BetaNews: Tim Berners-Lee launches open source project Solid to decentralize the web and place users in control of data. “Tim Berners-Lee is famous for inventing the world wide web, and now he’s ready to take things to the next level with an ambitious open source project called Solid. Noting that the web has become ‘an engine of inequity and division’, Berners-Lee wants to restore the power and agency of individuals online and move the balance of power away from ‘powerful forces who use it for their own agendas’.”
Neowin: Eric Schmidt: Internet will split in two in the next decade. “Alphabet’s former executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, predicted at a private event on Wednesday night that the internet would split in two by 2028. Schmidt was speaking at an event put on by the investment firm, Village Global VC. He said that rather than splintering, we could see a China-led internet and the current U.S.-led internet.”
CNET: History Search remembers what’s on all those websites you visited so you can find it again. “The History Search extension indexes every website you visit and lets you search your history afterward. A free version keeps track of your 3,000 most recently visited pages, but paying $4 per month lifts that limit, developer Convergate said Tuesday.”
CNET: Google brings ‘www’ back to Chrome, but not for long. “In the latest version of Google’s Chrome browser, released earlier this month, Google hid the HTTP or HTTPS prefix and stripped out website domain qualifiers like the initial ‘www’ or ‘m,’ which indicates a website geared for mobile devices. But Google now says it’s rolling back some of those changes after receiving community feedback.”
Bing Blogs: Anonymous URL Submission Tool Being Retired. “Saying Goodbye is never easy, but the time has come to announce the withdrawal of anonymous non-signed in support Bing’s URL submission tool. Webmaster will still be able to log in and access Submit URL tool in Bing Webmaster Tools, and this is easier than ever as the tool now supports Google and Facebook authentication in addition to existing Microsoft accounts.” Seeing how spam-ridden the Internet has gotten, this isn’t surprising.
Washington Post: Racism and anti-Semitism surged in corners of the Web after Trump’s election, analysis shows. “Racist and anti-Semitic content has surged on shadowy social media platforms — spiking around President Trump’s Inauguration Day and the ‘Unite the Right Rally’ in Charlottesville — spreading hate speech and extremist views to mainstream audiences, according to an analysis published this week. The findings, from a newly formed group of scientists named the Network Contagion Research Institute who studied hundreds of millions of social media messages, bolster a growing body of evidence about how extremist speech online can be fueled by real-world events.”
Ars Technica: Google wants to get rid of URLs but doesn’t know what to use instead. “Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), the online addresses that make up such an important part of the Web and browsers we use, are problematic things. Their complex structure is routinely exploited by bad actors who create phishing sites that superficially appear to be legitimate but are in fact malicious. Sometimes the tricks are as simple as creating a long domain name that’s too wide to be shown in a mobile browser; other times, such as in the above picture, more nefarious techniques are used. It’s for this reason that a number of Chrome developers want to come up with something new. But what that new thing should be is harder to say.”