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Doug Jacobson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, (515) 294-8307
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- A computer security network device, marketed by an ISU Research Park company, has been awarded a 2001 R&D 100 award. The Packethound Protocol Management Appliance manages or blocks access to bandwidth eating, file sharing and streaming applications.

The device is based on technology developed by Doug Jacobson, an Iowa State associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of ISU's Information Assurance Center. The 2001 R&D 100 Award is being given to Palisade Systems Inc., Jacobson's start up company at the ISU Research Park.

This brings to 24 the number of R&D 100 Awards for technologies developed at Iowa State University since 1984. It is ISU's second R&D 100 Award this year. The R&D 100 Awards, the only awards for applied science and scientists, have been called the "Oscars of applied science" by the Chicago Tribune.

The R&D 100 Awards, sponsored by R&D Magazine and in its 39th year, honors the top 100 products of technological significance that were marketed or licensed during the previous calendar year. All of the 100 award winners will be honored at a banquet in Chicago in October.

PacketHound is a combination of computer software and hardware that controls the use of file-sharing and streaming applications (Napster, Gnutella, Freenet, RealAudio/RealVideo). It allows systems administrators to manage, monitor or completely block these applications on a machine-by-machine or network-by-network basis, Jacobson said. Managing these applications is crucial because Napster, Gnutella and other such services can hurt a company's organizational productivity and network bandwidth, he added.

"PacketHound targets the bandwidth, liability and security problems associated with even minimal access to file sharing and streaming applications and networks," Jacobson explained. "PacketHound can shut down these applications or limit their use to off-hours when bandwidth and productivity is less crucial, limiting productivity and bandwidth problems, and allowing existing firewalls to focus on core security functions."

Furthermore, use of some of these services can lead to liability issues within the company, like in the case of pirated MP3 files; and security issues, where downloading files from these services can unintentionally open "back doors" or security holes into a company's computer network.

"The use of PacketHound can increase a company's bandwidth, reduce liabilities and monitor or enforce a company's Internet usage policy," Jacobson added. "We have had customers who have seen more than a 50 percent increase in bandwidth by using PacketHound."

Ed Yeung, an Iowa State distinguished professor of chemistry and director of Ames Laboratory's Chemical and Biological Sciences Program, also won a 2001 R&D 100 Award for development of the MCE 2000. The instrument can rapidly detect and quantify chemical compounds in low concentrations or in small amounts, and could have a dramatic effect on several fields ranging from drug discovery to deciphering the genetic code of humans.


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