipartisan comprehensive bill, but without any unified response of their own to the vexing question of what to do with the 11 million undocumented people living here illegally.  (CQ Roll Call)

GOP in House reach out to Democrats.  Their immigration gameplan is to pass individual bills rather than take the comprehensive approach advocated by the Senate.  (Politico Pro)

Tech lobby has no Plan B on immigration.  Despite uncertainty in House, industry insiders are confident in the process.  For that reason, the tech industry is eager to quiet the naysayers who predict immigration legislation is about to hit a wall.  “I think we’re seeing movement. The House Judiciary Committee marked up four bills last month, and the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform, which they didn’t do in 2007,” said Andy Halataei, director of government relations at the Information Technology Industry Council. “We’re moving forward.”  (The Hill)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Yahoo fights to declassify NSA court documents.  Filing a motion with the secret FISA court, the tech giant seeks to prove that it "objected strenuously" to handing the government customer data.  (CNET)

Spying Leaks Bring Debate on Privacy Trade-Offs.  Edward J. Snowden’s revelations have led to a broad debate about the trade-offs between liberty and security.  (NYT)

Lawmakers see deceptive pattern on surveillance.  Members of Congress say oversight of government surveillance has been hurt by officials’ misleading testimony, which suggested spying was narrowly tailored.  (Washington Post)

Feds asked to avoid hacker meeting.  Federal agents have been asked to stay away from Def Con - one of the world's biggest hacking and security gatherings.  (BBC)

Differences on Cybertheft Complicate China Talks.  The Obama administration’s hopes of persuading Chinese leaders to crack down on the daily barrage of theft and espionage over the Internet are likely to be difficult. (NYT)

India's BlackBerry monitoring system 'ready for use'.  Smartphone maker has successfully developed a lawful interception system allowing the Indian government to track e-mail and intercept Web browsing in real-time.  (ZDNet)

NATO cyber defense center fights tide of hacking attempts.  Crouched behind banks of computer screens flashing data, NATO analysts try to stay ahead of millions of suspected attempts to hack the Western alliance's computer networks, as cyber defense moves to the center of NATO operations.  (Reuters)

UK spies: Nations are hiring cybermercenaries.  A British intelligence report said Wednesday that other nations are hiring hackers to launch attacks against their enemies.  (AP)

Global Trade

U.S.-China talks cover cyber issues, currency, Chinese reform.  U.S. officials appealed to China's self-interest on Wednesday with calls for deeper economic reforms including changes to the exchange rate policy and a halt to cyber theft of trade secrets - actions they said would benefit both nations.  (Reuters)

Debate on China's TPP role regains momentum.  Sources in the Ministry of Commerce told China Daily that China is becoming "positive" toward the US-led Trans-Pacific free trade agreement. A consensus has been reached on the importance of the free trade pact, a step forward from some time ago, when many people were opposed to the proposal. (China Daily)

Environment & Sustainability

IBM's M2M technology aids smart water management.  Early results from IBM projects in three states show how sensors, analytics and power modeling software are reducing leaks and risky runoff.  (GreenBiz)

Seattle, Microsoft team up to bring energy efficiency downtown.  Microsoft is teaming with Accenture to encourage more efficient buildings across Seattle. The tech giant hopes it can help cities around the world.  (GreenBiz)

China to Join U.S. in Carbon-Capture Projects.  China and the U.S., which together burn more than 40 percent of the world’s coal, have agreed to jointly develop technology to capture carbon dioxide from power plants and take other steps to combat climate change.  (Bloomberg)

10 challenges of being the CSO.  Ah, the perils of the chief sustainability officer. Cold calls, warm calls and being teased for wearing green are only part of the story.  (GreenBiz column/Kathrin Winkler)

Innovation

Tech-Savvy Cities May Be 'Smart,' But Are They Wise?  Around the world, cities like Rio de Janeiro are using new technologies to solve their problems. And while there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, urban planner Anthony Townsend is wary of putting so much power in the hands of tech companies.  (NPR)

Researchers Develop Flexible Metal For 3-D Printers.  Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technology that will allow a metal alloy to be used in 3-D printers and could lead to flexible gadgets.  (NYT)

Wearable Tech Branches Out To Fashion, Sports, Art.  Wearable digital technologies are no longer the exclusive domain of IT firms and device makers.  (Nikkei)

Regulation

Walden renews push to overhaul FCC rules.  The House passed Walden's reform bill last year, but the Senate never took up the proposal.  (The Hill)

Tech Business

Apple to Cisco Lead Record Dividends as Google Holds Out.  Technology companies are paying out dividends at the fastest pace in more than a decade, boosting cash returns to appease investors dismayed by slowing growth.  (Bloomberg)

PC sales in 'longest' historical drop.  Global personal computer (PC) sales fall for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the "longest duration of decline" in history.  (BBC)

The metal coating that makes iPhones touch sensitive is running out.  Industry experts are racing to produce the next big conductive coating. They presented on materials like carbon nanotubes and graphene at the annual Semicon West conference today.  (GigaOM)

E-Book Ruling Gives Amazon an Advantage.  A federal judge’s antitrust finding against Apple over e-book prices underscores how much the book industry has changed and bolsters the advantage held by the online retailer.  (NYT)

Apple e-book ruling seen as warning to tech.  The U.S. government’s victory over Apple in the e-books antitrust case sends a message to the tech industry, legal observers say: Even popular innovators can’t run roughshod over antitrust laws.  (Politico Pro)

More ITI Member News

Lenovo Is Top Supplier as Global PC Sales Fall.  The market is saturated in many areas, analysts say, and personal computers last longer than before, so replacement cycles are slowing.  (NYT)

Forget Zynga: Facebook's games business stronger than ever.  Facebook's profit from games isn't huge -- but games are critical to all parts of the still-expanding social network.  (CNET)

Google Puts Marketing Muscle Behind 'Moto X'.  Google is expected to allow its Motorola hardware unit to spend upward of $500 million to market the Moto X phone expected to be sold by the four largest wireless carriers this fall.  (WSJ)
Icahn urges Dell shareholders to seek higher price in court.  Billionaire investor Carl Icahn plans to seek a higher price for his Dell shares in court and urged other investors to do the same, in an effort to block Dell Inc founder Michael Dell's $24.4 billion buyout offer ahead of a key shareholder meeting.  (Reuters)

Blackberry Loses Two More Executives.  Two executives in charge of key functions at BlackBerry have left the company, dealing another blow to the smartphone maker as it tries to build momentum for a new line of phones.  (WSJ)

Are 41 Million Reasons Enough to Make Smartphone Buyers Choose Nokia?  Nokia’s latest Windows Phone is likely to be quite the sharpshooter, but it remains to be seen whether it will have enough firepower o bag the ever elusive high-end consumer.  (All Things D)

Microsoft: please reboot.  A management reshuffle is no substitute for transparency, especially with PCs in decline.  (FT)

Microsoft Beats Apple for Key School Tablet Contract.  Microsoft Corp. has scored an important victory over rival Apple Inc. in Japan's market for tablet computers for school use.  (Nikkei)

Today on the Hill

House:  The House convenes at 9 a.m. ET and is expected to take up HR 2642, a farm bill consisting of agriculture programs alone, without the nutrition programs included in a committee-passed version that failed to pass the House last month.  

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. ET, with Senators waiting to see whether Majority Leader Reid will pursue possible changes to filibuster rules.  Mr. Reid is expected to address the Senate on the issue around 2:15 p.m.

1600 Penn.

Highlights of President Obama's schedule include a meeting at 10:15 a.m. ET with Senators Schumer and McCain on immigration reform.  At 3:45 p.m., the President and the Vice President will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi on the margins of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.  And a traffic advisory for readers in Washington, D.C. -- at 5:30 p.m.,  President will attend a DNC event at the Jefferson Hotel downtown.

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