Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 28, 2015

Posts in "Software"

January 23, 2015

Weekly Wrapup: SOTU, Net Neutrality and Patents

It was a short but busy week and your Weekly Wrapup includes posts on the State of the Union address, net neutrality hearings and patents.

  • President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address and in advance of the speech, Technocrat had a roundup of a few stories that at least touched upon social media and either White House strategy or lawmakers.
  • Among the issues that weren’t mentioned in Tuesday’ night’s address was patents, and  a couple proponents of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation said they were disappointedMichelle K. Lee, deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, later said it wasn’t a reflection of any change in priorities.
  • Lawmakers on the Hill held net neutrality hearings and Technocrat had a post on interesting quotes from a couple House Republicans showing their current approach to the issue.
  • Oh, and Valencia Martin-Wallace has been promoted to a newly-created job at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — deputy commissioner for patent quality.

January 22, 2015

BlackBerry Calls for ‘Content/Application Neutrality’

When talking about of the scope of net neutrality rules, debate in Washington has focused on issues like wireless broadband and interconnection. On Wednesday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen wrote in a blog post that rules should also cover content and application providers.

“Therefore, any net neutrality legislation must take a holistic view of the entire playing field, addressing both carrier neutrality and content/application neutrality,” he writes in the post, which notes that it’s adapted from a letter sent to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees.

Full story

July 18, 2014

3D Printing in Space: There’s Much to Learn, Report Says

FRANCE-TECHNOLOGY-3D-PRINTING

This 3D printer creation by Joshua Harker, shown in Paris in November, was not printed in space. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Three-dimensional printing has been a hot topic lately, with Home Depot even starting to sell the machines in some stores and the National Institutes of Health maintaining an exchange for 3D printer files. What about using 3D printing in space? There are potential benefits, but we still don’t know the full scope of this technology, and its capabilities in the short-term have been exaggerated, says a new report by the National Research Council.

Full story

July 15, 2014

Botnet Bill Potentially in the Works From Sheldon Whitehouse

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is looking to draft legislation on the issue of networks of computers infected with malware, known as botnets.

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July 14, 2014

Unauthorized In-App Charges: Questions About Parents’ Role and the FTC’s Approach

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit alleging that Amazon on numerous occasions billed customers for unauthorized “in-app” charges made by children, but several writers are raising questions about whether parents should take more responsibility in choosing what games their children have access to, and how the Federal Trade Commission should go about addressing such issues.

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July 11, 2014

Hill Keeps Busy on Satellite TV, ‘Troll’ Letters, Cellphone Unlocking

Thursday saw lots of action on tech-related legislation, with three committees advancing bills on separate topics. Here’s a rundown:

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June 20, 2014

An Exhaustive Look at HealthCare.gov From Two Senate Republicans

In releasing a report on what went wrong with the rollout of HealthCare.gov, two GOP senators put out a rhetoric-heavy news release that criticized the 2010 health care law and scolded the Obama administration for implementing it. But as CQ HealthBeat’s Kerry Young notes, the purpose of the report itself is “at least partly to help the organization’s new chief” — Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell — “keep from repeating the same errors.”

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June 18, 2014

Human Anatomy, at Your Fingertips (in Plastic, of Course)

The National Institutes of Health is using White House Maker Faire day to remind the world about its new exchange for 3D printer files related to health and science — such as plans for custom lab equipment and scientific models for human anatomy and tiny organisms. The goal is to improve research, assist in repairing and enhancing lab equipment, and help pre-game medical procedures.

The 3D printer community has taken the “human anatomy” thing to the next level, of course. It’s not just about models, it’s also about fabricating actual synthetic body parts. It’s a story best told through video:

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June 5, 2014

‘Mall Tracking’ at Cellphone Location-Privacy Hearing

It’s probably common knowledge that online retailers gather data about shoppers and that brick-and-mortar stores gather data using loyalty cards. But what about “mall tracking?”

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May 28, 2014

Samsung’s Health Project: the FDA Factor

Samsung today announced the Simband, a “reference design” for a wearable sensor gadget that would allow people to track their health data. Along with Apple’s rumored upcoming launch of an iWatch with health apps, the Samsung move pushes the concept of real-time tracking of consumers’ health information closer to the point where regulators and lawmakers will have to revisit the issue.

Full story

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