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Key Issues

Tax Reform

Tax reform in 2013? Forget about it.  In a perfectly divided Washington, a mix of politics, policy and personality has made a comprehensive rewrite of the nation’s tax system — a top Republican priority — increasingly elusive in 2013, aides and lawmakers say.  (Politico)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

India's cybersecurity brochure proposal criticized by hardware firms.  Government proposal for all hardware to include brochure to raise awareness against cyberthreats draws concerns over supply chain logistics.  (ZDNet)

Obama signs Netflix-backed amendment to video privacy law.  Legislation allows video rental companies to obtain customer consent to share information about their viewing preferences online.  (CNET)

California Suggests Mobile App Privacy Guidelines.  California's attorney general is urging mobile app developers and their advertising partners to be transparent in how they collect and use personal data from cellphone users.  (NYT)

Java allows 'open hunting season' for hackers, experts find.  Is Java a serious enough concern for you to disable it altogether?  (ZDNet)

Global Trade

Study Shows TPP Would Boost U.S. Income, Divert Trade From China.  An analysis issued late last month projects that a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement among current TPP participants would yield $24 billion in income gains for the United States by 2025, and would overall yield $74 billion in gains for the 11 current TPP members. The study also predicts that TPP would cause $21 billion in income losses for China because TPP would give other Asian exporters an advantage over China in accessing the U.S. market.  (Inside US Trade)

EU Submits Draft HLWG Report To U.S., Final Release Could Come Soon.  Late last month, the European Commission wrote and submitted a draft of the final U.S.-European Union High Level Working Group (HLWG) report to the Obama administration for review, a commission spokeswoman this week confirmed. This EU draft is almost certain to call for the launch of new bilateral trade talks, observers said, placing the onus on the United States to agree to endorse that step in the final version of the forthcoming report.  (Inside US Trade)


US Chamber pushes for immigration reform to include boost in high-skilled visas.  The chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the powerful business lobby wants Congress to make more high-skilled visas available to immigrants as part of its push for comprehensive immigration reform.  (The Hill)


Brussels takes tough stance on Google.  Google will be forced to change the way it presents search results in Europe or face antitrust charges for “diverting traffic” to its own services, the EU’s competition chief has said, laying out a sharply different approach from his US counterparts.  (FT)

Tech Business

Infosys raises full-year revenue outlook.  Shares in Infosys rose 13.1 per cent on Friday after the Indian IT developer reported a quarterly revenue jump and increased its full-year outlook. (FT)

Android most popular platform for entertainment in India.  A recent study points out that every third smartphone user in India is using an Android-based handset to access live entertainment content online. The second-most popular platform is Symbian, followed by Blackberry.  (ZDNet)

Alibaba Divides Into 25 Units Amid China Internet Competition.  Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s largest e-commerce company, said it’s reorganizing into smaller divisions to improve flexibility and to better focus on different markets.  (Bloomberg)

Holiday PC sales dip for first time in five years.  Holiday-season sales of personal computers fell for the first time in more than five years, according to tech industry tracker IDC, as Microsoft Corp's new Windows 8 operating system failed to excite buyers and many instead opted for tablet devices and smartphones.  (Reuters)

GM to open third U.S. tech center, hire 1,000 people.  General Motors Co will open a third U.S. information technology center as part of its plan to bring that work in-house and improve the automaker's efficiency and productivity.  (Reuters)

Amazon offers free copies of CDs.  Free digital copies of 50,000 CDs are being offered to Amazon customers in the US via a service that stores the music in the cloud.  (BBC)

Energy & Environment

What VCs are looking for in energy innovation.  VantagePoint's Lee Burrows discusses business opportunities for smart grid applications -- and gives advice for startups and entrepreneurs.  (

China's carbon intensity falls over 3.5 percent in 2012.  China's carbon intensity, or its emissions relative to economic output, fell more than 3.5 percent in 2012, outperforming its average annual target, China's chief climate change official said on Thursday.  (Reuters)

New US rare earth centre to be built.  The US Department of Energy is giving $120m (£75m) to set up a new research centre charged with developing new methods of rare earths production.  (BBC)

ITI Member News

Tim Cook Seeks Apple Dominance in China.  Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is preparing to go head-to-head with rivals in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market.  (WSJ)

Apple CEO meets with needed partner in China.  Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with the chairman of the world's largest wireless carrier, which does not currently sell the iPhone, and the company's beleaguered stock price gets back in the black.

Apple to harness stored wind energy via new on-demand system.  A new patent filed by the computer giant reveals the company's plans for more effective wind power.  (

EU still unhappy with how Google shows search results.  Antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia says Google must offer to change how it shows in-house services such as maps, comparison-shopping info, and flight details -- or face formal antitrust charges.  (CNET)

eBay's radical redesign of the modern data center.  eBay's commitment to building highly efficient data centers and delivering $68 billion of goods through clean, business transactions.  (

IBM crowned patent king for 20th year in a row.  The computing giant wins the patent game again, but it looks like Samsung, Google, and Apple will be tough competitors in the future.  (CNET)

Nokia Has Some Good News After Two Years of Gloom.  Nokia, the erstwhile leader in mobile phones that was once teetering on the brink of irrelevance, may be on its way back thanks to strong sales of its new smartphone line.  (NYT)

Lenovo Aims Higher in U.S.  China's Lenovo is looking to introduce the company's high-end personal computers to the U.S. consumer market.  (WSJ)

SAP Steps on the Gas.  SAP, the German business software maker, announced that a fast-growing product called HANA, which radically speeds analysis, will be sold with all of its products.  (NYT)

SAP co-founder responds to 'drugs' gibe from Oracle's Larry Ellison.  Let's face it: Making business software exciting can be tough. Databases. Human resource management. Customer relationship management.  (San Jose Mercury News)

SAP on HANA: where SAP wins and how it has missed the real goal.  SAP BusinessSuite on HANA should be something to get excited about. Opinion is polarized on this and rightly so as SAP both hit and missed.  (ZDNet)

RIM to launch at least six BlackBerry 10 phones this year.  So far, it seems as RIM has a pretty good idea of what it wants to do.  (

Sony Puts Tokyo Building on Block.  Sony is looking to sell one of its main buildings in Tokyo as the consumer-electronics company accelerates shedding nonessential assets to raise cash.  (WSJ)

1600 Penn.

At the White House today, the focus is on Afghanistan, as President Hamid Karzai and his delegation meet with President Obama and Administration officials beginning at 10 a.m. ET.  The two leaders will hold a joint press conference at 1:15 p.m.

Today on the Hill

House:  The House has adjourned until 2:00 p.m. ET on January 14.

Senate:  The Senate has adjourned until 11:30 a.m. ET on January 21.