U.S. House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on H.R. 3261, also known as SOPA (for Stop Online Piracy Act). A letter to committee chair Lamar Smith signed by 13 groups, including the American Library, Human Rights Watch, Public Knowledge, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation expresses “deep concern” about SOPA, saying: While we support appropriate copyright enforcement and want to ensure that creators around the world have the opportunity to be compensated for their works, SOPA as constructed would come at too high a cost to Internet communication and noninfringing online expression. The bill would set an irreversible precedent that encourages the fracturing of the Internet, undermines freedom of expression worldwide, and has numerous other unintended and harmful consequences. Interestingly, the letter is signed by at least one group not known for being a bedfellow of the progressive movement, which several of the other signers might be considered to be. The … [Read more...] about U.S. House Considers Copyright Bill
U s s enterprise
In the early 1990s, Russian mobsters partnered with Italian Mafia families in Newark, N.J., to skim millions of dollars in federal and New Jersey state gasoline and diesel taxes. Special Agent Larry Depew set up an undercover sting operation under the direction of Robert J. Chiaradio, a supervisor at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington, D.C., headquarters. Depew collected reams of evidence from wiretaps, interviews, and financial transactions over the course of two and a half years. Unfortunately, the FBI couldn't provide him with a database program that would help organize the information, so Depew wrote one himself. He used it to trace relationships between telephone calls, meetings, surveillance, and interviews, but he could not import information from other investigations that might shed light on his own. So it wasn't until Depew mentioned the name of a suspect to a colleague that he obtained a briefcase that his friend had been holding since 1989. “When I opened … [Read more...] about Who Killed the Virtual Case File?
On a bitterly cold January day this year, the countdown read 1289 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, and 33 seconds on the gigantic clock that looms over Beijing's Tiananmen Square, blocking the view of the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. The clock, a short walk across the square's gray paving stones from the portrait of Chairman Mao that's hanging over the entrance to the Forbidden City, ticks off the seconds until the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games [see illustration, "Countdown"]. At that moment, in every corner of the world and all over China itself, Olympics fans will be watching events unfold in crisp high-definition television, thanks to a state-of-the-art digital TV infrastructure the Chinese government is now furiously assembling. Throughout Beijing, an Olympics-related frisson is palpable, as rickety taxicabs are replaced with shiny new models, their drivers listen to English-language lessons on tape, and construction crews tear down block after block of … [Read more...] about Digital TV’s 100-Meter Dash
The entrance to the headquarters of Sema-tech, the research consortium of chip manufacturers based in Austin, Tex., exudes a remotely military air. Vehicles entering the area must stop at a security gate, and once inside the main structure visitors must attach ID tags to their lapel while awaiting an escort to the building’s inner sanctums. Such precautions reflect the seriousness of an enterprise touted as essential to the nation’s security; it is chips, after all, that power the information economy. Incorporated in 1987 as a U.S. experiment in industrial policy, the venture was conceived to help stem semiconductor makers’ precipitous loss of market share to the Japanese. The plan was to pool the industry’s resources to refine the complex chip-manufacturing processes-an area of traditional American weakness. A clear bid to save a declining industry, the notion seemed radical partly because it arose amid the free-market rhetoric of the Reagan … [Read more...] about Winning Through Cooperation
We ranked companies in key industries according to the quality and quantity of their patents. Here are 150 of the world’s top firms. Aerospace Company Lockheed Martin 313/1 282/1 329 307 0.95 0.92 2.70 1.82 8.5 8.5 United Technologies 207/2 221/2 345 335 0.60 0.66 0.33 0.42 10.8 9.8 Boeing 153/3 187/3 232 223 0.66 0.84 0.54 0.78 11.4 13.0 Rockwell International 114/4 176/4 112 175 1.02 1.01 0.34 0.53 7.1 7.6 Northrop Grumman 96/5 113/5 132 145 0.73 0.78 0.37 0.63 9.3 8.9 Thomson-CSF 74/6 83/6 97 113 0.76 0.73 0.58 0.69 8.8 8.1 EADS 66/7 75/7 126 132 0.52 0.57 0.27 0.35 13.4 10.8 Textron 51/8 73/8 61 77 0.83 0.95 0.05 0.27 13.3 10.4 Sequa 40/9 16/11 29 16 … [Read more...] about The TR Patent Scorecard 2001
On April 9, at a remote launchpad on the plains of Kazakhstan, a ground controller will finish his countdown; a Soyuz rocket will fire; and Charles Simonyi–Microsoft’s former chief architect, the tutelary genius behind its most famous applications, the inventor of the method of writing code that the company’s programmers have used for 25 years, and now the proponent of an ambitious project to reprogram software–will begin his ascent into space. Snug in a Russian space suit, feeling four Gs pressing him down into a form-fitting molded seat liner, the 58-year-old billionaire will become the fifth space tourist to visit the International Space Station. The journey, which will cost Simonyi around $20 million, will fulfill his dream of becoming a “nerd in space” (to borrow one name he chose for the website that documents his extraterrestrial adventure: www.nerdinspace.com). It will also give him an opportunity to view our planet from above and beyond. … [Read more...] about Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Meta
Gmail users worldwide went without Web mail service for several hours early Tuesday morning. Google's monitoring system indicated that service went down around 9:30 am GMT -- 4:30 a.m. on the U.S.'s East Coast and 1:30 a.m. in the Pacific time zone."If you've tried to access your Gmail account today, you are probably aware by now that we're having some problems. Shortly after ... 9:30 a.m. GMT our monitoring systems alerted us that Gmail consumer and businesses accounts worldwide could not get access to their email," Acacio Cruz, Gmail site reliability manager, wrote in post on the Google blog.Although Google used the opportunity to tout its recently unveiled offline Gmail functionality, a mishap on the scale of a worldwide outage could undermine the company's efforts to cast its services as viable alternatives for business use."This is a reality check for organizations. There's no question that for many, many organizations, the cloud is going to represent a role in some shape or form … [Read more...] about Will Gfail Undermine Gmail’s Enterprise Efforts?
Last week I was in Monte Carlo to speak at a conference for distributors in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Traditionally these regions have been referred to as "emerging markets," but with sales in the tens of billions of dollars and growth rates in the high double digits, I think it's safe to say they have already emerged to some degree.People from all parts of the world, including the United States, are moving to take lucrative positions with companies targeting emerging-market opportunities, and they're finding that a palatial life outside the U.S. is now well within their means. These moves do not come without some risk, however, as customs and laws can be nasty traps for the uninformed, turning what could be a paradise of opportunities into a never-ending nightmare full of increasingly expensive disasters.There are resources available to help people understand emerging markets and with more than a few vendors moving aggressively in those areas, some investigation is well … [Read more...] about OPINION What’s Happening in Emerging Tech Power Markets – and a Note on the Disney/Pixar Marriage
Acquisition agreements are the most important legally binding documents in the acquisition process, but their role is frequently misunderstood. They structure the deal and allocate liabilities and responsibilities among buyers and sellers.The commercial terms of an acquisition agreement are usually developed out of those anticipated in a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) agreed to by the buyer and seller earlier in the deal process. LOIs and other deal steps leading up to the acquisition agreement are detailed in Part 3 of this series. Terms originally developed for the LOI may subsequently be adjusted as a result of due diligence activities and by negotiations leading up to the execution of the acquisition agreement.Acquisitions are described here from the buyer's perspective. Acquisitions provide opportunities for buyers to create synergies with their own organization and to increase the operating margins of the acquired entity by implementing an acquisition plus globalization … [Read more...] about How to Buy a U.S. Outsourcing Firm, Part 4: The Acquisition Agreement
Half of U.S. companies plan to invest more on IT resources in 2012 than in 2011, according to Nucleus Research. In fact, 10 percent of the companies surveyed were planning an increase of 10 percent or greater; only one out of 10 planned to decrease spending next year."Our survey shows that companies view technology investments as a means to drive efficiencies and make existing employees more productive," Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus, told CRM Buyer.Key areas for that investment include CRM, integration, business intelligence and analytics, and workforce management."While the applications vary a lot by industry and by size of organization, one thing we noted with CRM is that you can bolt it on to improve your top line and reduce your bottom line," Wettemann said."Not only does investment in CRM help makes sales more effective and companies more profitable; it can also reduce administrative, sales/advertising, marketing and support costs."Integration around … [Read more...] about ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE REPORT CRM’s Place in IT Spending Plans