In the information age, pirates are busy surfing the waves of networks and the Internet. The treasures they pilfer are not doubloons or pieces of eight, but software, and it is certainly just as valuable. These modern-day buccaneers wear neither eye patches nor Jolly Roger insignia but rather business suits and corporate logos, and the term freebooter has now taken on a whole new meaning. But industry and government software sea rovers beware; you could find a U.S. marshal at your door holding a court order in one hand and an auditing program to identify illegal copies of software in the other.
Entrepreneurs aiming to take advantage of the opportunities the Internet offers are benefiting from a proven approach to fostering successful businesses. Affordable office space, venture capital and experienced mentors are helping the first wave of computer-comfortable visionaries realize their dreams while opening up a whole new world of alternatives to traditional marketing.
Letting people know whether to expect rain, sleet or snow for tomorrow morning's commute may not seem to have much in common with providing technological expertise for the Trident submarine, Minuteman missile or the space shuttle, but Evan Hineman has a way of pulling it all together.
Dealing with the Byzantine operations of the Internal Revenue Service leaves a lot of executives feeling taxed-but not Van B. Honeycutt. Instead, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Computer Sciences Corporation, El Segundo, California, says his company's lead role in a 10- to 15-year contract to overhaul the federal tax agency's information infrastructure underscores a series of dramatic changes he helped plan 10 years ago. They include more work with Fortune 500 companies and rapid growth through acquisitions.
Technology derived from military signal analysis work is producing testing equipment for wideband applications in the private sector. These devices are capable of both storing and analyzing large amounts of data while generating a variety of broadcast waveforms.
If anyone can explain the principles behind the flight path of a boomerang, it is Dr. Edward H. Bersoff. Not only is Bersoff president, chief executive officer and founder of BTG Incorporated, a leading information technology company based in Fairfax, Virginia, but he also holds a doctoral degree in mathematics from New York University and is a former U.S. Army officer assigned to the National Aeronautics and Space
Jim Robbins, the Harvard-educated president of one of the nation's largest cable companies, was in southern California on a business trip when he decided to check his voice mail and got the stunning news that America Online had agreed to merge with Time Warner. The deal was not only the largest of its kind but one that promises to reshape how executives in a wide range of telecommunications businesses view the concept of convergence.
Next-generation signal processor technology for wireless communications is the focus of a unique research center. The Atlanta-based StarCore Technology Center combines the pooled assets of Motorola Incorporated's semiconductor products sector and Lucent Technologies' microelectronics group.
A set of software and algorithms developed to identify criminal activity in the gambling industry is now available to the federal government to help detect employee fraud and collusion. The system correlates data from a variety of sources to shed light on questionable personal relationships and transactions. In the federal sector, this system's potential uses cover internal security, background investigations and intelligence gathering.
Companies that have made their millions-and billions-in the guts and brains of information technology products are spreading their techno-tentacles into e-commerce through the gap between operation and application services. They are not leaving the world of hardware behind but rather are ensuring that their companies will continue to prosper by infusing their technical expertise into the space between the transmitter and the receiver of e-commerce messages.