It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone
Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the worldwide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.
A San Francisco-based drone startup that raised $34 million in pre-orders folded on Thursday, the same day the company, Lily Robotics, was sued by the local district attorney in county court. The city accuses Lily Robotics of engaging in false advertising and unlawful business practices.
In 2015, Lily Robotics released a slick YouTube promo video demonstrating its drone, calling it the world’s first “throw-and-shoot camera.” It received widespread, breathless coverage from various other media outlets, ranging from Wired to TechCrunch. Lily Robotics' founders were named on the “Forbes 30 under 30” list in 2015. And in addition to its pre-orders, the startup took in $15 million in venture capital, according to CrunchBase.
Google in June quietly deleted a clause in its privacy settings that said it would not combine cookie information with personal information without consent
Google has changed the way it tracks users across the internet so that it can now link people’s personally identifiable information from Gmail, YouTube and other accounts with their browsing records across the web. The company had previously pledged to keep these two data sets separate to protect individuals’ privacy.
As first reported by Propublica, Google quietly updated its privacy settings in June to delete a clause that said “we will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent”. Continue reading...
Pop-up ads are annoying on desktop, but even more frustrating on mobile devices when they sometimes take over the browser. Google wants to fix that: in a blog post, the company announced that, starting next year, websites with intrusive advertisements will be punished and may be pushed down in search results.
Essentially, Google wants search results to favor sites that have the best information and the least annoying advertisements that cover up that information. "While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google," the blog post says, "content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result."
Google claims these intrusive ads and interstitials create "a poorer experience" for users, particularly on mobile where space is limited by smaller screens. It's not wrong—sometimes pop-up or pop-over ads that show up on mobile websites can take up the entire display, forcing you to view them while furiously trying to find the "X" to close them. After January 10, 2017, sites that show these kinds of ads (which include content-obscuring "please subscribe to our newsletter!" pop-overs) "may not rank as highly" in search results.