Each week, the ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ industry observes a sacred ritual: Together, but not quite in sync, dozens of websites embed and then post the longest segment from John Oliver's HBO show, Last Week Tonight. This video is made available by HBO shortly after the show airs—this week's, about the sugar industry, is timestamped October 26th.
That John Oliver's weekly video(s) will go viral is, at this time, a given. Whether or not the posts that embed those videos will go viral is another matter altogether. Each time around there are winners, losers, and mere participants. Here's what happened this week.
"Imagine the ability to create a standing order of Starbucks delivered hot to your desk daily," commands CEO Howard Schultz. "That's our version of e-commerce on steroids." IMAGINE. At face value, this sounds like a reductio ad absurdum scenario for the new logistics-obsessed economy, in which a product is created and then shipped to people who could either make it on their own or purchase it in person at one of the many physical retail locations situated between their beds and their desks. But no, if you actually do imagine this, it's absurd but appealing: If you could summon coffee to your desk every day for a nominal [...]
Here is a perfect beat from Mike WiLL Made It laid over with an EXTREMELY DIVISIVE vocal track from iLoveMakonnen. (Among the more generous Soundcloud comments: "This isn't 'good', but I don't hate it at all…") Makonnen's "Tuesday" caught a lot of people off-guard, too, but then Drake showed up and sort of brute-forced the matter before anyone had time to figure out if they really enjoyed Makonnen's strange, almost over-familiar style. Give this one two or three chances, anyway, it grew on me.
Here is a video that will surprise only men. In it, a woman walks through the streets of New York City, briskly and silently, eyes ahead. Over the course of ten hours she is approached, catcalled and harassed dozens upon dozens of times, all in broad daylight.
The effect is powerful and useful—"10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman" is a succinct answer to anyone who asks, incredulously, if street harassment is really that bad. People who couldn't see for themselves—the ones who needed to, at least—now can.
But the video works in two ways: It's also a neat portrayal of what it is like to [...]
Endeguena Mulu, aka E.R., is one of a handful of musicians who make up the Ethiopiyawi Electronic movement, which lives mostly on a circuit between Addis Ababa and Washington DC. The song is a surreal and dizzying genre mash, with scurrying masenqo strings sliding under rich electronica shot through with cane flutes. (See previously: Mikael Seifu.)
Does this sound a little bit like Massive Attack? It would be well within the regulations of tribute and nostalgia: "Teardrop" came out in 1998. The rest of the album, which is slow and lush and worth a listen, brings to mind The Notwist's Neon Golden, which came out just four years later. Music, the loop, is now barely ten years in circumference.
This week, David Carr writes about Facebook's increasingly psychodramatic relationship with publishers, who, whether or not they've actively catered to the site, have come to depend on it profoundly. The column also carries a bit of news, which has been circulating as a likely theoretical for the last year or so, but which now seems to be real: The company has been on something of a listening tour with publishers, discussing better ways to collaborate. The social network has been eager to help publishers do a better job of servicing readers in the News Feed, including improving their approach to mobile in a variety of ways. One possibility it [...]
President Obama to meet with ebola nurse. will shake hands with ebola nurse. will hug ebola nurse. will pat on head. good ebola nurse good
— Rich Lowtax Kyanka (@lowtax) October 27, 2014
WELCOME TO NEW JERSEY AND NOW GET IN THE TENT, DOCTOR: On Friday, in a surprising move, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey imposed a mandatory quarantine on individuals arriving at two area airports who have had direct contact with those infected with Ebola, including health workers.
Among medical professionals who have been fighting Ebola in West Africa, the restrictions only intensified the debate. While a few [...]
A few days ago, there was a sense among the addled death-shorting Twitter community that "Ebola stocks"—by then shorthand for a specific set of companies that mostly make protective equipment—weren't a great investment. Sure, demand for their products must be up, and their prospects for making money must have improved, but their ability to rain down hot cash on fast-clicking maniacs was diminished. Of course the existence of a horrible virus that has killed thousands of people and will kill thousands more is categorically bad news, but that's beside the point. What isn't beside the point, is a better question to ask of our financial markets.
There was [...]
A walk-around-with-headphones track that rummages through a drawer of twenty-year-old chord progressions and flourishes and somehow comes up with exactly what it needs.
There is something that reviewers are not quite saying about Taylor Swift's new album, 1989. It's on the tips of their tongues. Jon Caramanica comes closest: Modern pop stars — white pop stars, that is — mainly get there by emulating black music. Think of Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber. In the current ecosystem, Katy Perry is probably the pop star least reliant on hip-hop and R&B to make her sound, but her biggest recent hit featured the rapper Juicy J; she’s not immune.
Ms. Swift, though, is having none of that; what she doesn’t do on this album is as important as what she does. There is [...]
Each quarter a gaggle of Bay Area venture capitalists are asked, you know, how does everything feel? Aside from totally great, of course. What's your sense of things, other than that you are changing the world utterly for the better? This quarter’s index measurement fell [to 3.89] from the previous quarter’s index reading of 4.02. The Q3 reading is the first recorded decline in confidence in two years.
In the new report Professor Cannice indicates that “The lower Q3 index reading raises some concern for the near to medium term outlook for the high-growth venture environment.”
The concept of Valley investor "confidence" is unusual. In a survey [...]