wall street journal house of the day

Meanwhile, in the new Tumblr Verizon regime

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/21/15816974/verizon-tumblr-net-neutrality-internet-politics-david-karp

In 2014, Tumblr was on the front lines of the battle for net neutrality. The company stood alongside Amazon, Kickstarter, Etsy, Vimeo, Reddit, and Netflix during Battle for the Net’s day of action. Tumblr CEO David Karp was also part of a group of New York tech CEOs that met with then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in Brooklyn that summer, while the FCC was fielding public comment on new Title II rules. President Obama invited Karp to the White House to discuss various issues around public education, and in February 2015The Wall Street Journal reported that it was the influence of Karp and a small group of liberal tech CEOs that swayed Obama toward a philosophy of internet as public utility.

But three years later, as the battle for net neutrality heats up once again, Tumblr has been uncharacteristically silent. The last mention of net neutrality on Tumblr’s staff blog — whichfrequently posts about political issues from civil rights to climate change to gun control to student loan debt — was in June 2016. And Tumblr is not listed as a participating tech company for Battle for the Net’s next day of action, coming up in three weeks.


“TUMBLR HAS BEEN UNCHARACTERISTICALLY SILENT”
A representative for Battle for the Net told The Verge in an email, “Outreach for the day of action is very much an active and ongoing process… I wouldn’t read too much into who is and isn’t on the list so far.” Still, a rep for Tumblr declined to comment on whether the company would be participating, and AOL’s senior VP of brand communications Caroline Campbell responded to an inquiry about whether Tumblr would maintain its stance on net neutrality, writing “[It’s] just too early to answer your question.”

One reason for Karp and Tumblr’s silence? Last week Verizon completed its acquisition of Tumblr parent company Yahoo, kicking off the subsequent merger of Yahoo and AOL to create a new company called Oath. As one of the world’s largest ISPs, Verizon is notorious for challenging the principles of net neutrality — it sued the FCC in an effort to overturn net neutrality rules in 2011, and its general counsel Kathy Grillo published a note this Aprilcomplimenting new FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to weaken telecommunication regulations.


Now, multiple sources tell The Verge that employees are concerned that Karp has been discouraged from speaking publicly on the issue, and one engineer conveyed that Karp told a group of engineers and engineering directors as much in a weekly meeting that took place shortly after SXSW. “Karp has talked about the net neutrality stuff internally, but won’t commit to supporting it externally anymore,” the engineer said. “[He] assures [us] that he is gonna keep trying to fight for the ability to fight for it publicly.” Karp did not respond to four emails asking for comment, and neither Yahoo nor Tumblr would speak about the matter on the record.

On the day Verizon’s Yahoo acquisition was completed, Tumblr was hit by a wave of layoffs. A number of current and former employees shared a post by social media industry commentator Andréa López entitled “Layoffs and Tumblr the Centipede.” In it, López theorizes, “In addition to the real life talented human beings impacted by these layoffs, the move is a warning and reminder — Tumblr is no longer in the protective purgatory of pre-Verizon Yahoo.” If Mayer’s Yahoo didn’t really know what it was doing with Tumblr, that meant Tumblr was free to do what it wanted. That extended to politics: Yahoo didn’t give Tumblr any official blessing or encouragement when it decided to become the tech industry’s fiercest net neutrality defender three years ago. Now things are a little bit stickier.

Bryan Irace, an engineering manager who worked at Tumblr from March 2012 to November 2015, explained Tumblr’s culture to The Verge in an email, writing, “We all [participated]. As with many other causes (e.g. SOPA/PIPA), [net neutrality] was a hugepart of the company culture. A free and open Internet was a prerequisite for Tumblr to grow from an idea in David’s head into the platform that it is today… During my tenure there, Tumblr never shied away from speaking out about causes that the team collectively believed in….

Confronted with unmistakable evidence that business-as-usual had been resumed on Wall Street- including a crop of multi-billion dollar bonus packages and an unseemly scramble to repay government loans before restrictions on executive compensation could bite- Obama nevertheless meekly invited the captains of finance to ‘join us in a constructive effort to update the rules,’ based on the principles of transparency and accountability; emphasizing that 'we want to work with the financial industry to achieve that end.’  Reminding the financiers of their responsibilities and obligations, words that were used more than twenty times in the speech, Obama pleaded with the industry to call of its lobbyists, and, above all, 'to embrace serious financial reform, not resist it.’
But as the legislation for the re-regulation of the financial sector lumbered through Congress, checked and diluted by the most formidable lobby of them all, many sensed that the historic opportunity for real, biting regulation had already been squandered.  As crisis passed to normalcy, leverage had been lost.  Exhortation and second-best efforts seemed to be all that were left.  To make matters worse, the banks that had been restored to rude profitability at the public expense were failing to reinvest in the still-ailing domestic economy.  This was the proximate cause of Obama’s uncharacteristic outburst, on national television, against the behavior of that 'bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street’- promptly derided by the Wall Street Journal as a crass return to the populist playbook, 'banker baiting 101.’  If this was an attempt to use the bully pulpit, in advance of a private meeting with the major banks scheduled for the next day, it backfired.  Savvy enough to avoid the use of corporate jets, and therefore repeating the public-relations gaffe committed by bailed-out auto executives earlier in the year, the heads of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley opted to take commercial flights on the morning of the meeting, but were delayed by fog.  Other banking leaders made the White House meeting, by way of a combination of trains, automobiles, and more thoughtful planning, but the moment was again mostly lost.  While Obama did his best to prod the bank bosses, with the aid of a speakerphone link to New York, to start lending again to small businesses and to stop fighting the regulations that were being formulated in Washington, the New York Times reported that the President had publicly 'confronted the limits of his power.’
— 

Jamie Peck, Constructions of Neoliberal Reason

This makes the whole bailout ordeal look even more pathetic for Obama than it already did- the bankers pissed all over him and sabotaged his regulatory program.  Now, they’re working with Trump to eliminate Dodd-Frank.  Of course, he’s doing paid speeches for Wall Street now, even after throwing a minor fit after they coordinated to ruin his plans.

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The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop. I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change. - Emma Stone for The Wall Street Journal magazine (June 2015)

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“The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop. I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change.”

-Emma Stone for The Wall Street Journal

George Harrison in the garden at Kinfauns, Esher, 1965, photographed by The Beatles Book

“The home is surrounded by about an acre of walled gardens, part of the Claremont House Estate, which was bought by Queen Victoria as a wedding present for her son Prince Leopold. […] [The] high walls were designed in the 18th century by John Vanbrugh, the architect responsible for Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard.” - “House of the Day: Modern Mansion With A Beatles Connection” by Nick Clayton, The Wall Street Journal, 9 April 2015

The Syrian War Keeps Getting Worse for the People of Aleppo

A year ago, almost to the day, I watched a graffiti artist named Khalifa paint a huge smiley face onto a wall. The wall was pretty much all that remained of the house it had been part of, and every other house on the street was in a similarly bad state. The day before, the street had been hit by a Scud missile: That was Aleppo, Syria, in 2013.

Khalifa had sprayed a slogan next to the smiley face. It read, in Arabic, “Tomorrow this will be beautiful.”

He was wrong.

theverge.com
Waffle House becomes an unlikely competitor to FedEx and UPS

Waffle House wants in on the sharing economy. The US diner chain today announced a partnership with Roadie, a startup that aims to become the “Uber of package delivery.” The app, which launched last month, lets travelers earn money by delivering packages to locations along their routes.

At the moment, users can send packages from within 10 states across the southeast US, and most packages are delivered door to door, but the company is looking to create a network of meeting places for users to hand off deliveries, which is where Waffle House comes in. With today’s partnership, users will be able to meet and execute deliveries at the company’s 1,750 diners across the US, which are open 24 hours a day. Waffle House will also offer a free waffle and drink to drivers making deliveries at their eateries.

“We’re just bacon and eggs over here,” Walt Ehmer, Waffle House’s CEO, tells The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the partnership. “I’ve been amazed with the explosion of Uber and Airbnb and other technology that kind of enables people to get together and conduct business together.”

Roadie takes direct aim at major delivery services like FedEx and UPS, though it’s still in its nascent phase. …