Have your friends signed up?
Okay, let's start with ...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Alongside unicorns boasting sky-high IPOs and sparkling urban redevelopments, superstar cities like New York and San Francisco are beset by ever-deepening inequality and housing crises.
That's the steep cost of superstardom — an enviable tax base and a glamorous reputation, set against rife homelessness, hours-long commutes in bumper-to-bumper Teslas and BMWs, and the erosion of your home's character.
Erica writes: As we reported last week, longstanding U.S. tech hubs like Boston, Seattle and Silicon Valley continue to build in stature, pumping out top-tier, high-paying jobs, and serving as the setting for fancy, high-cost pads.
But there are also numerous, and so far unyielding, downsides to tech superstardom — starting with living as a company town and stretching to city demography:
The big picture: Articles after articles have chronicled the housing crunch in superstar tech hubs — skyrocketing home prices that push out almost all but the beneficiaries of a rich IPO.
But a less-reported-on effect of tech's rise is the slow evisceration of the soul of the cities they call home — apparent through transformed neighborhoods and the detritus of shuttered local businesses.
“I don’t know that we can get the folks back that we’ve lost,” says Friedenbach. “A lot of the fabric of the community is gone.”
By some metrics, life is good for superstar city residents.
And some experts say tech companies are wrongly blamed for some urban ills — such as homelessness:
Photo: Barry Chin/Boston Globe/Getty
Labor experts call a tentative new contract reached by striking Stop & Shop workers a rare victory for unions after three decades of plunging leverage with companies.
What's happening: The deal, struck Sunday and subject to ratification by some 30,000 workers of the northeast U.S. supermarket chain, has not been made public, but reportedly includes higher wages and retention of health and retirement benefits. It also appears to include a sweetener for management in the form of less compensation and benefits for new hires.
The big picture: It is early, but labor may be another beneficiary of the abrupt transformation in political and social thinking over the last 2 years. The public has dramatically shifted track across fundamental issues, including on capitalism, gender rights and technology.
Nilsson, 1987. Photo: Ed Souza/Stanford News Service
Nils Nilsson, a pioneer in artificial intelligence whose groundbreaking work helped lead to today's online maps, died yesterday at the age of 86.
Kaveh writes: Nilsson's work was foundational to several modern technologies. Anyone who has gotten directions online, played a video game, or marveled at moving robots has experienced the legacy of his research.
Nilsson's navigation work "motivated everything that's in Waze and Google Maps," says Frank Chen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz who studied under Nilsson at Stanford. "That's pretty lasting influence."
In his 2010 history of AI, Nilsson wrote: "I have participated in the quest for artificial intelligence for fifty years — all of my professional life and nearly all of the life of the field."
"A lot of people in computer science would say, 'Well, AI's intractable, because the problems are all exponential. … ' My point of view about that is that that might be. Posed in that fashion, they may be intractable. [But] people do them."
Now, decades later, one of his biggest contributions is experiencing a resurgence. After a period of unpopularity, a method Nilsson championed — giving an AI system specific rules, rather than having it learn them from data — is thought to be able to take AI to the next level, if paired with new techniques like deep learning.
The breadth of Nilsson's legacy has been reflected on Twitter:
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Waldo hides in plain sight at a Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames game. Photo: Todd Korol/Getty
Remember the iconic "Where's Waldo" books? How long did it typically take you to find him in his red-and-white-striped glory?
Erica writes: Well, there's a new robot that can find Waldo in 4.5 seconds or less — every time. The machine uses computer vision, trained on thousands of images of Waldo, to pinpoint his face on the page, reports Bloomberg.