AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has replaced an original member of the Emerging Technology Fund’s advisory committee who was a subject last year of a Texas Rangers investigation into a stock deal with the tech fund’s former director.
Perry on Wednesday reappointed six members and released the names of four new appointees, with Austin businessman Robert S. Hicks taking the seat held by William E. Morrow on the 17-member panel. The committee makes recommendations to the governor, lieutenant governor and House Speaker on which start-up technology projects should be funded with taxpayers’ dollars.
Late last year, the governor’s office said it wanted Morrow to consider resigning in the wake of a Texas Rangers investigation into a stock deal with Alan Kirchhoff, who at the time was deputy director of the tech fund. Morrow told The Dallas Morning News that his Austin-based security company, CSIdentity Corp. issued shares to Kirchhoff in 2006 for work that Kirchhoff did in helping to form the firm.
The Travis County district attorney’s office had closed a criminal inquiry in September after concluding that “no criminal offense was committed over which our office has jurisdiction and venue.”
An aide to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who recommended the appointment of Morrow in 2005, repeated a statement made late last year that Morrow twice had asked to be replaced on the advisory committee. Dewhurst said he had promised Morrow in the spring of 2010 that he would find a replacement by the end of the year.
Neither Morrow nor the governor’s office on Wednesday responded to messages seeking comment.
Hicks is president of Austin-based Capstar Partners LLC, a private investment firm. Hicks declined comment on what he hopes to accomplish on the advisory committee. “I don’t know Bill Morrow. So no comment on that either,” Hicks said.
A Dewhurst spokesman said the lieutenant governor had recommended that Perry appoint Hicks.
Perry’s appointments come as House legislators weigh a proposed cut in funding for the tech fund, from $137.4 million in the current two-year budget to $21.3 million.
Like Bob Lutz, when Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne appears to speak, a crowd appears and people listen. This time he appeared with the EPA in Ann Arbor to announce a cooperative arrangement to adapt hydraulic hybrid technology for mini-vans.
At GM, tech put on front lines
Exec named to new post that aims to out-innovate rivals
Christina Rogers / The Detroit News
General Motors Co. rolled out a new executive post Thursday, naming Vice Chairman Thomas Stephens global chief technology officer, as the automaker seeks to speed up the development of game-changing technology and beat its rivals in delivering it to customers.
Stephens appointment, effective Feb. 1, moves him from his current job, leading GMs global product development a role he assumed in April 2009 after former product chief Bob Lutz retired.
Among the earnings stories for Wednesday, Jan. 19, from the Associated Press:
– Shares of MGIC Investment Corp. tumbled more than 20 percent after the private-mortgage insurer posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and said it cant predict when it will become profitable again.
– Hard disk drive maker Seagate Technology PLC posted a sharp decline in its fiscal second-quarter earnings as revenue dropped. Its shares fell after-hours trading.
– Amphenol Corp., which makes electrical cable and related equipment, said its fourth-quarter net income increased 50 percent, helped by increased demand in all segments.
Apple Inc. ranked last out of 29
global technology companies in terms of responsiveness and
transparency to health and environmental concerns in China,
according to a Beijing-based nonprofit group.
BT Group Plc and Hewlett-Packard Co. were among the highest
ranked companies, Ma Jun, director of the Institute of
Environmental and Public Affairs said in a phone interview
today. Apple refused to confirm suspected polluters were among
its suppliers and avoided taking responsibility for
environmental problems related to its products, he said.
“Apple has had an extensive supplier auditing program
since 2006 and we have lots of information available through our
website,” said Jill Tan, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for
Apple. Tan said she read the IPE report.
Among the examples cited in the report is Wintek Corp.
which in 2009 is alleged to have used poisonous chemicals in the
production of screens for Apple that resulted in workers being
hospitalized for nerve damage. In a regulatory filing in May,
Wintek said it stopped using the chemical, N-Hexane, and all
workers were getting adequate treatment. Apple has not
acknowledged Wintek as a supplier, Ma said.
All of the workers involved in that case have recovered
fully, said Jay Huang, a spokesman for Taichung, Taiwan-based
Wintek. He declined to say whether Apple is a current or past
customer. Apple’s Tan declined to say if Wintek is a supplier,
or comment on specific cases.
BT and HP ranked highly in IPE’s list of technology
companies because they have responded to environmental problems
and worked with suppliers to ensure better compliance, Ma said.
“We originally thought that Apple, as a corporate citizen,
would take a leadership role, but now we feel they ended up as
the most obstructive,” Ma said. IPE today released “The Other
Side of Apple” a report that outlines findings from a group of
36 non-governmental organizations into environmental and health
practices among technology companies.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Tim Culpan in Taipei at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media frenzy fixating on the controversial publications of Wikileaks and the scandals of forerunner Julian Assange has eclipsed focus on the mechanics of the unprecedented whistle-blowing outlet in recent news, leaving the public with a dim vision of how such a heavily opposed entity proceeds to exist.
Grinding on against an international army of governmental scrutiny, the operation continues to publish, begging the questions: How does it work and how is it still alive?
The strategy that has protected the Wikileaks phenomenon involves a complex machine of technological loopholes, alliances with nations supporting the free press and a well-maintained veil of secrecy shrouding the operation’s sources, staff and technicalities.
Wikileaks launched in October 2006, calling itself “an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking.” It has since published a steady feed of secret documents from around the world, illuminating the darker realms of a variety of issues, political and otherwise.
Wikileaks is a nonprofit entity funded by donors and sustained through a network of activists and volunteers. The tightly knit operation currently has no official headquarters and is staffed by a five-person team of full-time administrators along with more than 800 volunteer journalists, who aren’t financially compensated.
The name “Wikileaks” took root when the operation began as a wiki-based organization that allowed users to edit information and submit comments. “Wiki” is not a brand name, and the relationship between Wikileaks and Wikipedia exists only in popular confusion.
Though Wikileaks remains the organization’s title, the interactive international forum for the free press has since abandoned its wiki-based format. Bombarded with scrutiny for publishing documents and analysis with a dangerously indiscriminant lack of censorship, Wikileaks adopted an editorial policy that accepted only documents of “political, diplomatic, historical or ethical interest.”
Submissions have since been filtered and redacted by a review board of volunteers to meet these criteria, and the site no longer accepts posts, comments or editing from the readership.
These modifications have coincided with a series of denial-of-service attacks from US-based hackers, forcing the operation to desert its original server and wikileaks.org domain name. After its severance from several Domain Name System providers following the initial attacks, a plethora of mirror sites made content readily available to any viewer, though submissions are temporarily not open.
To further combat censorship and ensure accessibility, Wikileaks has released a complete collection of its content to four news organizations: Le Monde, El Pais, The Guardian and Der Spiegel.
Wikileaks shields itself with a degree of legal protection by keeping servers on multiple continents and passing its content through free press nations such as Sweden, Belgium and Iceland.
“We use this state-of-the-art encryption to bounce stuff around the internet to hide trails — pass it through legal jurisdictions like Sweden and Belgium to enact those legal protections,” Assange said in an interview at the TED Global 2010 conference.
Assange also told Swiss public television TSR he is strongly considering moving the entire Wikileaks operation to Switzerland, as the neutral territory offers considerable legal protection.
The organization acquires its content by accepting classified media leaked from journalists and whistle-blowers around the globe. Sources have been able to securely submit documents through the site’s electronic drop box, which Wikileaks claimed is “currently closed for reengineering security and useablilty purposes.”
To protect its sources, Wikileaks uses military-grade encryption and employs a variety of security technologies designed to uphold anonymity. The source’s identities are anonymous even to the operators of Wikileaks.
The site’s viewers have also remained anonymous, according to public knowledge, though in recent weeks the US government has demanded detailed personal information for anyone associated with Wikileaks on Twitter. This means if a person has “tweeted” about Wikileaks, they are likely being placed on a watch list complete with their address, usernames, telephone numbers, and payment information.
To further secure the continued accessibility of its content, Wikileaks has also released a heavily encrypted “insurance” file to its Afghanistan War Logs site and a select torrent site. The file, speculated to contain many unpublished controversial diplomatic cables and political documents, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times according to Wikileaks.
Assange has announced the password to the file will be released in the event that Wikileaks ceases to function as an organization, further complicating all efforts aimed at shutting the organization down.
After news that Apple may have invested $3.9 billion over the next two years in a strategic supply component(s) that may be related to the companys high resolution displays, Samsung has confirmed that it has acquired Dutch-based Liquavista, which would further the companys role in producing various types of screen displays. The financial terms of the acquisition has not been disclosed.
Liquavistas electrowetting technology could help Samsung build better displays that offer enhanced outdoors visibility, like e-ink, and also save on power consumption while delivering faster refresh rates. Essentially, the electrowetting technology could be applied to Samsungs LCD panel manufacturing process to give the resulting display the benefits of both LCD and e-ink displays.
The company says that applying electrowetting to its LCD process can give twice the light transmittance of traditional LCDs while consuming a tenth of the power. Additionally, when compared to traditional e-ink displays, the electrowetted pannels offer 70 times the refresh rate.
In a statement, Samsung says As electrowetting can be manufactured by modifying LCD production lines, Samsung will be able to realise significant synergies through the utilisation of existing manufacturing equipment and capabilities.
Samsung hasnt revealed when consumer products would begin to ship with the new display, but industry analysts believe that the new displays should hit PMPs, smartphones, and tablets. Also, Samsung wasnt clear whether the company will reserve the display technologymuch like Super AMOLEDfor its own products or whether it would transition from Super AMOLED products to the new display technology.
The process can present a challenge to other technologies, such as e-ink displays and Qualcomms Mirasol display.
Filed Under: Mobile
Tags: Dis.Play, electrowetting, LCD, Samsung
Standing by his three pillars of education reform,
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna asserted Monday that
technology, rather than textbooks, will be the future face of the
educational experience in Idaho.
Those pillars – the 21st Century Classroom, Great Teachers and
Leaders and Transparent Accountability – support Lunas concept of
a five-year strategy of creating a customer-driven education system
he calls Students Come First.
Echometrix has been awarded a $148,482 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and test proprietary software for improved diagnosis and management of tendon and ligament injuries.
The phase I grant, awarded as part of the federal Small Business Innovation Research program, supports creation of software technology to evaluate dynamic ultrasound images for a more accurate assessment of the functional status of soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments. Currently, radiologists diagnose most musculoskeletal diseases or injuries by observing MRI images.
This grant will allow us to make a significant leap forward in the objective and low-cost measurement of the healing process, said Sam Adams, chief executive officer of Echometrix. The technology we are developing will use dynamic image analysis of captured ultrasound signals from tendons and ligaments. The results will be presented in a clear, easy-to-interpret display that enables evaluation of the functional properties of the affected tissues.
Adams said the technology will address a growing need for low-cost methods to improve the initial diagnosis of strains, sprains and partial tears, which together account for 38% of the 16 million musculoskeletal treatment episodes annually.
The technology behind EchoSoft applies the theory of acoustoelasticity to measure biological materials and was developed by Kobayashi and Ray Vanderby, a professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at UWMadisons School of Medicine and Public Health. The technology is assigned to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and licensed exclusively to Echometrix.
Potential applications for EchoSoft and the dynamic image technology include arthritis evaluation, sports medicine, workplace rehabilitation and military use.
Eurotech, Cisco Sign Solution Technology Integration Accord
December 13, 2010, 4:17 AM EST
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By Chiara Remondini
Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) — Eurotech SpA, an Italian maker of miniature and rugged computers, said it signed an accord with Cisco Systems Inc. that will allow it to add products by the the largest maker of networking equipment to its next-generation solutions.
Under the agreement, Eurotech will create “competitive solutions for the transportation market,” the Amaro, Italy- based company said in a statement today. “As a member of the Cisco Solution Technology Integrator program, we can offer Eurotech customers a superior product,” it said.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chiara Remondini at email@example.com
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