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Etc...

Oh, my watch must be slow

The press secretary to President Lucio Gutierrez of Ecuador booked a national TV interview last week to announce that his boss would begin a new policy of showing up on time for meetings and appointments. Why? To set a corrective example for a country stereotyped by its citizens' habitual tardiness. So guess what happened? Right, the presidential spokesman, Marcelo Cevallos, arrived late at the station.

Worker privacy: Which firms guard it most ... and least

Computer giant IBM is the best public company when it comes to worker privacy policies, according to technology magazine Wired. Pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly was rated worst. IBM bars the use of social security numbers as healthcare identifiers for employees; Lilly ordered extensive background checks after Sept. 11, 2001, terminating some contractors convicted of past misdemeanors. For its ranking, Wired queried watchdog groups such as the Privacy Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as companies themselves. The top five in each category:

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Best
1. IBM Corp.
2. Hewlett-Packard Co.
3. Ford Motor Co.
4. Baxter Healthcare Corp.
5. Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Worst
1. Eli Lilly & Co.
2. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
3. The New York Times Co.
4. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
5. Hilton Hotels Corp. - PR Newswire