The new Apple campus has a 100,000 sqft gym and no daycare

Construction is near to completion on Apple's $5B campus in Cupertino, and the project has included many odd notes, like the insistence on not having thresholds on the floor of the doorways lest daydreaming engineers trip over them, and some weird ideas about where the bathrooms should go. Read the rest

Across America, employers are using noncompetes to claim ownership of employees' skills

Noncompete agreements have historically been the provision of highly-placed execs and critical "knowledge workers" (and even then, fast-growing economies like California have banned them in the interests of encouraging competition and growth) but now employers are routinely making the "agreements" a condition of unskilled waged labor, from making sandwiches to digging holes for $10/hour. Read the rest

Guillotine watch: LAX's new one-percenter luxury terminal -- UPDATED with veiled legal threats!, AND MORE LEGAL THREATS!

Update again: We've had yet another legal threat regarding this. The lawyers for the terminal want us to include the notice below or face litigatation. I think it was all implied by my update yesterday, but I have no objection to adding this text too (they sent it to us as a bitmap, so I can't paste the text, but I'm including a screenshot of the relevant section of the letter). They require that this notice be posted without "more content that is sarcastic and malicious.":

Update: the proprietors of this dubious enterprise want everyone to know that the REDACTED that shows the REDACTED captioned with REDACTED is not on general display. It is REDACTED.

Trieste Pinzini, writing on behalf of ID PR, sent me a note advising me that "This matter has now fallen into legal matter," which is technically a sentence, though I'm not sure what, exactly, it means.

Ms Pinzini wrote to me initially at an email address I don't use for Boing Boing correspondence and don't pay close attention to. Now I've got her second email, which notes, (hilariously) that "The erroneous story you ran produced 100+ disparaging comments, specifically about the non-existent video supposedly shown to customers of The Private Suite."

Yeah. Because the thing that really stood out about this thing was REDACTED.

Pay $7,500/year and $2,700/flight and you can use can use the new "private terminal" at LAX where you are waited on hand-and-foot, including a personal sit-down with the TSA guard who "searches" you before you're put in a BMW and driven across the tarmac to your flight -- best of all, REDACTED. Read the rest

Soupy Leaves Home: a masterpiece of YA graphic storytelling, about hobos on the open road

In Soupy Leaves Home, writer Cecil Castellucci and artist Jose Pimienta expand the borders of young adult graphic novels, telling a moving, inspiring tale of Depression-era hobos, identity, gender, suspicion, solidarity, and the complicated business of being true to yourself while living up to your obligations to others.

Michigan students stage sit-in in solidarity with laid-off teachers

Students of Avondale High School in the Detroit neighborhood of Auburn, MI are currently sitting in in the hallways of their school to protest the announcement that 6 of their teachers were to be laid off. Read the rest

Coal execs' pay rises and rises, while miners' wages stagnate

The coal CEOs who are leading their companies to bankruptcy are pocketing multimillion-dollar bonuses, with average coal exec wages rising five times as fast as wages for miners since 2004: execs take home an average of $200K (up 60%!) while tractor/truck drivers average $43,770 (up 15%, a real-terms pay-cut) and mining construction workers average $31,470 (up 11%, another real-terms cut). Read the rest

Google order its secretive "raters'" hours cut, so now they're going public

Google often boasts about the 10,000 skilled raters who test its results, reporting weird kinks in the ranking algorithms and classifiers that the company uses for everything from search results to ad placement to automated photo recognition. Read the rest

Extreme wealth inequality will always devour the societies that produce it

My new novel Walkaway (US tour/UK tour) is set in a world that is being torn apart by out-of-control wealth inequality, but not everyone thinks that inequality is what destabilizes the world -- there's a kind of free-market belief that says the problem is really poverty, not inequality, and that the same forces that make the rich richer also lift poor people out of misery, delivering the sanitation, mass food production, communications tools and other innovations that rescues poor people from privation. Read the rest

"Golden Geese": the American 1%ers who arrange a second citizenship to escape taxation

David Lesperance is a Canadian-born lawyer who specializes in helping the super-rich secretly buy foreign citizenship so they can escape taxation at home. Read the rest

Poor Alabama county is a hotbed of "neglected tropical diseases"

The Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise worked with Houston's National School of Tropical Medicine to sample "soil and water...blood and faecal samples" from Alabama's Lowndes County, a poor rural area. Read the rest

Wells Fargo woulda gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that darn trade union

For decades, Wells Fargo pressured its employees to commit millions of acts of fraud against its customers, using threats and blackballing to terrorize low-level employees. Read the rest

United's passenger-beatings are a feature of its business, not a bug

In a world where the airlines record-smashing profits comes from a small number of increasingly luxurious first-class seats, the entire focus of the industry is on figuring out how to convince just a few marginal customers to spend more for one of those profit-centers instead of deadheading in coach. Read the rest

Wells Fargo board to force fraud-implicated former execs to repay $75m in bonuses

Former CEO John Stumpf (a major villain in the subprime scandal) previously lost $41m out of the $200m he made overseeing a multi-year fraud that stole from 2,000,000 of the bank's customers -- now he will have to repay another $28m. Read the rest

The self-driving cars wars have triggered vicious shenanigans over top engineering talent

With companies like Uber betting billions on self-driving cars, amid competition from Apple, Google, Tesla and the major automakers, the shortage of qualified engineers is sparking vicious legal battles. Read the rest

Even by the standards of tax-havens, Gibraltar is pretty sketchy

As Brexit shambles on, UK Tory Parliamentarians and Theresa May are spoiling for a re-run of the Falklands Island debacle, this time over Gibraltar, a British outpost at the tip of Spain. Read the rest

Wealth inequality is correlated with CO2 emissions

A new paper from a trio of Boston College researchers shows that the states with the highest degree of income inequality are also the worst offenders for carbon emissions; as the share of wealth and income claimed by the richest 10% increases, the amount of carbon-intensive consumption they engage in grows, as does their political clout, allowing them to buy laws and policies that let them pollute more. Read the rest

The linguistic backflips used by Deliveroo to pretend its employees are independent contractors

Deliveroo is a "gig economy" company that hires people to cycle around big cities, delivering meals, while pretending that all their riders are actually "independent contractors" running their own businesses through which they subcontract to Deliveroo, thus dodging any need to pay benefits or comply with basic labor, health and safety rules. Read the rest

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