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Good

This remote facility is big, but it's a long way from the big city -- or a really big network connection. So, what's the plan for protecting data if a natural disaster strikes? Consultant asks IT manager. Manager replies, "Because we're so far from any real bandwidth, if there is a flood, we call everybody on the site and tell them to make a full backup of their data and bring it to the designated trailer. Once everyone is accounted for, we put all the tapes in my ute and drive north for a few days." The French really do take their cultural events seriously. Spectators at French cultural events will soon be left undisturbed by the annoying ringing, buzzing and chirping of mobile phones as the French government will allow venue owners to interfere with their signals. The only exception is emergency calls.

Bad

PayPal's online payment Web site slowly returned to normal operations last week after an unspecified coding error virtually shut down the site for four days. The problems began when a failed routine monthly code update wreaked havoc for many eBay users who couldn't make or collect payments. The PayPal.com Web site is owned by eBay. A spokeswoman wouldn't disclose the coding error but engineers worked around the clock for days to fix the problem. PayPal.com has about 50 million user accounts, 15.5 million of which are active.

Ugly

BMW is trying to clean up its act on the Web. The German car maker sent a letter of complaint to an adult search engine based in the Netherlands, asking it to remove references to its cars that appear in search listings for adult content.

The search site, AskJolene.com, lets users search for keywords, such as the name of a porn star, and produces links to picture galleries hosted on other sites. A search for BMW produces eight gallery listings. One shows a woman tied up on the hood of a car being sprayed with a hose. Another includes a story about a woman who tries a "dating" service and is whisked off by a man in a BMW. The car maker moans that its trademarks are being infringed.

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