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Matt Buchanan

Matt Buchanan

Most Recently: Uber Optics

Uber Optics

As communities are heading back to school, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the educators who are also our Uber partner drivers. Whether it’s an afternoon shift or a summertime gig, partnering with Uber provides teachers with the flexibility and opportunity they need to continue creating a foundation of excellence for students across the country. READ MORE

The Ads We Deserve

Facebook has made a great many terrible promises to a great many terrible people about all of the terrible ways that those terrible people—and Facebook!—can make a lot of money using the incredibly personal data extracted from users to sell them terrible products. Not all of those promises have panned out. But one can get an approximate sense of how genuinely anxious one should be, as a Facebook user, by how genuinely excited the terrible people become at the prospect of one of these promises. (It's a roughly inverse relationship: The more excited they are, the more unnerved one can choose to feel. It's like when somebody guffaws loudly on CNBC, the appropriate response is a deep, guttural sensation of sickness. Anyway.) Here's what some terrible people saying Facebook's new advertising platform, Atlas, which will let them track users and display ads based on their Facebook data not just on Facebook, but e v e r y w h e r e: READ MORE

The Rodent and the Mayor

Brian Morris, a spokesman for the zoo, said officials were in the process of revisiting animal protocols, and it was "more than likely" that new rules would keep mayors and groundhogs from coming into contact every February. READ MORE

Middleman Removed

But consider the experience of Chris Dannen, a 29-year-old ­webtrepreneur who was served with an eviction notice after a year of hosting Airbnb guests in his Greenpoint apartment. When he dropped off his final rent check, he noticed the management company was converting it into a hotel: The "loft suite" apartments are currently listed on Airbnb for $199. Dannen was, and still is, a believer in Airbnb’s cause. "I’m of the millennial view that it’s a nice way to meet people and make friends." But he was disappointed in Airbnb’s reaction to his situation. "In retrospect, I would say, they knew this was going to happen to people, and they didn’t do anything to help me."
A gentle reminder from Jessica Pressler's massive piece on Airbnb in New York City: If you could make a lot of money renting out your apartment on a nightly basis, your landlord could probably make even more.

Are You a Tech Company?

In 2014, there are but a few questions to ask yourself in order to determine if you are a technology company or "startup." READ MORE

The Real Estate Agent's Preferred Way of Thinking About Climate Change

“The answer is the Pacific Northwest, and probably especially west of the Cascades.” READ MORE

How to Be an Ex-President

September, 2014:

At the Smorgasburg food fair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mikheil Saakashvili motored in fluorescent green sneakers among bearded men with tattoos and women in revealing overalls. They lined up for Cheese Pops, Dun-Well Doughnuts and other local delicacies. He ordered a coconut. ... Mr. Saakashvili is in self-imposed exile on North Seventh Street — plotting a triumphant return, even as his steep fall from grace serves as a cautionary tale to the many American government officials who had hoped he would be a model exporter of democracy to former Soviet republics. READ MORE

A New York Superlative

The mean income of the top 5 percent of households in Manhattan soared 9 percent in 2013 over 2012, giving Manhattan the biggest dollar income gap of any county in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau The top 5 percent of households earned $864,394, or 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is being released Thursday and covers the final year of the Bloomberg administration.
The meaning of this statistic, which still maintains a limited ability to shock in our post-Piketty era, will magically unravel itself in due time as many of the remaining the poor find themselves simply pushed off the island—by rising rents, by new condos, by eminent domain—and the upper bounds of wealth begin to resemble the needle-thin skyscrapers being constructed to contain so much that wealth: an asymptote reaching toward infinity.

The Mathematics of Re-Calibration

An electorate reshaped by a growing presence of liberal millennials, minorities, and a secular, unmarried and educated white voting bloc will most likely force Republicans to recalibrate. ... When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, white voters without a college degree made up 65 percent of the electorate; by 2012, that number had dropped to 36 percent.
The latter statistic is more complicated than it seems, in large part because more people than ever are getting college degrees—33.5 percent of people between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-nine had a bachelor's degree in 2012, versus 24.7 percent in 1995 versus 21.9 percent in 1975, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Given that the rise has benefitted minorities and, in particular, women, while the share of people from low-income families attaining those degrees has "remained relatively flat over the last several decades," what's been eroded, in part, is the bastion of white men who were able to skip college and attain a middle-classish existence, leaving the remaining uneducated whites exposed and isolated, economically and, increasingly, socially—making them angrier and louder and, unfortunately for them, their views ever more toxic to the nationally minded politicians who once clamored for their votes. If Democrats can win today on issues of reproductive rights and gay marriage in the South—if only occasionally, for now—who will be left representing the poor, conservative white man in a decade? READ MORE

The Economics of Plugged Leaks

Mr. Balazs insists on privacy, discouraging cellphone pictures by guests. Employees surrender their phones during working hours and submit to “the most draconian sort of confidentiality agreements,” he said. READ MORE