Tuesday, June 10, 2003


Sam Waksal gets 7-year sentence
ImClone founder ordered to pay
$4 million in fines, back taxes
ImClone Systems Inc. founder Samuel Waksal, left, and an aide enter federal court for sentencing on Tuesday in New York City.

ImClone Systems founder Sam Waksal was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison Tuesday for an insider-trading scandal that ensnared his family and threatens Martha Stewart and her home decorating empire.

IBM, Infineon Say MRAM Might Be Available in 2005
IBM and Infineon Technologies AG said Tuesday that they have reached a key milestone on the way to commercializing magnetic RAM as early as 2005.
At the VLSI Symposia taking plane in Japan this week, IBM and Infirnon said they will announce that the two companies have jointly fabricated a 128-Kbit Magnetic RAM (MRAM) core on a 0.18-micron process, the most aggressive use of lithography to date to fabricate an MRAM.
Both companies are eyeing MRAM as a possible replacement for DRAM, which requires a constant source of electricity to refresh the memory cells. Without it, the "volatile" memory cells lose their charge, and their contents. "Nonvolatile" memories such as flash memory retain their contents in the absence of electricity, but they only have a limited number of read and rewrite cycles.

IBM and Infineon to incorporated the technology to craft the smallest MRAM memory cell size of 1.4 square microns.

"Nonvolatile memory technologies like MRAM will play a major role in technology lifestyle solutions and we want to be the number one semiconductor company in this area by having a product demonstrator jointly developed with IBM available early 2004," said Wilhelm Beinvogl, chief technical officer of Infineon's Memory Product Division, in a statement. "Together with Altis Semiconductor, a joint venture of IBM and Infineon, we will pave the way for production readiness of MRAM as early as 2005."

Numbers add up to Devils' third Stanley Cup
As much as history was on their side, in the end, it was simply a matter of the numbers adding up for the New Jersey Devils.

There was their great record at home, their invincibility when scoring first in a game, and their uncanny ability to protect a lead going into the third period. New Jersey put them all together neatly against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in Game 7, and the result was a 3-0 victory and a third Stanley Cup in nine years.

New Jersey came into the deciding game of the series on the heels of a disappointing effort in Anaheim, lacking any apparent sense of momentum but knowing, if nothing else, seventh games in Stanley Cup Finals over the years have tended to finish in favor of the home team.

Nine of the past 11, in fact, have been won by the home team, and the veteran Devils, who had lost only once in 12 home games during these playoffs, were pretty confident they could add to that total.

"We made it a point early in the season to be a tough team to play in our own building," said goaltender Martin Brodeur, who set a record with his seventh shutout of these playoffs. "We felt we beat ourselves out there, but we have a lot of experience and we knew we could play better in our own building.

"It's how you handle adversity in the playoffs that makes you succeed, and this team is great at that."

New Jersey certainly didn't show any adverse effects of failing to close out the series over the weekend.

The Devils came out swarming and took the play to the Mighty Ducks from the opening faceoff. Although they outshot the visitors by only a 7-5 margin, New Jersey controlled the ice and never let Anaheim get untracked.

"I thought we had a little stage fright early, but they had an excellent game," Mighty Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. "They played hard, used their people and they had big bodies."

But New Jersey still couldn't score through the first 20 minutes, mainly because, unlike its dominant home effort in Game 5, it couldn't get to the front of the net. That made things relatively easy for goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who ended up with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.

The Mighty Ducks goalie was tested a couple of times in the first 20 minutes by New Jersey's Sergei Brylin from the slot, but Giguere reacted well, stopping one shot with his shoulder and getting his toe on another.

Meanwhile, at the other end, the Devils kept Anaheim from penetrating their zone with any consistency and allowed only one real scoring chance. But even that was a slow developing play which was easily read by Brodeur, who snuffed it out by making a glove save on Steve Thomas.

"They are a really good defensive team that has a great system," Anaheim center Steve Rucchin said. "When they are playing as well as they did tonight, it's tough to get anything going."

New Jersey found a way, though, in the second period, when it started to drive toward the net and create traffic in front of Giguere. That led to the game's first goal by rookie Michael Rupp, which ultimately proved to be the winner.

The 6-foot-5 center started the play by retrieving the puck in the corner and sending it back before heading for the front of the net, where he got a stick on Scott Niedermayer's shot and deflected it through Giguere's legs at 2:22.

"Getting on the scoresheet is a bonus for me," said Rupp, who didn't dress during the playoffs until Game 4 of the Finals. "Whether I won a draw or made a big hit, I just wanted to contribute something."

Something big, actually, because the Devils came into the game with a 10-0 record when scoring first. But instead of sitting on its lead, New Jersey kept pressuring Anaheim, and doubled its margin 10 minutes later when Jeff Friesen fought off defenseman Kurt Sauer's check in front of Giguere and slid Rupp's pass home.

Anaheim seemed to awaken, or maybe it was a sense of desperation settling in. But the Mighty Ducks started opening up their attack and getting some quality, if ultimately fruitless, shots on Brodeur.

"We took too long to establish our game tonight, and by the time we did in the second period, it was too late," Anaheim left wing Mike LeClerc said. "When they get a lead, they're great at shutting things down."

Anaheim gave it one last shot in the third period against a team that has not lost a lead in the third period during the playoffs. They threw 10 of the 24 shots they had in the game at Brodeur, but the New Jersey goaltender got sharper as his workload picked up.

In one flurry midway through the period, he moved quickly to kick out shots by Ruslan Salei from the point, LeClerc and Thomas from the slot and then capped it off with a great glove grab off Stanislav Chistov, who was cutting in from the half boards.

"When Marty's on like that, he's very tough to beat," Devils captain Scott Stevens said.

Even more so when you drive that last nail into the coffin as Friesen did moments later. Friesen picked up a loose puck at the blueline, turned defenseman Keith Carney inside out and fired a shot through Giguere's five hole.

Then the countdown to the Cup was under way by a loud and excited crowd that was thrilled to witness the moment in history.

"This team worked hard to get home-ice advantage," Devils coach Pat Burns said. "We beat the Flyers by one point in the Atlantic to make this possible and to get the privilege of playing the seventh game at home. The guys deserve a lot of credit."

Of course. Because the numbers all add up.

Air Force: No Plan To Retire A-10
The Air Force plans to keep the A-10 Thunderbolt II flying until 2028, said the general who was alleged recently to have ordered a subordinate to research how the service could justify mothballing the fleet of 363 ground-attack aircraft.

Asked if he had told one of his subordinates to write a memo "justifying the decommissioning of the A-10 fleet," as stated in an op/ed piece in the New York Times on May 27, Maj. Gen. David Deptula had a simple reply.

"No ... no, no," he said in an interview. "The assertion was that I ordered somebody to write a memo to justify the decommissioning of the A-10 fleet. That is not correct."

Deptula is head of Plans and Programs at the Air Force's Air Combat Command (ACC) headquarters in Langley, Va.

"We plan on keeping the A-10 in the inventory for many, many years to come," he said.

That will be 25 years, to be precise, at least for those A-10s that undergo modifications to extend their projected service life from 8,000 to 16,000 hours. Originally designed to fly 4,000 hours, most A-10s have between 6,000 and 8,000 hours on their airframes, according GlobalSecurity.org, a Website that tracks military systems.

"The aircraft that have the structural mods to them, we're planning on keeping to 2028," Deptula said. "But like everything else that we own, they're not going to last forever."

The A-10, better known as the Warthog, recently chalked up another impressive performance in Iraq, following much-lauded support of coalition ground troops in Afghanistan. It was also a star of Operation Desert Storm. So the Times article by Robert Coram, author of a recently published biography about Air Force Col. John Boyd, caused quite a stir.

Coram, who wrote that "the Air Force is planning to give the A-10 Warthog an ignominious homecoming from the Persian Gulf," based his story on an e-mail train obtained from within ACC.

Reading the mail
The e-mails, which Coram gave to Defense Week, were exchanged between April 8th and 9th between three Air Force officials.

"I have been tasked by Gen Deptula (along with others on other issues) to write a 'persuasive BBP' on terminating the A-10 fleet and Hog Up kill," begins the writer, an ACC civilian, in the first e-mail of the chain, which was leaked to Coram. A BBP is a bullet background paper, or executive summary.

However, the notes contain conflicting information and what appear to be some misunderstandings between the correspondents. Also, like in most e-mail exchanges, grammatical mistakes-especially the use of double negatives, some of which may be intentional-sometimes make it difficult to understand exactly what is going on.

For example, it is unclear whether the correspondents think the Air Force brass want to kill the entire A-10 fleet, or just delete two A-10 modification programs: Hog Up, which would strengthen A-10s and double their service life, and the Precision Engagement Modification, which will give Warthogs digital cockpits, datalinks and the ability to drop satellite-guided bombs.

Also, the official writing the backgrounder describes the A-10 fleet kill as a "nuclear option," an expression for a measure that, like a nuclear weapon, is so drastic that it could only be threatened, not actually used. The writer mentions several other "nuclear" offsets: terminating modifications to the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter, killing Boeing's Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle and reducing flying hours by 5 percent.

According to the official, the decision to kill the A-10 modifications-but not retire the entire fleet-goes higher than Deptula, to his boss, ACC commander Gen. Hal Hornburg, who is alleged in the e-mails to be making the best of a bad financial situation that dictates not all programs can be fully funded.

Modifications on the table
As the Air Force struggles to find money to pay for the increasing maintenance costs of an ageing fleet and still pay for expensive new airplanes such as the F/A-22 Raptor and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, it is looking at a host of programs that could be trimmed, Deptula said.

Those options include the modifications to the A-10 and other aircraft as well as adjustments in force structure, he said, ticking off the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-117s, B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress.

"Part of our roll down here at Air Combat Command headquarters is to continuously look at the force structure and force-structure options," Deptula said. "But a lot of them are hypothetical."

The average age of the A-10 is over 23 years, the same as for the dogfighting F-15C, Deptula said, compared to a maximum desirable average age of 15 years for each aircraft.

"No decisions have been made yet, and I'd emphasize that those A-10 programs are fully funded in the '04 POM," or Program Objective Memorandum, the draft budget that extends through 2009, Deptula said.

"But the bottom line is we gotta recapitalize our geriatric fighter force: our F-15s, F-16s and A-10s, and that's what the F/A-22 and the JSF will do," he said.

Whatever path the service decides to take, the decision will not be made solely in Air Combat Command, or even in the military. Any proposal for changing force structure must get a stamp of approval from the Air Force staff, then the Office of the Secretary of Defense and finally Congress.

"Somebody just doesn't say, 'OK, draft me a memo for canceling the A-10 fleet,' and it happens," Deptula said. "That just belies an ignorance of the process."

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