Whither the Web?


The Web’s Inventor on How to Fix It

How we respond to abuse of the World Wide Web's potential will determine whether the web lives up to its potential as a global force for good or leads us into a digital dystopia, says Timothy Berners-Lee, who invented the web. In a New York Times piece, he calls for adoption of a Contract for the Web, a global plan of action "to make sure our online world is safe, empowering and genuinely for everyone."


Xerox Gets Aggressive


Rebuffed on its $33.5 billion bid to acquire HP, Xerox has vowed to push harder. In a letter sent Monday to the board of directors of HP, Xerox CEO John Visentin wrote that "your refusal to engage in mutual due diligence with Xerox defies logic." He said Xerox will "engage directly with HP shareholders to solicit their support in urging the HP Board to do the right thing and pursue this compelling opportunity." He added: "While you may not appreciate our ‘aggressive’ tactics, we will not apologize for them."


The 8-Year-Old Who’s Made $22 Million on YouTube

Like any 8-year-old, Ryan Kaji loves to play with toys. But when he plays, millions watch, Fast Company reports. Since the age of four, he’s been the star of his own YouTube channel—and his videos have gained more than 35 billion views. This helped make him YouTube’s highest-earning star in 2018, earning $22 million.


When a Country Turns Off the Internet 


On Nov. 16, amid widespread political protest, most of Iran was cut off from the global internet. However, it did not happen immediately because, as Slate reports, cutting off internet access isn’t as easy as flipping a switch.


Libraries’ E-Book Headache


Over the past two decades, electronic books have taken off as a way to read on smartphones and e-readers. While there are technically an infinite number of copies of digital files, e-books differ from hard copies when it comes to libraries. The result is long waits, reader hacks and worried publishers, the Washington Post reports. 


Do Marketers Need to Know Coding?

Code lies behind many great marketing campaigns. Websites, emails, apps and tools all run because there are smart coders making them work. Since code is the basis for most of marketing today, Evelyn Wolf writes on HubSpot, should marketers be learning to code?


A Robot Pizza Startup Worth ... $4 Billion?


Zume Inc., a Silicon Valley startup that uses robots to make pizza, is in talks with investors to be valued at about $4 billion in a new round of fundraising, Recode reports. Is this another example of an industry untethered from reality? Maybe. But the firm is not just another pizza shop; it wants to morph into a data and logistics provider, part of an effort by founder Alex Garden to become “the Amazon of food.”


How to Stop Analysis Paralysis

There’s an overabundance of choice online, says Smashing Magazine. While you can’t do anything to stop the flood of information or items going out to your visitors, you can design your web interfaces in a way that makes the decision-making process easier to bear.


An Obscure Ransomware Superhero

Thanks to Michael Gillespie, an obscure programmer at a Nerds on Call repair store in Normal, Illinois, hundreds of thousands of ransomware victims have recovered their files for free, Pro Publica reports. There are almost 800 known types of ransomware, and Gillespie, mostly by himself but sometimes collaborating with other ransomware hunters, has cracked more than 100 of them.


Another Reason to Hate Spam


A new study estimates that if every adult in the UK sent one fewer “thank you” email each day, it would save more than 16,433 tons of carbon a year—equivalent to 81,152 flights from London to Madrid or taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road, The Guardian reports. It's all due to the electricity used by computers, networks, and cloud storage data centers.