UL's buying up companies - who knew?

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05/20/2009
Why this story is running in the Boston Herald, I'm not sure, but it's an interesting profile of Underwriters' Laboratories, an institution I know some of you are quite familiar with. Most of the article is the sort of stuff you've read about lots of times: testing of products, blowing stuff up, setting it on fire, cracking a safe with a blow-torch, etc. (and, by the way, why is the safecracker guy driving a Ferrari, exactly? What's the pay like at UL? Can I get a job?), but there are a few interesting tidbits, too. Such as:
"We’ve acquired one company in Denmark, two in Italy, one in Japan, one in New Zealand — a lot of it has been hiring people and engineers overseas and training them," said Keith Williams, UL’s president and CEO. "That’s really been the big emphasis for us — globalizing our operation."
Huh? Guess we haven't exactly been on the stick with our UL reporting. Are they doing more security product testing overseas? We're going to have to look into that. Also, this:
With globalization comes piracy and, of course, piracy of the UL logo, which is another company concern. (Counterfeiters know that while the mark is not government mandated, most distributors won’t ship a product without one.) Because of this, UL unveiled a new holographic mark last June, which will soon appear on 32 common consumer goods, including power supply cords, night lights and ceiling fans. The new mark features a gold background, color shifting ink and several "floating UL symbols."
Cool. Holograms are pretty. Will they come on fire panels next?