Technology

RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: RFID security not as secure as you think it isRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Tim Altom
I work in a building that makes me use a cardkey to get into the building's back stairway. I can't even use a physical key. I must use the card I was issued. I fumble for the thing every morning. One morning, to my astonishment, I noticed that if I pushed hard enough on the door as I opened it, it would hit the end of its travel and thereafter stand open by itself. The first person through in the...
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Entrepreneurs keep day jobs: Moonlighting helps owners mitigate startup risksRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Inventions at various stages of development are scattered around Qamar Shafeek's ranch-style home on Indianapolis' east side. An unnamed doohickey attached to a curtain rod pulls drapes open and shut along with the sliding glass door. A voice box gadget tells the single father when the garage or side doors open, alerting him to his children's comings and goings. And a plastic pinwheel with tennis balls attached to the ends is making its way from a napkin-sketch idea to a...
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VIEWPOINT: To be a logistics leader, state needs a planRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Bob Palmer
Indiana is poised to become the country's logistics center. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on that topic. Now is the time for business, government and education to come together and make it happen. SupplyNet 2006-the recent statewide conference that brought together not only transportation, distribution and logistics industries, but also representatives from manufacturing, retail, information technology, government and academia-detailed the broader picture of supplychain management. As a cutting-edge business strategy, supply-chain management integrates internal and external logistics...
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Good banking relationship can help business:Restricted Content

May 29, 2006
Ken Carow
Capital is the lifeblood of any business. But fresh infusions of money are particularly important for startup and small businesses, since they often can't fund new equipment, employees or facilities out of their cash reserves or profits. The top three sources of new capital for small business are owner's equity (33 percent) bank loans (20 percent) and trade credit (15 percent). Let's focus on bank loans and simple ways that small-business owners can improve their chances of getting a loan...
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My Favorite Cigar Bar: Bar offers stogies with its scotch Liquor license helped cigar store attract customers who may lingerRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Ed Callahan
"Cheers" in Brownsburg? Regulars at My Favorite Cigar Bar say it's just like that fictional Boston watering hole "where everybody knows your name"-or like it would have been if Cheers had sold cigars as well as drinks. Hendricks County's version of the popular pub occupies an old-fashioned brick storefront at 36 E. Main St. The brainchild of Brownsburg couple Bruce and Lisa Freestone, it is-as the name suggests-both a bar and cigar shop. "We're the only such cigar store in...
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Mira banquet honors excellence in Hoosier high tech: TechPoint awards often precede market successRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
TechPoint's Mira Awards, which were to be handed out May 19, celebrate excellence in Hoosier innovation. The annual awards banquet also serves as a pretty good bellwether of who's poised for a big payday. For example, TechPoint honored Indianapolis-based medical device-maker Suros Surgical Systems Inc. with a Mira award three years before Massachusettsbased Hologic Inc. acquired Suros for $240 million in April. In 2003, TechPoint also recognized Carmel-based banking software-maker Baker-Hill. California-based Experian bought Baker-Hill last August for an undisclosed...
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Area construction employment surging: Workers stay busy as industry experiences 15 consecutive months of job growthRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Scott Olson
Building tradesmen in central Indiana don't need a mind-numbing jobs report to tell them construction workers are in high demand. They need not look any further than their apprentice programs and union halls to gauge the industry's health. The way the barometer works is simple: Full apprentice classes mean contractors are hiring and empty union halls mean they're working. "When the benches are empty, that's a good thing," said Mike Kerr, a principal at locally based contractor F.A. Wilhelm Construction...
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WEB REVIEW: Is e-mail marketing the answer for you?

May 22, 2006
Jim Cota
If you're running a business, there's a good chance you've been frustrated with marketing. You've spent time and money on ads here and there, but the results were unpredictable-or worse-questionable. You're in the phone book because you feel you have to be, but the cost goes up year after year. Word of mouth works, but it's too slow. Direct mail works, but it's too expensive. Radio and TV are difficult to do well and nearly impossible to track for results....
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Stadium architect beats 'dark horse' status: Experience with other sports arenas wins HKS first pro football projectRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Scott Olson
The imprint HKS Inc. will leave on the city with its design of the new Indianapolis Colts stadium will reshape downtown for years to come. But the high-profile project is also significant for the Dallas-based architectural firm because it represents the first time HKS has designed a professional football arena. Any questions the selection team might have had about the firm's credentials were quickly put to rest, however. "[They] came and visited and said, 'When you guys start looking for...
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Pepper, others commended for their safety programs: Area contractors turn to technology to track job-site performanceRestricted Content

May 22, 2006
Scott Olson
Hand-held computer devices are becoming as common as hardhats and heavy equipment on the job sites of Pepper Construction Company of Indiana Inc. The Chicago-based contractor's Indianapolis location began using the hightech gadgetry about 18 months ago to track job-site safety and tie the results to bonus amounts awarded to supervisors. While the company has tracked safety performance for years via written reports, the new system lets everyone from executives to subcontractors view the information almost immediately after it's loaded...
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BULLS & BEARS: Sage investor: Time to buy commodities has passedRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Dave Gilreath
In February, I mentioned the Legg Mason Value Trust, managed by Bill Miller, as the fund with the longest-running winning streak vs. the S&P 500. The streak runs 16 years. A couple of weeks ago, Miller put out his quarterly market letter. I'm beginning to think I'm profound because I agree with his thinking. Below is a paraphrased summary of what he wrote: The Financial Times'' headline on April 10 read, "Commodity Prices Set to Soar." Then Miller thought back...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Improving state's economy requires a team approachRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Patrick Barkey
More than 50 years ago, the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter told a simple story that perfectly captured the essence of market capitalism. It's a turn-of-the-century tale of a railroad being built in a part of the country where none had existed. The new investment rapidly upsets the order of everything-once ideally situated towns are left high and dry, while others move up in stature as they exploit newfound advantages. It's messy and it's painful, but the result is for the...
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Cherrymasters' luck might turn next year: Proponents argue that state regulators could electronically monitor slots in taverns around IndianaRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
In past years, legislators have proved unwilling to expand gambling outside Indiana's riverboat casinos. But Indiana Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein, who has been leading the push to legalize electronic "cherrymaster" machines, thinks his luck could soon turn. "The legislators we've talked to, they don't seem to have the steadfast 'no, no, no' attitude they used to have," Klopfenstein said. "We're hoping we'll get a bill filed and it'll get a fair hearing next year." And new technology...
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Daniels seeks to copy key-clusters strategy: Industry initiatives would mimic BioCrossroads planRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, BioCrossroads has been vindicated. Gov. Mitch Daniels hopes to see a series of similar industry initiatives sprout around key clusters in Indiana's economy. He envisions parallel initiatives for manufacturing, transportation and logistics and a series of other crucial business sectors. "We'd love some company," said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson. As outlined in Daniels' "Accelerating Growth" economic development plan released last month, the initiatives would be based on proven Indiana strengths and identifiable...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Does your Web site need an SEO to boost it up?Restricted Content

May 15, 2006
Tim Altom
Every time I see the term "SEO," I cringe a little. It stands for "searchengine optimization," a supposed service offered by many "SEO companies." Such companies claim to be able to boost your Web site up the pages of major search engines so customers can find you. To a limited extent, they can help. Most Web sites are so poorly designed that they almost defy search engines to look through them, a process known in the trade as "crawling." The...
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CD-burning kiosks debut: Four years of work on the line for local media-technology companyRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
As the after-work rush of customers came into a south-side Karma music store on a recent Wednesday, some wandered up to a new kiosk and gave it a whirl. It was the public's first look at CD-burning technology, developed by local entrepreneurs, that allows customers to pick songs and immediately burn a CD mix before leaving the store. If consumers like the kiosks, backers hope to sell video games, movies and even concert tickets through the terminals, which could be...
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Daniels' economic development plan calls for pricey tools: Three incentive funds would cost more than $100MRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's days of economic development on the cheap may soon be finished. Three major new business-incentive funds are on the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s wish list, each bearing a significant price tag. The General Assembly will decide next year whether to provide the more than $100 million IEDC requests to form them. Plans for the three funds are tucked into Gov. Mitch Daniels' comprehensive new state economic development plan, "Accelerating Growth," released April 25. It aims to bring Hoosiers' lagging...
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NOTIONS: Readers weigh in on the quest for 'something more'Restricted Content

May 8, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
Two weeks ago, I asked readers whether they'd witnessed what I have: More and more folks wanting "something more" from life and work. And if so, why? And why now? And how might "something more" manifest itself? Many responded-so many that I'll share this week some of the "whethers" and "whys" and next week some of the "hows." I heard from several readers who've dealt with this issue professionally. An Indianapolis placement consultant said, "I talk to people every day,...
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Biz incubator out of room: IU Emerging Tech Center needs $20M or more for expansionRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
In its quest to develop high-tech startups, Indianapolis has established a healthy pipeline. But there's a bottleneck that's poised to become even more congested. Located at the head of the Central Canal, Indiana University's Emerging Technologies Center is the city's primary business incubator, chock-full of labs and equipment. Established in 2003, the 62,500-square-foot building is now crowded with 26 promising young firms. A handful have outgrown their space, and are on the cusp of "graduation." IUETC CEO Mark Long reports...
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Special events pay off: Growth seen in career opportunities, event numbersRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Shari Held / Special to IBJ
Special events aren't just fun and games-they're big business, generating careers and economic activity that are anything but frivolous. Special event spending in Indianapolis is nearly $3 billion a year, according to Bob Shultz, public relations director for the Indiana Convention & Visitors Association. Annual spending for special events worldwide is $500 billion, according to research conducted by the Chicago-based International Special Events Society. In Money Magazine's annual "Best Jobs in America" survey, meeting and convention planners were ranked in...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Should we invest in ethanol or education?Restricted Content

May 8, 2006
During times of high gasoline prices, the investment made by the Daniels administration in six ethanol plants would seem prudent. The touted benefits of ethanol plants are that they create jobs in rural communities, support Indiana corn growers, improve air quality, and lower dependence on foreign oil. As an Indianapolis resident with little exposure to our farm economy, my first question was, "How do you make ethanol?" Ethanol is made by fermenting and distilling simple sugars like those found in...
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New funds target life sciences: MidPoint concentrates on agricultural technology; Heron aims at broader marketRestricted Content

May 1, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Two new locally based venture capital funds believe Indiana is ripe with opportunity for biotech deals. With $20 million under management, Heron Capital LLC is broadly focused on the whole Hoosier life sciences market. Attempting to raise $30 million, the Mid-Point Food & Ag Fund LP has a narrower concentration: high-technology related to farming and nutrition. "We're very excited about our prospects," said Heron Managing Director Greg Maurer. "We have a number of deals in the hopper, some of which...
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First-class parking: Airport freebie list includes former politicians, other VIPsRestricted Content

May 1, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Scott Jones could probably afford to buy the 1,800-space parking garage at Indianapolis International Airport, as one who's earned millions of dollars in patent income from voice mail technology he invented. But why buy the garage? The Indianapolis multimillionaire shows up on a list of nearly 400 politicians and other VIPs entitled to free parking at the airport, a review of airport records shows. Begun as a courtesy to a handful of elected officials decades ago, the free parking list...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Textbook cases of entrepreneurismRestricted Content

May 1, 2006
You get an idea; you build a business; you sell it and make a bundle. So it was with the recent deals that took out IBJ's No. 1 and No. 2 fastest-growing companies from 2005, Performance Assessment Network and Suros Surgical. We can bemoan the loss of headquarters, but let's face it, these are the kinds of payoffs most entrepreneurs dream of. In just a little over five short years, PAN investors put up $7.5 million in capital and sold...
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Land drove Marsh sale: Sun Capital has backup in real estate if grocery biz failsRestricted Content

May 1, 2006
Matthew Kish
When Marsh Supermarkets Inc. put itself on the block in November, the company's stock dove. When it cut future executive compensation $28 million a month later, the stock continued falling. When it terminated 25 executives and closed two groceries and six convenience stores, shares slipped yet again. Nothing, it seemed, could stop the downward spiral. Then a footnote appeared in the Fishersbased company's fiscal third-quarter financial report Feb. 21. It said an appraisal showed the company's real estate was worth...
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  1. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

  2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

  3. Straight No Chaser

  4. Seems the biggest use of TIF is for pet projects that improve Quality Of Life, allegedly, but they ignore other QOL issues that are of a more important and urgent nature. Keep it transparent and try not to get in ready, fire, Aim! mode. You do realize that business the Mayor said might be interested is probably going to want TIF too?

  5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.

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