Stories by Computerworld Staff

Senators Seek Visa Hike

Two U.S. senators have started a new drive to raise
the H-1B visa cap to 195,000 through 2002. The cap, which allows companies to
bring in foreign-born skilled workers for a temporary six-month stay, is now
set at 115,000 and is due to decline to 107,500 and then to 65,000 over the
next two years. The high-tech industry argues that there is a critical need for
these workers. A bill, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin
Hatch (Republican from Utah) and Spencer Abraham (Republican from Michigan),
chairman of the committee's Immigration Subcommittee, includes cap exemptions
for students who have recently earned a master's or doctorate degree.

Briefs

Cisco Systems Inc. last week reported net income of $825 million for the quarter ended Jan. 29, almost triple the income from the same period a year ago. San Jose-based Cicso posted net sales of $4.35 billion for the quarter, an increase of 53 percent from the $2.85 billion it reported for the same period last year.

Shark Tank

THIS PILOT FISH is proud of the big paperless-office initiative, she really is. Users automated 20,000 documents in 1999. Now almost all authorizations are handled electronically. With one notable exception: "All changes to the online system must be requested to the MIS manager," she says. "On paper. They're the only paper-based authorization forms left."

Briefs

Voice and data network equipment builder Lucent Technologies Inc. in Murray Hill, N.J., has announced that it will purchase Ortel Corp., an Alhambra, Calif.-based maker of optoelectronic components for cable TV networks. Lucent said the $2.95 billion stock deal will allow it to utilize Ortel's technology to accelerate the transition of cable TV from a one-way broadcast venue to a two-way interactive communications offering. The acquisition is expected to be completed midyear.

Questions To Ask SPs

Analysts warn that companies should look closely at a service provider before they sign on the dotted line. They suggest that you get answers to the following questions first:

Shark Tank

USER DEMANDS a rush job on his pet project, a new property-tracking system. Needs it by March 1. Mucho gung-ho, says a pilot fish. So IT tries to set up requirements meetings. Stonewall. No callbacks, no e-mail. The pilot fish finally buttonholes the user. Says we need requirements ASAP. Or do you want to slip the deadline? User: "No, March 1 is crucial." IT guy says OK, let's meet today. Peevish user: "Why do you have to have such an aggressive schedule?"

Briefs

Epicor Software Corp., an Irvine, Calif.-based vendor that sells ERP applications for midsize users, has released an upgrade of its software for maintenance and repair departments in industries such as aerospace and general aviation. The Impresa 7.0 upgrade includes new tools for use in developing tailored maintenance plans for individual aircrafts or fleets of vehicles. The user interface has also been redesigned, Epicor said. Pricing ranges from $3,000 to $7,000 for each end user.

Briefs

SEC Orders Stock Quotes in Decimals

Briefs

Baan Co. reported a $236.2 million loss for the fourth quarter of last year, as the Netherlands-based software vendor forewarned last month. It was the sixth straight quarterly loss for Baan, which has had four CEOs since mid-1998. Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $143.3 million, up 9 percent from $131.1 million in the last three months of 1998.

Executive Track

David H. Annis has been named group senior vice president of information technology at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. in Hartford, Conn. He succeeds John T. Crawford. Prior to the appointment, Annis was senior vice president of IT at the company.

Briefs

Advanced Digital Information Corp. in Redmond, Wash., has rolled out a Fibre Channel router for its Open SAN Backup Solutions product line. The FCR 250 Fibre Channel router offers one Fibre Channel connection and two SCSI channels. It manages data transfers directly between disk and tape without moving data through servers. Pricing begins at $8,995.

Guest column: Make yourself a startup

You know what the worst thing about a gold rush is? The rush goes on long after the gold is gone. More than 80,000 people flooded California in 1849, but only a microscopically small number of them found any of the gold for which they crossed a continent.

Make Yourself a Startup

You know what the worst thing about a gold rush is? The rush goes on long after the gold is gone. More than 80,000 people flooded California in 1849, but only a microscopically small number of them found any of the gold for which they crossed a continent.

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