The New Yorker

A Few Lessons From YouTube School

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The ongoing transformation of YouTube is a feature story in the current issue of The New Yorker — a reflection of the fact that Google has developed more plans for it than just hosting user videos in perpetuity. Getting people to watch its content with the same dedication still granted to cable TV is the next natural step.

A growing consensus is that all the platform needs to show itself worthy of many billions more in annual advertising dollars is the first must-see smash hit series. Where exactly the breakthrough is going to come from remains a bit of a mystery.

While the company has developed partnerships with amateur content producers, the bigger news has been a $100 million investment in the rollout of professional channels, designed to hook in viewers for more than an occasional distraction. Whether that means an increased potential of exposure for independent productions, or if the most oddball ideas will have to work harder to draw eyeballs, also remains to be seen.

Bitcoin Validated by Quest to Track Down the Crypto-Currency Creator

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Bitcoin was in the spotlight of the October 10 issue of The New Yorker, as "The Crypto-Currency" was featured amongst other stories about money, even if it was the only article to consider digital alternatives to the system.

Some peripheral attention has been paid to Bitcoin in the context of Occupy Wall Street. The movement has accepted donations in BTC — which has given its proponents hope that the concept will now be seen as more than a short-lived summertime novelty.

And while it's a long way from the current fringe status of Bitcoin to any sort of mainstream acceptance, the issues surrounding its development and distribution might be more pertinent than ever, at least among those spurred by the sit-in to wonder how the financial system can ever be adequately disrupted. Can the end of cash help popularize a decentralized system that isn't based on borders?

For now, Bitcoins are still the stuff of outsider art, as writer Joshua Davis explored how far he could get with the crypto-currency in America.