Give Me a Break category archive
Owen Davis reports that Uber has achieved another milestone.
It has gotten itself sued for stock fraud, even thought it has not yet issued any stock. An excerpt:
The plaintiffs, the Irving (Texas) Firemen’s Relief & Retirement Fund, invested $2 million in Uber back in 2016 through a fund operated by Morgan Stanley. Since then, the lawsuit claims, Uber’s private valuation has dropped $18 billion. So they’re suing.
If Uber had recently gone public in a massively overhyped IPO, only to shed double-digits as the true depths of its mediocrity came to light, a lawsuit would not be unusual. Just ask Blue Apron. But it’s rare for a startup to face investor suits in any situation short of complete and utter fabrication on the part of the founders. It basically signals that the highly illiquid startup stake you’ve got – and for which you’d like good money – is worthless.
Read the whole thing. It will give you a lyft.
Meet history, the Marvelous way:
Moved below the fold because it autoplays.
A Parisian protests the petty puritanism of prissy poseurs. A precis:
The ruling by the Paris appeal court could set a legal precedent in the country, where Facebook has more than 30 million regular users.
A court will now be entitled to hear the case of the 57-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover whose Facebook account was suspended five years ago without notice. It was closed on the day he posted a photo of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting The Origin of the World, . . . .
ODU President John Broderick said students could face disciplinary action after a photo of sexually suggestive banners welcoming freshmen women to Old Dominion University sparked a furor on social media Saturday.
The three signs at the house, which have been taken down, read: “ Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time …”, “Freshman daughter drop off” with an arrow pointed to the front door and “Go ahead and drop off mom too …”
News as status updates.
manipulates applies algorithms to decide what items you should see on your “timeline.” Now they will filter the news for you, too?
One more time: If you have to install it, it’s a washing machine or a computer operating system or a furnace. It’s not art.
Even if it makes persons go “Gee Whiz,” it’s not art.
Barnum was wrong. One is not born every minute.
The birthrate is much higher.
In The Nation, Adrien Chen skewers Gabriella Coleman’s recent paean to Anonymous (usually referred to as “the hacker collective). She traces it from its roots in 4chan (which is not a nice internet place to be), describes its frat-boy mindset, and derides its “hactivism” as adolescent prankery for the same of prankery. In short, she doesn’t have a very high opinion of Anonymous.
I commend the article to your attention.
Buried within it is this gem, which aptly describes what George Smith commonly refers to “the culture of lickspittle” (emphasis added):
Members of this group (the “drop outs” of the “tune in, turn on, drop out” generation; see the article for more–ed.) endorsed criminal hacking as political resistance. They dropped acid and spoke of online experience in trippy language that echoes Coleman’s. Then they went on to found some of Silicon Valley’s most influential institutions, including Wired, Apple and the Global Business Network. Today, their techno-utopianism is why a tech mogul like Mark Zuckerberg is celebrated as a visionary social engineer. In this context, Anonymous is anything but subversive; it is the most radical advocate of a widespread conflation of technological prowess with political wisdom. Anonymous is Silicon Valley’s unwitting shock troops, a live demo of the Internet’s power to transform our world. When Anons call for revolution, they’re calling for a better world. But the shallowness of their politics and their uncritical embrace of technology means this energy is easily channeled into Silicon Valley’s parody of revolution: a techno-liberation from the doldrums of day jobs with health insurance and steady benefits, in favor of the radical freedom and flexibility to pilot an Uber under contract.