For all of you looking for last-minute costumes for Halloween, we can lend you some technical assistance — that is, if you are looking...

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For all of you looking for last-minute costumes for Halloween, we can lend you some technical assistance — that is, if you are looking to be original.


To do this, we got a sense of what people will wear this year based on what they were searching for online. And, if that holds true, people will dress up as pirates, followed by some variation of a sexy woman, according to Internet Week.


It reported that “pirate costumes” were the most searched for Halloween-related term. “Tinkerbell,” “Wonder Woman” and “Playboy bunnies” also ranked high in the four weeks ending Oct. 21, according to Hitwise, an online intelligence and metrics service.


Searches for “adult costumes” were up 209 percent from the same time last year. Visits to Halloween retailers rose by 39 percent, and searches for “sexy Halloween costume” were up 400 percent.


One twist to the pirates theme worth trying, is to be a Software Pirate — just don’t expect to show up to work at Microsoft dressed that way.


You won’t get any treats.



Political technicality




Europeans like their wireless


About 29 percent of Internet users in Europe get access to the Web through mobile devices, compared with 19 percent in the U.S.



Source: comScore Networks



The worst political Web sites in the country have been collected by CNET, and a place of dishonor was reserved for our own U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island.


“Meet Jay Inslee, an on-again, off-again Democratic representative to the U.S. Congress from Washington state since 1992,” CNET said.


“In keeping with the spirit of his tech-centric district — which includes Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond — he offers an official campaign blog. It’s outfitted with an internal search engine, options for e-mailing entries and links for subscribing through 11 different readers.


“There’s just one hitch. Less than two weeks before Election Day, this blog includes absolutely zero entries. This is from the same politico whose campaign biography claims an ‘unparalleled commitment’ to technological innovation. Right.”


The assessment came first in CNET, and then Seattle Times columnist David Postman posted it on his blog.


His post sprouted a whole bunch of questions as to whether Microsoft was in Inslee’s district, which we thought we should clarify.


Yes, the Redmond company is in the 1st District, and therefore in Inslee’s district. In other words, Inslee is Microsoft’s man.


And in case you are wondering, there were no items on Inslee’s blog as of our deadline.



Eating cake



Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer team sent the Mozilla folks a cake congratulating them on the release of the competing Web browser Firefox 2.


It wasn’t poisoned, Mozilla reports.



Diagnosis by click



Seven percent of Internet users, or about 10 million American adults, searched for information on at least one health topic on a typical day in August, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project‘s online health-search study.


At that rate, health searches rank about at the same level of popularity on a typical day as paying bills online, reading blogs or using the Internet to look up a phone number or address.


In 2006, users said they searched for information about: a specific disease or medical problem (64 percent); a medical procedure (51 percent); and about nutrition (49 percent). They searched less for information on dental health care (15 percent), sexual health (11 percent) and how to quit smoking (9 percent).



Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany, is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or biztech@seattletimes.com.