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In the News 01.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 01.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 01.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 01.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Coders of the World, Unite: Can Silicon Valley Workers Curb The Power of Big Tech?

Big Tech is broken. Suddenly, a wide range of journalists and politicians agree on this. For decades, most of the media and political establishment accepted Silicon Valley’s promise that it would not “be evil,” as the first Google code of corporate conduct put it. But the past few months have brought a constant stream of negative stories about both the internal culture of the tech industry and the effect it is having on society.

It is difficult to know where to begin. How about the rampant sexual harassment at companies such as Uber, which fired 20 employees in June after receiving hundreds of sexual harassment claims? Or the growing body of evidence that women and people of colour are not only dramatically underrepresented at tech firms, but also systematically underpaid, as three Google employees alleged in a lawsuit last month? Should we focus on the fact that Facebook allowed advertisers to target users who listed “Jew hater” as one of their interests? Or that they and Google have helped clients to spread fake news?

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

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Greta Gerwig Is a Director, Not a Muse

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Dave Matthews Band is generally not considered cool anymore. Almost certainly, it never was in the downtown New York world of which the actress and writer Greta Gerwig has become a cool-girl-real-girl avatar in recent years. But in a time and place (America’s vast, yearning middle-class suburbs, in the cultural desert of the Clinton and early Bush years) and to a certain kind of person (such as a teenager aching for the jazz-adjacent cred that jam-band fandom could provide but more comfortable with white ball caps and lacrosse than ponchos and hallucinogens), Dave Matthews Band was Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village in 1966. And so there is a crucial moment in Lady Bird, Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, in which the title character, a Sacramento high-school senior in 2003, confronts the cruelest heartbreak imaginable to her by blasting the band’s ballad “Crash Into Me”: “Sweet like candy to my soul / Sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” The result is both sympathetic, and very funny.

“There was no other song it ever was going to be,” Gerwig said. “In preproduction, I realized I didn’t know what I was going to do if Dave said no [to its use]. I wrote him a letter. ‘Dear Mr. Dave Matthews … ’ ”

Gerwig was sitting at a small corner table near the window at Morandi in the West Village, not far from where she lives with the filmmaker Noah Baumbach. “I thought it was a really romantic song when I was a teenager. I would listen to it on repeat on a yellow CD player,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine a world in which a guy would feel that way about me.”

Maybe it was because of her sexy dirndl skirt of a name, maybe because of her squinting physical resemblance to indie Gen-X avatar Chloë Sevigny, maybe simply because of her distinctive delivery. But since the very beginning of Gerwig’s career, she has been a generational lightning rod of sorts. As what the New York Observer once called “the Meryl Streep of mumblecore” — the hyperlow-budget late-aughts movie movement led by directors like Joe Swanberg and the Duplass brothers — Gerwig was near-instantly labeled an “It” girl and invested with all sorts of theories about what her success and acting style meant. Her brand of hipness was confusing — was she really that earnest? Were they all that earnest? How could that possibly be cool? Critics, especially those of an older generation, were suspicious.

Read the rest of this article at: Vulture

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The Business of Apartment Stores

As one of David Lynch’s regular players, MacLachlan has learned not to parse the material for meaning—just as he’s learned not to demand too much explanation from his director. This, he admits, he learned the hard way. “On Dune, I was rabid. I drove David to madness,” he says. “And finally he closed the door on me.” He offers no detailed analysis of what has transpired over the show’s 16 episodes so far, and I get the sense that my intuition—to focus less on the meaning and more on the form—is the best way to experience it.

Instead, he accepts that there’s a purpose to everything he’s done, simply because Lynch has created it. He offers an explanation for the director’s working relationship with Mark Frost, who is certainly more grounded in his craft. “Mark is the kind of writer who says there needs to be reason and process,” he explains. Lynch, on the other hand, pays closer attention to theme and ideas—particularly where evil comes from, how it corrupts innocent men and women as it spreads like a virus, and where to put it in order to keep it contained. “I don’t think David feels compelled to resolve everything by any means, maybe because of the idea that it’s ongoing and we’ll pick it back up if we have to,” he says, pointing to the differences in the way Lynch and Frost attack the material. “Maybe that’s why they get together once every 25 years,” he laughs.

Read the rest of this article at: BOF

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How Airbnb Is Pushing Locals Out Of New Orleans’ Coolest Neighborhoods

NEW ORLEANS ― Invariably, someone brings up the anatomically-shaped balloons.

About a year ago, a bachelorette party from Texas rented a house through Airbnb on Ursulines Avenue in Treme, a residential neighborhood close to the bars and restaurants of the French Quarter.

The women tied inflatables shaped like penises to the front of the house, perhaps not realizing that the neighbors ― families and other longtime residents ― might mind.

“My oldest son woke up and there was an inflatable dildo taped to the house next door and I was like, ‘We’re out of here,’” said Christian Rhodes, a 36-year-old lawyer whose clients include the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association and Uber.

He sold his house last year. “I’m not explaining to a 6-year-old what an inflatable dildo is.”

The balloon incident was when Janice Coatney realized her neighborhood had changed. She works at a nearby medical center and lives across the street from the house in question with her husband and teenage son.

“Before Airbnb, you had neighbors you could depend on. They looked out for you. If you went out of town, they’d get your mail, your paper,” Coatney said, standing on her front stoop on a typically stifling day in August, an anti-Airbnb signed taped to her window. “You just had more of a neighborly neighborhood.”

As if on cue, an Uber pulled up to a house across the street. A middle-aged passenger stepped from the vehicle and rolled his suitcase up to the front door, punched a code into a keypad and disappeared inside ― another temporary resident arriving at a short-term rental.

Read the rest of this article at: The Huffington Post

‘I Forgot My PIN’: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin

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The Trezor: January 4, 2016: 7.4 BTC = $3,000

In January 2016, I spent $3,000 to buy 7.4 bitcoins. At the time, it seemed an entirely worthwhile thing to do. I had recently started working as a research director at the Institute for the Future’s Blockchain Futures Lab, and I wanted firsthand experience with bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that uses a blockchain to record transactions on its network. I had no way of knowing that this transaction would lead to a white-knuckle scramble to avoid losing a small fortune.

My experiments with bitcoin were fascinating. It was surprisingly easy to buy stuff with the cryptocurrency. I used the airBitz app to buy Starbucks credit. I used Purse.io to buy a wireless security camera doorbell from Amazon. I used bitcoin at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles to buy graphic novels.

By November, bitcoin’s value had nearly doubled since January and was continuing to increase almost daily. My cryptocurrency stash was starting to turn into some real money. I’d been keeping my bitcoin keys on a web-based wallet, but I wanted to move them to a more secure place. Many online bitcoin services retain their customers’ private bitcoin keys, which means the accounts are vulnerable to hackers and fraudsters (remember the time Mt. Gox lost 850,000 bitcoins from its customers’ accounts in 2014?) or governments (like the time BTC-e, a Russian bitcoin exchange, had its domain seized by US District Court for New Jersey in August, freezing the assets of its users).

I interviewed a handful of bitcoin experts, and they all told me that that safest way to protect your cache was to use something called a “hardware wallet.” This little device is basically a glorified USB memory stick that stores your private bitcoin keys and allows you to authorize transactions without exposing those keys to the internet, where they could be seized by bad actors. I settled on a hardware wallet called the Trezor (the Czech word for “safe”), described by the manufacturer as “bulletproof.” I bought one on November 22 for $100 on Amazon (again, via Purse.io).

When the Trezor arrived, I plugged it into my computer and went to the Trezor website to set it up. The gadget’s little monochrome screen (the size of my two thumbnails, side by side) came to life, displaying a padlock icon. The website instructed me to write down 24 words, randomly generated by the Trezor one word at a time. The words were like “aware,” “move,” “fashion,” and “bitter.” I wrote them on a piece of orange paper. Next, I was prompted to create a PIN. I wrote it down (choosing a couple of short number combinations I was familiar with and could easily recall) on the same piece of paper as the 24-word list.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

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

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