close this bookVolume 5: No. 37
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The Clinton administration has eased controls on US computer exports to all but Iraq, Iran, Libya, and North Korea. Shipped computers may be up to 75 times as powerful as previously. The US computer industry expects 50%-75% of its sales to be overseas within a decade. [Rory J. O'Connor, SJM, 10/3/95, 1E. Also 10/7/95, 1D.]

(Incidentally, the IRS will no longer require receipts for business expenses under $75 (formerly $25). You must still provide receipts for all business lodging. [NYT. SJM, 10/30/95, 1D.])

Canada's National Technology Investment Program will direct about $7B in federal R&D grants and tax breaks, targeting export industries in defense, aerospace, environment, biotechnology, and certain computer industries. [Toronto Globe & Mail, 10/13/95, B1. EDUPAGE.]

Bill Gates and Silicon Valley executives are lobbying Congress to keep the H-1B visa system that lets them hire skilled foreign workers. Unions are upset that such quick hires take the place of a training system for US workers. Employers say there isn't time, as the training could take 6-24 months -- but they admit that foreign workers are almost never replaced later on. Congress is worried that high-tech operations can easily be moved overseas. [Rory J. O'Connor, SJM, 10/10/95, 1D.]

Maybe not. Bangalore, or "Silicon Plateau," has 114 export-oriented software companies. Further growth may be limited by physical infrastructure. Power fluctuations are a daily problem, and up to a third of all phone calls do not get through. [Financial Times, 10/5/95, p. 25. EDUPAGE.]

IBM China Research Lab (Beijing), under Dr. George W. Wang, has been operational since 7/95. The lab has 16 MS/PhD scientists. Software and applications projects include digital libraries, Mandarin speech recognition, Chinese language processing, object oriented technology, and parallel processing. Partnerships have been formed with Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Peking University, and Tsinghua University. . [Michael Stiber , 9/29/95.] (About 100 Chinese universities are getting wired into the net, but access and censorship policies have not been settled.)

A new Daimler-Benz Research and Technology North America center is opening in Palo Alto, on Page Mill Road (across from HP). Projects include a virtual showroom, in-vehicle information systems, micro-technologies, and "smart highway" research such as a sleep warning device for truckers. They are planning for 25-30 employees by the end of 1996, mostly from the US. [Matt Nauman, SJM, 10/13/95, 1C.]