GBU

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Hounds may have a keen sense of smell, but sometimes technology is a more discrete solution. London’s Heathrow Airport is testing a new device that may eventually replace dogs in sniffing out contraband like drugs and explosives. Passengers walk through an arch that sprays them (gently) with plumes of air to free trapped particles and vapours from the body and clothing. The air is drawn back into the machine and analysed for traces of explosives. The fully-automated technology was devised by Smiths Detection. The device, called the Ionscan Sentinel II, lets security staff focus on searches of carry-ons while the portal scans the passengers. The technology can recognise traces of more than 40 drugs and explosives, and can scan seven passengers per minute.

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The ever-present threat of terrorism has spawned the adoption of some unusual workstation peripherals at investment firm Lehman Brothers Holdings. As part of a global program to improve security and lessen workforce anxiety in the wake of the September 11 attacks, New York-based Lehman Brothers now deploys personal safety emergency kits with every PC and workstation it installs. The kits include a gas mask, safety goggles and a whistle “to draw attention to yourself if in the event of an evacuation you need to draw attention to yourself”, said Ken Damstrom, global head of security operations at Lehman Brothers.

Ugly

Infosys Technologies announced that it has entered into a settlement with Reka Maximovitch in connection with a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against Phaneesh Murthy, a former member of the board and the company. Infosys settled the lawsuit with Maximovitch for $US3 million. Infosys will contribute $US1.5million and the balance $US1.5million will be contributed by the insurers under the Company’s Directors and Officers Liability Insurance cover. Under the terms of the settlement, the company retains all rights to proceed with legal action against Phaneesh Murthy. Commenting on the settlement, N. R. Narayana Murthy, chairman and chief mentor, said: “The litigation with the plaintiff is behind us. We have taken further steps to strengthen our internal processes and improve the checks and balances to handle similar situations.”

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