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June 1996 Stories

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The following stories appeared on the Potomac KnowledgeWay's Regional News page during June 1996.

All links within stories are verified at the time of publication, but some may have changed or no longer be available.

What's New for the Crossroads Web Site?

Technology Summer '96: Opportunities for Educators

Mexican Commentary Offers Expanded Web Site Coverage

June 28, 1996 - The Mexican Commentary, a weekly newsletter headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, has expanded its Web site to include some past issues. These issues have been filed in portable document format, which allows the reader to view and print them in graphic format from any computer with the help of the Adobe Acrobat reader. The newsletter is eight pages long and contains charts and tables offering comprehensive coverage of the Mexican economy and individual companies. The site also has over 100 charts with daily and weekly price movements for Mexican stocks. Links are offered for stock quotes, future quotes and other reference material including country background information and the monthly report from the Treasury Department.

Maryland Architect/Engineer Uses Internet to Conduct Business

June 27, 1996 - The INTEC Companies Incorporated, an architectural and engineering design firm based in Rockville, Maryland, has set up its Web site to use as a means of connecting with its clients and extending its design team locally and around the world. INTEC's design team anticipates sharing drawings, specifications, cost estimates and correspondence as they are developed. INTEC is also assembling an Internet directory of resources used in the building design and construction industry. It will include manufacturers, vendors, codes, associations and other useful information sources. This innovative way of conducting business will slash construction site coordination and approval times. Feasibility of managing remote sites will be dramatically improved when a field representative can access the same information as the home office. INTEC is willing to assist other design and construction professionals to create the Intranet system needed to support commercially viable internet connectivity.

CB Commercial's Window on the Market

June 25, 1996 - CB Commercial Real Estate Group, Inc. recently introduced the first publication of its new regional report, Window on the Market. This new report replaces the former Regional Profile and is the result of information that has been streamlined and condensed for clarity and ease of use. This information has also maintained a comprehensive approach. Window on the Market represents CB Commercial's perspectives, forecasts and overviews on the major submarkets of metropolitan Washington and Baltimore. Special focus is also given to the views of investors/owners, users/tenants and retailers.

Wood River Technologies Introduces New Active Federal Contract Database

June 24, 1996 - ContractSearch is a new service of The Federal Marketplace offered by Idaho-based Wood River Technologies, Inc. This service allows you to perform detailed queries on a database of approximately a half million federal contract actions. From your PC, you can make as many market research queries to the database as you wish. With this database, you can find acquisition candidates and potential teaming partners and analyze the contracts they hold. You can also find out what contracts are held by your competitors and how much they are worth; what the termination dates are of valuable contracts; where the locations are of contracting offices that buy your company's products or services and which federal contracts offer subcontracting opportunities.

Regional Technology Database Goes Online

June 19, 1996 - The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)recently incorporated a Web-based application enabling users to search and browse profiles of over 900 Northern Virginia technology businesses. This system, which was developed by Clara Vista Corporation, also allows Northern Virginia technology companies to submit additions and changes for verification and incorporation into the database. The business profiles in the system are based on information collected through the Regional Technology Database Project, a cooperative effort among NVTC, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology and the Center For Regional Analysis at George Mason University. Each company profile contains contact information, business categorization, business description, customer base, products and services offered and core competencies.

CyberEd Truck Visits Baltimore's Empowerment Zone

June 19, 1996 - Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and other dignitaries hosted a kick-off event for a CyberEd truck visit to the city. The CyberEd truck is an 18-wheel mobile state-of-the-art training facility and cyber classroom equipped with the latest hardware and software for educational applications. Earlier this year, Vice President Gore announced an initiative to connect every school in Empowerment Zones across the country to the Information Superhighway. Designated by President Clinton, Empowerment Zones include 15 regions across the nation that bring public and private sectors together in partnerships to aid the nation's most distressed communities. The truck was in Baltimore from June 12-15. During the week, which highlighted the importance of education technology, Empowerment Zone school principals, teachers, students, parents and residents participated in training sessions on the truck. CyberEd is a national, educational technology initiative developed, maintained and funded by a coalition of non-profit, corporate and private foundation partners, including the Corning Foundation, DSC Communications Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, MCI Communications, the Milken Family Foundation and the William McGowan Charitable Foundation. Through a national tour, CyberEd will bring technology resources to local communities in an effort to achieve a 21st century education for our nation's children and a preparation tool for others in the workforce.

Intuit Purchases Greater Washington Start-Up Company

June 17, 1996 - The Washington Post reported that Intuit, Inc., the leading personal finance software company, recently purchased Interactive Insurance Services Corp. (IIS) for $8.6 million. IIS, based in Alexandria, Virginia, was created in May 1995 by three entrepreneurs. Through this acquisition, Intuit plans to provide an array of new services including selling and servicing insurance policies and offering online banking software through a new service called BankNow. Although IIS's insurance offerings are not yet ready for consumers, one can see a preview on Intuit's Web site.

Fairfax County Foundation Donates Funds for Programs Supporting Innovation Through Technology

June 11, 1996 -The Fairfax County Public Schools Education Foundation (FCPSEF) recently made donations to support programs that ultimately benefit students, teachers and the community. FCPSEF, the single largest source of private funds for the Fairfax County Public School System, has donated over $67,000 to three programs in the system. IMPACT II received more than $10,000 to support teachers who implement innovative and effective instructional strategies. Teaching with Technology, a grant source that annually awards teachers who work to connect the curriculum with teaching strategies that use technology, received $27,000 from the foundation. Also, Matching School Technology Grants, a program that encourages and supports innovative educators in their quest to improve instructional delivery through the use of technology, received $30,000 from the foundation.

Virginia Corporation Releases Financial Modeling Tool

June 10, 1996 - Interpro Corporation released its first financial modeling product ValuePoint. This product is a tool for business analysis and is designed for use by CEOs, CFOs, analysts, consultants and the education community. It runs with Microsoft Excel as an "Electronic Workbook" and enables the user to analyze, manage and evaluate complex relationships between financial data, company performance and future values. ValuePoint incorporates and integrates a set of complex spreadsheets for up to nine years of income statements, balance sheets, forecasts and proformas. It includes cash flows, a net-present value model, a complete matrix of financial ratios and a set of quick evaluation tools. Special discounts are available for students and educators. For more information, contact David Lucien.

Virtual Museum of Virginia Provides Summer Education Through Stories

June 10, 1996 - Although schools may be closing for the summer, the Children's Virtual Museum of Virginia is providing summer story fun. From June through September, the Telephone Zone at the Children's Virtual Museum provides great stories from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, North America and the South Seas - and all students need to access these stories is a touch-tone telephone. There is no charge of any kind for these classic folktales and fairytales, which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can help your children improve their listening and language arts skills over the long summer days. For more information on the stories, visit the Children's Virtual Museum online.

Sibling Programs Available Online

June 7, 1996 - The Sibling Support Project Web Page has implemented over 200 local sibling programs and other 'Sibshops' throughout the United States, Canada and England. This directory is the most complete of its kind and is open to siblings, their parents, service providers and all others interested in the well-being of these siblings. Visitors to the Sibling Support Project Web Page may also subscribe to SibNet, the first listserv for and about brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental and emotional needs. On SibNet, siblings share information and discuss issues of common interest.

Greater Washington Area Organization Teaches Public Housing Residents Important Skills

June 7, 1996 - John Rosenthall understands how to improve the quality of one's life through the use of computers and wants to spread this knowledge to others. Rosenthall is the executive director of the National Urban Internet Project, which is trying to show public housing residents how this global communications network can help them learn employment skills, find jobs, complete their education and maybe even create thriving small businesses. The Highland Addition, a town house and apartment complex in Southeast Washington, is currently the designated computer training center, where donated computers serve as the tools to build the residents' knowledge. Upgraded computers and Net access are goals to be attained depending on the generosity of donors. Rosenthall stresses that the future of the National Urban Internet Project-which has the backing of 14 groups, including the Washington Naval District, Howard University's Urban Environment, Bureau of Land Management and the Riddick Bowe Foundation-is in he hands of those who will ultimately benefit.

Transportation Department Awards Information Systems Engineering Contract to Virginia-based Team

June 7, 1996 - The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has selected Virginia-based BTG, Inc. as one of the prime contractors on the $1.1 billion Information Technology Omnibus Procurement (ITOP) program. The ITOP contract, designed for the purchase of information technology services and products by DOT, is also open to other federal agencies. BTG's team members are Coopers & Lybrand, Telos Federal Systems, Computer Based Systems,Harvard Design & Mapping, Novadyne Computer Systems, Inc., Reliable Integration Services, Technautics, D.H. Wagner and Associates and Wizdom Federal. The information systems engineering area of ITOP covers electronic commerce and electronic data interchange; Internet access and Intranet support; local and wide area networks; software engineering, licensing and maintenance; office automation support; strategic planning and business process reengineering.

Banking Is Made Easy On-line

June 7, 1996 - The trend that started with ATMs has lead to the use of PCs. A one-branch bank in Kentucky has attracted nearly 3,000 customers in its first year, most of whom have never been in the state of Kentucky. Security First Network Bank is the first full-service Internet bank offering checking and savings accounts insured by the government. Home banking has been custom for the past decade, but computer companies like Microsoft, Intuit and Checkfree. are showing consumers an easier way of moving money around electronically. Online Resources builds and operates the backbone computer system linking banks to homes for paying bills and transferring money between accounts. Consumers send their bill-paying messages through their PCs to Online Resources' computers and the company relays the information to the appropriate banks.

College Recruiting Site Offers Free Ads on the Internet

June 6, 1996 - Corporations and organizations seeking college students for jobs and internships and college students seeking similar positions might find what they're looking for on the Internet. JobSource is an online job-listing, resume-posting service site targeting the entry level job-seeker from the ranks of college and university students and graduates. From now until July 15, 1996, JobSource is offering free classified job recruitment ad listings. The site includes employer profiles, helpful interviewing tips and links to several other online career centers, newsgroups and sources of potential employment. For more information, contact Jason Fischel.

Entrepreneurship Continues to Grow in Greater Washington

June 4, 1996 - Washington, D.C., based FreeLoader, Inc. has been acquired by Individual, Inc. of Massachusetts for $38 million. FreeLoader has developed an offline Web delivery service that allows end users to automatically download Web pages and read them offline or online. In the end, FreeLoader's products provide their users with a quicker way to view news and information of greatest interest to them. FreeLoader will become a separate arm of Individual, Inc.. Sunil Paul and Mark Pincus, FreeLoader's chairman and president and chief operating office, respectively, will stay on in their current positions and run FreeLoader. FreeLoader was founded in October 1995 and announced its first product in January of this year.

MindQ Releases CD-ROM Designed to Teach Java Programming

June 4, 1996 -- MindQ Publishing, Inc. of Herndon, Virginia, is now shipping "An Introduction to Programming Java Applets," the first in a series of interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach Java programming. This product was developed with Rapid Systems Solutions of Howard County, Maryland.

The CD-ROM uses visualizations, animations, narration and video to help people with limited object-oriented programming experience to understand "applets," "objects," "classes," "inheritance," "threads" and other key concepts used in Java. With over 2,000 topics, glossary items, popups and audio clips, the CD-ROM is flexible and rich enough to train first time programmers as well as programmers who are not yet familiar with object-oriented programming techniques. For more information or to place an order see MindQ's product description or call 1-800-MIND-0008 or 703-708-9380.

Regional Effort Provides Access to Disabled, Discarded Modems Find a Home

June 4, 1996 -- Thanks to MEI Computers, the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's Disabilities Action Team and the Community LINC of Montgomery County, some 25 individuals with disabilities can now access a computerized bulletin board (LINC-BBS, 301-424-5123) that specializes in serving the disability community.

When Community LINC learned that some people could not call LINC-BBS because they did not have a modem, they went to MEI Computers who provided 25 discarded 2400 baud modems. Once the modems were in hand, members of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's Disabilities Action Team volunteered their time and tested each modem before they were distributed to those who need them the most. LINC-BBS offers its users news, insights, information and a place to talk.

Additional modems, 2400 baud or faster, are still needed. Please contact Community LINC via email at or call them at 301-217-0500 if you have modems to donate. Tax deduction letters will be provided.

O'Reilly Releases New Study, "Conducting Business on the Internet"

June 4, 1996 -- Based on a recent assessment of O'Reilly & Associates' WebSite (TM) users, the Internet may no longer be perceived as only a mass-market fantasyland; it is radically shifting and refining itself in new directions. Business users are constructing web sites to meet specific needs, and Intranet, business-to-business, multi-homing and database-driven web sites are becoming common applications.

"Everyone is still obsessed with the vision of the Internet as a mass market," says Tim O'Reilly, president of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. "But whether you believe that the Internet has 10 million users or 30 misses the point: the Internet has always been a 'network of networks' -- an aggregation of many small groups into one larger whole."

According to "Conducting Business on the Internet," a new study from O'Reilly & Associates' Online Research Group, more businesses are using Intranets (internal, private web sites) than public Internet sites. Organizations such as Eastman Kodak and Harvard University depend on WebSite-based Intranets for internal communications among select groups of staff and/or clients. "In a way, the Web is the first technology that's starting to create even a touch of the 'paperless office' vision that was so prevalent in the seventies," says O'Reilly. "Internet technology is so appropriate for the corporate Intranet. All the hype is stripped away, and you get down to the basics of what this technology excels at: connecting small groups of people with common interests."

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