The passage of the EU's Copyright Directive last March marked the most controversial rulemaking process in EU history, with lawmakers squeaking a narrow victory that relied on confused MEPs pushing the wrong button. Read the rest
No surprises here. Facebook does not support the co-founder Chris Hughes' proposal to split the world’s largest social media company into three parts. Read the rest
Just in time for the holidays, Hasbro has released "Monopoly for Millennials", the game where you're encouraged to take a break from the rat race because "adulting is hard."
This should go over well.
Money doesn't always buy a great time, but experiences, whether they're good -- or weird -- last forever. The Monopoly for Millennials game celebrates just that. Instead of collecting as much cash as possible, players are challenged to rack up the most Experiences to win. Travel around the gameboard discovering and visiting cool places to eat, shop, and relax. Interact with other players via Chance and Community Chest cards, (which are super relatable). And players don't pay rent -- they visit one another, earning more Experience points. This board game is a great way to bring a fun and relaxed vibe to a party or casual get-together.
That's right - there's no rent to pay and no real estate to buy because, as it says on the front of the box, "Forget real estate. You can't afford to buy it anyway."
Experiences include a 3-day music festival, a friend's couch, a vegan bistro, bike share, and yoga studio. A hashtag and smiley face emoji are among the tokens. The person with the most student debt rolls first. Uncle Pennybags is wearing a participation ribbon.
The reaction has been less than appreciative.
In 2008, the Bush and Obama administrations both argued that they had a duty to transfer more than $700,000,000,000 of American taxpayers' money to the largest banks in the country, because these banks were "too big to fail" and allowing them to collapse would do much more harm than a mere $0.7 trillion subsidy. Read the rest
Stanford's Futurity interviews Stanford Law expert Ryan Singel and International Studies expert Didi Kuo about the meaning of a non-Neutral internet, and the pair make an excellent and chilling point about the subtle, profound ways that Ajit Pai's rollback of Net Neutrality rules to pre-2005 levels will distort and hobble the future internet. Read the rest
We just bought a house here in Burbank and I was delighted to learn that my new home office -- part of a business incorporated in the state of California -- would be sitting directly on one of the scorching-fast fiber optic lines that the city of Burbank maintains to wire up Disney, Warners and the other major businesses in town. Finally, an end to my long nightmare of slow, balky internet from Charter/Spectrum, my local cable monopolist! Read the rest
Al Franken's speech on big tech and its surveillance, influence, opacity and high-handedness sometimes lacked coherence (you can't call for "Net Neutrality principles" for Amazon, Google, and Facebook and ask them to police bad speech, propaganda, etc), but the important thing is where he gave that speech. Read the rest
After hunting for two years, collector Austin McConnell found a 1940s Monopoly set that gives us a hint of what wartime was really like.
Manufacturing Monopoly during WWII wasn't easy, as materials were scarce and the cost to produce such a game was extremely high. In fact, the supply scarcity was the catalyst to John Waddington Ltd's Monopoly War Time edition. Take a look at the quality of the game in this video – the game pieces (the hat, car, horse, etc) were cheap cardboard cutouts mounted on small crude wooden blocks, the dice were replaced with a cardboard spinner, and the real estate cards and money were printed on really cheap stock. The set came with an apology note for the game's poor quality. I wouldn't have thought a video about Monopoly could be that interesting, but McConnell's presentation is fascinating. Read the rest
Last January, a 28-year-old law student named Lina Khan published a 24,000-word article in the Yale Law Journal unpicking a half-century's shifts in anti-trust law in America, using Amazon as a poster child for how something had gone very, very wrong -- and, unexpectedly, this law student's longread on one of the most technical and abstract areas of law has become the centerpiece of a raging debate in law and economics circles. Read the rest
The US aviation industry is highly concentrated, with only four major airlines left in the country; for years, they've been lobbying to get rid of the FAA and take over their own safety oversight. Read the rest
Average US inflation since 1995 has been 2.2%; in the same time, cable TV prices have increased by 5.8% per year on average. Read the rest
Tea Party-dominated states across America passed laws banning cities from providing high-speed internet access to their residents, even in places where the cable/telco duopoly had decided not to sell broadband; last year, the FCC issued an order stating that these laws were null and void. Read the rest
In the 15 years between 1997 and 2012: 72,000 small US manufacturers shut down; as did 108,000 local retailers and 13,000 community banks (fully half of America's complement of small banks!). The number of US startups has dropped by 50% since 1970. These statistics are not the result of the changing times: they're due to massive, monopolistic corporations stacking the deck against small competitors through unfair and corrupt practices, to the detriment of American growth, equality and democracy. Read the rest
Monopoly Deal is a $(removed) card game that takes 15-20 minutes to play and has lots of player interaction, and no mind numbing roll-and-move mechanic. Many of the 110 cards in the deck look familiar (money, properties, utilities). There are also action cards which can be used to collect rent, steal another players' property, cancel an action card, or used as money. Best of all, even the richest player is at risk of losing, so everyone stays interested in playing till the end.
I think the standard rules are fine, but I'm curious if anyone has come up with their own house rules? Read the rest
Here's how to make a bad game worse for everyone:
With a second monopoly completed, your next task is to improve those properties to three houses each, then all of your properties to four houses each. Six properties with three houses will give you more than half of the houses in the game, and four houses each will give you 75% of the total supply. This will make it nearly impossible for your opponents to improve their own property in a meaningful way. Keep the rulebook nearby once the supply gets low, as you will undoubtedly be questioned on it. At this point, you will be asked repeatedly to build some friggin' hotels already so that other people can build houses. Don't.
At this point, you more or less have the game sewn up. If losing a normal game of monopoly is frustrating, losing to this strategy is excruciating, as a losing opponent essentially has no path to victory, even with lucky rolls. Your goal is to play conservatively, lock up more resources, and let the other players lose by attrition. If you want to see these people again, I recommend not gloating, but simply state that you're playing to win, and that it wasn't your idea to play Monopoly in the first place.