The Washington Post


Music royalties: The debate over music royalties is heating up as 125 musicians ranging from Rihanna to Billy Joel signed a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to oppose a Pandora-backed bill that would see Internet, cable and satellite radio services put under the same royalty-payment structure.

In the letter, artists said that they like Pandora but that the measure, as proposed, would “gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon.”

Pandora has said the current structure puts a “disproportionate royalty burden” on online radio providers and recommends a single structure for all forms of radio rather than coming up with legislation for each new wave of technology.

Cybersecurity: President Obama signed a secret directive that allows the military to be more aggressive in its attempts to foil cyberattacks on the county’s government and private computer networks.

As The Washington Post reported, Presidential Policy Directive 20 lays out standards to guide federal agencies as they grapple with cyberspace threats and is the most extensive White House effort on the topic to date.

Obama signed the document in mid-October, the report said, and covers both defensive action within networks and cyber operations, which could cover defensive actions outside of one’s own network.

James A. Lewis, a cyber expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Post that he welcomed the directive and believes it indicates the United States will be more active in cybersecurity.

“It’s clear we’re not going to be a bystander anymore to cyber attacks,” Lewis said.

Samsung extends smartphone lead: Samsung extended its sales lead in the smartphone market in the last quarter, Gartner reported Wednesday, as smartphone sales fueled the larger mobile phone industry.

Together, Samsung and Apple make up 46.5 percent of the smartphone market, said Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion took the third-place spot, followed closely by HTC. Nokia, which had been third on the list, fell to seventh place. Smartphones accounted for nearly 40 percent of the overall mobile phone market. The market overall fell 3.1 percent from the previous year, but the smartphone market in particular grew nearly 50 percent.

RIM ‘realistic’ but optimistic: As Research in Motion gets ready to promote it’s upcoming operating system, its also focused on keeping one of its most important customer segments: government workers.

Even with its most loyal customers, the company has lost market share. Apple’s iPhones and phones running Google’s Android operating system breached Hill offices long ago. Now, even the U.S. Department of Defense has said that it too will drop RIM’s exclusivity and explore other options.

We’ve got to face that competition,” RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said in an interview with The Washington Post. He said while he’d like to see RIM keep its exclusive relationship with government agencies, the company has to be “realistic” about the pressure this puts on his company. The new system focuses on making phones that offer good consumer and business user experiences while maintaining security — something the company hopes will allow it to keep and grow its hold on government business.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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