One Picture, Three Million Words

Management Moves


Leaving Town

Out of Business


Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the June 20, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane: InterTrust Technologies

Pirated music is what is in the news, most prominently

in the case of Napster. That popular music-sharing site has provided

us with a glimpse into a world where any schoolchild can get his hands

on any song, and send it flying ’round the world, rights scattered

to the wind. But many other forms of content — medical records

to movies — are vulnerable too, says Jim Horning of InterTrust

Technologies (Nasdaq: ITRU).

Horning is the director of InterTrust Technologies’ STAR Lab, which

is now setting up East Coast operations in offices at 821 Alexander

Road. STAR Lab, which stands for strategic technologies and architectural

research laboratory, is the advanced research an arm for the 11-year-old

California-based company, which develops technology for digital rights

management (DRM).

The problem InterTrust hopes to solve is that of how content can be

sold, or otherwise distributed or shared, over the Internet in a way

that protects the rights of its owners. The company is working on

a worldwide, universal solution, and to that end will license, or

sell, hardware, software, application provider services, and intellectual

property. Already licensing its early products, the company has entrusted

its STAR Lab researchers with "exploring the frontiers of digital

rights management."

InterTrust seeks to provide a "trustworthy foundation" on

which companies will build their own systems for securely distributing

content. The foundation, Horning explains, is "a way to bind business

rules to content in such a way that the content will be protected."

Pieces of this foundation include encryption, tamper resistance, a

way of expressing business rules, and a way of recording transactions.

"It doesn’t matter whether it’s music or business records,"

Horning says, the foundation is the same.

An early client is Universal Music. InterTrust provided the infrastructure

upon which that company’s Global e division built bluematter, a website

through which it sells digital music. "The business rules are

their choice; the website is their design," Horning says. The

technology underlying the bluematter website is InterTrust’s. It protects

the content through encryption, and "associates consequences with

actions," specifying, for example, that receipt of a song follow


Protecting digital rights is a complicated matter. Global e, for example,

is seeking to build and manage digital music globally. This task eventually

will include digital download, subscription, custom radio, and pay-per-play

businesses around the world, through all channels of purchase, including

kiosks, computers, TV set top boxes, and portable devices. There are

so many links in the chain that runs from creation through myriad

forms of distribution and "it does no good to strengthen one link,"

says Horning, unless all the others are equally fortified.

Horning began programming computers in 1959, "before many in the

lab were born," he jokes. He has been with InterTrust for five

years, and with STAR Lab for four years. A graduate of Pacific Union

College, who majored in physics and math, Horning received his Ph.D.

in computer science from Stanford in 1969.

InterTrust has 350 employees, and 17 of them work under Horning on

next-generation STAR Lab projects. Robert Tarjan is a STAR Lab

senior fellow, and also InterTrust’s chief scientist. But he is just

a part-time employee. Tarjan is a professor of computer science at

Princeton University, and one of the reasons the company is opening

a facility in the area. "For the last three years, Bob has been

a very frequent flier," Horning says with a laugh.

Tarjan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in math from the California

Institute of Technology (Class of 1969) and a Ph.D. in computer science

from Stanford, finds that "academia and industry have very different

strengths and weaknesses." He says he enjoys both.

Tarjan had been teaching full time, but still keeping a finger in

industry with consulting work for NEC, until four years ago. At that

point, he and several others left NEC for InterTrust. He said he was

attracted to the company because "it’s a problem rich environment."

The problem of Tarjan’s bi-coastal commute will be solved to some

degree now that InterTrust’s Alexander Road offices are staffed and

ready. Besides cutting the number of Tarjan’s airport runs, the Princeton

location will give the company access to Central Jersey’s talent pool,

and proximity to Princeton University, from which it hopes to recruit

consultants and interns.

StarLab’s Alexander Road office will be managed by Bill Horne,

a Lawrenceville resident, and another frequent flier, who has been

on the InterTrust research staff for one year, but consulted to the

company for two years before that. Horne holds a bachelor’s degree

in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware (Class of

1986) and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of

New Mexico. While he will be StarLab’s Princeton manager, Horne says

he hopes to spend most of his time on research.

There will be plenty of research work to do as STAR Lab is charged

with "ensuring that InterTrust has adequate technical options

to support its business strategies two, five, and even ten years into

the future."

Charged with keeping STAR Lab’s Alexander Road operation running smoothly

so that research can proceed apace is Mary Zwiebel, the facility’s

office manager who is now seeing to the installation of everything

from copier machines to coffee cups. Zwiebel, a 1977 graduate of the

University of Buffalo, was recruited from NEC, where she had known

Tarjan. Getting STAR Lab up and running in brand new offices is a

challenge that appealed to her. "I’m it," she says. "The

receptionist, the office manager, shipping, receiving, everything."

STAR Lab has leased 10,000 square feet on the first floor of a new

building constructed by Bovis. It has eight employees now and seeks

to sublet 6,000 square feet, in two parcels, through NAI Fennelly.

Bovis did the fitout, and furniture was provided by the Furniture

Exchange of South Plainfield.

Her company was attracted to the building, Zwiebel says, because "you

can see the train station." It’s just a 10 minute stroll to the

train, which she says, is ideal for the many New York visitors the

company expects to host. It is convenient for resident researchers

too, of course, and Zwiebel says there has already been some foot

traffic between STAR Lab and New York-bound trains.

While STAR Lab is a research facility, all research will be done entirely

on computers. There are no lab fixtures. Says Zwiebel, "This is

the first place I’ve worked in a long time where we don’t have a lot

of safety glasses lying around."

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

InterTrust Technologies Corporation, 821 Alexander

Road, Princeton 08540. Robert Tarjan, chief scientist, Intertrust.

609-919-9611; fax, 609-919-1926. Home page:

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One Picture, Three Million Words

If a simple picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is

a 75-foot-high constantly-changing picture worth? The price tag for

a high-resolution video wall capable of using sixteen 50-inch screens

as one is about $300,000. The impact? Anyone who has walked through

Times Square, head swiveling in all directions to take in the talking,

undulating screens set into buildings way above eye level, can attest

to how easy it is to ignore them.

Electrosonic Image Control, a Finland-based company that recently

chose Princess Drive in Lawrence as its sales headquarters for the

northeast, makes the processors that power those eye-popping displays.

Andrea Linton, office manager, explains that Electrosonic doesn’t

make the screens on which we see the three-foot-high stock tickers

or larger-than-life video advertisements for pet food. "The LCD

or LED screens are made by a Pioneer, Toshiba, Clarity, Lighthouse,

or someone else," she says. Clients come to Electrosonic for a

video wall, and the company buys hardware, incorporates content, and

uses its processor to put together a display that can make many screens

act as one, blending feeds from satellites, CD-ROMs, computers, videos,

laser disc players, and more.

An example of Electrosonic’s work is the rain forest floor display

at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and also a

lobby wall in the New York offices of Frederick Harris, a bridge and

tunnel design firm. The displays are popular now in retail, Linton

says, pointing to in-store video walls her company has installed in

Best Buy stores. "You see the same picture on 40 different televisions,"

she says of those displays. "It’s the same image, but on a whole

rack of TVs, so you can compare the picture."

Electrosonic sells its systems, and while the company is not in the

rental business, Linton says it does sell to outfits that rent the

displays. Businesses might rent a system for a trade show, where it

could draw attention while touting a product’s attributes. "They’re

popular at auto shows," says Linton. "You see the physical

product on the floor, and learn about it on the screen."

Many times, clients want the systems to show the world who they are,

and what they do, Linton says. That was the case with the bridge and

tunnel designer, and also with investment bank Morgan Stanley, for

which Electrosonic is now building a video wall to be incorporated

in a new headquarters building. The company markets to architects,

finding them a good audience, because, says Linton, "It’s easier

to incorporate a display wall into a new building than to add it later."

Unlike the splashy walls that fill Times Square with light and motion

all through the night, most of Electrosonic’s products end up inside

buildings. The animated walls are far from the norm in new buildings,

but Linton says they are popular with high-end clients. "They

like to make an impact," she says.

No tech-age fly-by-night, Electrosonic was founded in 1964 to provide

automatic light and sound rental equipment for trade shows and exhibitions.

Soon after, it introduced the first automatic electronic dimmer, and

set on a course of developing new display technologies. It was among

the first companies to make all-electronic programming systems for

mixed media shows using multiplexed data on magnetic audio tape and

to achieve practical, solid state, audio replay systems for museum

and exhibition displays. In 1992, Electrosonic built the world’s biggest

video wall with 850 monitors for EXPO 92 Seville, and three years

later delivered a 130-foot-wide electronic display to the Newseum

in Arlington, Virginia.

Electrosonic is a division of Helvar Merca Group in Finland. Its U.S.

headquarters is in Minneapolis, and its R&D takes place in the United

Kingdom. Until last summer, the company had no sales presence along

the Atlantic seaboard. When the decision to move into this territory

was made, Linton and her husband, Kevin Linton, senior project manager,

were tapped to help plant the company’s flag in Lawrence. Their boss,

the general manager of the Lawrence office, is Andrew Kidd, a native

of the United Kingdom, who holds an undergraduate degree in electrical

engineering from Leeds University and an MBA from City University

in London. The office started out with three employees, and is up

to 10.

It was important to the company that veterans establish its name in

the northeast, says Linton, a performance arts graduate of Sheridan

College in Toronto, who says work and family now keep her too busy

for acting. Her 16 years with the Electrosonic and her husband’s 18

years made them an easy choice, although she says longevity is the

norm at the company. Kidd has logged more than 20 years. Moving here

from her native Toronto was "tough," Linton says, but she

is adjusting. The couple, who met at work, have two children, ages

four and 10, and live in Hamilton.

The Lawrence office’s territory runs from Virginia and West Virginia

to the south up through Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York

City, and up into Maine. There is substantial interest from the finance

industry in this area, Linton says, and the company is working at

figuring out the best way to approach the medical industry.

The smallest of Electronic’s systems costs about $38,000, Linton says,

but prices do tend to come down as new technology is introduced. As

for the changes in display technology she has seen in her 16 years

in the industry, Linton says, "It’s still so much fun when we

get something new in here. I’m constantly amazed."

Electrosonic Image Control, 11 H Princess Road,

Lawrenceville 08648. Andrew Kidd, general manager. 609-219-9494; fax,

609-219-1538. Home page:

Top Of Page
Management Moves

SafeStone Technologies Inc., 600 Alexander Park,

Suite 303, Princeton 08540. Sean Jahr, executive vice president, Americas.

609-750-8502; fax, 609-750-8655. Home page:

Sean Jahr now heads the United States office of the security management

firm. As executive vice president of the Americas, he reports to CEO

John Todd, based in the United Kingdom. Jahr has worked at Elron,, Optima Software, and Legent Corporation.

Marnie Threapleton had been vice president of sales and marketing

for the U.S. (U.S. 1, April 11, 2001). She will now be vice president

of sales operations.

SafeStone is both an IBM systems management business partner and an

IBM development partner, and it has renewed its strategic partnership

alliance with RSA Security Customers. It offers enterprise security

systems with modular products. For instance, using the IBM iSeries

400, SafeStone developed the DetectIT Agent 400, which allows two-factor

authentication to protect against unauthorized access.

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SimStar Internet Solutions, 202 Carnegie Center,

Princeton 08540. David Reim, president. 609-252-9741; fax, 609-252-1425.

Home page:

The E-business solutions firm has made its move from 16,000 feet in

several locations at Research Park to 30,000 feet at the Carnegie

Center 202 (U.S. 1, May 23). It does strategy, development, and servicing

of E-business solutions for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

COMQuest Research LLC, 3131 Princeton Pike, Building

4, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-219-0759; fax, 609-219-1888.

Home page:

COMQuest Research moved from 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet

within the same building. For Fortune 50 companies, it does market

research, analysis, and consulting services in brand image and customer

satisfaction. Principals are Robert Clark, Gary Ocher, and Jeff Brown.

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Leaving Town, Cranbury Business Park, Building 2,

Box 9707, Cranbury 08512-9707. Home page:

In April the catalog company closed its own fulfillment center in

Cranbury and transferred all its shipping and billing services to

a Tennessee firm, National Fulfillment. As the largest fulfillment

center in the United States, National Fulfillment serves more than

150 companies from this location: 6960 Eastgate Boulevard, Lebanon,

Tennessee 37090.

Biddle Company Inc., 644 Whitehead Road, Trenton

08648. 609-392-4181; fax, 609-392-2859.

AMI Truck Lease bought the Biddle Company, a truck leasing firm, and

is moving this operation to Florence. The new owner is based in Worcester,

Massachusetts (508-852-6493).

Roche Laboratories, 707 State Road, Gateway Corporate

Campus, Suite 106, Princeton 08540. 973-235-5000.

Roche Laboratories has closed its 2,100-foot business office at Princeton

Gateway. The office did sales and marketing for Roche products. Moving

into this space will be a sister company to Medarex, Genmab. 800-527-6243.

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Out of Business

Anicom Inc. (ANIC), 1 Broadway Road, Suite 1, Cranbury

08512. Rich Cohen, general manager east coast. 609-409-2832; fax,

609-409-4380. Home page:

This company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing down,

both here at this 40-person warehouse, and at its headquarters in

Rosemont, Illinois (near Chicago). The multimedia technology firm

billed itself as distribution solution for voice, video, datapower

and security systems.

BAI Personnel Solutions Inc., 110 Stanhope Street,

Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540. Leigh Clayton, president.

609-919-9190; fax, 609-919-9655. Home page:

BAI Personnel Solutions has filed for Chapter 7 in the United States

Bankruptcy Court of Judge Stephen A. Stripp (Case number 01-52408).

The nine-year-old firm started as Bullock Associates, the in-house

placement agency for General Electric on Independence Way. In 1999

it had expanded, within Forrestal Village, to 2,300 square feet. It

did temporary and permanent placements.

Top Of Page

Evelyn Gonzalez, 55, on June 12. She worked at the Princeton

Eye Group of Monroe and for the East Windsor Regional School District.

Audrey L. Spawn Stockman, 64, on June 15. She was the wife of former state Senator Gerald R. Stockman.

Charles A. Vinch, 73, on June 16. He owned the Trenton recycling firm,

J. Vinch & Sons Inc.

David J. Goldberg, 70, on June 18. He was an attorney at Drinker Biddle & Shanley and was chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority until 1994.

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