June 6, 2014
1. Kitchen Counter Revolution
The increasingly deep-pocketed masterminds behind the “sharing” economy have tried to adapt their business model to everything but the kitchen sink. And now, they’re trying that too. In a test in San Francisco, Airbnb is enabling hosts to hold quasi-dinner parties for strangers who will be charged a fee. (I’m putting all my investment dollars into door locks.)
+ Uber just raised a new round of financing. The valuation: $17 billion.
+ When you ride Uber, you rate your driver. And your driver rates you. NY Mag’s Kevin Roose found out that he’s not quite an Uber mensch
+ Who does sharing hurt? Bloomberg looks at the collateral damage of NYC’s bike share program.
2. Spies (Really) Like Us
A few days after launching a Facebook page, the CIA has published its first official tweet:”We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” The tweet itself confirms a few things. One, online is where we live now. Two, humor is the language spoken here (and Facebook humor is the new Dad humor). And three, it’s really easy to figure out how to use the media.
+ Long time listener, first time caller… Of course, the CIA has been using social media to track everything down to our emotions for a long time.
3. Weekend Reads
I’ve always considered soccer to be one of the world’s most accessible sports. Ball gets kicked. Ball goes into net. Goal is scored. But apparently there’s more to it than that. Grantland has an in-depth and interactive guide to watching the World Cup like a true soccer nerd.
+ Buzzfeed: How a swindling suburban soccer dad pocketed millions as he helped make the sport a booming success in the U.S.
+ “The weed bubble is bursting. Government’s tired of not making any money on this thing. But until then, we’re going to keep turning it out.” Believer Magazine takes you inside the The Heart of the Emerald Triangle. What happens to Humboldt County if weed goes legit?
+ “His sixty-six years in baseball were scripted by Disney and produced by Ken Burns.” A short piece by Roger Angell on Don Zimmer.
4. No Day at the Beach
World leaders gathered in France to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when “some 150,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy and began the liberation of France and Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II.”
+ “1944: You are not to leave your flat for more than an hour at a time. Your equipment must be packed.” From Vanity Fair, war photographer Robert Capa’s Longest Day.
+ “It didn’t (compare), because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.” Jim “Pee Wee” Martin recreated his D-Day parachute jump. He’s 93.
+ The 89 year-old who went missing from his Sussex nursing home and turned up in France where he was marking D-Day.
+ Buzzfeed: How 21 newspaper front pages covered the D-Day invasion 70 years ago.
+ InFocus: Scenes from D-Day, then and now.
5. It’s a Graze Area
The founder of a large hedge fund wanted to do something to improve the situation in one of Detroit’s most blighted neighborhoods. So, as the NYT reports, he donated a bunch of billy goats.
6. Reads Like Teen Spirit
“The once-unseemly notion that it’s acceptable for not-young adults to read young-adult fiction is now conventional wisdom. Today, grown-ups brandish their copies of teen novels with pride.” Slate’s Ruth Graham on why you should be embarrassed when you read the latest young-adult blockbuster novel. (I agree. It’s better to wait for the movie.)
+ Hillary Kelly counters that notion in The New Republic: In praise of reading whatever the hell you want. OK, that’s enough talk about young-adult literature. The whole debate is embarrassing the crap out of our teenagers.
7. Version 2.0
“We know how to deploy consumer applications that scale. We use the Silicon Valley playbook utilizing open source and off-the-shelf-technologies. This is something that we’re good at — we’ve done it over and over.” Steven Levy visits with the crew that’s building the next version of the health care site. (No pressure…)
+ Vice: Hundreds of cities are wired with fiber — but telecom lobbying keeps it unused.
8. My Kingdom for a Longread
My heroic sponsors at WordPress are teaming up with my old friends from Longreads with the introduction of Longread’s Best of WordPress. And since WordPress powers more than a fifth the Internet, these folks are going to have to open even more tabs than me.
9. The Sopranos Finale
We finally know what happened after the screen faded to black in the final scene of The Sopranos (it just took a while). Game of Thrones just became HBO’s most popular show ever. Of course, there are a lot of ways to measure popularity and the fact that The Sopranos racked up massive numbers back in 2002 is amazing.
+ For the right donation, you could get violently killed in an upcoming Game of Thrones.
10. The Bottom of the News
The folks over at Pricenomics are trying to figure out why people don’t adopt black pets? One study “found that dogs with black coats were more likely to be euthanized, while dogs with white, gold, and gray coats had significantly higher adoption rates.” During a recent and difficult discussion with my cat, I was forced to admit that we mostly chose her because her coat matches our couch.
+ Frozen has increased tourism to Norway.
+ Think your workout schedule is tough? Try playing the lead in Rocky, the Musical.
+ (New feature – Let me know if you like it.) Fascinating from yesterday’s NextDraft: The rising tide of stay at home dads.