Friday Four: Page load races, Future Day, and surprising data on how people are using the iPad

Which Loads Faster
I’ve been having a lot of fun with this little tool, which pits sites against each other in head-to-head speed trials. See who’s faster – Google versus Bing, Amazon versus Shopzilla, TMZ versus OMG! – or try your own matchup. I asked its creator, Ryan Witt, how Which Loads Faster works, and he told me that the “pages are loading in real time in your browser and I’m measuring the time it takes using javascript.” Pretty nifty.

“Future Day” Mistake Spreads Like Wildfire Online
Earlier this week, when Total Film magazine mistakenly posted that July 5, 2010 was the future date that Marty and the Doc travel to at the start of the second Back to the Future movie, it highlighted how quickly information now travels online. Total Film corrected their mistake by posting a Photoshopped image of the time machine with the wrong date in it, as a joke, but the joke image got picked up as real news and became a trending topic on Twitter. It goes to show two things. One: People seem willing to believe anything they see. Two: Once incorrect information starts spreading, it’s impossible to control it. [via Human 2.0]

Whatever Happened to Voice Recognition?
Speaking of back to the future, remember voice recognition? Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, it was going to be the wave of the computing future. This post by developer and human factors thinker Jeff Atwood explains why voice recognition will probably never pan out.

An In-Depth Look at How People Are Using the iPad
And back to the present, Mashable just posted an iPad usage survey, which revealed a few surprises. For instance, while the iPad was never touted as a portable gaming device, more than one-third of respondents said that after owning an iPad, they would not buy a separate gaming device: “The size of the device and its accelerometer really make for an immersive gaming experience.” That said, more than half of all current and prospective iPad owners owners said they see it as a non-essential luxury item, not a necessity.