News In Brief


There were all sorts of ways the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records could have chosen to advertise their new Web site. But if you were them, wouldn't you pick one that would set a record? As a matter of fact, they did. Thus, is being introduced via the smallest ad yet produced. Using a laser, scientists layered the URL on film in evaporated gold. It's slightly thicker than a human hair and is mounted on the knee of a bee. Really. Why a bee's knee? Because, a Guinness spokesman said, "of that play on words - to be the best in the business."


Then there's actor John Stamos, the proud new owner of the "Disneyland" sign that greeted visitors to the theme park from 1989 until last year. He bought it at auction via the Internet for $30,700. The steel letters are 14 feet high and were being delivered to his new California ranch in a fleet of trucks. "I didn't realize," he said, "how big it was."

Businesses that consumers in US gripe about most often

More complaints by American consumers last year concerned home-improvement contractors than any other business dealing with the public, according to two watchdog groups. In an annual report, the Consumer Federation of America and National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators said such contractors not only placed No. 1 but did so in making the top 10 list for the first time. Yet to make the list, according to the two watchdog groups, but a likely candidate for the future: e-tailers. Complaints against them rose 146 percent in 1999. The top 10:

1. Home-improvement contractors

2. Automobile dealers

3. Household goods retailers

4. Auto repair shops

5. Credit/lending institutions

6. Utilities

7. Mail-order houses

8. Collection agencies

9. Landlords

10. Travel and leisure operators

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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