Microsoft is the most ethical company in the known cosmos -

Further proof that the fabric of the universe has been fundamentally changed since CERN was switched on has appeared.

Microsoft is among the world's most ethical companies, according to a list put together by the Ethisphere Institute in New York.

There are 110 companies in the Ethisphere list, including Microsoft and 35 other newcomers. Getting on the list is decided by whether or not companies have leading ethics and compliance programmes, particularly compared to their industry peers.

More than 26 companies dropped off from the 2010 list because of litigation and ethics violations, as well as increased competition from within their industry.

Ethisphere publish the list to prove that it pays to be ethical. Those that land on the do-good list have performed better than the S&P 500.

However Starbucks also is on this year's list probably for providing TechEye with much needed wi-fi back up in times of crisis.

Other tech outfits which made the list were Adobe, Google, Cisco, Symantic, Terradata, Ricoh,T-Mobile, Vodafone and Xerox.

Missing from the list are Oracle, HP, Intel, IBM, and Apple. Oracle was there in 2009 and seems to have slipped off. Oddly HP was also there the year before, despite being involved with snooping on hacks and the time. Other exits from the 2009 list include Intel and Freescale. Apple never was on the list.

If we had asked Apple about ethics it would have told us about its plans to build an Apple store in Chelmsford, so we didn't bother.