Remarkable stories from the web in a new, easier format.

ince McDonald’s (MCD) launched the Dollar Menu nationally in 2002, it has grown to about 13 percent of sales–a whole lot of McDoubles and Sausage Biscuits. But the menu is no longer working for the burger chain, so it’s rebranding it as the “Dollar Menu & More” with $1 and $2 sandwiches and even some items at $5.

McDonald’s New ‘Dollar Menu’ Goes Up to $5 – Businessweek

Gardner agrees that today’s Web is hostile to self-organized collective efforts, likening it to a city that has lost its public parks.

The Decline of Wikipedia: Even As More People Than Ever Rely on It, Fewer People Create It | MIT Technology Review

There was no “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you” moment. But a pioneering space-based optical communications test has proven a big success. And that means optical systems stand a higher chance of not only dominating future space data transmissions (with radio systems serving as a backup) but of enabling new satellite networks that would boost the capacity of the terrestrial Internet.

A Successful Moon Shot for Laser Communications | MIT Technology Review

A funny thing happened on our way to record highs this week — the market ushered in new leadership. While names like Tesla (TSLA), Netflix (NFLX), and Facebook (FB) are still way out ahead on the leaderboard this year, the monthly winners are suddenly all defensives.

Bye Bye Cyclicals! Defensives Are the New Market Leaders | Breakout – Yahoo Finance

While the huge write-off in bad debt by China’s top five banks in the first-half is being regarded as a red flag for the world’s second-largest economy, some experts say it should be seen in a positive light.

Why the huge write-off by China banks is positive

Billionaire Carl Icahn asked Apple to commence an immediate tender offer to the tune of $150 billion in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday morning, a source told CNBC.

Icahn asks Apple to commence immediate buyback offer: Source

The chart shows the impact of government spending cuts on economic growth over the past few years. As you can see, these cuts have created a severe drag that has slowed down the growth of the economy.

Government Spending Cuts – Business Insider

“Fundamentally India is not in a bad place but it’s surrounded by the worst kind of risks emerging at the same time,” said Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

Economists Expect India To Grow 4.7% – Business Insider

I’m with the prime minister, for the bombing,” former Israeli defense-intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told me on a recent evening on the porch of his home in the small town of Carmay Yosef. It was a bold statement coming from a man who in 2010 reportedly helped persuade Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak not to strike Iran.

Amos Yadlin on Iran Strike: Why Israel Needs to Act Soon | New Republic

The mocked “obesity excuse” of being born with a slow metabolism is actually true for some people, say researchers.

BBC News – Slow metabolism ‘obesity excuse’ true

When scientists collected data on the coffee drinking habits of 130,000 men and women and then followed them for over 20 years they found that coffee is rather a good thing

BBC News – Coffee v smoothies: Which is better for you?

Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis and home to more than 35 million people, so on the face of it, it is hard to believe there is any kind of population problem at all.

BBC News – The Japanese men who prefer virtual girlfriends to sex

But the origins of the euro disaster lay less with government profligacy than with excessive private borrowing.

The euro zone: Europe’s other debt crisis | The Economist

Months after the Finnish government was made to open up its Greek bailout ‘collateral’ deal to public scrutiny, one of the weirder episodes of official secrecy in the eurozone crisis …

A Finnish collateral coda | FT Alphaville

If Citigroup is right, the slight rebound in Europe over the summer will not be enough to stop Club Med going from bad to worse, with a string of soft defaults/restructurings.

Citi forecasts Greek devastation, unstoppable debt spirals in Italy and Portugal – Telegraph Blogs

Cramer says some stocks tied to global growth should not be sold, despite the rotation in the market. This is one of them. It’s International Paper (IP).

Don’t dump this cyclical stock: Cramer – Yahoo Finance

A rise in Japan’s key inflationary gauge Friday raised hopes that the world’s third-largest economy was on course to expel its inflationary demons, but analysts told CNBC there was still much work to be done.

Is Japan finally defeating its deflation demons?

So here is an attempt to sketch out some of the non-trivial downsides to QE, along with a discussion of countervailing arguments that explain why the downsides haven’t convinced me that QE should stop or be slowed.

The downsides of quantitative easing, Cardiff Garcia smackdown watch | FT Alphaville

However, he says a frightening new “shadow consensus” is emerging that economic acceleration will never come.

Shadow Consensus On The Economy Emerges – Business Insider

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul is threatening to put a hold on the nomination of Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve chair, CNBC is reporting, based on a source close to the lawmaker.

Rand Paul’s Threat to Block Yellen Nomination Kicks Us All in the Gut: David Kotok | Daily Ticker – Yahoo Finance

Market consensus quickly adapted to the reality that Federal Reserve easing will go full-throttle until at least March. But even that thinking may be too aggressive. After all, when the U.S. central bank began the third round of its bond-buying program known as quantitative easing , it made it clear that it was an “open-ended” endeavor.

QE Infinity? No end in sight for money printing – Yahoo Finance

We’re discovering something in these quarterly reports that are coming out now for the big industrials. We are discovering the importance of Europe coming back on line because Europe has, to a large degree, been a total black hole for pretty much every major company. Europe has, in fact, been a savior this quarter for many companies, a talking point that allows the focus to be lifted from the stalling in the United States because of the paralysis stemming from Washington.

Jim Cramer: Europe Is Just Starting to Turn – TheStreet