October 1st – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

You Be the Judge

“i don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.” Groucho’s famous line is more timely than ever as social media is abuzz with word of a new startup that basically describes itself as a Yelp for People. The site will be called Peeple (they better hope spelling is not heavily weighted in one’s review) and you could be a member, whether you like it or not. Here’s WaPo’s Caitlin Dewey: “You will be able to assign reviews and one- to five-star ratings to everyone you know: your exes, your co-workers, the old guy who lives next door. You can’t opt out — once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it’s there unless you violate the site’s terms of service. And you can’t delete bad or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose.” (I don’t see the need for this product. There’s already a Yelp for people. It’s called the Internet.)

+ Quartz: New data suggests social media brings out the best in us. (I think I’ll wait for the even newer data…)


Oregon Mad

There’s been another tragic school shooting. Early reports suggest as many as ten people have been killed at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. The suspect is in custody. CNN has the latest.

+ SFist: Local artist shot and killed while working on anti-violence mural in West Oakland.


Putin on the Blitz

“It began with a phone call from a Russian diplomat to his counterpart in Baghdad to say ‘we’ve got something interesting to tell you.'” From BBC: How Putin blindsided the US over Syria.



In a lot of communities along the East Coast, people are preparing for the potential wrath of Hurricane Joaquin. One of the reasons that so many people in so many places are worried is because this is one hurricane that doesn’t seem to fit the prediction models.


Man On the Street Reporting

“Up ahead, there was a man, in the street, standing behind a double-parked vehicle. He was concealed from my eyes, but the car detected him. And it slowed down, anticipating that he might step out unexpectedly.” Buzzfeed’s Mat Honan takes a ride in an autonomous car and concludes that there is one thing you should know about them: They are coming. Inevitably. Inexorably. Coming.

+ MIT Tech Review: This car knows your next misstep before you make it.


The Container War

“Containers matter. They shape stories and the experience of stories. Choose the right binding, cloth, trim size, texture of paper, margins and ink, and you will strengthen the bond between reader and text. Choose badly and the object becomes a wedge between reader and text.” In Aeon, the always-interesting Craig Mod ruminates on several years of reading on a screen and his recent return to print. (I made the same switch this year and I’m glad I did. But I do wish there was a way to increase the font size on a printed book.)


What a Rush

“There were reports of canteens charging a dollar for a slice of bread or two if it was buttered, the equivalent of $56. A dozen eggs might cost you $90 at today’s prices; a pick axe would be the equivalent of $1,500; a pound of coffee $1,200 and a pair of boots as much as $3,000.” There’s no doubt that today’s Internet gold rush has made places like San Francisco expensive, but it’s nothing compared to the prices people encountered during the original gold rush.


Channel Change

Want to buy an AppleTV or a Google Chromecast? From now on, you’ll need to do that someplace other than Amazon. That storefront real estate is apparently just a little too prime.


No Pregnant Pause

“In short, Ed Houben might be the world’s least likely natural inseminator (known in the donor world as an N.I., as opposed to an A.I., or artificial inseminator) — and maybe the best, if there is such a thing. Regardless, he’s a very normal-seeming person living a spectacularly abnormal life.” GQ’s Michael Paterniti meets Europe’s most virile man and explains how to have 106 babies (and counting).


Bottom of the News

“In this era of late-period reality television, everything from dating to cooking to haggling has become a sport. It was only a matter of time before baristas, too, could earn the chance for glory through a latte.” Inside the world of coffee obsessives.

+ Rage Against the Machine’s bassist apologizes for Limp Bizkit.

+ This is not an Onion headline: New United CEO Apologizes For 5 Years Of Merger-Related Problems.

+ 9 nodding strategies for your next meeting.

+ And if you haven’t seen it yet, please do me a favor and read and share my post on the Bay Area tech community and kids in the Tenderloin. A few blocks from Medium and Twitter

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