Thursday, February 23, 2012

NPR Reports on the Business of Spying on Internet Users

The following is from a story titled "How Companies are Defining Your Worth Online" broadcast on Fresh Air from WHYY and published on the web at NPR Books.

"One of the fastest-growing online businesses is the business of spying on Internet users. Using sophisticated software that tracks people's online movements through the Web, companies collect the information and sell it to advertisers.
Every time you click a link, fill out a form or visit a website, advertisers are working to collect personal information about you, says Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. They then target ads to you based on that information."

Click here to read the entire article: NPR

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

U.S. Postal Service Still the Best


The Oxford Strategic Consulting firm (O.S.C.) ranks the USPS as the best among the world’s 20 largest economies. O.S.C. reviewed the postal systems based on efficiency, access to services, and public trust.

It might surprise a lot of people that the USPS is held in such high regard considering the blow dealt by internet communications and resulting financial struggles. But all postal systems within industrialized nations are facing the same challenges. When all the study factors were taken into account, the US came out on top. Factors considered included the number of people served, the number of letters and parcels delivered per employee, reliability of service and public trust.

Rounding out the top 5 were Japan, Australia, South Korea and Germany. The USPS delivers almost double the number of letters per employee as Japan, and five times as many as fifth place Germany’s Deutsche Post. China finished at the bottom of the list behind the postal services of Mexico, 14, and India, 15.

In spite of increasing use of digital communications, the postal service isn’t going away anytime soon. It is a major component of e-commerce providing fast, reliable and efficient delivery of printed material and other goods ordered online.