Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet [Atlantic]
Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built. In that way, email represents a different model from the closed ecosystems we see proliferating across our computers and devices.
Email is a refugee from the open, interoperable, less-controlled “web we lost.” It’s an exciting landscape of freedom amidst the walled gardens of social networking and messaging services.
Email: still the best thing on the internet, indeed.
Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore [Wired]
The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet. And no one has figured out what will take its place. What we can say for sure is this: Access to our data can no longer hinge on secrets—a string of characters, 10 strings of characters, the answers to 50 questions—that only we’re supposed to know. The Internet doesn’t do secrets. Everyone is a few clicks away from knowing everything.
I couldn’t agree more. I hate passwords. Die, die already.
Fueling nuclear power with seawater [PNNL.gov]
Uranium floats in Earth’s oceans in trace amounts of just 3 parts per billion, but it adds up. Combined, our oceans hold up to 4.5 billion tons of uranium – enough to potentially fuel the world’s nuclear power plants for 6,500 years.
COVER STORY: “CAPTURING MEMORIES” [New Yorker]
The latest New Yorker cover by Mark Ulriksen is an instant classic. It is a rather disturbing statement how far and how disconnected we came as a society. We truly are slaves to our cellphones.
What consumer Internet companies had a large number of users but failed to monetize? [Quora]
Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, Blogger, etc.:
Having a large number of users and the inability to monetize them is a non-existent problem. People talk about it all the time, but it doesn’t really happen—at least it doesn’t happen in today’s world. I’m not even sure it ever did. Sure, there were Internet companies that went out of business because they were losing too much money, but I think usually they didn’t *really* have a lot of users (just a lot of hype) or they had out of control costs.
That’s a rather bold and quite surprising statement coming out from Evan. Hopefully he gave it proper thought.
Facebook, the most cynical tech giant ever [Reuters]
Kevin Kelleher on Facebook, Zuckerberg, and the company’s disastrous IPO:
There has never been a tech company that built so much fortune from the exploitation of ordinary people while giving so little in return.
Yes, Microsoft was vilified – and rightly so – for crushing competitors and forcing customers into an inferior operating-system software, but its iron-fisted dominance helped shape an immature and inchoate computer-software industry into a single standard that made PCs everyday devices in offices and homes. Microsoft’s brutal strong-arm tactics were directed at rivals. Its sin against its customers was that its software, for decades, just wasn’t that good.
Facebook, by contrast, built the best social network of its time, so good it left rivals like MySpace in the dust. And that should have been enough to make Facebook a Silicon Valley success story. Once it came time to make money, Facebook exploited its users’ personal data to a degree that no company had ever achieved before.
Yeah, therestartpage.com is so so awesome.
Sad news from the Apple camp today: Steve Jobs, the company’s founder, long-time CEO and chief visionary has died today:
SAN FRANCISCO — Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder and former chief executive of Apple, has died at 56.
Apple said in a press release that it was “deeply saddened” to announce that Mr. Jobs had passed away on Wednesday.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” the company said. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
Best technology CEO, innovator and visionary of all time. Thank you very much for everything. You changed the way we live right now. You will be missed.
UPDATE: Statement by Jobs’ family is here.
Wired has a fascinating story about the mysterious Russian short wave radio transmitter UVB-76 which has broadcast nothing but bleeps and buzzes since the early days of the Cold War.