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CYBERCASH LAUNCHES ELECTRONIC NEWSSTAND

CyberCash, Reston, Va., has opened Digital NewsStand, a service where Internet users pay small amounts of money to read individual news articles. Publishers participating in this micropayment service include Barron's Online, American Banker Online, Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg L.P.

The newsstand uses CyberCash's CyberCoin technology, which allows secure electronic transactions from 25 cents to $10. Profits will be spread among CyberCash, the publisher and the Internet search service used. The service will allow users to buy one issue or one article without having to pay for a whole subscription.

Separately, CyberCash said it lost $8.1 million during the fourth quarter of 1996, compared with a loss of $3.8 million in the same quarter in 1995.

MCI BUILDS A BRIDGE

MCI Communications Corp., Washington, D.C., announced its plan for "Internet 2000," a new architecture that connects and combines traditional telephone networks with data packet-switched networks like the Internet. The concept is known as "network bridging."

The new technology, which MCI calls "Vault," is expected to help MCI reach $2 billion in Internet revenues by 2000.

Instead of using two separate lines for voice and Internet connection, the Vault system would convert all communications traffic to Internet Protocol packets to be sent over MCI's Internet backbone.

CYBEREXECUTIVES WILL FIND WORK IN '97

There will be more than 186,000 new Internet jobs in the United States in 1997, according to Christian & Timbers, an executive search firm in Cleveland. The firm found that over half of the 4,690 Internet companies that currently exist were started in 1996. So about 2,000 companies will continue to fill positions through the coming year.

Established Internet companies are moving into their second phase of development, the firm said. That means the founding CEOs will be moving into chairman roles and will be replaced by seasoned managers.

Many established, technology-based companies like Microsoft will be starting new Internet divisions, and established Fortune 1000 companies will continue to hire managers to set up their own Internet businesses, predicted Christian & Timbers.

ORDERS PICK UP AT ORBITAL

Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Va., announced a record $1 billion in new orders for its space and ground infrastructure systems product lines in 1996. Orbital's Magellan subsidiary also set a sales record, selling 300,000 mobile satellite access products including GPS navigation devices, a 65 percent increase over 1995.

VIRGINIA EXECS GET HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

Attendees of the first-ever Virginia Technology Summit must draft a blueprint for Virginia's growth by May.

The assignment came last week when 250 high-tech executives, educators and economic developers got together in Norfolk, Va., for the summit, organized by the Center for Innovative Technology, Herndon, Va.

Participants included Dan Bannister from DynCorp, Alan Merten from George Mason University, Tom Hewitt from Federal Sources and James Lafond from Coopers & Lybrand.

Attendees will present their plans at the second Virginia Technology Summit, scheduled for May in Richmond.

MICROAGE GOES AFTER GOVERNMENT MARKET

MicroAge Computer Centers, Tempe, Ariz., will launch a new government initiative called MicroAge Government Services at its Feb. 18 InfoTour in San Francisco, company officials say.

MGS will leverage MicroAge's configuration abilities and strong supplier sourcing relationships in an effort to support government resellers and systems integrators.

The company recently profiled its reseller network and found that 80 percent of the locations are involved in some segment of the government market.

Lockheed Spins Off 10 Units

Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., is shedding 10 non-core business units that include pieces it acquired when it bought Loral, New York.

Lockheed Martin will retain about 35 percent interest in the new company, which will be called L3 Communications. Frank Lanza, former Loral chief operating officer, will lead the management team.

The management team will own about 15 percent, and Lehman Brothers Capital Partners, New York, will own 50 percent of the company.

Spun off from Lockheed Martin are Wideband Systems, Salt Lake City; Communications Systems, Camden, N.J.; and eight smaller companies that made up Lockheed Martin Products Group.

The severed units have about 4,900 employees and about $650 million in revenues.

INFOTECH SERVICES COMPANIES OUTRUN S&P 500

Infotech services companies showed strong stock performance in 1996, according to a recent Ferris Baker Watts report. Commercial IT services companies that the Baltimore-based investment banking firm follow were up 90 percent after an 80 percent gain in 1995. Government IT services companies were up 77 percent after gaining 45 percent in 1995. The S&P 500 climbed a mere 20 percent in 1996 and 34 percent in 1995.

McCAIN WANTS TO SELL OFF TV CHANNELS

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has introduced a bill that would peel off 10 of the least valuable TV channels from the politically powerful TV industry and then divide the spoils between Congress and the states. As chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, McCain is in a position to push his bill past the heavyweight lobbyists from the Washington-based National Association of Broadcasters.

Four of the 10 channels - numbered 60 to 69 - would be given to the states to help create a nationwide telecommunications network for police, fire and ambulance units. Excess bandwidth capacity could be sold off by state officials.

The remaining six channels would be sold off to the highest bidder, generating up to $7.5 billion for the feds. Of this total, up to $750 million would go back to the states for the purchase of public safety telecommunications gear.

Knight Ridder photo


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