Horizon highlights – July 25 weekend

Our regular roundup of noteworthy sci-tech stories from the web includes: the mightiest material of them all, Google's answer to Wikipedia, and why isn't there a better way to say "www"?

If you think I missed a great story, feel free to post your links as a comment down below. Let’s kick it off:

YouTube MarketingThings Are Not What They Stream
" 'Stealth viral' video ads – i.e., clips that betray few obvious signs that they're part of a campaign – have invaded the Internet. You may think you've just seen a ball girl at a minor-league baseball game scale a wall to catch a foul. Wrong: She's a stunt woman, and that's a Gatorade ad. Did you recently send your friends that kick-ass security-cam clip of an office worker going berserk? If so, you took part in director Timur Bekmambetov's bizarre stealth advertisement for his film 'Wanted.' Ray-Ban, Levi's, Nike, and other brands have also recently launched similar campaigns." [Via Slate]
From the Monitor's archiveMany new ‘friends’ to be made online, but what about dollars?: "Social network websites are booming. If only they could turn a profit."

Tough stuffStrongest Material Ever Tested
"The one-atom-thick sheets of carbon conduct electrons better than silicon and have been made into fast, low-power transistors. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured the intrinsic strength of graphene, and they've confirmed it to be the strongest material ever tested." [Via Technology Review]

Geek speakHelp us find a better way to pronounce www
" 'Double-u-double-u-double-u' does not trip off the tongue. Yet I seem to say and hear it hundreds of times a day.... 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' author Douglas Adams remarked that 'the World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it's short for.' You might expect a better way to emerge and spread, as new words usually do. But the www has been around for more than 15 years, and we're still waiting." [Via New Scientist]
From the Monitor's archiveMore geek speak hits Merriam-Webster: "Each year, the dictionary company acknowledges about 100 new words that most people have been using for years. Today the lexicographers announced 2008’s list. Webster welcomed several sci/tech terms to the English language this year."

The Anti-wikiGoogle Throws Open Rival for Wikipedia – Anon Authors Discouraged
"Here's how Knol works. Experts in a given subject log into a Google account and use the Knol software to post an item, also known as a knol. In some senses, the process is like producing a blog post – but in this case it's not something written off the cuff but carefully crafted to coherently explain a single subject. One key attribute: Knols are meant to be signed with the author's actual name. With permission, Google will actually verify the writer's identity, either by credit card or phone." [Via Wired]

Apple a Day...My Son, the Blogger: An M.D. Trades Medicine for Apple Rumors
"For eight years, Arnold Kim has been trading gossip, rumor and facts about Apple, the notoriously secretive computer company, on his Web site, MacRumors.com. It had been a hobby – albeit a time-consuming one – while Dr. Kim earned his medical degree. He kept at it as he completed his medical training and began diagnosing patients’ kidney problems. Dr. Kim’s Web site now attracts more than 4.4 million people and 40 million page views a month, according to Quantcast, making it one of the most popular technology Web sites." [Via NYTimes]
From the Monitor's archiveAny fact, anywhere: "This weekend, I broke down and bought an iPhone. Finally upgrading from my 3-1/2-year-old phone turned out to be a bigger shock than I had imagined.... The aspect that really blew me away: mobile Internet access. Plenty of today’s smartphones offer on-the-go web access – I just didn’t realize how big a deal it was."

Tearing down – Video: How to demolish a skyscraper from the bottom up
"In Japan, they do things differently, even when it comes to demolition. For example, the Japanese construction firm Kashima has perfected a technique of demolishing a building floor by floor, starting at the bottom. Yep, that's starting on the ground floor." [Via New Scientist]

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