Technology

Plant to be a real gas for price stability?: Utilities betting gasification will ease volatilityRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Two gas utilities serving central Indiana say they want to buy synthetic gas from a proposed coal gasification plant downstate to provide a hedge against price volatility. Citizens Gas & Coke Utility, which serves 266,000 Marion County customers, plans to buy up to 3 billion cubic feet of gas a year from Indiana Gasification LLC. The amount is equivalent to about 10 percent of Citizens' annual demand for natural gas. Meanwhile, Evansville-based Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana, which has 550,000...
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Surveillance success: Greenwood-based security firm's rapid growth draws national noticeRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Cory Schouten
They all have high-tech surveillance systems from Greenwood-based American Sentry Guard. The company specializes in building and distributing "intelligent video" systems capable of linking digital video with other computer-based information, such as sales transaction records. Clients include schools, banks, casinos, government agencies and small businesses. Founded in 1999 by father-son team Jack and Jeff Brummett, American Sentry has become one of the nation's fastest-growing privately held companies. This year, Inc. magazine ranked the company 150th on its "Inc. 500" list,...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Is designing for blind worth the trouble and cost?Restricted Content

November 27, 2006
Tim Altom
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit stewing in the cauldron of a California federal court. There, the National Federation of the Blind has been allowed to go forward in its suit against Target Brands, which runs Target department stores, claiming that Target should have to make its Web site as easily accessible to the blind as its brick-and-mortar stores. I thought it would be an obscure case, but it's been puffed up into something of...
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Forgotten accounts can lead to windfalls: State seeks Web vendor for unclaimed propertyRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
With $325 million in unclaimed property on hand, Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter has a simple request: Check the Internet to see if any of it is yours. To make the process as easy as possible, Carter is searching for a vendor to upgrade and host its clearinghouse Web site www.IndianaUnclaimed.com. The attorney general's goal is to reunite Hoosiers with their cash-and in the process reduce a significant problem for businesses that need to get unclaimed property off their books....
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Coming attraction: Imax theater in Noblesville: Technology lets theaters show Hollywood blockbustersRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Tammy Lieber
Once upon a time not so long ago, Imax films were nearly synonymous with museums. In Indianapolis and elsewhere, the largeformat movie screens-some as big as the side of an eight-story building-featured 40-minute films that took viewers to exotic places like outer space or the top of Mount Everest, and were usually attached to educational and cultural institutions. But technology that debuted in 2002 is bringing Imax screens to suburbia-including to Noblesville in 2008. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Goodrich Quality Theaters...
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Showing WAL MART some love: New statewide group supports oft-criticized retailerRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Scott Olson
Several Hoosiers are at the forefront of a fledgling effort to deflect a growing barrage of criticism lobbed at retail giant Wal-Mart Stores by organized labor and worker's rights advocates. The Indiana chapter of the Working Families for Wal-Mart formed earlier this month and includes in its membership local elected officials such as City-County Councilor Ron Gibson and State Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis. The national not-for-profit, which launched a year ago, is backed by the Arkansas-based retailer and also boasts...
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Fast-growing Indy bank nearing $1B in assets: National Bank of Indianapolis credits service for climbRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Cory Schouten
When cousins Michael and Morris Maurer decided to start a bank from scratch in 1993, they had several major issues to work through. There were regulatory approvals to win and federal deposit coverage to secure. They needed investors, bankers, office space and technology. But even the seemingly small details required time-consuming care. For one: selecting a name. It had to evoke a feeling of local control and continuity. It had to call to mind the company's strategy of long-term relationships...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Daniel's toll-road plan futuristic, not datedRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Is building roads innovative? Some reactions voiced in the wake of the Gov. Mitch Daniels' proposal to build a 75-mile beltway around the east and southern quadrants of central Indiana say no. Outer belts, it is said, are a mistaken product of 1960sera thinking, robbing growth from central cities and helping create the faceless suburban landscape that surrounds so many major cities today. Innovative thinking on transportation, one might say, would embrace new technology and get us away from the...
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BioCrossroads aims to aid life sciences service sector: Group hopes to identify or raise at least $25 millionRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
BioCrossroads, the life sciences initiative responsible for raising the $73 million Indiana Future Fund and the $6 million Indiana Seed Fund, is in early discussions on a new capital-formation effort. The focus this time around: biotech services businesses. "This is very much a work in progress," said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson. "But we believe and acknowledge this is an area that needs our attention and our active involvement." Next year, Johnson hopes to focus at least $25 million to $30...
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VIEWPOINT: Does Indiana have a 'vision thing'?Restricted Content

November 20, 2006
John A.
Nothing hurts a plan more than a lack of vision. The primary aim of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s plan-Accelerating Growth, Indiana's Strategic Economic Development Plan-announced in April, is to boost personal income per capita to the national average by 2020. An effort to achieve an average standard in 14 years seems to be an unusually low aspiration. The historical record makes this target appear more challenging. Indiana has ranked 30th to 34th in the nation in percapita personal income...
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Schools warm to economic development: Colleges crank out programs to fit latest initiativesRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Academic purists often hold contempt for politicians and executives seeking help with economic development initiatives. It doesn't take a political science degree to wonder if someone is trying to stoke votes, ambitions or profits-on the cheap. But in Indiana, more colleges are tailoring their curriculum to support economic development priorities, realizing what's good for the region can be good for their enrollment. "An increasing number of universities don't view themselves as ivory towers anymore," said Uday Sukhatme, executive vice chancellor...
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Taking apart PCs, rebuilding lives: Workforce Inc. recycling program helps ex-prisoners prepare for employmentRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Scott Olson
Timothy Smith spent 22 years behind bars for committing a violent crime he'd rather not talk about. The Indianapolis native released from prison just two months ago cannot stop praising the transitional program meant to help him and other former inmates find jobs and rebuild their lives. "This place has been a godsend for me," Smith said. "Coming out of prison, you don't have much of a job history. It gives you something to look forward to." Smith, who entered...
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Emmis' landmark deal with Apple paying big dividends: Locally based radio group now No. 2 iTunes affiliateRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Emmis Communications Corp. has a new mantra when it comes to emerging technology some say will kill the radio industry: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Emmis entered a relationship with California-based Apple Computer Inc. nine months ago that is paying big dividends. Since launching one of the radio industry's first iTunes storefronts on its stations' Internet sites, Emmis officials said they have become the No. 2 iTunes affiliate based on sales. Only Internet behemoth Yahoo Music sells more....
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Techies push for education initiatives: Daniels administration trying to heed call to build a better-equipped work force with 'Accelerating Growth' planRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
The numbers are daunting. According to Gov. Mitch Daniels' economic development plan "Accelerating Growth," Indiana ranks 35th out of 50 states for the proportion of its population with at least an associate's degree. Worse, it ranks 47th for bachelor's degrees. A full million Hoosiers "lack the basic skills necessary for 21st century employment," according to the plan. That's about a sixth of the state's population. High-tech leaders are increasingly focused on reversing the trend. They know the availability of a...
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Merger would consolidate technology initiatives under CICPRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Technology advocate Techpoint is considering merging into the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership--a move that would leave CICP CEO Mark Miles atop all three of Indiana's major business-development initiatives.
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Big screen? Two screens? Productivity debate goes onRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Tim Altom
Apple computer recently announced the results of a study by Paris-based Andreas Pfeiffer, which said buying one of Apple's $1,999, 30-inch displays would increase productivity of one lucky employee 50 percent to 65 percent, enough to earn back the cost of the monitor before it dies or is supplanted by one with more pizazz a few years from now. Pfeiffer argues that it takes a lot of time to switch between windows on a smaller monitor, time that isn't taken...
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Lights, camera, Internet-More Web sites using video: Vodcast clips catching on as a way for organizations to deliver their message in a new, more exciting wayRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Scott Olson
The terms for emerging Internet technology are enough to make the less savvy long for the days when e-mail seemed cutting-edge. The communication tool, especially among teens, has given way to instant messaging, of course. So it's no wonder colleges and companies alike are starting to shun standard e- mail and Web-page marketing efforts in favor of video-on-demand clips, known as vodcasts. "The computer was meant to be watched; it wasn't meant to be read," said Jon DiGregory, who founded...
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Techpoint's new leader sees room to grow: Indiana making progress, but could do better, he saysRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Scott Olson
Techpoint, a locally based technology trade group that represents the interests of about 330 members statewide, is undergoing a transition in leadership. Jim Jay, 37, has been named interim CEO following the resignation of Cameron Carter, who has led the organization since 2003. Directors should begin a formal search for a permanent replacement the first of the year. Whether Jay lands the top job remains to be seen. But in the meantime, the Butler University graduate with an entrepreneurial spirit...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Our technology woes begin in grade schoolRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Those of us who work for universities soon become acquainted with the concept of tenure, which is a status typically conferred upon those of faculty rank who have demonstrated to their colleagues the ability to teach and conduct research to a high standard. Those who achieve tenured status are more free to speak their minds about controversial issues, since it is much more difficult for their superiors to terminate or dismiss them without just cause. The words penned in this...
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Green roofs slow to take root in Indianapolis area: Despite an array of environmental and other benefits, initial costs and lack of incentives put lid on their useRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Jo Ellen
Green roofs color the skylines in Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto and other North American cities, but Hoosiers have to look high and low to find similar examples of the plant-filled building tops in Indianapolis. "Most green roofs [in other cities] are on the tops of existing buildings, where here they are [more likely to be found] above an underground parking garage that you might not even be aware is there," said Mark Zelonis, director of the gardens and grounds at the...
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Former Lt. Gov. Davis seeks support for Model IndianaRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Former Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis is attempting to build a virtual version of Indiana for policymakers to wander. If successful, the new IT system could help shape Statehouse debate on a host of subjects.
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Bringing answers to Indianapolis from around the globeRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Thaddeus S.
Why should you care how many stamps your architect has in his or her passport? Or whom your architect talks to from around the world? Because, as national publications declare design to be the new driving force in the marketplace, and as that marketplace becomes increasingly global, your architect can offer you a conduit to the people and ideas that will make a difference in your business in the years ahead. Indianapolis-area architects already are working to bring the world...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Recipe for a great university presidentRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
And in the almost 20 years since John Ryan? None of the three presidents hired by IU's trustees have had any apparent connection to IU or the state. The IU marketing machine will churn out plenty of evidence, most of it legitimate, that those three-Thomas Ehrlich, Myles Brand and Adam Herbert-enjoyed successful tenures, but public perception says otherwise. IU isn't alone in turning its back on internal candidates. R. William Funk, one of the foremost university president headhunters, said only...
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BULLS & BEARS: Investors: Stay within 'circle of competence'Restricted Content

September 25, 2006
Ken Skarbeck
Index funds are a wise choice for many investors confronted with the overwhelming menu of investment options. They offer a simple alternative that exposes the investor to a variety of industries at a low cost. In addition, an index fund investor's return will exceed the net results, after fees and expenses, achieved by the majority of investment professionals, including most mutual fund and hedge fund managers. If, however, investors choose to build their portfolio by selecting individual stocks, they should...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: High gasoline prices sometimes difficult to understandRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Paul E.
Just who or what is it that sets the price for a gallon of gas? Well, gasoline station owners of course. Whether it's a momand-pop station or part of a large chain, the owner looks at prices up and down the street and changes the signs accordingly. These owners know what everybody else around them is charging, and they also know what their supplier is charging them for their wholesale supply. What about the wholesale price? Its set in a...
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