Let Them Browse Cake

It will come via massive drones, artificial intelligence–enhanced software, and maybe even lasers. One way or another, Mark Zuckerberg wants to make Internet access available to all. And, despite the critics’ contention that it’s all about growing marketshare, Zuck continues to argue there’s really no obvious business case for his obsession: “There’s no way we can draw a plan about why we’re going to invest billions of dollars in getting mostly poor people online. But at some level, we believe this is what we’re here to do, and we think it’s going to be good, and if we do it, some of that value will come back to us.” I’ve been investing in start-ups, covering the tech industry, and basically living online since the earliest days of the web. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: Don’t underestimate Mark Zuckerberg. Wired’s excellent Jessi Hempel takes you inside Facebook’s ambitious plan to connect the whole world.

+ Here’s one reason why more people online is good for the big tech companies: They run this town. The Internet promised a creative and economic free-for-all where a few kids with laptops could disrupt entire markets. And to some extent, that happened. But these days, the new boss looks a lot like the old boss, and most of the oxygen in the Internet space is being sucked up by a few oversized juggernauts. The NYT’s Farhad Manjoo calls them the Frightful Five, and they’ll dominate tech for the foreseeable future.

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