The digital age’s most mundane act, the Google search, often represents layer upon layer of intrigue. And the intrigue starts in the sprawling, subterranean world of “black hat” optimization, the dark art of raising the profile of a Web site with methods that Google considers tantamount to cheating. Despite the cowboy outlaw connotations, black-hat services are not illegal, but trafficking in them risks the wrath of Google. The company draws a pretty thick line between techniques it considers deceptive and “white hat” approaches, which are offered by hundreds of consulting firms and are legitimate ways to increase a site’s visibility.
Pando is a stand of aspen in Utah that is 14,000 years old and weighs 12 million pounds. Humans threaten to end its long reign.
The monsoon rains were not always so reliable.
The “attention economy” corrupts science.
“Salvator Mundi” sold for a record-breaking $450 million in 2017, but is it really as valuable as people were led to believe?