Once Seattle became the first city where Uber drivers were allowed to unionize, the drivers started getting "customer service" calls that polled them on their satisfaction with the company, while ham-handedly pushing anti-union messages. Read the rest
I'm reading from the novel I just finished (Utopia) and then being interviewed by Geekwire's Frank Catalano. Read the rest
Jeff writes, "While reading Cory's recent post about leaving London reminded me more of the unaffordable real estate in Vancouver, British Columbia, it resembles some of the dramatic effects of Amazon and other technology companies driving incredible growth and development here in Seattle. Read the rest
I'm teaching the Clarion West writing workshop in Seattle in late July, and you can come see me at two events, one on July 25, the other on July 28. Read the rest
Seattle has America's fourth-largest homeless population and virtually everything homeless people do is illegal in Washington State, which has added 288 new offenses related to homelessness to its statute-books since 2000 -- amazingly, this did not convince those homeless people to stop being homeless. Read the rest
Brian writes, "Campaign finance reformer and technology law professor Lawrence Lessig, and bestselling author Marianne Williamson, will be at the July 4th Seattle premiere of 'Killswitch: The battle to control the Internet'." Read the rest
Roshan writes, "Rabbitbox is the world's first dedicated companionship dispenser. Its sole purpose is to provide the right combination of physical presence and implied sentience to allow the experience of companionship in its purest, literal form." Read the rest
We're getting together to talk about Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future , a project that Stephenson kicked off -- I've got a story in it called "The Man Who Sold the Moon." Read the rest
It was a 2013 installation called "Bruise," installed at the Seattle Center by Lisa Hein and Robert Seng Read the rest
I'm teaching, as are Andy Duncan, Eileen Gunn, Tobias Buckell, Connie Willis and Nalo Hopkinson. Read the rest
The City of Seattle paid $17,500 to Brand.com to enhance the "online reputation" of City Light, its public utility, and Chief Executive Officer Jorge Carrasco, asking them to "lessen the prevalence of any negative or less-relevant stories" in search results for the utility or the CEO, who was the highest-paid public employee in the city, with a salary of $245,000.
It's not clear what sort of bad news about Carrasco or City Light Brand.com was trying to push off the front page of Google results, but their promised methodology included placing favorable paid articles with the Huffington Post and Examiner.com, as well as "doctorate level content" written by "influential bloggers."
The Huffington Post says that it was unaware if Damon Banks, the writer who published a favorable piece about Carrasco and his utility, was being paid by Brand.com, but if he was, they'd no longer accept work from him. Banks did not reply to a request for comment from the Seattle Times.