Tech Digest: what's moving in the Midwest

Tech Digest: what's moving in the Midwest

AT&T expands retail distribution of Internet telephone service

AT&T has announced that it will add Circuit City to the growing list of retailers that sell its CallVantage phone service.
The service allows customers to connect phones to their broadband Internet connections using voice over Internet protocol.
The company started offering CallVantage in the Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine areas this June and in the Madison area this August.
AT&T also distributes the service through Best Buy and, among others.

Time Warner in Green Bay to add Superconnect software

By WTN News
The Green Bay division of Time Warner cable announced on Tuesday that it will be using Texas-based Superconnect‘s software system to manage its PCT fiber network.
The PCT Link Manager application provides a Web-based interface for configuring and troubleshooting the fiber system.
The software is also designed to support back-end monitoring and alarms that are sent through e-mail, mobile phones, pagers, or online messenger systems. It utilizes GigE and 100Mbps links, giving it a direct connection to the customer via fiber optics.
Bret Kindness, vice president of commercial services for Time Warner-Green Bay, said its rapid-response capability is crucial to improving customer service. “The ability to know about a customer’s issue and call them before they’ve noticed any problems leaves a lasting impression,” Kindness said.

TeraMedica hires new VP as CEO goes

Milwaukee health-care firm TeraMedica will lose its CEO and gain a new vice president, according to a Wednesday statement.
Christopher Hanna, the company’s CEO and co-founder, will be leaving the firm to join Varian Medical Systems, where he will serve as vice president for the company’s onocology information systems unit. He will remain on TeraMedica’s board of directors, working as the chair of its medical advisory board.
Paul Markham, a 10-year veteran of GE Healthcare, will be joining the TeraMedica staff as vice president of marketing. He will manage the sales and marketing functions of the company, starting with the brand development of the TeraMedica Information Solution (TI2m), an enterprise archive solution that manages and converts medical records into digital images.
“Paul has demonstrated an expert knowledge of our industry and the ability to successfully market new technology in the health-care technology space,” Prekop said. “We’re excited to add his skill set to the TeraMEDICA team.”

Appleton firm to build mobile Air Force lab

Pierce Manufacturing, a division of the specialized automobile manufacturer Oshkosh Truck, announced on Wednesday it has made a deal to build a mobile molecular testing laboratory for the Brooks City Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Vital Probes, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of instruments for biological agent detection, won the defense contract and chose Pierce for the lab construction. Work will begin on October 1 and is expected to take roughly a year.

Engineers manipulate single electrons to make efficient computer chips

University of Wisconsin engineers have found a way to make computer chips even smaller and more energy-efficient.
UW-Madison professor Robert Blick and physicist Dominik Scheible of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich have applied for a patent on a device that uses just one electron to represent a binary digit — a 1 or a 0. Unlike previous one-electron transistors, theirs does not need to be super-cooled to work.
The more electrons are used for each bit of data, the more energy is wasted in manipulating the data. A device made with one-electron transistors could be smaller than existing chips, take less energy and generate less waste heat.
“When you use 100,000 electrons to switch a single bit of information inside a computer containing megabytes (8.5 million bits) or gigabytes (8.5 billion bits) of information, a lot of heat is dissipated,” Blick said.
The device is described in the June 2004 issue of Applied Physics Letters. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the university’s technology transfer arm, will handle the patent.

UW researcher jumps on earthquake study opportunity

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit California on Tuesday will provide University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers with a chance to do a detailed study of the aftershocks.
Clifford Thurber, a UW-Madison seismologist who leads an earthquake research center near Parkfield, California, the small town in the middle of the quake, hopes to quickly deploy research equipment there, according to a university release.
The observatory, named SAFOD, or San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth, includes a hole four kilometers deep, drilled directly into the San Andreas fault.