ITI Daily News Roundup

01/27/2015

Key Issues

Tech Business

De Blasio to Uber: Surge Pricing During the Blizzard Is Illegal. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a clear message to ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft: Don't raise your prices during the coming snowstorm. (National Journal)

Golden chance for tech in California race. For the well-heeled tech moguls of Silicon Valley, the race for California’s first open Senate seat in decades is shaping up to be a political gold rush. (Politico) 

Tencent, Alibaba lead China's top brands as tech dominates. China's tech giants Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) beat state firms for the first time to become the country's most valuable brands in 2015, a report published on Tuesday shows. (Reuters)

Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending. A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans. (New York Times) 

Privacy

Germany's privacy leaders gather to discuss suspending US Safe Harbor. In Germany, data watchdogs will meet this week to debate the future of the Safe Harbor agreement in the post-Snowden world. (ZDNet) 

Mass Surveillance Threatens Digital Security And Human Rights, Says European Report. A 32-page report into mass surveillance by a top European rights body has warned that digital dragnets set up by U.S. government intelligence agencies, and some of the U.S.’ allies in Europe and elsewhere, are endangering fundamental human rights. (TechCrunch)

UK Lords kill attempt to sneak in new surveillance laws. Members of the U.K. House of Lords, who last week introduced amendments to an antiterror bill that would have essentially brought back defeated surveillance legislation, have withdrawn the amendments after a spirited debate in the House. (Gigaom) 

U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars. The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents. (Wall Street Journal) 

Global Trade

India ready to join Apec, US to help. India is ready to join Apec ( Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and the US has committed to facilitating an Indian membership. (Times of India) 

Lack Of TPA Bill Poses Challenge To Business Effort To Sway Freshmen. The head of one of the largest U.S. business lobbies is signaling that his group's effort to rally support among freshman lawmakers for renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is being hung up by the simple fact that there is currently no pending piece of TPA legislation that it can point to. (World Trade Online) 

Lawmakers to grill Froman on White House trade push. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman can expect a flurry of Republican questions about President Barack Obama’s commitment to his own trade agenda during back-to-back hearings in the Senate and House on Tuesday. (Politico Pro) 

Obama, Modi look to unleash ‘untapped potential’ for trade. President Barack Obama emphasized the United States’ desire for stronger trade ties with India and outlined a series of U.S. government initiatives that he said could generate more than $4 billion in new trade and investment between the two countries in speech in New Delhi on Monday. (Politico Pro)

Tax

Tech mounts pre-emptive strike on taxes. The tech industry is ramping up its lobbying efforts on tax reform, seeking to make sure it doesn’t end up the loser if Washington can finally find a consensus on rewriting U.S. tax laws. (The Hill)

Broadband

Government-run Internet service could set off flurry of lawsuits. Regulators will likely run into a host of lawsuits if they make an expected move to override state laws limiting local governments from building out their own broadband Internet services, state legislators and officials predicted on Monday. (The Hill)

Net Neutrality

Dutch and Slovenian regulators nail carriers over net neutrality. While the European Union dithers over EU-wide net neutrality, some European countries are marching on regardless. On Friday Slovenia’s regulators nailed carriers Telekom Slovenije and Si.mobil for violating net neutrality principles, and on Tuesday Dutch regulators fined KPN and Vodafone for similar violations. (Gigaom) 

Cybersecurity

Singapore ups the ante in cyber security fight. Singapore is gearing up for a crackdown on cyber crime with the launch of a central agency and the appointment of a minister in charge of cyber security, the government said on Tuesday, as the wealthy city-state grapples with a rise in online crime. (Reuters)

U.S. , India announce expanded cybersecurity cooperation. President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed over the weekend to boost cooperation on addressing cyber risks, according to the White House. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Workforce

Lawmakers launch tech diversity caucus. Members of both chambers of Congress on Monday launched a bipartisan caucus aimed at getting more women, minorities and veterans into the tech sector. (The Hill)

Environment and Sustainability

An increasingly rare type of solar farm goes online in California. Late last week another of these large solar thermal farms was officially turned on, and it truly could be one of the last of this size built in the U.S., thanks to a one-two punch of changing incentives and economics. (Gigaom)

Public Sector

CIOs urge the public to innovate where government can't. It's increasingly difficult for chief information officers in the federal government to innovate, stifled by a 240-year-old bureaucratic system. But a few CIOs have an idea for getting around that. (FedScoop) 

Mixed messages for VA IT. A five-month independent review found no major threats to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ computer servers, and no evidence of theft of VA data. (FCW) 

Public's satisfaction with federal government declines, report says. For the second year in a row, the American public's satisfaction with the services it receives from the federal government has declined, according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. (Federal News Radio)

State CIOs to put greater focus on broadband, HR in 2015. While security and cloud will the most important management priorities for state and local chief information officers in 2015, CIOs expect to give significantly greater attention to broadband and wireless connectivity in 2015 than in recent years, according to a new report. (StateScoop) 

Innovation

Science finds a new way to unboil an egg. There is, as it turns out, more than one way to unboil an egg -- and the new way carries great potential for the development of pharmaceuticals. (CNET) 

Too big to innovate: Get excited for the coming disruption of banks. Don’t worry, banks. Video stores, newspapers and film cameras can offer a shoulder to cry on. They know how you are about to feel. Welcome to the world of disruption, where businesses get upended. The race is now on to chip away at banks’ businesses with cheaper and superior services that customers love. (Washington Post)

Youth For Technology’s 3D Africa Program Wants To Get More Girls Into STEM Subjects. Non-profit Youth For Technology wants to encourage girls in Africa to get into science and engineering through 3D printing. The group is currently running a flexible funding campaign on Indiegogo and will use the money to help cover the costs of of buying equipment for schools. (TechCrunch)

Mobility

Gartner predicts a quarter billion connected vehicles by 2020. Gartner is predicting that by 2020, around one in five vehicles on the road globally will have some form of wireless network connection, adding up to more than 250 million connected vehicles. (ZDNet) 

Telecom network spending seen rising this year amid 4G boom. Europe's telecoms equipment makers look set for an unpredictable year because of consolidation among their operator customers and a slowdown of buildouts of faster mobile networks, known as 4G, in the United States and China. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Facebook says it caused fault that sent services offline. Social network Facebook became inaccessible across much of the globe for a time on Tuesday, before returning to normal service. (BBC) 

Google to Announce Fiber Expansion In Four Cities. Google Inc. is preparing to offer its high-speed fiber-optic Internet service in four new metro areas, the latest step in a careful expansion of the service. (Wall Street Journal)

HP names more execs in its dual company strategy. When Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman announced plans to split the company in half in October, she said she would stay on as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Don Weisler would fill that role HP Co. which will continue HP’s venerable printer-and-PC franchise. (Gigaom)

Larger-than-usual move for Yahoo shares expected after results. Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O) shares are expected to move nearly twice as much as they have following other recent earnings reports when the company announces fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, options data showed. (Reuters)

The Man Behind IBM’s Cloud-Based Campaign. Facing an uphill battle to boost revenue, International Business Machines Corp. is mounting a high-stakes campaign to become a top player in cloud services. Now that push has a new point man. (Wall Street Journal)

Microsoft Meets Q2 Expectations, Stock Drops Because It Did So. Microsoft reported second-quarter earnings today that were exactly in line with investor expectations. The tech behemoth said it had earned 71 cents a share on revenue of $26.5 billion. (Re/code)

Singtel, Ericsson to study 5G deployment. Singtel says it will work with the telecoms equipment maker to identify possible applications of 5G networks for consumers and businesses, including trials for potential technologies on the mobile network. (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama will meet with Kailash Satyarthi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Afterward, the president will deliver remarks at Siri Fort Auditorium. In the afternoon, the president and the first lady will travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There, the president and King Salman will participate in delegation introductions, a bilateral meeting, and dinner at Erga Palace. Afterward, the president and first lady travel to Ramstein, Germany on their way back to Washington D.C. 

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 12 p.m. for legislative business. The House Committee on Science, Technology and Space, Subcommittee on Research and Technology will hold a hearing on The Expanding Cyber Threat at 2 p.m. ITI’s Dean Garfield will testify. 

The Senate will meet at 11 a.m. and will recess from 12:30 until 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

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