News In Brief

THEY DIDN'T PLAY ANY CHOPIN

"It was," said John Anderson, "quite an experience, I'll tell you." What was? Well, his first rock concert. The Ngaio, New Zealand, retiree won two free tickets to an appearance by the US heavy metal band Pantera in a contest sponsored by a local newspaper. He had no clue what he was in for, as he and a date demonstrated by arriving in evening dress - only to find themselves surrounded by hundreds of long-haired, tattooed, pot-smoking youths. Not that anyone ridiculed them, but he won't be back for more.

US, Nordic nations rank high in 'e-readiness,' survey finds

The US ranked No. 1 in a survey that examined 60 countries on their preparedness for e-commerce growth. The assessment by the global Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) considered how well a country's business climate promotes commercial opportunities online, such as the sophistication of its telecom infrastructure, the security of its online transactions, and its literacy rate. For all its presumed economic potential, China ranked 49th because of illiteracy and infrastructure inadequacies. Countries that the EIU found are best prepared for e-commerce:

1. US

2. Australia

3. United Kingdom

4. Canada

5. Norway

6. Sweden

7. Singapore

8. Finland

9. Denmark

10. Netherlands

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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