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Key Issues


Tech groups laud R&D tax credit extension in 'fiscal cliff' deal.  Technology trade groups that represent Google, Microsoft and Cisco lauded the research and development (R&D) tax credit extension included in the final "fiscal cliff" deal approved by the House late Tuesday.  (The Hill)

Tech players see the good, bad post-cliff.  Tech companies and industry groups on Wednesday saw a mixed bag on the other side of the fiscal cliff that threatened to throw the country into a recession.  On the positive front, markets surged, with tech stocks riding the post-fiscal cliff wave of relief. And tech firms are particularly happy that the research and development tax credit extension was included, although the industry has long advocated for making the tax credit, which had expired, permanent.  But some pointed out that the D.C. drama was not a final resolution when it comes to spending cuts, which will have to be addressed again in two months.  (Politico Pro)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Firms use fake data to thwart hackers.  Digital deception tools attract hackers and keep them inside a network to be watched.  (Washington Post)

Protecting information in the cloud.  IT and business executives need to apply a risk-management approach that balances economic value against risks, say McKinsey consultants.  (FT)

Global Trade

Nominees From Brazil, Korea Bring List Of WTO DG Candidates To Nine.  The list of individuals nominated to replace Pascal Lamy as director-general of the World Trade Organization next year stands at nine following a handful of late nominations put forward ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline.  (Inside US Trade)


Tech Idea List: 5 Nerds To Watch In 2013.  In Silicon Valley and around the world there are thousands of folks toiling away on new technologies, convinced that the thing they are building will transform the way we live. NPR's Steve Henn introduces us to five techies whose research and work he'll be keeping a close eye on in the coming year.  (NPR)

Ubuntu system comes to smartphones.  The Linux-based Ubuntu operating system is to work on smartphones, allowing users to run full-scale programs on handsets designed for Android.  (BBC)

Tech Business

Gartner upgrades 2013 IT spend to $3.7T.  Research firm raises global IT spend forecast to US$3.7 trillion in 2013--up 4.2 percent from 2012, above the previous prediction of 3.8 percent--mainly due to projected foreign exchange gains.  (ZDNet)

Tata plans to invest over $8 billion over two years.  India's salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group plans to invest more than 450 billion rupees over the next two years, its newly appointed Chairman Cyrus Mistry wrote in an internal mail on Wednesday.  (Reuters)


Telecom EGoM to Meet Again on Jan 7.  An Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom today deliberated upon several issues regarding spectrum auction due this fiscal, but did not reach a final decision and would meet again on January 7.   "EGoM deliberated on 1800/900 MHz spectrum but it could not discuss CDMA (800 MHz). Auction does not seem possible by January 18 but will take place during this fiscal," a top source said.  (Economic Times)

ITI Member News

Google Said Poised to Resolve FTC Antitrust Probe Today.  Google Inc. (GOOG) will resolve a 20-month antitrust probe by U.S. regulators today with a voluntary agreement and a consent decree on the company’s alleged misuse of patents, three people familiar with the matter said.  (Bloomberg)

There's No Avoiding Google+.  Google is challenging Facebook by using a controversial tactic: requiring people to use the Google+ social network.  (WSJ)

Google exec chairman to visit NKorea.  Google's executive chairman is preparing to travel to one of the last frontiers of cyberspace: North Korea.  Eric Schmidt will be traveling to North Korea on a private, humanitarian mission led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson that could take place as early as this month.  (AP)

Google, Yahoo accused of funding piracy.  The University of Southern California releases a report critical of companies whose ads end up on sites accused of pirating music and movies.  (CNET)

Intel, ARM, tablets and desktop: Where is processing going next?  Internal politics and reaching the limits of Moore's Law and Dennard Scaling are hitting Intel hard, but the bigger questions are about computing form factors, computing styles - and physics.  (ZDNet)

Microsoft renews antitrust push against Google, focusing on YouTube app.  Microsoft is making a last-ditch effort to convince government regulators that they need to crack down on Google to preserve competition on the Internet and in smartphone markets.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Microsoft buys R2 Studios startup to boost Xbox.  The small startup that works on home entertainment technology is heading to Redmond.  (CNET)

Qualcomm CEO discusses CES during Charlie Rose interview.  Paul Jacobs talks about the future of mobile and the data demand problem with PBS's Charlie Rose.  (CNET)

Apple Loses Claim Against Amazon.  A federal judge dismissed a portion of Apple's suit against over the name for its digital marketplace of applications for mobile devices.  (WSJ)

AMD Names Kumar as Finance Chief.  Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), the second-largest maker of processors for personal computers, said Devinder Kumar will become chief financial officer.  Kumar, 57, who has filled the role on an interim basis since Thomas Seifert departed in September, was chosen after a “thorough internal and external search.”  Kumar has been controller since 2001.  (Bloomberg)

Rambus Barred From Enforcing Chip Patents in Micron Case.  Rambus Inc., the designer of high- speed memory chips, was barred by a judge from using 12 of its patents to demand royalties from Micron Technology Inc. because it improperly destroyed documents tied to intellectual-property litigation.  (Bloomberg)

1600 Penn.

The First Family will be in Honolulu, Hawaii, through Saturday. The President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing every day, but there are no public events scheduled.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House concludes the 112th Session with a final hour of session starting at 11 a.m. ET.  At noon, the 113th Congress will begin with the election of the speaker, the oath of office, and the adoption of House rules.

Senate:  The Senate opens the 113th Session at noon ET with the oath of office for new Senators.  No votes are expected.