Industry leaders including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Dropbox founder Drew Houston, are personally consulting with the teams as they spend 24 hours building prototypes for advocacy tools to help advance meaningful immigration reform -- something FWD.us believes is long overdue.
The top tech companies are sharpening their blades in their battle with the National Security Agency. While they've been doggedly asking for transparency on the agency's mass surveillance program for months, they're now calling for reform.
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and AOL penned a letter (pdf) to the lead members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday urging the lawmakers to substantially reform the NSA surveillance practices. The companies also asked for additional oversight and accountability mechanisms for the spying programs.
"Transparency is a critical first step to an informed public debate, but it is … Read more
Several US senators are trying to clamp down on the activities of the National Security Agency through a new bill.
Unveiled in Congress on Wednesday, the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act aims to stop the NSA's bulk collection of the records of US citizens. Specifically, the bill wants to amend certain sections of the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA), which the NSA has used to justify its data gathering.
One amendment to FISA would prohibit the bulk collection of phone records, while another would prevent the bulk gathering of e-mail records. In the case of phone records, the … Read more
Neelie Kroes, the European Commission vice president in charge of the digital agenda, sketched out several steps toward the unified mobile-network market she believes is necessary to keep Europe's economy from falling behind.
In a speech Tuesday, she called for several steps to lower barriers that today make it hard for carriers to expand from one country to another and for customers to use mobile devices outside their home countries. Among the steps she suggested:A "passport" that let a carrier, once certified to operate a mobile network permission in one country, operate in other countries, too. … Read more
Update: The Senate late today passed the bill, sending it to the House.
The U.S. Senate is planning to vote Monday to levy new taxes on mobile app developers, cloud computing services, music and movie downloads, and even people selling collections of WordPress themes.
Senators who are backing the legislation known as S.743 describe it as a way to force out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on physical shipments. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., claims his bill will "put local and Main Street retailers on a level playing field with their out-of-state and online counterparts."
What Enzi and … Read more
Tech companies may score a victory in their hopes to get immigration reform passed for skilled tech workers.
President Obama urged Congress today to work on immigration policy that would allow foreign-born startup founders to stay in the country. At the same time, several U.S. senators introduced a bill focusing on the same. As U.S. immigration policy currently stands, U.S.-educated computer programmers and engineers could be deported once finishing school.
"Right now in one of those classrooms there's a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea -- their Intel or Instagram -- … Read more
As patent spats continue to command much of the tech world's attention and corporate resources, a group of prominent companies is taking a stand against a practice it sees as hobbling innovation.
Google, Facebook, Zynga and five other tech giants filed an amicus brief with the U.S. State Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday, asking the court to reject the patents central to a lawsuit between two financial institutions. CLS Bank has sued Alice Corp. for allegedly infringing on four patents covering a computerized method of having a third-party hold funds in escrow on behalf … Read more
You're lounging on your couch watching "Star Trek" reruns. You need someplace to set your sleek new MacBook. How about on your Crunching Numbers G4 coffee table, where its ancestors can keep it company while you're gone?
Reform Designs is recycling old Macs in a creative way by turning them into coffee tables that will match your geeky decor. The whole table is made from up to 70 percent reclaimed materials, so you can feel green about your purchase.… Read more
Patent lawsuits seem to be getting more common -- continually there are daily headlines of this company suing that company over intellectual property rights.
A new study released today confirms that lawsuits are increasing and says the overall cost of these cases in the U.S. was $29 billion in 2011.
The study, which was put out by Boston University, specifically looks at "non-practicing entities" (NPE), or "patent trolls." How these trolls operate is by buying and licensing patents without making the products of their own. Many major tech companies, like Apple, Google, and Samsung, have been criticized … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to bring its subsidy programs for low income families into the 21st century by offering funds for basic broadband service for financially disadvantaged Americans.
In its January open meeting Tuesday, the FCC adopted an order that will eliminate the FCC's Link Up program, which offers a one-time $30 credit for the installation of landlines or activation fee for cell phones. And it announced a new pilot program that will direct universal service funds collected for these subsidy programs to offer subsidies for basic broadband service.
The commission also pledged to root out waste, … Read more