Today in Landfill Capitalism

In case there was any lingering doubt about the scooter business model:

  1. Dump electronic junk onto the street;
  2. Abandon it and walk away as soon as any unit stops generating money;
  3. Shift the cost of collection, storage, and disposal onto the taxpayers.

I told you so!

These scooters were standard, off-the-shelf electric scooters made in China, loaded up with battery packs, motors, and a 'brain box' that has a GPS unit, a cellular modem, and a few more electronics that turn this dumb electric scooter into something you can ride via an app. Dropping electronic waste on cities around the country was not looked upon kindly by these municipalities, and right now there are hundreds of Bird and Lime scooters in towing yards, just waiting to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. [...]

Right now, humanbeing21 is in contact with a towing company that has well over a hundred Bird scooters on their lot, each accruing daily storage fees. Since these scooters only cost about $400 new, we're probably well past the time when it makes sense for Bird to pay to get them out of storage. This means they'll probably be heading for an auction where anyone can pick them up -- all of them -- for a hundred bucks or so.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Mozilla mourns Microsoft

Because we live in the Stupidest Timeline, Mozilla find themselves needing to point out that MICROS~1 leaving the web browser market is bad for the web.

Stupidest. Stupidest, stupidest, stupidest timeline.

Mozilla Blog: Goodbye, EdgeHTML:

Microsoft is officially giving up on an independent shared platform for the internet. By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google. [...]

From a business point of view Microsoft's decision may well make sense. Google is so close to almost complete control of the infrastructure of our online lives that it may not be profitable to continue to fight this. [...] From a social, civic and individual empowerment perspective ceding control of fundamental online infrastructure to a single company is terrible. This is why Mozilla exists. We compete with Google not because it's a good business opportunity. We compete with Google because the health of the internet and online life depend on competition and choice. They depend on consumers being able to decide we want something better and to take action.

So that "this is why Mozilla exists" sentiment is great and all, but....

Remember back in the 90s when Gates was claiming that Internet Explorer was an inseparable part of the Windows operating system, and then someone asked him a question he couldn't answer: "Which part of Windows is Internet Explorer for Mac"?

Well, what part of "the health of the internet and online life depend on competition and choice" is served by Mozilla's partnership with vertically integrated, predatory multinational monopolists like Live Nation? Or by implementing DRM?

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Endangered Hawaiian monk seals keep getting eels stuck up their noses and scientists want them to stop

I know that eel, bro:

It took several emails and phone calls before the decision was made to grab the eel and try pulling it out.

"There was only maybe two inches of the eel actually still sticking out of the nose, so it was very much akin to the magician's trick when they're pulling out the handkerchiefs and they keep coming and coming and coming," he said.

After less than a minute of tugging, a two-and-a-half-foot dead eel emerged from the seal's nostril.

Since then, Littnan said there have been at least three or four reported cases, and the most recent occurred this fall. In all the cases, the eels were removed successfully and the seals are "doing great," he said. None of the eels, however, survived. [...]

If monk seals could understand humans, Littnan said he has a message for them: "I would gently plead for them to stop."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Orbital was the first band that I saw in San Francisco. It was 1990 and I crossed the bridge from Berkeley to see them at some club called The Bridge. I don't remember who the opener was -- maybe it was Consolidated? Someone like that -- but I was standing at the back by the sound booth when Orbital began, and they performed from the sound booth, so suddenly I was I the "front row", leaning into the window and watching these two nerdy bald guys with headlights on their glasses turn knobs and punch arcane numbers into the keypads of a really impressive stack of 1U rack-mount devices.

So then years later, I'm leaning against the Trocadero bar, probably at Death Guild, and I'm telling someone the Orbital story. "Yeah, I don't know where that club was... I hadn't lived here long...", I said. "There was a stage over there, and the bar was over there, and stairs were over there, and HEY WAIT A MINUTE it was this building!"

So it turns out that the Trocadero, which has been named that since the 70s, was renamed to "The Bridge" for like, six months in the middle of its 30 year history. Weird.

And then suddenly:

It's 1995. I'm seeing Hackers, for the first time, in the theatre. The opening song is Halcyon + On + On. I think, "Ok, Orbital, cool! A little old school. But I see what you're doing here. I'll allow it."

Anyway, if you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her...

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