Tech Briefs (August 13, 2001)

WE KNOW WHERE YOU’VE BEEN…
Denver — Employers are coming down hard on misuse of the Internet at work. According to Privacy Foundation, an estimated 27 million employees around the world have their e-mail and Internet use tracked. In a recent survey by the foundation, employers said the availability of inexpensive monitoring technology has led to the increase in online surveillance.

…AND YOU’RE WASTING TIME
New York — Reading the news and booking trips are the top personal things employees use the Internet for at work, according to a survey. The study, by Vault.com, revealed that the top five non-work uses are: reading news (72 per cent), making travel arrangements (45 per cent), making purchases (40 per cent), job searching (37 per cent) and visiting special interest sites (37 per cent). Also on the list: playing games, downloading music and visiting porn sites.

STRESSED OVER E-MAIL
London, Ont. — Too much useless e-mail is causing an increase in stress, according to a new report. The study, produced by the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, indicates the problem isn’t the volume of e-mail but the types of messages. Survey participants cited chain mail forwards as the most annoying e-mail message to receive, followed by internal broadcasts and unsolicited marketing information. “E-mail is out of balance, rather than merely overloading, creating much more stress on the recipient than on the sender of the message,” said Christina Cavanagh, who headed the survey. Response time to e-mails was also cited as a huge bother. As one survey respondent remarked, “E-mail creates a false sense of urgency.”

CAN’T USE E-MAIL TO RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS
Vatican City — There are some things you just can’t do over e-mail and going to confession is one of them. The Vatican is set to forbid the practice of using e-mail to receive the sacrament of penance, citing the fact that the sacrament needs to be administered face-to-face to truly be effective.

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