White House cybersecurity: Senior Obama administration officials walked some 50 U.S. senators through a cyber-attack scenario Wednesday evening, The Washington Post reported, to bolster their case for legislation that would give the Department of Homeland Security authority to force critical industries to better protect their systems.
The demonstration simulated an attack on New York City’s electrical grid in the summer. Some lawmakers thought the demonstration was illustrative of the need for the bill, but one staffer said that it was “scripted event.”
Pew survey: Despite worries over privacy, the Pew Center for Internet and American Life found that Google is still the most popular search engine. The study, released Friday, found that most users were against having their personal information affect search rankings and keeping track of searches.
Google is still the preferred search engine for 83 percent of users, followed by Yahoo with 6 percent.
Former Facebooker takes over the New Republic: A member of Facebook’s founding team, Chris Hughes, has purchased a majority share of the New Republic and has plans to bring the 100-year-old magazine into the tablet era, The Washington Post reported.
Hughes said that he will focus on bringing the magazine up to date because he believes the majority of its readership will be accessing the magazine on tablets in five to 10 years, “if not sooner,” the New York Times reported.
Hughes left Facebook in 2007 to be the social media director for President Obama’s campaign.
T-Mobile executive calls for end to subsidies: T-Mobile chief marketing officer Cole Brodman said at a summit hosted by GeekWire in Seattle that the way carriers subsidize devices is hurting the industry. According to the Web site, Brodman said that the subsidies cause consumers to “devalue completely the hardware they are using” and that quality devices are “thrown away at 18 months.”
Brodman also expressed hope that Apple and its iPhone would be seriously challenged by competitors such as Windows Phone, saying that it’s “unhealthy” for the industry to be dominated by one operating system. T-Mobile does not carry the iPhone.
FCC asks for more info on spectrum agreement: The Federal Communications Commission asked Verizon, SpectrumCo — a group made up of of Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House — and Cox to submit more information on their proposed agreement for spectrum, including their commercial deals to cross-sell certain products.
Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House were also asked for information, individually.
In a statement, the FCC said that the commission “has concluded that portions of the commercial agreements are inseparable from the proposed license transfer and related wireless competition issues.” Other components of the deal will be evaluated separately, the agency said.