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The End of the Internet Business Model As We Know It? Maybe

No one has ever asked me to write about technology, but I am a fan of computers and software, and I want to shout out about a gizmo I learned of in yesterday's NY Times. Robert Pogue, the Times' excellent technology writer, prepared his list of the top 10 new products of the year; most of them are cameras of some sort, but his top pick, and the one I will get the most from, is Readability.

Readability is an add-on, plug-in, whatever to your Internet browser, that lets you strip away all the ads, banners, dancing babies and whatever from a web page, to let you read the thing in a more quiet setting, in a format like a page in a hardback novel. Arc90, a software firm in New York, designed it. They call it a bookmarklet.

Here's a page from Huffington Post, in its original form, something important about why we shouldn't overpay our ceos:

Here it is with the Readability treatment:

The ads are gone, or rather, hidden. And you can see the article! If you want to switch back to the Las Vegas Strip view, refresh the page.

Speaking as a geezer who needs to focus, I think it's fabulous. But having worked in a couple of dot-coms that never got off the ground, I also realize that Readability works at cross purposes to a site's earning ad revenues. So use Readability, but before you go, click on the ads, and click often.

Happy New Year!

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