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Western nations have agreed to end COCOM, a mechanism limiting transfer of technology to the former communist bloc. [SJM, 11/17/93.] (Clinton has approved sale of a Cray to China.)

DOD is looking for ways to stimulate commercial use of Ada. Less than 20% of new Pentagon software is being written in Ada. The agency would like to use commercial code libraries and tools to cut its $25B/year software budget. [Neil Munro, Defense News, 10/25/93.] (The ultimate victory of C/C++ seems more likely, but there are contracts to be won in satisfying the Pentagon's needs.)

"ENEMY WANTED: Mature, North American superpower seeks hostile nation for arms racing, third world conflicts, and general antagonism. Must be sufficiently menacing to convince Congress to fund us. Nuclear capability preferred, near-nuclear considered. Earth, anywhere. Send note and picture of tank battalions to General C. Powell, The Pentagon, Washington, DC, USA." -- From a bulletin board at a major defense research institution. [Jordin Kare ([email protected]), r.h.f, 10/11/93.]

Clinton's Technology Reinvestment Program (TRP) is offering $472M in matching funds to help defense companies move into commercial markets. Venture capitalists say this is the same trough the companies have been feeding from: you run the risk of supporting uncompetitive projects. Lower capital gains taxes and higher investment tax credits would be of more use. Contractors say that private investment money is scarce for defense companies, and that cost sharing forces companies toward viable markets. [Debra Polsky Werner, Defense News, 11/8/93.]

This year's academic pork has been taken from the Defense Appropriations Bill. The House met half an hour early to pass the $240B bill by voice vote. George Brown (D-CA) says that earmarks in the RDT&E section alone exceed $2B, including $221M in the Technology Reinvestment Project. [Francis Slakey ([email protected]), WHAT'S NEW, 11/19/93.]

Two recent bills have tried to reduce university overhead charges to pay for law enforcement or other federal spending. [Francis Slakey ([email protected]), WHAT'S NEW, 11/19/93.]

Japan's Institute of Supercomputing Research has been reborn. It was part of the Recruit company, which changed its Tokyo HPC research lab to a multimedia development center. Director Raul Mendez (+81 3 3423-0979 Fax) has re-created the lab as International Systems Research (ISR), a private organization. Initial activities will concern system integration and user help rather than research. [David K. Kahaner (kahaner, kahaner-dist, 9/8/93. Steve Goldstein.] (Kahaner's files are full of detail, resisting summarization for the Communique. Contact him directly or read the comp.japan.research newsgroup to keep up with computer-related research in the Orient.)

Switzerland has a new supercomputing center, CSCS. [HPCwire, 11/5/93.]

The US Patent Office wants to buy a massively parallel system for retrieving patent records. The PTO might serve as a beta site for the CIA, NRC, Library of Congress, and private legal firms. [CW, 11/1/93. Tim Finin.]