ITI Daily News Roundup

11/21/2014

Key Issues

Workforce

Obama commends National Medal of Science and Technology winners for ‘pushing boundaries’. President Barack Obama praised the passion, persistence and “intrinsic hopefulness” of some the nation’s smartest minds Thursday during a ceremony honoring recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Obama used the ceremony to stress the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in the country’s schools, calling for more teachers with backgrounds in science and math. (FedScoop)

Obama’s immigration order gives tech community some – but not all – of what it wants. The high-tech industry will have at least two things to be happy about in President Obama's speech outlining executive actions he'll take on immigration. The president plans to grant the tech industry some, but not nearly all, of what it has been after in the immigration debate. (Washington Post) 

Tech sector underwhelmed by Obama’s immigration actions. President Obama’s executive action on immigration included just a handful of nuggets to help out technology companies, much to the industry’s chagrin. ITI’s Dean Garfield is quoted. (The Hill) 

Global Trade

Declarations and Scarves Unravel at World Internet Conference. Spare a moment to pity the hardworking organizers of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. These people work LATE. (Bloomberg) 

U.S. To Host Next Informal TPP Round Dec. 7-12 In Washington. The United States will host the next meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators from Dec. 7-12 in Washington, according to a spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. One informed source said the meeting will likely involve chief negotiators as well as some working groups. (World Trade Online)

Wyden Aide Says Transparency, Enforcement Key Priorities For TPA Bill. A senior aide to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) told a business audience late last week that improvements on enforcement and transparency language, along with a renewal of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, are the chairman's priorities when it comes to a pending Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, according to informed sources. (World Trade Online)

Net Neutrality

FCC leaves net neutrality off the schedule. Net neutrality rules will be left off the schedule at the Federal Communications Commission's final public meeting of the year, according to a tentative agenda released Thursday. (The Hill) 

Obama's Net-Neutrality Plan Could Mean New Internet Fees. President Obama thrilled liberals and Internet activists last week by calling for the "strongest possible" net-neutrality regulations to ensure that all Internet traffic is treated equally. (National Journal) 

Privacy

Cable & Wireless helped Britain spy on the world: Channel 4. Telecommunications firm Cable & Wireless helped Britain eavesdrop on millions of Internet users worldwide, Channel 4 reported on Thursday, citing previously secret documents leaked by a fugitive former U.S. National Security Agency contractor. (Reuters)

Connected cars raise privacy and safety worries. The car used to be one of the purchases that said the most about you. Today, it might be better to think of it as the thing that knows the most about you. (Financial Times)

Democrat to NSA: Forget Congress, Stop Mass Spying Now. Legislation to rein in a domestic surveillance program crashed and burned in the Senate earlier this week. But one House Democrat is urging the Obama administration to stop the controversial spying on its own. (National Journal)

Devices to Track Every Move You Make. George Orwell would have enjoyed the irony. In an unexpected twist on his dystopian society, technology has become more intrusive than ever, with companies devising products to track everything from the steps we take to how focused our brains are. But far from it being enforced, we’ve not only accepted this monitoring as part of the age we live in—we’re happy to pay to be measured and managed by it. (Wall Street Journal) 

Uber hires privacy expert to review data practices. Uber has hired the former chief privacy officer at IBM to conduct a review of its data policies after a report that an executive was tracking the movements of a user of the ride-sharing service. (USA Today)

Why the Surveillance State Lives On. Once upon a time, Glenn Greenwald was a lonely voice in the blogging wilderness, and Edward Snowden was an isolated functionary at the heart of the American national-security state. Then everything seemed to change at once. (Politico)

Cybersecurity

House intelligence panel leaders press for action on information-sharing bill. House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) today stressed the severity of the cyber threat facing the nation -- and the availability of a key legislative response -- as he mounts a last-ditch effort to pass a controversial information-sharing bill during the lame-duck session of Congress. (Inside Cybersecurity) 

Malicious Software Said to Spread on Android Phones. For years security researchers have warned that it was only a matter of time before nasty digital scourges like malicious software and spam would hit smartphones. Now they say it is has finally happened. (New York Times)

NSA chief admits China could cripple U.S. power grid, financial networks. China and "probably one or two" other countries could shut down critical computer networks that could force U.S. power and water grids, aviation systems, and financial services offline. (ZDNet)

What A Privacy Activist Turned Top White House Adviser Thinks About Cybersecurity. Schwartz, who hails from the world of privacy activism, is now the White House senior director for cybersecurity. During the heat of the anti-surveillance movement, he was placed on the White House National Security Council staff to instill civil liberties into cybersecurity and signals intelligence policies. (Nextgov) 

Environment and Sustainability

Companies take note: Consumers trust climate change warnings. It made the news, yet it wasn’t really news to those paying close attention. (GreenBiz)

In Step to Lower Carbon Emissions, China Will Place a Limit on Coal Use in 2020. China plans to set a cap on coal consumption in 2020, an important step for the country in trying to achieve a recently announced goal of having carbon dioxide emissions peak by around 2030. (New York Times)

Why New York needs a 50-percent-by-2025 renewable energy standard. Sometimes, good news points to a larger truth. In New York, the good news I’m referring to, announced Nov. 12, is that two upstate communities will become homes to a 78-megawatt wind power project by 2017.  (GreenBiz) 

Public Sector

Agencies delivering IT capabilities 20 days faster by using agile, OMB says. There is clear evidence that the agile software development concept is leading to more successful federal technology projects. (Federal News Radio)

DoD's 'vertical integration,' effort to further pare administrative costs. The Defense Department once again is looking to cut its administrative costs, but this time around, officials would like to do it much more surgically than they have in the past. Officials are promising a more carefully thought-out and more "vertically integrated" approach to reductions within the military's vast support structure. (Federal News Radio)

FDA’s Kass-Hout sees tech opportunities in personalized medicine. FDA’s chief health informatics officer envisions a future where data could help tailor health care to the patient. (FedScoop)

GSA works on CAP. Managers responsible for advancing consolidated contracting practices across government said their efforts are evolving as buying practices change. (FCW)

Pentagon Presses Contractors to Innovate. To combat emerging threats, the Pentagon wants to spend more of its budget on new technologies from beyond its traditional supplier base—posing a challenge for established defense contractors. (Wall Street Journal) 

Innovation

Comcast is testing a way to tell you exactly when the cable guy is coming. The company, which has been rated the worst company in America for consumers, announced  Thursday that it's launching a tool aimed at cutting down the time you waste waiting for their technicians. (Washington Post)

Plant-based gel can stop traumatic bleeding in seconds. Biotech startup Suneris has developed a plant-based polymer it says functions like "Lego building blocks for the body," drastically reducing the amount of time it takes to stop a wound from bleeding. (CNET) 

World's first 3D LED printer could print HUD contact lenses. Researchers at Princeton University have developed a 3D printer that can print LEDs in layers -- and it could one day print contact lens HUDs. (CNET) 

Mobility

Airwave auction off to flying start. An auction of some government airwaves is off to a flying start, already surpassing expectations. (The Hill)

In Poland's new 4G auction, operators are getting excited - and critics getting more critical. Prospective bidders have only a few days left to send in their initial bids for parts of the 800Mhz and 2600 MHz bands in Poland's upcoming LTE auction. (ZDNet) 

Talking Book trial to help 'poorest of poor' in Ghana. Hundreds of handheld audio computers are to be given to some of Ghana's poorest communities to help spread potentially life-saving information. (BBC)

Tech Business

‘Arrogant’ start-ups face challenge of when to ignore their critics. When Google’s founders held investor meetings ahead of their float a decade ago, their lack of interest in the ways of Wall Street rubbed some up the wrong way and they were labelled “arrogant”. The same happened when Mark Zuckerberg turned up for the investor roadshow ahead of Facebook’s 2012 stock market debut wearing a hoodie. (Financial Times) 

Lavish Perks Spawn New Job Category. In the 1980s, technology companies helped pioneer creation of the chief information officer to straddle the worlds of general management and tech. Now, competition among technology companies to outdo each other’s extraordinary perks has grown so fierce that it is spawning another new job category. (Wall Street Journal)

ITI Member News

As Apple Pursues Sapphire, Corning Says It Made Even Tougher Gorilla Glass. Corning , whose Gorilla Glass is used iPhone displays, said it has developed a new version of the super-hard glass that aims to address broken or shattered screens from everyday drops. (Wall Street Journal)

Google Settlement Shows Smartphone Patent Wars Dying Down. Peace is breaking out in the smartphone patent wars. The Rockstar Consortium, a joint venture owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony, recently settled patent suits it had brought against Google and Cisco. (Wall Street Journal)

Intel gives upbeat outlook for 2015 revenue, stock gains. Intel, helped by a stabilizing personal computer market, gave a revenue outlook for 2015 that was above Wall Street's expectations and also raised its dividend, sending its shares higher. (Reuters)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada. In Las Vegas, the president will deliver remarks at Del Sol High School on the new steps he will be taking within his executive authority on immigration. 

Today on the Hill

Congress will be back in December.

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