From the Editors
Let's try to get through an entire week without Facebook. It can be done. Facebook is history anyway, now that the company has gone public in a sputtering IPO and CEO Mark Zuckerberg got married. The good old days are over, baby. "Facebook is not only on course to go bust, but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it," Michael Wolff writes at Technology Review. "As Facebook gluts an already glutted market, the fallacy of the Web as a profitable ad medium can no longer be overlooked. The crash will come. And Facebook--that putative transformer of worlds, which is, in reality, only an ad-driven site--will fall with everybody else." "Facebook's IPO misfortunes share many fathers," says The Verge. "You might conclude that the whole event is a catastrophe, if not an outright scam, perpetrated by the powerful at the expense of the powerless." Wall Street Window calls Facebook stock "radioactive...Zuckerberg sold over a billion dollars worth of his stock during the IPO. He knew it was a great place to dump and so he did. But who was there to buy once it started to trade? He ran out of suckers so the stock dropped." Wow. Of course the rule of thumb is: when Wall Street tells the public to zig, the smart money zags. So who knows?
What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Not Facebook. How about this? Former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev isn't dead, despite what Twitter says. He's merely "the latest victim of a highly contagious social media disease," says Storyful. "Cause of fake death? Online pranksters, trigger happy Twitter users and lazy journalism. It's doing the rounds." Fake death happens a lot on Twitter. "It seems that Twitter has announced 17 of the last 6 celebrity deaths," jokes Naked Security on a Facebook link to its blog that has helpfully also brought back to life Margaret Thatcher, Hugh Hefner and Adam Ant. This is a nice public service that should have a name. How about Nobituaties?
Still alive and kicking is good old Yahoo. The primordial Web search company company debuted a new visual search tool called Axis that, Mashable says, "shines on the iPad" but is an "afterthought" the desktop computers. "One of the major thrusts of Axis is that it makes search more visual...displaying a strip of site preview thumbnail images whenever you input a search term." "By replacing blue links and article abstracts with images of websites, Yahoo axis anticipates a day when how a website looks will tell you as much as what it has to say," says Co.Design: "Yahoo's claim at eliminating a middle step is a bit overblown, but note that there's a subtle shift at work here. Rather than asking that you read capsule bits of text to try and parse whether a search result is relevant to you, they're asking to look at the website."
In another bogus death notice involving an online prank, TorrentFreak, Macgasm and others reported that the Rickroll was dead. "Due to a copyright complaint, the original Rickroll video has been removed from YouTube...Hopefully there has been some terrible mistake and everything will be sorted out soon." That's right, see for yourself here. Ah, duh. You don't have to be a genius to figure out what happens next. The whole thing was bogus, TechDirt says the video really was pulled from YouTube briefly after a copyright claim, supposedly by AVG Technologies, a maker of antivirus software. AVG "almost certainly has no legitimate copyright claim to the video." This is an outrage, of course. "Sure, the world isn't suffering much from a bogus Rickroll takedown (and some may argue they benefit), but just the fact that random third parties seem to be able to take down super popular videos raises serious questions about why we've set things up to work this way." Adds Ars Technica: "we're still waiting to hear back from AVG and Google/YouTube about how something like this could happen."
Should anything really happen to the Rickroll, at least there appears to be a worthy successor waiting in the hallway. This week a video went viral of some school teachers dancing ridiculously to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" (too soon?) behind oblivious students who are being interviewed. It's just funny that grown-ups can prank using technology, right? Right? Says College Humor: "It's a tough job, but someone has to show kids how to waste time at work."