IEEE USA News
 IEEE-USA
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 1202 - Washington, DC 20036-5104
Tel: +1 202 785 0017 - Fax: +1 202 785 0835
Web: http://www.ieeeusa.org
 
Greg Hill, Member & Electronic Communications Coordinator
g.hill@ieee.org, 202-785-0017, ext. 8335 www.ieeeusa.org
 

CONTENTS
- IEEE-USA ISSUES LEGISLATIVE ALERT SUPPORTING PENSION PORTABILITY AND IRA
EXPANSION PROPOSALS

- IEEE-USA SENDS LETTER TO CONGRESS OPPOSING USPTO FUNDING CUTS

- NOTICE OF AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF FILING ON REVERSE ENGINEERING

- IEEE-USA WORKSHOP ON FUTURE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE SUMMARIZED
IN *INFO* JOURNAL

- LETTER FROM THE IEEE-USA PRESIDENT ASKS, "WHO NEEDS A UCITA?"

- DISCOVER AWARDS HIGHLIGHT HI-TECH WEEKEND IN ORLANDO

- 'TODAY'S ENGINEER' RECEIVES APEX 2000 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

- IEEE-USA RECOGNIZES FORMER STAFFERS FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE

 

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IEEE-USA ISSUES LEGISLATIVE ALERT SUPPORTING PENSION PORTABILITY AND IRA
EXPANSION PROPOSALS
 
The Republican leadership has announced plans to mark-up a major retirement
security reform proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee as early as
this week and to try to move the bill to the floor for approval by the
House of Representatives during the week of 17-21 July. The measure will
include major pension portability improvement and IRA expansion provisions
long supported by IEEE-USA and other engineering societies.
 
IEEE-USA's Legislative Action Alert encourages concerned U.S. members to
communicate their support immediately for the "Portman-Cardin Plus" pension
reform proposal (H.R. 1102) to their own Members of the United States House
of Representatives. A flood of communications from concerned constituents
will be needed to effect pension reform in the short time remaining in the
106th Congress.
 
The Alert, with additional background information and a model letter which
you customize and send to your U.S. Representative, is available on-line in
IEEE-USA's Legislative Action Center:
 
See LAC: http://congress.nw.dc.us/ieee/
See Alert:
http://congress.nw.dc.us/cgi-bin/alertpr.pl?dir=ieee&alert=134
 
For more information on IEEE-USA legislative efforts related to retirement
security, visit:
 
http://www.ieeeusa.org/grassroots/pensions/index.html
 
 
 
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IEEE-USA SENDS LETTER TO CONGRESS OPPOSING USPTO FUNDING CUTS
 
A letter from IEEE-USA President Merrill W. Buckley, Jr. and IEEE-USA
Intellectual Property Committee Chair Glenn Tenney, was sent to members of
the House and Senate this week. The letter states IEEE-USA's opposition to
the allocation of fees collected for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) as passed by the House of Representatives in the House
Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill (H.R. 4690). If adopted, the
legislation would divert $295 million of USPTO fees to fund other federal
agencies -- forcing the USPTO to either reduce its staff or raise its fees
to maintain its current operational budget.
 
President Buckley's letter looks at three negative outcomes from the
proposed reductions: Difficulty for the technology industry to access
expansion capital because of lengthier patent application and approval
process; stunted economic growth in the United States due to fewer
applications for patents and trademarks; and increased risks for commercial
ventures as a result of delayed patent issuance. IEEE-USA opposes the
reduction of the USPTO's operating budget and urges the Senate to restore
the levels to the appropriate amount for the agency to conduct both its
public functions (dissemination of patents) and private functions
(examination of applications).
 
Visit the IEEE-USA Public Policy Forum at:
http://www.ieeeusa.org/forum/index.html
 
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NOTICE OF AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF FILING ON REVERSE ENGINEERING
 
As authorized by the IEEE-USA Board of Directors at its June meeting,
IEEE-USA's amicus curiae ("friend-of-the-court") brief was filed before the
California Sixth District Court of Appeals on 5 July in the case of Brunner
vs. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. Consistent with our approved
position, the amicus brief defends the practice of reverse engineering
within the boundaries set by federal intellectual property law.
Specifically, it argues that a "click" license prohibition on reverse
engineering should not be enforceable as it is unconscionable restriction
and/or against the public policy interests of the State of California. The
brief also argues that reliance on the California trade secrets law to
justify a restriction on reverse engineering would be inconsistent with the
legislative intent behind the trade secrets law.
 
You can retrieve a copy of the brief through the IEEE-USA website as a
downloadable PDF file at:
http://www.ieeeusa.org/forum/policy/dvdamicus.pdf.
 
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IEEE-USA WORKSHOP ON FUTURE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE SUMMARIZED IN
*INFO* JOURNAL
 
Several presentations from last fall's IEEE-USA's Committee on
Communications and Information Policy workshop on future telecommunications
infrastructure appear in the April 2000 INFO, a journal of policy,
regulation and strategy. The presentations include: "The Evolution of
U.S. Telecom Infrastructure" by Alan McAdams, Jean Camp and Shastri
Divakaruni; "The World in 2010: The All-Fiber Scenario" by Alan McAdams;
and "Telecom Competition in 2010" By Jon Peha. For more information, see:
http://www.ieeeusa.org/committees/CCIP/ and
http://www.camfordpublishing.com.
  
 
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LETTER FROM THE IEEE-USA PRESIDENT ASKS: "WHO NEEDS A UCITA?"
 
The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA) is a "one size
fits all" law that amounts to "a free pass for the software industry." So
says IEEE-USA President Merrill W. Buckley, Jr. in his latest monthly
"Letter From the President." IEEE-USA recognizes the need to modernize
often outdated state laws governing commerce, but opposes UCITA because it
would grant software makers virtual impunity with regard to product
liability. Buckley warns that, if passed, the UCITA legislation would
ultimately have a "chilling effect on innovation and competition -- to say
nothing of accountability -- for software makers and users alike."
 
Read President Buckley's letter at:
http://www.ieeeusa.org/intro/buckley/buckleyjune00.html
 
To find out if your state legislature has taken up UCITA, and what you can
do to fight it, visit: http://www.ieeeusa.org/grassroots/ucita
 
All of President Buckley's letters can be viewed at:
http://www.ieeeusa.org/intro/buckley/index.html
 
 
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DISCOVER AWARDS HIGHLIGHT HI-TECH WEEKEND IN ORLANDO
 
The 11th Annual DISCOVER Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation were
presented at a gala awards ceremony 24 June at Disney's Epcot in Orlando,
Florida. The awards ceremony was the main event during a weekend of public
awareness activities and exhibits focusing on technological innovation.
>From Randy Giles' WaveStar LamdaRouter to Joseph Paradiso's Expressive
Shoes, this years amazing innovations kept the capacity crowd "oohing" and
"ahhing" throughout the evening. Many of the winners' innovations were on
display at Epcot's Technology Expo held 23-24 June.
 
Check out this year's winners in the July Issue of DISCOVER Magazine or
online at http://www.discover.com/awards/index.html
 
- AAES Engineering Alliance Convenes Second Meeting at Disney Institute
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IEEE-USA was represented in Orlando at the AAES Engineering Alliance
meeting and the DISCOVER Awards ceremony by IEEE-USA Tech Policy Editor
George F. McClure and IEEE-USA staffer, Greg Hill. The Engineering
Alliance is a cooperative public awareness effort of AAES. The Alliance,
composed of representatives from industry, academia, government agencies,
and other engineering societies, met on 23 June to share information, build
networks, and exchange ideas to enhance the entire spectrum of engineering
outreach. To find out more about the AAES Engineering Alliance, visit
http://www.aaes.org/
 
- ITT Industries/DISCOVER Magazine Engineering Survey Identifies Future
Challenges
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The results of a recent ITT Industries/DISCOVER Magazine Engineering Survey
were released to coincide with the DISCOVER Awards for Technological
Innovation. The survey's predictions were highlighted at a gala awards
ceremony and weekend tech "summit" at Disney's Epcot in Orlando, Florida on
23-24 June. The survey reveals that engineering experts see finding new
energy sources and supplying the world with clean water as the top
challenges the engineering community will face in the 21st century.
 
Four hundred engineers from various disciplines -- including electrical,
civil, chemical and mechanical engineering -- participated in the telephone
survey conducted by Ketchum, the ITT Industries public-relations agency.
 
According to the respondents, the greatest challenges that engineers will
face in the 21st century are:
 
- Finding new energy sources
- Supplying the world with clean water
- Designing products so that they do not harm the environment
- Exploring deeper into space
- Curing diseases and prolonging life with biomedical engineering
- Planning cities and allocating resources to accommodate the growing
population
 
When asked what field of engineering they specialized in, 19.8 percent of
the survey's respondents said electrical engineering, second only to
mechanical engineering at 23.8 percent.
 
When the electrical engineers were asked "what will be the greatest
challenge solved by electrical engineers in the 21st century?" they
responded:
 
27.6% Developing new engineering sources
22.4 Communication
13.8 Development of computer technology and skills
10.3 Nanotechnology and miniaturization
6.9 Integrating technology and human tissue
5.2 Biomedical Research/Engineering
3.4 Fair compensation for work
3.4 Governmental Integration
1.7 Space travel and exploration
3.4 Other
1.7 No response
 
The ITT Industries/DISCOVER Engineering Survey and the events surrounding
the tech "summit" at Epcot underscore the cooperative efforts of industry,
academia, government agencies, and the public sector to recognize the ways
in which engineers and innovators contribute to a better world.
 
For full ITT Industries/DISCOVER Engineering Survey results, please contact
Dianna Chapman, Ketchum at Dianna.Chapman@ketchum.com.
 
The majority of the ITT Industries/Discover Engineering Survey sample was
provided by the following societies -- IEEE-USA, American Institute of
Chemical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and American
Society of Mechanical Engineers -- and was coordinated by the American
Association of Engineering Societies. Other respondents were culled from
past winners of the Discover Awards for Technological Innovation.
 
To view the entire news release, visit
http://www.ittind.com/new/NEW-PRES.HTM
 
- NTU, PBS to Broadcast Internet Symposium in the Fall
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The Internet. . . What's Next?" was the third symposium of the year in
which the Disney Institute collaborated with DISCOVER Magazine to explore
the way in which we will live in the future. This special event, held at
the Disney Institute on 23 June in conjunction with the announcement of the
DISCOVER Awards for Technological Innovation at Epcot, was made possible
through underwriting from the IEEE Communications Society and the Compaq
Computer Corporation. The roundtable discussion brought together a panel
of nationally recognized visionaries, hands-on researchers and technology
provocateurs to lead us through and examination of "what's next for the
Internet?"
 
"The Internet. . . What's Next?" will be featured in the November 2000
issue of DISCOVER Magazine. The event will be produced for television and
presented on PBS The Business & Technology Network in association with
Disney Institute and DISCOVER Magazine. Check http://www.ntu.edu for the
broadcast dates in the fall. A webcast of the symposium will also be
available in October 2000 through the National Technological University
(NTU) and PBS The Business & Technology Network website at
http://www.ntu.edu.
 

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*TODAY'S ENGINEER* RECEIVES APEX 2000 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
 
 
TODAY'S ENGINEER was honored again this year by the APEX Awards, given in
recognition of publication excellence. This is the second consecutive year
that TODAY'S ENGINEER has received the Award of Excellence in the
"Magazines and Journals - Printed - Four Color" category.
 
The APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial
content and the success of the entry -- in the opinion of the judges -- in
achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. APEX 2000
recognized outstanding work in publications work by professional
communicators in 11 major categories and 96 subcategories. With 4,900
entries this year, the competition was "exceptionally intense."
 
Find out more about the APEX 2000 Awards at http://www.apexawards.com/
 
For the past two and a half years, TODAY'S ENGINEER has stressed
non-technical, business-critical skills to practicing engineers through
feature articles, interviews, recurring columns, special sections, and
guest editorials.
 
Check out the magazine online at http://www.todaysengineer.org.
 
 
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IEEE-USA RECOGNIZES FORMER STAFFERS POSTHUMOUSLY FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE
 
Last year, IEEE-USA mourned the loss of two highly esteemed key staff
members -- William R. Anderson and Robert S. Walleigh. This year, the
IEEE-USA Board of Directors, at its 22 June meeting in Vancouver, BC, took
action to formally honor both of them for their distinguished contributions
to IEEE-USA and engineering professionalism.
 
- Resolution of Recognition of William R. Anderson
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The IEEE-USA Board of Directors adopted a resolution, in concurrence with
the IEEE-USA Employment Assistance Committee and the IEEE-USA Awards and
Recognition Committee, to publicly acknowledge the loss of Bill Anderson,
an IEEE-USA staff member for 17 years, for his "great contributions to the
engineering profession in the areas of employment, career and professional
development." Bill died on 11 Sept. after a short and intensive battle
with cancer. He was 54. Bill championed IEEE-USA's employment
assistance, salary and fringe benefit surveys, awards and recognition, and
consultants programs. He was a dear friend to volunteers and staff alike.
 
- Robert S. Walleigh Award for Distinguished Contributions to Engineering
Professionalism
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The IEEE-USA Awards and Recognition Committee, in concurrence with the
IEEE-USA Board of Directors, renamed the IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished
Contributions to Engineering Professionalism to the Robert S. Walleigh
Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award. The
award will be given once a year to a member of the engineering profession
in recognition of long-term dedicated effort and outstanding
accomplishments in advancing the aims of IEEE professional activities in
the United States. Bob retired as IEEE-USA Senior Specialist in 1999. He
died later that year on 24 July of pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 84.
Mr. Walleigh specialized in IEEE-USA Board and Operating Committee matters.
He was highly revered by his office peers and the Institute's volunteers
for his leadership and devotion to IEEE-USA.
 
***********************
IEEE-USA
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 1202
Washington, DC 20036-5104
Tel: +1 202 785 0017
Fax: +1 202 785 0835
Web: http://www.ieeeusa.org
***********************
 
 
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Updated 07/30/2000