Linkin Park bets on hybrid theory that they can be tech start-up investors, too

The enormously successful rock band has teamed up with Harvard Business School for Machine Shop Ventures, their newly formed investment firm

Aging rockers used to buy pubs in rural England or get interested in organic farming. Not Linkin Park. The band behind Hybrid Theory, 27m copies sold since its release in 2000, have their eyes on a tech-filled future.

Machine Shop Ventures, their newly formed investment firm, has begun acquiring stakes in companies like ride-sharing service Lyft, Blue Bottle Coffee and the hot shipping startup Shyp.

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Is this really the beginning of the end for web ads?

Users complain about load times and third-party scripts, but if ad-blocking continues to rise, what happens to the web’s business model?

As you’ve probably heard, the “infidelity” website Ashley Madison (motto: “Life is short. Have an affair”) has been hacked and the personal details of its 33 million users have been dumped on the internet, with predictable results. Reckoning that it’s the kind of story that is made for tabloid news outlets, I logged on to Mail Online, and sure enough, they did it proud.

Mail Online is one of the world’s most popular news websites and it’s free: no paywall. But my browser has a plug-in program called Ghostery, which will scan any web page you visit and tell you how many “third-party trackers” it has found on it. These are small pieces of code that advertisers and ad-brokers place on pages or in cookies in order to monitor what you’re doing on the web and where you’ve been before hitting the current page.

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