U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced his co-sponsorship of the PROTECT IP (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property) Act of 2011 to crack down on websites selling counterfeit goods and illegally streaming media. The proposal includes a provision allowing rights holders to directly enforce violations of their intellectual property rights.

“While the Internet has revolutionized the way we do business, it is imperative that our laws keep pace with online commerce to crack down on unscrupulous criminals who flagrantly violate copyright law at the expense of American consumers and businesses,” Blumenthal said.

The PROTECT IP Act is supported by numerous businesses, creative industry associations and unions across the country, in hopes it would protect both consumers and jobs from the effects of property infringement.

The industry estimates that copyright infringement and the sale of counterfeit goods online has cost American creators and producers billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. One problem for law enforcements is that many of the sites in question are foreign-owned and outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

 As a U.S. senator, Blumenthal is following up on his scolding of Google as Connecticut’s Attorney General for the collection and use of wireless data from millions across the world during operation of its Street View program.

Blumenthal referred to patents filed by Google going back to 2008 that describe a process of pinpointing locations of wireless routers by intercepting data transmitted by users over unsecured networks. He said the data collection and storage companies like Google and Apple employ to build and refine wireless network maps should be done with consent.

“For three years, Google intercepted and collected bits of user information, payload data — e-mails, passwords, browsing history and other personal information — while driving around taking pictures of people’s homes on the streets in the Street View program,” said Blumenthal. “The company first denied that it was collecting this information…and then it denied that it was collecting it intentionally.”

Blumenthal has called for Google to disclose whether information was obtained illegally and what its plans are for the data. He also wants customers to have the ability to refuse sharing personal information.

The citations for the patent applications are U.S. Patent Application 20100020776 and International Publication No. WO 2010/044872.

 New Apple store a-building next to Barnes & Noble

NEW HAVEN — Just about the trendiest bricks-and-mortal retail destination anywhere, an Apple store is coming to Broadway.

Yale is embarking on a $5 million renovation of 65-77 Broadway, which is owned by University Properties. Until February the building was occupied by Barnes & Noble, which continues to operate the Yale Bookstore next door at 77 Broadway.

Although at press time neither Apple Computer nor Yale have confirmed the opening or location of the store, the Apple website list job openings including “store leader” (equivalent to store manager) and “manager” (assistant manager) for “New Haven 06511,” which corresponds to the ZIP code of Broadway. Apple also has Connecticut stores in Danbury Fair Mall, Farmington’s Westfarms Mall, Stamford and Greenwich, among 323 stores worldwide, according to Apple Computer’s most recent quarterly report.

The work is being done by Shawmut Construction, a Boston company that has constructed a number of Apple stores, including their flagship outlet in New York City. The architect for the project is Seattle-based Callison, LLC.

 BERLIN — Four municipalities and a global financial services leader are joining with Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) to install charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), as part of a research project with CL&P parent Northeast Utilities (NU).

NU’s press release says that “Approximately 20 municipalities and businesses served by CL&P are expected to participate in the research effort.”

Early signers-on include UBS in Stamford, the city of Torrington and the towns of Westport and Mansfield. West Hartford is expected to join the project shortly and will install and maintain EV-charging equipment.

“We’ve worked hard to make Connecticut an early market for electric vehicles, so we’re excited to launch New England’s first comprehensive, hands-on EV study,” said Jeff Butler, CL&P’s president and chief operating officer. “By gathering information from municipal and business customers, we can gain tangible experience to help guide future decisions about our infrastructure, our policies and how we will ultimately serve all of our customers as EVs become more common.”

Said Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham: "It's the technology of the future and it's a great opportunity that comes to us at a very minimal cost. It may also give someone who lives locally the incentive to purchase an electric vehicle."

NU has already installed charging stations at company offices in Berlin and Hartford as well as Springfield, Mass. and Manchester, N.H. Additionally, NU’s Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECo) has one customer site installed and another planned.

“By year-end, we expect to have a network of more than 30 charging stations in place and generating detailed meter data,” said Watson Collins, EV project manager for NU. “We’ll have a robust picture of away-from-home charging levels, to study along with home-based use as more EV drivers recharge overnight.” 

The NU companies are also testing Chevy Volts in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, Calif., according to Collins.  “It’s all about understanding how EV recharging impacts the electric utility system under a variety of conditions,” he added.

 STORRS — After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1992 with a BS in computer science and engineering, Timothy (Scott) Case went on to become a co-founder of Priceline.com and its chief technology officer. Now Case is president of the Startup America Partnership. Case returns to UConn as keynote speaker at Connecting Opportunities: Driving Innovation through University Resources May 25. Sponsored by the Connecticut Venture Group, the Association for Corporate Growth, Connecticut chapter and the Connecticut Technology Council, the event seeks to bring together entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and R&D professionals. Breakout sessions will include presentations from early state companies Nzymsys and MysticMD.

Nzymsys  has developed proteins to catalyze the breakup of molds, odors and stains without the use of “toxic hydrocarbons and bacteriostats” that may pose a harm to the environment

MysticMD is an advanced materials company “developing proprietary nano-coatings and nano-films to dramatically improve products, making them better, less expensive and easier to manufacture.”

Other breakouts will include ventures allied with Pratt & Whitney and Danbury pharmaceutical giant Boehringer-Ingelheim.

The event will include a networking reception and has a fee of $50 for non- sponsor group members and $40 for members. Students attend free. For more information visit cvg.org.

 Connecticut was well represented at the Fuel Cell Expo, the “world’s largest international exhibition specializing in hydrogen and fuel cell technology” in Tokyo, Japan March 2-4. The Nutmeg State exhibit was manned by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) and the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development.

The event attracted 90,000 attendees. CCAT exhibited in the U.S. pavilion along with Avalence, LLC of Milford, and UTC Power of South Windsor.

CCAT has been gathering data on the hydrogen and fuel cell industry in the Northeast region, which includes Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. According to CCAT’s energy director, Joel Rinebold, “Preliminary findings indicate that the industry is comprised of 25 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that employ over 2,200 workers, and over 1,000 companies in the OEM supply chain.”

For more information about CCAT’s role regarding Connecticut’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry, visit chfcc.org or NEESC.org.

 

 The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest single user of energy in the U.S., accounting for almost one percent of total U.S. energy consumption with approximately one-half of this energy consumption in the form of jet fuel — approximately 250,000 barrels per day.

Now the DoD is examining alternative fuels including coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology, a technology that has been used since the 1920s. The South African government used this technology to obtain fuel during the embargoes imposed by countries in opposition to apartheid.

The DoD and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) have partnered with Arcadis-Malcolm Pirnie and Avetec to assemble a team of “subject matter experts” from the federal Department of Energy, Harvard University, MIT, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Yale University.

Environmentalists have expressed concerns about the large amount of carbon dioxide released by conversion. In response the team is seeking experts in carbon capture, sequestration and reuse.

The effort at CCAT is exploring ways to reduce the carbon dioxide content as well as other pollutants generated. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 EAST HARTFORD — The Connecticut Technology Council is seeking nominations for the fastest growing technology companies in Connecticut.  The Fast Forty awards program, begun in 2008, recognizes technology companies on the basis of annual revenue growth. To be eligible companies need to have been in business for at least four years and have fourth year revenues of at least $3 million.

Awards will be presented in six technology verticals with one overall winner in each of the six following categories:, Software, IT Services, New Media/Internet/Telecom, Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy/Environmental Technology (including green technologies). The deadline for applications is May 31.  For more information visit ct.org.

 The Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) has partnered with Monster.com to offer Connecticut businesses, policy makers and residents real-time labor market data on a month-to-month basis through the Monster Employment Index.

The latest data shows continued growth in job postings. The Monster Employment Index (currently for January 2008 through March

2011) will be reflected on the Employment Index of the CERC Dashboards

(cerc.com/Content/Dashboard.asp), an interactive, Web-based tool

that provides “perspective on Connecticut’s competitive performance.”

The graphics presented in the dashboards use measures that benchmark the state’s current conditions and its growth in a number of categories,

including business, government, housing, transportation, “urban

vitality,” workforce and education.

The Monster Employment Index is a monthly gauge of U.S. online job

demand based on a real-time review of millions of employer job

opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career

websites and online job listings.

According to Monster, “The index does not reflect the trend of any one advertiser or source, but is an aggregate measure of the change in job listings across the industry.”

According to Alissa DeJonge, CERC’s director of research, “The Monster data is based on job postings which allows for a first-hand account about attitudes of employers with respect to their willingness to hire.”

“The data is a leading indicator to the employment figures published by

the Connecticut Department of Labor,” she added.

“There is a need to capture real-time analysis around the labor market at the local level for states to plan for the future including allocating resources to help enable continued job growth,” said Jesse Harriott, chief knowledge officer for Monster Worldwide.