How Echo Look could feed Amazon’s big data fueled fashion ambitions

 This week Amazon took the wraps off a new incarnation of its Alexa voice assistant, giving the AI an eye so it can see as well as speak and hear. The Echo Look also contains a depth sensor that’s being used, in the first instance, to create a bokeh effect for a hands-free style selfies feature that Amazon is hoping will sell the device to fashion lovers, by making their outfits pop… Read More

 This week Amazon took the wraps off a new incarnation of its Alexa voice assistant, giving the AI an eye so it can see as well as speak and hear. The Echo Look also contains a depth sensor that’s being used, in the first instance, to create a bokeh effect for a hands-free style selfies feature that Amazon is hoping will sell the device to fashion lovers, by making their outfits pop… Read More

How we made Basecamp 3’s Android app 100% Kotlin

Our best advice based on a year of real-world shipping.


Made with ❤️ in Chicago.

We started our Kotlin journey a year ago based on two hunches: that it would 1) make a huge difference in programmer happiness and 2) wildly improve our work quality and speed.

I’m happy to report that our hunches were right! As of this week, Basecamp 3’s Android app is written in 100% Kotlin. 🎉

That puts us in a unique position to share tips from the experience of going from all Java to all Kotlin. How do you get started? What should you look out for? What are the best ways to keep learning Kotlin?

Read on!

🤓 Wrap your head around the basics

First thing’s first — take some time to get acclimated with the the language. There are free resources galore, but here are a few I’d recommend:

  • Jake Wharton’s talk about Kotlin for Android. This was the lightbulb moment for me. After two watches, I really started to get it.
  • Some of my favorite Kotlin features. I wrote this a few months after we started with Kotlin. I specifically wrote it to be basic and straightforward so it’d be easy for beginners (which I was at the time!)
  • The Kotlin docs. When people tell me to read the docs, I often wince. But the Kotlin docs are legit, and are an excellent way to get acclimated.

🐢 Start slow but make it real

Writing your first bit of Kotlin is usually the hardest part of getting started.

To alleviate the pressure, people will often suggest you start with tests or perhaps a Gradle plugin. And while that’s extremely sound advice, it doesn’t work for me. It’s too boring and obscure to get excited about.

I propose something different — write real production code.

This is important because 1) it’s something you can see working in your app right away and 2) it’s more fun! That feeling of accomplishment and seeing something work shouldn’t be discounted — it builds your confidence and keeps you motivated.

Of course I don’t recommend converting a giant class all at once on your first go. Instead try converting a utility or helper method. Take a single method from one of your util classes and rewrite it in Kotlin.

Done! You now have your first bit of production ready Kotlin.

😵 Don’t try to learn the whole language at once

Kotlin has a lot of great stuff in it — so much that you might be tempted to use it all right away.

And while that can work, I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead find a few key concepts that click in your brain (not what others tell you are the best parts of the language), and practice using those to their fullest.

When I got started, three areas clicked for me: flow control (when/if/for), extension functions (add functionality to any class you want), and null safety (in particular the use of let). Focusing on just those few concepts helped me get started without feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t be afraid to start small. You need space in your brain not only to pick up new things, but to let them stick. You’re already going to be dealing with basic syntactical differences — if you try to cram all the goodness all at once, something is bound to get overwritten in your brain.

🔀 Learn from the auto converter

JetBrains has done a solid job with their Kotlin plugin and its ability to auto convert Java to Kotlin. It can get your class 60–70% of the way there, leaving you with some tuning and idiomatic/stylistic things to take care of.

There are two great ways to learn from this:

  1. Auto convert the class, but keep the Java class handy. Put them side by side, and see how the Kotlin compares. You’ll pick up a ton by just seeing how the auto converter chose to implement the Java in Kotlin.
  2. Auto convert the class, but don’t leave it in that state — while the 60% version will run, that last 40% is what makes the difference between OK code and great code. Attack everything for clarity and conciseness and look for ways to follow Kotlin idioms that the auto converter couldn’t figure out.

🤔 Question all your Java habits

As you begin writing Kotlin, the sad reality is that you’ll probably have some bad Java habits you’ll need to break.

I found myself writing terrible if/else blocks in cases where a when would be so much better. I was writing null checks around objects when a simple object?.let{} would’ve been better. And much more.

You may also have built up some strong ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ attitudes toward ugly code blocks. Because Java is so verbose, over time you may have begun to accept an occasional ugly code block as “well, that’s Java”.

Writing in Kotlin will help you see through those, but you will need to let go of the idea that ugly code is OK. Sure there will be times when ugly code may be situationally necessary, but you won’t be able to blame Java’s ceremony any more.

So regularly question whether you are doing something the “Kotlin way”. When you see code that feels long or complicated, pause and take another look at it. Over time you’ll develop new, better habits that will overwrite your Java ones.

🏕️💨 Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it (no new Java ever)

A good way to keep your code heading in the right direction is to tidy up small bits of Java as you pass by. As the saying goes, leave the campsite cleaner than you found it.

A lot of times when building something new, you’ll incidentally need to make a small change to an existing Java class — add an attribute, change a type, etc. These are often small classes like a model or utility class.

Convert them! Don’t be lazy and leave them be. This incremental, slow approach over time will save you and your team much frustration in the long run.

❄️ Use cool downs for Kotlin

A great time to work on Kotlin conversions is when you’re cooling down off a big release.

Often we’ll do our normal two week cycle, release a big feature, and then take a few days to watch for stability and customer issues.

Those couple days aren’t going to be enough time to get into something big, so it’s a great time to convert some classes to Kotlin. Over time you’ll get faster at this and be able to knock out a few classes per day.

👴🏻 Curb your enthusiasm

When you start to feel comfortable with Kotlin, you might get a little…excited. That’s a good thing! That energy and enthusiasm keeps you motivated and learning.

But it’s also easy to go overboard. I certainly did.

I‘d collapse whatever I could into single-expression functions to save lines, only to realize I was giving up clarity. I’d use too many when blocks, even in cases where a simple if/else would’ve been sufficient and clearer. I’d write extension functions galore, then realize I was creating more cognitive overhead than I was saving.

It’s wonderful to be enthusiastic and use all the tools that Kotlin gives you. But try to keep your cool (unlike me) and make sure you’re using language features for the right reasons.

💸 Don’t forget about your customers

While seeing more and more Kotlin makes your life much better, you need to keep one very important (obvious?) thing in mind: your customers don’t care.

I fully support the argument that programmer happiness leads to great code and ultimately a better product. It’s crucially important.

But as with all good things, you need to find the right balance. Converting all your Java to Kotlin might be a fun goal for you, but meanwhile your customers might be struggling with a nagging bug.

The great thing is that those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Grab those bugs and squash them with Kotlin — it’s a win-win! (If we’re being honest, Java probably caused the bug in the first place anyway).

👯 Don’t go it alone

Depending on your company makeup, this might be easier said than done. But if you can, find a Kotlin buddy!

There is no question that I’m more proficient at Kotlin because of my buddy Jay. We regularly share ideas, review each other’s Kotlin, and poke fun at Jamie, our designer.

Sometimes that stuff happens in informal chats, but the by far the most valuable place to learn is in pull requests. You can let your code speak for itself, and the feedback can do the same. When it comes to learning Kotlin (or any new language really), this is absolutely crucial.

Alright, you made it! I know that’s quite a bit to chew on — maybe some obvious, maybe some not. But I hope it helps get you on the right path to joining us in Kotlinland!

If this article was helpful to you, please do hit the 💚 button below. Thanks!

We’re hard at work making the Basecamp 3 Android app better every day (in Kotlin, of course). Please check it out!



How we made Basecamp 3’s Android app 100% Kotlin was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

How GE avoided Kodak’s fate

 George Eastman founded Kodak in 1888 in Rochester, New York. Four years later and 200 miles down the road, Thomas Edison and some pals founded General Electric. The two industrial giants chugged along for more than 100 years, but GE is still here and Kodak is (mostly) gone, flushed down the disruption pipes of late-20th-century digitization. How did GE manage to avoid the same fate? Read More

 George Eastman founded Kodak in 1888 in Rochester, New York. Four years later and 200 miles down the road, Thomas Edison and some pals founded General Electric. The two industrial giants chugged along for more than 100 years, but GE is still here and Kodak is (mostly) gone, flushed down the disruption pipes of late-20th-century digitization. How did GE manage to avoid the same fate? Read More

Review: High-Rise (2016)

High-Rise, directed by Ben Wheatley, brings J.G. Ballard’s classic novel to the screen after a long wait.

It’s set almost entirely in a residential tower, a massive brutalist edifice inhabited by thousands of early-1970s Britons eager for a new life. The ultimate product of mid-century urban planning, the concrete building is designed to take care of all its occupants’ needs: there’s a supermarket, a swimming pool, even a primary school, all tucked away deep within its forty stories.

Robert Laing, an introverted young doctor, moves in hoping to become an anonymous nobody amid this monument to the bland excellence of modern life. But he commits the critical error of making friends, and is slowly consumed by the building’s odd psychic character, its microcosmic reflection of the divisions in society at large.

He notices that the lower levels are first to suffer when the power fails; then that the higher echelons enjoy special amenities of their own. And then, when the lights go out, everything goes to hell.

A little awareness of British life in the 1970s helps contextualise details that might otherwise baffle—in particular, skyscraper-happy Americans should know that residential towers there were always a controversial novelty, that garbage collecters were perpetually on strike, and that in British engineering, corners are always cut. But Ballard’s sinister geometry of modernity, hiding an emotional suppression ready to explode into violence, is a language universal to all employed westerners.

It’s an intriguing, sophisticated and handsome movie made excellent by Wheatley’s skill and its cast: Tom Hiddleston as the skeptical middle-class everyman driven to madness by his environment’s awful sanity, Jeremy Irons as the tower’s vicious yet uncannily humanist architect, Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale) as society’s hope, and Luke Evans (Bard from The Hobbit) as the agent of chaos.

But there are some conceptual misteps, I think, that garble Ballard’s anxieties—and the power of his storytelling.

In particular, the movie counterposes superficial social realism against dreamy surrealism in an attempt to triangulate the novel’s hyperreal quality with its period setting and the presumed ironic sensibilities of a contemporary audience. Clever as this is, the result has a weird 1980s artsy zaniness to it, as if directed by Peter Greenaway or Ken Russell or (sorry) whoever did the Pet Shop Boys movie. Ballard is about games that turn deadly serious, but this is just a deadly game. Among other things, it makes its cruelties (which often involve animals) seem self-satisfied and spiteful.

Wheatley also tries to achieve too much though implication; even as a fan of the novel, I felt a little lost and could have done with an establishing vignette to establish the scenario. Motivations are often unclear, too. Though this is rather the point, the depraved psychic hygiene of the tower’s world is only lightly sketched before it erupts. It’s as if the movie is only interested in people who already understand its message.

Ballard’s writing is cold and sharp, yet lurid in how it draws out the entrails of our discomfort. This movie’s script is just drawn out. I like the film, and it’s full of arresting images. It is a tribute, a floating world of its own, but a metaphor too distant and too arch to draw much blood.

Thumbs up, ish.

High-Rise (2016) [Amazon]

High-Rise, directed by Ben Wheatley, brings J.G. Ballard’s classic novel to the screen after a long wait.

It’s set almost entirely in a residential tower, a massive brutalist edifice inhabited by thousands of early-1970s Britons eager for a new life. The ultimate product of mid-century urban planning, the concrete building is designed to take care of all its occupants’ needs: there’s a supermarket, a swimming pool, even a primary school, all tucked away deep within its forty stories.

Robert Laing, an introverted young doctor, moves in hoping to become an anonymous nobody amid this monument to the bland excellence of modern life. But he commits the critical error of making friends, and is slowly consumed by the building’s odd psychic character, its microcosmic reflection of the divisions in society at large.

He notices that the lower levels are first to suffer when the power fails; then that the higher echelons enjoy special amenities of their own. And then, when the lights go out, everything goes to hell.

A little awareness of British life in the 1970s helps contextualise details that might otherwise baffle—in particular, skyscraper-happy Americans should know that residential towers there were always a controversial novelty, that garbage collecters were perpetually on strike, and that in British engineering, corners are always cut. But Ballard’s sinister geometry of modernity, hiding an emotional suppression ready to explode into violence, is a language universal to all employed westerners.

It’s an intriguing, sophisticated and handsome movie made excellent by Wheatley’s skill and its cast: Tom Hiddleston as the skeptical middle-class everyman driven to madness by his environment’s awful sanity, Jeremy Irons as the tower’s vicious yet uncannily humanist architect, Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale) as society’s hope, and Luke Evans (Bard from The Hobbit) as the agent of chaos.

But there are some conceptual misteps, I think, that garble Ballard’s anxieties—and the power of his storytelling.

In particular, the movie counterposes superficial social realism against dreamy surrealism in an attempt to triangulate the novel’s hyperreal quality with its period setting and the presumed ironic sensibilities of a contemporary audience. Clever as this is, the result has a weird 1980s artsy zaniness to it, as if directed by Peter Greenaway or Ken Russell or (sorry) whoever did the Pet Shop Boys movie. Ballard is about games that turn deadly serious, but this is just a deadly game. Among other things, it makes its cruelties (which often involve animals) seem self-satisfied and spiteful.

Wheatley also tries to achieve too much though implication; even as a fan of the novel, I felt a little lost and could have done with an establishing vignette to establish the scenario. Motivations are often unclear, too. Though this is rather the point, the depraved psychic hygiene of the tower’s world is only lightly sketched before it erupts. It’s as if the movie is only interested in people who already understand its message.

Ballard’s writing is cold and sharp, yet lurid in how it draws out the entrails of our discomfort. This movie’s script is just drawn out. I like the film, and it’s full of arresting images. It is a tribute, a floating world of its own, but a metaphor too distant and too arch to draw much blood.

Thumbs up, ish.

High-Rise (2016) [Amazon]

Crunch Report | Elon Musk’s Tunnel Vision Gets Rendered

Elon Musk shows off a video about his tunnel boring company, The Boring Company, a self-driving Apple test vehicle is spotted in the wild and Cloudera and Carvana each price their IPO at $15; one does well, the other not so much. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Elon Musk shows off a video about his tunnel boring company, The Boring Company, a self-driving Apple test vehicle is spotted in the wild and Cloudera and Carvana each price their IPO at $15; one does well, the other not so much. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Trump’s reign is sad for tech, too

The first 100 days of Trump’s presidency were a shambolic festival of incompetence and looming catastrophe. But it’s not all about beltway politics, you know! Because the intense (and reasonable) focus is upon on the media-friendly dimensions of his buffoonery, we sometimes miss how it affects specific aspects of American life. The Verge took a look at what’s already happening to the technology business, from the threatened end of net neutrality to immigration lockouts. If you had hoped tech might have gotten through unscathed, somehow, perhaps you aren’t paying attention to how much his corner of the establishment hates it.

Under Donald Trump, Silicon Valley’s ideal of a global community no longer seems like the foregone conclusion it might have a few years ago, and people are still figuring out how to deal with the barriers Trump is erecting. Mass protests and legal battles have stalled bans on visitors from several Muslim-majority countries, and the president’s love of Twitter isn’t doing him any favors in court. But there’s still plenty more on the table that points to a future of isolation, not interconnection.

The change in course has shaken tech titans who are dedicated to getting the whole world online (and on their platforms). Mark Zuckerberg published a defense of “global community” that acknowledged its discontents, hoping to win the public’s affection before either running for president or making reality obsolete. Uber, meanwhile, stayed true to form and turned the protests into a way to make people hate it even more.

The larger tech world, which is ground zero for the high-tech immigration debate, has been slowly mobilizing to defend immigration. But one has to wonder whether their focus on the H-1B visa program — which lots of people agree actually is in need of reform — isn’t self-serving. In the meantime, the administration’s xenophobic rhetoric, coupled with actual violent incidents and aggressive deportations, is creating a culture of fear.

One can be ambivalent about the motives of Silicon Valley in all this, for sure. But their inane grinning platitudes belie something deeply useless about them when it comes to politics, especially opposition to Trump, that goes beyond the present crisis. Take the cringe humor of Zuckerberg’s strange, alien replica of how a presidential aspirant should address the public, for example: it’s so obviously, comically false it seems like a joke.

But then you remember: Donald Trump is president. Nothing is impossible.

The first 100 days of Trump’s presidency were a shambolic festival of incompetence and looming catastrophe. But it’s not all about beltway politics, you know! Because the intense (and reasonable) focus is upon on the media-friendly dimensions of his buffoonery, we sometimes miss how it affects specific aspects of American life. The Verge took a look at what’s already happening to the technology business, from the threatened end of net neutrality to immigration lockouts. If you had hoped tech might have gotten through unscathed, somehow, perhaps you aren’t paying attention to how much his corner of the establishment hates it.

Under Donald Trump, Silicon Valley’s ideal of a global community no longer seems like the foregone conclusion it might have a few years ago, and people are still figuring out how to deal with the barriers Trump is erecting. Mass protests and legal battles have stalled bans on visitors from several Muslim-majority countries, and the president’s love of Twitter isn’t doing him any favors in court. But there’s still plenty more on the table that points to a future of isolation, not interconnection.

The change in course has shaken tech titans who are dedicated to getting the whole world online (and on their platforms). Mark Zuckerberg published a defense of “global community” that acknowledged its discontents, hoping to win the public’s affection before either running for president or making reality obsolete. Uber, meanwhile, stayed true to form and turned the protests into a way to make people hate it even more.

The larger tech world, which is ground zero for the high-tech immigration debate, has been slowly mobilizing to defend immigration. But one has to wonder whether their focus on the H-1B visa program — which lots of people agree actually is in need of reform — isn’t self-serving. In the meantime, the administration’s xenophobic rhetoric, coupled with actual violent incidents and aggressive deportations, is creating a culture of fear.

One can be ambivalent about the motives of Silicon Valley in all this, for sure. But their inane grinning platitudes belie something deeply useless about them when it comes to politics, especially opposition to Trump, that goes beyond the present crisis. Take the cringe humor of Zuckerberg’s strange, alien replica of how a presidential aspirant should address the public, for example: it’s so obviously, comically false it seems like a joke.

But then you remember: Donald Trump is president. Nothing is impossible.

In 1961 an IBM 7094 was the first computer to sing

I had no idea!

Evidently HAL 9000 sang Daisy Bell as a tribute, it is the first song ever sung by a computer. In 1961 an IBM 7094 was the first to raise its voice in song.

The vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and accompaniment was programmed by Max Mathews, but the song was written by Harry Dacre, almost a century earlier, in 1892.

I had no idea!

Evidently HAL 9000 sang Daisy Bell as a tribute, it is the first song ever sung by a computer. In 1961 an IBM 7094 was the first to raise its voice in song.

The vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and accompaniment was programmed by Max Mathews, but the song was written by Harry Dacre, almost a century earlier, in 1892.

A Brief History of Music Festival Fails

To avoid the next Fyre Festival-style debacle, organizers should heed these five lessons.  

When the first wave of attendees arrived at the Fyre Festival in the Bahamas last night, they encountered a scene that didn’t seem to square with the five-figure entry fees some had paid. Instead of a weekend of beachside music, luxurious private-island glamping, and highly Instagrammable gourmet food, attendees were confronted by half-built tents, sad cheese sandwiches, and a general air of menace and chaos. Many took to Twitter to fire off disgruntled missives and photos—setting the stage for tone-deaf comparisons to refugee camps. Soon, guests started bailing for the airport. Then the festival was canceled entirely.

If there’s a lesson here, perhaps it’s that (shocker) you can’t trust everything you see on Instagram. That said, the internet delighted in watching the festival—the brainchild of Ja Rule and technology entrepreneur Billy McFarland—descend into dysfunction. The whole set-up—rich kids flock to an exotic island festival shilled by tastemakers like Kendall Jenner and headlined by Blink-182—stank of everything wrong with Kids These Days.

Fyre Festival’s Twitter-fueled schadenfreude may be the most spectacular megafestival meltdown in recent memory, but it’s hardly the first. The logistical challenges involved in housing, feeding, and attending to the bodily functions of hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers are often beyond the capacities of those who organize these events. These are, after all, essentially pop-up cities, often sited in impractically remote locations and architected by young visionaries with little feel for such infrastructural necessities as toilets, transportation, and tents. Fyre co-founder McFarland appears now to understand this, somewhat belatedly. “We were a little bit ambitious,” he told Rolling Stone. “There wasn’t water or sewage. It was almost like we tried building a city out of nothing.”

Yeah—almost! Indeed, some of the most memorable moments in festival-debacle history offer would-be organizers lessons that city leaders should know all too well.

Altamont, 1969: Avoid overpolicing


Note: Do not hire motorcycle gang members to work security. (AP)

The Rolling Stones wanted to headline a bigger, better Woodstock when they led the effort to scrape together a Bay Area megafestival in the wintry waning weeks of the 1960s. But when the location was moved from bucolic Golden Gate Park to desolate, toilet-deficient Altamont Speedway in Livermore, California, things went south fast. The weather was cold, the vibes were bad, and the Hell’s Angels got hired as “security. (Also, they were paid in beer.) The hippies did not mix well with the sloshed-up bikers, and violent spats erupted all over the grounds. Altamont attendees, in a sense, were both overpoliced and underprotected—a tragically familiar story for many communities in American cities now. By the end of the night, a teenager had been stabbed to death near the stage, a pregnant musician had her skull fractured, and the Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin had been knocked unconscious. “A day when everything went perfectly wrong,” Rolling Stone concluded at the time. But the Stones did get a great movie out of it: the 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter.

US Festival, 1983: The tech lords will not save you


The Woz, mid-US Festival. (Lennox McLendon/AP)

Much like Fyre instigator Billy McFarland, back in 1982 Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was a young technology tycoon with a vision and a limitless budget when he hatched plans for the US Festival, a three-day tech-music-mash-up-fest in the California desert. Wozniak imagined a kumbaya-style gathering that rejected the 1970s “me” ethos for “us.” Instead, he ended up demonstrating the limits of cutting-edge technology and the corrupting power of consumerism at the dawn of the Greed-is-Good decade. The 1982 version of the festival consumed a year of planning, featured tents laden with Apple computers so attendees could play Choplifter!, and lost $12 million. Undaunted, the Woz doubled down on US for the second and last 1983 edition, a four-day festival featuring a banger line-up of period stars. Wozniak decided at the last second to lure David Bowie off his world tour with a $1.5 million booking fee, angering headliners Van Halen, who demanded an extra half-million on top of their fee. That really angered the Clash, who’d only made that much to begin with, and let the audience know onstage. Both concerts bled money, and Wozniak was tens of millions in the hole by the time he decided to go back to the computer business.

Woodstock, 1999: Beware the urban heat island effect


At least Limp Bizkit left: A festivalgoer scavenges the post-apocalyptic aftermath of Woodstock ‘99. (AP)

This crass 30th anniversary money-grab showcased any number of terrible ‘90s things, from the music of Creed to the creepiness of the World Wide Web (the festival’s website delighted in posting photos of topless female festivalgoers). But for our purposes let’s focus on the festival’s inability to properly mitigate the urban heat island effect. Unlike the ‘69 original’s woodsy dairy farm, Woodstock ‘99 made its home on an old Air Force base in Rome, New York, where more than 200,000 attendees broiled atop acres of treeless tarmac in the late-July sun. Hundreds were treated for heat-related illness and dehydration, compounded by a lack of water, inadequate security, shitty music, and general atmosphere of rap-rock-addled idiocy that climaxed in fires and rioting as the show closed.

Isle of Wight, 2012: Invest in walkable infrastructure


No U.K. music festival is complete without mud. (Jim Ross/AP)

Too many people, too much rain, not enough road: That was the story of the 42nd edition of the U.K.’s flagship countercultural festival, held on an island off Wight County. A recurring theme in Brit festival fails involves a lack of weather resiliency (see also perpetually soggy Glastonbury), but this one was particularly spectacular. Nonstop downpours turned the island’s dirt roads to slurry, which caused such a back-up of cars stuck in the mud that ferry service from the mainland had to be suspended. Roughly 600 people spent a night stranded in their vehicles on the boat, with thousands more unable to enter the concert grounds at all. Organizers urged festivalgoers to ditch their cars, and use the alternative ferry for foot-traffic only—perhaps that should have been the message all along.

TomorrowWorld, 2015: The painful price of sprawl  

An astonishing lack of contingency planning led to the undoing of North America’s largest electronic dance music festival, which drew tens of thousands of revelers to a rural corner of unincorporated Fulton County, Georgia every year. In 2015 torrential rains caused campgrounds to flood almost immediately, forcing attendees to seek alternative accommodations—which was tough, since the shuttle stops were literally miles from the mud-soaked 8,000-acre concert grounds. Then concert organizers told everyone who had managed to flee that they weren’t allowed in the next day—a particularly unbecoming look for a festival whose slogan was “Unite Forever,” since many of those who’d stayed were VIP ticket-holders whose plush accommodations hadn’t turned to sludge.

City of Portland may subpoena Uber for details on Greyball program

 The Rose City isn’t happy with Uber… again. After the company failed to turn over details on its deeply sketchy “Greyball” software by Portland’s deadline, the city may seek to compel Uber to hand it over with a subpoena. Those intentions, reported by the Oregonian, were articulated by Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the city’s Bureau… Read More

 The Rose City isn’t happy with Uber… again. After the company failed to turn over details on its deeply sketchy “Greyball” software by Portland’s deadline, the city may seek to compel Uber to hand it over with a subpoena. Those intentions, reported by the Oregonian, were articulated by Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the city’s Bureau… Read More