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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cargill to convert pig waste to energy on South African farm

Cargill to convert pig waste to energy on South African farm

Cargill is to build an anaerobic digester on a pig farm in South Africa, the first time such technology will be used in the country. The digester, which will convert pig effluent into power, is to be built at Humphries Boerdery Pty Ltd, a family-run pig farm business, situated north of Johannesburg.

The technology, which is being funded by Cargill's environmental finance group, allows the methane from the pig effluent to be captured and converted into power, providing a self-sufficient and constant supply of electricity to the 400-acre farm. The proposed installation follows successful projects on pig farms in Mexico and the Philippines.

The project, which will be developed under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism by EcoSecurities, will allow Cargill access to the carbon credits generated from the system.

Commenting on the project, Rebecca Willson, general manager of Cargill's environmental finance business in Africa, says: "We are thrilled to be installing this state of the art technology at Humphries' farm. Among the many benefits of the digester is that it provides the farm with a constant source of renewable power, while reducing methane emissions into the atmosphere."

Willie Humphries, owner of Humphries adds: "This project will have a significant and positive impact on our operations and we're delighted to be working with Cargill and EcoSecurities on this innovative means of producing power."

Henk Sa, country director of EcoSecurities South Africa says: "The project is a great example of sustainable development in the country only made possible by the additional income from the sale of carbon credits by the project. EcoSecurities sees this as the start of many similar projects in the region now that the Clean Development Mechanism has picked up speed throughout South Africa."

The digester, currently being built in South Africa, is expected to be installed by the end of the year, with registration of the project due to be completed by the first quarter of 2008.

Editor's Notes:


Cargill is an international provider of food, agriculture and risk management products and services. With 153,000 employees in 66 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information, visit

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HSM Group Introduces the World Science Forum in New York City

HSM Group Introduces the World Science Forum in New York City

NEW YORK, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The HSM Group, the world's foremost
executive education organization, announced today that it will be hosting
the groundbreaking World Science Forum on November 8th and 9th in New York
City. Some of the world's preeminent scientists and technologists from the
business community and academia will speak before an audience of 1,500
business leaders.
World Science Forum: The New Universe for Business launches an
initiative by HSM to bring together top-rank academics and leading
scientists at major corporations in a unique forum to openly exchange
ideas, insights, opinions, and forecasts about the emerging scientific and
technological trends that are radically changing the world.
"Science and technology profoundly impact the economy, and the way we
live, work, and do business," says Carlos Rohm, CEO of HSM in the United
States. "This extraordinary meeting of pioneers in science and business
will provide untold opportunities for the senior executives in attendance
to profit from and understand the new business landscape."
The leading minds from the world's most provocative science and
technology heavyweights -- MIT, IBM, Columbia University, NASA, the
National Human Genome Institute, and more -- will gather for the first time
in this two-day program. Speakers include Susan Greenfield, Britain's
foremost neuroscientist and head of the Royal Institution of Great Britain;
Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute; Paul Horn of IBM Research;
Francis Collins of The National Human Genome Project; Ray Kurzweil from the
National Inventors Hall of Fame; Jeffrey D. Sachs of The Earth Institute at
Columbia University; Stuart A. Kauffman, pioneer of the "complexity
theory"; Marvin Minsky, legendary AI guru and founder of the MIT Artificial
Intelligence Lab; James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space
Studies; Tom Leighton, cofounder of Akamai Technologies and MIT expert in
applied math; Mike Roco, Senior Advisor for nanotechnology at the National
Science Foundation; Andrew Lippman, founding member and associate director
of the MIT media lab; and C.K. Prahalad, one of the world's most
influential experts in corporate strategy.
HSM's conference will address the key areas of science and technology:
The Future of Energy, Neuroscience, Genomics, Longevity, Sustainable
Development, Research & Development, Complexity, Artificial Intelligence,
Global Warming, Mathematics, Nanotechnology, Communications, and Science &
Strategy. The summit will also feature a special session on the impact of
science education on the workforce.
The conference has been developed in partnership with Scientific
American. The Wall Street Journal and MIT Sloan Management Review also have
signed on as media partners.
For more information about the World Science Forum, visit
About HSM
HSM is an international firm that, since 1989, brings the world's top
thought leaders and thinkers to analyze, debate, and help build future
trends. Through conferences, print media, and online content, HSM
introduces new parameters in business and believes that knowledge is the
unique driver for change and development.

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From H-1Bs To Growth: Why Wipro's Buying Into The U.S. IT Market

From H-1Bs To Growth: Why Wipro's Buying Into The U.S. IT Market

The Indian company's in the middle of buying a U.S. data center management company and plans to open as many as four software development centers staffed with local hires.

Wipro Technologies, the third-largest Indian IT outsourcing company, is putting down roots in the U.S. of A. In the latest sign that the business is becoming truly global, Wipro is paying $600 million for a U.S.-based infrastructure management provider and planning to open a software development center in Atlanta that could employ 1,000 people in the coming years.

Wipro is buying publicly held Infocrossing for its 900 employees and five data centers, including one at its Leonia, N.J., headquarters. It will cater to U.S. businesses that want to outsource but aren't keen to have their data offshore. As for the Atlanta development center--and three others on the drawing board for southern U.S. cities--Wipro needs those because its biggest U.S. customers want some people available locally.

Although they didn't say so, Wipro and other Indian IT companies may be hitting capacity in tapping the U.S. H-1B guest-worker visa program. Wipro hired 4,002 people on H-1Bs just last year--the second highest of any company, trailing only Indian rival Infosys' 4,908, according to congressional research.

From Bangalore to Leonia

Photo by Sacha Lecca

The Wipro-Infocrossing deal isn't even the biggest cross-border outsourcing acquisition this year. In June, Caritor--an application developer based in California, but whose 3,900 employees are predominately in India and whose founder is Indian--acquired U.S. IT services provider Keane in an $854 million deal backed by Citigroup Venture Capital.

The U.S. deals are a mirror image of what the largest U.S. IT services companies, including Accenture, EDS, and IBM, are doing in India: hiring thousands of Indians and buying local companies. IBM now employs more than 50,000 in India, doing work that ranges from remotely running data centers to custom developing SOA-based systems that its consulting army resells to customers.

Likewise, Wipro, a $4 billion-a-year company best known for offshore application development services, needs to broaden its appeal and commit to new markets abroad. Before the Infocrossing acquisition, Wipro's services might have been attractive to two out of 10 U.S companies, says Dean Davison, VP of research at offshore consulting firm NeoIT, but now they should appeal to seven out of 10. Some U.S. businesses hire outsourcers to run their data centers, but many aren't comfortable having their data outside the United States, for intellectual property protection and other reasons. A New York company, The Buying Triangle, is now fighting Infosys in a U.S District Court, claiming that Infosys refused to release its data after it canceled an outsourcing contract with the vendor because of poor performance. Infosys says it met the terms of the contract and is owed money.

Wipro needs more employees in the United States to service large customer contracts, ranging from $500 million to $1 billion, says Sridhar Ramasubbu, the company's CFO for the Americas and Europe. He notes that Wipro's U.S. moves augment its expansion in other countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, and several European countries, where it also has development centers up or planned.

Wipro plans to open the Atlanta center in three months and staff up to about 1,000 within three years. The likely locations for three more development centers are Raleigh, N.C.; Austin, Texas; and Richmond, Va.

Even if it follows through on the plan, no one's going to mistake Wipro for a U.S. company. It ended last quarter with 72,137 employees, the vast majority of them in India. The kind of hiring it's considering in the United States is small potatoes for the company--worldwide, it added an average of 1,400 employees a month last quarter, racing to keep pace with its 34% sales growth. Profits grew much slower, though, at 16%.

That gets to the sticky question: How will Wipro keep profits up if it's hiring more, and presumably more expensive, U.S. labor? For one thing, the company will focus on U.S. candidates with associate's degrees rather than more expensive people with bachelor's or graduate degrees, Ramasubbu says. It also will look to recruit ex-military personnel looking for career transitions. Once hired, Wipro will train people in its software development process and pay the best to earn bachelor's degrees in software engineering, he says. That kind of effort's nothing new to Indian IT firms, which run massive training programs to get their new recruits--many of them just out of college and unprepared for the workforce--up to speed.

Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro's two biggest Indian outsourcing rivals, didn't reply in time for publication about their U.S. employment plans. Infosys and TCS together employ about 15,000 foreign nationals in the United States on H-1B visas. S. "Paddy" Padmanabhan, TCS's executive VP of global human resources, has previously said that within three to five years, 20% of the company's workforce will likely be outside India.


The Wipro and Caritor deals are different, but both suggest a global IT services industry where vendors need to have more of a local commitment.

Caritor was a small company that, while officially based in the United States, was staffed nearly entirely by Indians doing remote software development, the only exception being people at U.S. customer sites. It didn't even have a U.S. sales force. Keane had a strong U.S. presence that included services such as business process outsourcing and infrastructure consulting. The new company--which kept the Keane name--has no plans to add U.S. software development facilities. "We've already got that presence," says executive VP Sandeep Bhargava.

Other outsourcers don't see the point in mimicking Wipro's U.S. expansion. Syntel, a U.S. outsourcer that does application development, integration, and BPO, has 90% of its 10,000 employees in three main development centers in India, says CEO Bharat Desai. Aside from "culturally aligned" teams on site in the United States, Germany, and other countries managing customer engagements, Desai expects Syntel to stay focused on Indian-based delivery. "We've invested tens of millions of dollars developing robust delivery of services on the back end," he says. He doesn't anticipate a shortage of IT talent in India, despite rampant hiring by much larger companies. "There will be competition but not scarcity of talent in India," he says, thanks to a large and growing population of young people seeking tech-related degrees. In the United States, Desai sees the opposite: a severe shortage of tech talent looming, especially as baby boomers retire and take with them knowledge of "tens of millions of lines of legacy code." Supporting those systems is better suited to offshoring. "The U.S. is an innovative economy," he says. "I can't see young people wanting to do that work."

Still, every Indian outsourcer, Syntel included, is trying to move to higher-value, higher-margin work. Areas such as product development likely will mean more on-site client work. Even so, Syntel will keep development work offshore to keep costs down. "Our teams would work with the customer to figure out what frontier of innovation they want to attack," Desai says. "But once that's decided, the execution, testing would be done in India."

Politics is never far from the surface with offshore outsourcing. One hot button is whether U.S. politicians should raise the cap on H-1B visas. That cap was reached in just two days this year, in part because outsourcers flooded in requests. U.S. workers maintain that those employers don't try hard enough to find local talent or aren't willing to pay market rates.

The growing demand for H-1B visas is becoming a business risk for Indian IT companies, not just a political hot potato. In their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the largest Indian companies all cite as a major risk the possibility of not getting enough visas to serve clients abroad. Wipro's Ramasubbu acknowledges there may be business and political advantages in adding U.S. employees. "This helps on the planning and image side, definitely," he says.

A couple of thousand U.S. employees won't end all criticism of Indian outsourcers. But they'll add to the increasingly complex picture that makes up the global IT services industry.

Universal Buys Stake in

Universal Buys Stake in

So far this year, Universal has made an equity investment in Alliance Trace Media and acquired companies that have record labels and operate merchandising, touring, and artist management businesses. Investments in other types of businesses, such as, are becoming more common as the industry struggles through a protracted CD sales slump.


Organizations need assurance and information security programs aligned with business goals and effective in managing risk. ISACA's Certified Information Systems Auditor™ (CISA®) and Certified Information Security Manager® (CISM®) designations can help ensure your organization's success.

Universal Music Group said Wednesday it has acquired a stake in the operator of urban social networking Web site
The deal is part of the music company's strategy to gain new sources of revenue and media outlets for its stable of recording artists.

The company, a unit of Paris-based Vivendi SA, did not disclose the size of its equity investment in the Web site, which also operates under the domain name

The ad-supported site caters to hip-hop fans who can upload their own raps and compete for a record deal with SRC Records, a label distributed by Universal.

The Web site also sells audio files of hip-hop beats for 99 cents.

So far this year, Universal has made an equity investment in Alliance Trace Media, which owns Paris-based TRACE-TV, and acquired companies that have record labels and operate merchandising, touring and artist management businesses in Spain, Great Britain and Brazil.

Record companies have historically relied on developing new artists and making money from the sale of music or from music publishing.

However, investments in other types of businesses are becoming more common as the industry struggles through a protracted CD sales slump.

Record labels are also looking to strike deals with recording artists that give the labels a slice of touring, merchandising and other revenue.

Earlier this week, Warner Music Group Corp. said it planned to step up such deals.

The New York-based recording company has also invested in artist management businesses, including Front Line Management.

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World's Largest Software Piracy Ring Busted

World's Largest Software Piracy Ring Busted

Microsoft estimates that the software piracy of an international counterfeiting syndicate, over the past six years, cost the company at least $2 billion in lost software revenue. Microsoft said that key information in the investigation came from its Windows Genuine Advantage program, an antipiracy system that can check whether an OS is legit.


Organizations need assurance and information security programs aligned with business goals and effective in managing risk. ISACA's Certified Information Systems Auditor™ (CISA®) and Certified Information Security Manager® (CISM®) designations can help ensure your organization's success.

American and Chinese authorities said Monday that they have taken down what was reportedly the world's largest software piracy syndicate. The two-year-old operation, code-named Summer Solstice, was a joint effort by the FBI and China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
The sting resulted in 25 arrests and seizures by the Chinese authorities of more than $7 million in assets, including over 290,000 counterfeit software CDs and certificates of authenticity. The fraudulent software had an estimated street value of about $500 million. In two-dozen searches and asset seizure raids, FBI agents in Los Angeles seized an additional $2 million in counterfeit software and assets worth over $700,000.

J. Stephen Tidwell, assistant director in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, said that "the buying and selling of counterfeit goods amounts to stealing the ideas of others and is no different than common theft."

Busting the Counterfeiters

According to the FBI, Summer Solstice involved several investigations in LA and China. One such investigation focused on a Shanghai-based organization headed by Ma Ke Pei, who has been accused of providing counterfeit products to U.S. distributors.

In 2003, Ma Ke Pei was indicted in New York for criminal copyright and trademark violations relating to imitation Microsoft products. But Ma fled to China, where he resumed his operations and expanded to include imitation Symantec software.

With assistance from the FBI, the MPS arrested Ma Ke Pei and 10 of his coconspirators in China. More than $500,000 and five real estate properties were frozen, and equipment for manufacturing pseudo-Symantec products was seized.

Another group composed of 14 major producers and distributors was based in Shenzhen. It made counterfeit software, of which more than 70 percent was shipped to the U.S., according to investigators. In the cooperative effort between the two countries, 14 members of the Shenzhen group were arrested, six manufacturing and retail facilities were dismantled, and raids seized 47,000 counterfeit Microsoft CDs and eight high-quality Microsoft master CD replication discs.

Billions in Lost Revenue

Microsoft's associate general counsel, David Finn, pointed out to PC World that the typical maximum sentence for piracy in China is about seven years. He said that there has never been a case this big, and added that it "will have an appreciable and noticeable impact on the volume of pirated software on the marketplace."

The Redmond, Washington-based company estimates that the piracy of these operations, over the past six years, cost the company at least $2 billion in lost revenue. Microsoft said that key information in the investigation came from its Windows Genuine Advantage program, which is an antipiracy system that can check whether an operating system is genuine.

About 1,000 customers who suspected that their copies of Windows XP were not valid had the discs submitted to the Genuine Advantage program, and they were linked back to the syndicate, according to Microsoft.

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Universal Tests DRM-Free Music, Not on iTunes

Universal Tests DRM-Free Music, Not on iTunes

In a new test that will run through the end of January 2008, Universal Music Group is offering DRM-free music tracks through several online music outlets, including, most notably, RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service, which has some 2.7 million subscribers who can purchase tracks on Rhapsody for 10 cents less than iTunes' rates.


Organizations need assurance and information security programs aligned with business goals and effective in managing risk. ISACA's Certified Information Systems Auditor™ (CISA®) and Certified Information Security Manager® (CISM®) designations can help ensure your organization's success.

Is it the end of the digital rights management (DRM) world as we know it? On Friday, Universal announced plans to peddle thousands of DRM-free albums and tracks through various online music outlets.
Between August 21 and the end of January 2008, participants including Google, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, RealNetworks, Transworld, Passalong Networks,, and Puretracks will offer Universal downloads to consumers in the DRM-free format of their choice in a variety of bitrates. For the most part, the DRM free downloads will be offered at standard wholesale prices.

The unrestricted offerings include albums and songs from many of the company's top-selling artists, such as 50 Cent, Amy Winehouse, The Pussycat Dolls, The Police, and Johnny Cash. Unrestricted MP3 files are compatible with every portable digital music player on the market.

Nitty Gritty Details

One of the major participants in the trial is RealNetworks. Its Rhapsody service leads the market for subscriptions, with 2.7 million members. "Real is committed to giving consumers more control over where and how they enjoy the music they buy online," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. "We think online music is moving to a DRM-free model for music purchases."

DRM-free music from Universal will be available for the same price on Rhapsody as protected files -- 89 cents per song for Rhapsody subscribers and 99 cents for nonsubscribers. That trumps iTunes prices by 10 cents for Rhapsody subscribers.

Richard Doherty, a DRM analyst at Envisioneering Group, said he is not surprised by the latest twist in the copy-protection saga.

"In the media business, it's risky to be first, great to be second, and embarrassing to be last," he quipped. "Universal isn't the pioneer that EMI was, but this move will be well received by music listeners around the world and should help the company's bottom line over time."

Apple Loses Out

RealNetworks has been an advocate of interoperability and the need to let consumers purchase music downloads that can be played on any MP3 player. Earlier this year, Real called on the recording industry to address these compatibility problems and help grow the market for legal music downloads by allowing digital music retailers to sell their music without DRM.

But, then again, so did Apple. Why, then, did Universal choose to ink a DRM-free deal with several other companies instead of with its longstanding iPod-making partner? Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself has said that the average iPod holds a mere 25 purchased songs. "Rhapsody has taken in more money than the average iTunes sale," Doherty confirmed. "So this is obviously very good for the Rhapsody business model. It also helps Rhapsody pull away from Yahoo Music and other subscription models."

Despite EMI and Universal moving ahead with DRM-free experiments, getting Sony and Warner Music on board with DRM-free tracks might not be an immediate given. But industry watchers agree that unrestricted music seems to be where the industry is headed.

"The trick here is to get the nail biters and the laggards to pay for digital downloads," said Doherty. "Many have resorted to free music sources instead of paying because they don't want the error messages telling them they have to activate another music player to listen to the track."

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Miniature” dinosaurs surprise researchers

Miniature” dinosaurs surprise researchers

A species of dinosaurs known as the biggest land animals that ever lived, had some miniature cousins, a study has found. According to researchers, the little reptiles weighed about one fiftieth as much as their closest relatives, the well-known brachiosaurs-long-necked, massive plant-eaters.

Newly unveiled models of a group of Europasaurus on display at the Dinopark Münchehagen. (Courtesy Dinopark Münchehagen.)
It's not the first scientific sensation surrounding the discovery of a miniature version of a familiar animal. And the last time such a sensation arose, it didn't turn out very well.

Researchers in 2004 reported discovering fossils from a species of miniature humans on the Indonesian island of Flores. A growing number of scientists now dispute the finding, saying the bones probably came from an ordinary person with a disease.

The researchers in the dinosaur study say they're untroubled by that ongoing debate.

When the little reptilian fossils turned up at the edge of Germany's Harz Mountains in 1998, researchers assumed they were the remains of young dinosaurs. But palaeontologist Martin Sander of the University of Bonn, Germany, and colleagues argue in the new study that they were probably adults. They based this conclusion on the microscopic structure of the bones.

Their analysis appears in the June 8 issue of the research journal Nature.

Dinosaur bones have "growth marks," not unlike the annual rings on trees, Sanders explained. When the reptiles were young the growth marks are far apart, because the animal was growing fast; but the marks lie close together for adult dinosaurs, which had already reached full size.

"It is precisely these tightly compressed marks that we have discovered just beneath the surface of the fossil's bones," said Sander, a specialist in the micro-structure of dinosaur skeletons. "The dinosaurs must have been fully grown when they died."

These "dwarf" dinosaurs were slightly longer and heavier than a car, Sander said. "They stopped growing when they reached 6 metres [20 feet] in length and a ton in body mass," he estimated. Their brachiosaur cousins, by contrast, were up to 45 metres (148 feet) long and weighed 80 tons, as much as a small town of over 1,000 inhabitants.

The 150 million-year-old fossil bones were seen as a rarity even before the new research. During the dinosaurs' time, large parts of Germany were underwater, with only a few islands sticking out. Dinosaurs are land animals, so fossil dinosaurs are rare in Germany.

This island situation may well explain why the "pygmy dinosaurs" evolved, Sanders and colleagues say.

When the sea level rose, flooding more and more land, food might have become scarce. "The result was enormous pressure to evolve: smaller animals which needed less food had better chances of survival," said Nils Knötschke of the Dinopark in Münchehagen, Germany, a member of the research team.

"Shrinkage like this due to a reduction in the food available can take place extremely rapidly, sometimes within 10 or 20 generations," Sander added. In Britain, he noted, deer were introduced to the Shetlands which quickly evolved into a dwarf species of deer. And on Flores in Indonesia, there used to be a miniature elephant hardly bigger than a St. Bernard dog.

This all fits in with the discovery of "Flores Man," said the researchers, who voiced no concerns that skepticism over that case would spill over into their work.

Octávio Mateus of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a member of the research team, wrote in an email that his group has stronger arguments than those who proposed the "Flores Man" species, because of the "large sampling of bones with unique adult micro-structure features."

"Flores Man" was slightly over half the height of a regular adult male, whereas these dinosaurs would be less than one-seventh the length of their giant counterparts.

The researchers gave the diminutive dinosaurs the scientific name Europasaurus holgeri. The moniker honors Holger Luedtke, a hobbyist first found the fossils in 1998 in a quarry near Oker, on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains.

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Data Protection Introduced for Enterprises

Data Protection Introduced for Enterprises

Looking at the various needs for enterprises to store and manage data, a next generation enterprise data protection solution has been introduced. Veritas NetBackup 6.5 claims to provide a platform where enterprises can reduce data loss, operating costs, backup windows, recovery time, and the data footprint for backup operations, while enhancing the manageability and in meeting internal and external compliance requirements.

The solution provided by Symantec, offers the platform to unite next-generation data protection offerings including tape, Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs), disk backup, data deduplication, Continuous Data Protection (CDP), snapshots, and replication. Besides, it includes granular recovery for critical applications and virtual machines, innovative new licensing, and pricing programs.

NetBackup 6.5 features four new capabilities that allow users to avail the advantage of the power of disk-based data protection - such as native data deduplication that can be leveraged by the entire NetBackup environment extending from desktops and laptops to remote office servers and enterprise data centers; native disk backup capabilities, which enable pooling, sharing, and backup over the Storage Area Network (SAN) to a large pool of shared disk; deep integration with intelligent backup appliances and VTLs; and heterogeneous snapshot and CDP management.

It's a solution meant for centralized, end-to-end management of heterogeneous data protection technologies. With this enterprises are expected to get the best of both worlds - unprecedented choice and flexibility to select best technologies. It'll enable enterprises to manage various vendors and technologies, which is possible by an approach to agents, policy management, recovery processes, security, backup reporting, and data catalog. It's unmatched in its support for managing and controlling a variety of advanced data protection technologies from third party vendors.

NetBackup 6.5 integrates Symantec's PureDisk deduplication technology into the core of NetBackup to ensure that redundant backup information is stored once across the entire enterprise backup environment, consolidating desktops and laptops, remote offices, and data centers. It gets integrated into the user's environment and customizes backup and recovery according to application needs. Furthermore, the solution aims to deliver a comprehensive solution for VMware protection, providing consolidated backup, granular file level, and image-level recovery from a single backup, and deduplication for VMware backups. With NetBackup 6.5, customers seem to have the choice of licensing NetBackup infrastructure on a capacity-based model (based upon the total amount of data being protected) or continuing to use the traditional per-server model.

BakBone Announces Universal Version of Enterprise Data Protection

BakBone Announces Universal Version of Enterprise Data Protection Solution for Intel-Based Macs; BakBone Follows Through on Commitment to Offer Broadest Choices for Protecting Enterprise Mac Environments
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 14, 2006--BakBone Software(R) (TSX:BKB) (Pink Sheets:BKBO), a global provider of heterogeneous integrated data protection solutions, today announced the Universal version of NetVault: Backup 7.4.2 for Intel(TM)-based Macs. Continuing in its tradition of delivering industry-leading heterogeneous products, BakBone offers the broadest choices for protecting enterprise Mac environments, with Universal Application versions now available through Apple's direct sales.

"We welcome Apple's move to Intel and have already successfully enabled our NetVault product line for deployment in Intel-based Mac computing environments," said Ken Horner, senior vice president of corporate strategy and development for BakBone Software. "BakBone's Universal Application support is a natural extension to our ongoing strategy of delivering customers the most robust, heterogeneous enterprise-class data protection solutions, as well as our commitment to supporting Apple technologies today."

"Xcode gives developers the opportunity to quickly and easily deliver Universal applications for our blazing fast new hardware," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations. "We're delighted BakBone's development of Universal applications will give users the flexibility to implement data protection strategies across a fully heterogeneous environment."

In addition to Universal Application support, NetVault: Backup 7.4.2 for Mac OS X incorporates many additional ease-of-use features and enterprise-class enhancements. These include improved Xsan management and command line interface (CLI) tools for increased reliability and centralized administration, as well as new enterprise-class features for added scalability, media management and international language support.

Building on a recent series of "Affordable Storage" events called "Data Retention & Recovery: Innovative Solutions to Meet Today's Massive Needs," BakBone and Apple continue to showcase the respective storage products to businesses worldwide, with the next series of scheduled events to be held at Emory University on June 19, Georgia Tech on June 20 and University of Georgia on June 21.


NetVault: Backup 7.4.2 for Mac OS X with Universal Application support is available today through Apple's direct sales worldwide. To learn more about BakBone and NetVault's enterprise-class data protection features, or the storage roadshow events, please visit BakBone's web site at or contact

About BakBone Software, Inc.

BakBone Software is a leading international data protection solution provider that develops and distributes heterogeneous data backup, restore, disaster recovery, replication and storage reporting software for network storage and open-systems environments. BakBone delivers scalable solutions that address the complex demands of large enterprise environments, as well as small- to medium-sized businesses. Founded in 2000, BakBone products are used by Fortune 1000 corporations and domestic and international government entities. Distributed through a select global network of strategic partners, resellers and solution providers, interested companies can learn more information about BakBone's products and services and its newly introduced IDP vision at or email

Safe Harbor

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, which, if they do not materialize or prove correct, could cause BakBone's results to differ materially from historical results, or those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to: competition in our target markets; potential capital needs; management of future growth and expansion; the development, implementation and execution of the Company's Integrated Data Protection (IDP) strategic vision; risk of third-party claims of infringement; protection of proprietary information; customer acceptance of the Company's existing and newly introduced products and fee structures; and the success of BakBone's brand development efforts, as well as risks associated with strategic alliances, reliance on distribution channels, product concentration, need to develop new and enhanced products, potential product defects, our ability to hire and retain qualified employees and key management personnel, and risks associated with changes in domestic and international market conditions and the entry into and development of international markets for the Company's products. Our forward-looking statements should be considered in the context of these and other risk factors disclosed in our most recent report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may be found at, as well as those risk factors disclosed in our current report filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators, which is available on SEDAR at All future written and oral forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf are also subject to these factors. BakBone assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which it was made, other than as required under applicable securities laws.

BakBone(R), BakBone Software(R), NetVault(R), Application Plugin Module(TM), BakBone logo(R), Integrated Data Protection(TM), Redefining Data Protection(TM), Constant Data(TM), Constant Data logo(TM), Constant Replicator(TM), OnDemand Replicator(TM) and Constant HA Cluster(TM) are all trademarks or registered trademarks of BakBone Software, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. All other brands, products or service names are or may be trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of, and used to identify, products or services of their respective owners.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding BakBone Software, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

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Omaha Public Power District Selects Itron Enterprise Edition (IEE) for Meter Data Management

LIBERTY LAKE, WA - 24hoursnews.blogspot (News Release)

Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), announced today a contract with Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) to purchase Itron Enterprise Edition (IEE) Meter Data Management solution for more than 310,000 electric meters. OPPD joins 22 other investor-owned and publicly-owned utilities that have deployed Itron's Meter Data Management solution.

Itron's meter data management software will work with Itron's ChoiceConnectTM AMR system, allowing OPPD to efficiently manage out-of-route and off-cycle reads in addition to collecting on-cycle billing reads through its Mobile AMR system. By collecting and storing out-of-route reads in a central database, OPPD will be able to avoid field orders to obtain off-cycle readings, further enhancing the value of their Mobile AMR System.

"Itron Enterprise Edition enables us to streamline field operations that require more frequent meter readings and leverage the value of this data across the enterprise. Our costs are lowered and our customers are better served," said Juli Comstock, manager of customer operations technology for OPPD.

IEE's open architecture allows utilities to deploy a single MDM tool to support all types of metering-based data-interval, register, and event data-collected from residential, as well as commercial and industrial customer segments. IEE has been designed to solve a key business challenge facing utilities by eliminating many of the inefficiencies and integration difficulties that arise from operating and maintaining multiple meter data collection systems.

Eric Miller, vice president for Itron Software Solutions, said OPPD's decision represents a sound strategic investment for the long term because the product supports multiple technologies and accommodates a wide range of data sources.

"OPPD's use of out-of-route reads is one of the best examples of using technology to optimize a utility business process," Miller said, "But IEE also provides OPPD with flexibility for future requirements such as supporting fixed-network or AMI metering deployments."

About Itron Inc.

Itron Inc. is a leading technology provider to the global energy and water industries. Itron Inc. consists of Itron in North America and Actaris outside of North America. Our company is the world's leading provider of metering, data collection and utility software solutions, with nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on our technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Our products include electricity, gas and water meters; data collection and communication systems, including automated meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI); meter data management and related software applications; project management, installation, and consulting services. To know more, start here:

About OPPD

The Omaha Public Power District is one of the largest publicly owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 310,000 customers in 13 southeast Nebraska counties. It was organized as a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska in 1946. Policies and rates are set by an eight-member Board of Directors elected by the people in the areas served. For more information about OPPD, please visit

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Innovators at MIT to present workable solutions for developing world

Question: What do a pedal-powered grain mill, a Guatemalan bicycle mechanic, and MIT students have in common?

Answer: The first International Development Design Summit, which has featured dozens of participants from around the world working together over the past month to create real, workable solutions to problems in the developing world.

On Wednesday, Aug. 8, IDDS participants will present the results of their efforts and their proposed solutions to the diverse range of problems they have chosen to tackle during the summit. The presentations, which are open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. in Room 10-250, followed by project displays, poster session and reception in Lobby 10.

The summit has realized the vision of Amy Smith, who received a master's in engineering from MIT in 1995 and won a MacArthur 'genius' grant in 2004. Smith, one of the conference organizers, is dedicated to using technology to design simple yet efficient solutions for problems in the developing world.

"I believe very strongly that solutions to problems in the developing world are best created in collaboration with the people who will be using them," Smith said. "By bringing this group of people together, we get an incredibly broad range of backgrounds and experiences.

During the summit, participants split off into design teams, identified a problem, and collaborated on working solutions. Taking part in all aspects of the design process -- from problem definition through manufacturing of prototypes -- the teams received training at machine shops, rapid prototyping facilities and workspaces at MIT and in the surrounding community.

This year's projects include:

  • Off-grid refrigeration for rural areas using evaporative cooling methods.

  • Microbial Fuel Cells using microbes in their natural environments and locally available materials to generate electricity in the developing world.

  • Biodigester slurry separation to lessen the burden of water collection.

  • Low-cost greenhouse from recycled and easily available materials.

  • Low-cost water testing kit to give developing communities and small scale NGOs the ability to test water sources and supply chains.

  • Pedal-powered hammer mill to produce flour from grains.

  • A system that combines the collection, transport, disinfection and delivery of drinking water for the rural household.

  • Low-cost, modular water filtration unit to provide clean drinking water.

  • Patient health tracking system using Radio Frequency Identification.

  • Improved cook stove to reduce smoke production, built with locally available materials.

For more information about the summit please visit

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Communications & Power Industries Completes Acquisition of Malibu Research Associates

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Communications & Power Industries, Inc. (CPI), a leading provider of microwave, radio frequency, power and control solutions for critical defense, communications, medical, scientific and other applications, has completed its acquisition of Malibu Research Associates, Inc., a leader in the design, manufacture and integration of advanced antenna systems for radar, radar simulators and telemetry systems, as well as for strategically vital data links used in ground, airborne, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and shipboard systems.)

Under the terms of the acquisition, which was previously announced on June 28, 2007, CPI, a subsidiary of CPI International, Inc. , purchased all outstanding common stock of Malibu Research Associates, a privately held company, for approximately $22.0 million in cash. The acquisition was funded entirely from CPI's cash on hand. CPI has agreed to make up to $15.0 million in additional earnout payments, which are primarily contingent upon the achievement of certain financial objectives over the three years following the acquisition. Malibu Research Associates will remain headquartered in Camarillo, Calif., where it will operate as an independent division of CPI. The division manager of Malibu Research Associates will report directly to Bob Fickett, president and chief operating officer of CPI.

The acquisition will expand CPI's product offering to both new and existing customers in the radar, electronic warfare and communications markets. Malibu Research Associates' customers include major aerospace and defense contractors and government agencies. Its current programs include advanced antenna solutions for the airborne and ground nodes of the tactical common data link (TCDL) network for various platforms, including UAVs. TCDL is a high-bandwidth digital data link that transmits and receives real-time command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data between manned and unmanned airborne platforms and their associated ground-based and ship-based terminals.

"We look forward to working with the team at Malibu Research Associates to manufacture and distribute their cutting-edge radar and communications products using CPI's established production capabilities and extensive global sales channels," said Joe Caldarelli, chief executive officer of CPI. "This acquisition furthers CPI's goal of providing complementary, technologically advanced products and services to our existing markets and customers, while gaining innovative technology and exciting opportunities for future growth."

The acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive in fiscal 2008, excluding the impact of purchase accounting, and increasingly accretive in fiscal 2009.

About CPI International, Inc.

CPI International, Inc., headquartered in Palo Alto, California, is the parent company of Communications & Power Industries, Inc., a leading provider of microwave, radio frequency, power and control solutions for critical defense, communications, medical, scientific and other applications. Communications & Power Industries, Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes products used to generate, amplify and transmit high-power/high-frequency microwave and radio frequency signals and/or provide power and control for various applications. End-use applications of these systems include the transmission of radar signals for navigation and location; transmission of deception signals for electronic countermeasures; transmission and amplification of voice, data and video signals for broadcasting, Internet and other types of communications; providing power and control for medical diagnostic imaging; and generating microwave energy for radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer and for various industrial and scientific applications.

Certain statements included above constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward- looking statements provide our current expectations, beliefs or forecasts of future events. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the results projected, expected or implied by these forward looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, competition in our end markets; our significant amount of debt; changes or reductions in the U.S. defense budget; U.S. government contracts laws and regulations; changes in technology; the impact of unexpected costs; inability to obtain raw materials and components; and currency fluctuations. These and other risks are described in more detail in our periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All future written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us. We undertake no duty or obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in our expectations.

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ATK Awarded $2.8 Million Contract With Sandia National Laboratories to Build Satellite Link Signal Generator



MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) announced today that its Mission Research & Technical Services (MRTS) business division has been awarded a $2.8 million dollar contract by Sandia National Laboratories to build a unique multi-channel test source for the U.S. Nuclear Detection System (NDS) program, with disturbed channel capabilities. The enhanced testing source substantially expands the scope of earlier modeling and simulation analysis work to include hardware development.

"This multi-channel satellite signal generator contract provides an enhanced nuclear scintillation communications test capability to our important Sandia National Laboratories customer, evolving both system flexibility and test realism," said Arde Bedjanian, vice president and general manager of MRTS. "Beyond these important customer advances, this effort also enhances our advanced scintillation test services capability which is applicable to other related customers," according to Bedjanian.

Options for $1.2 million have been negotiated, but not yet exercised, that would extend the effort through March 2009. Work will be performed at ATK facilities in Santa Barbara, CA and Colorado Springs, CO.

ATK is a $4.0 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 16,500 people in 21 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: changes in governmental spending, budgetary policies and product sourcing strategies; the company's competitive environment; the terms and timing of awards and contracts; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Media Contact: Investor Contact:
Tracy Imm Steve Wold
Phone: 410-864-4824 Phone: 952-351-3056
E-mail: E-mail:

SOURCE: Alliant Techsystems

CONTACT: media, Tracy Imm, +1-410-864-4824,, or
investors, Steve Wold, +1-952-351-3056,, both of Alliant

Web site:

From another source(

Alliant Techsystems Inc., the only maker of reusable solid-rocket motors for U.S. space shuttles, won a $1.8 billion contract from NASA for the first stage of the Ares I rocket.

The new contract replaces a temporary agreement in place since last year. The award covers five ground static-test motors, two ground vibration-test articles and four flight-test stages and runs through Dec. 31, 2014, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement today.

The Ares I is the rocket that will lift the Orion spacecraft, which will replace the current shuttle fleet, into low Earth orbit. Alliant Chief Executive Officer Daniel Murphy said Aug. 2 he expected the award, and at the time he put the value at more than $1.5 billion.

Edina, Minnesota-based Alliant began work on Ares in April 2006.

Alliant's first-quarter sales grew 16 percent to $958.4 million, including $50 million from work on the Ares program, Murphy said on the call.

Shares of Alliant gained $1 to $107.47 at 4:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They have risen 38 percent in the past year.

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GM plugs in to battery technology

GM and A123Systems to Co-Develop Lithium-Ion Battery Cell for Chevrolet Volt (

company with roots at MIT has been selected to develop battery cells to power the Chevrolet Volt, a highly anticipated plug-in hybrid car that General Motors hopes to begin selling in 2010.

The Detroit automaker announced Thursday that it selected A123Systems of Watertown to develop battery cells to meet the specific requirements of GM's E-Flex System-a technology that is expected to allow the Volt to travel around 40 miles on battery power alone.

A123Systems was co-founded in 2001 by Yet-Ming Chiang, the Kyocera Professor of Ceramics in MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Several of the company's key early employees also came from MIT.

A123 develops nanophosphate-based cell technology, which, according to company executives, provides higher power output, longer life and safer operations than other lithium ion battery chemistries over the life of the battery. The company's proprietary Nanophosphate™ technology is built on a new, highly active nanoscale material initially developed at MIT.

"It is extremely rewarding for the MIT research team to see how far our original laboratory discoveries have come," Chiang said. "While much remains to be done, this development is yet another example of the impact that university research can have on pressing societal problems such as energy and sustainability, as well as a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit surrounding MIT."

The Volt concept car that GM unveiled in January at the Detroit Auto Show is equipped with both a gas tank and a battery to give drivers maximum flexibility. For commuters who drive fewer than 40 miles a day, the Volt would effectively use no gasoline and create zero emissions, saving an estimated 500 gallons of gasoline a year. For drivers who put in around 60 miles a day on the road, the Volt would have a fuel efficiency of about 150 miles per gallon.

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