raph voted 1 on this story.
The barcodes are almost definitely a gimmick. Hyperlinks are useful when you're browsing online. A regular URL is good enough "for further reading." That's one reason it's important to make short, readable url's, as well as easy navigation and searching for finding something off the toplevel site.
What's far more interesting is whether the distributed, collaborative Internet model of doing things can serve as a replacement for traditional newsgathering. Almost every single newspaper article on technology is either flat out wrong, or just plain uninformative. I can't imagine that they do a much better job in other areas. The greatest transforming power of the Internet is that it can hook up people who know what they're doing to people who need to find out.
Free software is simply the most visible form of this type of collaboration, but the Internet isn't limited to that, nor is collaboration limited to the Internet (think of the traditional model of science, or of the process for compiling the Oxford English Dictionary).
Of course, by "Internet" I'm talking about the old skool stuff, not the spate of quick-buck dot-com's.