BREAKING NEWS

Vice President Al Gore announced this month that a new government crackdown on software
piracy will start at home—in federal agencies.


“Today, we are declaring war on software piracy,” Gore said. “The
message is clear: Don’t copy that floppy. At home or abroad, intellectual property
must be protected.”


The vice president unveiled an executive order instructing agencies to inventory their
software to ensure that they are not violating copyright laws. Under the order, all
agencies must develop copyright protection policies. They must also develop and maintain a
record-keeping system for their software.


The order also asks the Chief Information Officers Council to spearhead the anti-piracy
efforts. Within six months, the council must develop performance measures to determine if
agencies are conforming. The executive order gives the Office of Management and Budget the
task of making sure agencies follow the policy.


The National Imagery and Mapping Agency has awarded a four-year, $8.5 million contract
to Beyond.com that calls for the Sunnyvale, Calif., company to deliver software
applications electronically to all NIMA PCs.


The company will provide Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Office Professional and
BackOffice client software, as well as FormFlow from JetForm Corp. of Ottawa.


The Navy Contracting Activity in Philadelphia awarded the indefinite-delivery,
indefinite-quantity contract last month. “By buying bulk, the agency reduced the
per-copy cost and will be able to standardize versions across our networks,” NIMA
spokeswoman Jennifer Lafley said.


NIMA is also buying smaller quantities of NT Server 4.0, BackOffice Server, Microsoft
Project, FileMaker Pro from FileMaker Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., and geographic
information systems software from MapInfo Corp. of Troy, N.Y.


Contact Beyond.com at 800-977-6171.


The General Services Administration has extended the deadline for proposals for its
Washington Interagency Telecommunications System 2001 procurement by three months, from
Oct. 19 to Jan. 20.


The current WITS contract, under which Bell Atlantic Corp. supplies telecommunications
services to 170,000 federal users in the Washington area, expires in January. GSA has an
option to extend the contract by six months. A Bell Atlantic representative said the
company assumes the extension would provide services through June.


GSA’s Federal Technology Service had issued the WITS request for proposals Aug. 12
in expectation of a contract award in December. Although WITS 2001 will use an existing
government-owned telecommunications infrastructure, its services increasingly will come
from contractor facilities, leading toward what FTS Commissioner Dennis J. Fischer called
a pure service environment.


In a reorganization of its government operations, Electronic Data Systems Corp. tapped
Al Edmonds to be the chief operating officer of its new government industry group.


Edmonds, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who last year left his job as director
of the Defense Information Systems Agency, had been president of EDS military systems.


EDS last week consolidated the military systems, civilian government services and state
and local government groups into the single government industry group. The new group will
have its main offices in Herndon, Va. Edmonds will continue to report to George Newstrom,
EDS corporate vice president.


The Federal Aviation Administration last month awarded a $50 million contract to
Northrop Grumman Corp. to upgrade the Airport Surveillance Radar Weather Systems
Processors Model-9 System.


Northrop Grumman will design, build, test and install new processors to detect wind
shear and microbursts along airport runways.


The new systems will forecast wind gusts along storm fronts and track storm motion to
give air traffic controllers and pilots a complete picture of current and projected
hazardous weather conditions.


“The development of this detection system supports our goal of reducing the fatal
accident rate by 80 percent over the next 10 years,” FAA administrator Jane Garvey
said.


Northrop Grumman will design the systems, develop the software and install five systems
initially. The company will integrate new software algorithms into a core commercial
processor and implement a new digital radio frequency receiver system.


The Postal Service has awarded an $89 million contract to Siemens ElectroCom to upgrade
its automated letter-sorting equipment.


USPS will use the Arlington, Texas, company’s Identification Code Sort/Code Track
hardware and software to extract and use data embedded in fluorescent identification tags
attached to envelopes. Each tag contains the class of mail, the first machine handling the
piece and the date and time of processing. Until now, the information was used only if the
ZIP code was unreadable. If it wasn’t used, postal workers would discard the
information contained in the ID tag.


The Postal Service plans to use the data to improve distribution. The service also
eventually plans to use the system to let customers track mail, Postal Service spokeswoman
Sandra Harding said.


Under the contract, Siemens will upgrade and support thousands of sorting machines for
the service.


Although CORBA 3.0 will not arrive officially until next year, software developers got
a preview last month of the next Common Object Request Broker Architecture specification.


The Object Management Group of Framington, Mass., which maintains the public
specification, has made a number of highly technical additions for developers of
CORBA-compliant middleware applications.


The most significant addition is a component model for developing CORBA objects that
interact easily with Java and other component technologies. The new version also
introduces a CORBA scripting language and a firewall specification for extending CORBA
services across the Internet.


Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp. are putting the finishing touches on 64-bit Unix
graphics workstations.


A 360-MHz PA-RISC 8500 processor board upgrade with 1.5M on-chip cache memory,
available in January, will add 64-bit processing to Hewlett-Packard’s C-Class
mechanical design workstation, widely used in the Navy. Some mechanical design
applications will run more than twice as fast, said Barry Crume, product marketing manager
for the HP Workstation Systems Division in Fort Collins, Colo.


The $7,990 board upgrade requires no new cables, power supplies or software
replacements, Crume said. Software support for the 8500 processor and new graphics
libraries were included in an HP-UX 10.20 operating system patch shipped in June to make
HP platforms year 2000-ready.


IBM’s 64-bit graphics workstations will be ready this fall, priced from about
$20,000. The RS/6000 43P Model 260 has IBM’s newest 200-MHz Power3 RISC processor
with on-chip 64K data cache and 32K instruction cache.


—Christopher J. Dorobek, Bill Murray, William Jackson, Thomas R. Temin, Frank
Tiboni, Merry Mayer and Florence Olsen.



 

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