Apple has hired a new team of lobbyists to represent its interests in Washington, D.C. Citing official lobbying disclosures, Politico reports that Apple hired the firm Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock on February 1 to handle “innovation” issues for the company. The report notes that Apple spent just over $1.6 million on lobbying in 2010, compared to the almost $7 million spent by Microsoft during the same period. Among the lobbyists at the firm are president Mark Isakowitz, who spent time on former President George W. Bush’s transition team, Kirk Blalock, who served under Bush as special assistant and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, and Kristen Chadwick, another former Bush special assistant.

Some NFL teams are considering abandoning physical playbooks in favor of iPads, according to a new report. Citing Pete Walsh, head of technology for the Dallas Cowboys, Cnet reports that the Cowboys and at least a “couple” of other teams are considering the move, which could save them as much as 5,000 pages of paper printouts per game. Walsh also cited as a positive the ability to remotely wipe the device should it become lost, which could keep all the plays for the following week’s game from falling into opposition hands. Still, Walsh said all privacy and security concerns would have to be met before such a transition could be made, adding, “I’ve got that responsibility to the Jones family to make sure those [football] assets don’t get out there.”

Speaking in an interview with Beet.TV, Ann Derry, Editorial Director for Video and Television for the New York Times, said the paper was supplying reporters with iPhone 4s to record and upload video to the paper’s server. According to the report, the NYT is using an app made by Aspera to handle the file transfers; the first staffer to use the system was Andrew Ross Sorkin, who used it for his Davos coverage. The report describes the audio portion of Sorkin’s shot as “surprisingly good;” Derry herself called the iPhone 4 a “game changer” for the paper’s video news gathering operations. [via TUAW]

During yesterday’s Super Bowl, News Corp. aired a new commercial for The Daily, its new tablet-based newspaper. Touting the product as “the world’s first daily tablet newspaper,” the spot demonstrates several of the app’s features, and repeatedly shows it being displayed on an iPad, despite the fact that the commercial makes no direct reference to Apple’s tablet. The 30-second spot is available for viewing on YouTube or below in embedded form. Our full review of The Daily is available here.

Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.