I guess the first question is why, why has one style swept across the web design world and been implemented across so many websites? I’ve thought and thought about this and never really come up with a single answer. Initially I looked at the huge theme market that exists where creators sell their themes to any number of customers. The theme market is massive, and as a result creators mimic the best selling work in an effort to make more money. You’re not going to make a lot of money in the theme market by going out on a limb and creating something incredibly unique and personalised. Generic wins out every time.

To run a test that asks an important question, that uses a large enough sample size to come to a reliable conclusion, and that can do so amidst a minefield of different ways to be lead astray, takes a lot of resources.

You have to design the test, implement the technology, and come up with the various options. If you’re running a lean organization, there are few cases where this is worth the effort.

Why create a half-assed “A” and a half-assed “B,” when you could just make a full-assed “A?”

The cashiers I interviewed all agreed that the trays are convenient because there’s less risk that someone will drop a coin and set off a scramble to retrieve it. The trays also make it possible to spread out the bills and coins so customers can see at a glance that they’ve been given the correct change. And as one shopkeeper explained it, offering change in a tray feels more polite than simply placing money in a customer’s hand. “Japanese prefer not to touch other people’s hands and the tray creates desirable distance,” he commented. “So you could say that using a tray is an expression of reserve as well as an extension of good customer service.”

There are a few excellent payment gateways that have come along and made it easier for people in the US to take payments like Stripe, Dwolla, and WePay. What are the options for the non-US merchant, though? What can they use to take payment?

Zero Click is a dead easy payment protocol that will allow users to pay for resources online in the simplest way using Bitcoin. We came up with the idea when we noticed that the HTTP 402 payment required status code was unimplemented. We used Bitcoin because it allows us to transfer money with no registration and no lengthy approval for the person receiving the money.

With every year that passed, as Perl 6 produced more press releases than actual code, the attractiveness of Perl as a platform declined. Sure, it still had users. Sure, it still had people starting new projects. (The Modern Perl movement was a decent attempt to bring wider enthusiasm back into the ecosystem by dispelling some of the worst myths of the language. It modeled itself after JavaScript: The Good Parts without realizing that Perl lacked JavaScript's insurmountable advantage of ubiquity. Who could have predicted that Objective-C would be interesting again a year before the iPhone came out?)

What it didn't have was a clearly defined future, let alone an articulated one.

Then I got to thinking. Screw the dodgy world of heterodox economics. Let’s go full-on fantastical and look at sci-fi. There IS actually a model out there that deals fairly realistically with a post scarcity economy. Not only that, it actually takes into account the difficulties of migrating from a capitalist society to a post scarcity society incrementally. It’s not just a theory in a vaccum.

It’s called Star Trek.

Why has the “Made in Germany” brand thrived over the last 15 or so years, even as “Made in Japan” grinds toward irrelevance? All the more extraordinary, Germany has flourished in a savagely competitive global environment despite high labor costs, an overvalued euro and any number of regional financial crises. Its secret: adapting and innovating in ways Japan Inc. cannot even seem to contemplate.

The problem in a predominantly pre-paid phone connection market like India is that caller identities are often a mystery. So people end up taking a lot of unwanted calls and spam. That’s why an app like TrueCaller, developed in Sweden, is more popular in India than in the West.

Now there’s a new app called Holaa!, just launched today, which claims to help smartphone users manage their calls better. It’s a product of Nimbuzz, which shifted its base from the Netherlands to India in 2012 to serve a growing Indian user base for voice over IP (VoIP), messaging, and mobile advertising services.

To those of us who were accustomed to thinking of the internet as a glorious, distributed, anarchic, many-to-many communication network in which anyone could become a global publisher, corporate gatekeepers had lost their power and peer-to-peer sharing was becoming the liberating norm, Labovitz’s brusque summary comes as a rude shock. Why? Because what he was really saying is that the internet is well on its way to being captured by giant corporations – just as the Columbia law professor Tim Wu speculated it might be in The Master Switch, his magisterial history of 20th-century communications technologies.

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