The urban village. A Jane Austen vision of pastoral Britain complete with farmers’ markets and bunting projected on to high streets up and down the country. Oblivious to the green beacon of the job centre; impervious to the homeless man asleep in the shop doorway; pro-bike, anti-lorry; in short, a regression. A total refusal on behalf of those involved to accept the functional requirements of cities under the duress of population growth. I could go on, citing the relationship between this and our present housing crisis, yet that very fact – that all I can think to do in reaction to a system that is severely stifling all of our future prospects – is more relevant to my purposes in writing this.
Somesuch » Twee Advertising and the Infernal Urban Village by Nathalie Olah

Then, a funny thing happened. One night, a couple of years ago, I was in an Uber SUV in NYC, headed to Penn Station to catch the train to Washington DC when I got a text message from a tech socialite of sorts (I’ll spare her name because Gawker has already parodied her enough), but she’s someone I hardly know, asking me if I was in an Uber car at 33th and 5th (or, something like that). I replied that I was indeed, thinking that she must be in an adjacent car. Looking around, she continued to text with updates of my car’s whereabouts, so much so that I asked the driver if others could see my Uber location profile? “No,” he replied, “that’s not possible.”

At that point, it all just started to feel weird, until finally she revealed that she was in Chicago at the launch of Uber Chicago, and that the party featured a screen that showed where in NYC certain “known people” (whatever that means) were currently riding in Uber cabs. After learning this, I expressed my outrage to her that the company would use my information and identity to promote its services without my permission. She told me to calm down, and that it was all a “cool” event and as if I should be honored to have been one of the chosen.

Can We Trust Uber? — Medium (via iamdanw)

(via new-aesthetic)

Um yeah.

Skateletor or Die (by Madkobra)

Skateletor or Die (by Madkobra)

Ello, there’s a lot coming your way, if you do well. The big social networks will compete with you, try to crush you. Users will badger and blame you. Press will misquote, villainize, and oversell you. Governments will threaten and pressure you. Mysterious forces will DDoS you and hunt your users’ data. Well-meaning(ish) assholes will announce your security flaws in public. Enraged people will publicly claim you’re a CIA, NSA, or an FBI front company. Moles will try to work for you. Downtime will threaten you. Actual mentally ill people will threaten you. Toxic communities will blame you for their problems. Media will blame you for your toxic communities. The code won’t scale. The revenue model won’t be quite right. The hosting will be problematic. People will blame you for bigotry, hate, and even aiding human rights abusers and criminals.

…and that’s just what happens if people love you.

What Does Ethical Social Networking Software Look Like? — The Message — Medium

Wow. Feels like an arms race with the PC music crowd.

Interesting things I find from the internet, my twittering and the occasional blog post.

view archive