THERE MUST BE a conference that all UI designers attend where everyone affirms the 2006 look because I noticed the new Google News Reader interface looks like Bloglines, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook Express and a raft of other pane-based, bold-when-new products. But maybe it should look that way because Google Reader is actually an in-box for the web. Importantly, the free online Google News Reader works better now than it did six months ago. I accidentally clicked into it from an old notebook, scraped a screen and played around a bit. Fast and friendly news readers are important when you don't have more than two hours a day online. The Google News Reader looks like it deserves a solid recommendation for those who want to manage and read their news for free through a web browser. I haven't figured out what all the widgets do (like the "share it" option) but I'm sure those things will become more apparent after I play around with Google News Reader a little more. If you're interested in more, watch a one-minute video about the Google Reader.