Irresistible offer gets a disappointing response

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am

The award for most underwhelming e-commerce strategy this week goes to the Web site run by the Bangkok Post.

'With more than two million hits each month, the Bangkok Post's Internet site is the ideal place for aggressive companies seeking international business success to showcase their services and products,' the site tells us.

And how many aggressive companies have taken the paper up on this irresistible offer? As it turns out, one - the C.P. Petrochemical Group. Somehow Backspace does not think the Bangkok phone company has anything to worry about.

Who says fashion and geekdom do not mix? Fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar went to Silicon Valley for a recent issue and came back proclaiming: 'A wild python coat keeps a workstation looking sharp!' Other magazines are featuring startup executives, but less for their business sense than for their fashion sense.

Well-known geek peacock - Oracle's Armani-clad chief executive Larry Ellison - was featured in a number of high-profile fashion magazines including Playboy's best-dressed list in 1998.

It is an accolade he takes a lot of pride in. At last year's Oracle Openworld, the company's once-a-year geek fest, he was introduced on stage as just that 'one of the world's best-dressed people according to Playboy magazine'.

With the failure of the network computer, Backspace can understand how a mention in Playboy could be the highlight in Mr Ellison's career.

On-line learning might seem like the easy way out. No pesky teachers to keep you in line, no pop quizzes, and of course, you can snooze to your heart's content.

Not so, apparently, if ProfessorQ is on duty.

The electronic professor, invented by two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, apparently can send you stern messages and eventually shut down your link to the classroom if you keep asking irrelevant questions. Or wait too long before responding and ProfessorQ will play a loud piece of music or change the display.

But do not think about copying the researchers' invention. They have just been awarded United States patent number 6,029,043, according to the New York Times.