Silicon Valley Techno-Utopianism

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My main go-to is still a 2000yen Don Quijote find from 15 years ago lol. I bought it to supplement my Samsonite and it has replaced it.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 6 December 2019 20:47 (ten months ago) link

But you have to take out the battery to check the bag. Also a lot of airports now have tons of charging stations even if you don't have lounge access so it seems like a meh perk.

xpost Oh, I will check out the local DonQ in Jan. I was planning on getting a bag from somewhere then. Typically, the actual hardshell is always fine but it's the handles and wheels that go first and crack out of the shell.

Yerac, Friday, 6 December 2019 20:52 (ten months ago) link

check out the death stranding thread

$1,000,000 or 1 bag of honeycrisp apples (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 6 December 2019 21:38 (ten months ago) link

I also don't want a suitcase with a baby in a bubble.

Yerac, Friday, 6 December 2019 21:51 (ten months ago) link have their own house brand and they hold up incredibly well. I still use a weekender backpack I bought from them 15 years ago, it goes with me on basically every trip

Hard shells are ridiculous btw, idgi

El Tomboto, Saturday, 7 December 2019 01:00 (ten months ago) link

But you have to take out the battery to check the bag. Also a lot of airports now have tons of charging stations even if you don't have lounge access so it seems like a meh perk.

yes it was a joke. no one should buy these bags.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 7 December 2019 01:13 (ten months ago) link

I was recently gifted an inexpensive hardshell from bed bath and beyond. It meets international carry-on restrictions, and I can fit a lot of stuff into it. It may not last that long but for now it is the best piece of luggage I've ever had

Dan S, Saturday, 7 December 2019 01:16 (ten months ago) link

you have to remove the battery from the bags where they’re part of the bag even if you’re not checking them now, I think. some airlines don’t even let them in the overhead compartment!

I get the convenience idea but binding a somewhat perishable commodity to a suitcase, which could last most people decades, seems like you’re acknowledging the suitcase is a disposable reputation item

mh, Saturday, 7 December 2019 01:17 (ten months ago) link

I like hardshells because I sometimes take a lot of breakable things (bottles) on flights. I think I have a samsonite or delph spinner right now and my normal carry on is a weird japanese softshell. I can do 3 weeks with only a commuter backpack as long as it's not super wintery.

Yerac, Saturday, 7 December 2019 02:13 (ten months ago) link

i don't know what delph is, i meant delsey.

Yerac, Saturday, 7 December 2019 02:31 (ten months ago) link

Use this thread to discuss how 2 use luggage moar effective LUGGAGE ADVICE SOUGHT

El Tomboto, Saturday, 7 December 2019 04:40 (ten months ago) link

I was picturing Yerac with bottles and maybe crackers stuffed in a suitcase and was pondering how endearingly on character that’d be!

mh, Saturday, 7 December 2019 19:24 (ten months ago) link

lmao and rip to the scooter startup whose efforts at nominative determinism were a colossal failure

Unicorn, the electric scooter startup from the co-creator of gadget tracker Tile, is shutting down operations after blowing all its cash on Facebook and Google ads but only receiving 350 orders for its glossy white e-scooters, it claims. In an email to customers, the company says it lacks the resources to deliver any of its $699 two-wheelers, and won’t be issuing refunds “as we are completely out of funding.”

In a remorseful email, Unicorn CEO Nick Evans said the company had “totally failed as a business” and has also “spread the cost of this failure to you, the early customers that believed in us.”

Unicorn emerged six months ago as part of a new crop of scooter startups hoping to capitalize on the popularity of dockless rental services like Bird and Lime, while also pitching itself as an affordable alternative to shared scooters. In addition to having a striking profile — the all-white look was really something — the scooter was loaded with a lot of high-tech bells and whistles, like GPS tracking and smartphone-enabled locking. Naturally it included integration with Tile, Evans’ other company, which uses Bluetooth to track lost items, like a wallet, keys, or phone.

But now Unicorn is no more. The company claims it sunk all its money into advertising and marketing, as well as loan repayments and other expenses, with little leftover for production and deliveries.

"Big Joe Fuck and the Bogalusa Maniac" (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 9 December 2019 13:14 (ten months ago) link

can't believe that spending all your money on advertising and forgetting to keep some aside to actually build your product was not a gangbusters business plan

"Big Joe Fuck and the Bogalusa Maniac" (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 9 December 2019 13:15 (ten months ago) link


Doctor Casino, Monday, 9 December 2019 13:44 (ten months ago) link


breastcrawl, Monday, 9 December 2019 15:18 (ten months ago) link

I guess their value proposition was they had an app and maybe an additional piece of hardware tagged on to a scooter they were sourcing from segway

mh, Monday, 9 December 2019 15:40 (ten months ago) link

how is that not just committing fraud?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 9 December 2019 16:00 (ten months ago) link

look if 'fraud' is disqualifying in and of itself then we're gonna have to shut down a lot of tech companies, can't we just keep turning a blind eye and pretend we're not heading for a colossal collapse for a little bit longer

a synthesis of Trotskyism and Ufology (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 9 December 2019 16:03 (ten months ago) link

Zuck's laughing all the way to the bank.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 9 December 2019 16:47 (ten months ago) link

The Event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down.
This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers — if that technology could be developed in time.
That’s when it hit me: At least as far as these gentlemen were concerned, this was a talk about the future of technology. Taking their cue from Elon Musk colonizing Mars, Peter Thiel reversing the aging process, or Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.


WWhen the hedge funders asked me the best way to maintain authority over their security forces after “the event,” I suggested that their best bet would be to treat those people really well, right now. They should be engaging with their security staffs as if they were members of their own family. And the more they can expand this ethos of inclusivity to the rest of their business practices, supply chain management, sustainability efforts, and wealth distribution, the less chance there will be of an “event” in the first place. All this technological wizardry could be applied toward less romantic but entirely more collective interests right now.
They were amused by my optimism, but they didn’t really buy it. They were not interested in how to avoid a calamity; they’re convinced we are too far gone. For all their wealth and power, they don’t believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves — especially if they can’t get a seat on the rocket to Mars.

treeship., Monday, 9 December 2019 17:44 (ten months ago) link

William Gibson called it the Jackpot, a better name than the Event

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Monday, 9 December 2019 17:47 (ten months ago) link

Allegedly this is real. I wonder why the author doesn’t disclose the names of the people at this conference though.

treeship., Monday, 9 December 2019 17:50 (ten months ago) link

In any case, embellished or not, it’s true that the billionaire class isn’t interested in humanity’s collective future.

treeship., Monday, 9 December 2019 17:51 (ten months ago) link

that story’s 18 months old tbf, i’m sure our overlords have reconsidered their approach and embraced eco-friendly socialism by now

a synthesis of Trotskyism and Ufology (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 9 December 2019 17:52 (ten months ago) link

He probably can’t identify 100 investment bankers by sight? He was just the hired help.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Monday, 9 December 2019 17:52 (ten months ago) link

he said there were only 5 people in this room

treeship., Monday, 9 December 2019 18:09 (ten months ago) link

a gift of accountability?

— Erin Griffith (@eringriffith) December 9, 2019

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 9 December 2019 23:06 (ten months ago) link

I don't know what this site is, that Slashdot linked to in their item about the news, but it speaks to what I found weird about the whole Away story when I got round to reading it after discussion here had died down. Y'know, that the only quoted example of the terrible culture was this one leader.

The original article was also really weird about the hire of an intermediary manager to sit between the exec and the customer experience workers, making their magic work of disrupting the luggage business briefly more tolerable. The workers loved him and his sacking was a blow to morale. The story seemed to bend over backwards to avoid drawing the conclusion that, perhaps, when there is a chronic work backlog, maybe a company just needs to hire more fucking workers.

maffew12, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 14:44 (ten months ago) link

I skimmed that yesterday but it's pretty obviously Gruber being a weird bootlicker and doing some weird "no, I am the woke one" about a man replacing a woman

a u.s. government department (mh), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:11 (ten months ago) link

you see, The Verge got played by people who wanted to actually make this a success story about replacing a woman (who was toxic!) with a man, who we have had in the wings as we engineered this cover story

fwiw someone on twitter pointed out that the incoming CEO is coming from Lululemon, who notoriously have a weird corporate culture that's been documented elsewhere, including a period where they were sending their employees to Landmark Forum sessions

a u.s. government department (mh), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:14 (ten months ago) link

fwiw if you're interested in the other follies of mr. indefensible: john gruber

a u.s. government department (mh), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:21 (ten months ago) link

uh as much as I'm loathe to relate to VC types, there are some decent (and some truly awful) responses here

as much as the outsourcing and globalization of support has led to roles moving away from US companies... why the fuck did they not anticipate a huge surge over the holidays and just hire a communications team elsewhere. maybe even one where.. christmas isn't necessarily a holiday for the staff?

a u.s. government department (mh), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:47 (ten months ago) link


𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 17:36 (ten months ago) link


mookieproof, Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:02 (ten months ago) link


Receive Your Simulated Fluids Before The End of The Year! (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:04 (ten months ago) link

no YOU'RE a phone

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:13 (ten months ago) link

ok yes fuck subscriptions in general but I am curious abt these headphones, afaik this design/tech/build is not elsewhere available?

otoh not sure I trust I would trust an app to EQ for me and am afraid what it would tell me about my hearing loss

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 15 December 2019 16:33 (ten months ago) link

EQ is a joke

Bo Johnson Overdrive (crüt), Sunday, 15 December 2019 16:39 (ten months ago) link


When given the option I always adjust EQ levels to suit a given system.

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 15 December 2019 16:52 (ten months ago) link

to clarify w/r/t novelty of this technology I'm referring to isolating the low end over the ear and transmitting higher frequencies via earbud

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 15 December 2019 16:55 (ten months ago) link

mlk, gandhi, maggie

Most people that changed the world were workaholics. MLK, Gandhi, Hamilton, Thatcher, etc all worked nights and weekends.

But if you are not interested in changing the world, then working more than 40 hours a week is optional.

I choose to try to change the world.

— Auren 𝐇𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐦𝐚𝐧 (@auren) December 25, 2019

mookieproof, Thursday, 26 December 2019 02:35 (nine months ago) link

At least two notorious adulterers on that list, and it seems that Gandhi had a questionable sex life to say the least. I assume Maggie never fucked

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Thursday, 26 December 2019 03:48 (nine months ago) link

Wait a mo. I consider it possible that Maggie and Dennis could have had occasional angry sex.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 26 December 2019 03:53 (nine months ago) link

Who’d fuck someone named Dennis

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Thursday, 26 December 2019 03:54 (nine months ago) link

hmmm, makes you think

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 26 December 2019 03:58 (nine months ago) link

Nura came up through the university accelerator I occasionally mentor at. They stared as a couple of PhDs with some tech to make adaptive hearing aids that worked with the strengths and weaknesses of people hearing. Headphones was mainly something to do whilst they worked out how do the re gu altitude stuff for a medical device.

Headphones took off and the rest is history. The tech is cool and sounds remarkably good but I find the weird nipples in the earcups to be pretty uncomfortable. Keen to try the nuraloop buds when the come out.

Subscription is ridiculous but that’s the way of things today.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 26 December 2019 08:49 (nine months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Guess who's back!

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Monday, 13 January 2020 16:32 (nine months ago) link

they must have figured out the people they sell luggage to only read lifestyle magazines, so any news article (or the verge) wasn't going to affect their sales, right?

of course they're suing the verge, though. classic thiel move

babu frik fan account (mh), Monday, 13 January 2020 18:03 (nine months ago) link

I’ve come to the view this as part of the project of the book itself: to leave us unsettled by how its narrator, like all of us, remains somewhat in the Valley’s mindset, if not its pocket. This entanglement is a feature of the system that works, as she notes, precisely as designed. In the end, for all the generosity she extends to those around her, Wiener is unsparing with herself: “Certain unflattering truths: I had felt unassailable behind the walls of power. Society was shifting, and I felt safer inside the empire, inside the machine. It was preferable to be on the side that did the watching than the side being watched.” Wiener has written an indispensable chronicle of this era in tech, the consequences of which we will all reckon with as the next decade unfolds. Still, given the Valley’s unmatched ability to avoid any sense of guilt as the world around it burns, there is no doubt in my mind that while Uncanny Valley will be read widely and voraciously throughout the empire, Wiener’s readers—techno-skeptics and technologists alike—will be able to recognize themselves without feeling indicted.

But surely someone, somewhere, eventually, will need to feel indicted. At some point, we’re going to need the sharp end of the knife.

j., Tuesday, 21 January 2020 03:18 (nine months ago) link

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