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Road to Nowhere

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The Nasdaq slumped—nay, crashed. Everyone and their mother is looking for work in the Bay Area. But why not pretend it never happened and celebrate all things high-tech by officially renaming California's Highway 101 "The Information Superhighway"?

Sarcasm? Hardly. The San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau says it's serious about the idea, and mentions it in an online help-wanted ad seeking a public-affairs director (the ad was first unearthed by the über-techies at Salon.com).

The bureau says the plot was hatched, presumably with a straight face, by a vp of marketing there. And though stunts like renaming a city Half.com seemed cute back in the day but feel dated now, nobody seems to have told San Jose.

"We're looking to give the area a little brand recognition and identify it as Silicon Valley," says Sonya Bradley, the tourism board's director of communications. "It's part branding and part fun."

The group has talked with several politicians about the proposal, she adds. It was unclear whether any of these pols saw Startup.com.

Still, like the Web firms left in the market, San Jose slogs along, undeterred and hopeful. Some people have laughed about the idea, Bradley admits, but "others are really high on it."