Claim: Is Snopes.com really being held hostage by their ad vendor?
Verdict: true…ish — depending on who you consider the owner of Snopes.
According to Snopes creator David Mikkelson, their ad vendor Proper Media has gone rogue and won’t relinquish the site’s hosting, preventing him from — among other things — getting any ad revenue off the site.
But, according to Proper Media (who’s suing Mikkelson) it’s he who’s being petty, engaging in “unlawful jockeying for ownership and control” of the site.
And if this sounds like a messy custody battle between exes…
That’s because it is
See, David Mikkelson didn’t found Snopes.com alone — he did it with his then-wife Barbara.
The couple each held a 50% stake in their media company, Bardav Inc. (after their two names — s’cute!) — that is, until they divorced in 2016, and Barabara sold her 50% equity to Proper Media for $3.6m.
Since then, it’s been all out war for ownership, with Mikkelson claiming Proper is “essentially hold[ing] the Snopes.com web site hostage” and Proper claiming Mikkelson “was unhappy that Barbara maintained ownership of half of what he always considered to be his company.”
An ex-wife burn? Oh yea — they went there.
But the internet’s got Mikkelson’s back
A bastion of internet sanity since 1994, David has been able to successfully tap into the Snopes fanbase to help fund his legal defense, as his assets and main revenue stream are tied up in said case.
At the time this article was written, the GoFundMe page had raised $294K of its $500k goal in just over 11 hours.
And whether or not you choose a side (or fund) you can at least enjoy what is shaping up to be some Mayweather-vs-McGregor-level trash talk.
Health info portal and worst case scenario provider WebMD has just sold itself to private equity group KKR for $2.8B, raising their share price to the highest it’s ever been.
Turns out, all those late-night searches for “is my itchy skin dengue fever???” generated over 16B page views for WebMD last year (roughly 70m monthly visitors), making it one of the most popular consumer health sites.
So why are they selling?
Founded in 1996, WebMD sits at the convergence of two of the hottest global markets: ecommerce and health and wellness.
The position suits them well, and last year they did $705m in revenue, overwhelmingly due to advertisements from big pharma, biotech, and medical device companies.
But after a pharma slowdown in February of this year caused their top line to flatline, WebMD began exploring the possibility of a buyout.
The pills can’t pay the bills
The US is one of the few countries that allows “direct-to-consumer” pharmaceutical advertising, but companies are constantly at odds with the FDA as to what they can say to consumers, and where they’re allowed to say it.
For instance, while TV and print regulations for pharmaceutical ads are well-established, internet advertising is still a bit of grey area, and this uncertainty has made drug companies hesitant to throw down big bucks on digital ads, for fear of future government intervention.
Luckily for WebMD, KKR seems more than willing to take that bet and pony up the cash.
We are gathered here today to say goodbye to one of Microsoft’s oldest and most beloved family members: MS Paint.
As of the next Windows 10 update, Paint will no longer be in active development, and “may be removed in future releases.” While the Microsoft family will be taking Paint off support, it hopes to keep it comfortable in its last days.
The people’s champion
Born in 1985, Paint was a go-to for stick figure doodles, drawing top hats and mustaches on our friends’ photos, or just killing time in the school computer lab.
It wasn’t a perfect app — some might even say it was downright difficult to use. But that was part of the charm.
Sure, a computer mouse wasn’t an ideal instrument for creating complex landscapes or nuanced portraits, but if you wanted to draw a 5-line house with a sun in the corner, Paint was always there.
You didn’t even have to be good at Paint — in fact, it was almost impossible to be good at it. And that’s what made it great.
The app’s legacy will be carried on by Paint 3D, which allows users to create 3D-renderings. Paint leaves behind a devout Reddit following on r/mspaint, and is survived by its close relatives: Notepad, Minesweeper, and Desktop Solitaire.
A bloodthirsty squirrel is terrorizing a Brooklyn Park (VICE)
In what must surely be the plot to a B-level horror movie, a rogue squirrel in Prospect Park has been biting everyone from joggers to a 7-year-old girl in a (possibly rabid, possibly confused) quest for flesh.
Budapest defends hacker teen with 40k 1-star reviews (Marai Blog)
What’s an angry townsperson to do when Hungarian police arrest an 18-year-old for reporting an obvious bug in their newly released mobile ticketing system? Break out the modern day pitchforks: horrific facebook reviews.
There is a $1.7 trillion black market for fake designer chairs (Quartz)
And you probably own a few — especially if you have the ever-popular Eames molded plastic chair.
The rare book thief who looted libraries in the ‘80s (Atlas Obscura)
Touted by detectives as “the smartest crook” they ever encountered, James Richard Shin made off with $100k worth of books by posing as a “sloppy professor” at college libraries across the country.