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Popular Elsewhere

14:50 UK time, Monday, 19 September 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

Guardian headline


Charlie Brooker's weekly rants about modern life rarely fail to make it onto the Guardian's most read list. And this week he is enraged by the notion of children being "brand ambassadors". The idea was brought to Brooker's attention by a BBC article. It is that advertisers, such as Weetabix, pay children to wear branded clothes or add online recommendations for the product. He says the idea is "so nakedly evil" that he's surprised it even exists.

The National headline


A popular article from Abu Dhabi's the National finds the people who make money out of selling on licence plates. The newspaper's Jeffrey Todd went down to a plate auction to witness Dh 30m (£5.2m) being spent on 81 car licence plates. These were the latest batch of car number plates released for auction by the government in Abu Dhabi. As Todd puts it, one bidder he spoke to wasn't paying for gold or rare art but "a thin piece of aluminium bearing the number nine". He says more than anywhere else in the world, "the number on the back of your car matters, indicating hierarchy, status and wealth". The fewer digits on a licence plate, the more valuable the plate. This, he says, portrays an elite status among Emiratis. But, Todd reports, people also buy plates as investments in "one of the more unusual commodity markets in the world".

Salon headline


Salon's readers are soaking up the cynicism in their article about the return of the sugar daddy. It highlights a survey on the price of an age gap in dating from a website which allows men and women buy and sell first dates. It says a six month study of successfully brokered first dates shows a man 10 years older than a woman has to pay "13% more than the average to close every year of age gap."

Slate headline


Slate readers are catching up on a whodunit: who killed 3D cinema?. The article says ticket sales for 3D films are down, with three quarters of last year's 3D releases in the US losing money. Among the suspects are greedy cinemas for hiking up the prices of 3D films. But a finger is also pointed at "fake 3D". This is where, after filming, a layer is added to a normal film to make it appear 3D. The quality isn't as good, and the magazine suggests the word may have got around.

New Scientist headline


But 3D could take over from 2D in a different arena: airport security. That's because, as a popular New Scientist article reports, the way we walk could be as unique as our fingerprints. This has led to commercial sensors which record how each foot applies pressure to the ground, and how that pressure distribution changed as the person walked.

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