Tech & The District Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Tech in 5: Sam Whitmore Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 Lindsay Campbell We recently sat down with the founder and editor of Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey, Sam Whitmore himself, for some insights on the media landscape and what to expect from the journalism industry. With the significant increase in tablets coming to market, consumers are more interested in receiving their news visually – including infographics, video and even comic strips.

Check out more in the video below to hear us chat about all things from Jersey Shore to the future of media consumption.

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Some of Sam’s upcoming guests include:
Tues. Aug. 9 Roger Cheng, senior writer, CNET News
Tues. Aug. 16 SWMS Tech Edit Spotlight on content development tools
Tues. Aug. 23 Irina Slutsky, SF reporter, Ad Age
Tues. Aug. 30 Jacob Lopez, reporter,

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Tech in 5: Mark Bohannon Fri, 10 Jun 2011 21:12:30 +0000 Ben Breit We recently had the good fortune to sit down with Mark Bohannon, Red Hat’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Public Policy. Mark had I had an engaging discussion on Red Hat’s leadership within the open source community as well as the increasing importance of open source initiatives within the tech community. In this interview, he offers his take on open source’s impact on DC policymakers and everyday software users alike.

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ColorComm Lunch Series Fri, 27 May 2011 18:09:12 +0000 Lauren Wilson Last Thursday Amanda Miller Littlejohn (founder of Mopwater PR) and I hosted a luncheon for women of color in communications at Oya Restaurant  in Washington, DC. The event is called ColorComm and will be a bi-monthly luncheon series during the summer and fall.

Why did we do this? What is the purpose, you may ask?

For some time now, I’ve been thinking about ways to bring women of color in communications together in an intimate setting with the real chance to get to know one another. For me, I kept hearing certain names and seeing certain faces at events that I didn’t know—but whom I wanted to know and wanted to learn from.

I believed that I wasn’t the only one who had a desire to build a stronger network among women of color in communications, and Iast week I was proven correct with 30 women in attendance.
The event is designed to foster mentorship and friendship  through a dialogue on career and professional development.

Some very accomplished and dynamic women were in attendance including: Traci Otey Blunt from RLJ Companies (a producing company for the movie “Jumping the Broom”); Brigitte Johnson, President of the PRSA National Chapter; and Almina Khorakiwala from Walker Marchant Group just to name a few.  Several agencies were represented including women from Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, The Hatcher Group, and others. Additionally, women from the entertainment and media fields were also present.

Tara Jones, my mentor and VP of BET Networks, served as our guest speaker.  Tara is a remarkable woman and she offered tips that apply to anyone who is trying to build and grow their career.

Tara’s Tips:
1)  Don’t ever let anyone get in your head not even yourself. You can conquer anything, you just have   to go for it; don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.
2)   As you climb career ladders, reach down and bring someone with you.
3)   Continue to build and strategically manage your networks. Break all your contacts into groups, for example: Mentors, Advocates and Trailblazers.
4) Make time for the things that are important in your personal life. There is no joy in success if there is no one to share it with.

Stay tuned for tips from our next luncheon in July!

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“Tech In 5″: Marc Gunther Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:52:03 +0000 Lauren Wilson Welcome to Spring!

H&K was fortunate to have Marc Gunther, contributing editor at Fortune and senior writer at, join us in our studios for an afternoon discussion on the future of our environment.

Marc tells us how he became an advocate for sustainability and corporate responsibility practices. He even gives us PR professionals’ pointers on what makes a compelling sustainability story, so be sure to take notes!

Check out this interview and be sure to listen to his end remarks where he shares one thing that we as Washingtonians should get out and do this spring.

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Technology Making Us Green with Efficiency Tue, 29 Mar 2011 21:50:24 +0000 Andrew Cuneo One exciting element of technology is its ability to change the way we live. Most would view technology as a key contributor to enhancing the way we operate and communicate.  Smartphones, e-readers and GPS all have changed the way we access the Internet, read, communicate and travel. I would also argue technology has made us smarter – and more sustainable.

As one of the leaders of Hill & Knowlton’s Green Team, I’m always looking for ways we can reduce our environmental footprint. And over the weekend, I read an article that gave me hope that technology can and will serve as a guide to a cleaner, more sustainable future. Reporter Susan Wilson Solovic provided examples of mobile applications on smartphones that can help consumers be more socially and environmentally friendly.  For example, she talked about an iPhone app that allows consumers to scan in a bar code and receive information about a product’s social responsibility. Another application allows consumers to reference listings compiled by environmental organizations to decide what bathroom tissue to buy and a third application that helps commuters find folks to car-pool with, saving gasoline and time.

My favorite application that Susan mentions is called GreenDrive. This application actually helps you increase your automobile’s fuel efficiency by providing the driver with road conditions and real time driving directions to avoid congestion – something everyone here in DC can attest would be quite useful.

Mobile applications aren’t just games and entertainment, they’re making us smarter and more efficient. The mobile industry is helping us become greener and smarter, one application at a time.

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“Tech in 5″ – Marcia Hale, Building America’s Future Tue, 29 Mar 2011 19:12:31 +0000 Ben Breit Last week, we welcomed Marcia Hale, President of Building America’s Future, as part of our latest installment of “Tech in 5.” BAF is a bi-partisan coalition devoted to bringing about a new wave of infrastructure investments throughout the United States. As part of her role, Marcia works directly with BAF’s three prominent and colorful co-chairs – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Ed Rendell, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

BAF has several major policy programs (including energy and a National Infrastructure Bank) – not the least of which is technology, where they focus on proliferating wireless broadband and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Check out the video to hear Marcia’s insights on potential initiatives to accelerate innovation and jumpstart the economy. And be sure visit the BAF website for further information.

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DAILY FIVE (3/16) Wed, 16 Mar 2011 16:10:31 +0000 Ben Breit 1. The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Web, Fast Company, Austin Carr

2. Japan Quake May Cut Supply of Key Technology Materials, Credit Suisse Says, Bloomberg, Richard Frost

The Japanese earthquake may threaten the world’s supply of BT resin, used in electronic devices including handsets, Credit Suisse Group AG said.

3. Twitter Revs Up Security With HTTPS, PC World, Daniel Ionescu

Twitter announced security improvements to its website, allowing use of the HTTPS protocol to log into the online service.

4. Arizona tech industry reports job gains, Arizona Republic, Ken Alltucker

Even as Arizona’s private sector shed jobs during the recession at nearly twice the national rate, the state’s technology sector fared better, with aerospace/defense and biosciences posting job gains, a report to be released today shows.

5. The Key to Innovation: Build a Platform, like Apple, Fobres, Robert Reiss

When it was launched in 1995, Fast Company magazine set a new tone in progressive business media, with a unique editorial focus on discovering the creativity and innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical companies), leadership, and design.

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DAILY FIVE (3/15) Tue, 15 Mar 2011 15:12:23 +0000 Ben Breit 1. Venture investment in U.S. clean tech companies rose in 2010, Reuters, Nichola Groom

Venture capital investment in U.S. clean technology companies rose 46 percent to $5.1 billion last year after a big decline in 2009, according to a report by research firm Clean Edge released on Monday.

2. Japan earthquake disrupts technology companies, BBC, Staff

Technology firms are facing major disruption to supplies in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami which have devastated parts of Japan.

3. How Japan’s Quake Disaster May Damage Tech Business, Fast Company, Kit Eaton

The ongoing disaster in Japan is an unprecedented human tragedy. And there are less immediately pressing but still considerable side effects–Japan is a key location for much of the world’s high tech industry. How will the earthquake and tsunami affect the industry?

4. Tech industry gets drunk on SXSW’s fumes, Tech Eye, Aurevoir Chatte

If you thought CES was weird, with its giant neon alien babies and quesadillas, then you haven’t been to South by Southwest.

5. Diller on tech bubble: ‘We’re puffing it up pretty nicely’, CNET, Caroline McCarthy

Is there a little bit of madness to the sky-high tech company valuations that are all over the place right now? Yes, says IAC founder and former entertainment mogul Barry Diller, who gave a talk at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) this morning to provide a bit of blunt, curmudgeonly insight for a conference best-known as a hub of the young, wide-eyed, and exuberant.

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DAILY FIVE (3/11) Fri, 11 Mar 2011 20:45:52 +0000 Ben Breit 1. Searching for New Tech at South by Southwest, New York Times, Jenna Wortham

We’re here on the ground in Austin South by Southwest Interactive, the annual gathering of tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, investors and leaders in the industry.

2. Technology Companies Assess Japanese Quake Impact, Dow Jones, Ruth Bender

Technology companies Friday were assessing the impact of the Japanese earthquake on component supplies and on their local plants, staff and subcontractors, with a majority of companies saying they aren’t seeing any serious damage or impact so far.

3. Google, local platforms respond to Japan’s 8.9 earthquake crisis, Fast Company, Jenera Nerenberg

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 hit Japan today, resulting in tsunami warnings for 20 countries, as well as California and Hawaii. Crisis mappers wasted no time responding: In under 2.5 hours Google launched its person finder application, which was also used when New Zealand’s 6.3 quake struck last month, and a local developer in Tokyo, Shu Sigashi, a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation in Japan, quickly put up a localized Ushahidi crisis platform.

4. Congressman stands by his proposal: An iPad for every student, The Hill, Josiah Ryan

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said he stood-by a proposal he made last week that could result in the federal government providing an Ipad for every student in the nation, despite a barrage of criticism he has suffered from the media in recent days.

5. Ballmer: Game technology is the future for the energy industry, Politico, Darren Goode

So how can your Xbox 360 lead to better collaboration among energy companies and more efficient offshore drilling? Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is excited to tell you.

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DAILY FIVE (3/8) Tue, 08 Mar 2011 15:59:47 +0000 Ben Breit 1. Locke to succeed Huntsman as China ambassador, The Hill, Sara Jerome

President Obama will choose Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to succeed Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China.

2. Obama plans visit to tech academy, Boston Globe, Peter Schworm

The students at TechBoston Academy tried to play it cool, did their best to shrug off the swirling news as no big deal. But it was no use. Even teenage indifference couldn’t hide their excitement.

3. Obama to overhaul heinous US patent system, The Register, Rik Myslewski

The Obama administration is launching an effort to reform the slow-motion train wreck that is the US Patent and Trademark Office.

4. How Much Tech Do You Need?, Smart Money, Kelli Grant

When Apple introduced its newest laptop last month, the company bragged about faster processors, dazzling graphics, new connectivity and a better camera. But all these improvements – to a series of computers that was already by most accounts pretty good – left some critics with a pointed question: Who really needs all that?

5. Technology boosts Girl Scout cookie sales, Washington Post, Margaret Webb Pressler

For 10-year-old Lalah Williams, the magic number is 1,000 – boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, that is.

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