B>O.J. Tech News
It had to happen; CNN has electronically recruited a TV jury for its O.J. Simpson coverage. A teleconferencing hookup provides CNN's "TalkBack Live" program an audience of Marsha Clark or Johnny Cochran wanna-bes at the American University Law School, based in Washington. With universal access, maybe everyone will get their 15 minutes on CNN's electronic-jury.
A camera small enough to fit on a computer chip has been developed by Marshall Electronics Inc., based in Culver City, Calif. The Digital Video camera chip has a lens only 4.3 millimeter wide and can be used in robots, video phones, pattern recognition -- and maybe also to keep an eye on those sneaky Clipper chips and erratic Pentium chips.
Telecom Market Accelerates
The market for telecom equipment is growing at 15 percent per year, according to a study prepared by the Washington-based North American Telecommunications Association. Fueled by Internet-envy, data communications grew at 17.6 percent, while software for computer-telephone integration grew 19 percent, boosting the market to $63 billion. In 1990, the market stood at $44.8 billion.
A computer processor developed by the National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md., to help crack Soviet encryption techniques is being adapted for the commercial marketplace by National Semiconductor Corp.
The Processor-In-Memory technology combines computer processors and memory on the same chip to boost computer speeds. National Semiconductor will manufacture the chip, which will be used in Cray Computer Corp.'s Cray-3/Super Scalable System. This is the first success in the agency's new technology transfer program.
Science Department Bill Being Drafted
Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Walker, chairman of the House Science Committee, has begun drafting the bill needed to create his proposed Department of Science.
The mega-department, suggested by Walker in 1993 and 1994, would combine technology programs now at the Energy and Commerce departments. The new department may also gobble up NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Creation of the new agency might satisfy the Republicans' urge to kill
off a department or two, but could
also lump a variety of programs
under a large, inefficient agency, say critics.
BDM Reaches All-Time High
BDM International Inc. showed record revenues of $774.2 million last year, a 39 percent increase from 1993. Net income increased 19 percent to $13.1 million, and earnings per share went up 30 percent to $1.20.
Company President and CEO Philip Odeen attributed the difference in percentage increases to BDM investments to diversify its markets beyond the Defense Department and the acquisition of its German subsidiary. BDM consolidates 100 percent of the subsidiary's revenues but recognizes only 45 percent of its net income.
With an all-time contract backlog of $1.5 billion, the company in 1994 won three state government contracts totaling $100 million, posted $85 million worth of services against a defense integration contract and acquired an environmental services company. BDM, based in McLean, Va., also bought back 2.6 million shares of common stock at $14 per share.
are Scaling Up, But So Is
Export of U.S.-made electronics broke the $100 billion barrier in 1994, according to data
collated by the Washington-based Electronic Industries Association. But U.S. manufacturers can't relax --
imports of foreign make rose at the same rate to break the $121 billion barrier.
Another Application for Computer Potatoes
Explore the ancient meteor-damaged deserts, windswept chasms and dusty channels of Mars without moving from your personal computer. Over 200 megabytes of clear digital images of the Martian surface sent to Earth by NASA's Viking spacecraft have been pieced together into a CD ROM being offered by San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Virtual Realities Laboratories Inc.
In addition to "Mars Explorer," the small software firm also has a "Venus Explorer" CD-ROM, a "Distant Suns" version that identifies 16 million stars, and now a "Vistapro for Windows" CD-ROM that uses U.S. Geological Survey Data and NASA shots to create real views, imaginary images or landscapes that are a little of both.