White House to host second hackathon: The White House announced Friday that it will host a second National Day of Civic Hacking, inviting developers and technology experts to Washington for a hackathon on June 1.
It is the second time the White House has hosted such an event. After last year’s hackathon, 21 developers came up with a number of ideas to improve the White House’s petition system, We the People. This year’s event will again focus on making new tools for the Web site, wrote Peter Welsch, the deputy director of online platform for the Office of Digital Strategy.
Internet Freedom markup: The House subpanel on technology announced that it will mark up Internet freedom legislation next week.
The legislation contains the same language passed by the House and Senate last year promoting a global Internet that is not regulated by governments, but seeks to elevate it to “official U.S. policy rather than merely a sense of the Congress” in response to international efforts to explore further Internet regulation.
The subpanel will meet for opening statements on April 10 and reconvene on April 11 to consider the legislation.
LightSquared: The Wall Street Journal reported that a hedge-fund firm, Sound Point Capital Management, has been buying up debt from the satellite broadband firm LightSquared, and is believed to hold more than $600 million of the company’s $1.7 billion loan.
According to the report, Sound Point Capital Management has ties to Dish Network executive Charlie Ergen, though it is not clear whether Ergen or Dish has played a role in the trades. Ergen, the report said, hasn’t addressed the trades, and Dish declined to comment to the Journal.
The report indicates that Sound Point’s bid could wrest control of LightSquared from Harbinger Capital Partners and its head Philip Falcone.
HP chairman steps down: Hewlett-Packard chairman Raymond Lane announced Thursday that he will step down from his post following his reelection two weeks ago — a move analysts say could give chief executive Meg Whitman more flexibility as she looks to turn around the firm
According to a report from The New York Times, analysts believe this buys Whitman at least an additional year to engineer a comeback for the firm.
Lane will continue to serve on the board and will be replaced by Ralph Whitwoth on an interim basis. Two other directors, John H. Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson will leave the board entirely.
Facebook reveals new foray into mobile: Facebook announced Thursday that it is making a big foray into mobile with Facebook Home — a comprehensive suite of apps that can turn Android phones into a Facebook-centered device.
Facebook said that while Home will make the network more prominent on mobile devices, it will not collect additional information from mobile phones for use in advertising. Home will continue to collect information users provide through Facebook’s network and associated apps such as Messenger and Camera.
The company said that Home will be able to log data on which apps users open, but that it will only collect this information from a small subset of users for its own internal purposes.