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Key Issues

Tax Reform

Camp: 2013 tax reform the goal.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp said Monday that he plans to begin an overhaul of the tax code this year, but leftover headaches from the fiscal cliff make the timing and schedule unclear.  Camp pledged last year to draft tax reform legislation after the fiscal cliff — a promise he reiterated in December to help convince angry House Republicans to vote on the Senate-passed fiscal cliff package.  The details of that deal may be slowing him down.  (Politico Pro)


Rubio Pushes His Party on Immigration.  Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is asserting his leadership among Republicans with a proposal that includes measures to give legal status to millions of immigrants.  (NYT)

Ryan backs Rubio immigration plan.  He gives a boost to his potential 2016 rival's efforts on the hot-button issue.  (Politico)

Inequality and the Smartphone Have-Nots.  Is technology responsible for making some workers irrelevant and others filthy rich? Or is the government to blame?  (NYT)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

'Red October' cyber-attack found.  A 'significant' cyber-attack that may have been stealing confidential documents since 2007 has been discovered by Russian researchers.  (BBC)

Computer malware appears to target European government agencies.  The malware, called Rocra, has been in existence for at least five years.  It is not clear who created it.  (Washington Post)

Anonymous uses Swartz’s death as call to arms.  Anonymous hacked Web sites at MIT to commemorate Web pioneer Aaron Swartz and urge action on IP laws.  (Washington Post)

Global Trade

Trade talks to ramp up in 2013.  Amid a series of high-level summits and looming deadlines, 2013 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for business groups seeking action on international trade deals and legislation.  But actually inking a Trans-Pacific Partnership deal or getting Congress to renew fast-track trade negotiating authority this year seems a long shot. And U.S.-European Union trade talks remain in their infancy.  (Politico Pro)

Charming the Market: India’s government is wooing investors, but how deep is its commitment to better economic management?  Everything changed in September when the government, led by a new finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, proposed a mini-package of reforms. Since then he has been a one man source of animal spirits—expressing optimism even while conditions on the ground remain somewhat depressed.  (The Economist)


Smartphones: China's next great economic indicator.  China will soon have the world's largest base of mobile smartphone users. And that will have unprecedented economic consequences the world over.  (Fortune)

China's Internet population surges to 564 million, 75 percent on mobile.  Thanks to mobile technology, more Chinese citizens are gaining access to the Internet.  (ZDNet)

Limits on consumers’ Internet use fuel calls for federal investigation.  Critics of data caps say they are unnecessary and unfairly used by monopolists to squeeze more profits out of consumers.  (The Hill)

Tech Business

Has the ideas machine broken down?  The idea that innovation and new technology have stopped driving growth is getting increasing attention. But it is not well founded.  (The Economist)

Cisco eager to regain ground as network security leader.  After failing to land a big acquisition in the security space last year and suffering a steady decline in market share, Cisco Systems Chief Executive John Chambers is determined to turn around his company's lagging security business - whatever the cost.  (Reuters)

Jack Ma to stand down as Alibaba CEO, take back seat.  One of China's best known corporate leaders, Jack Ma, will step down as CEO of Alibaba Group, the e-commerce firm he founded in 1999 to tap the nation's enormous online shopping potential, saying younger people are better placed to run the company. (Reuters)

Tata Consultancy Q3 profit up 23 percent, above expectations.  Indian software services giant posts a 23 percent rise in net profit at US$651 million for quarter ended Dec. on the back of a "well rounded performance", fueling hopes of wider tech spending pickup.  (ZDNet)

Japanese startups struggle in a hostile environment.  One of the world's most advanced economies is not very hospitable to technology startups.  (Fortune)

Patent surge reveals graphene race.  A surge in research into the novel material graphene reveals an intensifying global contest to lead a potential industrial revolution.  (BBC)

ITI Member News

Dell Holds Talks to Go Private.  Dell has held talks recently with buyout firms Silver Lake Partners and TPG about going private, as the technology company struggles to find a new course for itself following the end of the personal-computer boom. (WSJ)

Apple Needs to Adapt to Emerging-Market Growth: Ex-CEO.  Apple needs to overhaul its supply chain to meet demand for cheaper smartphones in emerging markets, former Chief Executive Officer John Sculley said.  As the market for handsets including Apple’s iPhone gets saturated in developed regions such as the U.S. and Europe, the company will increasingly depend on growth in emerging markets, including India, Sculley said today in a Bloomberg Television interview from Singapore.  (Bloomberg)

Has Apple’s innovation engine stalled?  Apple's profit-gushing iPhone came into question again Monday, briefly sending shares below $500 on concerns of a sales slowdown, as Wall Street's gizmo darling is in danger of becoming yesterday's glamour stock.  Shares of Apple skidded 3.6%, to $501.75, amid growing uncertainty about whether Apple can continue its pace of trendsetting innovation. The stock's latest fizzle was attributed to a report in The Wall Street Journal that says Apple decreased parts orders for its iPhone 5. (USAT)

BlackBerry 10 nets 15,000 apps in under two days.  The company hosts two simultaneous Portathons, asking BlackBerry and Android developers to port their previously written applications to BlackBerry 10.  (CNET)

From guard shack to global giant -- How did Lenovo become the world’s biggest computer company?  Lenovo is on a roll. It is number one in five of the seven biggest PC markets, including Japan and Germany. Its mobile division is poised to leapfrog Samsung to grab the top spot in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. This week it made a splash at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with what PC World called “bullish bravado and a seemingly bottomless trunk” of enticing new products. (The Economist)

HP Retakes Top Spot From Lenovo in PCs.  HP probably sacrificed profit margin to win market share in the fourth quarter, when it retook its spot as the top personal-computer maker from Lenovo Group Ltd., Gartner Inc. said.  While Lenovo’s sales growth of 8.2 percent from a year earlier was the fastest of the top five computer makers, Hewlett Packard’s dominance in professional PCs helped it retake top spot, market researcher Gartner said in a report yesterday. Hewlett-Packard shipped 16.2 percent of PCs last quarter compared with 15.5 percent a year earlier.  (Bloomberg)

HP CEO Whitman Dubs Windows 8 a Work in Progress.  In a wide-ranging interview, Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman talks about plans to regain Hewlett-Packard's innovative spark and to tackle challenges like the cloud.  (BusinessWeek)

HP’s Autonomy to Cut Jobs While Adding to R&D.  Hewlett-Packard Corp.’s Autonomy Corp. software unit, which contributed to a $8.8 billion writedown last year, will eliminate some jobs related to a product that recognizes images using a mobile device’s camera.  The undisclosed number of job cuts at Aurasma, a digital display technology unit, will be offset by hiring more than 50 engineers at Autonomy for research and development.   (Bloomberg)

Microsoft Surface Estimate Cut in Half at UBS.  Microsoft’s ’s fiscal second- quarter earnings will be less than previously expected due to weak demand for personal-computers and the company’s new tablet, Surface, according to Brent Thill, an analyst at UBS AG.  (Bloomberg)

Java Security Flaw Is Repaired; Experts Still Recommend Disabling It.  Days after the Department of Homeland Security said computer users should remove the latest versions of its Java software, Oracle Corp. says it has fixed the flaw. But U.S. security experts call another security vulnerability "likely."  (NPR)

Alcatel Said to Weigh Undersea Cable Unit Bids.  Alcatel-Lucent SA, the French phone- equipment maker reorganizing to stem losses, is looking to sell its submarine-cable business by next quarter after attracting interest from potential buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.  (Bloomberg)

1600 Penn.

Neither the President or Vice President has public events on their schedules today.  Both will participate in several White House meetings.

Today on the Hill

House:  At 10 a.m. ET, the House convenes to consider a bill to provide disaster aid for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. First votes are expected around 1:30 p.m.

Senate:  The Senate is in recess until January 21, 2013.