And another thing...

ENVELOPED IN E-MAIL. If it sometimes seems that going through all your e-mail is a full-time job, get a grip on yourself. It's not a full-time job. It's a part-time job. A time-consuming part-time job. But remember, it could be worse. During a recent conference in Washington, former Homeland Security Department CIO Steve Cooper, now American Red Cross CIO, was overheard saying that he used to get 1,600 e-mails a day at DHS. That's real e-mail, not counting spam. When he left DHS in April last year, he had 19,000 unread e-mails in his box. Let's say, for the moment, that the same amount of mail sits in your inbox. If you spend an average of only 5 seconds on each message (about what you'd need to open it, read the first sentence or two and move on, without taking any time to respond) it would take 2 hours 13 minutes just to get through the daily mail. To check the whole, backed-up pile? About 26 hours 23 minutes. By which time you'd have another 1,600 or so waiting for your attention. As for what it would take to answer that mail, we refuse to guess.

FREE INFO, CHINA STYLE. Wikipedia, the online reference source that lets users add and edit entries, is known for its democratic style. Now the Chinese government has put its own spin on that approach with the Baidupedia, a 'self-censoring' encyclopedia. It scrubs references to the Falun Gong, Dalai Lama or anything not approved by the government. But you can get tasty 'simple translations' in English of its entries. The world history section, for instance, has an entry on the Academy Awards that begins, 'Oscar Awards are the highest honour in the history of the World Film Award from birth has been 69 years, producing 68 Second Oscar for the winner.' It goes on to explain that 'Star of worship is used to maintain the millions of signatures Zhang numerous advertising and promotion in these idols created around a Legend atmosphere. Many fans in the world to pay homage to Hollywood. This is the fanaticism and even threaten the incremental Pope dignity.' The site also has a jumbled account of the Italian Renaissance that refers to Venezuelans when it seems to mean Venetians. Da Vinci cryptically becomes 'Fenqi.' Somebody call Dan Brown!

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