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June 29, 2010

In step with Jen Gunner, new interim executive director of Greater Baltimore Tech Council

Gunner%20Headshot.jpgJennifer R. Gunner graduated from Frostburg State University into the dot-com economy in the late 1990s, drawn by the technological fever driving corporate and stock-market growth.

The dot-com bubble burst while she was at Aether Systems Inc., the Owings Mills wireless networking company and onetime star of Baltimore's "new economy" that eventually moved out of town and reinvented itself.

Gunner then tried the banking world for a few years. But then, three years ago, she came back to the Baltimore technology scene, running marketing and communications for the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.

For the past two weeks, she's been leading the council, stepping in as interim executive director after the council announced that Steve Kozak resigned to pursue new professional ventures after five years in the top job.

She is a candidate to take his post.

The council is the technology sector's main industry association and promotes networking among its 300-plus member companies in the Baltimore area. Gunner is a chief organizer, networker and cheerleader for scores of entrepreneurs and business executives in Baltimore.

She says she's ready for the challenge and hopes the council's board of directors makes her Kozak's permanent replacement. "I have a huge love for the entrepreneurial mindset," Gunner said. "We exist for our members. We exist to help them create connections, through networking, educational forums or any activity that drives their businesses."

The GBTC spun off from the Greater Baltimore Committee more than a decade ago. The small staff of three full-time and three part-time employees coordinates and supports more than 250 events a year, including panel discussions, roundtables, dinners, happy hours and other major events.

Gunner hopes to harness the growing power of social media and the council's organizational expertise to support an expanding range of events - ranging from speaker series to start-up competitions - being organized by entrepreneurs. One popular event they've helped promote is Ignite Baltimore, a speakers' series where presenters give rapid-fire slideshow presentations on interesting topics.

Gunner plans to listen to GBTC members to quickly develop programs and events that they want, and to support other grassroots networking initiatives tied to the technology sector. "We're opening ourselves up to the community more," Gunner said.

"I don't think it's something that's overly new, we're just doing it in a dynamic way."

At a recent wine tasting at the Emerging Technologies Center in Canton, the council registered more than 100 guests who came to network and sip wine.

"Anybody who can sit with these members and entrepreneurs and not get excited is beyond me," Gunner said. "They breed excitement and energy, and that's what our region is about."


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 11:33 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

June 26, 2010

Baltimore spots watching the World Cup today: USA vs. Ghana

Here's a list of spots to watch the World Cup's USA vs. Ghana match around Baltimore this afternoon. This list is compiled from feedback on Twitter. To add a site, leave a note in the comments below and I'll update!

Email photos of your World Cup scene in Baltimore to: gus.sentementes(at)baltsun(dot)com

* Claddagh Pub, Canton

* Taco Fiesta, Harbor East

* Don't Know Tavern, Federal Hill

* No Idea, Federal Hill

* The Falls, Mt. Washington

* Hull Street Blues Cafe, Locust Point


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 1:54 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

June 24, 2010

Huge lines for iPhone 4 in Towson, Md.

Hundreds of people lined up outside the Apple Store at the Towson Town Center last night and this morning to purchase the new iPhone 4.

The store's doors opened at 7 a.m. Two lines snaked across the entire fourth floor of the mall. One line was for people who had reserved phones and the other line was for those looking to buy a phone without a reservation.

Lines at the mall started forming last night.

Erandon Porter, 21, of Towson, arrived at the mall around 11:30 pm. He came with a chair, but didn't sleep. He sat and waited in the parking garage, since the mall's doors were closed overnight. "I've done this for shoes but not for a phone, and not this extreme," Porter said.

For pictures, please check my Twitter stream at http://twitter.com/gussent


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 7:44 AM | | Comments (8)
        

June 23, 2010

iPhone 4 early reviews

The usual roundup of tech writers got hold of the latest iPhone, which goes on sale tomorrow. Generally, the reviews are positive, if not glowing as bright as the phone's fancy new screen.

From what these reviews say, I'm excited about a few things, but mainly a very durable exterior and HD video capability.

* David Pogue's New York Times review

* Walt Mossberg's Wall Street Journal review

* The Engadget blog review


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 8:22 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: *NEWS*, Smartphones
        

June 22, 2010

Top honor for Millennial Media CEO

palmieri-pic.jpgPaul Palmieri, co-founder of Millennial Media, was yesterday named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in technology for Maryland in 2010.

Palmieri is the CEO of Millennial Media, which is based in Canton in Baltimore.

The firm is one of the largest, independent mobile advertising networks, focusing on selling ads for mobile devices. He and co-founder Chris Brandenburg started the company in 2006, launching a business that would take advantage of early, steady growth in mobile advertising.

The company has seen two of its main competitors recently got bought out -- for hundreds of millions of dollars each -- by Google and Apple.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:46 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*, Smartphones
        

June 21, 2010

World Cup: Live-streaming games a workplace 'time suck'

bio_ermis.jpg Ermis Sfakiyanudis is chief executive of Annapolis-based eTelemetry Inc., which makes computer gear that helps companies monitor and thwart employees' Internet use while they're on the clock.

He's also a huge soccer fan and the son of Greek immigrants who spent 90 minutes in the office last week streaming the Greece-Nigeria World Cup match on ESPN.com.

The irony isn't lost on him.

"Three games a day, 90 minutes each, minimum. … It becomes a real time-suck," Sfakiyanudis said.

But of Greece's first-ever World Cup win, he added: "It was a pretty good game."

Lost productivity and network difficulties have become bigger issues for employers — especially as more workers watch streaming video and listen to Internet-based music — and the World Cup has been a huge workplace drain.

Sfakiyanudis is among countless people watching the world's biggest sporting event online, in many cases during the workday. Reports have trickled in from all across the globe about workplace productivity taking a dive during the World Cup.

Every World Cup match featuring Serbia's national team costs that country up to $28 million in lost productivity because of absent workers, according to economists contacted by the Associated Press.

South Africa, which is hosting the tournament, sold 1.1 million tickets to the matches, and economists there predict a significant drop in productivity for the monthlong event. In England, research firm Chartered Management Institute predicted as many as 40 percent of the working population will take sick leave to watch that country's team play its matches.

The World Cup isn't as popular in the United States, but the American team's progress still draws a lot of interest. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based consulting firm, put together a top 10 list of productivity-sapping sports phenomena in the U.S. and ranked the World Cup as fourth. (The top three? The NCAA tournament, NFL fantasy football and the Super Bowl.)

In an unscientific poll on my BaltTech blog, the vast majority of respondents said they were watching World Cup matches on their workplace computers.

"There are a lot of people spending time watching the games," Sfakiyanudis said.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 4:58 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: For The Office, Geeks
        

Electronic license plates: a good idea for Maryland?

Legislators in California are considering a bill that would study whether to put electronic license plates -- and thus a revenue generating opportunity -- on the cars of drivers in that state.

The technology works something like this, according to an AP article:

The device would mimic a standard license plate when the vehicle is in motion but would switch to digital ads or other messages when it is stopped for more than four seconds, whether in traffic or at a red light. The license plate number would remain visible at all times in some section of the screen. In emergencies, the plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts or traffic information.

California, as you may know, as a huge $19 billion deficit -- a gap that politicians are desperate to close.

California also has a reputation for being early adopters in new trends that other states often tend to follow. And many other states, including Maryland, have their own deficit woes, so it will be interesting to see how this electronic license plate bill proceeds.

Do you think putting electronic license plates on our vehicles is a good idea -- or just too potentially distracting?


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:40 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

The tech behind Facebook

One of the more interesting tech articles I read this past weekend was an easily digestible piece on the Royal Pingdom blog on the software that powers Facebook.

With a service approach 500 million users, Facebook is entering a rare space on the Internet. It's easy to take the free service for granted because the site's been doing a good job lately of working well -- and fast. But managing the scale of the millions -- okay, billions -- of daily interactions on that site must be an awesome feat every day.

For instance, Royal Pingdom writes that Facebook has more photos than all other photo sites combined, including Flickr.

It's interesting to note that Facebook has developed programming languages that they've allowed to go open source.

Take a gander at the article if you're feeling a tad geeky this morning.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:21 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Social Media
        

June 17, 2010

Hacking Apple iPad for the car

Local car-computing gurus MP3Car.com featured on their blog this week a cool video showing how an iPad was modified to work in a car. Pretty sweet! But please, folks -- don't take your eyes of the road.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 1:24 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: For The Road, Gadgets, Geeks, Startups
        

Poll: World Cup -- Are you watching online at work?

World-cup-2010-logo.jpg

I caught snippets of the World Cup morning match between Greece and Nigeria today, and was excited to see that Greece won its first cup match ever, by a score of 2-1.

Tomorrow, I plan on watching (at least part of) the USA vs Slovenia match, at 10 a.m.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm watching these games at work, via ESPN3's lovely site?

So here's BaltTech's latest poll: Are you using your work Internet access to watch the World Cup? Or are you using a TV?

I'd imagine that the kind of lack of productivity that we see during March Madness and the NCAA tournament is magnified here several-fold, worldwide, as nations sit transfixed watching their teams' progress.

Vote in the poll below and I'll try to write more about this!

 

 

 


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 12:55 PM | | Comments (1)
        

Everybody's doing it: Maryland General Services department joins Facebook

everybodys-doing-it.jpgThis isn't really big news or anything of the sort, but you can definitely file this under the category of "EVERYBODY IS NOW ON FACEBOOK."

The Maryland Department of General Services, the state agency that manages state buildings and facilities, now has a Facebook account. To "friend" the agency, search for "Maryland DGS" on Facebook.

From a press release issued today:

“Facebook is one of the nation’s premier new media venues and I believe it is imperative that we should use this valuable communications and networking tool to let those we do business with know that DGS stands for Doing Great Service,” DGS Secretary Alvin C. Collins said.

Is it weird for some to be "friends" with a state agency? I'm interested to see how a state agency like DGS uses their new-found Facebook prowess.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:25 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: *NEWS*, Government Tech, Social Media
        

Advertising.com hiring in Baltimore

aol-crab.jpg

Advertising.com started out as a Baltimore startup in the late 1990s and rose to become a top player in the world of online advertising. Now, it's trying to reclaim a bit of its startup essence in its Baltimore office after years of mature ownership under AOL.

I visited Advertising.com offices yesterday overlooking the Baltimore harbor where I got an update on what's new at the company.

The news: Advertising.com is hiring again, up to 35 people this year (here's my news story in today's edition). The upshot is that the hiring surge the division of AOL is experiencing comes after it dealt with job reductions in December and January.

AOL is going through some major strategic changes, and Advertising.com is going along for the ride. But it's still in Baltimore and it still will have its identity as Advertising.com, David Jacobs, senior vice president of publisher services at Advertising.com, told me.

In fact, he said, the company, with 200 employees, hopes to get more involved in the local community. Jacobs outlined some new touches that Advertising.com has implemented in its Tide Point office.

They're building out about seven new small conference rooms to make it easier for teams of people to get together and brainstorm. They call them "scrums."

Free soft drinks, coffee and tea for everyone, all the time, in the company breakrooms on every floor. Plenty of Mountain Dews for anyone looking for a caffeine fix.

New creative artwork, from a huge picture of a blue crab with a white AOL logo in the entranceway (see above) to posters around the offices that shout: Beat The Internet.

What does "Beat The Internet" (see poster below) mean for Advertising.com? According to Jacobs, it's about beating out the company's competitors every day, and not just reaching its own internal goals.

Advertising.com has its work cut out for it, since revenues were down in the last quarter and there's a lot of competing pressures in the online advertising market. We'll see how they do.

beat-the-internet.jpg


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:46 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

Baltimore's Arginetix merges with Immune Control Inc. to form Corridor Pharmaceuticals

And now, the latest in biotech news........

Baltimore-based Arginetix Inc. announced today that it is merging with Immune Control Inc. of West Conshohocken, Pa. to form Corridor Pharmaceuticals Inc. -- a company that will focus on developing treatments for vascular diseases.

The new company will develop treatments based on technology platforms developed by both Arginetix and Immune Control. The chief executive of Arginetix, Gary Lessing, will serve as the CEO of Corridor, according to a news statement issued this morning. Stephen Roth, formerly CEO of Immune Control, will be executive vice chairman of Corridor's board of directors. Arginetix licensed technology from the University of Pennsylvania and the Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to the merger, Corridor announced that it had secured new financing totaling $15 million to fund its operations. The company has a drug candidate called C-122 that treats pulmonary arterial hypertension, and proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the drug into clinical development.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:43 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*, BioTech, East Coast, Venture Cap
        

June 16, 2010

CrowdPitch today in Towson -- and the winner is....

fist.jpgDrat!!! <clenches fist>

Somehow, the second CrowdPitch event of the year didn't make it onto my calendar -- it was today at Towson University.

I really want to see one of these events in action. They're hosted by FundingUniverse and they're meant to give really, really new startups a chance to raise some money and obtain access to business services. Here's the link to the Baltimore chapter.

From the Website:

This event will bring entrepreneurs, innovators, mentors, support providers, and investors together in an informal and energetic setting. Think ´American Idol´ — selected entrepreneurs will have 4 minutes to pitch their company to both a panel of experts & a live audience, followed immediately by a 3-minute Q&A session with the panel.
I followed some of the action belatedly on Twitter, after @nadenlean (Andy Rose) brought it to my attention.

Rose and others were avid Twitter broadcasters of the event -- take a look here. I'm still trying to figure out who won the event. Anybody who was there want to give a brief rundown in the comments?

 

UPDATE: Andrew Rose (@nadenlean) reports that ArtiNNet Corp. of Vienna, Va. won with its pitch for its mobile software that uses voice recognition to protect your cell phone


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 3:36 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: *NEWS*, Events (Baltimore area), Startups
        

Maryland's top startups honored

The 10th annual Maryland Incubator Company of the Year awards were held last night in downtown Baltimore at the Center Club. Barbara Dreyer, CEO of Connections Academy, was the keynote speaker -- you may remember her from a Q&A I did with her a couple weeks ago.

The awards are a chance to highlight promising young startups across the state, to get them some publicity for their products or services, and to ultimately promote economic development and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Yesterday, I blogged about all the finalists for various award categories. Today, I present the winners:

* Life Science Company of the Year: CSA Medical Inc., of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore.

* Information Technology Company of the Year: Moodlerooms Inc., of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore. (I wrote about Moodlerooms recently.)

* Technology Service Company of the Year: B&D Consulting Inc., of the Technical Innovation Center in Hagerstown.

* New Incubator Company of the Year: Kempbio Inc., of the Frederical Innovative Technology Center.

* Technology Transfer Company of the Year: FlexEl LLC, of the Technology Advancement program at the University of Maryland College Park

* Homeland Security Company of the Year: Lookingglass Cyber Solutions, of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore.

* Graduate Company of the Year: Get Real Consulting, graduate of Shady Grove Innovation Center.

* Green Company of the Year: Clean Currents, of the Rockville Innovation Center.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 8:31 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*, Events (Baltimore area), Startups
        

June 15, 2010

Singapore's fiber-optic initiative -- lessons for Baltimore?

Whereas 1,100+ communities (including Baltimore) are hoping for a gift from Google to build an advanced fiber-optic Internet network, Singapore is able to pump in $700 million in government money to revolutionize its own network.

The payoff, according to a New York Times article today, will come in the form higher revenues for Singapore telecom operators.

From the NYT story:

The new network is expected to give a strong boost to the growth of services like online video and Internet telephony. Pyramid Research, which analyzes the telecommunications business, expects the revenue of Singapore telecommunication operators to rise to $5.1 billion by 2014 from $3.8 billion in 2009.

Baltimore is so interested in upgrading to an ultra-fast fiber optic network for its citizenry that the mayor has formed a blue-ribbon panel to look at the city's options in making it a reality. The reality may be one that, short of private telecommunications companies stepping in to make huge investments, requires at least some public investment.

But in a city with pressing public safety and education needs, will the public and our elected leaders make upgrading our broadband infrastructure a key priority in this decade?


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 2:18 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

Maryland incubator companies compete for awards tonight

The annual Maryland Incubator Company of the Year awards are upon us once again. Tonight, at the Center Club in downtown Baltimore, several companies will be honored in different categories.

The various categories of awards include Life Science Company of the Year, Information Technology Company of the Year, Technology Service Company of the Year, Homeland Security Company of the Year, New Incubator Company of the Year, Technology Transfer Company of the Year, and Graduate Company of the Year. A new category this year is Green Company of the Year.

The companies below are connected to the state's tech business incubator program, which has operations in Baltimore and several counties.

This year’s finalists include:

* Aricion Therapeutics (ETC);
* Ark Sciences (ETC);
* CSA Medical, Inc. (ETC);
* Moodlerooms, Inc. (ETC);
* StormCenter Communications, Inc. (UMBC);
* Zane Networks, LLC (SSIC);
* Amethyst Technologies, LLC (UMBC);
* B&D Consulting, Inc. (TIC);
* SI Tec Consulting, Inc (Howard County EDA);
* Lookingglass Cyber Solutions (ETC);
* Tactical Network Solutions (NeoTech);
* TransGlobal Business Systems, Inc. (TAC);
* Remedium Technologies, Inc. (TAP);
* CrispTek, LLC (NeoTech);
* FlexEl, LLC (TAP);
* Plant Sensory Systems, LLC (UMBC);
* Clean Currents (RIC);
* Resensys, LLC (TAP);
* Kempbio, Inc. (FITCI);
* OmniSpeech (MTECH);
* Get Real Consulting (SGIC);
* Ception Therapeutics (SGIC).

Incubator Key: Emerging Technology Center (ETC), Baltimore; Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), Frederick; NeoTech Incubator (NEOTech), Columbia; Technical Innovation Center (TIC), Hagerstown; Howard County Economic Development Authority (Howard County EDA), Columbia; Shady Grove Innovation Center (SGIC), Rockville; Technology Advancement Program (TAP), College Park; techcenter@UMBC at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Catonsville; Rockville Innovation Center (RIC), Rockville; and Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH), College Park.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:46 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

GBTC's Steve Kozak steps down; Jen Gunner steps in

steve_kozak.jpgSteve Kozak, the executive director of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, stepped down as head of the non-profit technology association yesterday. Kozak (left) had been with the GBTC for the last nine years, and served as executive director for the past five years. His resignation was effective immediately. From a press release on the change, GBTC's board chair Paul Mauritz:
"Steve was a key player in growing the technology community throughout greater Baltimore. He helped garner the support of technology leaders throughout the state to assist in defeating the proposed 'tech tax'. Additionally, he successfully grew and evolved our annual fundraiser, TechNite, as well as many other significant programs."

The GBTC exists to promote networking and business opportunities within the Baltimore area's technology community. But, like many other business sectors, it has new challenges in the face of advances in online social media, which has enabled many to organize their own events.

The GBTC organizes a host of events for its members, but there have also been other independent Baltimore area groups in recent years that have coordinated their own successful events for Baltimore's entrepreneurs and technology community. For instance, independent groups have taken the lead in organizing Ignite Baltimore, TedxMidAtlantic, and the city's effort to apply for the Google Fiber for Communities pilot project, albeit often with support from the GBTC.

 jen_gunner.jpgKozak was replaced by the organization's marketing and communications director, Jennifer Gunner (left), who will serve as interim executive director while the board of directors begins a national search for Kozak's replacement.

Gunner has held management roles at M&T Bank, SC&H Group and Aether Systems. She has a business administration degree from Frostburg State University and an MBA from Loyola University Maryland. Hit the link for the full press release from the GBTC:

 

PRESS RELEASE

Greater Baltimore Technology Council Names Jennifer Gunner New Interim Executive Director Baltimore – June 14, 2010 –

The Greater Baltimore Technology Council today announced that Steve Kozak has stepped down as Executive Director of the non-profit, effective immediately. The GBTC Board of Directors has named Jennifer Gunner as interim Executive Director.

The GBTC Board expressed its appreciation for Mr. Kozak's dedication and leadership for the past nine years, including the last five as Executive Director. During his tenure, the organization grew membership, expanded programming and events, and supported the growth of the region's technology community.

"Working at the GBTC has been an incredibly rewarding experience, both personally and professionally," Kozak said. "I have been encouraged by the progress of our region's technology community and look forward to the next chapter of progress for the Council and its members. Personally, I am looking forward to the future and new professional challenges. "

Said GBTC Board Chair Paul Mauritz, "Steve was a key player in growing the technology community throughout greater Baltimore. He helped garner the support of technology leaders throughout the state to assist in defeating the proposed 'tech tax'. Additionally, he successfully grew and evolved our annual fundraiser, TechNite, as well as many other significant programs."

The GBTC Board selected Gunner as interim Executive Director based on her leadership capabilities, experience, and professionalism. Hired as Director of Marketing and Communications in 2007, Gunner's contributions have extended to management, operations, and stewardship of many programs, including the successful CEO Programs and Executive Roundtables.

Prior to the GBTC, Gunner served as an Assistant Vice President with M&T Bank; and held management roles with SC&H Group, and Aether Systems. She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Frostburg State University and an MBA from Loyola University Maryland.

The Board plans to begin an immediate national search for a permanent Executive Director.

About the GBTC (www.gbtechcouncil.org)

The Greater Baltimore Technology Council is devoted to one goal: growing the region's technology community. The GBTC asks technology companies what they need to grow and stimulates this growth by providing innovative programming where organizations meet, learn, and do business. Finally, the GBTC celebrates the community's successes, spreading the word that technology businesses thrive in the Greater Baltimore region.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:12 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

June 8, 2010

IPhone 4: Through the prism of capped data

Apple showed off its fourth version of the iPhone yesterday and there were few surprises--thanks in part to Gizmodo's recent outing of an iPhone prototype. The phone has a new tough metal and glass design, perhaps the sharpest smartphone screen on the market, hi-def video recording, and a video chat program called FaceTime.

But I couldn't help thinking about what AT&T's new data caps will mean for the future of iPhones and other super smart phones, if other carriers follow AT&T's lead and set tiers on data plans.

For example, I currently shoot a lot of short video clips of my young daughter on my iPhone 3GS and email to family. I can send about 45 seconds worth of non-HD video via email this way. Now imagine having to send HD video clips via an iPhone 4. Would the clips have to be shorter? How many HD clips could one reasonably send in a month and still stay within bounds of AT&T's 2gb plan (at $25 a month)?

Apple's FaceTime program -- which enable video chat via wifi on iPhone 4s -- also don't have a chance in a 3G world dictated by tiers, since video chat is a serious data hog.

My point: tiered plans such as what AT&T has modeled aren't what customers of super smart phones will want in the future. Sure, admittedly heavy users may opt to pay more for unlimited plans. But tiered plans, I think, will constrain the rapid growth and adoption of the mobile web.

You don't have data tiers on your home Internet connection, but you do have differentiation based on speed. Should wireless networks adopt the same approach?

That's why, at the of the day, I'm afraid that the technology of super smart phones, such as the iPhone 4 threatens to outpace the capacity of the networks. Some might say that's already happened.

This is why, as an aside, people interested in a next-gen network and smart phone might check out the HTC EVO phone on Sprint in Baltimore. The EVO is the first smartphone built for use on a 4G network. We should all be watching closely how it performs in Baltimore and other parts of the US where 4G is offered.



This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:10 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Smartphones
        

June 4, 2010

Next-generation iPhone coming Monday?

iphone-4g-gizmodo.jpgOn Monday, Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be taking place in California, and the company's CEO, Steve Jobs, is scheduled to speak.

Everybody is predicting that he will introduce to the world a fourth-generation iPhone, one that's got a new look and new hardware features, such as a front-facing camera for video-chat conversations. (PC World has its own prognostication list of Five Best Bets of news to come out of the conference.)

As you may know, the tech blog Gizmodo got hold of a lost iPhone prototype and dissected the thing for the world to see, which took some of the energy out of Apple's super-powerful marketing machine.

The question now is: Can Mr. Jobs deliver a new iPhone that wows the crowd after consumers may have already sneaked a peek of it via Gizmodo?


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 2:12 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: *NEWS*, Smartphones
        

#iPadBmore -- a Baltimore meet-up for iPad geeks

ipad-cake.jpgLast night, Baltimore geeks meet up at the Emerging Technology Center in Canton to talk all things iPad.

There was pizza and booze, and even an iPad cake (left), for crying out loud! The event was the brainchild of Mario Armstrong, nationally-known tech commentator.

More than 50 people showed up, their iPads in hand. There were a bunch of speakers (I was one), and lots of free stuff given out, i.e. t-shirts, knickknacks and ... oh, free subscriptions to Wired magazine.

Below are images I culled from the Twitter feed from the event, under the hashtag #iPadBmore.

I talked about two of the things I'm excited about the iPad: 1) the way it shows off HTML 5-based websites, and 2) it's huge potential for educational uses for small children.

Other speakers gave talks about the device, including how it can be used by the blind and how it can be modified for use in your car.  

 




From ChipperD:ipad-bmore-crowd.jpg




From Mary_Spiro of @GusSent:
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic




Also from Mary_Spiro, of @vincebuscemi, of @mindgrub:
His voice is bigger than the room!! RT @GarretOhm: Vince from @mindgrub's up. #iPadBmore (He wasn't kidding.) on 12seconds.tv





And Mary_Spiro again ... this time of @BrothaTech
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Got anymore pics of the event? Send to gus.sentementes(at)baltsun(dot)com.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:41 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Events (Baltimore area)
        

June 2, 2010

The Baltimore Fiber Symposium LIVE on the Web today

Today is the Baltimore Fiber symposium, where a couple hundred business folks are gathering at the University of Baltimore to talk about bringing ultra-high-speed fiber-optic capability to Baltimore.

A group of volunteers and city officials applied to Google for a chance to be part of a pilot project a couple months ago. But many involved in the effort are trying to plan for a future for Baltimore fiber optic that may not involve Google (in case the search giant loses its mind and decides NOT to pick Baltimore. :-)

You can watch today's symposium live at this web address:

http://pointers.audiovideoweb.com/stcasx/nj45winlive9756/play.asx

The Twitter hashtag for the event is #bmorefiber.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:08 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Events (Baltimore area)
        

June 1, 2010

Clear launches in Baltimore today

Clearwire Inc., the mobile broadband provider, today launch its fourth-generation wireless network in metropolitan Baltimore. Clearwire, which operates the service under the Clear brand name, relaunched a network that had been built by Sprint in the Baltimore area two years ago. (Sprint holds a major stake in Clear.)

The network provides high-speed mobile broadband access for use by computers, laptops and other Internet-connected devices. The company is marketing it as a wireless alternative to a customer's home wired internet connection, and for people who use laptops while on the move.

Home Internet service plans start at $30 per month, while unlimited mobile Internet plans start at $40 per month, according to Clear.

So where in the Baltimore area can you get Clear?

According to the company:

CLEAR® now covers 725 square miles and approximately 1.7 million people in the Baltimore metro area. Regionally, service extends as far north as Bel Air, as far south as Annapolis and southwest as Columbia, west to Owings Mills, and east to Dundalk and Essex. A detailed coverage map of today’s service area is available at www.clear.com/coverage.
For full details from the official Clear press release, hit the jump:

Clearwire Ramps Up CLEAR® 4G Service in Baltimore

• 4G Network Expands to Cover 725 Square Miles in Baltimore
• Dean Young named CLEAR General Manager for the Baltimore Market
• Consumers and Businesses Now Have Access to Mobile Internet Service Significantly Faster Than 3G
• Customers Can Purchase Dual-mode 4G/3G Modems to Stay Connected Throughout the Region
• 4G Mobile Internet Promotion Available for the First Two Months With $50 Service Credit at Clear.com

BALTIMORE – June 1, 2010 – Clearwire Communications, LLC, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR), announced today it has extended its 4G reach throughout the Baltimore area. With the launch, the company is introducing the CLEAR brand to the marketplace. With CLEAR’s super fast 4G service, consumers and businesses located in the Baltimore area will be able to enjoy wireless access to the Internet at true broadband speeds – whether at home, working from the road, streaming movies online, playing multi-player online games, or watching Hulu on the go – anywhere in the CLEAR coverage area.

CLEAR® now covers 725 square miles and approximately 1.7 million people in the Baltimore metro area. Regionally, service extends as far north as Bel Air, as far south as Annapolis and southwest as Columbia, west to Owings Mills, and east to Dundalk and Essex. A detailed coverage map of today’s service area is available at www.clear.com\coverage.

For a limited time, customers in Baltimore can take advantage of CLEAR’s online-only mobile Internet promotion with plans starting as low as $15 per month for the first two months after a $50 service credit. This online promotion is available at www.clear.com.

The company also named Dean Young as general manager for the market.

“CLEAR is thrilled to expand our service offering to Baltimore residents, businesses and visitors a super fast Internet experience similar to what they’re used to having at home or the office, anywhere around town or on the go,” said Dean Young, CLEAR general manager for Baltimore. “Baltimore has been a pioneer city in providing high speed wireless Internet service on the East coast. CLEAR is proud to carry on that tradition by providing blazing fast 4G speeds for residents.”
Also today, Clearwire announced the launch of CLEAR in central Washington, D.C. and Kansas City, Kansas.
A CLEAR Difference
The CLEAR customer experience is similar to that provided by Wi-Fi, but without the short-range limitations of a traditional Internet hotspot. CLEAR uses WiMAX, a wireless 4G technology that differs from Wi-Fi because it provides service areas measured in miles, not feet. Furthermore, CLEAR gives users average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 mbps with bursts over 10 mbps.* Outside of the CLEAR 4G service area, dual-mode 4G/3G connectivity is available which provides expanded coverage using the fastest service available for regional travelers by leveraging Sprint’s 3G data network.
As the Internet integrates deeper into daily life, the opportunities to stay connected and be productive are enhanced by CLEAR in numerous ways. For example:
• A mobile professional no longer needs to seek out Wi-Fi hotspots or be constrained by the speeds and limitations of 3G modem cards;
• A college student or retiree can now have affordable Internet service to meet their needs at home, on campus and on-the-go;
• A commuter can now work or access entertainment sites like Hulu or Pandora on the way to and from home;
• A busy parent can now have full Internet connectivity for kids studying or playing games in the back of the family minivan.
For these and many other customers, CLEAR's simple and innovative pricing provides ultimate flexibility. CLEAR's mobile and residential plans can be purchased by the day or by the month, with several no-service-contract options available. Home Internet service plans start at $30 per month. CLEAR 4G unlimited mobile Internet plans start at $40 per month. For a limited time, customers in Washington D.C. can take advantage of CLEAR's online-only mobile Internet promotion with plans starting at $15 per month for the first two months after a $50 service credit. This online promotion is available at http://www.clear.com.
Additional savings are available for customers purchasing a combination of services such as Home and On-The-Go, Home and Voice and combination On-The-Go plans. Combination plans start at $50 per month. In addition, CLEAR 4G+ offers customers access to the entire Clearwire 4G network plus 3G mobile Internet service outside the CLEAR service area for $55 per month. Visitors or occasional users with a 4G-enabled device can also purchase a convenient 4G day pass for $10.
Full details about CLEAR products, service plans and options for business customers can be found online at http://www.clear.com, via telesales (1-877-499-6681), at a CLEAR retail store, or by visiting an authorized CLEAR dealer. CLEAR retail stores in Baltimore are located at: Arundel Mills Mall, Columbia Mall, Harborplace & The Gallery, Mondawmin Mall, Towson Town Center, and White Marsh Mall.
CLEAR service is also available from a number of other outlets including Best Buy, Micro Center and RadioShack.

Simply Plug-In and Go
CLEAR offers several simple choices for broadband connectivity.
• CLEAR USB Modem and CLEAR 4G+ Mobile Modem: Mobile users simply plug-in CLEAR's compact, mobile 4G-enabled USB modem into their laptop to get online. The USB modem is available for only $64.99 or leased for just $3.99 per month. Customers can purchase the modem from a store or online. Customers who travel across the U.S. may purchase the CLEAR 4G+ Mobile USB, a dual-mode (4G/3G) modem from CLEAR. The dual-mode capabilities give the truly mobile user access to the 4G network in the CLEAR coverage area and 3G coverage nationwide. The 4G+ Mobile USB is available to lease for only $5.99 per month.
• Residential Data & Voice Services: For residential service, CLEAR offers customers a wireless high-speed modem, about the size of a small book. Customers simply plug the modem into a power outlet anywhere in their home or office and connect the modem to their PC or wireless router. This enables consumers and businesses to install high-speed Internet service without the need to schedule an appointment, drill holes in their walls, or otherwise disrupt their day. The CLEAR Home Modem Series G can be purchased for $79.99 or leased for just $4.99 monthly. Residential customers can also add in-home voice service with purchase of the CLEAR Voice Adapter. There are 3 packages to choose from - Basic Home CLEAR Internet with Voice, Get Two, or Get Three - all with flat monthly rates.
• Clear SpotTM: With the Clear Spot, any existing, off-the-shelf Wi-Fi device can connect to CLEAR's 4G network. The Clear Spot creates a personal Wi-Fi hotspot that travels with consumers anywhere they happen to be within CLEAR's 4G service area. This $49.99 device is a portable, battery-powered router that seamlessly connects up to eight standard Wi-Fi-enabled devices (computers, mobile phones, portable gaming, consoles, cameras, etc.) to the CLEAR 4G network via a Clear USB modem. The Clear Spot is compatible with both the CLEAR 4G and CLEAR 4G+ 4G/3G mobile USB service options.
• Intel Embedded WiMAX Laptops: Clearwire customers can also select from one of 30 different 4G-ready Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 embedded netbooks and notebooks from leading manufacturers including Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba. A detailed list of CLEAR-ready laptops is available at www.clear.com.
Clearwire 4G Markets in 2010
CLEAR service is currently available in cities across the United States, including: Atlanta and Milledgeville, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boise, ID; Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; Kansas City, KS, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and York, PA; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, NC; Honolulu and Maui, HI; Seattle and Bellingham, WA; Portland, OR; and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Waco and Wichita Falls, TX; and central Washington, D.C.
In the summer of 2010, CLEAR service will extend to Jacksonville and Daytona, FL; Nashville, TN; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT; Merced, Modesto, Stockton, and Visalia, CA; Wilmington, DE; Grand Rapids, MI; Eugene, OR; Richmond, VA; and Yakima and Tri-Cities, WA.
By the end of 2010, Clearwire's 4G network is expected to cover up to 120 million people, including additional cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
For more information about CLEAR, visit http://www.clear.com or The Clear Blog www.theclearblog.com. You can also follow CLEAR information on Twitter at @Clear_Events. Detailed company information about Clearwire is available at http://www.clearwire.com.
For press and broadcast: Product images, video footage and company logos can be downloaded from the Clearwire website at: http://newsroom.clearwire.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=214419&p=imagegallery. To subscribe to Clearwire's RSS news feed, click here.
About CLEAR®
CLEAR, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), is a leading provider of mobile broadband services. Our 4G network is currently available in areas of the U.S. where approximately 44 million people live and the company plans to continue to expand our 4G coverage. Clearwire's open all-IP network, combined with significant spectrum holdings, provides an unprecedented combination of speed and mobility to deliver next generation broadband access. The company markets its service through its own brand called CLEAR® as well as through its wholesale relationships with Sprint, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Strategic investors include Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Clearwire is headquartered in Kirkland, Wash., additional information is available at http://www.clearwire.com.
*Speed claims based on download speeds only. Actual performance may vary and is not guaranteed. CLEAR performance claim is based on average download user speeds achieved during tests performed on the CLEAR commercial network by CLEAR. Other carrier performance based on their advertised claims.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:40 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

Gov. O'Malley announces new tech investment plan to spur business, jobs in Maryland

o%27malley-head.pngAt remarks made this morning at a conference in Rockville, Gov. Martin O'Malley was expected to announce an administrative and legislative initiative to spur venture capital investment in Maryland's technology sector.

The program is called "InvestMaryland" and it will be run by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The governor called it "a public-private partnership to fuel venture capital investment in our innovation economy, such as bioscience companies," according to prepared remarks given to The Baltimore Sun.

 

How will it work? According to O'Malley:

Insurance companies will be eligible for state issued tax credits and in turn they would invest dollars today in Maryland’s venture infrastructure. These credits will be deferred until 2015. A minimum of half these investments will flow into the Maryland Venture Fund. The balance will flow into Maryland based venture capital firms for the purposes of getting critical capital to Maryland businesses so they can create jobs and advance innovation in fields like the biosciences.
I expect to get more details today on this plan from the officials at DBED. Stay tuned.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:16 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: *NEWS*
        

Workers' lament

deanna-ross.jpg

Two stories appeared in the The Sun recently that gave perspectives on those struggling in and out of the workforce.

Today, I had a story about the recession's psychological toll on the mental health of workers and the unemployed. It was a challenging story to report, mainly because many people did not feel comfortable talking on the record for a newspaper article. That is why the woman who did choose to speak, Deanna Ross of Columbia, deserves a heck of a lot of credit. I hope I did justice to her story.

On Sunday, reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins had a great story about people who are employed, but faced with the hard reality of having to earn less money in their job, or jobs. The recession has knocked back peoples' earning power, and it's a problem that could affect many for the rest of their working lives, Jamie tells us.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:31 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*
        
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About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
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