By Brendan Sasso and Gautham Nagesh - 07/26/11 11:20 PM EDT
Microsoft calls for immigration reform: The United States needs to reform its immigration system to attract and keep high-skilled workers, a top Microsoft official said.
"If done right, attracting the talents of the best and
brightest from other countries can help, rather than hurt, prospects for
American workers because in an innovation economy, jobs often beget
jobs,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said Tuesday at a Senate
Judiciary subcommittee hearing on high-skill visa programs. Smith said
although the country continues to suffer from high unemployment, jobs
for high-skilled technology workers are going unfilled.
Experts say cyber-attacks on U.S. websites increasing: A panel of government experts Tuesday once again warned lawmakers that cyber-attacks against the nation’s computer networks are growing more frequent and increasingly sophisticated, while the U.S. has lagged behind on implementing the necessary protections. In their opening statements, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) both argued that the committee should play a significant role in the upcoming debate over comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.
Poll finds minorities more likely to visit
video-sharing sites: African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely
than whites to visit video-sharing websites such as YouTube, according
to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Hispanics were most likely to have ever used a
video-sharing site, at 81 percent, followed by African-Americans at 76
percent. Sixty-nine percent of whites had used a video-sharing site
before, further evidence that minorities are adopting mobile and
Web-based technologies at a faster pace in recent years.
Homeland Security Department partners with
D.A.R.E.: The Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday it
would partner with Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) America to
promote Internet safety for children. The partnership is part of DHS's public-awareness
effort, Stop.Think.Connect. DHS officials will train D.A.R.E. officers
to talk to children and parents about online safety. D.A.R.E. officers
will provide parents and children with the Stop.Think.Connect. Community
Outreach Toolkit, which includes resources and tips for staying safe
“In today’s world, Americans can use technology to
engage with communities around the globe,” said Secretary Janet
Napolitano. “Now, more than ever, it is important that all Americans —
adults and children alike — learn to protect themselves online and do
their part to ensure that cyberspace is a safe and secure environment
for all Internet users.”
House websites and phone lines jammed:
House websites and telephone lines are getting jammed one day after
President Obama asked voters to call their lawmakers about the
debt-ceiling fight going on in Congress. Outside callers could expect to
get a busy signal when contacting numbers on Capitol Hill, according to
the House Call Center.
ICYMI: Matthew Olsen, the National
Security Agency's general counsel, said the Patriot Act could give the
government the authority to track people using their cellphone data.
His comment came at a confirmation hearing Tuesday morning. Olsen has
been nominated to head the National Counterterrorism Center.
Amazon's earnings report beat expectations. Its profits were down 8 percent, which was better than many analysts had predicted. The company said the drop was a result of investments in technology and warehouses.
On Tap Wednesday: The Senate Committee on
Homeland Security will hold a morning hearing in Dirksen on improving
emergency communications 10 years after the 9/11 attacks. Scheduled witnesses
include Department of Homeland Security acting deputy under secretary
Gregory Schaeffer and representatives of first-responders from
Connecticut, Maine and Philadelphia.
The creation of a national,
interoperable public-safety network was one of the primary
recommendations of the 9/11 Commission following the communications
difficulties experienced by first-responders during the attacks. The issue has gotten caught up in the debate over
spectrum, as a split has emerged over whether to assign the valuable D
Block of spectrum to public-safety agencies or auction it off and use
the proceeds to fund a separate network that would share commercial
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