NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. corporate directors are expected to take a
more active role in the coming years, becoming more involved in
overseeing chief executive officers, reports Korn/Ferry
International, an executive search firm. A survey of corporate
directors found that more CEOs will face formal performance reviews
by their directors, and that more retiring CEOs will be asked to
leave their boards. But Korn/Ferry also found that directors
themselves will be under more scrutiny, as more directors will also
face performance reviews.
The last word on detection?
OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) -- Marty Vitch, manager of the Atlanta office
for the C.H. Guernsey & Co. of Oklahoma City, has published a how-to
security manual entitled The Intrusion Detection System Desk
Reference. The 35-year security industry veteran covers all aspects
of electronic intrusion detection systems, including interior, duress
and exterior sensors; control units; data transmission and
supervision systems; annunciators; and closed circuit television.
Hybrid in two years
LOS ANGELES (NYT) -- The Toyota Prius, the world's first mass-
produced hybrid vehicle, has been a success in Japan since it went on
sale last December. In about two years, Americans will have a chance
to sample the car for themselves. The Prius (pronounced PREE-us)
combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor, thereby promising
pollution levels nearly as low as those of fully electric vehicles
but with the everyday practicality of a conventional gasoline-powered
automobile. For that reason, many engineers are more excited about
the potential of hybrid vehicles than they are about electric cars.
In the eight months the Prius has been on the market in Japan,
more than 7,700 have been sold. That certainly qualifies as a
success, at least as measured against the modest expectations for any
alternative vehicle. Sales are strong partly because Toyota is
selling the vehicle for 2.15 million yen, about $15,500 -- well below
the car's development and production costs and only about $1,500 more
than the similarly sized Corolla.
Toyota says the Prius will reach the American market late in 2000.
The price in the United States and other details of the American
model have not been determined, but the challenge here will be
greater than in Japan. Gasoline prices in the United States are a
fraction of Japanese prices. Moreover, Toyota must substantially
tweak the design if the Prius is to deliver its promised fuel economy
and low emissions under American driving conditions.
In Japan's standard fuel-economy test, the Prius gets a remarkable
66 miles a gallon, about double the fuel efficiency of a similar
gasoline car. It also has half the gasoline car's carbon dioxide
emissions and only 10 percent as much output of carbon monoxide,
nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons.
Portable Net music
ATLANTA (Cox) -- It's like the Sony Walkman, a palm-size device
you can use to amuse or entertain yourself, listening to the pounding
beat or the classical strings or maybe Toni Morrison reading. It can
also plug in to your home or car stereo. But it does not play a
compact disc or cassette. And it would like to be the future of
It's called MPMan. The device, made by NullSoft, is designed to
handle the audio increasingly available off the Internet. You
transfer the files from your personal computer to MPMan, which uses
the MPEG 3 form of compression for handling audio off the Internet, a
technique capable of compressing data up to a dozen times. The
machine uses a built-in 32- or 64-megabyte flash card. The device
costs between $250 and $500 and comes with a docking bay that
connects to your PC, a carrying case, rechargeable batteries, and the
appropriate software for transferring PC to MPMan and for playing MP3
files on your computer.
Now, MPEC compression is also good for making illegal copies of
music, something that "is making the recording industry soil itself
with fear," as Wired magazine so indelicately put it. …