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Friday Five: Mosaic browser, Zach Braff kickstarter and Facebook’s mobile rebirth

Elliot Bentley

As ever, we’ve collected five of our favourite off-topic links around the web for your browsing pleasure.

As ever, we’ve collected five of our favourite off-topic links around the web for your browsing pleasure. On a quick personal note – I’ll be scaling down my involvement with JAXenter from next week onwards, as I move over to another S&S Media publication, Web & PHP Magazine, with Chris continuing to helm the good ship JAXenter. Thanks for reading, everyone!

1. Mosaic turns 20

With browsers now central to the way we interact with the internet, it’s difficult to imagine a time without them. Yet it was just two decades ago that the world’s first (popular) web browser, Mosaic, was shared with the world – a piece of software that would go on to directly influence Netscape, Internet Explorer and (later) Firefox – not to mention practically every other browser since created.

To commemorate its 20th birthday, Register writer Tim Anderson loaded up the browser once again to see if it could handle today’s web. As you might expect, the web has moved on somewhat since 1993: Anderson notes that is “somewhat intelligible, though the search box does not appear” and “came up with a 403 Forbidden error”.

2. The inevitable robot apocalypse comes one step closer

Singularity Hub is a news site diligently tracking the steps towards The Matrix becoming a reality, and a recent story is surely the most chilling yet. Beijing restaurant owner Cui Runguan has employed a robot workforce to peel noodle strips from dough and toss them into boiling water, and says they’re doing “a good job”.

Not only are the robots more efficient cooks than any human chef, they’re cheaper, too: at 10,000 yuan ($1,600), they each cost just a quarter of a human annual salary of 40,000 yuan ($6,400) per year.

While the noodle robots may be somewhat of a novelty, apparently gadget manufacturers Foxconn are to replace a million employees with automated robots. (I for one am dreading the day they invent a robot that can write articles faster than I can.)

3. Yes, it’s another Kickstarter…

Zach Braff, star of Scrubs and cult indie flick Garden State is producing a new film. But instead of going down the regular route of financing the film and risk conceding creative control, he’s chosen to get on board the Kickstarter train.

Wish I Was Here

“I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea whether raising money on here is going to work,” says Braff in the video – but two days in, his gamble appears to have paid off, as the project has almost raised 90% of its $2m goal.

4. Facebook’s mobile rebirth

Got time for a long read? Jessi Hempel of Fortune Magazine has written a feature on Facebook’s internal struggle to adapt to a mobile world:

To address [Mark Zuckerberg’s] mobile problem, the wunderkind who had tasted enormous success so early in his career had to come to terms with failure, and he had to make sweeping structural and cultural changes at the young company — moves that often went against his instincts. Instead of going faster (virtually a religion at Facebook), mobile developers had to take a pause on new releases. Instead of doubling down on the mobile web, they had to embrace apps. And instead of trying to reach the broadest possible audience with a killer product, Facebook ultimately would have to pick one operating system to show off what it could really do in mobile. “I can’t overstate how much we had to retool the whole company’s development processes,” he says.

5. Man’s best friend

And finally… via @semadivad, here’s a GIF that successfully encapsulates the twin meme pillars of “CUTE” and “FAIL”. Enjoy.

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