Clinton’s Calls For Broadband In 100% Of U.S. Homes
Presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, firing the first shot in a bid to capture Silicon Valley’s vote, released a comprehensive technology strategy she’s said to follow if she wins the presidency. For the most part, it was a hit among industry leaders.
The 15-page policy report contains a list of ambitious goals, including universal broadband for U.S. homes by 2020, continued support of net neutrality policies, infrastructure support for 5G data networks, an expansion of public Wi-Fi at transportation hubs, a general softening of tech regulation, a streamlined path to citizenship for foreign students earning STEM degrees in the U.S., and student loan relief for young entrepreneurs.
“We are encouraged to see that Secretary Clinton understands the value of the Internet to the U.S. economy — both domestically and as an export,” Internet Association spokesman Noah Theran said. “The Internet sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, employs nearly 3 million Americans, and represents 6 percent of GDP.”
In addition Clinton proposed a federal government program to counteract a general cooling of financing and loans from banks for start-up businesses and venture capital funds.
She called on government “supporting incubators, accelerators, mentoring and training for 50,000 entrepreneurs in underserved areas.”
In contrast, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has been mum on any policy proposals toward technology. He has, however, gone out of his way to attack influential tech execs on Twitter, his weapon of choice, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Tim Cook. Silicon Valley is also not fond of the Trump’s emphasis on protectionist business policies and his most likely negative impact on immigration, which the tech industry relies on for skilled workers.
“Given the critical importance of our sector, it’s encouraging that Secretary Clinton is taking the initiative as the first major presidential candidate in this election cycle to put technology and innovation issues front-and-center in the national policy debate,” Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Technology and innovation are major drivers of the U.S. economy and provide hope for the future by creating jobs, leading our nation’s competitiveness and providing solutions to global challenges. We encourage the other presidential candidates to soon follow suit and lay out their agendas to support innovation and the U.S. tech economy.”
Clinton’s efforts to woo the tech world set her up in direct contrast with the Obama administration’s sometimes contentious relationship with tech in areas of digital privacy when it comes to government surveillance and investigations.
Still, Silicon Valley for the most part supported Obama’s initiatives as the president hosted regular brainstorming dinners with leading tech execs, who helped shape some of the administration’s proposals on immigration, regulation and infrastructure. Clinton, through her proposals, seems poised to accelerate Washington’s relationship with Silicon Valley.
Microsoft Goes To Pot
Microsoft is teaming with Kind Financial to assist in the tracking of marijuana sales, making it one of the first major tech companies to enter the category of cannabis technology.
The companies will work together to acquire government-facing contracts for seed to sale tracking, according to a statement by Kind, which said it was selected by Microsoft to participate in Microsoft’s Health and Human Services Pod for Managed Service Providers. There the two will “provide state, county and municipalities with purpose-built solutions for track and trace (‘seed to sale’ in the cannabis industry) technology.”
Kind Financial is a service provider for the cannabis-selling business, offering tracking, management and point-of-sale tools for growers, operators and sellers.
Said Kimberly Nelson, Microsoft’s executive director of state and local government solutions: “Kind’s strategic industry positioning, experienced team and top-notch-technology running in the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud made for an easy decision to align efforts. Kind agreed that Azure Government is the only Cloud platform designed to meet government standards for the closely regulated cannabis compliance programs, and we look forward to working together to help our government customers launch successful regulatory programs.”
Marijuana-growing technology has faced issues in its ability to fully thrive because of the ambiguities of its legality, and the complications that come with selling it. It had just a bare-bones presence at CES 2016 and was not a show-sanctioned category by the Consumer Technology Association, producers of the show.
Some start-ups have instead taken to crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo.
Amazon Primed For Prime Day Round 2
Amazon is bringing back its summertime Prime Day promotion, with a fury.
Launched last year to mixed reviews — Amazon said it broke sales records but consumers griped over the slim pickings and poor execution — the one-day, Prime members-only event now promises more than 100,000 deals worldwide, making it Amazon’s biggest sales promotion ever.
Set for July 12, the event will offer Prime members discounts across nearly all departments and product categories, “ensuring there will be something for everyone,” the e-tailer said.
Like last year’s debut event, which celebrated Amazon’s 20th anniversary while goosing traditionally languid summer sales, Prime Day redux will have more than its fair share of consumer electronics. On tap in the U.S. is nearly twice the TV inventory of the company’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday promos combined, noted Amazon Prime VP Greg Greeley.
“Following last year’s record sales, we have dramatically increased the inventory behind many deals,” he said.
In a buildup to P-Day, the company will offer Prime members daily deals starting July 5, like a 32-inch TV bundle with a Fire TV Stick for $120, while contests will offer meets-and-greets with popular music performers and a $5,000 Prime Photo sweepstakes.
“Prime Day is a unique opportunity to discover new items and great deals, on top of our already low prices,” Greely added.
360fly Launches Controversial TV Ad
360fly has unveiled a provocative new 60-second TV ad, titled “Trump’s Wall,” for its 4K 360-degree action camera.
The ad, the first national spot for the 360fly, is billed as “fictional futuristic satire” by the company, portraying a rally taking place to celebrate the debut of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico by a President Trump look-a-like. While “Trump” stands at the podium delivering a triumphant declaration, a blogger in attendance uses the 360fly to capture what is going on behind the scene, which shows a stereotypical lineup of Mexican immigrants tunneling below the wall and emerging to be greeted by lookalikes of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
The spot resolves with the message: “Get a broader perspective. Miss nothing.”
According to 360fly, the major TV networks have refused to run the ad.
The creative agency that produced the spot, 180LA, defended the ad as purposely provocative satire. “This satirical scenario provides the perfect backdrop for a product demo, highlighting the importance of having a bigger perspective, which is exactly the promise of the 360fly camera,” said William Gelner, the agency’s chief creative officer.