Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from the Switch team.

Join us today for our weekly live chat, Switchback. We'll kick things off at 11 a.m. Eastern time. You can submit your questions now, right here.

Obama nominates former Google exec to lead U.S. Patent Office "The White House announced Thursday that it will nominate former Google lawyer Michelle K. Lee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, potentially handing Silicon Valley a key victory and ending a two-year tussle for the agency's leadership​," reports The Washington Post's Nancy Scola."Lee has been managing the 10,000-employee Patent Office day-to-day since being appointed deputy director in January. But efforts to permanently elevate her to director have been stymied by powerful outside groups —particularly pharmaceutical companies, which backed an industry insider for the job."

Whisper CTO says tracking “anonymous” users not a big deal, really "On Thursday, the Guardian reported that the developers of Whisper, an social media platform that allows individuals to post anonymous messages that can be seen by others based on a number of factors, isn’t all that anonymous after all," reports Ars Technica's Sean Gallagher. "Whisper CTO Chad DePue turned to Hacker News to respond to the Guardian’s report," Gallagher's report says. "The response to DePue’s post was quick and overwhelmingly negative."

FBI director: Tech companies should be required to make devices wiretap-friendly
"FBI Director James B. Comey on Thursday called for the law to be changed to require technology companies to provide investigators with a way to gain access to encrypted communications, warning that without reform, Americans would see cases in which murderers, rapists and terrorists could more easily elude justice," reports The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima. Comey said the FBI is not "seeking to expand our authority to intercept communications,” but rather “struggling to keep up with changing technology and to maintain our ability to actually collect the communications we are authorized to collect.”

Android Lollipop's new "kill switch" could discourage smartphone theft -- but it still needs work "Smartphone thieves may now think twice about snatching your Android phone, but they won’t be completely deterred yet," reports Forbes's Ellen Huet. "The kill switch is a great step toward making smartphone theft less enticing — when a stolen phone can’t be wiped clean and resold, it becomes a useless brick. But it’s missing one important component: the kill switch is still opt-in."

Facebook may have solved mobile, but Google is still struggling with it "Google’s mobile ad strategy is sounding a lot like Facebook’s these days. On its third quarter earnings call Thursday, the company fielded a lot of questions about its plan for making up lost ground in the mobile area," reports GigaOm's Carmel DeAmicis. "When asked whether Google login has been been adopted by enough mobile apps, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said, 'Our focus [is] on helping developers generate app downloads.'”