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Tech and business news from around the region. ASP.NET enhancements debuted

Pasadena-based ASP.NET and SQL hosting company DiscountASP.NET introduced ASP.NET hosting enhancements targeted for developers with the launch of an on-demand application pool recycling tool and a real-time Web site stop/start tool. These new tools are additions to the IIS Management Tool Suite available in the DiscountASP.NET Control Panel.

The Application Pool Recycle Tool allows customers to shut down the process hosting their web application and spawn a new process. This tool is extremely useful to recycle a hung application, release locked files or databases, or to reset session variables. DiscountASP.NET hosts each web site in its own isolated application pool, so it can be used without affecting other customer sites.

IT worker confidence plunges

Worker confidence among IT professionals fell substantially in August, as the sector’s Hudson Employment Index dropped 9.4 points to 103.1 in August. Despite the decline, the latest reading is substantially higher than last August, when it registered 97.5. Based on responses from approximately 9,000 workers nationwide across all industries, the composite index rose one point to 102.9 in August.

The Hudson Index for IT workers also showed:

* After a record-high 21 percent of workers rated their finances as excellent in July, only 14 made that statement in August. There was also a five-point drop to 44 percent in the number of workers who said their financial situation was improving.

* Similarly, the number of workers expecting their employer to hire fell from a near record-high of 40 percent to 31 percent.

* While only one-quarter of the work force was concerned about job security in July, 28 percent shared that sentiment in August.

BrightCom gains IntelliNet contract

Los Angeles integrated conferencing company BrightCom Inc. was selected as the Web conferencing vendor for IntelliNet, a provider of global network management services.

As a fully integrated “plug and play” network appliance, The Visual Collaboration System is optimized for hosting rich, interactive, live collaborative meetings via a Web browser.

BrightCom also said it had been selected as the video conferencing vendor for Medical Mutual of Ohio. Medical Mutual has over 1.5 million customers throughout the Midwest.

Survey tracks outsourcing trends

Venice-based software developer and consultant Venice Consulting Group released a new survey measuring the sentiment of executives on the subject of IT offshore outsourcing.

The survey found that while companies believe outsourcing is here to stay, their preference is to have a client contact that is located in the US. Another finding that indicates a shift away from traditional outsourcing to countries such as India shows that an overwhelming majority-over 85 percent-prefer an offshore outsourcing partner in the same time zone.

Other major findings include:

* Despite all the talk of offshore outsourcing, the majority of respondents (66 percent) have not outsourced an IT project to an offshore firm suggesting further room for growth of the market

* Main drivers for outsourcing continue to be cost savings and lack of internal resources

* About two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents were highly or somewhat unlikely to outsource to India

* Database and Web site design led the way in the most likely projects to be outsourced

The survey was sent to over 89,000 executives of large and mid-sized companies, and focused specifically on sentiment regarding the outsourcing of IT projects to offshore firms.

Hankin new Semtech chair

Camarillo-based Semtech Corp. appointed Rockell N. Hankin chairman of its board of directors.

Hankin succeeds John D. “Jack” Poe, who stepped down as chairman and also took a leave of absence from the board pending the conclusion of a stock option investigation. Poe told the company he took these actions to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The appointment was effective Aug. 24. Hankin, 59, has been a director since 1988 and vice chairman of the board since 1998. He also serves on the company’s audit and nominating committees.

Semtech Corp. is a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors.

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