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Key Issues

Tax Reform

Senate Democrats to reopen tax battle GOP had hoped to lay to rest with ‘cliff.’  Leaders say they plan to draft a budget blueprint calling for higher taxes on wealthy and corporations.  (Washington Post)

Editorial:  Obama's second inaugural agenda.  President Barack Obama's rhetoric has not survived his first election, but his second term could revive some of that energy as he takes on -- we hope -- challenges like immigration reform, climate change and and tax reform.  (San Jose Mercury News)


Faster, Sooner: Why The U.S. Needs 'Gigabit Communities.'  Super-fast broadband networks delivering speeds measured in gigabits isn’t just a matter of consumer convenience; it’s essential to U.S. competitiveness.  (Forbes)

China R&D spend passes $160B in 2012.  Asian economic giant spends over 1 trillion yuan on research and development last year, representing 2 percent of the country's GDP.  (ZDNet)

Buying the N.Y.S.E., in One Shot.  A bold deal by the owner of Intercontinental Exchange to acquire the New York Stock Exchange shows how technology is transforming the world’s markets.  (NYT)

‘Scary' collection of brainiacs gather at Google.  At The Intersection, a conference held at Google headquarters for innovators from Silicon Valley and the greater tech archipelago, the big social issues of our time were met head-on for a day, discussed and, whenever possible, resolved in time for dinner.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Global Trade

Trade talks cheer banks, other services firms.  The so-called International Services Agreement could be a boon to companies that want to knock down trade restrictions abroad.  (Politico Pro)

Schmidt, daughter open up about N. Korea trip.  In a post on his Google+ page, the Google chairman talks about the country's lack of open Internet access. Meanwhile, his daughter Sophie writes a blog account about their "very, very strange" visit.  (CNET)

India urged to address M2M fragmentation.  Lack of standards and interoperability pose big challenges for machine-to-machine deployments, but the growth potential of connected devices is huge in both rural and urban India.  (ZDNet)

India bars foreign vendors from national broadband initiative.  India's telecommunications ministry will exclude all foreign telecom equipment vendors, including Huawei and ZTE, from supplying gear for its national optic fiber network project.  (ZDNet)

Rattner: India Is Losing the Race.  As recently as 2006, when I first visited India and China, the economic race was on, with heavy bets being placed on which one would win the developing world sweepstakes.  Now the contest is emphatically over. China has lunged into the 21st century, while India is still lurching toward it. (NYT column)


Want to Attract Jobs and Capital? Change U.S. Tax and Immigration Laws.  “Companies’ decisions on where to locate will increasingly be driven by where they can find the skilled workers they need,” concludes The Economist in a new special report. In other words, the U.S. government would be wise to reform its laws on high skill immigration.  (Forbes)

Sen. Rubio rallying conservatives behind comprehensive immigration reform.  Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform are surprised that Rubio has generated so much positive buzz from conservatives.  (The Hill)

GOP Groups Urge Moderate Stance on Immigration.  Activists say outspoken anti-immigration groups within the GOP have made the issue toxic for vulnerable lawmakers who fear more conservative primary challengers and, even worse, have alienated the fastest-growing minority in the country. (CQ/Roll Call)

Rice: Immigration debate chance to show GOP has ‘broad appeal.’  "We sent some pretty bad signals around immigration," said Condoleezza Rice on Sunday.  (The Hill)

Editorial: Immigration Saga Continues.  The outlines of reform have long been clear: more visas, a more secure border, better-regulated workplaces, more protections for workers’ rights and — the key to everything — legalization and eventual citizenship for 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in limbo. The only thing missing is a deal.   (NYT)

Editorial:  Immigration reform's time has come.  Plenty of people in Congress would love to vote yes on some small immigration bills - say, increasing the number of visas for skilled high-tech workers, something that the business community desperately wants. Then they would think they could vote no on others - like a plan for the estimated 11.1 million illegal immigrants already living in this country, something that the entire nation desperately needs.  President Obama can't give in to this impulse, and some people on the other side of the aisle - namely Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. - agree with him.  (San Francisco Chronicle)

China's Workforce Is Shrinking Much Sooner Than Expected.  The economic adjustments could very well be more painful than most analysts now believe.  (Forbes)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

China's Huawei criticizes US security complaints.  Chinese tech giant Huawei on Monday criticized U.S. claims the company might be a security risk.  (AP)

Democrat warns revamp of hacking law could take ‘a very long time.’  For now, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is pushing a much narrower revision to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  (The Hill)


A new user group for the new mobile platforms.  Before the Internet, Mac and PC user groups provided the how-to information that kept consultants and power users in the know. A new user group hopes to bring people together around "touch computing.”  (ZDNet)

Web 're-defining' human identities.  Social networks such as Facebook and on-line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, says a UK report.  (BBC)


Editorial:  Keeping the Internet free.  Internet freedom is not something to be taken lightly, as anyone who has tried to gain access to forbidden sites in China will tell you. The countries that would like to censor Internet content, including Russia, China, Iran and others, were eager to see their authority to do so etched into a United Nations treaty debated at a conference last month in Dubai. The United States and other nations committed to a free and open Internet refused to sign the treaty. It was a largely symbolic protest but the right thing to do.  (Washington Post)

Energy & Sustainability

Green energy makes up half of new U.S. capacity.  More wind power capacity was added in 2012 than any other fuel, according to new government statistics.  (

Tech Business

Huawei Mulls IPO After Likely Topping Ericsson.  Huawei Technologies Co., China’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, said it has an “open mind” about offering shares to the public after posting sales that probably surpassed Ericsson AB. (ERICB)’s.  A decision to hold an initial public offering would depend on shareholders’ interests, as the company has no immediate need to raise funds.  (Bloomberg)

Here, there and everywhere:  After decades of sending work across the world, companies are rethinking their offshoring strategies.  The original idea behind offshoring was that Western firms with high labour costs could make huge savings by sending work to countries where wages were much lower. Offshoring means moving work and jobs outside the country where a company is based. It can also involve outsourcing, which means sending work to outside contractors. These can be either in the home country or abroad, but in offshoring they are based overseas. For several decades that strategy worked, often brilliantly. But now companies are rethinking their global footprints.  (The Economist)

How the Rise of Mobile Will Impact Tech Earnings.  A common thread though many of the tech earnings reports this cycle? The decline of the PC ecosystem and the rise of mobile.  (CNBC)

Samsung details plans for San Jose expansion.  Samsung Semiconductor Inc. filed plans with San Jose detailing the new building that will replace the company's research and design facility at North First Street and Tasman Drive.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Brocade's new CEO looks to challenge Cisco, other tech giants.  Brocade's Lloyd Carney has sold two previous firms but says he will focus on building the network company's business.  (San Jose Mercury News) 

Cambridge Innovation Center plans to expand this year.  The Cambridge Innovation Center, which leases space to hundreds of startups and tech biggies like Amazon, is looking for a site in Cambridge to launch a new group workspace called The Hub Boston.  (Boston Globe)

ITI Member News

Nokia Siemens seeks to raise €700m.  Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is planning to raise as much as 700 million euros ($930 million) from public markets in the spring to pay down debt and fund investment.  The high-yield bond will be the first time the Nokia and Siemens joint venture has tapped public markets, and it will test investor appetite in the telecoms equipment maker ahead of a possible listing.  (FT)

Google chief takes swipe at Facebook and Apple.  Larry Page says Facebook 'doing a really bad job with its products' and iPhone maker's product range is 'unsatisfying'.  (The Guardian)

RIM mulls licensing out software: CEO in paper.  Research in Motion will look into strategic alliances with other technology companies once it has launched its new BlackBerry 10 models, its chief executive told a German newspaper.  (Reuters)

Dell Hires Evercore Partners to Probe Higher Buyout Bids.  Dell Inc., which may announce this week it’s being taken private by a group led by Silver Lake Management LLC, hired Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) to advise a special committee of the board and to test whether the company could get a better offer.  (Bloomberg)

Intel's 2013 Spending Plans Spook Investors.  Shares of Intel fell 6% Friday as the chip maker's aggressive 2013 spending plans deepened worries about the company's near-term profitability.  (WSJ)

Intel's CEO Heading Out With a Whimper.  As Paul Otellini gets ready to retire as Intel's chief executive officer in May, the chip maker keeps handing in lackluster quarters.  (Businessweek)

HP’s Bradley Says Windows 8 Had Slow Start. HP’s Executive Vice President Todd Bradley said sales of the latest version of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s flagship Windows operating system had a disappointing debut. (Bloomberg)

HP cloud chief's exit sparks confusion.  A high-profile departure muddies HP's already unclear cloud strategy.  (Fortune)

1600 Penn.

The inaugural activities dominate the President's public schedule, with the ceremony at the Capitol starting at 11 a.m. ET.  The oath of office is slated for approximately 11:20 a.m., with the President's inaugural address scheduled to begin around 11:50 a.m.

For the remainder of the week, the President is expected to remain in Washington, D.C.

Today on the Hill


The House and Senate meet for the inauguration of President Obama and Vice President Biden. The ceremony takes place at 11:30 a.m.  

Looking ahead...

House:  The House resumes legislative business at 12 p.m. ET Tuesday with disaster aid legislation (HR 152) before the members.  Later this week, the House is expected to vote on a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling for a three-month period.

Senate:  The Senate resumes legislative business at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. It will still be in the first legislative day, preserving the ability to change rules by a simple majority.