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Thursday,  02/02/06  10:03 PM

This is pretty cool: Jakob Nielson from 1997: How Users Read on the Web.  Seems every bit as relevant today as it was then.  Key findings include that users scan a page, so highlighting key words is helpful.

Want to see racism in action?  A major Canadian agency has banned the hiring of white men.  "Managers in the Public Works department must hire only visible minorities, women, aboriginals and the disabled, except with written permission from their superiors, David Marshall, the deputy minister, ordered in an e-mail circulated yesterday."  This is unbelievable, except I can easily believe it, and I bet you can too.  This pendulum has to start swinging back, doesn't it? 

One of my favorite blogs is Watching America, which runs stories from other countries' media about the U.S.  They are mostly anti-U.S. but it is interesting nonetheless, fascinating, in fact.  The dilemma for many of these foreign writers is how best to combine ridicule with admiration.  This situation is summed up perfectly by this column in The Times: The President is a dolt, so how can America be such a success?  Yes, that is hard to explain... 

Baldilocks: Two women.  Absolutely nails it, IMHO.  [ via Acidman

Remember those cool little Mars rovers?  Yep, they're still rolling around, Yahoo has a Mars Rover Update.  "At present, both robots remain relatively healthy and active, despite working eight times as long as the three-month missions originally planned for them--but each shows signs of wear and tear.  Opportunity rolled its way into a third year of Mars operations on January 24.  Spirit did so on January 3."  Awesome. 

Think those dual-core AMD chips are fast?  Check this out: AMD to demo quad-core chips in mid-2006

RIM shot: The Onion on what users will do when their Blackberries go dark.  I like this one: "look where they're going."  Tap, tap... crash. 

Well, I guess it had to happen sometime: Telegram passes into history.  "For more than 150 years, messages of joy, sorrow and success came in signature yellow envelopes hand delivered by a courier.  Now the Western Union telegram is officially a thing of the past."  CNet's take is pretty cool: Telegrams. Stop

Here we have the top ten most peculiar places in the world.  "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a village on the island of Anglesey in Wales. It is best known for having the longest officially recognized place name in the United Kingdom."  I love it :) 

Hey buddy, want to buy an island?  Check out the international real estate marketplace - for islands.  Who knew they were so reasonable :)  [ via Mark Frauenfelder

Clive Thompson ponders The anarchy of airplane boarding.  "What's the fastest way to load people onto an airplane? Certainly not the way that it's normally done, as any business traveler will attest."  Seems like the Southwest method works best - don't assign seats.  Then again, I like having an assigned seat, so maybe boarding a bit slower is okay...