ITI Daily News Roundup

04/16/2014

Key Issues

Workforce

Democrats target 30 House Republicans on immigration. House Democrats are rolling out a new strategy to target 30 House Republicans on immigration reform during the two-week congressional recess, marking a last-ditch effort to force GOP action on a legislative overhaul. (Politico)

Obama, Evangelical Leaders Discuss Immigration Overhaul. President Barack Obama met with evangelical leaders at the White House Tuesday to discuss overhauling the immigration system, part of an effort to keep pressure on Congress to act. (Wall Street Journal) 

Obama to tout $600M job training effort. President Obama will announce $600 million in government job training initiatives Tuesday in Pennsylvania, as the White House again looks to break through news coverage of the Ukraine crisis to highlight its work on the economy. (The Hill) 

IP Enforcement

U.S. wins more guilty pleas in first counterfeit apps case. The final defendants in what the U.S. government called its first prosecution of a counterfeit apps case have pleaded guilty over their roles in alleged schemes to traffic in pirated Android mobile device applications. (Reuters) 

Global Policy

U.S. Tech Industry Mulls Longer Tariff Phase-Outs To Spark ITA Progress. The U.S. technology industry has quietly begun discussing how it might scale back its demands to eliminate tariffs quickly under an expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), in the hope that this might help break the deadlock in the ITA talks caused by China's resistance to eliminating a wide range of tech tariffs in the near term. (World Trade Online)

Cybersecurity

Connecticut issues cybersecurity plan, setting stage for regulation. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has released a cybersecurity plan for the state's utilities developed with industry, drawing on the recently released federal framework for protecting critical infrastructure in cyberspace and perhaps paving the way for new standards. (Inside Cybersecurity)

Symantec to DHS: Focus efforts on raising cybersecurity awareness among small companies. The security firm Symantec says education is the most important service the Department of Homeland Security can provide as DHS seeks ways to improve the cybersecurity of small and mid-sized businesses. (Inside Cybersecurity) 

Environment and Sustainability

Beijing says one third of its pollution comes from outside the city. About a third of the air pollution in China's smog-hit capital comes from outside the city, official media reported on Wednesday, citing a pollution watchdog. (Reuters)

DOE lab meets next wave of energy-efficient building research. The Energy Department is embracing the next generation of energy-efficient building research. The department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory launched the first experiment in its newly constructed test facility, which provides a futuristic level of research and experimentation of building-energy efficiency. (FedScoop) 

EPA scores big win to limit mercury in power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency took home a sweeping victory Tuesday when an appeals court upheld the agency’s pollution limits for mercury and air toxics from power plants. (Politico)

Water Recycling on Tap in California. As the California drought worsens, opposition to using recycled wastewater has lessened the Sacramento Bee reports. (Environmental Leader)

Public Sector

Cobert: Unified clearance rules are a work in progress. The federal government is making progress on plans to unify and modernize the security clearance process for both feds and contractors, according to a top administration official. (Federal Computer Week)

From The Cloud To Your Pentagon-Issued Phone. Defense officials are in the process of figuring out how to adapt Web-based collaboration tools into apps that can be accessed from any computer, including tablets and smartphones. (NextGov)

Intel agencies ready to start deploying shared IT systems. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says much of the groundwork has been laid, and it is now time to start deploying the project known as ICITE, a common IT environment for the entire intelligence community. (Federal News Radio)

Obama Management Chief Sees Opportunity to Build on Contracting Successes. Asked what struck her most during her first six months in government, the coordinator of President Obama’s second-term management agenda said, “Every day, people inside government agencies and the contractor community are making real progress recruiting talent, buying smarter and making use of existing flexibility in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.” (GovExec)

Innovation

Lab grows blood for human trials. Human volunteers in the near future will test out blood being created in labs from engineered stem cells. Someday facilities could make type O on demand. (CNET)

Mobility

FCC Plans to Handicap Verizon and AT&T. The Federal Communications Commission plans to curb the ability of Verizon and AT&T to buy access to airwaves in an upcoming auction. (National Journal)

Playing African monopoly: Is there an end in sight to mobile upheaval in the region? Earlier this year the Aga Khan Fund for Development (AKFED announced that it was plunging into perilous waters: the East African telecom market.  The AKFED's decided to launch a new mobile operator, Smart, which is hoping to grab customers through an aggressive pricing strategy, offering calls far cheaper than those from competitors MTN, Bharti Airtel and Uganda Telecom. (ZDNet)

Tech Business

€10,000 fines threat for Uber taxis in Brussels. Eurocrats hoping to hail a taxi at the touch of their smartphone by using the increasingly popular Uber app might have to think twice. (Financial Times)

Mt. Gox gives up on resurrection, presses for liquidation. Mt. Gox investors hopeful that the trading post might rally now have hopes dashed, as it appears the Bitcoin exchange has asked for permission to liquidate. (ZDNet)

Smartphone makers, carriers embrace anti-theft initiative. Major U.S. wireless carriers and smartphone makers have agreed to introduce tools to enable users to lock their devices and wipe them clean of data if stolen, responding to pressure on the telecommunications industry to do more to stem theft. (Reuters)

ITI Member News

Facebook’s great hope, India, crosses 100 million users. With China out of the picture, India is the company's last big hope. But Google's experiences here should give it some pause. (ZDNet)

Inside Panasonic's B2B energy play. Panasonic wields enormous influence globally when it comes to technologies for energy-efficient lighting, refrigeration, heating, air-conditioning and renewable energy production. (Green Business News)

Intel's quarterly net beats Street, CEO talks up tablets. Intel Corp's first-quarter net profit exceeded Wall Street's estimates as the chipmaker wrestles with slow demand for personal computers and its chief executive officer said an ambitious goal to stake out market share in tablets was on track. (Reuters)

New CEO Nadella pushes data culture at MicrosoftMicrosoft Corp needs a "data culture" to thrive in the new computing environment, according to chief executive Satya Nadella, in his third public appearance in three weeks putting his imprint on the software company. (Reuters)

Oracle issues critical patch update: 104 security fixes. Oracle has released a swathe of security updates culminating in a massive 104 new security fixes for products including Java, Fusion Middleware and MySQL. (ZDNet) 

Sony’s Latest Bet: Lithium-ion Batteries For Energy Storage. Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai emphasized in early February that the company sees its battery business as essential to growth of smartphones and other mobile devices.  But now, it looks like the company has another incentive. (Wall Street Journal)

Yahoo revenue starts to climb amid beating Q1 earnings estimates. Following a mixed bag last go around, Yahoo reported its first quarter earnings report for 2014 after the bell on Tuesday. (ZDNet)

1600 Penn.

In the morning, President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. In the afternoon, the president and vice president will travel to Oakdale, Pennsylvania to visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center and deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training. In the evening, the president will return to Washington, D.C. 

Today on the Hill

Congress is not in session.

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