ITI Daily News Roundup

09/17/2013

Key Issues

Tax

Big-business leaders talk tax code at Montana summit.  U.S. Sen. Max Baucus said Monday that his effort to revamp the tax code helped attract some of the business world's biggest names to Montana for a jobs conference that touched on taxes, energy development and many other issues.  (AP)

Complying With U.S. Tax Evasion Law Is Vexing Foreign Banks.  Concerns have been raised about the cost and effort required to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, among other issues.  (NYT)

How Much Tax Cheating Is Really Going On?  As Congress considers tax reform, there has to be a better way to calculate the tax gap—how much revenue the U.S. Treasury is losing to tax cheaters. That’s the premise of a new report out today by the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration: The Internal Revenue Service Needs to Improve the Comprehensiveness, Accuracy, Reliability, and Timeliness of the Tax Gap Estimate.  (Forbes)

Privacy

Brazil May Require Google, Facebook to Store Data Locally.  Brazil may require Internet service companies such as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (FB) to set up local data storage centers, a senior government official said today.  Internet service companies would have to follow Brazilian privacy laws and the government may also decide to store sensitive data such as tax information within the country, Internet Policy Secretary Virgilio Almeida told reporters in Brasilia after a meeting between industry representatives and President Dilma Rousseff. (Bloomberg)

Rousseff to decide if US visit will go ahead.  State event threatened by anger over spy scandal.  (FT)

Senators warn of ‘blind spots’ in NSA oversight.  Two Senate Democrats on Monday expressed concerns that there are “blind spots” in the oversight of the National Security Agency.  Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said a trove of documents released last week by the Obama administration “supports our position that bulk collection ought to be ended.”  (The Hill)

Workforce

Dems tire of waiting on reform.  Democrats’ patience on immigration reform is wearing thin.  (The Hill)

Want to strengthen our manufacturing industry? Pass immigration reform.  New research points to an oft-overlooked way to promote manufacturing jobs: enact immigration reform.  (NBC Latino guest column/John Feinblatt and Jason Marczak)

Immigration reform vital to Wisconsin bioscience.  Bioscience companies, like other high-tech firms, need the best and brightest minds available to conduct research, develop products and grow their business.  Bringing capable immigrants — many of whom receive their educations at U.S. colleges and universities — into our workforce expands our economic growth, makes our companies more competitive internationally and creates more jobs for all workers. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column/Bryan Renk)

Fla. university presidents support immigration reform.  Eighteen college and state university presidents, including USF President Judy Genshaft, signed a letter to Florida’s congressional delegation asking them to support a comprehensive reform plan they said would benefit Florida’s higher education system.  (The Oracle)

First there were MOOCs, now come the SPOCs.  Small Private Online Courses could change the way brick and mortar classrooms use digital teaching materials.  (Marketplace)

Global Trade

TPP Countries Plan New Intersessional Meetings On Topics Covered In Brunei.  Countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have scheduled a new batch of intersessional meetings in North America over the next two weeks that aim to make further progress on several issues that were part of the formal negotiating round held last month in Brunei, including environment and rules of origin.  (Inside US Trade)

Portman Says He Will Back Senate Push For Currency Disciplines In Trade Deals.  Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) late last week announced he would join a Senate push, led by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to have the Obama administration include currency disciplines in future trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) now under negotiation.  (Inside US Trade)

Cybersecurity

Proposed NIST cyber framework nearly complete, faces major implementation questions.  Major progress was made last week in drafting a proposed framework for industry cybersecurity standards at a meeting hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but questions remain on such key issues as implementation, privacy protections and coordination with existing programs and standards.  (Inside Cybersecurity) 

DHS asks for input on how R&D efforts might support cybersecurity framework.  The Department of Homeland Security last week solicited input from industry on how research and development efforts might be tailored to support the national cybersecurity framework set for release early next year.  (Inside Cybersecurity)

HP launches self-healing computer start software.  Hewlett-Packard is introducing self-healing computing startup software that can repair itself after a malware attack.  (VentureBeat)

Innovation

How Smartphones Became Vital Tools Against Dengue In Pakistan.  Two years ago Pakistan's Punjab province was hit with one of the world's worst dengue outbreaks. This year the number of recorded cases has plummeted. Many leaders credit a mobile phone app that tracks mosquito populations and city workers' efforts to contain them.  (NPR)

Fighter jet technology for your car dashboard.  Garmin's latest device is a head-up display that projects directions right onto your windshield. It certainly has a cool factor, but how about the safety factor?  (CNET)

People Don't Understand The Most Dangerous Part About Driverless Cars.  The most dangerous moment in a self-driving car involves no immediate or obvious peril. It is not when, say, the computer must avoid a vehicle swerving into its lane or navigate some other recognizable hazard of the road -- a patch of ice, or a clueless pedestrian stepping into traffic. It is when something much more routine takes place: The computer hands over control of the vehicle to a human being.  (Huffington Post)

Digitizing the undigitizable, one page at a time.  How the Internet of Things can help solve complex - and critical - business problems just by rethinking pen and paper.  (ZDNet)

Regulation

Senate Judiciary chairman crafting bill to combat 'patent trolls'.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to limit frivolous patent lawsuits, according to one of his aides.  Leahy is working with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on the legislation and is coordinating with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has already released his own draft bill on the issue.  (The Hill)

Walden to push FCC overhaul this fall.  Rep. Greg Walden is still working to win over Democrats on his bill to revamp how the FCC operates.  (The Hill)

The case for stricter broadband regulation.  Public Knowledge’s Harold Feld argues that market competition can’t fix what’s wrong with the broadband market.  (Washington Post)

Mobility

Facebook And Internet.org Detail “1000X” Technologies They Hope Will Bring Earth Online.  Air Traffic Control, HipHop, WebP, and Supplemental Downlink are some of the futuristic technologies that will bring the Internet to the five billion people still disconnected. A 70-page whitepaper released today by Internet.org partners Facebook, Qualcomm, and Ericsson details how spectrum must change to accommodate 1000X more web traffic, and Facebook Home’s role as a data efficiency experiment.  (TechCrunch)

FCC divided on 'H block' spectrum auction.  The members of the Federal Commission Commission (FCC) are split over a plan to auction the "H block" of wireless spectrum by early next year.  (The Hill)

Net neutrality policies vary in EU countries.  European Union member states have adopted a range of stances on net neutrality, and the E.U. should look to the countries’ examples as it attempts to move forward with new regulations, said one advocacy group.  Twenty-three of 28 E.U. member states have adopted positions on net neutrality, said the Openforum Academy, an open technology think tank, in a new report. Seven E.U. countries are considering further action on net neutrality, the report said.  (IDG News Service)

Is absence of web scale giants a problem for Europe’s cloud ambitions?  When it comes to cloud services, webscale companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Tencent, and Baidu have an infrastructure advantage, which in turn allows them to sell cloud services to others. What does lack of such giants mean for Europe and European cloud ambitions?  (GigaOM)

Environment & Sustainability

Tech Is Key to Climate Change Battle.  Clinton-era environmental czar Carol Browner says she's confident that coal plant technology makers will devise ways to keep the cost of building new plants within reason, despite new rules issued by President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.  (WSJ)

What the internet of things means for cleantech.  In a new report from GigaOM Pro’s cleantech curator Adam Lesser, we delve into what the “internet of things” really means for efficiency, sustainability and cleantech.  (GigaOM)

Senators Seek a Deal to Advance Energy Bill on Floor.  The Senate’s early adjournment Monday gave managers of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill a little more time to outline a path forward, though Democratic leaders appear committed to keeping the legislation on the floor.  (CQ Roll Call)

Tech Business         

106 startups the CIA has invested in.  The CIA’s investment fund has backed more than 100 startups, and is often joined by a regular group of co-investors, including Intel, Samsung, and Greylock. (Mattermark)

LG, Samsung Display feel heat from little-known Chinese LCD makers.  Chinese flat screen makers, once dismissed as second-class players in the global LCD market, are drawing envious looks from big names such as LG Display Co Ltd and Samsung.  While the Korean giants were busy developing next-generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs, little-known Chinese companies have started selling a type of display that are sharper than the standard LCD and cheaper than OLED. (Reuters)

Tencent Approaches Facebook Value Amid China Web Boom.  Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s market value surpassed $100 billion within a decade of going public as Asia’s biggest Internet company capitalizes on China’s explosion in online gaming and messaging.  (Bloomberg)

How Twitter became a juggernaut.  Twitter's quick transformation from an undisciplined, money-losing startup into a digital media powerhouse took every bit of whip-cracking that Chief Executive Dick Costolo could muster.  (Reuters)

Box.com Melds Google and Microsoft Into Document Engine of the Future.  Box has built this new-age text editor atop its existing file-sharing service, which, according to the company, is used by about 180,000 businesses and roughly 20 million people.  The idea is to provide a means of more quickly and easily typing stuff up and sending it to colleagues — and yes, if they like, multiple people can even edit documents at the same time.  (Wired)

More ITI Member News

Samsung Tries to Knock Out Indian Upstarts.  Samsung, which led the market with a 26% share of the total smartphone shipments in the second-quarter, has seen its market share “steadily dropping, mainly driven by intense competition from local vendors,” such as Micromax Informatics Ltd., Karbonn  Mobiles Ltd., and others, according to IDC. These local players have “successfully transitioned their lead in feature phones to smartphones” the research group added. Nokia Corp.  has also taken a knock in terms of its share of the Indian market as local upstarts have muscled in.  (WSJ)

Google buys file transfer app Bump.  Google has acquired Mountain View-based Bump, the maker of a smartphone app that allows users to share files by bumping devices together.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Why the naysayers are wrong about Apple.  The doommongers misunderstand the nature of Apple's market share when they claim the recent high-cost iPhone launches showed an error of judgment.  (The Guardian)

Look out Microsoft, here come baby Nokias.  Jolla and Newkia represent efforts to take the talent Nokia had, grab a few defectors and create something innovative.  (ZDNet)

IBM pledges $1 billion to Linux.  IBM will be spending $1 billion on Linux and open source software that runs on IBM servers for the next four or five years. This echoes the $1 billion pledge IBM made to Linux in 2000, when the operating system was growing.  (WSJ)

1600 Penn.

There are no public or tech-related policy events on President Obama’s schedule for Tuesday.

Today on the Hill

Senate:  After cancelling yesterday’s session in light of the tragic events at the Navy Yard, the Senate hits reset on the schedule and is expected to resume consideration of S. 1392, a bill that would develop energy-saving technology and building codes.  Senators also will vote on two judicial nominees.  The Senate day begins at 10 a.m. ET.

House:  The House begins legislative work at 2 p.m. ET, with five bills to be considered under suspension of the rules.

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