The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

As predicted in GBU two weeks ago, Australian telcos are slashing jobs to control costs with Optus last week announcing plans to shed up to 700 jobs. The cuts were foreshadowed in this column after receiving "confidential" e-mails from readers. Those who sent tips can expect to receive their very own GBU mug in time to celebrate the Christmas season in style.

The Good

A recent lifestyle census of IT professionals found they earn higher-than average salaries, are frequently stressed, work longer hours and nearly half of them prefer beer to other alcoholic beverages. If anyone can shed light on the beer factor your insights will be most welcome.

When cartoon detective Dick Tracy first appeared 70 years ago, his wristwatch communicator was pure fantasy. However, IBM and Citizen Watch have announced plans to trial a wristwatch computer early next year.

The Bad

Computer Associates is cutting 900 jobs or 5 per cent of its workforce worldwide. The cost cutting is expected to reach Australia but the company is yet to provide local details.

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Microsoft has been forced to change its advertising slogan for the launch of its Windows XP operating system from "Prepare to Fly" to "Yes You Can". The soundtrack for the advertising blitz is Madonna's Ray of Light. Microsoft was unwilling to disclose how much it spent acquiring the rights to the Madonna song.

The Ugly

Minor parties are using the Internet to raise funds for the November 10 election selling everything from CDs to T-Shirts. The Greens are selling a CD its says reflects the four Green principles of social justice, ecological sustainability, grassroots democracy and peace while the Communist Party of Australia is selling T-shirts with the slogan "Improve Your Marx".

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