Morning tech tip sheet: News and events for Friday, April 16

What we're following on Friday, April 16:

Tech sector in hiring drive (Wall St. Journal) - It's not only Google, which witnessed a 37 percent uptick in profit last quarter, that's booming in the early days of 2010. Rather, the WSJ notes a much larger tech rebound is afoot, one that analyts predict will spur a tech spending and hiring spree. Notes the Journal: "The growth has reached a level where tech companies are pushing to hire again, in some cases engaging in heated competition for talent. That's a turnabout for the industry, which had a series of layoffs last year, when some tech giants, notably Microsoft Corp., had mass layoffs for the first time."

Venture capitalists continue to take it slow (NYT/Bits) -- "The venture capital industry seems to need a bit longer to recover after last year, when Silicon Valley froze  in response to the economic uncertainty," writes Claire Cain Miller for The New York Times. While she notes the industry has somewhat thawed in recent weeks, posting notable gains since the 2008 economic downturn slammed investors, new venture capital investments dipped 14 percent over the first quarter of 2010, according to the NYT's estimates.

Senators on key panel express confidence in cybersecurity nominee (WashPo) -- Lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee seemed generally pleased with the nomination of Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander to head up the U.S. military's new Cyber Command division. "Lawmakers are proceeding with Alexander's long-delayed confirmation," notes this morning's Post, "even though the Obama administration has not fully crafted the policies and rules governing offensive action in cyberspace, and even though it has yet to detail how the new organization will work with the DHS and the private sector in a crisis."

Panel debates Google-AdMob merger (Tech Daily Dose) -- A panel of private experts showcased the full gamut of reactions on Thursday to Google's proposed purchase of AdMob, a mobile advertising firm. The deal, which must still receive the Federal Trade Commission's nod of approval, would give Google an instant, 70 percent share of the mobile advertising market, Jonathan Kanter, an FTC attorney who now works in the private sphere, said during the discussion. Other panelists, however, were not as concerned. Per TDD: "But Glenn Manishin, a lawyer with Duane and Morris, argued that given how small the mobile advertising market is at this point, it's 'way too soon to make a judgment.'"

Microsoft says investigating China factory report (Reuters) -- Microsoft has launched an investigation into one of its Chinese plant's business practices, after a report found "that young workers... making its mice, cameras and Xbox controllers suffer overlong working hours and harsh treatment," according to Reuters. "We have a team of independent auditors en route to the facility to conduct a complete and thorough investigation," Brian Tobey, the head of manufacturing for Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices unit, wrote on a blog post picked up by Reuters. "If we find that the factory is not adhering to our standards, we will take appropriate action."