* AWS Convergence Technologies, a Gaithersburg company that provides weather-related information through the Internet, said its WeatherBug application was downloaded by more than 81,000 users from Wednesday morning to yesterday morning. The company said the storm that swept along the East Coast prompted twice as many people as usual to register with the site. AWS said WeatherBug has more than 16 million registered users.

* Qwest Communications International of Denver said it plans to cut the number of Web hosting centers it operates to eight from 16. Two hosting centers in Sterling will be consolidated; it has not been determined whether any layoffs will result from the reductions. Spokeswoman Claire Maledon said the company is working with employees at centers that are shuttered to reassign them to other facilities or divisions. Typically, 20 to 30 people work at each center, Maledon said.

* RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals of Bethesda said it filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration to give its potential treatment for a rare skin disorder "orphan drug" status. That designation is reserved for treatments of disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people and can qualify makers for research grants, tax credits and other incentives. RegeneRx's drug is for epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that causes "fragility of the skin and mucous membranes," the company said.

* WebMethods, a Fairfax business software firm, named Gary J. Fernandes to its board of directors. The former vice chairman of EDS is also a board member for 7-Eleven and BancTec.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, washingtonpost.com and Dow Jones News Service