close this bookVolume 6: No. 50
View the documentFunding news
View the documentPolitics and policy
View the documentScientific computing
View the documentPhysics and nanotechnology
View the documentResearch software (in our CRS digest this week)
View the documentAdvanced technology
View the documentAI news and resources

A new GAO report says it's not clear that any of the "smart" weapons used in Desert Storm were more effective than their dumb counterparts. The Pentagon blames weather factors, which will be mitigated by using GPS positioning in future models. [Robert L. Park, WHAT'S NEW, 7/12/96.]

Neural-network software from NASA Ames and McDonnell Douglas Corp. (St. Louis) may help land damaged jet fighters. In cases of wing, fuselage, or sensor damage, the plane's computer may be able to learn new flight characteristics in less than a second. The software will soon be tested on a high-fidelity simulator, then in an F-15. Certification of various aircraft by Dryden's Air Worthiness Board and the FAA may be 5-15 years away. Other applications of neural damage control may include power plants, automobiles, and simpler systems. John Bluck, 415/604-5026. [Ron Baalke ,, 7/1/96.]

Manning & Napier Information Services (MNIS; Rochester, NY) offers PC-based search for prior art in computer and software technology. Their DR-LINK system -- used by the US Patent and Trademark Office -- searches for published technology in 15M documents in an in-house repository and on the Internet (including Gopher sites and CS repositories). Companies that fail to do such searches now risk rejection or delay of patent applications that could easily have been restricted to valid claims. Mike Weiner <>, MNIS , 716-325-6880. [Randy Calistri-Yeh , 7/3/96.]

Wired (p. 135) has an article about online payment systems: First Virtual, Cybercash, Netbill, Digicash, and Millicent. No obvious winners yet. [NewtNews, 7/16/96.]

Split Up is a divorce advisor, from John Zeleznikow of La Trobe University. It asks questions about work, history, health, children, property, and future needs, then suggests a percentage property split (with supporting arguments). The software uses NN, CBR, and expert systems technology. . [Sydney Morning Herald, 5/28/96, p. 10. IDSS, 7/1/96. Bill Park.]

jrm&aFLUX magazine "explores the future of technology and society," plus tips for entrepreneurs, authors, and computer users. . [, newjour, 6/2/96.]

Remember when you wrote punchcard or database programs that recognized 99 as a code for EOF (or some other special case)? Well, those programs are still out there, and may trigger the Year 2000 problem a year early. [Newsbytes. Bill Park , 7/11/96.]