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On The Web

If you were wondering how and why videos go viral, Twitter has the answer for you — it doesn’t really know. “There are no rules to “virality” — while some ignite, and spread like wildfire across the web, the growth of others is much more measured, like ripples spreading across a lake,” the company wrote in a blog post Monday. Bottom line: after all these years, content popularity on the internet is like playing the lottery — hey, you never know!

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Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, in a wide-ranging interview talks about the corrupting nature of big data, the end of privacy and the rise of the surveillance society. He also shared his thoughts on Moore’s Law and its marriage to public policy, and why Silent Circle shutdown its email-service. Read more »

Weekend Plans

Is New York only for successful and what is the value of the unknown? What does tungsten have to do with smartphones and can orange be saved if we change its DNA? Tony Soprano of tomatoes, art phonies and the great guns: Now that a mix! Read more »

In Brief

ebook-sales

Best selling author Nicholas Carr points to the first quarter 2013 sales data from the Association of American Publishers as a testimonial for flattening of ebook sales. Carr talked about the slower ebook sales in 2012 earlier in the year and offered up many arguments. While they might be true, I tend to agree with Matthew MacInnis, co-founder & CEO of San Francisco-based Inkling, a publishing platform company. He believes that while it has been great to repurpose the classic book format as ebooks, going forward the industry needs to think of ebooks from a different lens. Why not? After all in the age of tablets, shouldn’t we expect interactivity from cookbooks and textbooks that come with newer fun ways of combining knowledge and learning?

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In Brief

TDS Telecom of Madison, Wis., says it has closed its $267.5 million purchase (first announced in February 2013) of Alamogordo, N.M.-based Baja Broadband, a small independent phone company that provides broadband, video and voice services to over 214,000 homes in parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. It has 59,000 high-speed Internet customers and in 2012 has annual sales of $85.6 million. It was owned by private equity firms, M/C Capital and Columbia Capital.

In Brief

Drew Johnson, a columnist for Chattanooga Free-Press newspaper, recently wrote an editorial that blasted President Obama, “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.” The editorial, which lamented the gigabit fiber network built in Chattanooga, generated a lot of attention, but earlier this week Johnson was fired by the paper for changing the headline of the editorial without permission. The new headline for the editorial is – President Obama’s policies have harmed Chattanooga enough. Johnson later tweeted that he was the first person to be fired for writing the most read article in the newspaper’s history. The episode illustrates the heated debates around municipal funded networks (fiber or otherwise), often fueled by the lobbying dollars incumbent monopolies.

On The Web

President Barack Obama has nominated Michael P. O’Rielly, for the job of FCC commissioner. This is a Republican vacancy. O’Rielly was an advisor to Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn and has spent a majority of his life working for some senator or the other. A Senate committee recently approved Tom Wheeler as the chairman of FCC.

Weekend Plans

Rise of internet-enabled cut-and-paste fashion, men’s insults from across the Atlantic, San Francisco’s busyness, Jim Rodgers, rise of predictive policing and smart cities — those are some of the topics on the menu this week.  Read more »

On The Web

Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face, talks to the Guardian about the negative impact of technology on the planet and why he believes that it might be time for us to dismantle the techno-industrial society. He also shares his thoughts about Steve Jobs, whom Tompkins describes as a friend.

Weekend Plans

On menu this week: Amar Bose and his genius, what’s up with selfies, Microsoft wants to be hip again, and there is a sports channel bubble, in case you noticed. Of course there is some discussion about American journalism and changing San Francisco. Read more »

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