All posts by SacBee -- Technology

Folsom’s SynapSense makes clean tech list

Folsom-based Synap-Sense Corp. has been ranked among the 100 most promising clean technology firms worldwide by the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper and Cleantech Group LLC, a San Francisco-based consultancy.

SynapSense was one of 55 U.S.-based companies on the list and the only one with headquarters in the Sacramento region. The list spotlights companies with “the potential and likelihood to achieve high growth and high market impact,” according to a news release.

With technology developed at the University of California, Davis, Synap-Sense makes systems that help computer data centers cut their electricity use. The company was founded in 2006. Its clients include Yahoo Inc. and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

– Jim Downing

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SureWest’s data center in Kansas completed

Roseville-based SureWest Communications said it has completed its new data center in Lenexa, Kan.

Company officials said the new center has state-of-the-art systems to guard against power outages and fires, and it lies outside flood- and earthquake-prone areas.

“The new Kansas City (area) data center helps address the existing demand among local businesses for disaster recovery and business continuity efforts,” said Ed Butler, SureWest’s executive director of commercial sales. “Our customers will now be able to take advantage of and protect their networks with the very same infrastructure and environmental protections that we have in place to secure our own enterprise network.”

SureWest also operates two data centers in the Sacramento area.

SureWest expanded into the Midwest in February 2008 with the $173 million acquisition of the Lenexa-based telecommunications company Everest Broadband Inc., which provided services to Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.

– Mark Glover

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Union rates state 11th on its Internet speed

Despite California’s technological prowess, its Internet connection speeds lag, according to an annual report from the Communications Workers of America. California ranks 11th among states, with an average download speed of 6.6 megabits per second.

That’s a substantial improvement over 2007, when the average download speed was 3.1 megabits per second, according to the report, based on data from more than 413,000 Internet users.

Still, the Golden State lags states such as Delaware, Massachusetts and New York. Countries with the fastest Internet speeds were South Korea, Japan and Sweden.

– Bee Business Staff

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SureWest wireless unit sold to Reno company

SureWest Communications will sell its fixed wireless Internet access unit to Reno-based Yonder Media, officials announced.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but SureWest officials said the proceeds will help fuel the company’s continuing growth in its broadband sector.

The Roseville-based company has been peeling off what it calls non-core assets for several years, from its directory publishing and wireless businesses to its wireless towers, as it focuses on its Sacramento and Kansas City broadband markets.

Officials at Yonder Media, which provides broadband Internet access to rural communities across the West, called the sale a key milestone in its plans to expand its reach in California.

Shares of SureWest stock closed up a penny at $12.57 Tuesday in trading on the Nasdaq market.

– Darrell Smith

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Barnes & Noble to offer free Wi-Fi at stores

Barnes & Noble Inc., the world’s largest bookseller, announced Tuesday that it would offer free Wi-Fi at all its Barnes & Noble locations in a deal with AT&T.

The stores previously provided the service for a fee.

The bookstore also offers free applications, including one for iPhones or iPod Touches that calls up book information from a cover photo taken on either device.

Barnes & Noble Inc. has 777 stores in 50 states. There are four locations in the Sacramento region: on Arden Way, in Natomas, at Birdcage Walk in Citrus Heights and at Creekside Town Center in Roseville.

– M.S. Enkoji

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Fewer homes in region not set up for digital TV

The Nielsen Co. said Thursday that 29,390 households in the Sacramento region were not equipped to receive digital TV signals as of Sunday, a month after the nationwide analog-to-digital changeover.

That was an improvement from Nielsen’s estimate of 64,000 area homes on June 12, when U.S. TV stations stopped analog broadcasts and went all-digital.

However, on a percentage basis, the Sacramento area still ranks 12th-worst on the national list of metro areas unable to receive DTV. Nielsen said 2.1 percent of the area market is not DTV-ready.

Among California communities, San Diego (2.62 percent, third-worst) and Los Angeles (2.11 percent, 11th-worst) were faring worse than the Sacramento area.

Nielsen said the Albuquerque/Santa Fe market in New Mexico was at the bottom of the DTV reception list on a percentage basis – 26,738 households, 3.88 percent of the market. Nationally, Nielsen said about 1.48 million households, or 1.3 percent, were “completely unready” for DTV as of last Sunday.

– Mark Glover

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Aerojet wins $40 million rocket motor contract

Aerojet, the subsidiary of Rancho Cordova-based GenCorp Inc., said it has been awarded a $40 million contract to deliver HAWK rocket motors to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for sale to allied countries.

The company said deliveries of an unspecified number of rocket motors to AMCOM are expected to begin in 2010.

The HAWK is a surface-to-air guided, medium-range missile that provides air defense coverage against low-to-medium-altitude aircraft. Aerojet officials said the system is currently in use by 20 allied countries.

– Mark Glover

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Unify’s quarterly profit rises, though sales fall

Unify Corp., the Roseville-based provider of business software, reported net income of $189,000, or 3 cents a share, for its fourth quarter ended April 30, up from $77,000, or a penny per share, in the year-ago period.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $4.6 million, down from $5.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.

Net income for fiscal 2009 was $2.4 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $1.6 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. Fiscal 2009 revenue was $20.6 million, compared with $19.8 million in fiscal 2008.

– Mark Glover

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Free Internet upgrade for SureWest customers

SureWest Communication’s Sacramento-area customers will receive free Internet speed upgrades Tuesday.

Subscribers to the 10-megabyte-per-second plan will now be able to upload and download files at 15 megabytes per second; those with the 20-megabyte-per-second plan will now be able to upload and download at 25 megabytes per second.

Customers with 3-megabyte-per-second packages will see download speeds increase from 1 megabyte to 3 megabytes per second.

– Darrell Smith

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Tech seminar examines corporate governance

The Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance Leadership Series continues today with a seminar on corporate governance at Drexel University’s Center for Graduate Studies.

“Understanding Corporate Governance” will be led by Roger Akers, managing partner at Akers Capital LLC, and Diane Miller, president of Sacramento executive search firm Wilcox, Miller & Nelson. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 1 Capitol Mall, Suite 260. Admission is $30 or $15 for SARTA members.

For information, go to:

– Darrell”>

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