News In Brief

SORRY, NO LONGER IN SERVICE

Too bad if you're traveling through California's Mojave Desert and suddenly need a pay phone to make a call. The world-famous booth that stood there since the 1960s has just been removed. It was installed for miners digging volcanic cinder, but now the area is part of the Mojave National Preserve - and officials say the phone attracted too many curiosity-seekers who endangered the surroundings. Thanks to the Internet, the booth developed a cult following, and although it literally stood in the middle of nowhere, even late- night calls were as likely as not to be answered. But now a concrete pad is all that's left.

MAYBE THE BLAIRS WILL BUY IT

There have been a number of stories about people making a tidy sum of money by selling Internet addresses they'd registered. With this in mind, "cybersquatters" already have reserved leoblair.com and babyleo.co.uk - both referring to the British prime minister's son, born last Saturday. "When I heard the name on the news, I registered it straight away," teacher Diana George told BBC News Online. She promised to give half the money to charity if she sells the site.

And still champion! Seattle leads US in high-tech pay

Let's say you're just graduating from college with a degree in computer science and you need a good-paying job. Do you conduct your search in California's Silicon Valley or, say, Seattle, the home of Microsoft and other digital-age powerhouses? Actually, both rank among the highest-wage technical employment centers in the US. But for the third straight year, according to a new nationwide survey by the American Electronics Association, Washington State far outpaced any other high-tech area in average annual pay. The top five states and their average pay for employees in technological fields - using 1998 data, the most recent available:

Washington State $106,000

New Jersey 68,700

California 66,900

Virginia 66,000

Connecticut 65,400

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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