• The Fake Traffic Schemes That Are Rotting The Internet
    Companies are having a lot of issues getting their money worth from advertising, and it’s not because you have an ad blocker! Since you have an ad blocker, your visit to a site doesn’t count as a view. However, there is a lot of fake traffic that is costing advertisers money from bot networks.

    He describes Advertise.com as an ad network that sells more than 300 million page visits each month to companies that want to boost their traffic. Among his customers is Bonnier, which, he says, mainly purchased his cheapest-possible traffic, including “tab-unders.” Say you’re watching a movie on Netflix. A tab-under opens up another window beneath the one playing the movie. You may never see that new window, which displays an Advertise.com customer’s website, but Advertise.com’s customer still generates another page view. Repeat a few thousand times, and you build traffic numbers.

    “I’ve found Advertise.com selling every type of worthless traffic I am able to detect,” says Benjamin Edelman, a Harvard Business School professor who researches the digital economy. “And doing so persistently, for months and indeed, years.”

    Yomtobian allows that tab-unders are “low-quality traffic” and that Bonnier complained about that. But he says his firm checks the traffic of its supplying partners for bots and sends only real humans to the Bonnier websites. “We would never deliver traffic that we don’t think is real,” he says. Yomtobian also disputes Edelman’s claims that Advertise.com’s traffic is worthless. After all, people sometimes do see tab-unders and click on them. “There is a huge distinction,” he says, “between worthless traffic and low-quality traffic.”

  • Sound Decision
    The story behind how the sounds of Skype are made. You don’t read a story on a topic like this very often, but the contents aren’t nearly as interesting as I had hoped.

    One of the only audio interface elements I really like, I tell him, is the paper-crunching sound of emptying the trash in Mac OS X. It doesn’t evoke nostalgia for tossing paper in trash bins — something I’ve never done in real life — but I get a little rush of satisfaction whenever I do it. It’s a well-designed sound, but that’s not all that’s going on.

    In addition to the trash crunch, people like the “send mail” sound a lot too, says McKee. “It’s a redundant thing. They end up liking it because it gives you that feedback that ‘Yes, you’ve done something.’”

    Clearing the trash means I’ve just made my computer a little more organized. The send email sound means I’ve checked a task off my to-do list. The noises I turn off are usually the ones that give me more things to do: new email notifications, phone calls that interrupt my day. It doesn’t matter how well-designed those noises are — I’ve ruined some of my favorite Android and iOS sounds by using them as morning alarms.

  • Sneaker Wars: Inside the Battle Between Nike and Adidas
    This article focuses on how Adidas is fighting a David vs Goliath battle with Nike by focusing on being indie and being less corporate – or at least that is the bias within the article. I suspect that the reality is that they are both very corporate and have different initiatives going to try and capture different parts of the market. Also this article conveniently does not mention any other sub-brands of Adidas, such as Reebok.

    Controlling 62 percent of the market (compared with Adidas’s 5 percent), Nike is the primary beneficiary of our addiction, and the reasons for its supremacy are myriad. It is big. It is smart. Its endorsement roster is a portfolio of human blue-chip stocks. It caters to traditionalists with old-school Blazers, Jordans, and Dunks—some of the coolest and most coveted sneakers ever made—while testing the bounds of how futuristic a shoe can look and feel. (See, most recently, the Flyknit.) It employs more designers than any other shoe manufacturer (650 compared with Adidas’s 200) and gives them unparalleled resources. Nike will take expensive risks, and when it whiffs, as it recently did with an ill-fated and quickly canceled snowboarding line, it acknowledges the error and moves on.

  • What Makes Uber Run
    I haven’t read an article about the history of Uber so here’s one that focuses on the CEO Travis Kalanick.

    What they did not appreciate initially was the effect that low prices would have on the service. When Uber would have, say, three cars prowling around San Francisco, riders had to wait 20 minutes for a lift; but on weekend evenings, when 15 or 20 cars might be on the streets, wait times plummeted. In other words, as Uber got busier, it got better. Drivers made more money and passengers were happier. “I started to see how math moved the needle,” he says. “Things clicked in my mind about how this could scale.”

  • The tragic tale of Mt Everest’s most famous dead body
    I’m a sucker for these mountain ascent stories because I think they are great feats of human persistence and athleticism, so this one is no different.

    a trip to Everest is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The amount of time, money and energy invested in the mountain can encourage selfish and reckless decision-making. “There’s a mystique to Everest where people come to the conclusion that traditional rules don’t apply, whether that means how much risk they’re willing to take or what the value of reaching the top of the mountain is to them,” says Christopher Kayes, chair and professor of management at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. “I think the closer you get to your goal, the more likely you are to come up with rationalisations for foregoing morals or values.”

    In some cases, he continues, it might “literally mean throwing caution to the wind.” In others, it might mean leaving a fallen climber behind who is deemed beyond helping.