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Company and tech news from the region.

Chestnut new Laplink VP

Kirkland-based Laplink Software named Mark Chestnut senior vice president of Business Development and Corporate Sales.

Chestnut brings 16 years’ management experience at Microsoft, including nine years in Microsoft’s OEM division, where he led Microsoft’s worldwide OEM marketing group and most recently directed worldwide OEM business development.

Laplink specializes in remote access, file transfer and synchronization technologies.

Belltechupdates Greeting Card Designer

Seattle-based software maker Belltech Systems LLC released Greeting Card Designer 3.0.

Greeting Card Designer helps users create greeting cards easily with their own photos, clip arts, love-signs, and backgrounds.

Belltech specializes in design and print software products.

GALA debuts tech blog

Seattle-based GALA, the Globalization and Localization Association, recently debuted a technology blog intended to be a non-biased open forum for discussion of the technological resources, new developments and on-going challenges that vendors and clients are facing in the localization and translation industries.

GALA has gathered a core group of industry experts to contribute to the blog on a regular basis.

However, all interested parties are invited to initiate new discussion threads and contribute to current discussion topics. GALA moderators will ensure that the topics remain focused on relevant technology issues.

The blog is located at www.gala-global.org/blog.

IT worker confidence up in November

Confidence in the employment market among IT workers rose marginally in November, as the sector’s Hudson Employment Index inched up 2.2 points to 101.1. Renewed confidence in personal finances and heightened job satisfaction contributed to the slight increase.

Technology workers were about as optimistic as workers overall; the composite Index held steady in November, slipping just .04 points to 100.1.

Nearly half (48 percent) of the workers in the IT sector reported that their financial situations were improving in November, up from 38 percent the previous month.

There was a six-percentage point drop to 35 percent in the number reporting that their finances were getting worse. Job satisfaction rose five points to 76 percent in November.

However, the IT workforce was significantly more likely to expect layoffs in November, as that figure increased from 22 percent to 27 percent. The number of workers concerned about job security rose five points to 32 percent.

Microsoft hires scientist from Cray

Seattle-based supercomputer maker Cray Inc. said Burton Smith, chief scientist and one of its founders, resigned to take on a new role at Microsoft Corp. Smith also resigned his board seat at Cray.

Microsoft’s role in supercomputing has been muted in the past, though it’s been a point of emphasis lately.

The company recently released a second test version of its Compute Cluster Server 2003, a Windows-based operating system that is expected to compete for a share of the Unix-dominated supercomputer market.

Loudeye CFO departs

Loudeye Corp. said Chief Financial Officer Ron Stevens has resigned to take a position with a venture-funded startup.

Chris Pollak, vice president of finance of the Seattle-based digital media company, was named CFO, replacing Stevens.

Stevens will continue to work with Loudeye through the end of the year to assist Loudeye in pursuing strategic alternatives and operating plans, the company said.

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