National cybersecurity debate prompts wave of lobbyists | AT&T adds Microsoft Lync to enterprise UC platform | Treasury chief addresses cybersecurity in talks with Chinese leaders
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March 21, 2013
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The Game Changer
National cybersecurity debate prompts wave of lobbyists
The congressional debate over the establishment of cybersecurity rules has created a healthy business for lobbyists hired by a wide range of tech companies and telecoms, including Motorola, Google and Ericsson. "This is going to be a titanic clash, and when that kind of industry power is aligned against each other, lobbyists start sharpening their knives and forks," said Rogan Kersh, provost at Wake Forest University. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/21)
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Emerging Tools
AT&T adds Microsoft Lync to enterprise UC platform
AT&T announced it is adding Microsoft's Lync calling service to its suite of enterprise communication products, a sign that the company has opened its mind to alternative IP calling platforms, which it once shunned. The expanded service offerings will enable AT&T enterprise customers to tap the instant messaging and calling features of Lync on-site or as part of Microsoft's Office 365 cloud services, the company said. Bloomberg/Tech Deals blog (3/19), ZDNet (3/19)
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Security Update
Treasury chief addresses cybersecurity in talks with Chinese leaders
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pressed Chinese officials on the need to rein in their cyberespionage program or risk damaging economic relations with the U.S. During a two-day visit to Beijing -- his first overseas trip as Treasury secretary -- Lew met with China's new president, Xi Jinping, and premier, Li Keqiang. The countries are ironing out details of an upcoming Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting, where cybersecurity is expected to get top billing. The Wall Street Journal (3/20)
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Tech Business
Senate to take up controversial Internet sales tax
The Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a controversial amendment to a budget resolution whose goal is to levy a universal sales tax on Internet purchases. The measure is sponsored by Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and has the support of the National Retail Federation, which says online retailers reap an unfair competitive advantage by avoiding charging sales tax. Critics of the plan, including the National Taxpayers Union and a coalition of online companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, LivingSocial and AOL, call the measure an "unreasonable burden on interstate commerce." CNET (3/21), The Hill/On The Money blog (3/20)
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Managing IT
Tech tips for making your business stand out in the cyber crowd
Businesses have at their disposal more resources than ever for applying technology to enhance their public profile, but with the exponential growth in the online marketplace, it's easier than ever to get lost in the cyber crowd if you don't know how to use them. Ensuring your company maintains adequate visibility online requires not only optimizing your website, but navigating a panoply of platforms -- such as Yelp and the host of services offered by Google -- as well as using Web directories and tools for creating and distributing press releases, Christopher Null writes. PCWorld (3/21)
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Are you a leader or a baby sitter?
Too many bosses prefer to control their employees rather than empower them, writes Mike Myatt. That's a telltale sign of leadership dysfunction, and it makes it hard for workers to achieve their potential. "Leadership has become synonymous with babysitting in many organizations, which does nothing more than signal a lack of trust in the workforce," Myatt writes. Forbes (3/21)
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Geeking Out
Amazon CEO recovers Apollo rocket engines from ocean
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he and a team of experts have recovered rocket engines from one of the launches of NASA's Apollo program. The team pulled up the engines from three miles beneath the ocean's surface off the coast of Florida. Restoration efforts on the spent F-1 engines will be able to confirm whether they are from Apollo 11 or from another mission. National Public Radio/The Two-Way blog (3/20)
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SmartQuote
There was no mistaking how seriously we take this issue."
-- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, commenting on cybersecurity discussions with Chinese officials, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal
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