JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success
No. 60 : September 12, 2001
Keeping an eye on technology futures.
Business commentary - no hidden agendas.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
- Anti-terrorism Technology
- Digital Signatures
- Camera Pill - Videos from inside the body
- Human-animal hybrid
- Discussion of A.I. the movie - Robot Love
- Microsoft.NET is revolutionary
- Explaining the "golden handshake" phenomenon
- Honeywell S&C pay reductions (text of memo)
As we all mourn the tragedies that are still unfolding from the awful
events of Tuesday, Sept. 11 2001, we must recognize that this was something
that we all knew could happen. Till now, it only happened in some far-away
place, albeit brought home though instant and vivid TV images. Now it has
The new millennium has arrived with realizations that awaken our deepest
fears - we recognize the awful vulnerability of mighty towers as targets
for terrorists. And we quickly recognize several more of our societies
Wars that pit nation against nation seem outdated; all of the peoples of
the world desire peace. The problem shifts to mad minorities who are
willing to send suicide squads to destroy targets that cause maximum
Anti-terrorist activities must now move into a whole new arena of
prediction, diagnostics, discovery and prevention. Conventional
surveillance must now be supplemented with new and different mechanisms of
defense and attack. In retrospect, perhaps the only way to prevent the
damage that occurred in New York and Washington would have been for fighter
aircraft to be launched immediately to protect the hijacked aircraft and
deflect their deadly intent. But, developing an infrastructure to
accomplish that seems impossible.
The role of technology is crucial to any adequate assessment of the
terrorist threat and the measures needed to combat it effectively. Key
questions are: What part has technology played in the cause of terrorism?
Does modern technology tilt the balance in favor of the terrorists, or vice
versa? How effective have aviation authorities been in using technology and
other measures to combat the threats? What are the problems involved in
strengthening the weak links in the international aviation security system?
Technology & Terrorism
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Biometrics - Pentagon looks to image-recognition technology
Digital signatures are now legally acceptable. Do you have one?
Digital signature technology stems from the need to sign computer-based
documents such as electronic mail messages, or documents within e-mail
messages. Signing an electronic document directly, in its electronic form,
eliminates the need to put the document on paper in order to sign it. A key
element of electronic commerce is creating a legal electronic signature.
Digital authentication systems are expected to become an essential part of
doing business via the Internet. Based on a range of encryption techniques,
digital signature systems allow people and organizations to electronically
certify such features as their identity, their ability to pay, or the
authenticity of an electronic document.
Introduction to Digital Signatures
Identity, Authentication & Digital Certificates
Technology Information Service digital signature links
Camera-pill - Videos from inside the body
The FDA has just recently (August 1 2001) approved a swallowable
camera-in-a-capsule. The pill snaps pictures as it travels through the
digestive tract. The device offers a more patient-friendly technique for
detecting abnormalities in the small intestine.
The camera uses wireless technology to beam back color pictures of the gut
as it painlessly winds its way through the digestive tract. The video pill
is made by Israel-based Given Imaging Ltd. and is called the M2A
Swallowable Imaging Capsule.
The camera pill won’t completely replace "endoscopy" - the somewhat
uncomfortable procedures where tubes fitted with tiny cameras on the end
are inserted down the throat. Initially, to be "safe" the FDA warned that
the new camera pill must be used in conjunction with endoscopes, not as a
stand-alone exam. Once good results are proved (the pill finds everything
the endoscope does, and more) then endoscopy will sure be a thing of the
Look at the Camera Pill story
Given Imaging Ltd. website
Human-animal hybrid - has been attempted
Combining man and beast may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but
it's not. Amid all the advances in genetic manipulation, the idea of
combining the DNA of animals and humans has already been attempted. Indeed,
many scientists and academics are wondering how far it might go and what
the ethical implications would be. If a human were crossed with a
chimpanzee, for example, would it still be human? If not, then what would
The first publicized case of animal-human hybrids took place in 1996 when
Jose Cibelli, a scientist at the University of Massachusetts, took DNA from
his white blood cells by swabbing the inside of his cheek. He then inserted
the DNA sample into a hollowed-out cow egg.
Cibelli's experiment came to an end after a week of growing the cell mass,
he told scientists earlier this month at a panel meeting of the National
Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. This raised the question of what
might have emerged had the cell mass continued to develop.
National Post article - Man-beast hybrid
Discussion : A.I. the movie - robot love
Whether or not you've seen Steven Spielberg's movie - A.I. - you might
enjoy this discussion of the social, ethical and moral implications of
Pat Kennedy, President and CEO of OSIsoft, [email@example.com] disagreed with
Walt Boyes' analysis of the impact of Microsoft.NET on industrial
"I think you are wrong. I would suggest you should read "Introducing
Microsoft.NET" by Gary S. Platt before falling into this trap of cutesy
name-calling. Microsoft.NET is already revolutionizing the world of
software and those that follow your (implied) advice, users or vendors, are
doomed to same hell as the X-Windows, UNIX, Corba, Java crowd."
Moshe Weissberg [firstname.lastname@example.org] from Israel wrote :
"The phenomenon of golden handshakes for failed executives occurs in
practically all western style (capitalistic? free trade?) economies. It is
reported, talked about and criticized, yet nowhere do I see any specific
On the same subject - a Honeywell employee (wishing to remain anonymous)
sent me this:
"Why does the board of directors of any sensible company chose to "award" a
failed CEO with compensations which far exceed their employment agreements?
After all, they know that these "bonuses" would be publicly scrutinized,
criticized and otherwise damaging to their own company's interests.
I'm no expert, but I'd like to speculate: Perhaps board members set up a
pattern for their own time of departure. Perhaps it's a payoff to keep the
executive from disclosing embarrassing information of matters related to
external bodies (tax authorities, competitors, stock holders, etc.)"
While Michael Bonsignore, the man forced out of Honeywell, is getting
compensation of $9m (a deal made up of three times his $1.5m annual salary
and $1.5m annual bonus) the employees of Honeywell Sensing & Control got
Temporary pay reduction for non-factory employees
The current economic conditions continue to negatively impact our business
results. Because of this, we have had to implement a variety of difficult
but necessary cost avoidance and cost reduction actions. Some of these
contingency actions, which have affected both factory and non-factory
employees, have included:
- Budget control
- Travel restrictions
- Hiring restrictions
- Voluntary Time Off & Voluntary Arranged Absences
- Limited plant shutdowns
- 4-day workweeks in some factories
- Elimination of vacation carryover
- Involuntary factory layoffs with recall
- Restructuring - Layoffs without recall
While these actions have helped, our order rates have not improved and
therefore we must now implement another contingency action for our
Non-Factory workforce. Exempt employees will be required to take a
temporary 5% reduction in pay beginning September 3, 2001, and ending
November 25, 2001. Normal pay rates will resume on November 26, 2001.
Non-exempt employees will participate in this contingency action by having
3 days off without pay, therefore they will not have the 5% temporary pay
reduction. Non-exempt employees should schedule 3 days of time off with
their supervisors during the months of September, October and November.
As factory employees have already been impacted by contingency plans that
have included time off without pay, voluntary arranged absences (VAA) and
voluntary time off (VTO), this current plan does not affect them.
I realize this action makes it difficult for many employees who are living
on a tight budget. However, this is an unfortunate but necessary step in
managing our business during these tough economic times.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
Jack Nehlig, Vice President and General Manager
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