Detroit local news

“The Digital Hour,” The Technology Policy Group, MEDC, Michigan’s Virtual High, NPower, and Intuit.

“Digital Hour” marks anniversary

“The Digital Hour,” a radio show focused on news and information relating to technology and entrepreneurship, celebrated its one-year anniversary show Feb. 23. The show airs from 6-7 p.m. Saturdays on Newstalk WJR-AM 760. The show, hosted by venture capitalists Jeffrey M. Sloan and Richard Sloan, highlights issues, trends, success stories, and new ideas relating to and emerging from Michigan’s high-tech community.

“The Digital Hour” focused its anniversary show on success stories in Michigan’s Digital Drive region as well as the business connections established through the radio program in the past year.

The show is produced by Digital Detroit, a nonprofit organization founded to create and promote business activities in Michigan’s high-tech economy. The show also can be seen via video Webcast. -CU Staff

Study tracks local file-transfer speeds

A recent study by the Technology Policy Group showed that average file-transfer speeds in metropolitan areas such as Detroit and Lansing hover around 30Kbps. Transfer speeds in most of the areas studied never reached 40Kbps, with several areas averaging in the low-20Kbps range. The policy group tested 25 Michigan locations throughout the state, measuring connection speeds and download times for files of various sizes using a variety of transfer protocols.

The dial-up connection study is the latest of several commissioned by the MEDC to test the performance of Michigan’s telecommunications infrastructure. Other recent studies and maps released by the MEDC have shown that Michigan is only about average in terms of providing high-speed Internet access for Michigan residents and businesses. The MEDC’s LinkMichigan plan offers recommendations to transform Michigan’s telecommunications infrastructure into one of the most robust and advanced in the nation. -CU Staff

MEDC debuts online recruitment service

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Michigan Virtual University have introduced a new Web site feature to the career site portion of MEDC’s Web page. The site is designed to help Michigan employers recruit college students for internships and permanent high-tech positions.

Companies are invited to post openings for internship opportunities on the site. The service is free to Michigan companies. The Recruitment Alliance plans to unveil the new Web site feature to students at 18 targeted spring career fairs. -CU Staff

Virtual High School offers new study tools

Michigan’s 11th-graders have the benefit of several new online practice tools from the Michigan Virtual High School that will help them prepare for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program exams. Called the MEAP Smart Curriculum, the series of courses is available until July 1, 2002.

The series includes courses to help improve student performance on the MEAP math, reading, and writing exams at the 11th-grade level. The site can be accessed anytime from the Michigan Virtual High School site. -CU Staff

Lauer joins NPower board

John Lauer, founder and CEO of Detroit-based Rootlevel, has been appointed to the board of trustees of NPower Michigan, based in Detroit. Developed with the help of the C.S. Mott Foundation, Microsoft, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, NPower Michigan is part of a national NPower Network established in Seattle. The organization was created to fill the need for nonprofit-focused technology assistance.

Lauer founded Rootlevel Inc., a company that develops Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. -CU Staff

Intuit unit partners with Yahoo

Quicken Loans Inc., an online mortgage subsidiary of Livonia-based financial software provider Intuit Inc., has announced a deal with Web portal Yahoo. The agreement gives Quicken Loans exposure on Yahoo’s real-estate site, where it will look to attract more customers for its online home loan products.

Quicken Loans will provide its mortgage-lending content and tools to the Yahoo portal. The Intuit subsidiary already claims to be the 26th largest direct-to-consumer mortgage lender in the United States and employs 1,000. -NewsBytes

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