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Tech News Roundup

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Key Issues

Cybersecurity & Privacy

Europe Weighs Requiring Firms to Disclose Data Breaches.  To combat a rise in cybercrime, the European Commission is considering a plan to require some of the biggest Web businesses to report the loss or theft of personal data, or risk sanctions and fines.  (NYT)

Bank cyberattacks prompt W.H., Hill concern.  The federal government is providing support as calls amplify for congressional hearings.  (Politico Pro)

Leahy stayed as Judiciary chairman to push email privacy bill.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said on Wednesday he will renew his push for legislation that would require police to obtain a warrant before reading people's emails, Facebook messages and other forms of electronic communication.  (The Hill)

Global Trade

USTR Says It Will Seek To Cover New Services In Plurilateral Agreement.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative yesterday (Jan. 15) formally notified Congress that it intends to begin negotiations for a plurilateral services agreement within the next 90 days. In its notification, USTR outlines several key objectives, including negotiation of a deal that covers services “that have yet to be conceived” and the inclusion within a services deal of rules making regulatory processes in participating countries more transparent.  (Inside US Trade)

Commerce Official Supports U.S.-Brazil Framework For Engagement.  A senior Commerce Department official yesterday (Jan. 15) generally defended the Obama administration's multi-pronged framework for engaging Brazil on bilateral economic issues even as some members of Congress -- including the incoming chairman of the Ways and Means trade subcommittee -- argue that the many venues through which the two countries currently engage should be streamlined in order to focus their efforts and produce better results.  (Inside US Trade)

Pushing France Onto the Digital Stage.  In trying to put a French imprint on the digital economy, Fleur Pellerin has found herself clashing with American technology companies.  (NYT)

Tax Reform

Don't give up on tax reform.  Obama and Congress have an opportunity to do something big and bipartisan.  (Politico op-ed/Sen. Portman)


China Invests in Rise in College Graduates.  The government is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in its universities in hopes of producing 195 million graduates by the end of the decade.  (NYT)

Online learning veteran raises $103M (is an IPO ahead?).  If you haven’t paid much attention to before, you’re going to want to keep your eye on it now.  (


Klobuchar seen as possible Senate antitrust panel chief.  The Minnesota Democrat has the best shot in order of seniority to be named chairwoman of the Senate’s top competition post.  (Politico Pro)

Leahy: Privacy, immigration, drones among SJC priorities.  The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to return to unresolved tech debates even as it takes on other politically charged issues.  (Politico Pro)

Tech Business

China Loses an Edge.  China is losing its competitive edge as a low-cost manufacturing base, new data suggest, with producers relocating to cheaper locales such as Southeast Asia.  (WSJ)

Zuckerberg reveals origin of Google privacy rift.  Founder of social media giant tells press conference for search tool why negotiations between Facebook and Google fell apart.  (The Guardian)

PC titans take notes from tablets to regain customers.   Personal computer makers, trying to beat back a tablet mania that's eating into their sales, are making what may be a last-ditch attempt to sway customers by mimicking the competition.  (Reuters)

Twitter to open office in social network-crazed Brazil.  The San Francsico social network is planning to open an office in Sao Paulo to cash in on that growth in a bustling market where rival Facebook has already set up shop.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Facebook search to generate revenue, no rival to Google: analysts.  Facebook Inc's new search tool has strong potential to generate revenue for the social networking company, though it is unlikely to challenge Google Inc as the world's dominant search engine, Wall Street analysts said on Wednesday.  (Reuters)

Obamacare Opens Outsourcing Window for Infosys.  Infosys Ltd., India’s second-largest software exporter, is tapping demand from U.S. President Barack Obama’s push to overhaul the nation’s health-care system to include an additional 30 million Americans.  (Bloomberg)


Google's Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter.  Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent. Not the CEO and cofounder of Google. The way Page sees it, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly.  (Wired)


Global mobile ad revenue will reach $11.4bn this year, says Gartner.  Research firm Gartner says that the expanding mobile tech industry will result in advertising revenue reaching $11.4 billion by the end of the year.  (ZDNet)

Developing markets to spur 22.5 percent smartphone growth in 2013.  Developing markets, led by China, will be the biggest contributors to the 837 million smartphones estimated to be shipped this year.  (ZDNet)

India Cuts 800-MHz Airwave Price 50% for Bids.  India reduced the opening price for its auction of 800 megahertz spectrum by half to attract bids after the government got a weak response from wireless operators in a November auction.  The decision was made at a cabinet meeting today, Manish Tewari, minister for information and broadcasting, told reporters in New Delhi. (Bloomberg)

Energy & Sustainability

Unlocking energy data for smart grid applications.  Pecan Street Project CEO Brewster McCracken talks about the Texas-based smart grid project gathering energy data from 500 homes to help unlock commercial opportunities for third-party apps.  (

How Samsung is keeping e-waste from the landfill.  The South Korean-based electronic company's new Evolution Kit enables TV upgrades without having to throw away the old.  (Sustainable Business News)

ITI Member News

Apple, Samsung add new devices to upcoming patent suit.  A judge allows the two companies to insert the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III, and other devices to the list of products that allegedly infringe on each other's patents. (CNET)

Investors Grapple With Core of Apple.  Investors are rethinking whether, and how, to invest in the company, as some see the beginning of a transformation from a growth stock to a value investment.  (WSJ)

Silver Lake Is Said to Be Near Financing on Dell LBO.  Silver Lake Management LLC and partners are close to lining up about $15 billion in funds for a buyout of Dell Inc. (DELL), the third-biggest maker of personal computers, said people familiar with the matter.  (Bloomberg)

H.P. Said to Have Suitors for Two Units.  Hewlett-Packard has received inquiries from would-be buyers for its Autonomy and Electronic Data Systems units, but the technology company isn’t interested in selling at the moment.  (NYT)

HP unveils new center as CEO Meg Whitman talks of future.  Beleaguered Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday unveiled a slick, new entrance to its headquarters that HP chief executive officer Meg Whitman hopes will serve as 'a symbol of the rebirth'' of the tech giant.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Sharp in talks to sell Chinese TV plant to Lenovo.  Sharp Corp may sell its Chinese TV assembly plant to Lenovo Group as the cash-strapped Japanese TV maker looks to sell assets to bolster its finances, sources said.  (Reuters)

CEO says Sony is on track for comeback.  Sony Corp., the struggling Japanese electronics and entertainment company, is headed in the right direction although its comeback is not yet complete, its chief executive said Thursday.   (AP)

Nokia to cut over 1000 IT jobs.  Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia said it will cut over 1000 IT jobs, including 820 employees who will transfer to HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services, as part of an already-announced restructuring.  It said 300 jobs will be cut altogether, and that most of the reductions would be in Finland.   (Reuters)

EBay Tops Forecasts on Sales for Holidays.  The strides that eBay has made in the mobile market have impressed investors, helping propel its stock price to a 68 percent gain last year.  (AP)

RIM says users line up to try new BlackBerry 10 platform.  BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is helping customers prepare to switch to its soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry 10 smartphones that it hopes will help it reclaim market share from rivals such as Apple Inc.  (Reuters)

RIM Targeting 'Crazy Multi-Taskers' for BlackBerry 10.  The people who will be selling RIM’s make-or-break BlackBerry 10 phone must push the device on “crazy multi-taskers” and “people who want to be successful,” according to an internal training document that’s leaked ahead of the phone’s January 30 launch.  (Wired)

1600 Penn.

There are no public events on the President's schedule.  At 1:30 p.m. ET, the Vice President will deliver remarks at the United States Conference of Mayors’ 81st Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Today on the Hill

The House and Senate are not in session today.  The House returns to work on January 18 at 3 p.m. ET.  The Senate is adjourned until Monday, January 21, for the presidential inaugural.