ITI Daily News Roundup

10/24/2014

Key Issues

Tech Business

Are Online Vendors Giving You Their Best Price? Maybe Not, Research Says. A new study found that e-commerce sites vary online pricing depending on whether customers use mobile or desktop devices, iOS or Android, and other factors. (Wall Street Journal)

Cloud computing still castles in the air for some tech investors. In the enterprise technology world, generational transitions in computing that seem obvious often take a decade or more to become significant. So it has been with cloud computing. The shift of corporate computing workloads to utility-grade data centres has been on the cards since the end of the last century. (Financial Times)

In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web. On February 8, 2000, the US government signed a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to run the so-called "IANA functions" – which glue together the internet as we know it. Ever since that day, people have been trying to end that contract. This time next year, it will finally happen. (The Register) 

Tech learning political ties can also be a bind. Silicon Valley’s power players have learned that Washington can be a political asset — and a cultural hazard. (Politico Pro) 

Net Neutrality

Meet ‘forbearance,’ the obscure governing tool that just might resolve the net neutrality debate. The net neutrality debate might soon, mercifully, be wrapping up, as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to issue a new round of rules. And as the FCC does so, it's exceptionally likely that we'll hear one word again and again: forbearance. (Washington Post)

Three House Dems, three proposals for net neutrality. Here’s what they look like. Rep. Anna Eshoo is urging federal regulators to oversee Internet providers using Title II of the Communications Act — a move that would give the Federal Communications Commission more latitude to prevent the sort of traffic discrimination net neutrality advocates say would hurt the open Internet. (Washington Post)

U.S. senator asks Internet providers to commit to no 'fast lanes'. U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Thursday pressed large Internet providers to pledge that they will not strike deals that may help some websites load faster than others or give similar "fast lanes" to affiliated services. (Reuters)

Privacy

Spy critics say tech made midterm mistake. Critics of government surveillance say the tech industry made a major blunder in its midterm election giving. (The Hill)

White House request attracts dozens of comments on privacy objectives. Two dozen comments – from groups ranging from privacy advocates to IT contractors and researchers – were submitted in response to a White House request for information on "vital privacy objectives," including cybersecurity challenges, which could inform a National Privacy Research Strategy. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Tax

Online Sales Tax Supporters Eye Action in Lame Duck. As supporters of a bill to boost online sales tax collection gear up to pass the measure in the lame duck, opponents say leaders will likely avoid a tax debate in the waning months of this session. (Roll Call)

Portman calls for tax reform. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) called on Congress to pass comprehensive tax reform to boost the economy. (The Hill)

Cybersecurity

Cyber legislation is still a long shot, despite optimistic notes. House Republicans this week expressed optimism about action on cybersecurity legislation in the upcoming lame-duck session. Unfortunately for them, the decision to act rests with the other body and mostly with the other party. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Energy rebounds from cyber attack thanks to new IT asset tracking tool. The Energy Department is finding a silver lining from its cyber breach that exposed the data of more than 50,000 employees last year. (Federal News Radio)

Report: Russia, China near cybersecurity deal. Russian President Vladimir Putin is close to finalizing a cybersecurity cooperation agreement with China, according to Russian media reports. (The Hill)

IP Enforcement

Aereo barred from retransmitting broadcast TV. Aereo was dealt another setback in its fight for survival Thursday when a federal judge barred the embattled video streaming company from transmitting TV broadcasters' programs to its subscribers. (CNET)

IT upgrades could help improve patent quality, nominated USPTO director says. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is looking at upgrading IT tools and tapping into big data as part of a plan to improve patent quality, the newly nominated agency head said Thursday. (FedScoop)

Global Trade

Froman Signals Need For TPA To Get Best Offers From Negotiating Partners. In advance of an Oct. 25-27 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial meeting, U.S. trade officials this week touted to Congress an article by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in which he signals that U.S. trading partners are unlikely to put their best offers on the negotiating table unless Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is in place. (World Trade Online)

General Council Fails To Break TFA Deadlock That Paralyzes WTO Agenda. Faced with a seemingly pervasive negotiating deadlock, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo told the General Council this week he would start another round of consultations aimed at breaking the impasse on the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and the paralysis of the larger WTO negotiating agenda. (World Trade Online)

Jean-Claude Juncker plays with future of EU-US trade deal. Jean-Claude Juncker has secured parliamentary support for his European Commission, but the president has sent an odd signal in depriving his trade commissioner of control over the investor-protection clause in the transatlantic trade talks. (Financial Times)

New USTR deputy faces full plate of China challenges. When it comes to trade with China, new Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman could potentially gorge himself on disputes: From concerns about China’s protection of intellectual property rights to enforcement of its anti-monopoly law, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of problems to solve. (Politico Pro) 

Environment and Sustainability

EU Leaders Agree to Long-Term Energy, Climate Change Targets. European Union leaders agreed on a set of long-term targets on energy and climate change in the early hours of Friday, agreeing to financial sweeteners and weakening some objectives in order to get a deal. (Wall Street Journal) 

South Florida Wants to Be the 51st State Because of Climate Change Worries. When a region wants to break away from its state or from the U.S.—whether we're talking about Texas, Vermont, or the former Confederate states—it's usually because of government, politics, and money. But for the city of South Miami, which earlier this month passeda resolution to separate southern from northern Florida, the main concern is climate change. (National Journal)

Why do people put solar on their roofs? Because other people put solar on their roofs. Who chooses to install solar panels on their roof? You might assume that the people who do so are probably fairly rich (an average installation can cost around $35,000, prior to tax credits or other incentives), and most assuredly, politically liberal. They can afford it, and it fits their values to boot. (Washington Post)

Public Sector

At CIS, they DID(IT). Eighteen months ago, the technology office at DHS's Citizenship and Immigration Services wasn't using open source technology, web responsive design or a mobile-first approach, and applications or new IT solutions typically took months to roll out. (Federal Computer Week)

HHS launches $840 million IT-focused plan to improve patient care. Patient-focused health care is about quality not quantity. So the Department of Health and Human Services is offering $840 million over the next four years to clinicians who focus more on quality care than volume using various tools and strategies, including some rooted in IT, to ensure more positive patient outcomes. (FedScoop)

Marine Corps weeks away from beta testing BYOD approach. The Marine Corps is a "couple weeks" away from a beta test that it hopes will pave the way for a possible overhaul of Defense Department mobility policies. The goal is to let users bring personally-owned devices onto DoD networks potentially as soon as next year. (Federal News Radio)

New GSA program to standardize shared services. The General Services Administration is setting up a program office to help agencies get over the most common hurdles to using shared services. (Federal News Radio)

Veterans get look at emerging VA telehealth system. The Department of Veterans Affairs provided representatives of some of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations Thursday with a demonstration of the agency’s emerging telehealth system and clinical video telehealth scheduling software, both of which are designed to improve access to VA health services for veterans. (FedScoop)

Workforce

NASA Ames looks to cross-training, shared services to deal with workforce challenges. In the heart of Silicon Valley, NASA Ames Research Center is in a daily battle with the giants of the commercial tech industry for the best and the brightest to come work for them. (Federal News Radio)

Innovation

Ford cars will soon start scanning the streets for wayward pedestrians. The European Modeo will be the first Ford car with Pedestrian Detection, which uses radar and camera sensors to identify pedestrians in or near the vehicle’s path. (Gigaom) 

Here's What the Next Brain Implant Will Be Made Of. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, have created a new type of brain chip made of graphene that could bring futuristic brain implants much closer to reality. (National Journal) 

Museums Morph Digitally. For the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a turning point came in 2011. Down went the signs imploring visitors to stow their cellphones. The Met revamped its website, tailoring it for viewing on smartphone screens. The museum was not only allowing visitors to use their mobile phones while browsing the artworks, but encouraging it. (New York Times) 

Researchers Want To Send Us To The Moon Using Robots And Oculus Rift. A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, Daniel Shafrir, and his team want to do something incredible: they want to send a rover to the moon and then let us, the Earthlings, control it and look out of its stereoscopic cameras as it tumbles around that barren alien rock. (TechCrunch)

Mobility

Calling 911 On Your Cell? It's Harder To Find You Than You Think. Today's mobile phones can do almost everything a computer can. But we still need them for their most basic purpose: making phone calls — especially in emergencies. (NPR)

Will Free Data Become the Next Free Shipping? The telecom industry is counting on rising data use to keep its sales growing, but consumers are keeping a close eye on their usage for fear of triggering even higher bills. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

Apple CEO says had 'very open' privacy talks in China: Xinhua. Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook was quoted on Friday as saying he had "very open" talks on privacy and security with a senior Chinese official, days after a web monitoring group linked the government to a hack into Apple's iCloud service in China. (Reuters)

Microsoft’s Cloud Growth Continues. Microsoft Corp. continues to defy expectations by growing at a much faster clip than its business-technology peers, while the company also managed to post stronger-than-forecast sales in its troubled Nokia mobile business. (Wall Street Journal) 

Remote Bhutan Gets Google Street View Panoramas. You can now take in dramatic vistas from the tiny, isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan — via Google. (Wall Street Journal)

1600 Penn.

This afternoon, President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet with the National Security Council at the State Department to discuss the campaign to combat ISIL.

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