Morning tech tip sheet: Monday, May 24 — Facebook responds, China fires back
Tech startups go lean as software, storage costs plummet (Bloomberg) — Ari Levy reports on the effects of cloud computing, other advances in Web storage: “From Silicon Valley to New York, technology startups are tapping individual investors, friends and their own savings to fund operations and product development. That helps owners keep greater control of their companies and more of the equity. After only raising about $100,000, 280 North says it has plenty of cash to get another product to market. … That means there’s less demand for big venture investments. The size of the average venture round has shrunk by half to $6.3 million since the dot-com bubble in 2000, according to the National Venture Capital Association in Arlington, Virginia. The figures don’t include smaller financings, known as angel investments, that often aren’t made public.”
Clock ticking to AT&T fee hike (PC World) — From Tony Bradley: “AT&T announced that it is raising its early termination fee (ETF) for smartphones (a.k.a. the iPhone) from $175 to $325 effective June 1. That gives businesses that are current AT&T subscribers, but seriously considering paying the ETF to switch–especially if the speculation is true that Verizon may soon have the iPhone as well–just one week to decide before it gets much more costly. … AT&T insists that the hike is not in any way related to any single device (a.k.a. the iPhone) or any impending change in iPhone exclusivity. However, it’s hard not to connect those dots and at least consider that as a motivation. Regardless of AT&T’s motives, businesses considering jumping ship from AT&T should give serious thought to doing so this week.”
U.S. claims on copyright piracy groundless: China (Reuters) — “The Foreign Ministry has dismissed as “groundless” U.S. accusations that China is failing to crack down on copyright piracy, ahead of talks with top U.S. officials next week, Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday. … It quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying China had implemented policies to combat piracy in copyrighted films, music, videogames and other entertainment products. … ‘The involved U.S. Congress members should respect the fact and stop making groundless accusations against China,’ he said.”
Struggling Internet pioneer AOL turns 25 (USA Today) — Jon Swartz points out the obstacles facing AOL in time for its big birthday: “Sales are declining and its subscriber base is dwindling as it copes with a slide in online advertising revenue and tries to recast itself amid stiffening competition. … AOL has been trying to reinvent itself as a content and advertising company since it regained its independence last year from media giant Time Warner, with which it merged in 2001. Time Warner spun off AOL to shareholders in December, ending what many experts called the most disastrous corporate merger ever. … Which leads to the question: Can AOL regain its mojo?”
Valley job revival raises competition for talent (WSJ) — From Joe Light and Niraj Sheth: “The pickup in tech hiring is spreading beyond Silicon Valley, forcing companies outside the big tech center to rethink their recruiting tactics … Companies in second-tier tech locations such as Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C., had an easier time recruiting talented employees during the slump. But now that Silicon Valley firms have started aggressively hiring, and the general economy is improving, competition is stiffening. … “We’ve always had a bit of a competition for talent with Silicon Valley,” says Julie Huls, president of the Austin Technology Council, a trade group of Austin-area technology executives. “As firms over there start to recover, we have to make sure we stay in the game.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP EVENTS:
Future of Music Coalition
D.C. Policy Day
Where: New America Foundation; 1899 L St. NW
When: May 25, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
NOTE: House/Senate committee staff, industry leaders discuss issues related to the performance community, including the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, as well as other topics of concern such as the FCC’s move to rein in broadband providers
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Business meeting: Includes discussion of International Cyberspace and Cybersecurity Coordination Act
When: May 25, 2:15 p.m.
NOTE: Legislation, spearheaded by Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, would direct the State Department to appoint an “ambassador at large” for cybersecurity issues
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, FTC, Dept. of Justice
Joint workshop on patents and competition policy
Where: USPTO’s office in Alexandria
When: May 26, 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
NOTE: Speakers include PTO Director David Kappos, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney and White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra
House Science and Technology Committee
Hearing on the White House’s plans for NASA and human space flight
Where: May 26, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
When: Rayburn 2318
NOTE: Among those testifying on Wednesday will be NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and former astronaut Neil Armstrong
Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet
Hearing on upgrades to the Americans With Disabilities Act
Where: Russell 253
When: May 26, 2:30 p.m.
NOTE: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), wants to upgrade the ADA to ensure those with visual or hearing impairments can still access and use new technology.
House Science and Technology Committee
Hearing on interoperable public safety communications equipment
Where: Rayburn 2318
When: May 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
NOTE: Top witnesses include DHS interoperability chief David Boyd and National Institute of Standards and Technology public safety communications manager Dereck Orr
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