ITI Daily News Roundup

07/15/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

McConnell urges House GOP to move immigration legislation.  “I don't think anybody's satisfied with the status quo on immigration,” said the Senate GOP leader.  (The Hill)

Tech keeping tabs on D.C. beyond immigration.  It has been the summer of the immigration push in Washington — but there are other tech issues seeing some traction even with H-1B visas and border security dominating the D.C. discussion.  Patents, spectrum auctions, tax reform and trade issues remain high on the tech wish list — and company representatives and lobbyists say they have seen progress as things percolate on Capitol Hill.  (Politico Pro)

Outside groups not pitch perfect on immigration.  Pro-business and religious groups — constituencies that typically hold sway in the GOP-controlled House — are flooding the TV airwaves, purchasing full-page newspaper ads and sending letters to Capitol Hill in support of reform. And they plan to do even more.  But many conservative lawmakers simply don’t feel the urgency. For a variety of reasons, the politics of the immigration debate are different than in the Senate, where a comprehensive bill passed with big margins in June. GOP members don’t see immigration as a top priority of their constituents — most of them aren’t hearing about it at home — and many don’t represent districts with heavy Hispanic populations.  (Politico)

Privacy & Cybersecurity

Senate begins to move on cybersecurity.  Top Democrats and Republicans have vowed to hold a vote on their bill by the end of the month.  (The Hill)

U.S., Firms Target Chinese Cyberspies.  The U.S. gave American Internet providers addresses linked to suspected Chinese hackers earlier this year in a bid to block cyberspying.  (WSJ)

Merkel vows better data protection.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will push for tougher data protection laws in the EU, following revelations of widespread spying on the web.  (BBC)

Global data privacy rules would be awesome (but good luck getting there).  Feeling the heat ahead of federal elections, German chancellor Angela Merkel has called for unified data protection rules across Europe and, to a more limited extent, on a global scale. But is that even possible?  (GigaOM)

Pixar inspires graphic comment on NSA surveillance.  A piece of very simple animation, inspired by Pixar, offers a very poignant view of the nation the USA has become -- at least according to some.  (CNET)

Nations Buying as Hackers Sell Flaws in Computer Code.  Governments pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn about and exploit weaknesses in the computer systems of foreign adversaries.  (NYT)

How Hackers Tapped Into My Cellphone For Less Than $300.  A group of good guy hackers showed us how they can listen in on phone conversations and read text messages of Verizon customers simply by using inexpensive store bought technology.  (NPR)

Attention Shopper: Stores Are Tracking Your Cell.  Using video surveillance, and signals from shoppers’ cellphones and apps, retailers are tracking customers’ behavior and moods.  (NYT)

Global Trade

Privacy issues loom over trade talks.  Recent revelations magnify concerns and differences over information access and ownership.  (Politico)

Japan to analyze results of TPP negotiations this July to form strategy for August.  Since Japan will only be able to participate for three days in the July round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, the objective for this time is for the 100-member team to just understand what has been accomplished so far. Afterwards, they can strategize in preparation for the next round of talks in August with the other 11 countries participating in the free trade negotiations.  (Japan Daily News)

TPP talks kick off in Malaysia as Japan awaits debut.  The 18th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations began Monday in Malaysia as Japan prepares to make its debut near the end of the 11-day round.  Japan's participation will not come until July 23, when the United States, the leading economy of the TPP, completes the domestic procedure of giving its Congress 90 days' notice to start trade negotiations with Japan.  (Kyodo)

Tax

Apple controversy lays bare complex Irish tax web.  Occupying a single floor of a three-story building in a suburban Dublin office park, Western Union's offices are notably modest for the international headquarters of the world's largest money transfer firm.  (Reuters)

US blocks crackdown on tax avoidance by net firms like Google and Amazon.  France fails to win backing for tough new international rules targeting online companies in run-up to G20 summit.  (The Guardian)

G20 sharpens attack on tax avoidance.  UK business leaders warn on profit shifting by multinationals.  (FT)

Max and Dave, Washington's newest power couple.  Welcome to the "Max and Dave Show," a campaign-style swing around the country featuring two of the most powerful members of Congress rallying support for their effort to overhaul the nation's tax laws — and, just maybe, change the way Washington works.  (AP)

Taxing Worry for Online Stores.  The lobbying battle on Capitol Hill over whether to allow states to require Internet retailers to collect sales tax for them has mostly pitted large brick-and-mortar retailers, which want to require the Internet shops to collect the tax, against conservative think tanks, which view it as an unacceptable new tax.  But a new coalition of more than 500 Internet stores is trying to change the dynamic. The eMainStreet Alliance says that allowing the states to move forward would make it much harder for them to compete with large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, which is leading the lobbying coalition pushing for the change.  (CQ Weekly)

Environment & Sustainability

Finally there’s evidence that we’re embracing energy innovation.  Two recent energy policy moves are evidence that policymakers are finally starting to figure out the need to part with old paradigms – and the right way to encourage innovation.  (GigaOM)

Facebook posts unfriendly rise in carbon emissions.  Facebook's greenhouse gas emissions were up a whopping 35 percent in 2012, as the social media giant further extended its global reach.  (GreenBiz)

Strike while the planet is not too hot.  With climate change occurring rapidly, investors need to move out of fossil fuels swiftly to benefit from low-carbon opportunities.  (FT)

Regulation

Web industry officials balk at domain expansion plan.  Adding domains such as ‘.corp’ and ‘.buy’ could lead to confusion and fraud, they say.  (Washington Post)

Apple Ruling Heaps Doubt on 'MFN' Clauses.  Last week's court ruling that the price-matching provision in Apple's contracts with five major book publishers was part of a conspiracy to fix e-book prices heaped doubt on such provisions, called most-favored-nation clauses.  (WSJ)

N.S.A. Leaks Stir Plans in Russia to Control Net.  Even before Edward J. Snowden arrived in a Moscow airport, Russia had been pressing for greater access to social networking and e-mail data.  (NYT)

Has Patent, Will Sue: An Alert to Corporate America.  The number of patent-infringement lawsuits has soared, partly because of Erich Spangenberg. His firm has sued 1,638 companies in the last five years.  (NYT)

Stiglitz: How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality.  America has attempted to foist its intellectual property regime on others, through the World Trade Organization and bilateral and other multilateral trade regimes. It is doing so now in negotiations as part of the so-called trans-Pacific Partnership. Trade agreements are supposed to be an important instrument of diplomacy: closer trade integration brings closer ties in other dimensions. But attempts by the office of the United States Trade Representative to persuade others that, in effect, corporate profits are more important than human lives undermines America’s international standing: if anything, it reinforces the stereotype of the crass American.  (NYT)

Leaked letter: UK government strong-arming ISPs.  A freshly leaked letter shows the U.K. government demanding ISPs mislead customers with "default-on" filter language, implement untested "browser intercept," and more.  (ZDNet)

Row over UK internet safety filters.  The UK government's call on internet providers to market net safety filters as "default-on" prompts a backlash from the industry.  (BBC)

Innovation

Google Puts Connected Car Pressure on Ford, General Motors.  Automotive companies and technology companies such as Google Inc. are approaching the development of driverless cars in very different ways. In Silicon Valley, the bias, as one might expect, is toward breaking the mold and starting over. But "the automotive industry, for the most part works iteratively," said Darren Liccardo, head of the BMW Group Technology Office in Mountain View, Calif.  (WSJ)

Hello, tomorrow: Smart tech and accidental espionage.  From Google Glass to Kinect to the Goji smart lock, good luck avoiding a new generation of tech products that capture you on the go and at home.  (CNET)

The evolution of humanoid robots.  With advances in sensors and control systems, humanoid robots, like DARPA's Atlas, are soon to be working side by side with us in everything from industry to entertainment.  (CNET)

3D-printed guns show breadth of 3D printing, CEO says.  Avi Reichental, president and CEO of 3D Systems, says the man behind the 3D-printed gun has done the 3D-printing industry a service.  Speaking at the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago, Reichental discussed the 3D-printed gun from a manufacturing standpoint. After showing video of 3D-printed gun discussions in mainstream media, namely the HBO news and commentary show Real Time with Bill Maher, Reichental explained that Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed and developer of the world's first operational 3D-printed gun, represents the possibilities of 3D printing on society at large.  (PC World)

Mobility

Russian Mobile Revolution Sparks Fight for Network Orders.  Russian mobile carriers are gearing up for about $13 billion in spending to boost data speeds, creating the next major battleground for network suppliers.  (Bloomberg)

Samsung Spurs India Data War as Tariffs Slashed.  The price war among Indian phone operators has shifted from voice to data.  Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI), Idea Cellular Ltd. (IDEA) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) have slashed fees for sending data by as much as 90 percent as mobile social networking and gaming surge. They are betting on cheaper rates to help add users in a market where smartphone sales, led by Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s handsets, almost tripled in the quarter through March.  (Bloomberg)

Tech Business

Samuelson: Does high tech hurt job creation?  Here’s a somber thought: We may never — or at least not anytime soon — regain “full employment,” meaning an unemployment rate between, say, 4 percent and 5.5 percent. It is now four years from the recovery’s start, and the number of jobs is still 2.2 million below the pre-recession peak. Since World War II, this has never happened. After the harsh 1981-82 recession, employment recouped lost ground in 12 months. Economists are searching for an explanation, and one recent candidate seems surprising: high tech.  (Washington Post)

Samsung to supply iPhone chips from 2015.  South Korean manufacturer is said to have signed a deal to supply 14nm-size A9 chips, providing the central chipset which will power the Apple's next iPhone when it begins production in 2015.  (ZDNet)

Globalfoundries' $6 billion New York chip plant waits for Apple.  Apple could turn upstate New York into a global chipmaking hot spot if its rumored discussions with Globalfoundries bear fruit.  (CNET)

Startups are including philanthropy in their DNA.  Many entrepreneurs think of philanthropy as something to consider way off in the future when their businesses are mature and profitable.  (Denver Post)

Mayer still waiting for her Yahoo moment.  Challenge to convince Wall Street that group is worth more.  (FT)

Panasonic to invest $250M in India by 2016.  Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic plans to invest nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in its Indian operations, where it will also launch a range of smartphones priced from US$100.  (ZDNet)

More ITI Member News

Apple hires fresh talent for ‘iWatch.’  Questions raised over engineers’ abilities.  (FT)

After five years of the App Store - Apple is the biggest winner .  The smartphone manufacturers need a compelling fleet of apps to sell their devices, but for developers success is far from guaranteed.  (The Guardian)

In Battle Over Dell, a Founder Hopes to Reclaim His Legacy.  Michael Dell wants to take his company private and retool it without quarterly earnings pressure. After Dell missed the shift to mobile, he has his work cut out for him.  (NYT)

Nokia's buyout chances in focus ahead of results.  Next week could be crunch time for Nokia Oyj and its Chief Executive Stephen Elop in their battle to prove the Finnish mobile phone company can survive on its own.  Investors will be scrutinizing second-quarter results to see whether there's enough cash to stay with a turnaround plan which Elop said would take two years but is now into its third. (Reuters)

BlackBerry Price Is Slashed by 75%   AT&T and Best Buy have started discounting the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone to $49 from $199, amid weak sales of the recently-launched device.  (WSJ)

Oracle to halt development of Sun virtualization technologies.  Oracle will soon be announcing that it's discontinuing development of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray software and hardware and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client product lines.  (ZDNet)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 2 p.m. ET.  Senators are expected to participate in a closed meeting in the Old Senate Chamber in an effort to avoid a nominations showdown and a rules change on the filibuster.

House:  The House meets in a pro forma session at 10 a.m. ET.

1600 Penn.

At 1:45 p.m. ET, President Obama and the First Lady will host former President George H. W. Bush, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and members of the Bush family for an event to honor the winner of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award. Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world and recognizes individuals who are making a difference through service and volunteerism.

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