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Big Brother at Work

New surveillance tools and a lack of regulation give employers the upper hand

3 min read

It can happen innocently enough. You open your e-mail. There's a message from a co-worker down the hall. You double-click to find an off-color joke, along with a randy JPEG.

These days, employees who swap racy e-mails might get something worse than bad jokes; they could get the boot. At several companies, including the New York Times Co., Xerox, and Dow Chemical, workers have been fired for allegedly sending or storing pornographic images on office networks. And while employers have been eavesdropping on their workers' phone calls for some time now, newer technologies are allowing employers to keep tabs on workers as never before.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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