-- HemCon

Weak Portfolio

Regardless of size, more than 90 percent of organizations rate themselves at the bottom rungs of project portfolio management (PPM) maturity, according to a study conducted by the Center for Business Practices, which surveyed 54 senior-level PPM practitioners. More than 70 percent of organizations said their PPM process has been in place for less than two years; 87 percent of organizations developed their PPM process in-house and just 13 percent have implemented a PPM software tool.

On the Go

According to a study by Harris Interactive for Intel, 34 percent of all U.S. adult computer users have packed a laptop on vacation, and that figure will rise. The following are the most popular uses for laptops while on vacation, survey respondents said.

  • Personal e-mail -- 72 percent

  • Entertainment (movies, music, games) -- 56 percent

  • Gathering trip information -- 45 percent

  • Work-related e-mail -- 43 percent

    Flip-Floppin'

    Linux developers now prefer noncommercial versions of Linux, according to Evans Data Corp.'s spring 2005 release of its biannual Linux Development Survey. As recently as six months ago, purchased and free Linux were in a virtual tie, but now approximately 34 percent of developers prefer noncommercial versions of Linux and approximately 28 percent prefer a commercial version. As recently as 2003, the preference for a commercial version of Linux was double that of noncommercial Linux.

    Higher Learning

    According to a report by IT analysis firm Info-Tech, 34 percent of IT managers at small and mid-size educational institutions plan to invest in intrusion detection systems within three years. The report also found that voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the top emerging technology priority for the education sector, with 47 percent of education IT decision-makers planning to implement a VoIP network within three years.

    To Chat or Not to Chat

    About 12.5 billion instant messages are sent every day across the globe, mostly on public networks, according to the Radicati Group. The market research firm estimates the number of IM accounts worldwide is 867 million, which is projected to jump to 1.2 billion in four years.

    IT to the Rescue

    Technology cut building processing time 20 percent to 80 percent, according to a report funded by the Institute for Building Technology and Safety. Jurisdictions used IT to save thousands of dollars, and drastically improved data sharing, disaster planning and security, the organization said. The institute also reported that of the 101 jurisdictions that responded:

  • 55 use IT to improve their overall relationship with other jurisdictions and clients.

  • 38 apply IT to share critical data with other agencies.

  • 37 use IT to offer services.

  • 30 use IT to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

  • 31 said they don't use IT because they lack funding or the time to review how it may be useful.

    Urine-Charged

    Scientists around the world have sought to design small, inexpensive and disposable kits called biochips, to test people's urine for a variety of diseases. But no one has been able to make a similarly small and inexpensive power source for the biochips to eliminate the need for lithium batteries or external power sources..

    A team of researchers at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology solved the problem by using the substance being tested -- urine -- to power the batteries in the biochips.

    The team soaked a piece of paper in copper chloride and then inserted it between strips of magnesium and copper, then laminated the credit card-sized unit. When a drop of urine is added to the copper chloride paper, a chemical reaction takes place and produces electricity, which is then harnessed by the battery. A few drops generate

  • Jessica Jones, Contributing Writer  |  Contributing Writer
    Shane Peterson  |  Associate Editor