Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

July 24, 2014

The Issue of ‘Trolls’ Apparently Isn’t Limited to Patents

The issue of patent “trolls” has been a high-profile issue in Washington, but the issue of copyright “‘trolls” also cropped up at a House hearing on Wednesday.

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E-Rate Shakeup: Wi-Fi Money Is Available, but There’s a Catch

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to shake up the E-Rate program of federal subsidies for Internet service in public schools and libraries has only partly been successful — his FCC colleagues have agreed to make more money available for Wi-Fi, as Wheeler proposed in June, but only if the dollars aren’t needed for basic Internet connections.

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July 23, 2014

NASA Rocket Could Miss 2017 Test Flight Date, Report Says

One of NASA’s major projects is building its heavy lift rocket, called the Space Launch System. It’s scheduled for its first test flight in 2017, but the Government Accountability Office says the program risks not meeting that date.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 5:47 p.m.
Space

Transparency Rule Still in Place, FCC Reminds Broadband Providers

The Federal Communications Commission issued an advisory Wednesday reminding broadband service providers that they are still bound by part of the 2010 “open Internet” rule requiring accurate disclosure of information about their services.

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A Look at Technology at Libraries

A new report from the American Library Association, the University of Maryland and the International City/County Management Association on “digital inclusion” says that 39 percent of public libraries have fiber optic Internet connections and that 98 percent offer Wi-Fi.

Here are a few more statistics from the survey, which had breakdowns by locale:

  • Fiber connections were 58 percent for libraries in cities compared to 27 percent in libraries in rural areas.
  • City libraries have an average Internet download speed of over 100 Mbps. Rural libraries had an average download speed of over 21 Mbps.
  • 90 percent make e-books available.
  • 41 percent make laptops available. In this case, rural libraries offered this service at a higher percentage than city libraries.
  • 17 percent of libraries offer use of tablets.
  • 2 percent have 3-D printers.

July 22, 2014

The Question of Damages for Design Patents

Does the system for penalizing infringement of design patents — basically, protections for how things look — need to be examined?

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Internet Domain Name System: An Update on NTIA, ICANN Plan

Back in March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced that it would ask the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to get stakeholders together to come up with a plan for the federal agency to step back from its role in certain functions of the Internet domain name system.

In case you haven’t been watching ICANN’s every movement since then, here’s an update via NTIA’s Lawrence E. Strickling, from his remarks at an American Enterprise Institute Internet governance event on Tuesday.

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Hillary Clinton Q&A at Twitter HQ

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the potential Democratic presidential candidate who has been promoting her new book “Hard Choices,” did a Q&A on Monday at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, where she talked about women in politics, college costs, Russia and many other topics — including tech issues.

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July 21, 2014

Richard Danzig’s Cybersecurity Recommendations

“By the reckoning of a new report by the left-leaning Center for New American Security, we screwed it up from the start when designing the architecture of digital computing — security just wasn’t drawn into those original blueprints,” writes CQ Roll Call’s Tim Starks. Read more about the report, helmed by White House adviser Richard Danzig, over at the Five By Five blog.

By Joe Warminsky Posted at 3:52 p.m.
Security

U.S. Chamber Backs Senate Intelligence Cybersecurity Bill

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is supporting Senate legislation aimed at improving sharing of cybersecurity threat information between the government and private industry.

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