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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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Brian Fung

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 03/04/2013

The Circuit: House Republicans ask for more info on FDA regulation of apps

House Republicans ask FDA for clarification: Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce committee have written to ask the Food and Drug Administration for more guidance on how the agency intends to regulate apps for tablets and smartphones that collect health information or are used to monitor chronic conditions.

In 2011, the FDA asked for public comment on how it should regulate these kinds of apps, but has not issued final guidance on what should be regulated as a medical device.

In the letter, the lawmakers asked what the FDA has done in terms of regulating apps and how FDA oversight has affected the app market.

Susan Crawford on the telecom industry: In an interview with The Washington Post, Susan Crawford criticized the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to approve a spectrum deal between wireless carriers and cable companies. Crawford, a former telecom and tech policy adviser to President Obama, said that the decision illustrates a problem the FCC has in finding a regulation path that allows it to “force competition.”

“When the commission is aggressive about any of this, the incumbents can march on the Hill and ask it to gut the budget for the agency,” Crawford said.

IDC projects smartphones will outsell feature phones in 2013: International Data Corp. said Monday that it expects that smartphones will outsell feature phones — an industry term for phones that can connect to the Web but are not as sophisticated as smartphones — for the first time in 2013. The group projected that vendors will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, to make up 50.1 percent of the total cellphone market.

According to a new report from the analysis firm, China, the United States, India, Brazil and the United Kingdom will be the top five markets for smartphones in 2013, though it is expecting growth to slow in the U.S. and in Britain as smartphone adoption reaches a saturation point.

Samsung, Apple: Judge Lucy Koh ruled Friday to strike $450 million from the damages a jury found Samsung owed to Apple last summer, saying that there must be a new trial to determine damages on 14 of the products named in the suit.

Koh said that a second trial — with a new jury — is required to set those damages, according to a Friday report from patent expert and blogger Florian Mueller. Koh has not yet set a date for the new trial, Apple Insider reported.

By  |  01:13 PM ET, 03/04/2013

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