Through the cracks journalism
The latest catch.
by: Leslie Hook :ft – excerpt
This is a must read for anyone who appreciates contradictions. The future is UNKNOWN, and if we are lucky the tech industrymanipulators will dance on each others toes long enough to allow the public to decide what we want.
Private vehicles could soon be replaced by autonomous ride-hailing services and even ‘helicopter’ cars.
When the muddy streets of San Francisco were laid out during the heady days of the gold rush, riding a horse was the fastest way to get around. Today a new type of vehicle can be seen cruising the city: the driverless car.
With their spinning radar sensors and bulky camera arrays, these vehicles have the awkward look of a technology that is not quite mature. Yet just as the automobile gave rise to paved streets and suburban sprawl, the driverless car is set to radically reshape the…
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by Spencer Ackerman : thegurian – excerpt
Senior House Democrats seek briefing on ‘Russian interference or involvement’ a week after senators signed letter asking for information to be declassified.
Barack Obama is facing growing pressure from congressional Democrats in both houses demanding further disclosures regarding Russia’s role in the 2016 US elections.
The White House has not responded to a week-old letter signed by every Democrat and aligned member of the Senate intelligence committee seeking declassification of “additional information concerning the Russian government and the US election”.
Now a group of senior House Democrats has also written to the president, seeking a classified briefing for colleagues on “Russian entities’ hacking of American political organizations; hacking and strategic release of emails from campaign officials; the WikiLeaks disclosures; fake news stories produced and distributed with the intent to mislead American voters; and any other Russian or Russian-related interference or involvement in our recent election.”… (more)
Too bad they can’t just go directly to WikiLeaks, but, that would require them to acknowledge the importance of the work such illegal operators do, and possibly lead to the relaxation of calls to arrest and incarcerate them. They probably don’t want to arrest and try them anyway, because that would require prosecutors to ask a lot of embarrassing questions that could lead to much broader public
by Maya Kosoff : vanityfair – excerpt
Amazon’s new retail concept store does away with cashiers entirely.
mazon C.E.O. Jeff Bezos’s plan to expand his digital dominion to the physical world continues apace. Not content with opening traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts alone, the e-commerce giant on Monday unveiled an 1,800-square-foot convenience store in Seattle that sells snacks, staples like milk and bread, pre-made meals, and meal kits. But unlike a normal 7-Eleven, Amazon’s store lacks both cashiers and checkout counters. The store—which is called Amazon Go and is currently only available for Amazon employees, though it will open to the public next year—uses sensors to track the items customers take out of the store, and charges them accordingly.
“We asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout?” Amazon says on its official Go site. “Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go?”…
The Los Angeles Times reports, Amazon has added 50,000 warehouse workers but also more than 30,000 robots, causing hiring to slow at its warehouses. Nor is Amazon the only tech company with plans to eventually automate as many jobs as possible. Earlier this year, Uber bought an automated trucking start-up called Otto, which recently completed its first delivery—a beer run—largely without the assistance of its human driver. … (more)
bloomberg : msn – excerpt
(Bloomberg) — Just a few days after Vancouver announced a tax on foreign property investors, Seattle real estate broker Lili Shang received a WeChat message from a wealthy Chinese businessman who wanted to sell a home in Canada and buy in her area…
“The tax was the trigger of this new wave of investment now coming to Seattle,” Shang said. “Why pay more for the same thing?”
Vancouver, which has seen detached-home prices double in a decade, joined areas including Australia and Hong Kong in taking steps to slow housing demand after an unprecedented surge of foreign investment. Chinese buyers, in particular, are accelerating purchases overseas, spurred by a weakening yuan, rising prices at home and the perceived safety of real estate. They’re also venturing farther afield as costs soar in some of their favored markets.
Home-purchase inquiries from China have jumped in Seattle and Toronto since the Vancouver tax was announced, according to Juwai.com, the country’s largest overseas property website…(more)
This may be the best argument for using tax policy to control costs and rent control.
By Laura Foote : sfexaminer – excerpt
Why are a bunch of pro-housing, tower-loving, millennials staging a hostile takeover of the Sierra Club? I mean, what’s wrong with these obnoxious kids?
Well, let me tell you. Like most people in San Francisco, we’re frustrated over the cost of housing.
How much ink has been spilled about the astronomical rent and its horrific impact on low-income San Franciscans? How much ink has been spilled over stunted millennials and their perpetual strugglefests? How much ink has been spilled over the endless evictions and displacement, as minority, low- and middle-income people are pushed further and further away from this great engine of opportunity, San Francisco?
If, like me, you believe that the root cause of this spike in rents is a housing shortage, then you may agree that the local Sierra Club chapter has been a locus for anti-housing nonsense and is in dire need of fresh, green blood…
We are members of the Sierra Club. We had a volunteer design a cute mailer. We publicized the fact that we think the current Sierra Club chapter is on the wrong track and needs new leadership. The Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY) Party is staging an intervention, and, as expected, it has not received a very warm reception.
But the Sierra Club needs to be a strong voice for the future of our cities. We need to fundamentally retrofit San Francisco and the Bay Area with dramatically more housing and public transportation. Housing needs to be built in every neighborhood in San Francisco, so that every neighborhood gets both the costs and the benefits of more people.
Win or lose, we intend to do this again next year. We will run a slate every year until our local Sierra Club gets back on track. Because the interconnected issues of global warming and urban housing aren’t going anywhere. And neither are we.
Unless we, too, get displaced…(more)
One thing that gets lost on these people is that San Francisco has gone through at least three dot com boom and busts, and this is the first time we had a major displacement problem. The artists who moved into SOMA kicked no one out. We created something out of nothing and displaced no one. We cleaned up the neighborhood that you now want.
by publicbanking – excerpt – with KMPX radio
I started working with the public banking advocates years ago and they have come a long way since. I urge anyone who is concerned about new methods of financing to watch this and learn what you can about the subject of Public Banks. The Cannabis Cash portion is a minimal part of the conversation, as financing applies to a wide range of issues. We are looking at a new possible industry that needs some direction if it is not going to become another corporate tool.