ITI Daily News Roundup

04/24/2014

Key Issues

Workforce

STEM Proficiency: A Key Driver of Innovation, Economic Growth and National Security. The demand for the many jobs requiring STEM skills—science, technology, engineering and math—is outstripping the supply, and the problem will only get worse. (U.S. News and World Report) 

IP Enforcement

The Senate and Patent Reform: The Time Is Now. In the last week before recess, word from the Senate Judiciary Committee is that negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement in principle on the key elements of a comprehensive patent reform bill. A deal appears close to being done, and it’s looking more like the House’s Innovation Act, which bodes well for final passage. (Roll Call Commentary)

Cybersecurity

DOD official: Draft network-breach reporting regulations coming this summer. Highly anticipated Pentagon regulations that would require defense companies with security clearances to rapidly report network and information system penetrations will likely be released in draft form for public comment this summer, according to a DOD official. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Shift in Senate control would bring new and familiar faces to cybersecurity debates. Republicans will return next week from the Easter recess increasingly confident that they will win control of the Senate in just over six months -- and will have a chance to put their own stamp on cybersecurity policies ranging from information sharing to data-breach notification. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Global Policy

Froman Steps Up Pressure On Japan, Calling For 'Bold' Move On TPP. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, upon arriving in Tokyo with President Obama April 23, called on Japan to make a bold move to open its economy under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or risk steering the negotiations down the wrong path, ramping up pressure on Japan to make concessions in bilateral market access talks. (World Trade Online)

German MEP Doubts TTIP Deal Before 2017, Urges Rethink Of Agenda. A leading European Parliament Green Party lawmaker today (April 23) voiced strong doubts that U.S.-EU trade talks will conclude during President Obama's term in office and warned that the negotiating agenda must be overhauled if the trade deal is to be approved by the next European Parliament. (World Trade Online)

Global Digital Divide Worsens, World Economic Forum Report Says. The 13th edition of the Global Information Technology Report, which measures the capacity of countries to use technology to improve economic growth and social well-being, found that most of the world’s top-ranked countries held or improved their rankings in the report’s networked readiness index, while many large emerging nations such as China, Brazil and India saw their rankings drop. (Wall Street Journal)

Obama: Time is now to reach trade pact. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said they had made progress on a range of security and trade issues during the first day of the president’s week-long visit to Asia. (The Hill)

U.S. stresses collaboration over formal agreements in global Internet talks. The United States says the global community should focus on developing a transparent multistakeholder process to govern the Internet rather than pursue formal international treaties on the subject, according to U.S. comments on a draft document being discussed this week in Brazil. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Environment and Sustainability

Transit Agencies Turn to Alternative Fuels. Both environmental and budget concerns are prompting American municipal transportation agencies to turn away from diesel. (GovTech) 

The White House commits to powering up on renewables. The White House has revealed fresh support for the solar power sector, promising to promote the installation of new generation in federally subsidized housing and on military bases. (Green Business News)

Public Sector

First lady announces one-stop job site for vets. To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine. (Federal News Radio) 

IT Leadership: Navigating Technology in K-12 Education. This year's Consortium for School Networking survey found improvements, but schools continue to face ongoing challenges in technology budgets, a priority to establish digital environments and the need for succession planning. (GovTech)

Two IRS IT projects on hold. The Internal Revenue Service has postponed two major IT projects partly because of budget constraints, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. (Federal Computer Week)

The RFP For The U-2 Spy Plane Was Just Two Pages Long. Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray dropped an interesting piece of government contracting arcana last week during a panel discussion on the past and future role of government chief information officers. (NextGov)

Innovation

Conjuring Images of a Bionic Future. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the latest crop of advanced hearing aids are better than the ears most of us were born with. (New York Times)

UK centre to shoot for nuclear fusion record. The director of a UK science facility says it will try to set a new world record in nuclear fusion. (BBC)

Upgraded cochlear implant regrows animals' auditory nerves. Researchers at the University of New South Wales report they have used a cochlear implant to regrow auditory nerves and restore hearing quality in adult guinea pigs. (CNET)

Mobility

The FCC is planning new net neutrality rules. And they could enshrine pay-for-play. The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday will circulate proposed rules that could give high speed Internet providers more power over what content moves the fastest on the Web based on which firms pay the most, according to a person familiar with the plans. (Washington Post)

Wheeler, AT&T in spectrum staredown. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and AT&T are playing a high-stakes game of chicken over an upcoming spectrum auction that is critical to the agency’s plans to add new airwaves to the wireless market. (Politico Pro)

Tech Business

Amazon's HBO deal: The returns on soaring technology and content costs. Amazon spent $6.56 billion in 2013 on technology and content expenses and rest assured that sum is going to surge now that it has licensed HBO's content in an exclusive deal. (ZDNet)

Scarcity triggers new restrictions on obtaining Internet addresses. The US and Canada are down to their last 16.7 million Net addresses with today's IPv4 Internet technology. Scarcity is pushing Internet service providers to the next-gen IPv6. (CNET)

ITI Member News

Ericsson to split Network unit in two. Ericsson, the world's top mobile telecom equipment maker, said on Thursday it would split its key Network unit in two as communications technology relies more on software and the Internet. (Wall Street Journal)

Facebook earnings surge on mobile advertising. Social networking giant Facebook reported profits of $642m (£383m) during the first quarter of 2014, beating analyst expectations. (BBC) 

IBM gears up for Pentagon health push. IBM named Dr. Keith Salzman, an early pioneer in health IT for the U.S. Army, as its chief medical information officer as part of an overall expansion of its federal health care practice announced April 24.  (Federal Computer Week)

Inside Lisa Jackson’s vision for a greener Apple. It’s been nearly a year since Lisa Jackson took the helm of Apple’s environmental initiatives. And during that year, the company seems to have done a 180 in how it talks about environmental sustainability — and the fact that it talks about it at all. Much of the credit goes to Jackson. (Green Business News)

The Internet keeps getting faster and more dangerous. Akamai, a leading Internet content delivery network (CDN) company, released its Fourth Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report (PDF Link) on April 23rd. The good news is that the global average Internet connect speed keeps getting faster. The bad news is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks increased at an even speedier pace. (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama will visit the Imperial Palace for an official arrival ceremony and a state call with the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Later in the morning, the president will visit the Akasaka Palace for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, followed by a joint press conference. In the afternoon, the president will visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and deliver remarks at a youth and science event. Later in the afternoon, the president will visit and tour the Meiji Shrine. In the evening, the president will return to the Imperial Palace to attend the Japanese state dinner. The president will remain in Tokyo overnight.

Today on the Hill

The House and Senate are in recess this week.

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