Karen Lowry Miller

Jukebox Junkie

If you're already streaming music off the Internet, it is thanks in good measure to Rob Glaser. He pretty much invented the technology. The former Microsoft executive launched RealNetworks in 1995, starting with the first online streaming technology called RealAudio, and moving on to RealPlayer for video.

Inside A Makeover

The battle for digital control is still raging in the movie business, but it's virtually over in music. The giants are winning. Court rulings have forced free music upstarts like Grokster and Napster out of business, and earlier this month required Kazaa, the producer of file-sharing technology, to introduce filters to prevent piracy.

Stuck In Low Gear

Volkswagen has always been an icon of German engineering, both mechanical and social. Hitler planted a factory in the German heartland to build a "people's car" in the 1930s.

If They Breach The Wall

Wolfgang Bernhard, the wunderkind who helped turn around Chrysler, is now head of the ailing Volkswagen brand. He's a trained engineer and true car guy, who can take apart and reassemble an engine, and also, colleagues say, keep up with professional drivers on the test track.

ON THE AGENDA

These days, it's easy to despair for Europe, and many economists do. Growth forecasts for the euro zone are down, unemployment is climbing and, while 18 percent of young people cannot find work, political leaders in Germany, France and Italy have gone slow on labor market reforms.

On the Agenda

These days, it's easy to despair for Europe, and many economists do. Growth forecasts for the euro zone are down, unemployment is climbing and, while 18 percent of young people cannot find work, political leaders in Germany, France and Italy have gone slow on labor market reforms.

HARD NOSE

Chaos reigned in Portugal through the summer of 1975, when Jose Manuel Duro Barroso was 19 years old. An oppressive dictatorship had been overthrown the previous year, and now Soviet-backed communists were trying to control the country.

Paper Is Dead--Take 2

Deep in the labs of Philips Research, two of the world's top nanotechnology experts are thinking about Muggles. Scientists Johan Feenstra and Rob Hayes think they've figured out how a process called electrowetting can make paper that can do anything a videoscreen does.

TOO MUCH MONEY

Economist Andy Xie recently remarked that the world's biggest problem is "too much money," which is a bit flip, but neatly sums up the strange state of the post-bubble era.

THE WI-FI BUBBLE

In the edgy world of high tech, hot spots sounded so good they just had to work. A customer would pop into a cafe, marina or even a park, flip open a laptop and cheerfully surf the Net, download music or check e-mail.

Fall Of The Royal Fortune

"Kings, Queens and Despots," a short list of the world's most wealthy rulers published by Forbes magazine, comes with a number of caveats. Valuing these multibillion-dollar private fortunes is a "tricky business," says Forbes.

The Enron Of Europe?

Europeans watched smugly as a plague of corporate scandals broke out across America following the fall of Enron. They seemed to feel immune, even above it all, until the news from Royal Ahold last week.

Hold The Fries

As a symbol of American conquest, it's easy to forget how McDonald's was first received overseas. Back in 1974, Britons queued for hours at the opening of a Mickey D's in London.

Fasten Your Seat Belts

CEOs have always used the jargon of combat, but now the battle metaphors feel all too real. Since September 11, the Kroll security-consulting company has been asked by 200 of the Fortune 500 companies to assess the vulnerability of top executives.

The Pill Machine

Twenty years ago, a scientist discovered that a drug being tested for heartworm in dogs was also a miracle cure for river blindness in humans. That was big news, and a bigger dilemma for the scientist's bosses at Merck pharmaceuticals.

The Teflon Shield

IKEA is a curious success story. The lines at the Swedish stores are endless, its furniture requires an engineering degree to assemble, yet its $8.5 billion global sales empire is expanding rapidly.

A Run for the Money

'Old' World? Ha! The Europeans Are Beginning To Teach The Americans A Thing Or Two About The Secrets Of Doing Business In The 21St Century.

East Loves West

Growing up in the 1980s near the Gdansk shipyard, the birthplace of Poland's Solidarity movement, Marek Borzestowski dreamed of escaping communism and becoming a wandering philosopher.

They Call It 'Mobbing'

The details vary, but the cases have a common theme. In Germany, Klaus, a nurse, had a fight with his boss; she then tried to fire him for giving unauthorized medication (a doctor had approved), for hitting a security guard (who denied it) and for sexually harassing a patient (no victim was produced).

Hungry For A Triumph

Back home they're already treating Jean-Marie Messier as an honorary American -- a dubious honor in Paris. The CEO of Vivendi is spoofed on his own company's pay-TV network, Canal Plus. "Les Guignols de l'Info," a satirical puppet show, sends up Messier as a boss with American-size global ambitions.

Aol's Competitor? Hmm...

Juan Villalonga was not happy. The 47-year-old chairman of Spain's high-flying Internet service provider, Terra Networks, had guided his company through a wildly successful IPO in 1999 and an acquisition campaign in Latin America.

A New Breed

Gerhard Schmid has many interests, including horses and Harley-Davidsons. But the one that made him a success, he confides, is ice hockey. The son of a mason from northern Bavaria, he played on a professional German team in his 20s and then worked as a trainer and coach.

A Major Market Merger

Investors love clear signals, and those watching Europe got two of them last week. The only problem was, they contradicted each other. On Thursday, London and Frankfurt announced a groundbreaking stock-exchange merger that promises easier access for investors, more streamlined capital markets, better funding for start-ups--in short, another milestone in Europe's accelerating progress toward transparency, competitiveness and a place in the New Economy.

That Sinking Sensation

Late last month, in gyrations wild enough to fluster even the most composed central banker, the euro threatened free-fall. On Feb. 28 it plunged four cents against the dollar in less than an hour, touching a low of 93.9 cents before rebounding.

All Of Europe Is In Play

Klaus Esser hasn't been getting much sleep lately. The feisty, tennis-trim CEO of Mannesmann spent the past three weeks hunkered down with advisers in his Dusseldorf, Germany, office overlooking the Rhine, getting ready for the attack he knew was coming.