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Key Issues


Immigration, the Easy Problem.  Because immigration is so attractive, most nations are competing to win the global talent race. Over the past 10 years, 60 percent of nations have moved to increase or maintain their immigrant intakes, especially for high-skilled immigrants.  The United States is losing this competition. (NYT column/David Brooks)

Missing in immigration push: Startups?  The big push for immigration reform is off and running, but some in the tech industry are hoping startups don’t get left in the dust.   A visa option is missing in the I-Squared proposal that quickly won industry support, and some say its inclusion is important to encourage talented people worldwide in the science, technology, engineering and math fields to create businesses in the United States.  But there are still some proposals that could address that issue.  (Politico Pro)

Citizenship question rankles both parties.  Rising tensions over whether to provide illegal immigrants a path to full citizenship threaten to derail momentum for resolving long-simmering problems in the country’s immigration system.  (Washington Post)

Democrats Press on Immigration as Obama Courts Businesses.  Pressing to move quickly to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws, Democratic leaders began setting a strategy to advance legislation as the White House worked to rally business support.  Returning to a tactic used in last year’s fiscal fight, administration officials held a conference call with executives of some of the nation’s largest companies to lay out President Barack Obama’s proposals and to enlist corporate backing.  The executives were generally supportive of a single, comprehensive bill, rather than addressing immigration with more focused separate measures, as some Republicans have advocated, according to the call participant. (Bloomberg)


Obama might back territorial tax system.  The chief of a group of more than 200 CEOs said on Thursday that President Barack Obama had told the business community last month he might back a territorial tax system, a regime that would exempt offshore corporate profits from U.S. taxation.  (Reuters)

Global Trade

Senior Administration Officials Signal Hesitancy On U.S.-EU Trade Deal.  After more than a year of negotiations on whether and how to launch trans-Atlantic free trade talks, Obama administration officials are still signaling a hesitancy to endorse such an initiative and say they need more assurances from the European Union to boost their confidence that such talks, if initiated, would be concluded successfully.  (Inside US Trade)

G20 should focus on debts, not Japan-bashing: Russia.  Russia's top financial diplomat said the Group of 20 should focus on making new commitments to curb borrowing, and not rush to judge Japan's bid to reflate its economy when policy makers meet this month.  (Reuters)

Biden To Press EU Leaders On Bilateral Trade Deal As Part Of Broader Agenda.  Vice President Joe Biden next week expects to discuss a potential U.S.-EU trade deal with the leaders of the United Kingdom, Germany and France to gauge whether they are willing to address the tough issues that are expected to emerge if the two sides decide to launch negotiations, according to Michael Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, during a Jan. 31 press call on Biden's Feb. 1-5 trip to Europe.  (Inside US Trade)

Cybersecurity & Privacy

US weighs tougher action over China cyberattacks.  China-based hackers have long been an economic and national security concern, but as cybersecurity experts report an increase in attacks, U.S. leaders are looking at ways to better address the threat and analyze its impact.  Two former U.S. officials said the administration is preparing a new National Intelligence Estimate that, when complete, is expected to detail the cyberthreat, particularly from China, as a growing economic problem. One official said it also will cite more directly a role by the Chinese government in such espionage.  (AP)

NY Times hacking sheds new light on China cybercrime.  Experts suggest that Chinese government routinely employs 'vast army of hackers' to carry out covert spying campaigns.  (Guardian)

It's not only the New York Times that gets hacked.  Corporations get hacked often -- so it's best to be ready for it.  (Marketplace)

Intel panel’s Rogers says cyber wheels in motion.  Rep. Mike Rogers did not give specifics on when he might reintroduce his own information-sharing bill, known by its acronym CISPA.  (Politico Pro)

Carper: Expect White House cyber security order after State of the Union.  The White House began drafting the executive order after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation last year.  (The Hill)


Patenting Prosperity: Invention and Economic Performance in the United States and its Metropolitan Areas.   A Brookings report released today looks at the relationship between innovation and economic growth in metro areas, and finds that patents are a significant driver of long-term economic success.  (Brookings)

49ers' Super Bowl trip shows speed of Silicon Valley's evolution.  With the San Francisco 49ers going to Super Bowl XLVII, I’m taking a minute to look back at their last Super Bowl trip and wonder: How did we even watch the big game without Facebook, Twitter, TiVo, Google, Slingbox and the slew of apps that keep us connected?  (San Jose Mercury News Column/Mike Cassidy)

The End of the Web, Computers, and Search as We Know It.  People ask what the next web will be like, but there won’t be a next web.  The space-based web we currently have will gradually be replaced by a time-based worldstream. It’s already happening, and it all began with the lifestream, a phenomenon that I (with Eric Freeman) predicted in the 1990s and shared in the pages of Wired almost exactly 16 years ago.  (Wired)


FCC moves on wireless innovation.  The FCC votes to ease the process inventors go through for testing on the nation’s airwaves.  (Politico)


After Adding Online Privacy Protections, F.T.C. Chief Resigns.  Jon Leibowitz worked to restrain unfair competition, but stumbled trying to rein in the Internet search practices of Google.  (NYT)

Four mobile device makers investigated for patent infringement in US.  U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched a probe involving Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE for patent infringement in certain wireless devices with 3G or 4G capabilities.  (ZDNet)

Klobuchar takes over antitrust panel.  The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday selected Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to chair its subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.  Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) will stay on as the panel's ranking member.  (The Hill)

Environment & Sustainability

Microsoft Jams Thousands of Servers Into Boxes, Building Out $1B Data Center.  Microsoft is using  ITPAC data center modules to quickly build up cloud capacity in Virginia.  (Wired)

Apple moves towards greener Chinese supply chain, report says.  Though environmental issues still need serious attention, there's progress in the IT sector, according to a local NGO.  (

7 projects looking to use big data to cut the cost of solar power.  Data analytics will be able to help lower the cost of solar through cutting installation costs, making solar cells more efficient and creating better market mechanisms. Here’s 7 projects that the DOE is funding to use data to make solar cheaper.  (

Tech Business

IT 'nearshoring' to pick up in 2013.  Western companies are increasingly placing outsourced jobs nearer to their home base due to pressure from politics and changing cost dynamic, which Asian service providers will need to adapt to.  (ZDNet)

STMicroelectronics May Pay $500 Million to Exit Venture.  The chip venture, ST-Ericsson, foundered as major clients like Nokia and BlackBerry lost out to rivals like Apple and Samsung, which rely on Qualcomm chips.  (NYT)

Sharp says small, mid-size panel orders lower than expected.  Japan's Sharp Corp said orders for small and medium size panels for smartphones came in below expectations. But television sales improved, a company executive said on Friday.  (Reuters)

Microsoft, TechStars bring outside startups to Silicon Valley.  TechStars on Thursday brought a platoon of startups from its Seattle-based partnership with Microsoft to pitch potential investors on Menlo Park's Sand Hill Road  (San Jose Mercury News)

Audio company Audience sees fast growth, even with less Apple.  Audience Inc seems to be doing pretty well, even with less of Apple: the audio technology company forecast quarterly revenue well above Wall Street's expectations, helped by more business from Samsung and other smartphone makers.  (Reuters)

Samsung gains tablet market share.  Samsung doubles its share of the tablet PC market in the last three months of 2012 as Apple's lead narrows, according to research firm IDC.  (BBC)

U.S. tablet shipments soar during holidays, threaten to surpass PCs.  Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook's prediction that tablets would one day outsell personal computers appears to be coming true.  (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Dell nears buyout, deal could come as soon as Monday.  Dell Inc is nearing an agreement to sell itself to a buyout consortium led by its founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, possibly announcing a deal as soon as Monday, according to two people familiar with the matter.  (Reuters)

Intel pushes into Asia with mobile campaign, but success still far off.  Intel, the world's biggest chipmaker, opened a new front on Thursday in a long and stuttering campaign to get its processors into mobile phones, although it appears to still have a long way to go.  (San Jose Mercury News)

Apple Loses Bid to Block Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  Apple Inc. failed to persuade a U.S. appeals court to review its decision that allows Samsung Electronics Co. to continue selling the Galaxy Nexus smartphone while a patent-infringement case is pending.  An October decision, which said Apple needed to show that the patented search feature was a key reason consumers bought the Samsung phone, will stand.  (Bloomberg)

Apple blocks Java on Macs due to vulnerabilities.  Mac computers have stopped running programs written using the Java programming language in their browsers, as Apple blocked it because of security problems.   (AP)

Ericsson Soars After Sales, Profit Margin Beat.  Ericsson AB (ERICB), the world’s largest maker of wireless networks, jumped the most in almost two years in Stockholm trading after sales beat estimates amid rising spending by North American wireless operators. (Bloomberg)

Ericsson: The summertime forecast calls for small cells & more mobile bandwidth.  Ericsson networks boss Hans Wibergh says the age of dense small networks is about to begin. After years of sorting out the kinks, Ericsson is ready to start shipping its first commercial small cells this summer.  (

Sony to Unveil PS3 Successor.  Sony plans to unveil its next-generation game console this month during a PlayStation-themed event.  (WSJ)

Nokia begins work on graphene, world's strongest material.  The mobile-phone maker receives a $1.35 billion grant to work on development of the 2D wonder-material that is stronger, lighter, and thinner than anything else on earth.  (CNET)

New BlackBerry on Sale in U.K..  Research In Motion were down 6% in New York, a day after it launched the first two BlackBerrys that will run on its new BB10 operating system.  (WSJ)

PlayBook sequel a bad bet.  Even the BlackBerry CEO concedes it's a tough business, and doesn't sound confident about another tablet anytime soon. A BB10 update is coming to the PlayBook though.  (CNET)

Company that successfully sued Google goes after Microsoft.  A lawsuit filed on Thursday alleges Microsoft has been infringing patents that allow Internet search engines to most effectively place advertisements.   (San Jose Mercury News)

Sony teases big NYC event for Feb. 20, PS4 debut?  An invitation sent to the press today teases what looks to be a major announcement for the company; could it be the debut of the PlayStation 4? One report says yes.  (CNET)

Panasonic, Sharp expect red ink despite yen help.  Japanese electronics makers Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. both stuck to full year forecasts for massive losses.  (AP)

1600 Penn.

Science and innovation are center stage at the White House this afternoon.  At 2:15 p.m. ET, the President will award 12 researchers the National Medal of Science and eleven extraordinary inventors the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. We'll have coverage on our blog later today. 

Today on the Hill

House:  The House is not in session.

Senate:  The Senate is not in session.