Your report for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Ypsilanti microsystems firm gets federal grant
VOIP, storage seller Netarx opens new offices in Indiana
Aastrom in new trial for bone growth product -- this time on the spine
Women's robotics tourney coming to Lawrence Tech


Granholm visits NextEnergy: Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm Wednesday visited NextEnergy, the state's alternative energy industry accelerator, and discussed the impact of the $2 billion job creation package she signed into law last week. “NextEnergy Corporation is already hard at work developing the new fuel technology that will power the next century,” said Granholm.  “By investing billions in critical areas like alternative energy development, we can build on our existing strengths, diversify our economy, and create thousands of new, good-paying jobs.” Under the jobs plan, proposed by Granholm in her State of the State address in February, Michigan will invest nearly $1.5 billion to grow thousands of jobs in four key growth areas: life sciences, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, and homeland security. The state’s investment is expected to leverage an additional billion dollars or more in private funds. The bills will also create up to $450 million in a venture capital investment fund, and offer new tax incentives for investors, lower fees and less red tape for startups, and new incentives for life sciences companies. After touring the center, Granholm spoke with area high school and college students about opportunities available to them in Michigan once they complete their studies. She noted that Michigan is headquarters for eight of the nation’s top alternative energy companies, a No. 5 ranking nationally. In all, more than 180 companies are working on the development of alternative energy technology in Michigan. NextEnergy is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the development and promotion of alternative energy technology. It is committed to helping Michigan lead the transformation of how vehicles are built and powered.  In September, NextEnergy opened a spectacular alternative energy technology incubator that is now home to eight research and development companies.


Internet2 shows off for educators

Merit Network Inc. and Internet2 showed off the possibilities of next-generation connectivity Wednesday for an audience of more than 150 at Washtenaw Community College.

"We're at the very, very front end of a massive paradigm shift that's going to affect all of us in profound ways," WCC president Larry Whitworth told the crowd to open the event.

"It's going to affect all of us in very profound ways. It's going to affect us in education -- structurally, intellectually and in terms of resources and the way we deliver."

Throughout the afternoon, demonstrations proved him right.

On blinding-fast bandwidth, your humble narrator got to pilot a submersible vehicle remotely -- a vehicle nearly a mile offshore in Monterey Bay, Calif., in a national marine sanctuary.

Central Michigan University demonstrated a medical procedure live, on a crystal-clear six-megabit video stream. The demonstration saw a doctor snake an endoscope up the nose and down the throat of a chipper volunteer, and we all got an up-close and extremely personal view of her soft palate, epiglottis and vocal cords. 

The possibilities for remote medical care and diagnosis, not to mention remote medical training, are obvious. 

In a music room at WCC's Morris Lawrence Building, a music professor conducted a detailed private lesson with a student -- who was miles away, at the Cleveland Institute of Music. There was high-definition big-screen video and CD-quality sound at both ends. (And a couple of hiccups in the connectivity, unfortunately, but remember, Internet2 is still a testbed.) 

Think of the implications there for education.

And Internet2 itself showed off a 30-megabit per second video stream that offered HDTV quality video online. 

Tons of implications there for distance learning, too, not to mention entertainment.

Ann Arbor-based Internet2, founded by 34 universities in 1996 as the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, now has more than 200 university members, along with more than 70 corporate members and more than 40 affiliated organizations. 

Its aim is to enable a new generation of network applications, create leading edge network capabilities for research and education, and foster the transfer of technology and experience to the existing Internet.

It's also a research "sandbox" for academics to play in, said Jim Moran, director of member and affiliate services at Merit Network Inc., Michigan's first Internet Service Provider, which was founded in the 1960s to create a system to link the mainframe computers of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Moran led attendees through a brief history of the original "Internet" -- the public switched telephone network -- leading to the Internet as developed from the 1960s through the 1990s by Bell Labs, academic researchers and military planners.

Internet2 has huge data pipelines that rival the public Internet, Moran said, yet it's restricted to academics and researchers. 

"It's a big network, but it doesn't compete with all the catalog shopping and the porn and all the other stuff that goes on on the conventional Internet," Moran said. 

That allows researchers to see what can be done with a blazing-fast, secure network.

Bottom line? "We're not done inventing the Internet," Moran said. "What we're doing here will transform education, and it will transform daily life eventually. Just like we didn't anticipate where the Internet was going to lead, we have no idea where this was going to lead."

More at www.internet2.edu and www.merit.net

Note: Some sponsorships for the special sections are still available. For information on this or other Great Lakes IT Report marketing matters, contact Dan Keelan at dkeelan@cbs.com or (248) 455-7252.

Ypsi microsystems firm gets federal grant: Ypsilanti-based Integrated Sensing Systems Inc. said Wednesday that it had won a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation. The six-month, $100,000 grant will fund a project to develop water-safe packaging of micro-electro-mechanical systems and their associated electronics. ISSYS' method can be used for a wide variety of MEMS-based devices -- for example, in a medical application, where a sensor might be desired inside a catheter or other device, but not be exposed to actual bodily fluids. Developing such a system is viewed as a major step in the commercialization of MEMS devices. ISSYS offers advanced micromachining technologies for medical devices, microfluidic and scientific analytical sensing applications used in the development of drug infusion pumps and wireless, implantable sensing systems. More at www.mems-issys.com.
Muskegon economic developer sponsors podcast: The president of a Muskegon Web consulting firm has started a series of podcasts on the economic and social future of the West Michigan city. Inside Muskegon has posted its first two podcast interviews at www.insidemuskegon.com. The first podcast features an interview with Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce, and information on contacting Inside Muskegon plus how to give us your feedback and ideas for future episodes. The second podcast is an interview with Jim Edmonson, president and CEO of the economic development agency of Muskegon Area First, a discussion of the response to the podcast, listener feedback and information on contacting Inside Muskegon. Piasecki's Web site says the goal of the podcast is "to engage Muskegonites in a dialog about the local economic, social and political issues that effect our every day lives." Piasecki has degrees in marketing and graphic design from Central Michigan University and established ImageQuest Design in Muskegon in 1998. More at www.imagequestdesign.com.
Kalamazoo company's founders get nanotech patent: Kalamazoo-based NanoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. said its founders, Michael Jay and Russell J. Mumper, have received United States Patent 6,855,270 covering the use of nanoparticles to detect radioisotopes. The technology promises to cut the amount of toxic and radioactive waste that is a byproduct of laboratory experiments. The patent is assigned to the University of Kentucky Research Foundation and licensed exclusively to NanoMed Pharmaceuticals. It covers the processes used to make the nanoparticles that take the place of organic solvents now used. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency say 140,000 cubic feet of mixed waste was generated by industry and academia in the United States in 1990 alone. It is estimated that the Department of Energy generates annually an additional 800,000 cubic feet of mixed organic and radioactive waste. The technology may also have applications in anti-nuclear-terrorism activities, including mobile methods of radiation detection, and in improved genomics research. NanoMed has headquarters in Kalamazoo and laboratories in Kentucky. More at www.nanomedpharm.com.
GR aircraft parts plant gets $55 million order: Airbus, the European airliner builder, has selected Grand Rapids Smith Aerospace to supply the video distribution and processing system on its new Airbus A400M aircraft. The order could generate more than $55 million in revenue for Smiths through its conclusion in 2023. The main portion of the system will be basic equipment on the launch base of 180 aircraft, plus additional export, forecasted to be built throughout the lifetime of the program. The A400M aircraft will complete initial certification and enter service in 2009. The video system performs switching and video processing to permit display of various video functions and information on cockpit displays. Inputs include refueling and cargo video cameras and several computer-generated video images. Smiths Aerospace is currently supplying similar type systems for the C-130 AMP and A380. The systems will be designed and developed at Smiths' plant in Grand Rapids, and manufactured in Grand Rapids and at another Smiths plant in Clearwater, Fla. Smiths Aerospace is a unit of England-based Smiths Group, which has more than 10,000 employees and $2 billion in sales.
Netarx opens in Indiana: Farmington Hills-based Netarx Inc. Tuesday announced the establishment of two offices in Indiana. Netarx officials said market data analysis, recruiting and manufacturer contact led to the opening of offices in Indianapolis and South Bend. Seven new employees were hired to fulfill both the sales and technical operations requirements at the new offices. Netarx has taken over support for former customers of LanTech of America, which closed. Netarx offers Internet Protocol telephony, data storage and managed network products and services. Netarx also announced that it has been recertified with the Cisco Systems IP Communications Specialization in the United States. The designation recognizes Netarx for its knowledge and expertise in selling, designing, installing and supporting Cisco's Internet Protocol communications systems. More at www.netarx.com.
Aastrom sets new trial for growing bone on weakened spines: Ann Arbor-based Aastrom Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: ASTM) Wednesday announced it will initiate a human clinical trial for the evaluation of its Tissue Repair Cell product to form new bone tissue in the spine. The Phase I and II trial will be conducted under an Investigational New Drug application approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and initially conducted at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Aastrom's TRCs, a proprietary bone marrow-derived adult stem cell product, will be used in spinal fusions for treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis, which is  instability of the spinal bones caused by osteoarthritis. It's the second trial involving using TRCs to grow bone. Spinal fusion is a procedure in which new bone tissue is induced to fuse two or more vertebrae together to treat conditions such as fractures of the vertebrae, or ruptured or lost disks. Current therapy uses surgically transplanted bone tissue, as well as other artificial bone materials and bone growth factors, to induce the growth of new bone tissue. Aastrom proposes to use its TRCs in combination with a carrier matrix to induce sufficient bone growth to fuse or merge two vertebrae in the lower back, and potentially eliminate the requirement for other more invasive or less effective approaches. By stabilizing the spine, this procedure reduces debilitating back pain, and helps a patient regain more normal use of their legs. The primary purpose of this approved clinical trial is to confirm that Aastrom's TRC product, when used as a bone graft, is safe for spinal fusion surgery, and is able to generate new bone at the fusion site, based on defined radiographic and clinical data. More at www.aastrom.com.


Women's robotics tournament coming Saturday: Oakland Schools and Lawrence Technological University will host the fifth annual Oakland County Competitive Robotics Tournament for young women. On Saturday, Don Ridler Field House at LTU will host the all-female teams as they compete in this annual tournament. The event encourages young women to apply their knowledge of engineering and technology. The all-women teams come from 14 county schools and have worked toward this event from the beginning of the season. On Saturday they will face off in a competition requiring team strategies, alliances, and tactics for both the robot and the female drivers and players. The students who participate give high praise for the experience, as a way to gain practical insight and preparation for technical and engineering careers. The judges for the competition represent women engineers and designers from Southeast Michigan, including volunteers from DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors. The Society of Women Engineers also assists in providing women engineers to volunteer in helping coach the girls, assist in judging, and referee the games. Participating schools and school districts this year are Birmingham Marian, Hazel Park, Holly, International Academy, Lamphere, North Farmington, Notre Dame Prep, Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast, Pontiac Central, Pontiac Northern, Rochester Adams, Royal Oak, Walled Lake Northern and West Bloomfield. For additional information on the Women's Robotics Competition and the Gender Equity program, contact Marlana Krolicki at (248) 209-2025.
Donation supports Kettering's fuel cell work: Eaton Corp. has donated another $10,000 to Kettering University in Flint to continue Kettering's research into plant technology for fuel cell systems. Eaton has pledged $40,000 over four years to support Eaton's research initiative to develop efficient air management modules for fuel cell systems. Graduate students and Kettering faculty will work with Eaton's Automotive Advanced Product Development Division of in Kettering's Center for Fuel Cell Systems and Powertrain Integration (http://fuelcells.kettering.edu). The Center was established, in part, with a grant from the United States Economic Development Authority. Equipment purchased with EDA grant money will be used in the research project with Eaton. Eaton Corporation also supports Kettering through its Cooperative Education program by employing approximately 15 professional co-op students.
Con-Way named to top 100 list of IT innovators: Ann Arbor-based Con-Way Transportation Services Inc., a subsidiary of CNF Inc. (NYSE: CNF) said Wednesday it had been named by InfoWorld magazine to its list of 100 best companies for IT applications. The recognition was based on the company's integration of 14 separate systems into a single, new information portal that will be used by all of Con-Way's 440 less-than-truckload shipping centers in North America. The new portal will provide drivers, as well as sales, customer service and operations personnel, access to timely, accurate freight movement and status information that is critical to on-time delivery. The new application portal will also create an infrastructure to support hand-held technology and dock automation in the future. Border crossings between the United States and Canada will also be improved by the portal providing required Customs documentation electronically in advance of the tractor trailer's arrival at the crossing point. Tools used will include IBM Websphere and Tibco BusinessWorks, Adapters, EMS, Rendezvous and Tibco Business Events.
Proforma adds design chain, customer chain products: Southfield-based business process modeling software developers Proforma Corp., said Wednesday it had enhanced its portfolio of ProPath Reference Models with the addition of models for two critical process functions -- design chain and customer chain. Using the process framework metrics and best practices contained within these models, organizations can model, analyze and improve their processes faster, achieving competitive advantage. Based on published standards, industry expertise and practical experience, ProPath Reference Models serve as starting points for process initiatives. They allow users to review their process and systems easily, and then intelligently establish priorities. All the models are stored within a shareable repository in the ProVision enterprise modeling suite. "Design chain" refers to the processes surrounding product lifecycle management, while "customer chain" allows businesses to understand, communicate with and improve its relationships with its customers. More at www.proformacorp.com.
Client win for MessageWay: Livonia-based MessageWay Solutions Inc. Wednesday announced a distribution agreement with LogicaCMG, a London, England-based global IT and wireless services provider. The new agreement continues a longstanding relationship between the two companies, and makes LogicaCMG a global reseller of MessageWay's managed file transfer and business-to-business gateway technology. The reseller relationship will have particular emphasis on LogicaCMG's practice in banking and finance companies. LogicaCMG has 21,000 employees in 35 countries, including a large office in Southfield, the former Great Lakes Technologies Group. More at www.messageway.com or www.logicacmg.com.
Client win for Aqaba: Roseville-based Aqaba Global Search Engine Marketing Co. announced Wednesday that the Back to Motion Laser Wellness Center of Bloomfield Hills has selected Aqaba to develop a customized Web site. The laser center is a franchisee of Anne Penman Laser Therapy. The new Web site will inform visitors of laser therapy technologies that help people stop smoking, weight loss, stress relief and quick-recovery physical therapy. Aqaba will also conduct a search engine marketing campaign. More at www.aqaba-sem.com.
New Web site for KelseyPromo: Livonia-based KelseyPromo has launched a new Web site to promote giveaway memory sticks that can be printed with company logos and Web addresses. Featuring flash memory sticks, USB card drives, wireless presenters and more, the site, at http://memorystick.kelseypromo.com, allows customers to purchase directly online. The site was created in-house by KelseyPromo staff. 
Correction: Got the name wrong on an organization holding a holiday networking event Dec. 8. It's Help Desk Institute, not what I said yesterday that I hope you've already forgotten. Anyway, the event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at Shields', 25101 Telegraph in Southfield. More at www.hdimotown.com.
Diplomat-scholar to speak on 'human cost of free trade': Those with an interest in globalization and free trade -- which would mean just about everybody involved in IT -- might want to consider taking in a lecture at Wayne State University Dec. 7 at noon from Renald Clerisme, former Haitian ambassador to the World Trade Organization. The free event will be held in the Alumni Lounge. “While discussion of NAFTA, GATT and other treaties is widespread among politicians and business people, this is a rare opportunity to hear the views of a noted scholar, who has worked in the corridors of power as well as academe,” said Thomas Killion, chair of the department of anthropology in the Wayne State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Clerisme speaks as an expert on economics, trade and world affairs, but also as a humanist.” Clerisme served as ambassador and special Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a delegate to the General Assembly of the Complete Test Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, Austria in 2003. He was ambassador of Haiti to the WTO, the International Trade Center, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, Switzerland from 2001-2003. "My goal is to work continuously toward sustainable development in the spirit of conciliation and tolerance,” Clerisme said in a pre-speech statement. “The gap between industrialized members of the WTO and its small nations is wide.  Some consider the WTO’s promotion of globalization and free trade problematic, but I believe isolation is not an option.”
Gentex declares quarterly cash dividend: Gentex Corp. (Nasdaq: GNTX) , the Zeeland-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rear view mirrors and commercial fire protection products, Wednesday declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 9 cents per share of common stock, payable Jan. 20 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 6. The ex-dividend date is Jan. 4.
Fanuc Robotics moves to larger space in North Carolina: Rochester Hills-based Fanuc Robotics America Inc. said Wednesday that it had expanded its southeastern United States office with a move to a 22,000-square-foot "customer technology center" in Huntersville, N.C., near Charlotte. Fanuc first opened a North Carolina office in 1996. It sells robotics to the consumer goods, construction materials, automotive, food and beverage industries in the area. The new office has more space for customer training, application feasibility setup and demonstrations. More at www.fanucrobotics.com. Cathy Powell, 248-377-7570
Survey shows Americans want access to high-MPG vehicles sold in other countries: Most Americans now believe that they should be able to buy the dozens of fuel-efficient cars made by foreign and American auto manufacturers that are available for sale in other nations but not in the United States, according to a new Opinion Research Corp. national survey to be released today by 40mpg.org, a project of the Boston-based nonprofit Civil Society Institute. The 40mpg.org/CSI survey also will show that millions of Americans have been frustrated in their attempts to buy hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles due to lack of adequate supply of the vehicles in the U.S. Most survey respondents also rejected recent oil company denials before Congress about price gouging. On several fronts, Americans show signs of wanting more action on fuel conservation, including higher federal fuel efficiency requirements, and other steps to reduce global warming. More at www.40mpg.org.
A wild look at the future of tech:  The e-zine Salon.com has a fascinating look at the future of technology, from tech journalist and BoingBoing editor David Pescovitz. He paints a fascinating future of "robugs," swarms of tiny robotic insects that do a variety of useful tasks, creating life one "biobrick" at a time by hacking DNA, the future of the GeoWeb, infinitely customizable technology, "biology as art" genetic creativity, and most mind-blowingly of all, "desktop manufacturing," machines that manufacture consumer goods at your home the moment you order them. (Think an early version of the replicator from Star Trek.) The story is at www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2005/11/30/big_idea_tech_list/. You have to sit through a brief ad first to get to the story, but I found it worth it.
Microsoft testing classified ads: Newspaper publishers are about to confront yet another competitor for their dwindling classified advertising revenues. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is reported hoping soon to offer a preliminary version of an online classified service, code named "Fremont." That's a neighborhood in Seattle which hosts Sunday open air markets. "We realized the classified marketplace was really starting to heat up," Garry Wiseman, a product unit manager working on the project, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The service will be free to users, generating revenue for Microsoft through ads placed next to listings, the newspaper added. "Fremont" is expected to be a stand-alone service as well as available throughout MSN's either features such as Spaces Web logs and Messenger buddy lists. The online classifieds project is now being tested internally at Microsoft, the report said. It also appears a live beta test is underway. Click here to check it out.
BlackBerry maker urged to settle dispute: A federal judge moved a step closer Wednesday to reissuing an injunction that threatens BlackBerry e-mail service in this country, placing more pressure on the wireless device's maker, Research In Motion Ltd., to settle the patent case. The judge rejected RIM's bid to enforce a preliminary $450 million settlement reached earlier this year with NTP Inc., a small firm that has convinced a jury that BlackBerry infringes on its patents for wireless communication. In another blow to RIM, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer turned down the Canadian company's request to delay the case pending final word from the U.S. patent office, which has preliminarily rejected the patents at the heart of the lawsuit. With those issues out of the way, Spencer next plans to address damages and, once again, an injunction would force RIM to halt BlackBerry service in the United States. After a jury decided against RIM in 2002, Spencer held off on the injunction pending appeals. Analysts and industry observers say RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, will likely be forced to settle the lawsuit for as much as $1 billion. Still, some also say RIM's hands aren't completely tied; it's also somewhat unlikely NTP would want to force a shutdown, a scenario that could leave it with a smaller payoff. More.
Deadline for e-voting nears: Even in this election off-year, the potential perils of electronic voting systems are bedeviling state officials as a Jan. 1 deadline approaches for complying with standards for the machines' reliability. Across the country, officials are trying multiple methods to ensure that touch-screen voting machines can record and count votes without falling prey to software bugs, hackers, malicious insiders or other ills that beset computers. This isn't just theoretical — problems in some states already have led to lost or miscounted votes. One of the biggest concerns surrounding computerized ballots — their frequent inability to produce a written receipt of a vote — has been addressed or is being tackled in most states. More.
Grateful Dead angers fans over downloads: The Grateful Dead, the psychedelic jam band that toured for three decades, has angered some of its biggest fans by asking a nonprofit Web site to halt — at least temporarily — the free downloading of concert recordings. Representatives for the band earlier this month directed the Internet Archive, a site that catalogues content on Web sites, to stop making recordings of the group's concerts available for download, band spokesman Dennis McNally said Wednesday. Fans, who for decades have freely taped and traded the band's live performances, quickly initiated an online petition that argued the band shouldn't change the rules midway through the game. More.
Online sales strong to start holiday season: Free shipping and enticing discounts appeared to have paid off for online merchants, who enjoyed a robust Monday, the official start of the holiday shopping season for electronic retailers. According to ComScore Networks, non-travel spending rose 26 percent to $485 million on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Marketers have dubbed the day Cyber Monday as droves of consumers return to the office and use their high-speed Internet connections to click and shop. The holiday weekend, running from Friday through Sunday, was also strong, with shoppers spending $925 million on merchants' online sites, 26 percent more than the same period a year ago. The strong start to the holiday shopping season helped fuel a 24 percent increase in online spending since Nov. 1 to $7.93 billion, compared to $6.37 billion in the same year-ago period, according to ComScore. More.


Yahoo unveils RSS e-mail folder: Looking to gain another edge on its rivals, Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday will begin testing a new e-mail folder designed to make it easier for people to track the latest information posted on their favorite Web sites. The free feature relies on Really Simple Syndication, an increasingly popular technology that can compile content from a wide array of Web sites catering to a user's personal tastes. Millions of people have signed up to receive automatic feeds on everything from the international news to family recipes since Yahoo first began providing its RSS service last year, said Scott Gatz, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's senior director of personalization products. Until Wednesday, Yahoo relied on Web pages as its RSS hub. RSS feeds will still be accessible through Yahoo's Web site. More.
VeriSign, ICANN face antitrust suits: Companies that sell and broker Internet domain names have filed two lawsuits against VeriSign Inc. and its oversight agency, accusing them of price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices. The federal antitrust lawsuits are primarily over a proposed extension to a contract VeriSign has with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to run the main database for the ".com" suffix, the most popular online. The lawsuits were filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., as ICANN opened weeklong meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia, at which the contract and settlement proposals were to be major topics of discussion. John Jeffrey, ICANN's general counsel, called the lawsuits an attempt by special interests to hijack public debate. More.
Microsoft lets consumers try new security service: Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday started giving computer users the chance to test its new security service as the world's largest software maker took its biggest step yet into the lucrative consumer security market. The company is making its Windows OneCare Live service available for free in a "beta," or test version, to help it work out any potential problems before the product's likely introduction next year. The service, which offers anti-virus, firewall, backup and recovery, as well as personal computer maintenance, will eventually be available for a subscription fee, said Microsoft spokeswoman Samantha McManus. The company has not yet determined how much it will charge. More.
Intel in entertainment push: Intel Corp., the world's biggest chipmaker, on Wednesday said it is working with more than 40 companies to use its Viiv technology in home entertainment and consumer electronics. Intel is providing engineering support and other services to software developers and device makers as part of a strategy to develop the digital living room. The company said it plans to offer a "one-stop shop" for home entertainment, including movies, music, video games and home photos. The Viiv (which rhymes with "five") brand, which Intel announced in August, represents a new kind of personal computer aimed squarely at the digital living room, the company said. Viiv is a collection of its dual-core microprocessors, chipsets, software and networking capabilities. PCs based on Viiv will work with high-end monitors and a TV-like remote control, Intel has said. More.
Execs tell Reuters summit that mobile media will soon explode: The market for television and other media on mobile phones is poised for an explosion and could be a hot area for investment, advertising and media executives at the Reuters Advertising and Media Summit said on Wednesday. "If I had to make one prediction I would say that's going to explode, mobile media " said Charles Rutman, media buying agency MPG's chief executive for North America, adding that people are more dependent on their cell phones than ever before. "People are spending time with their mobile device. If you look at teenagers these damn things are surgically attached to their bodies," he added. MPG is a unit of France's Havas Advertising advertising holding company. Bain & Co. partner David Sanderson, head of the consulting firm's global media practice, said that emerging services such as mobile video could provide one of the strongest areas of growth for companies that create content. More.
Stocks: Technology stocks closed little changed in a seesaw session Wednesday that followed two straight days of losses, with semiconductor-related shares mostly gaining and shares of Research In Motion Ltd. sinking on an unfavorable legal ruling. The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPQ: News, chart, profile) closed barely changed, picking up 0.1 points to 2,233. Despite the unspectacular finish for the latest trading day, the key barometer of the sector's stocks finished the month higher by 5.3 percent. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index ($SOX: News, chart, profile) put on 5.9 points, or 1.2 percent,, to close at 481.6. The Dow Jones Internet Index (DJI_DJINET: News, chart, profile) was up 0.5 percent to 94.38. The Amex Pharmaceutical Index (DRG: News, chart, profile) slipped 0.7 percent, while the Amex Biotechnology Index (BTK: News, chart, profile) gained 0.7 percent to close at 673.39. The Nasdaq Telecommunications Index ($IXTC: News, chart, profile) dipped 0.84 point at 186.26, as the index's 20 largest stocks split between advancers and decliners. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU: News, chart, profile) ended just off its low for the session, down 82.29 points at 10,805.87. For November, the benchmark index gained 3.5 percent. The S&P 500 Index ($SPX: News, chart, profile) fell 8 points to 1,249.48. On the month, the broad gauge climbed 3.5 percent.
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