I've written a guest editorial for the new Guardian Cities site about the way that the offices that house the startups of London's famed "Silicon Roundabout" are being systematically demolished by developers who are put up cheap, high-rise private student housing to take advantage of a foreign-student bubble.
(Note: this went up briefly last week by accident and came down again, apologies if you see this twice)
Within months of the unveiling of Silicon Way, Hackney council approved the demolition of all of the small office spaces in its vicinity: a two-square-block razing that saw Berg, Last.fm and all those other plucky startups chucked out on their ears. Berg's new offices – a tumbledown building slated for demolition at the end of 2014 – are strictly temporary, and they say they're fearful they'll be priced out of Shoreditch for their next move. Last.fm has already left the neighbourhood altogether.
The social media startup in the pub is also long gone – the freeholder, Truman Brewery, got fed up with not selling any beer there, and invoked the lease clause that requires the space to be tenanted by someone who'll sell their products. But almost immediately, they sold out to a property developer who boarded up the windows and moved in "live-in guardians".
Live-in guardians and builders are the two growth industries in Silicon Roundabout these days. Hackney council's planning department is quick to hand out permission to large developers with ambitious high-rise plans, and rumours circulate among planning consultants and architects about the supposed revolving door between jobs in planning and developers' offices.
How startups of Silicon Roundabout are gradually being flattened
When United CEO Oscar Munoz lied about Dr David Dao, slandering the passenger that was beaten unconscious as a direct result of his employees enacting the policies he put in place, he was acting in the knowledge that he would shortly be elevated to the Chairmanship of United’s board of directors.
Motherboard’s Joseph Cox continues his excellent reporting on Flexispy, a company that make “stalkerware” marketed to jealous spouses through a network of shady affiliates who feature dudes beating up their “cheating girlfriends” after catching them by sneaking spyware onto their devices.
In Canada’s hyper-concentrated and vertically integrated telcoms sector, data caps are a normal part of life; and where there are data-caps, there is cable company fuckery in the form of “”zero rating” — when your telcom sells you to online service providers, taking bribes not to count their service against your cap.
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]
Thinking of a business idea is the easy part. Doesn’t even have to be a “good” idea, you can still get people to throw money at a non-existent venture, but to do that you need to at least have something even resembling a viable business plan. Why doesn’t anyone do it then? Because building that semi-viable […]