Five year old wins MS proficiency cert, Gates book
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 06/25/2002 at 02:36 EST

A five year old boy in Thailand has passed Microsoft's Office User Specialist examination (MOUS), and won himself a copy of Bill Gates masterpiece Business At The Speed of Light.

The Bangkok English language newspaper The Nation reports that Anji Puri got the computer bug when he was nine months old. He scored 984 out of a possible 1000 in the Microsoft PowerPoint proficiency test - suggesting he'll be a formidable public relations operative in about fourteen years, if we live long enough to see the day.

It reminds us of a Chris Morris GLR news item where Morris announced that an unborn foetus had passed the Cambridge University entrance exam - but was already developing worrying signs of a furrowed brow, and a fondness for hard spirits.

But young Anji - already an "ardent admirer" of Bill Gates, according to The Nation - was motivated by straightforward materialism:-

"'My father told me that if I passed the exam, I would get a new bicycle,' said the schoolboy, beaming with pride at his reward, oblivious to the significance of his achievement," reports The Nation.

This could be a Funny Old World story, if the courageous Nation didn't have a thirty year record of taking on the Thai government. Thailand is in the midst of a repressive crackdown as the government endeavors to clean itself up for Western capital, with bars and fleshpots forced to closing early, and the creative 'piracy' industry run out of town.

And The Nation defied a media crackdown earlier this year by filing suit for disclosure of government contracts, only to find itself on the end of an open-ended and vague "corruption" investigation by the Thai government. In the past week, The Nation has replaced its hard-hitting front page with soft focus entertainment news, relegating its corruption investigations to the inner pages, in what appears to be a plea bargain for survival.

The Royal Kingdom of Thailand is unique in IndoChina for never having been occupied by imperialist countries.

And we have a spot for their crime coverage: where suspects are obliged to re-enact their alleged crimes on the day of arrest (and well before the trial) for the benefit of the media. A novel twist on the CrimeWatch re-enactment formula.

This form of coverage would have enlightened the Microsoft AntiTrust trial no end, we think.

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