Articles

GIZMOS: Videoconferencing is envisioning change

I’m used to technology, but sometimes it creeps me out. A while back, I was in a small conference room that had one of the newest small videoconferencing units crouched atop a massive monitor. I picked up the remote from the table to move it out of my way, and abruptly the unit came to life, swiveling about to stare at me. The monitor, until then comfortingly black, now had my picture on it. It was a flashback moment to…

Read More

File-sharing issue hits crescendo: Supreme Court set to hear sides in heated copyright-law debate

By 1984, when the U.S. Supreme Court thwarted an attempt to prohibit consumers of Sony Betamax from recording television programs, music lovers already were accomplished at taping their favorite bands. A blank Maxell cassette, a tape deck, a turntable and a copy of, say, your buddy’s new R.E.M. “Reckoning” album provided the essential tools to copy the tunes without actually spending $7.99 on the record. Fast-forward two decades and the debate over whether technological advances have made it too easy…

Read More

GERALD BEPKO Commentary: Chicago World’s Fair is model for Indiana

Cities seem to progress in stages with moments of decline, growth, exceptional energy, and, at times, a sense of destiny. For many years, Indianapolis has been a city on the move, a little like Chicago in 1893 when it hosted a World’s Fair. Chicago sought to shed its frontiertown image and establish itself as a city of global consequence. It beat out New York, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., for the right to host the fair. In hosting it, Chicago…

Read More

Unifying Indiana’s IT efforts: State’s new CTO plans to centralize computing

Indiana’s state Web portal, access-Indiana, won at least a dozen awards over the last four years. It was frequently lauded as a model of modern government efficiency-robust, reliable and user-friendly. But, according to new Indiana Chief Technology Officer Karl Browning, the reality was only skin deep. Certainly, accessIndiana is the handsome public face of state information technology. But beneath the surface, there’s a tangled mess of unconnected systems, each managed independently by a separate agency. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican,…

Read More

Library project set to resume: Firms play blame game over bungled work

Steel erection for the troubled Central Library expansion is finally expected to begin next month, library officials say. But they acknowledge the start of construction on the six-story addition won’t signal they’ve finished fixing defects on the underground garage or resolved who’s to blame for them. While officials say they’re confident it’s safe to build atop the garage that will serve as the foundation for the addition, they say it will continue to undergo repairs for another year or so….

Read More

RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: How to enjoy wi-fi ‘hot spots’ on the road

I recently stayed at a charming hotel in California that dates back more than a century. At least, it was charming to me. It’s been retrofitted many times over the years as it’s struggled to stay no more than 30 years behind the times. It has two elevators, only one of which is completely automatic. The other still has its manual operations lever, and is apparently used only for freight. Most of the room doors still have the old key…

Read More

GIZMOS: High-tech watch keeps information at your fingertips

The idea of a portable device to indicate the time of day is nothing new in the world of technology. Watches of various forms have been around for years. However, it’s only been in the last 30 years or so that modern technology has changed the face-literally-of telling time. Since the days of the original Pulsar LED digital watches (think red calculator digits) in the early 1970s, watch manufacturers have tried to appeal to technology’s early adopters by adding functionality…

Read More

TV weather war becoming a race for arms: Local TV news ratings, advertising dollars at stake VIPIR attack

A storm is brewing. But the weather-related tempest has as much to do with television viewer ratings and advertising dollars as it does with tornadoes and hailstorms. With an array of new forecasting technology hitting the market, Indianapolis’ four local TV news operations are arming for a weather war that would make Dorothy and Toto run for the nearest Doppler radar. “The weather is an enormous driver in local TV news ratings,” said Bill Perkins, president of locally based Perkins…

Read More

I-Light network delayed by state: Daniels administration calls for further study of high-speed system

The completion of a state effort to expand Indiana’s digital infrastructure by connecting 15 cities via a fiber-optic network has been delayed as the new administration further studies the project. The initiative, known as I-Light, began in 1999 and connected supercomputers at Indiana University, Purdue University and IUPUI. By harnessing the technological power of the institutions into a grid, the universities surpassed the two-teraflop (trillions of operations per second) mark and increased their computation, storage and visualization ability. The $5.9…

Read More

Clarian’s capabilities keep Combine here: Medical services lure NFL officials, owners back to Indy

When Mayor Bart Peterson announced in December plans to build a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts, he mentioned as a side note the $600 million facility would help retain the National Football League Scouting Combine. The mayor’s pronouncement is no side note to Clarian Health Partners, the hospital system that handles all the athlete medical testing for the four-day Combine, which runs this year through March 1. “We were told by Clarian officials this event adds $1 million to…

Read More

Radio Slayer?: The 3.6-ounce iPod could become a 500-pound gorilla

The 3.6-ounce iPod could become a 500-pound gorilla Radio’s death knell has tolled before. In the 1950s, television was supposed to kill radio. And in the last 30 years, there have been a cavalcade of challengers from cassette tapes and Walkmans to compact discs and portable disc players. Even though a record $20 billion was spent nationally in radio advertising in 2004, a new predator on the landscape has the potential to take a serious bite out of the industry’s lifeblood….

Read More

St. Vincent buys land near Lafayette for hospital: Market has long intrigued Indianapolis-based network

St. Vincent Health paid Arnett Health-System $3 million to $4 million for land Arnett owned along Interstate 65 in Tippecanoe County, said Rebecca Carl, Arnett vice president for marketing and communications. The two sides closed the deal in mid-February. Lafayette-based Arnett includes a health care plan and a physician group of 150 doctors, and covers a 14-county area centered on Lafayette. Its leaders want another hospital there even though Lafayette already has two, Home Hospital and St. Elizabeth Medical Center….

Read More

OneAmerica grows bullish on its future: New leadership hopes to sustain steady growth

OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. kept busy with a brand change, a record year for retirement services and the arrival of several new leaders in 2004. New President and CEO Dayton Molendorp plans to keep the positive momentum flowing with 34 key projects outlined in the 2005 business plan. But analysts say the Indianapolis company will have to grow in the face of strong competition and a pressing need to keep up with technology. The company formerly known as AUL unveiled…

Read More

RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Some suggestions on how to overcome spam

Some time back, I got onto the solicitation no-call list maintained by the state of Indiana. It’s the second-best decision I ever made, after proposing to my wife. My evenings are ring-free, blessedly non-commercial, aside from the ads that overly optimistic marketing people hope I’ll watch on TV. There should be a similar no-call list for spammers, but there isn’t. Spam, as you probably know, is unwanted e-mail. Spam requires a lot of time every day to find, sort and…

Read More

Eco suit spawns flurry of litigation: Class actions hit Honeywell in wake of thermostat fight

Industrial powerhouse Honeywell International Inc. suddenly finds itself under siege by an army of aggressive class-action attorneys-all because it decided to mess with a couple of determined entrepreneurs from Lebanon. Attorneys from around the nation in recent months have filed six class action lawsuits in state courts charging New Jersey-based Honeywell used deception to obtain the trademark for its ubiquitous round thermostat, then used its lock on the round-thermostat market to overcharge customers. T h e l eg a l…

Read More

Head of IT firm ensures company primed for growth: She started business to offer customized training but altered her strategy as circumstances changed Strategic decisions “She almost vibrates” Female support

Kathy Carrier’s dad was angry when she left a lucrative job at a Fortune 500 company to start her own firm. But four years later, when she won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, he told his daughter: “Clearly your vision for yourself was greater than the one I had for you.” In less than seven years, Carrier, 46, has built her Fort Wayne-based information technology writing and training firm, Briljent LLC, into a business with annual…

Read More

BULLS & BEARS: How managing investments works from the top down

Another variation of the asset allocation and diversification theme that is common on Wall Street is what’s called a “topdown” investment strategy to manage a portfolio. Investors who practice this sort of money management are generally more concerned with the economic outlook and its effect on various “market sectors” than the business fundamentals of a particular company. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is the most commonly used measuring stick for the investment performance of many mutual funds and money…

Read More

New-technology veterans take hands-on approach: West Lafayette’s IN-vivo Ventures aids startups

Spinning out university research to form new companies is a tricky proposition. But the partners who formed West Lafayette-based IN-vivo Ventures believe they can show would-be academic entrepreneurs what’s behind the curtain. “If an entrepreneur is looking for funding, that’s not what IN-vivo’s about,” said co-founder Chad Barden. “What we are about is identifying good, strong commercial opportunities that lack a business focus, and inventors who lack the business expertise to take it to market.” Every day, scientists and engineers…

Read More

RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Do cell-phone calls trump talking person-to-person?

I’ve been watching the wireless revolution in business, and I’m fascinated by how people are fitting technology into etiquette. For example, in one recent meeting, I saw people jumping up and down like a Whacka-Mole game, scuttling from the room each time their cell phones commanded them to. The phones were muted, so nobody heard the rings, but it’s not conducive to coherence in a meeting to have people running in and out like the Secret Service at a state…

Read More

NASCAR fuels C&R growth: Maker of custom racing parts diversifies from open-wheel roots

Though he’s only 45, Chris Paulsen is a grizzled veteran in racing circles. The storied mechanic has already been invited to take part in old-timer events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But industry sources say Paulsen’s future is as wide open and promising as that of a schoolboy with a fresh diploma. The innovations that made him a household name in open-wheel have earned a following among NASCAR’s elite, and the insightful entrepreneur even talks of starting his own race…

Read More