Uber is a "bezzle," doomed to disappoint the suckers who buy into its IPO

Writing in New York Magazine, Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith draws on Hubert Horan's outstanding series on the underlying economics of Uber to describe why the company's IPO will be a terrible bet for the investors who buy into it. Read the rest

Ha-ha, only serious: McSweeney's on price-gouging in the emergency room

Emergency rooms at for-profit hospitals are notorious price-gougers, where an ice-pack and a bandage can cost $5,000, and where no one will tell you how much your care is costing until months after the fact. Read the rest

Devo's open letter on "Drowning in a Devolved World"

Robbo writes, "Gerald Casale, founder of DEVO, has written an open letter in response to the band being inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame." Read the rest

Jamie Dimon is getting fed up with the protesters who "occupy" him everywhere he goes

Jamie Dimon is CEO of Jpmorgan Chase, the massive bank that settled a $13 billion mortgage fraud case with the DoJ in 2013 by committing more mortgage frauds to raise the cash; he has since taken the bank into some of the dirtiest business on Earth, from the loans that keep the Keystone XL pipeline viable to funding the private border prisons where Trump's Kids in Cages are being held, terrified and separated from their families. Read the rest

Wells Fargo blames "computer glitch" for its improper foreclosure on 545 homes

According to Wells Fargo, a "computer glitch" caused the improper denial of 870 loan modification requests, which led to 545 foreclosures in which Wells Fargo customers lost their homes; the bank is now offering those former homeowners -- some of whom saw the breakup of their marriages as the result of the stress of foreclosure -- insultingly small sums, like $25,000. Read the rest

The Oreo Music Box is like a record player for cookies

Here's a turntable that no one asked for: the Oreo Music Box ($20 but includes cookies). To get it to work, just place a cookie on it, put the arm on the cookie, and then press the black "play" button. No, there's no actual music embedded in the Oreos. What you'll hear is one of four prerecorded songs they've installed in the player. And, if you take a bite out of the cookie and place it back on the box, it will play a different song.

If you want to see how it works, watch this:

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Med students are being paid to act as Instagram "influencers" on behalf of cosmetics and other products

The medical world is no stranger to shilling (see, for example, the kickbacks that Purdue Pharma paid doctors who helped hook people on Oxycontin, generating billions in blood-money for the "philanthropist" Sackler family), and doctors are cashing in on the social media influencer market, selling everything from Quaker oats to deodorant. Read the rest

The GOP stole Wisconsin; now they're trying to steal it again on the way out -- PROTEST TODAY!

The Republican election of Scott Walker and his band of Ayn Rand cosplayers was a triumph of massive corporate spending, voter suppression and gerrymandering that meant that the votes of the majority of Wisconsinites would no longer count; despite that, last month's midterm elections saw the governorship and Attorney General flip to progressive Democrats with wildly popular platforms. Read the rest

We don't know how much Village Roadshow paid to buy Australia's new censoring copyright law

Australia just passed into law one of the world's most censoring copyright law, which allows the country's media giants like Village Roadshow to use one-sided administrative process to get court orders to censor any website whose "primary effect" is infringement, then use those orders to force search engines to delist any site so blocked, and then recycle those orders to block for any site or service that "provides access" to a blocked site or service. Read the rest

Incredibly detailed technical guide to camgirling is a mix of advanced retail psychology and advice on performing emotional labor

Aella was a top-earning, top-ranked camgirl who performed sex shows over the internet for money, using the popular Myfreecams platform; she quit a year ago, and has written an incredibly detailed, soup-to-nuts primer on getting started camgirling, though she warns that some of her advice is out of date. Read the rest

New York hospitals illegally billed rape survivors for their rape kits, then sent debt-collectors after them

New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood has concluded that seven New York hospitals illegally billed rape survivors for their rape kits, at least 200 times, for sums ranging from $46 to $3,000, and then sent collections agents after survivors who could not pay. Read the rest

Labour report on executive pay proposes giving customers a vote on compensation, ending share-based compensation for execs

Ten years of austerity in the UK have produced a definitive answer to the question: does austerity drive economic growth? (Spoiler: No) Read the rest

Billboards are using sensors to identify, target and track individuals

I can't believe this has to be said (again), but cyberpunk was meant as a warning, not a business plan. Read the rest

A visual guide to America's concentrated, uncompetitive markets

Our New Gilded Age is defined by its oligarchic concentration of wealth and power: not just how much wealth is controlled by the 0.001%, but how many of our key markets are dominated by just a handful of players -- sometimes just a single company. Read the rest

US tax shortfalls have our public schools begging for donations

Between Trump's massive tax-breaks for the super-rich and rules like California's disastrous Prop 13, our cities perennially cash-starved and have led to the erosion of the same public services that make cities attractive to businesses (for example, the subway, public education, roads, grid and other public services that made NYC so attractive to tax-dodging Amazon for its second headquarters). Read the rest

Insurance companies gouge on CPAP machines and consumables, use wireless modems to spy on your usage

Sleep apnea is a fast-growing health complaint among Americans, and that has triggered a set of deceptive and unethical measures by US health insurers to shift the cost of using CPAP machines (the forced air machines that sleep apnea patients rely on to stay healthy) to the people who use them, with the effect that it's often much cheaper to pay cash for your machine and its consumables than it is to get them through insurance. Read the rest

Electrification 2.0: Rural broadband co-ops are filling the void left by indifferent monopolists

Writing in Wired, frequent Boing Boing contributor Clive Thompson praises the rise of rural broadband co-operatives that are springing up to provide internet access to their far-flung, widespread communities, comparing them to the rural electrification co-ops that sprang up to provide power to farmers neglected by the monopolistic Edison trusts. Read the rest

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