Tech titans lobby Congress to stem patent troll activities | Startups generate investor interest in software-defined storage | U.S. malware database offline following server breach
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March 15, 2013
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The Game Changer
Tech titans lobby Congress to stem patent troll activities
Top technology vendors, including Cisco and Adobe Systems, are lobbying Congress to do something about patent trolling and what they call frivolous lawsuits over copyright infringement. "Patent trolls are business terrorists," said SAS' John Boswell. "Their weapons of mass destruction are software and business-method patents with fuzzy boundaries that can be asserted against many different products, many different companies, in many different ways." However, Congress seems unsure about how to take on the issue, The Hill's Brendan Sasso and Jennifer Martinez write. The Hill/Hillicon Valley blog (3/14), News Service (3/14)
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Emerging Tools
Startups generate investor interest in software-defined storage
Emerging data storage technologies based on the principles of virtualization and software-defined networking got a boost this week with the announcement of $6.1 million in financing for SwiftStack. The software-defined storage company, which was founded in 2011, is creating a suite of solutions for enterprises in the mobile, Web and SaaS spaces and announced the funding just weeks after a second firm, Jeda Networks, launched its own foray into SDS. (U.S.) (3/14)
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Security Update
U.S. malware database offline following server breach
The U.S. government was forced to take a critical cybersecurity database offline recently after a National Institute of Standards and Technology firewall detected an attack on the agency's servers. The infiltration of the National Vulnerability Database, which houses data on viruses and other bugs, happened because of Adobe ColdFusion vulnerabilities and reportedly persisted for two months before being detected and patched. The Register (U.K.) (3/14), (Russia) (3/15)
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Tech Business
PwC: Push to implement health care law reveals health IT skills shortage
The Obama administration's health care law has created a surge in demand for new IT solutions, but industry executives say they are having serious trouble finding the experts needed to implement them and are beginning to look to other IT fields to fill the void. A poll conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute finds that while three-quarters of health care executives plan to hire new IT workers, 62% are concerned the job market will not provide the needed skills. eWeek (3/14)
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Managing IT
Decisions are key in making Big Data work for business
Big Data comes with challenges such as deciding how to use the data that's gathered, picking data-storage options and finding needed talent, IDC says. "The question is what's reality, and what can and should companies do in the near and short term?" IDC's Dan Vesset said at an industry conference. News Service (3/13)
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Why trust is critical for employee productivity
If you want to encourage employees to dedicate themselves to improving your company, you have to show that you trust them, writes Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project. For this reason, Schwartz allows some of his employees to work from home when necessary. "In over a decade, no employee has ever chosen to leave our company. The better you meet people's needs, the better they'll meet yours," he writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (3/13)
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Geeking Out
CERN physicists say search for Higgs boson is almost over
The multibillion-dollar, years-long search for the elusive "God particle" may finally come to an end, according to researchers from CERN, who say they are now more certain that a particle identified last summer is indeed the Higgs boson. "The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," said Joe Incandela, a spokesman for one of two Higgs projects under way at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. CNN (3/14)
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The challenge for health care is not just a shortage of people with technical skills; it's also a shortage of people with the skills to marry technological savvy with business strategy as health care becomes more connected, coordinated and accountable."
-- Daniel Garrett, principal and Health Information Technology practice leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, as quoted by eWeek
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