1. FTC commissioners today announced the launch of a task force to take on monopolies in the US tech industry. The task force will look at tracking competition currently and said in its announcement it will also examine previous mergers and acquisitions. The stated goal is antitrust enforcement: The FTC has assigned 17 staff attorneys specifically for investigating tech's anti-competitive behavior. Rhode Island Congressman (and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman) David Cicilline is hailing it as "an important step toward restoring competition online." --VERGE
2. H-1B visa approvals are down and demands for evidence are up. This signals bad news for hiring foreign talent amid America's changed attitudes toward immigration. According to new data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS only approved 84.5% of received H-1Bs in 2018, compared to almost 93% in 2017. Worse, additional RFEs are making it harder to get an H-1B, with applicants having to prove and justify their work in detail. Further, CIO notes: "Other pending rules could further deter applications." --CIO DIVE
3. Speculative execution threats are absent at RSAC 2019. This is a contrast from last year's focus on Meltdown and Spectre. At the world's biggest enterprise and government security conference this year what we will see are the results of the conference's diversity and inclusion initiative. Handy for CIOs and CTOs this year is RSAC's CISO Boot Camp, Tuesday, March 5 through Wednesday, March 6. And before you pack, check out this traveler's guide to OPSEC by a Duo security employee.
4. Sprint announced it's bringing Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage and Internet of Things (IoT) services to its Curiosity IoT platform. The AWS cloud and the Curiosity IoT native LTE core combined means enterprises can process IoT data locally, distribute IoT apps, forward data to the cloud to run analytics, as well as store and protect any amount of data from IoT devices. The offering will be for customers of all sizes and industries. --TECH REPUBLIC
5. Microsoft will stop providing Windows 10 'ready for business' guidance, a change in terminology already making commercial customers unsure about where the upgrade stands on stability and reliability. Reactions so far are not positive, with commenters raging on Microsoft's post announcing the change. --COMPUTERWORLD
6. The former CIO Of Sears, IBM, and Reliance, Timothy Kasbe, is now head of Zoho Australia/New Zealand. Kasbe said Zoho's saturation allows the company to create more value "without reading customers’ data or worse, selling it to highest bidder." Australia is one of Zoho's top four performing markets in the world. --FORBES
7. PepsiCo Inc. is digitizing its business and streamlining its supply chain in a plan to combine data sources for deeper info on consumers. Internally, the company is embarking on a major talent acquisition push for an employee culture change. At the top, Pepsi hopes to streamline global ops, with a focus on supply chain precision. --CIO DIVE
8. Chief information officers are taking on roles in election security, said Delaware CIO James Collins at a National Governors Association conference. While managing the security of varying systems is like breathing to CIOs, state election officials underwent crash courses in cybersecurity, when the feds made election systems part of the country’s critical infrastructure in 2017. --STATESCOOP
9. The Winter 2019 digital issue of CIO is out with its annual State of the CIO research. Highlights include the six practices of influential IT leaders, leveraging metrics to ease headaches while replacing legacy environments, and a look at what's changed (a lot!) for CIOs in the past 12 months. --CIO
10. Good advice on overcoming your patching problems: With the average time to patch at 100 days, it's clear everyone is prioritizing problems like there's no tomorrow. But tomorrow is now for 93% of companies who experienced an attack in the past year. That's why this op-ed of advice on overcoming patching problems is worth a read. --BETANEWS
This newsletter is curated and authored by author and reporter Violet Blue, who covers security and privacy for outlets ranging from CBS News and CNET to Financial Times and ZDNet. Ms. Blue has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN, she writes the Engadget column "Bad Password," and she is the author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy. Violet is on the Advisory Board for privacy nonprofit Without My Consent and a member of the Internet Press Guild. Find her sharing thoughts on Twitter @violetblue.
Editing team: Kim Lyons (managing editor at Inside, a Pittsburgh-based journalist with recent bylines in the NYTimes and Columbia Journalism Review.) and Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).