close this bookVolume 3: No. 31
View the documentDefense conversion
View the documentGovernment and business news
View the documentApple news
View the documentJob opportunities
View the documentDiscussion lists
View the documentInternet resources
View the documentSpeech technology and the handicapped
View the documentRobotics and cybernetics
View the documentClassification and decision theory
View the documentComputists' news

The House of Representatives passed the National Information Infrastructure Act of 1993 on 7/26, 326 to 61. The House version includes funding for libraries, local governments, schools and health care providers. [Juan Antonio Osuna ([email protected]), CRA Bulletin, 7/30/93. Tim Finin.]

Federal grant opportunities are often listed on (for FTP?) and on gopher servers at UMinnesota and at UC Davis. Postdocs and fellowships may also be listed. NSF maintains its own STIS server for announcements. [Mary Pettengill ([email protected]), sci.research, 7/29.]

The Eureka program was created in 1985 to foster European pre-competitive cooperation in computers and informatics (16%), communications (4%), robotics, biotechnology, and other fields. An average project involves five partners in three nations, with governments providing 35% of the R&D funding. 47 projects have been abandoned, 100 have been completed, and 650 are ongoing. 80 patents and 12 new companies have resulted. The program is still looking for ways to involve small and medium-sized companies. [Supplement to LA RECHERCHE, 7-8/93. Flash Information, 7/28/93. Steve Goldstein.]

UPenn economist Edwin Mansfield says that academic research leads to a 28% return on investment through industrial innovation. A recent CBO study also reports that the historical return is very high, but cautions that additional research dollars may or may not have the same effect. Large programs such as the space shuttle have a low or negative return. [Robert L. Park ([email protected]), WHAT'S NEW, 7/30/93.]

Cognitive Systems (Boston) has won a contract from Sherson- Lehman to use CBR for stock market analysis. Ms. Tahni Adams, (617) 742-7227, might have info. [Scott Bayless ([email protected]),, 7/7/93.]

The Learning Company (Fremont, CA) has acquired HyperGlot Software Co. Inc. (Knoxville, TN), a developer of software for learning foreign languages. [SJM, 7/22/93.] (Perhaps HyperGlot now has the cash to hire more developers.)

Atari is having problems. A federal court jury has ruled that Atari infringed Nintendo's lock-out chip patent when it used "improperly obtained" code from federal copyright archives to engineer around the lock-out. This ruling will help Nintendo control the developer community for game cartridges. [Mike Langberg, SJM, 7/30/93.]

Microsoft revenues were a record $1B last quarter, but the stock fell $5 on the news that only two of next year's quarters are likely to reach that mark. Bill Gates' worth fell by about $600M. [SJM, 7/30 and 8/2.]

Harvey Mackay quips that an entrepreneur is "someone who takes a prospective hire out into the country to a hill overlooking a great estate; points to the mansion, the swimming pool, the stables, the tennis courts; and says: 'If you come with me and work your butt off, someday all this will be mine.'" [Inc., 8/93, p. 12.]

Convex Computer Corp. is laying off 185 employees -- 16% of its work force. IBM is laying off 35,000. [HPCwire, 7/30/93.]

Times (and profit margins) are changing. The new Wall Street wisdom is that research is a bad investment. Apple can't compete if it continues to spend $2M/day on R&D. IBM is down to $4B/year in high-tech R&D (from $5B), which is still too much considering the lack of demonstrated payoff. Microsoft spends just $400M/year on operating system development, and does very well by it. (Microsoft does little innovative research, preferring to copy or license outside breakthroughs.) Intel does little research but lots of development. Clone computer makers and systems integration houses make money without doing R&D. Industry needs continuing cost reduction and ease-of-use development, but is seeing no profit from advanced "feature" research. The next round of breakthrough innovations must come from "techno-entrepreneurs." [Michael Schrage, SJM, 8/2/93.] (Or from graduate schools. Opportunities never die, they just move around.)