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News 01-29-2002

UCLA, HP Team Gets Key Molecular Chip Patent

UCLA and Hewlett-Packard Co. said they have received a patent for technology that could make it possible to build very complex logic chips at the molecular scale. The research collaboration is pursuing molecular electronics as a technology that could augment silicon-based integrated circuits within the decade and eventually replace them. Most experts believe silicon technology will reach its physical and economic limits by about 2012. Today's chip manufacturing process involves multiple, expensive precision steps to create the complex patterns of wires that define the computer circuit. The HP and UCLA invention proposes the use of a simple grid of wires -- each wire just a few atoms wide -- connected by electronic switches a single molecule thick.

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Firm Adapts University Content for Corporations

E-learning company Cenquest signed deals with IBM and Microsoft to develop online university-based education programs for their employees. In each case, Cenquest is working with an established university to augment a degree program's curriculum with company-specific content. IBM staff can earn a master's degree in technology commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin; Microsoft employees are participating in accredited technology management courses from Oregon Health & Science University. Cenquest said the programs will allow corporations to gain unprecedented control over their investment dollars currently spent in tuition-reimbursed education programs.

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Cornell to Use Sallie Mae's e-Commerce Suite

Cornell University said it would use the Net Pay e-commerce product suite from Sallie Mae, including its Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) system, Electronic Payment Gateway, Advance Payment System, and Statement Processing. The systems are designed to streamline transactions between students, parents, alumni and the institution. Peter Olcott, Cornell's bursar, said, "our students increasingly insist on electronic payment options." The Net Pay system enables students and parents to receive and pay their tuition, telephone, housing and other bills on-line and in real time.

San Diego State Picks Voice Recognition System

San Diego State University and California National University of San Diego have installed the IntelliSpeech speech recognition application from System Development Company, Inc., a supplier of PC-based attendant consoles and directory systems. The software provides a telephone directory database accessible via the spoken word. Callers can say the name of the person they wish to speak with, have access to multiple end-points for connectivity -- including pagers and cell phones -- and use a "barge in" feature allowing users to connect to the person they wish to speak with rather than listening to lengthy welcome messages.

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e-Learning Firm Readies Section 508 Compliance

e-Learning software developer SmartForce said 5,000 hours of its e-learning content conforms with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 requires government agencies to ensure its employees and other people with disabilities have equal access to IT services. The company has worked with Octavia Corp. since last June to make its content and "learning paths" accessible using screen readers and other assistive technologies. The partnership will yield other accessibility approaches, including accessibility reviews, consulting, training, and legacy content conversion and remediation, the companies said.

Palm Forms OS Unit; 20 Million Devics Sold

Palm, Inc. has formed a Palm OS subsidiary, separating the company's device and operating system businesses. Under the new structure, Palm will license the Palm operating system as the foundation for its handhelds. Several leading handheld computer makers, including Acer, HandEra, Handspring, Kyocera, Palm, Samsung, and Sony, have licensed the operating system for their devices. The company also announced that it had sold 20 million Palm units.

United Negro College Tech Fund Raises $86 Million

The United Negro College Fund said it raised over $86 million to provide access to computers and technology at 39 UNCF member institutions and historically black colleges. UNCF president and CEO William H. Gray said the fund would help "ensure that all students and faculty at historically black colleges and universities are prepared for the globally competitive economy of the 21st century and have access to computers and technology." The organization also said its members can purchases computers at steep discounts via the UNCF Web site.

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Truck Maker Gives $250,000 For West Point Lab

Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc., a Houston maker of military vehicles, donated $250,000 to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to start an Acquisition Management and System Design Laboratory in the Department of Systems Engineering. The lab will be the focus for teaching facility design and production management. Lab tools will enable cadets to develop case studies and analyze the integration of technologies into existing and future combat systems. Stewart & Stevenson has made the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) for the U.S. military since 1991.

3D Browser Lets Users See Web Content History

A software developer released a what it calls a three-dimensional Internet browser that enables users to view up to 16 web pages at a time and view the back-history of the pages visually. The Browse3D browser from Chantilly, Va.-based Browse3D Corp., would also let users save pages by making them "sticky" to create "rooms of current research" and save those rooms into single compact files. Bert Biles, who serves as a ''technology scout'' for Kansas State University, called the browser "a real break-through product … the ability to capture and save selected Web pages, groups of Web pages, and complete visual navigational paths through the Internet helps make searches more effective and provides a valuable tool for organizing and sharing Internet-based research."

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Gratz College Announces Online Courses

Gratz College, the oldest independent college of Jewish studies in the western hemisphere, has announced registration for five online course for the spring 2002 academic term. Interested students can take the courses for credit toward a Gratz College credential, undergraduate or graduate transfer credit, or for general study. Each course will be taught by a Gratz College professor and will meet in real-time, weekly, in the evening. Students must be available at class times and have access to a computer with speakers.

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