In Brief 12-08

Cisco Systems has begun renting out public videoconferencing rooms equipped with its TelePresence conferencing system, geared for small to midsize companies. Costs range from $299 per hour for two people to $899 per hour for up to 18 people. Cisco expects to roll out 100 TelePresence rooms throughout 2009.

MGM Mirage, which owns and operates 17 properties in Michigan, Mississippi and Nevada, is eliminating its year-end employee cash bonus program for 2008. Bonuses are based on the company achieving a certain level of profitability. In addition, MGM executives will not receive any nonequity incentive compensation packages.

Amtrak reported that ridership for fiscal year 2008, which ended Sept. 30, increased 11 percent and revenues increased 14 percent over 2007. In other news, Amtrak president and CEO Alex Kummant announced he will resign after two years at the helm.

United Airlines
in October began nonstop daily service between D.C.'s Washington Dulles and Dubai International Airport.