Greedy landlords create a mass-extinction event in Burbank's indie paradise

Burbank's Magnolia Park district was a big reason my family and I moved to town three years ago: a walkable, shady, tree-lined street whose merchants are a quirky (and legendary) mix of indie bookstores, prop outlets, vintage clothing stores, collectibles stores, year-round Halloween stores, hobby shops, quirky indie designers, gaming stores, wine bars, community credit unions -- like a goth/alternative Main Street, USA. Read the rest

Adblock Plus now selling ads

Adblock Plus is to begin reselling the ads it blocks, replacing websites' original ads with ones under its control—and which it takes a fat cut of the revenue from.

The program is meant to be friendly to publishers — it is, after all, letting them display some ads instead of none whatsoever. But there’s still obvious reason for publishers to be unhappy. Acceptable ads [AdBlock Plus' in-house advertising] are likely to be less valuable than the ads a publisher could otherwise display, limiting what a website can earn. And in setting up its own marketplace, Adblock Plus continues to position itself as a gatekeeper charging a toll to get through a gate of its own making.

This was always the gameplan. AdBlock Plus marketed itself as about blocking ads, but it's really about providing a temporary improvement in user experience to convince readers to insert it as a middleman between them, publishers and advertisers. Once secure, AdBlock Plus can let advertising (and the user experience) creep back to the profitable way it was before, but with it charging rent to everyone.

If you block ads, at least block them with something that isn't taking a shit on both of us: get rid of it and try uBlock Origin. If you don't like ads but would like to support Boing Boing, buy a t-shirt or an inexpensive gadget from our store.

Correction: an earlier version of this post referred to AdBlock Plus as AdBlock. They are different products from different vendors. Read the rest

Low income US households get $0.08/month in Fed housing subsidy; 0.1%ers get $1,236

America is in the grips of one of the worst housing crises in its history, with 1 in 3 households spending more than 30% of their income on mortgage or rent payments; the US government has two kinds of housing subsidy, one for poor renters and the other intended for middle-income mortgage payers, but guess who gets most of the money? Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda declares war on bots

Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton is arguably the most successful Broadway show of the century (deservedly so -- the soundtrack is practically all I've listened to for the past month) but good luck if you want to get a ticket. Read the rest

Salt Lake City apartment complex threatens tenants with eviction if they don't "Friend" the building

The landlords at City Park Apartments stuck memos on their tenants' doors last week, outlining a "Facebook addendum" requiring tenants to Friend the building on Facebook or lose their lease. Read the rest

Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds

When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords. Read the rest