News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Doggo. Pupper. I did a thing. So that just happened. Adulting! But first, coffee. THIS! Pizza and taco emoji in a Tinder profile. Skinny jeans. Side partsHarry Potter houses. Earnest girlbossingSuperWhoLock. BuzzFeed accents and Tumblr brain — these are the kind of styles, vocabulary, and behaviors that allegedly make millennials egregiously identifiable on the internet.

To blend in, the especially online among us seem to believe, we should abandon these cheugy millennial ways and embrace Gen-Z culture. Use words like cap or start sentences with “Not you” to call out the unbelievable. Organize the visual world into “cores” you can search for on Depop, and part your hair in the middle when you share a zoomed-out outfit selfie on BeReal.

For the past five years, millennials have been in a panic over the rise of Gen Z. The particularly anxious even write diss tracks. This panic has been variously parodied by Gen Z — often literal children — becoming a genre of TikTok video and earnest discourse all its own. Some millennial trends, once markers of youth and trendiness, are no longer cool. Instead of aging gracefully and accepting the loss of access to the very cool that once made them the center of attention, some millennials resort to Gen-Z cosplay. All it takes is a buzzy think piece about the differences between the generations to send millennials into yet another existential tizzy.

In an essay this month for The Atlantic, Kate Lindsay (a former colleague of mine) revived the discourse by elaborating on her July 26 newsletter about “the millennial pause.” That refers to the hesitant pause at the start of a video when the speaker confirms they’re recording, according to the term’s originator, @nisipisa. The Atlantic’s headline asks, “Are You Sure You’re Not Guilty of the ‘Millennial Pause’?” (The upshot, again, is that exhibiting millennial behavior is embarrassing.) The piece goes on to describe an internet history in which millennials were the first to plant a flag in the fertile grounds of social media. It claims that the social internet as we know it was created by millennials. And now it’s all fading away. Millennials are becoming “the first cohort to watch their youth fade in real time, with evidence of their growing irrelevance meticulously documented in memes, trends, and headlines published on the very internet they once reigned over.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Cut

News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Most drivers who head up to Alta Ski Area from Salt Lake City pay no mind to the nondescript turnoff from Utah State Route 210 that veers out to the left about five miles before the slopes. Some motorists may catch a glimpse of the black gate and the “No Trespassing” signs or see a plain white cargo van peeling off the main road and feel a twinge of curiosity. What passing motorists wouldn’t see, at the end of a winding lane, is a bunker-like concrete structure about the size of a two-story house, surrounded by a system of motion sensors and hidden cameras. Behind the structure’s loading door, a tunnel stretches some 200 feet into the solid granite mountain, leading to a series of vaults that constitute one of the most secure private storage facilities in the world.

Designed to protect against floods, earthquakes, fires, and even a nearby nuclear blast, Perpetual Storage opened in 1968 to house some of the most precious objects in America. But by the late 1970s, physical assets were already slightly passé. While Perpetual was happy to secure rare artifacts, what kept paying the salaries of its armed guards was the business of storing corporate microfilm and computer records. Patrick Lynch, Perpetual’s co-owner, told The Washington Post in 1979 that the master file for one customer was worth $15 million (equivalent to $60 million today).

So when George MacArthur Posey III approached Perpetual in 1978, he wasn’t interested in the vault’s fine art or bullion. He was after information. Posey was looking for certain records belonging to General Electric, and he wasn’t furtive about his intentions. At the time, GE was developing an advanced turbofan engine that would power the US Air Force’s brand-new F-16 fighter plane. As if he were talking to a librarian, Posey asked Lynch for access to the Perpetual vault in order to photograph GE’s records. As Lynch recalled the interaction, Posey explained that he had photographed records concerning the F-16 in the past and had “sold those records to other countries.”

Perpetual’s clients spell out very clearly “who can do what with their records,” Lynch told WIRED in a recent phone interview. And GE’s authorization forms made no mention of Posey. After turning Posey down flatly, Lynch reported the interloper to the FBI—something Perpetual hasn’t done since. The FBI’s Los Angeles office noted that Posey tried something similar the next summer, attempting (unsuccessfully) to obtain information about the US Navy’s supersonic F-5 fighter from an engineer at its manufacturer, Northrop.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

Something’s been happening with the ambitious women in my life. A friend who used to be focused on climbing the corporate ladder in her marketing job—while dabbling in a series of side hustles—is trying to figure out how to backpedal. A lawyer at a big tech company who’s the breadwinner for her family is taking a leave of absence. A creative force of nature who burned out mid-pandemic is trying to make peace with the not-that-difficult job she took just to hold on to her health insurance.

Then, over glasses of wine one weeknight, I found myself saying to a fellow go-getter: “I’m just not that busy lately.” As someone who has always had a sense of pride in her work ethic and found a sense of purpose in her career, this was a shocking, satisfying, and slightly shameful admission. I realized that something had shifted for me, too.

Women are in the midst of a revolutionary reckoning with our ambitions. We’re not resigning en masse—because who can afford to quit her job in this economy?!—but we are trying to figure out a new set of goals and guidance for our professional lives. Thanks to long-simmering inequality and stubborn sexism, clarified by the pain of the pandemic, our definitions of success increasingly lie outside the realm of work. We are waking up to the fact that our jobs are never going to love us back. And we are trying to adjust accordingly.

The girlbosses who once dominated our social media feeds have been ousted and mocked, and are now selling cottagecore trinkets in Brooklyn. On TikTok, “bimbofication” converts preach the gospel of not trying to prove you’re the smartest or hardest-working person in the room: Just concentrate on your looks and let someone else pick up the check. Essays about the disappearance of ambition and the liberating power of saying “no” go instantly viral. And yes, I’ll say it: When Kim Kardashian was dragged for declaring, in her signature vocal fry, that “nobody wants to work these days,” she was a little bit right. We don’t want to work ourselves to the bone, clocking overtime hours without overtime pay, for a vanity title at a soulless corporation anymore.

Read the rest of this article at: Elle

News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

If you’ve ever tried to research how the Big Bad Tech Monopolies of our time got so big and bad, you’ll find that these stories are typically pretty straightforward. Google, for example, started as a search engine company in the mid-90’s, and spent decades buying and bullying competitors until it swallowed just about all of the search engine market. Facebook started as a social network, and then copied or bought out the competition until it became the most popular social network on the planet. But Amazon… well, Amazon’s a bit different.

When a younger (and less bald) Jeff Bezos opened the platform to the public in 1995, he promoted it as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”; it was an e-alternative to the Barnes & Nobles and Waldenbooks people knew and loved. In 2022, it moved on from bookstore to “everything store,” but even that doesn’t fully describe the scope of what Amazon is.

The same company also controls a third of the world’s cloud computing tech while also being a market leader in home security systems. It develops vaccines and drones and is equally cozy with law enforcement and luxury clothing brands, and owns the leading platforms for gamersmovie buffs, and deeply dehumanizing on-demand labor. In 2019, the company’s sprawling worldwide warehouse presence took up more than 38 Pentagons-worth of physical space. Over the past two years, that footprint’s nearly doubled.

In other words, this company is big—arguably too big—in a way that makes keeping tabs on all of Amazon’s brands and businesses a near-impossible ask. So we did it for you.

Using public records, we’ve done our best to catalogue the brands, businesses and subsidiaries that Amazon’s bought and built up as part of its relentless quest to take over anything and everything it can.

A quick disclaimer: in order to keep things from sprawling into something as long as a textbook (and just as boring), we’re only including the company’s many, many businesses here in the U.S. This blog won’t go into the company’s international footprint, which—at least from our research—seems to stretch into at least thirteen other countries. In 2017, for example, Amazon bought one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in the Middle East before also gobbling up one of the regions premiere delivery startups soon after. Amazon also owns a payment processor in India, a solar energy station in Japan, and an ocean freight operation in China. But just getting your head around Amazon’s U.S. acquisitions is an overwhelming feat. Okay, take a deep breath and let’s dive in.

Read the rest of this article at: Gizmodo

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News 19.08.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The boat was a beauty of a thing: some 500 tons across 171 feet of glass and steel as white as Santorini. All rounded edges, the five decks — one with a glass-bottom pool — were made for July on the Mediterranean, sunset dinners among the islands near Sicily, cocktails in the turquoise shallows off the coast of Ibiza. Her would-be captains showed off pictures of the $50 million vessel at parties, bragging that it would be “bigger than all of the richest billionaires’ yachts in Singapore” and describing plans to adorn the staterooms with projector screens, creating a waterborne gallery for their growing collection of digital art in the form of NFTs.

No matter that they had originally told friends they were shopping for a $150 million vessel; the superyacht was still the largest by well-established boat builder Sanlorenzo ever to be sold in Asia, a triumph of crypto’s nouveau riche. “It represents the beginning of a fascinating journey,” the yacht broker said in an announcement of the sale last year, saying it looked “forward to witnessing many happy moments aboard.” The name the buyers had in mind was cleverly chosen — an inside joke nodding to the cryptocurrency dogecoin that would both thrill their social-media acolytes and be intelligible to all the pathetic, poor “no coiners” out there: Much Wow.

Her buyers, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, two Andover graduates who ran a Singapore-based crypto hedge fund called Three Arrows Capital, never got the chance to spray Champagne across Much Wow’s bow. Instead, in July, the same month the boat was set to launch, the duo filed for bankruptcy and disappeared before making their final payment, marooning the unclaimed trophy in her berth in La Spezia on the Italian coast. While she has not been officially listed for resale, the intimate world of international super-yacht dealers has quietly been put on notice that a certain Sanlorenzo 52Steel, the coveted Cayman Islands flag billowing above her empty balconies, is back on the market.

The yacht has since become the subject of endless memes and jokes on Twitter, the functional center of the crypto universe. Pretty much everyone in that world, from the millions of small-scale crypto holders to industry employees and investors, has watched in shock and dismay as Three Arrows Capital, once perhaps the most highly regarded investment fund in a burgeoning global financial sector, collapsed in excruciating and embarrassing fashion. The firm’s implosion, a result of both recklessness and likely criminal misconduct, set off a contagion that not only forced a historic sell-off in bitcoin and its ilk but also wiped out a wide swath of the cryptocurrency industry.

Read the rest of this article at: New York Magazine

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.