30 August 2002
Must be all those darn tribunals of enquiry: Ireland has dropped five places over its position last year on an international corruption perception list, from 18th to 23rd, just ahead of EU neighbours France and Portugal, tied at 25th, Italy at 31st, and Greece at a woeful 44th. Before American readers start sniggering, though, they rank 16th -- with Chile at 17th. The squeaky clean top 10 countries are (from #1) Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK. At the very bottom is Bangladesh, with other corrupt nations including Nigeria, Paraguay, Madagascar, Angola, Kenya and Indonesia. Poor Norway -- the only Scandinavian country not to make the top 10!
8:24:16 PM  #   your two cents []
<<Meet Mr. Anti-Google. A crusading webmaster says the popular search engine's page-ranking algorithm is "undemocratic." [Salon.com]>>
2:20:40 PM  #   your two cents []

Boy Bands 'N' Space (or, NASA gets nauseous -- is even space exploration now reduced to shallow PR stunts?): <Mr. Bass, 23, would be the youngest and presumably most squeal-inducing person to travel into space, as a guest of Russia on a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station in October... "I don't see this as a change in policy," Mr. Precourt said. "We view ourselves as enabling commercialization."> (NYTimes, free registration required)

On the other hand -- if they can put one boy band member in space, why don't they put all of them up there?

11:30:28 AM  #   your two cents []
PR guy Tom Murphy on PR and spam: <Can you believe they are this open about spam? My most recent e-mail has informed him that if I recieve one more piece of unsolicited e-mail from him I will be reporting them to SpamCop. Unbelievable, but it explains why putting your e-mail on a press release/web site/ newsletter is a recipe for spam of the e-mail kind.>
10:31:26 AM  #   your two cents []
Salon's Scott Rosenberg: "But this isn't about protecting copyrighted movies from being duplicated (you can do that with the same ease or difficulty whether your DVD drive is internal or external); it's about Apple wanting to force people to buy new computers with Apple's own recordable DVD drives."
10:17:08 AM  #   your two cents []
I'm still waiting 4 days on for a promised 24-hr reply from Philips on a non-working CD-R/RW drive...: <E-mail makes for customer non-service. If you're looking for a quick response to a customer service question, don't count on e-mail, according to a new survey by Jupiter Research. [CNET News.com]>
10:10:01 AM  #   your two cents []
Wired.com has a couple of stories on the difficulties of getting -- and working with -- technology in schools. Boy, do I know the complications -- I once taught university writing classes in computer-equipped rooms in California, and the univ. in question offered no guidance on how or why we should use them. Yet they gave hiring preference to teachers willing to teach in those classes. It took hours of outside (unpaid!) work to research how I might incorporate PCs into a teaching environment -- and long drives over to another university's better-equipped library. This back in the early 90s  -- clearly things haven't changed much in a decade.
10:08:23 AM  #   your two cents []
The weirdest news item of the day must be the breaking news story that a Tunisian-born Swede, caught with a handgun in his carry-on luggage, has now been charged with attempting to hijack his Ryanair flight to Britain, where he was going to attend a Muslim conference in Birmingham. Update: the suggestion now seems to be that he is a mentally unstable man with a criminal record, acting alone. Latest from AP.
9:59:00 AM  #   your two cents []