ITI Daily News Roundup

07/17/2013

Key Issues

Workforce

Senate immigration gang targets House GOP.  Big Business, Senate Republicans and Democrats backing immigration reform have a target in their crosshairs: House Republicans.  Senators like John McCain (R-Ariz), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Intel, and pro-reform groups like FWD.us to discuss a coordinated campaign to target more than 100 House Republicans on reforming the nation’s immigration laws when they are at home in their districts over the next month, according to sources familiar with the meeting.  (Politico)

Immigration System Overhaul to Benefit Big States the Most.  A handful of big states with large populations of undocumented workers could stand to reap the biggest economic benefits if plans to overhaul the immigration system are passed into law, a new study shows.  (WSJ)

Immigration and education dominate Biennial of Americas' first panel.  Immigration and education dominated the Biennial of the Americas kickoff panel discussion Tuesday evening, with former Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan remarking that solving immigration reform is vital to U.S. security and prosperity.  (Denver Post)

Global Trade

US groups say China jeopardizing new technology trade pact.  A U.S. industry group accused China on Tuesday of jeopardizing international negotiations to eliminate tariffs on close to 260 technology products by asking to exclude more than 100 of the products from the proposed deal to protect domestic manufacturers.  (Sino-US.com)

EU Commission Publishes Previously Leaked Position Papers With Changes.  The European Commission today (July 16) publicly released six of the 10 papers it has prepared laying out its opening positions for trade and investment negotiations with the United States on a range of issues.  (Inside US Trade)

Rousseff's popularity sinks after Brazil's protests: poll.  President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating plummeted and her re-election chances have dimmed in the month since massive protests of poor public services, corruption and other complaints shook Brazil, a new poll published on Tuesday showed.  (Reuters)

India eases FDI curbs to boost growth.  Restraints on telecoms and other sectors to be eased or scrapped.  (FT)

Ford lashes out at Japan's entry into TPP trade talks.  Ford’s top executive in Washington has delivered a stinging attack against Japanese economic policies ahead of the country’s entry into Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks next week, reflecting deep frustration about the negotiations within the US car industry.  (FT)

Malaysia's policymakers should join TPP talks now - economist.  Malaysia's policymakers should be part of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations from the early stages to enable them to re-shape policies.  (Malaysia Chronicle)

Privacy & Cybersecurity

Constitution 'suffering' from NSA secrecy, says Microsoft.  A strongly worded letter from Microsoft's general counsel to Attorney General Eric Holder says secrecy about National Security Agency surveillance is harming fundamental "constitutional principles."  (CNET)

Microsoft Doesn’t Hand NSA Encryption Keys.  Microsoft, addressing persistent concerns that it has helped the U.S. government gather customer information, said it doesn’t provide direct access to e-mails, instant messages or Skype calls and refuses to grant agencies the ability to break its encryption.  (Bloomberg)

Tech industry, Obama administration should push for more disclosures in wake of Yahoo victory.  Consumers need to understand the ways tech firms are (and are not) trying to protect consumers from unnecessary government intrusion. A culture of openness can help bolster trust.  (San Jose Mercury News editorial)

The Pros and Cons of a Surveillance Society.  Here are three topics much in the news these days: Prism, the surveillance program of the national security agency; the death of Trayvon Martin; and Google Glass and the rise of wearable computers that record everything.  Although these might not seem connected, they are part of a growing move for, or against, a surveillance society.  (NYT)

Why a National Data Breach Notification Law Would Benefit Consumers and Businesses.  Individual state laws concerning data breach notification confuse the consumers they are meant to protect and create regulatory uncertainties for businesses, says Guest Contributor David Valdez. A national framework--and not today's patchwork of state laws--"is the most logical and efficient route to realizing this standard," he says.  (WSJ)

House panel to examine NSA surveillance power.  The House Judiciary Committee will take aim at the Obama administration's surveillance programs at a Wednesday oversight hearing.  (The Hill)

UK spies aren’t breaking law by using PRISM data, security oversight committee claims.  The British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has rebuffed claims that UK intelligence services broke local law by taking PRISM data from the Americans. However, the committee also said it needed to study the law more closely.  (GigaOM)

Regulators Cite Cyberattack Risks for Financial Firms.  Malicious cyberattacks are increasingly aimed at core infrastructure of the securities markets and could present risks to the entire financial system, according to a research report.  (WSJ)

Cyber-Attack Is a Systemic Risk, Study Says.  A “significant” number of exchanges have fought off sabotage via the Internet in the last year and the majority of bourses worldwide say it is a systemic risk to markets, according to a study co-authored by the World Federation of Exchanges.  (Bloomberg)

Universities Face a Rising Barrage of Cyberattacks.  The hacking attempts, many thought to be from China, are forcing schools to spend more on security measures and to constrict their culture of openness.  (NYT)

Samsung denies Jay-Z app claims.  The technology company denies claims that it has invaded the privacy of customers who downloaded the free Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail app.  (BBC)

Regulation

EU's Almunia tells Google to improve antitrust offer.  European Union regulators have asked Google to offer more concessions to allay concerns that it is blocking competitors in web search results, the EU's antitrust chief said on Wednesday.  (Reuters)

Inventive, at Least in Court.  The head of Federal Trade Commission is singling out companies that engage in “a variety of aggressive litigation tactics,” like hiding behind shell companies when suing.  (NYT)

FCC's Pai targets waste in school Internet program.  Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, claimed on Tuesday that a federal program to connect classrooms to the Internet is rife with wasteful spending.  (The Hill)

Innovation

Battery Seen as Way to Cut Heat-Related Power Losses.  Large-scale batteries of various types are being tested by some big utilities that want to store power for times when it is needed most.  (NYT)

All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood.  This doesn't look like your trusty potato battery: a prototype device made by scientists at the University of Maryland uses wood fibers coated with carbon nanotubes to create an electric current.  (NPR)

UK to test driverless cars on road this year.  Researchers at the University of Oxford are working with Nissan to create semi-autonomous cars that will have a driver present "but are capable of driving fully independently, using knowledge of the environment in which they are driving," according to the report on improving the road network, published Tuesday.  A trial of the cars on the roads is expected to start later this year, it said.  (IDG News)

Driverless Car Experts At Stanford Address Ethical Dilemmas.  Experts say manufacturers of driverless cars have to address ethical issues such as how automated cars should be programmed to respond when involved in traffic accidents, and who should take the brunt of the injuries.  (WSJ)

Tesla CEO Musk Morphs From Iron Man to Henry Ford.  Elon Musk inspired Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of comic-book billionaire industrialist Tony Stark in the “Iron Man” films. The role model for Musk, a billionaire industrialist for real, appears to be Henry Ford.  (Bloomberg)

Mobility

Smartphone Upgrades Slow as 'Wow' Factor Fades.  Fewer people are upgrading their smartphones—a trend that could make it harder for companies from AT&T to Apple to keep up the pace of revenue growth.  (WSJ)

China's online population rises to 519 million.  China's population of Internet users has grown to 591 million, driven by a 20 percent rise over the past year.  (AP)

Tech Business

Intel to IBM Feel Putin Pinch as Medvedev Tech Hub Falters.  Tech companies are getting caught in a turf war between backers of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who made crafting a Russian version of Silicon Valley the cornerstone of his presidency, and allies of President Vladimir Putin who see the premier as a rival and want him out, said Masha Lipman, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center.  (Bloomberg)

IT jobs reports show growth.  Two new reports suggest IT jobs are growing, but others indicate significant cuts in the tech sector.  (Washington Post)

Extreme Networks forges Lenovo, EMC data center pacts.  With the deals, Extreme Networks garners more distribution and a converged infrastructure story.  (ZDNet)

Yahoo's Revenue Falls Again.  Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer delivered another mixed report card on her yearlong turnaround effort, showing a 46% jump in quarterly earnings for the Internet pioneer but continued revenue declines that underscore her challenges.  (WSJ)

Can the Jonas Brothers quell Huawei spying concerns?  Chinese tech company Huawei is teaming up with pop group Jonas Brothers to boost its image in America. Huawei wants to be known in the U.S. for its new smartphones, but so far, it's mostly famous in Congress.  (Marketplace)

More ITI Member News

Google Pitches Online TV Service.  Google has approached media companies about licensing their content for an Internet TV service that would stream traditional TV programming.  (WSJ)

Google launches scheme for UK charities.  Tech group to offer up to $10,000 a month in free advertising.  (FT)

Restoring NCR's Ka-ching!  Under William Nuti, 129-year-old NCR has become the leading seller of ATMs and other digital point-of-sale devices.  (Barron’s)

Worried About Defeat for Dell Offer, Board and Bidders Prepare Maneuvers.  A special committee of Dell’s board is poised to adjourn the vote on Thursday because it is concerned that the offer may be defeated by shareholders, people briefed on the matter said.  (NYT)

Intel Puts Its Mobile Chips on the Table.  Intel deserves kudos for taking a big step forward this year with its chip technology. Too bad its business may yet take two steps back.  (WSJ)

Intel buys Israeli gesture-computing startup Omek while developing set-top box for television.  Intel on Tuesday confirmed that it has acquired Omek Interactive, an Israeli startup that offers gesture-recognition technology to device manufacturers, technology the Santa Clara company could use for a television set-top box that is in development.  (San Jose Mercury News) 

Apple in talks to buy company that was key to Microsoft's Kinect.  Israel-based PrimeSense's sensing technology, which gives digital devices the ability to observe a scene in three dimensions, was used to help power Microsoft's Xbox Kinect.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Today on the Hill

Senate:  The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET.  Senators are expected to vote to proceed to confirmation votes on Fred Hochberg for president of the Export-Import Bank, Thomas E. Perez for Labor secretary, and Gina McCarthy for Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

House:  The House convenes at 12 p.m. ET and votes on two bills targeting Obamacare implementation -- one measure that would delay for a year the employer mandate in the health care law, and a second bill that would similarly delay the law’s requirement that most individuals buy insurance.  Committee hearings of note:  The House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY2014 Commerce-Justice-Science and Financial Services appropriations bills beginning at 10 a.m. in 2359 Rayburn.

1600 Penn.

A day after an agreement cleared the path to Senate votes on several of his nominees, President Obama at 10:50 a.m. ET will deliver a statement on the confirmation of Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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