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In the News 19.06.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 19.06.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 19.06.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 19.06.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Secret Origin Story of the iPhone An Exclusive Excerpt From The One Device

If you worked at Apple in the mid-2000s, you might have noticed a strange phenomenon afoot: people were disappearing.

It happened slowly at first. One day there’d be an empty chair where a star engineer used to sit. A key member of the team, gone. Nobody could tell you exactly where they went.

“I had been hearing rumblings about, well, it was unclear what was being built, but it was clear that a lot of the best engineers from the best teams had been slurped over to this mysterious team,” says Evan Doll, who was then a software engineer at Apple.

Here’s what was happening to those star engineers. First, a couple of managers had shown up in their office unannounced and closed the door behind them. Managers like Henri Lamiraux, a director of software engineering, and Richard Williamson, a director of software.

One such star engineer was Andre Boule. He’d been at the company only a few months.

“Henri and I walked into his office,” Williamson recalls, “and we said, ‘Andre, you don’t really know us, but we’ve heard a lot about you, and we know you’re a brilliant engineer, and we want you to come work with us on a project we can’t tell you about. And we want you to do it now. Today.’ ”

Boule was incredulous, then suspicious. “Andre said, ‘Can I have some time to think about it?’ ” Williamson says. “And we said, ‘No.’ ” They wouldn’t, and couldn’t, give him any more details. Still, by the end of the day, Boule had signed on. “We did that again and again across the company,” Williamson says. Some engineers who liked their jobs just fine said no, and they stayed in Cupertino. Those who said yes, like Boule, went to work on the iPhone.

And their lives would never be the same — at least, not for the next two and a half years. Not only would they be working overtime to hammer together the most influential piece of consumer technology of their generation, but they’d be doing little else. Their personal lives would disappear, and they wouldn’t be able to talk about what they were working on. Steve Jobs “didn’t want anyone to leak it if they left the company,” says Tony Fadell, one of the top Apple executives who helped build the iPhone. “He didn’t want anyone to say anything. He just didn’t want — he was just naturally paranoid.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Verge

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She Was the Town’s Leading Heroin Dealer. She Was 19 Years Old

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Breanne McUlty knew about Dr Rajan Masih long before she met him.

McUlty was still a teenager, hooked on whiskey and methamphetamine and soon to be dealing heroin, when she first heard about the doctor. Masih was a respected, prosperous family man running a hospital emergency room.

But McUlty knew from those of her friends who preferred to get high on painkillers – effectively heroin in a legal pill – that Masih was the go-to doctor for illicit opioid prescriptions in Grant County, West Virginia.

“Everybody knew him as pretty much the top drug dealer around here,” said McUlty “Maybe he got greedy. Everybody makes mistakes just like I did. He’s a decent person now, trying to make up for it.”

But Masih was more than a dealer. The doctor was also hooked on the pills he was feeding to other opioid addicts.

The lives of the privileged physician and the young woman whose upbringing set her on the path to addiction and selling hard drugs while she was still a child eventually crossed after each was freed from years in prison. They shared a parole officer who drug tested them, and approved where they lived and worked. They also shared a belief that incarceration saved them from early deaths.

“Arrest was the best thing that could have happened to me because I could not and I would not stop,” said Masih. “It was a downward spiral and I would have died.”

McUlty was 25 when she finally returned to her home town of Petersburg, the capital of Grant County, two years ago. Masih was 51 when he was released a few months earlier, stripped of his licence to practice medicine and with little idea what his future held in the struggling rural town of about 2,500 people.

Freedom from prison and drugs gave the two former inmates clearer perspectives on the epidemic that has hit their state harder than any other. It has by far the highest overdose death rate in the country at double the national average. Opioids kill more West Virginians than guns and car accidents combined.

The crisis reaches across generations, from former coal miners to students, although doctors increasingly notice a trend among the young to go straight to heroin whereas many older people come at it through prescription opioids.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent & shop.thisisglamorous.com

A Very Political Tragedy

Every time a tragedy occurs, you can rely on a wave of commentators chiding any attempt to “politicize” the situation. With today’s Grenfell Tower fire in West London, those voices were prominent immediately. And no wonder: the atrocity was explicitly political.

In the richest borough of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, people in social housing, many on low incomes, were killed and injured in a fire that could have been prevented or contained. Rather than diverting blame from those responsible, or treating it as an act of nature, our responsibility is to ask why it occurred.

Time and again, residents reported serious concerns about the safety of the building to the management organization, the local council, and the member of parliament (recently unseated in the general election). They were met with silence, and several told me on the scene they were convinced it was because they were poor, living in a rich borough that was determined to socially cleanse the area as part of a gentrifying project.

Today’s fire in Grenfell Tower is not outside of politics — it is a symbol of the United Kingdom’s deep inequality. The block of 120 apartments housed between 400 and 600 people, some in very crowded conditions. Tenants reported problems with elevators, emergency lighting, wiring, and boilers. Even the most minor improvement required constant badgering. People were given the message that they were lucky to have any home at all, let alone in a borough that harbored such wealth.

Read the rest of this article at: Jacobin

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Artist of the Month: Sleaford Mods

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Sleaford Mods, a pop duo made up of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn, are either great or terrible, or possibly both, depending on where one stands on (The) beats, musicianship, and England’s perpetual, haughty, and entirely hopeless dreaming. Sleaford Mods are complicated like Brutalist architecture. Oppressively catchy like all great pop music. They are the monkey’s paw logical conclusion of Consolidated’s The Myth of Rock and, according to their worst fans, England’s greatest rock band. What makes them great is entirely through their own force of will (don’t worry they’re not Objectivists, just pissy). They decided to exist in a world that didn’t know needed them. They have songs as catchy as they are abrasive. They both have cheekbones appropriate for their vocation. What makes them, in context, occasionally terrible, is entirely not their fault: People want them to be the Sex Pistols. They are not The Sex Pistols. They are, like the song said about Sid, innocent.

I want to get my qualms out of the way early because I am a fan of the Nottingham (though the band claims no town’s scene really) beatbox and rant twosome. I’ll say what grates about them, with no blame cast upon them, and then we can get to the sweet quotes and adulation. If you’re like the fans interviewed in the recent documentary about the band, Bunch of Kunst, and you love them unfailingly and see them as the lone spokesmen of Working Class England, then you can safely skip ahead a few paragraphs. I’d begrudge you nothing. When the clampdown is everywhere, No Gods No Masters is a hard enough thing to put into day to day practice.

Read the rest of this article at: Self - titled

Inside the Gentrification of Grand Central Market

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In the catacombs of Grand Central Market, beyond the chain-link fence at the loading dock, past the plastic slats of the employee gate, down the steps toward the toilets, at the end of a subterranean gangway thick with pipes and wires and grime, where wood pallets splay like discarded mattresses and padlocked walk-ins hum with refrigerated air, I loop my head through a denim apron and wriggle my fingers into latex gloves.

To descend this way in the morning darkness, when the market is cool and hushed, the stalls unsecured, the neon signs dimmed, is to feel Grand Central’s age. Ninety-nine years of immigrants, Germans and Italians in the beginning, then Japanese and Armenians, later Mexicans and Koreans, have planted their dreams in this basement. Generation after generation they have chilled and thawed down here, washed and chopped, spilled and stained, feeding their adopted city until time—slow and sentimental for decades at a stretch, swift and restless of late—brings their term to an end.

Upstairs some of the old guard—what Grand Central calls its “legacy” tenants—begin to trickle in, their rituals still defined by the countries they left. In the style of his native Michoacán, Tomas Martinez melts the lard that will turn hundreds of pounds of boneless pork butt into carnitas at Tacos Tumbras. Hong Kong-born Rinco Cheung simmers the broth for the heaping bowls of wonton soup that, combined with $4 beers served two at a time, keep the crowds elbow-to-elbow at China Cafe. The sunrise shift at Ana Maria’s supplies the soundtrack, a steady diet of hip-swaying cumbias. By 6:30 a.m. the security and maintenance crews have gathered at Jose Chiquito for coffee, dispensed from a cafeteria-style spigot.

They are a dwindling tribe, though, survivors of a makeover so thorough that what just a few years ago was a struggling discount bazaar now ranks among the most celebrated eating destinations in Los Angeles. Since 2013, the market has recruited 23 new vendors to the open-air concourse between Hill and Broadway—60 percent of the 38 stalls—from food truck sensation Eggslut to barista champ G&B Coffee to the purveyor of old-school Jewish soul food that has agreed to take me in as an apprentice, Wexler’s Deli. In my Protective Industrial Products apron and powder-free Diamond Gloves, I will immerse myself in Wexler’s tradecraft, alternating between the gloom of the cellar, where I try my hand at the lost arts of lox and pastrami, and the glare of the kitchen, where I field orders in Spanglish (“Un Reuben, señor… Dos bagels, everything…queso on the side…”) while NSFW hip-hop commands me to shake…shake… shake that ass….

My backstage access gives me a front-row view of Grand Central’s complicated renaissance, the market a private, for-profit business that Angelenos have come to regard as a public trust. Few civic spaces here are imbued with as much nostalgia and symbolism: perhaps Dodger Stadium, maybe Griffith Park or the Hollywood Bowl. Grand Central has been called the people’s market, L.A.’s crossroads, downtown’s living room, our belly button. For much of its history those labels have stood for the rhythms and textures of an immigrant city—the market as our origin story.

Now when the chain-and-pulley doors are hoisted open, Grand Central offers a window into a different, unlikelier chapter of the city’s evolution: the downtown throngs richer, hipper, and hungrier for things locally sourced and sustainably farmed. The market is not a sterile facsimile; it has not been airbrushed like San Francisco’s Ferry Building or mallified like Boston’s Faneuil Hall. But its rediscovery speaks to the collision of commerce and community throughout central L.A.—cultural tug-of-wars that have jostled neighborhoods from Silver Lake to Highland Park to Boyle Heights—which is why Grand Central’s transformation continues to be both cheered and scrutinized, mimicked and lamented, and in a courthouse just blocks away, litigated.

Read the rest of this article at: Los Angeles Magazine

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @genialegenia; @katie.one; @ranli_

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