Friday News: Pew’s Web IQ quiz and report, Barnes & Noble divorces Microsoft, Slate’s best books, and William Gibson reads Neuromancer
American internet users’ knowledge of the modern technology landscape varies widely across a range of topics, according to a new knowledge quiz conducted by the Pew Research Center as part of its ongoing series commemorating the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. To take the quiz for yourself before reading the full report, click here.
The survey—which was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,066 internet users—includes 17 questions on a range of issues related to technology, including: the meaning and usage of common online terms; recognition of famous tech figures; the history of some major technological advances; and the underlying structure of the internet and other technologies. –Pew Internet
“Today’s announcement on the restructuring of the Nook Media agreements will enable the company to further rationalize the Nook business and provide a clearer path for the potential separation of our retail and Nook Media businesses,” Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby said in a statement Thursday.
In an SEC filing also released Thursday morning, Barnes & Noble said that it will pay $62.4 million in cash and 2.7 million shares of its stock in order to buy out Microsoft’s stake in Nook. –Forbes
With 1984’s Neuromancer, William Gibson may not have invented cyberpunk, but he certainly crystallized it. The novel exemplifies the tradition’s mandate to bring together “high tech and low life,” or, in the words of Gibson himself, to explore what “any given science-fiction favorite would look like if we could crank up the resolution.” It may have its direct predecessors, but Gibson’s tale of hackers, street samurai, conspiracists, and shadowy artificial intelligences against virtual reality, dystopian urban Japan, and a variety of other international and technological backdrops remains not just archetypal but, unusually for older technology-oriented fiction, exciting. Now you can not only read Gibson’s cyberpunk-defining words, but hear them in Gibson’s voice: a 1994 abridged edition, released only on cassette tapes and now long out of print, resides in MP3 form online here . –Open Culture