B>8(a) Group Pursues options to Save Programs
The National Federation of 8(a) Companies has assembled an industry working group to help stem the legal dismemberment of the 8(a) program. Two general options are available, said Fernando Galaviz, vice chairman of the federation: help redefine who is disadvantaged enough to get federal aid; or help redesign the entire program.
But the working group hasn't decided what option to support, said Galaviz, based at The Centech Group Inc., Arlington, Va. The group is scheduled to report to Congress and the White House by Oct. 12, he said.
Lockheed Martin on Top
Lockheed Martin Corp. pulls in more Pentagon R&D dollars -- $4.46 billion -- than its five closest competitors, according to a list of the Pentagon's top 500 R&D contractors.
Trailing behind the now-merged pair of Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp. were McDonnell Douglas Corp. ($1.74 billion), Northrop Grumman Corp. ($935 million), Textron Inc. ($730 million), Raytheon Co. ($534 million) and General Electric Co. ($525 million). Raytheon should jump a rank or two next year with the purchase of E-Systems, which was ranked No. 32 with $105 million in R&D
Let Them Eat Stock
Highly paid corporate executives should have their salaries replaced by company stock, concluded a commission created by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Companies that pay their directors with stock -- whose value is tied to company performance -- earn more than companies run by top officials on a steady salary, said the report. The commission has no legal or regulatory authority, only the power of its influence over the nation's stockholders.
Democrats and Republicans are racing each other in cyberspace, although they seem to be going in different directions. The Democrats are proliferating World Wide Web pages that advertise the words and wisdom of their top politicians -- such as Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. To prove that they are ahead, Democrat leaders say 22 Democratic politicians have put themselves on the Web pages, compared with only four Republican politicians.
In contrast, the Republicans have put their efforts into the creation of Town Hall, an electronic gabfest where like-minded Republicans can share ideas, plot strategy and coordinate political activity. The Town Hall system is managed by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, and has support from a wide range of top GOP leaders and publications. Town Hall can be found at http://www.townhall.com
A TV In Every Car
We've got car stereos, phones, faxes and plug-in laptops, and now DirecTV Inc. is offering satellite TV to the owners of large recreational vehicles.
The 150-channel system and its 18-inch antenna is being marketed to the nation's 1.3 million RV enthusiasts by Affinity Group Inc., based in Los Angeles, according to a DirecTV press release. However, the system works only when the antenna is pointed south toward the TV satellites, hindering its use while driving downtown. Perhaps there's a company out there who can develop a phased-array antenna that would permit TV reception even while driving around Brooklyn.
Taking a big leap into the Pacific, Microsoft Corp. has inked a deal with the Australian telecom firm of Telstra Corp. Ltd. to market Microsoft's online network.
The joint firm, On Australia Pty. Ltd., will sell the services, but they will be operated only by Microsoft for the first 15 months, according to a Telstra report. The business should help Microsoft expand its online network into the Pacific Rim.
Client/Server to Double by 1997, Says Survey
Client/server computing will double its workload by 1997, according to a study by the Newton, Mass.-based Business Research Group. The report, "Client/Server Buying Power: Buying Trends for Software, Networks & Services," is based on a survey of 150 managers, who said they expect client/server processing power to comprise 62 percent of computer power by 1997, up from 32 percent now.
Backhanded Support For TRP
The Pentagon's Technology Reinvestment Program is helping defense companies migrate into the commercial sector, despite its over-emphasis on Cold War defense technology, according to a report released by the Washington-based National Commission for Economic Conversion & Disarmament.
"[About] 80 percent of the TRP [programs] fit the DoD's own list of important technology... [so] we do not find support for the Republicans' criticism" that the program is not meeting military needs, said Christine Evans-Klock, the commission's chief economist.
EIA's Five-Year infotech forecast
(In billions of 1995 dollars)
Spending on infotech procurement and services by civil agencies is expected to slide 1.1 percent a year, while steep declines in Pentagon infotech spending are expected to slow to -0.9 percent a year, according to the annual spending forecast released by the Washington-based Electronic Industries Association. But the forecast does not include IT spending from the Pentagon's poorly tracked operations and maintenance accounts, which could add up to $9 billion in yearly IT spending, said EIA officials. Also, new efforts by the Pentagon to monitor and count IT spending could add hundreds of millions of dollars spent on office and battlefield IT.
"If the B-2 is invisible, just announce you've built 100 of them and don't build them!"
-- B-2 critic John Kasich,
chairman of the House Budget Committee