Cray doubles manufacturing capacity

Cray Inc. has doubled down on Chippewa Falls, and a tangible sign of that is now on display just off Seymour Cray Sr. Boulevard.

That’s where a Cray sign in front of a building at 1955 Olson Drive signifies the company’s new supercomputer manufacturing facility, just a couple of miles away from its original one at 1050 Lowater Rd.

Recent upgrades at that primary manufacturing site, coupled with the new facility here, have essentially doubled Cray’s manufacturing capacity to approximately 213,000 square feet.

The move assures that Cray’s supercomputers will be made for years to come in the city where Seymour Cray launched the company back in 1972.

“For more than 40 years now, we have enjoyed a proud and storied history with Chippewa Falls, and the opening of our new manufacturing facility affirms our commitment to building our supercomputers in a town that is synonymous with Cray,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray.

“I am pleased our new facility is now up and running, and producing Cray supercomputers that are proudly made in Chippewa Falls.”

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Two local tech start-ups win grants for super-computer program

Peter Qian has come up with a way to get new industrial products on the market a lot faster.

Dennis Bahr is working on a neutron camera that will do a better job checking manufactured equipment for flaws and screening items for explosives.

The two Madison-area men and the young companies they have started were among six named last week to receive Computational Science Challenge Grants to work with Milwaukee Institute, a nonprofit computational research center founded in 2007.

This is the first year for the contest, with a $250,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and a matching grant for $250,000 worth of support services funded by Milwaukee private equity firm Mason Wells.

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Who Really Invented the Internet?

By L. GORDON CROVITZ

Contrary to legend, it wasn't the federal government, and the Internet had nothing to do with maintaining communications during a war.

A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet."

It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet. The myth is that the Pentagon created the Internet to keep its communications lines up even in a nuclear strike. The truth is a more interesting story about how innovation happens—and about how hard it is to build successful technology companies even once the government gets out of the way.

For many technologists, the idea of the Internet traces to Vannevar Bush, the presidential science adviser during World War II who oversaw the development of radar and the Manhattan Project. In a 1946 article in The Atlantic titled "As We May Think," Bush defined an ambitious peacetime goal for technologists: Build what he called a "memex" through which "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified."

That fired imaginations, and by the 1960s technologists were trying to connect separate physical communications networks into one global network—a "world-wide web." The federal government was involved, modestly, via the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Its goal was not maintaining communications during a nuclear attack, and it didn't build the Internet. Robert Taylor, who ran the ARPA program in the 1960s, sent an email to fellow technologists in 2004 setting the record straight: "The creation of the Arpanet was not motivated by considerations of war. The Arpanet was not an Internet. An Internet is a connection between two or more computer networks."

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A response piece from the LA Times.


Tech trend brings growth for start-up

By Guy Boulton of the Journal Sentinel

When Jim Prekop joined TeraMedica Healthcare Technology as president and CEO in 2005, the Wauwatosa company's investors asked him first to determine whether closing the start-up would be the best course.

The company opted to push ahead, and its investors now may be rewarded for their patience as the market recognizes the need for TeraMedica's software.

TeraMedica sells software for managing the millions of diagnostic images stored throughout health care systems.

The size and number of those images - digital X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, mammograms, ultrasounds - have grown exponentially with advances in technology.

They typically are stored on different systems in various departments and locations throughout a health care system. Yet they need to be accessible through the electronic health records now taking hold throughout health care.

TeraMedica's software enables those images to be stored and managed - more efficiently and for less money - from one central repository. That repository, in turn, can be linked to an electronic health record.

The company, founded in 2001, knew that image storage would become a headache at some point for health systems. But it acknowledges that it was a bit ahead of the market.

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Madison tech company raises $20 million in venture capital

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

In what may be one of the biggest non-biotech venture capital fundings ever in Wisconsin, Networked Insights said Thursday it has raised $20 million.

The Madison company raised the money in a round led by funds affiliated with Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The round is the company's third, and brings to $30 million the total amount Networked Insights has raised.

The company was founded in 2006 and mines networks and blogs for real-time data that helps marketers make tactical decisions.

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Civic group envisions 'design tech' cluster in Milwaukee

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Throwing out references to "hack-a-thons" and software apps, the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Monday unveiled plans to put its weight behind creation of a second industry cluster in design technology.

The business and civic organization that counts many of the area's big-company executives among its members was a catalyst behind creation of the Milwaukee 7 Water Council.

Now it is starting to connect its corporate members to the region's geeks and entrepreneurs, and is working toward setting up a Design Tech Council, said GMC president Julia Taylor.

"We see ourselves shifting from the machine shop of the world to the design tech center of the world," Taylor said at a GMC lunch meeting.

Design technology can cover anything from software apps to engineering, but its heart is information technology, the programming and software development done by technicians who often refer to themselves as hackers. These are not nefarious types who circumvent security systems, but computer experts who have an anti-authoritarian approach to software development associated with the free software movement.

Many of the area's biggest companies were hatched in a patch of the city near First St. and Florida St., and a similar breeding ground is developing in the Grand Avenue Mall, Taylor said.

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Appeals court upholds state anti-spam law

By CHELYEN DAVIS

RICHMOND--The Virginia Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the nation's first conviction under an anti-spam law.

The court rejected an appeal by Jeremy Jaynes, who was convicted in 2004 in Loudoun County of violating Virginia's anti-spam law, the nation's most restrictive law against Internet spam e-mails.

Jaynes, a North Carolina resident who was considered the eighth worst spammer in the world by Spamhaus, a spammer monitoring group, was accused of hiding and falsifying routing and domain information to send hundreds of thousands of unwanted e-mails.

Virginia's law allows for the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail, but makes it a crime for senders to hide their identities if they're sending more than 10,000 pieces of e-mail in a single 24-hour period, or 100,000 in a 30-day period.

Evidence from his original trial showed that Jaynes had sent more than 12,000 unsolicited e-mails on a single day in July 2003--right after Virginia's law took effect--and more than that on two other days that month. He had also gone to lengths to hide the origin of those e-mails.

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Patent Fight Rattles Academic Computing

Patent Fight Rattles Academic Computing
The Associated Press

By JUSTIN POPE

August 29, 2006

Increasingly, we see these systems as the foundation of academic computing. In an Aug. 27 story about a patent dispute in the academic computing field, The Associated Press gave an erroneous title for Alfred Essa of the Minnesota state college and university system. He is associate vice chancellor and deputy chief information officer, not CIO.

Every day, millions of students taking online college courses act in much the same way as their bricks-and-mortar counterparts. After logging on, they move from course to course and do things like submit work in virtual drop boxes and view posted grades _ all from a program running on a PC.

It may seem self-evident that virtual classrooms should closely resemble real ones. But a major education software company contends it wasn't always so obvious. And now, in a move that has shaken up the e-learning community, Blackboard Inc. has been awarded a patent establishing its claims to some of the basic features of the software that powers online education.

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Deleting data violates law

Deleting data violates law
By David Ziemer
Wisconsin Law Journal

March 15, 2006

What the court held

Case: International Airport Centers, L.L.C., v. Citrin, No. 05-1522.

Issue: Does an employee violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by erasing all the data from a laptop loaned to him by his employer?

Holding: Yes. Using a secure-erasure program is a "transmission" that damages the computer, and is thus, within the ambit of the Act.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s (CFAA) prohibition on transmitting a program, in order to damage a computer, includes erasing all the data from a laptop.

The Seventh Circuit’s Mar. 8 opinion also held it doesn’t matter whether the perpetrator has physical access to the computer or damages it from a remote location.

According to the complaint, Jacob Citrin was employed by International Airport Centers, L.L.C. (IAC), a real estate company, to identify properties that IAC might want to acquire, and to assist in any ensuing acquisition. IAC lent Citrin a laptop for his use.

Citrin decided to quit IAC and go into business for himself, in breach of his employment contract. Before returning the laptop, however, he deleted all the data in it, including data that purportedly would have revealed improper conduct on his part to IAC.

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Neurognostics signs a strategic partnership with Medical Numerics

Neurognostics signs a strategic partnership with Medical Numerics

Milwaukee, WI, March 29, 2006 – Neurognostics, Inc., a Milwaukee-based company specializing in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) products and services, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Medical Numerics, Inc., a software development company specializing in medical image visualization and analysis.

Working to provide the clinical community with the most comprehensive functional MR Imaging fMRI tools and applications, Neurognostics and Medical Numerics today announced a strategic alliance to deliver a new line of products to enhance fMRI’s utility in a clinical setting. The new product line will be based on Medical Numerics’ proprietary fMRI tool set, and Neurognostics’ MindState fDPD fMRI application software.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to work with Medical Numerics,” said Neurognostics’ CEO, Douglas M. Tucker, Ph.D., M.B.A. “Both of our goals include advancing fMRI technology into clinical practice. It made sense for us to collaborate on our efforts to develop clinically useful fMRI tools and make them available to the clinical community. We explored a range of options to deliver fMRI tools into the hands of clinicians worldwide and concluded that Medical Numerics’ fMRI software solutions were by far the best. By partnering with Medical Numerics, we have the opportunity to add value by integrating our fMRI applications knowledge and expertise into one of the leading image visualization and analysis applications, and ultimately, leverage our expertise into the marketplace through Medical Numerics’ software applications and its scanner OEM relationships.”

“I am very excited about working with Neurognostics,” said Bob Steagall, Chief Operating Officer of Medical Numerics. “In combining their domain expertise in fMRI for detecting and staging central nervous system disorders with our expertise in software engineering and fMRI for neurosurgical planning, we will be able to offer our scanner OEM partners a set of fMRI applications of unmatched clinical utility. Our OEM partners will in turn be able to provide leading-edge clinical fMRI tools of the highest quality to their customers, ultimately benefiting the patient.”

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