Posted by Bart EppenauerChief Patent Counsel, Microsoft
Each year, the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation presents its Annual National Inventor of the Year Award to individuals that contribute significantly to the practice of Intellectual Property. The Award recognizes “Outstanding Achievement in the Fields of Innovation, Creativity, and IP Rights” and fosters the spirit of American innovation and highlights the protection offered to inventors by the patent system. This year, its 39th year, the Foundation honored Alex Kipman of Microsoft for the invention of Kinect, a breakthrough motion sensing input device developed for the Xbox 360 video game system and Windows PCs at a ceremony at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
I had a chance to sit down with Alex on the eve of the award ceremony and talk with him about intellectual property, the role it plays in his organization at Microsoft, the “Kinect Effect” and some of the cool things we might expect to see in the future.
As we approach Computer Science Education Week 2012 (CSEdWeek), Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, I have been taking stock of the things I have seen over the past several months. I believe that the state of K-12 computer science education is heading down a dangerous path.
A report released by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) finds that only one-third of states in the United States have rigorous computer science education standards for high school, and most treat computer science courses as an elective (often in vocational technology) and not part of a student’s core education. This not only fails to encourage students to seek out opportunities in this rapidly growing field, it actively discourages students from taking a computer science academic track, since it is not offered or does not satisfy a graduation requirement.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
More than 700 employees attended a town hall meeting today with Erskine Bowles, co-founder of The Campaign to Fix the Debt, to discuss the threats posed to our economy by the national debt.
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. The campaign is comprised of people and organizations with a variety of social, economic and political perspectives who share the belief that America's growing federal debt threatens our future and must be addressed. The effort is focused on mobilizing key communities – including leaders from business, government, and policy – as well as people across America who want to see elected officials work together to solve our nation's fiscal challenges.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
The national debt is one of the most serious fiscal issues facing the United States today. It threatens to undermine our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. The challenge is real and immediate, and it is essential that we come together as a nation to address this issue in a bi-partisan manner.
At Microsoft, we’re committed to doing what we can to help foster this important dialogue. That’s why, along with hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of the country’s businesses, we are lending our voice and support to The Campaign to Fix the Debt.
Today, on our Redmond campus, we are hosting Erskine Bowles, the co-founder of the campaign. In addition to helping found and lead this campaign, Erskine was co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the “Simpson-Bowles Commission”). During his visit, Erskine will participate in a town hall discussion with several hundred employees about the threats posed to our economy by the national debt.
Posted by Fred HumphriesVice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
Microsoft welcomes today’s vote in the Senate to approve Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Russia and Moldova. We look forward to President Obama’s signature on this important legislation. The Russian Federation and Moldova are already Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and today’s action ensures that America now will be able to take advantage of the benefits of their joining the WTO, and the enforcement of the rule of law in key areas such as Intellectual Property Rights protection and Services, which are the key to our economy’s future competitiveness.
This has been a lengthy and important negotiation led by many U.S. Trade Representatives and officials across the Executive Branch of Government through many Administrations, including Senators Portman and Senator Johanns, among others.