Entries with tag united states.

US Technology-Industry Political Coalition Reaches Funding Goal

A Super Political Action Committee (PAC) that US technology executives created reached its initial $5 million goal by raising grassroots funding on Kickstarter. The Mayday PAC wants to solve the “big money problem” in Washington, DC, politics by raising $12 million to back five candidates in the November 2014 elections who support election-financing reform. Mayday, which Harvard University law professor Lawrence Lessig and Republican political adviser Mark McKinnon founded, includes luminaries such as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, PayPal cofounder and libertarian activist Peter Thiel, and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffmann. The Kickstarter donations were matched by $1 million donations from Thiel, Hoffman, and other wealthy tech entrepreneurs. Notable figures outside the industry, including actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, have lent support. If successful, the PAC plans to create a campaign in 2016 to change laws related to corporations’ political influence. (Tech Crunch)(TIME)(Computing Now 24 June 2014)


China Approves IBM-Lenovo Deal

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s anti-monopoly department has approved Lenovo Group's proposed $2.3 billion deal to buy IBM’s low-end server business. The purchase would give the manufacturer control of IBM’s x86 servers, as well as its blade networking and maintenance operations. The US government has not yet approved the deal. US security officials and members of the government’s interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States have raised national security concerns, including whether the deal would enable Chinese officials or hackers to compromise US government Lenovo servers. Lenovo says it expects the transaction to be completed by the end of 2014. (Reuters)(ZDNet)(eWeek)

Database Error Let Boston Marathon Bomber Travel Freely

A newly released US Congressional report disclosed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the primary conspirator in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people, was allowed to exit and enter the US freely, even though he was on a terrorist watch list, because his name was misspelled in a database. After being alerted by Russian intelligence agency twice that Tsarnaev was a radical Islamist and potentially dangerous, US authorities entered his name into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database and the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, an interagency border-inspection database. Officials entered a note into the latter database identifying him as a high priority individual and instructing agents to search and detain him if he tried to leave the US. However, they spelled his name “Tsarnayev.” The system thus still issued an alert but didn’t provide any information noting that Tsarnaev was potentially armed and dangerous. He was thus allowed to travel without questioning several times before the Boston bombing. He was killed during the hunt for suspects in the aftermath of the bombing. (SlashDot)(NBC News) 

New US Report Finds that Many Still Have Limited Broadband Service

A newly released US Federal Communications Commission report found that about 19 million people in the country still lack broadband Internet access. The FCC’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report, released Tuesday, notes that there has been significant progress in expanding high-speed Internet access nationally but that universal access will require further reforms. Of all states in the US, West Virginia has the highest percentage of residents without high-speed Internet: 46 percent, representing 845,000 people. State officials contend the FCC used outdated information and say they are spending $126.3 million in federal stimulus funds to bring fiber-optic cable to public facilities and will distribute $4 million to rural broadband projects in December. The new report also calls out Montana, South Dakota, and Alaska for limited broadband access. (The Associated Press @ The Charleston Daily Mail)(The Charleston Gazette)(Forbes)(United States Federal Communications Commission)

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