ITI Daily News Roundup

08/28/2014

Key Issues

Tax

Net sales tax move is biggest gripe for Web companies. Lawmakers’ attempts to attach an Internet sales tax to a bill preventing a tax on Internet access topped a group of Web companies’ list of bad laws for 2014. (The Hill) 

Data

Doggie Data: Pooches Are Most Active in Portland and Laziest in HoustonAs Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan says, dogs need to move. A lot. For many pet owners that means walks and trips to the dog park, but for animal fitness-tracker companies, that means data. (Wall Street Journal)

In democracy and disaster, emerging world embraces 'open data'. 'Open data' - the trove of data-sets made publicly available by governments, organizations and businesses - isn't normally linked to high-wire politics, but just may have saved last month's Indonesian presidential elections from chaos. (Reuters)

Looking to the Future of Data Science. The Association for Computing Machinery, a leading professional association in computer science, is holding its annual conference this week focused on what we’re now calling data science. (New York Times) 

Why big data has some big problems when it comes to public policy. For all the talk about using big data and data science to solve the world’s problems — and even all the talk about big data as one of the world’s problems — it seems like we still have a long way to go. (Gigaom) 

Tech Business

Bringing Tech Culture to the Staid College Quad. In the parlance of the tech industry, higher education is ripe for disruption. (New York Times)

Broadcasters: Senate TV plan would cripple emergency alerts, journalism. Broadcasters are warning that a Senate plan to change the way people pay for TV channels could have dire consequences for viewers. (The Hill)

The mix of poverty and piracy that turned Romania into Europe's software development powerhouse. Nearly two-thirds of Romania's computers run at least one piece of illegal software – a sign of a technological heritage that means it now has the most technology workers per capita in Europe. (ZDNet)

Time Warner Cable suffers major outage; New York launches probe. Time Warner Cable Inc, the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, suffered a massive network outage on Wednesday due to suspected human error that cut Internet services to some 11 million businesses and residences, prompting a New York state investigation. (Reuters)

Virginia Senate candidates to talk tech. The two men competing to represent Virginia in the Senate next year will share a stage in coming weeks to talk about technology issues. (The Hill) 

Public Sector

Federal acquisition: Art or science? For the past two years, the government contracting industry has worked with Congress and the Obama Administration on a variety of acquisition reform initiatives. (Federal Computer Week)

GSA to temporarily suspend adding new vendors to services schedules. The General Services Administration will stop accepting new vendors on its professional services schedule in the coming months.  (Federal News Radio) 

How you end up spending $800 million on HealthCare.gov. Signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act has proven to be its own kind of jobs act, especially when it comes to the Washington-area IT community. (Washington Post) 

White House looks to case studies to increase value of innovation investments. The White House released a new document Aug. 21 jointly produced by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy highlighting an array of pioneering contracting case studies in federal government. (FedScoop)

Why the federal court record system PACER is so broken, and how to fix it. The online record system for the federal courts is in shambles, and now some of the public information is simply disappearing. The mess persists even as users pay more and more money to maintain it. (Gigaom)

Cybersecurity

FBI Examining Whether Russia Is Tied to JPMorgan Hacking. Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe. (Bloomberg)

Proposed federal rules for auto-data security will require state actions, analysts say. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week proposed a rulemaking on "vehicle-to-vehicle" communication, concerns about security and privacy will require a federal and state regulatory partnership, according to auto industry lawyers and policy researchers. (Inside Cybersecurity) 

Satellite cyber problems exaggerated, say officials. A withering cybersecurity audit of a weather satellite ground system exaggerates the real danger, say those close to the program. (Politico Pro)

Workforce

How to hire millennials. The federal IT community has gotten a tremendous amount of attention lately, but one critical issue has been missing from the conversation: the massive IT workforce transition that will take place in the next few years as the government begins to integrate the millennial generation. (Federal Computer Week) 

Silicon Valley’s diversity reboot. Jesse Jackson calls it the “we can’t find them” syndrome. The civil rights activist wants Silicon Valley to hire more black people and has little time for the most common excuse: that suitably-qualified African Americans are hard to come by. (Financial Times)

Environment and Sustainability

London to get hybrid buses that could charge wirelessly. London’s fast-expanding green bus fleet is to receive a further boost, after Transport for London (TfL) announced on Wednesday the launch of a new trial to test four specially designed hybrid buses capable of wirelessly charging their batteries at bus stops. (Guardian)

WH defends UN gambit on climate. The White House pushed back Wednesday against bipartisan criticism over reports the administration is seeking an international deal on climate change that would bypass the Senate. (The Hill)

Innovation

After two weeks in space, the most powerful commercial satellite ever launched is sending back pics. WordView-3, the super-powerful commercial satellite that launched two weeks ago, is now sending images back to Earth. The satellite is remarkable for its ability to collect images sharp down to a scale of 11.8 inches, which is enough for it to tell a tomato plant from a shrub and a sedan from an SUV. (Gigaom)

Drones could rule the skies over Disney. The entertainment giant files three patent applications involving drones and floating projection screens; aerial light displays; and massive hovering marionettes. (CNET)

ITI Member News

IBM Sees Broader Role for Watson in Aiding Research. Watson, the IBM system that won “Jeopardy,” has shown promise in answering some kinds of questions. Now the company sees a broader role, a bit like the deductions that helped its namesake’s famous partner solve fictional crimes. (Wall Street Journal)

Microsoft targets vacationing Hill staffers with e-mail privacy ad campaign. Microsoft, getting a jump on the fall political season, took out full-page ads in the Outer Banks Sentinel, Martha's Vineyard Times and Rehoboth Beach's Cape Gazette to remind Washingtonians on vacation about e-mail privacy laws. (Washington Post) 

SAP pumps $60m into Victorian job growth plan. SAP plans to spend AU$60 million on its Victorian staff and infrastructure over the next five years, following the launch yesterday of its Melbourne innovation centre. (ZDNet) 

VMware says vCloud hybrid service will launch in Australia. VMware Australia and New Zealand's Duncan Bennet has said that the company's vCloud hybrid cloud is on its way. (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the president will meet with Secretary of Health and Human Services Burwell in the Oval Office.

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