E-stonia

This AP article in USA Today takes a rosy survey of Estonia’s relative technological advancement, especially in comparison to other former soviet republics:

“Dubbed E-Stonia by some, the country ranked No. 8 out of 82 countries in putting the Net to practical use in a recent World Economic Forum report. The country ranked No. 2 in Internet banking and third in e-government. …

Many Estonians who now rely on wireless phones never had a landline phone. And most who now use the Internet to pay bills have never used a Western-style checkbook.”

This interests me primarily because my ancestry is Estonian (my paternal grandparents both immigrated after WWII), and it’s not a country you hear much about, even though it survived the collapse of the Soviet Union better than most. I’ve never been there, though I do want to go.

It’s also interesting to note that Estonia’s banks are mostly foreign owned, which is why they brought Internet technology so easily. Estonia is also where the popular file sharing program Kazaa was coded (hence the double vowel — Estonian is full of long double vowels, like in my last name, Riismandel).

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