Ones and Zeros is Motherboard’s weekly investigation into the weird particle accelerator of the world as seen through the eyes of the internet. See last week’s here.
ZERO: Ode to joylessness
Der Spiegel’s online edition finds that a ‘Joy gene’ has been broken largely in the German population. Perhaps keeping a steadier head in the EuroZone doesn’t come easy, or very happily for that matter. "Whether it’s with food, alcohol, vacation or relaxing — Germans apparently don’t have the leisure to enjoy things. In fact, they can’t even let go when they’re having sex…Many reported constantly having film and advertising images run through their minds." It seems like this piece could’ve been written anywhere. We’re just giggling that Germany points to this sort of thing is a ‘genetic defect.’ Submitted by Dan Stuckey.
ONE: Commercial spaceflight is totally legit
Marking a truly historic moment, the crew at the International Space Station successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft this morning at 9:56 AM EDT.
ZERO: Could Facebook take down the web?
At least that’s what Newser founder Michael Wolff believes, in a post made on MIT’s Technology Review. According to Wolff, Facebook isn’t just going bust, it’s going to take down the entire ad-supported web with it.
The growth of its user base and its ever-expanding page views means an almost infinite inventory to sell. But the expanding supply, together with an equivocal demand, means ever-lowering costs. The math is sickeningly inevitable. Absent an earth-shaking idea, Facebook will look forward to slowing or declining growth in a tapped-out market, and ever-falling ad rates, both on the Web and (especially) in mobile. Facebook isn’t Google; it’s Yahoo or AOL.
Oh, yes … In its Herculean efforts to maintain its overall growth, Facebook will continue to lower its per-user revenues, which, given its vast inventory, will force the rest of the ad-driven Web to lower its costs. The low-level panic the owners of every mass-traffic website feel about the ever-downward movement of the cost of a thousand ad impressions (or CPM) is turning to dread, as some big sites observed as much as a 25 percent decrease in the last quarter, following Facebook’s own attempt to book more revenue.
I guess it’s hard to talk about Facebook these days in non-hyperbolic terms. But Wolff has a point. Facebook clearly hasn’t figured it’s shit out yet and in the meantime, that could be hurting everyone else.
ONE: Lucid dreaming is for sale
The idea that we could somehow control a dream, one so real and vivid, is highly seductive, because everyone wants to fly, apparently. Now you can, for only $80.
ZERO: How Google spied on your internet
Australian communication minister Stephen Conroy is calling it "probably the single greatest breach in the history of privacy." He is of course referring it Google’s now infamous “Street View” episode, when it was discovered that the company wasn’t just snapping pics with their roof-mounted camera cars, they were also collecting swaths of private data from open Wi-Fi networks along the way, stuff like e-mails and even information on password protected sites. Check out the Times’s nifty diagram on exactly how they did it. For their indiscretion? The FCC fined them $25,000.
ONE: The universe is really big
So big that it’s hard to fathom just how big. Cary and Michael Huang have developed a app that tries to make sense of its mammoth scale.
There’s also this brand new handy video: an animation by Royal Observatory Greenwich explains the fundamental tools astronomers use to sense out the edges of space, like parallax and redshift.
ZERO: Moog’s birthday overshadowed by Google Doodle
Google Doodles continued it’s proud tradition of awesome tributes with a playable synthesizer to honor the 78th birthday of its inventor, Dr. Robert Moog. And yeah, it really works. This guy’s already playing Daft Punk. But still, it’s Moog’s birthday! Why are we talking about Google?
Follow Alec Liu on Twitter: @sfnuop.