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  • What is Figma anyway?

    In this issue of Verb’s newsletter, we discuss why Adobe offered $20 billion for startup Figma, the benefits of learning to code in high school, and the trillion dollars tech companies could make in Latin America

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  • The blurry limits of reality

    Nokia is reinventing itself with Ozo, a virtual reality camera that teleports the user, capturing the remote environment just as if you’re right there. It is and it isn’t reality. Like social networks, which are and aren’t society: Adele ignores them and sold 3.3 million copies, an absolute record.    

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  • Yahoo! and the limits of a free Web

      Yahoo! blocked email access to people who had installed ad-blockers. The experiment caused anger, but it’s one more sign that the current model of a free Web for services we used to pay – from mail to news – is becoming unsustainable.

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  • How Fiat Hopped on Google to Drive Traffic

    Oil prices and the Detroit meltdown brought Fiat back to the U.S. To raise brand awareness following an absence of decades, it worked with Google on a strategy of online ads and search optimization. In 12 months, name recognition rose 127% and year-on-year sales 120%.

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  • The Inner Struggles of Ketchup

    Ketchup has a single duty but it misbehaves. It is notoriously difficult, and often messy, to get out of the bottle. But Cambridge Professor Michael Cates understands it. Soft matter—from shampoo to chocolate—is composed of tiny particles, some of which may act like solids when the rest is running like liquids. In disagreement, they create… Read More »The Inner Struggles of Ketchup

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  • I’m an Ad Man, and I Use Ad Blockers

    Last week I installed my first ad blocking software. I had not cared to do it earlier because, well, I am an ad man, and I have a professional interest in advertising. But last week I changed my mind. I was trying to learn the results of presidential elections in Argentina by checking the local media… Read More »I’m an Ad Man, and I Use Ad Blockers

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  • On Death, the Mask and the Person

    Cultures assimilate what’s alien. Halloween, a Celtic feast, and the Day of the Dead, an indigenous rite that the Church made its own, celebrate the dead for their new life wearing masks, which Etruscans called “person.” Since Roman times, we use the word to designate whoever is behind the costume.

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  • The Reports of my Death are Greatly Exaggerated

    Digital books were going to kill print this year. But in 2015, e-book sales dropped whereas paper’s rose. And TV was going to kill the radio, and video the movies (remember Blockbuster?). Not for nothing working at Amazon can be demanding. Will we ever learn?

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  • The Mission and the Vision, from Seville to Seattle

    Microsoft launches hardware and the Steve Jobs movie is released. The fabulous Xerox PARC in the 70’s inspired Jobs and Bill Gates. Xerox bet on the photocopies. And the venerable Venetian seamen turned down a Genoese peer, who went on to cross the Atlantic, 523 years ago yesterday.

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  • A World Without Advertising

    A world without advertising would miss information about the food we eat, the cars we drive, and almost everything we buy. And everything would cost more. Advertising fosters competition. Do you remember your first cell phone? With ad blockers, only those that inform without screaming will be left.

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