Is a ‘Retail Store Apocalypse’ Approaching?


Online Shopping's Toll on Stores

Widespread closures that have roiled the retail industry are only the beginning, the investment firm UBS predicts. Some 75,000 stores that sell clothing, electronics and furniture will close by 2026, when online shopping is expected to make up 25 percent of retail sales, the Washington Post reports. The average U.S. household spent $5,200 online last year, up nearly 50 percent from five years earlier.


Uber’s IPO Valuation Could Be Up to $100 Billion


Uber has told some investors that its IPO stock sale might value the ride-hailing giant at up to $100 billion, people briefed on the matter told the New York Times. Its shares are expected to begin trading on the public markets next month.


Why CTOR Is Edging CTR Aside

Click-through-rate has been a key metric for email marketers, but it has a basic flaw: It measures the percentage of recipients who clicked through to your website, regardless if they opened the email or not. Now, many marketers are turning to another metric as a better measurement of user engagement: click-to-open rate. As HubSpot explains, CTOR measures the percentage of unique recipients who clicked through to your website after opening your email.


An Internet Minute, Detailed


Lori Lewis and Chadd Callahan have updated their "what happens in an internet minute" research. Every 60 seconds, Social Media Today reports, there are 3.8 million Google search queries, 188 million emails are sent and $996,956 is spent online.


Facial Recognition's Racial Bias Problem


Studies have shown that facial recognition systems have a harder time identifying women and darker-skinned people. There are various reasons why facial recognition services might have a harder time identifying minorities and women compared with white men, CNet reports. Among them: Public photos that tech workers use to train computers to recognize faces could include more white people than minorities.


AI Just Doesn’t Get the Joke

Alexa and Siri can tell jokes mined from a humor database, but they don’t get them, the Los Angeles Times reports. Linguists and computer scientists say humor may be what makes humans special. Says one linguist: “(Robots and AI apps) have no need for humor. They miss completely context.”


Rules for Design Research


Businesses have embraced the idea that meaningful innovation requires understanding their customers as humans with complex lives. But when it comes to design research, myths and misperceptions can get in the way. Writing on Medium, Mule Design founder Erika Hall offers nine rules to follow.


The Evolution of Phishing

Phishing is one of the most reliable methods a would-be hacker can take to access your digital accounts or even your bank account—and these kinds of attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated over time, Gizmodo reports. You may think you know a phishing email when you see one, but new strategies continue to spring up.


Google Scientists' Web-Searching Secrets

A pair of researchers at Google who study how we use search engines shared common mistakes, misperceptions and advice with Scientific American. A few tips: understand the range of possible search options—new capabilities are added frequently—and don't give up your critical-thinking skills.


Dubai Does Not Horse Around


A British woman faces two years in jail in Dubai for calling her ex-husband's new wife a "horse" on Facebook, the BBC reports. The woman, who was arrested at a Dubai airport after flying there to attend her former husband's funeral, faces prosecution over two Facebook comments she posted from Britain on pictures of her husband remarrying in 2016.