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Creating a Better Online Experience for Billions is Just a Fix Away

Code that makes network applications compliant with universal-acceptance standards is an easy way to build a more inclusive Internet

3 min read
Photo of ICANN conference stage.
Photo: Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images

Because much of the earliest work in computing and networking occurred in the United States and Europe, the Latin alphabet and its conventions—such as a left-to-right ordering of characters—got baked into software and hardware. But after spending years as the general manager of a domain registry for the Asia Pacific region, Don Hollander became convinced that Internet applications should support as many languages and writing systems as possible.

Which is why Hollander is now the secretary general of the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), a group that champions the idea that all valid top-level domains (TLDs), such as .com, .tech, or .信息, should function in any Web or email application. In the process, not only would the Web become more globally accessible, but companies would also be able to make sales or capture customer information that they currently lose, with the UASG estimating that the economic benefits could be US $9.8 billion per annum.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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