Clinton taps software to help sort resumesThe big chill is...

TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATIONS

December 14, 1992|By Steve Auerweck

Clinton taps software to help sort resumes

The big chill is ending for loyal Democrats. After 12 years of waiting, they're eyeing the choice jobs in Washington and sending in resumes by the thousands.

To handle the avalanche of paper -- an expected 125,000 resumes, for 3,000 to 4,000 jobs -- President-elect Bill Clinton's transition team turned to Resumix Inc. And the Santa Clara, Calif., company has offered a solution combining optical scanning and artificial-intelligence software.

Transition team staffers scan in each of the 2,000 resumes that arrive each day; Resumix's patented software adds the information to a data base of applicants and skills. It can produce lists of the people who are qualified for available positions.

Resumix uses a network of Sun Microsystems SPARCstations and scanners, running under the Unix operating system, to handle the processing.

Hopkins will study processing of speech

The Fort Meade-based National Security Agency, renowned for using supercomputers to eavesdrop on voice and data communications around the world, has given the Johns Hopkins University a $2.8 million contract to set up a center to study electronic processing of speech.

The contract with the electrical and computer engineering department will fund basic and applied research that can be used in processing speech signals, as well as in providing training for NSA mathematicians, engineers and other staff.

NSA is interested in four principal research areas:

* Speech enhancement, or using computers to remove noise from signals;

* Large-vocabulary computer speech recognition;

* Speaker recognition -- identifying individual voices, and

* Computer recognition of languages and dialects.

"It is almost unprecedented for the low-profile agency to identify itself publicly with an outside project," interim director Moise H. Goldstein, a professor in the department, said in a statement, "and none of the research done at Hopkins -- or its results -- will be classified."

The Center for Speech Processing will draw on many of the university's resources, including the Applied Physics Laboratory, the Peabody Institute and the schools of engineering and medicine.

Your ATM may learn to recognize your voice

Many of us have had words for our bank ATMs from time to time. If AT&T and its computer unit, NCR Corp., have their way, the machines may finally listen.

The companies are developing equipment to let the machines identify card-holders by voice, rather than by secret code number. That would make it harder for thieves to use stolen cards.

Previous voice-identification systems have been hampered by a long process, in which a person might have to repeat words 20 times, and by failures in identifying people who have colds or are under stress. AT&T says the new system can be trained in less than half the time, and is more accurate.

Solarex wins ruling on solar patents

Frederick-based Solarex Corp., which makes solar power products, has won a ruling in U.S. District Court in Delaware that supports its patents in an up-and-coming solar technology.

Solarex, a unit of Amoco Corp., said its patents on "amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells" were declared valid and infringed by Siemens Solar Industries of Camarillo, Calif. Leonard J. May, Solarex's marketing director, said the case originated five years ago against Arco Solar, predecessor of the Siemens unit.

Mr. May said that there's a "several-million-dollar" market for the thin-film cells, but that the company believes they are "a steppingstone in what we believe to be the future" of solar technology. The thin-film cells are less powerful but cheaper than traditional semicrystalline cells.

Solarex believes that within the decade, it will be cost-effective to use solar plants to produce tens of megawatts of electricity at peak-demand periods, Mr. May said.

Solarex has about 400 employees worldwide, with about 250 in Maryland, he said.

IBM unveils 7 models in its PS/1 lines

International Business Machines Corp. introduced seven models in its Personal System/1 lines last week.

The machines are powered by 486 processors and have four megabytes of main memory, but they come with a variety of disk drives and preinstalled software.

The new machines are expected to retail between $1,700 and $2,100, IBM said. The three PS/1 lines are aimed at users in small businesses, advanced buyers who may already have computers, and those who need a machine for business or school work at home.

MicroProse introduces battle simulation game

Computer game maker MicroProse Inc. of Hunt Valley introduced another military simulation game, "Task Force 1942," last week on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.

The new game lets players command cruisers, destroyers and battleships in the Pacific in a recreation of the Solomons campaign of 1942.

Vice Adm. William Mack, gunnery officer aboard the John D. Ford in the World War II campaign, was technical adviser on the program.

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