Customer Disservice

Cheaters Feel Cheated By Ashley Madison’s $20 Profile Deletion Fee

Oh. (Photo: Screenshot)

Don’t expect an amicable breakup with Ashley Madison.

The seedy site, which coordinates hookups between married men and women, is angering customers with a $19 profile deletion fee. This recently came to light in an Ars Technica story from a peeved user. They wrote that the fee feels like a “crappy way of a company extorting money out of a (presumably wealthy) audience eager to quickly hide the details of their sordid extramarital dealings.” Read More

Unproven Thieries

Burning Man Is the Versailles of Silicon Valley

Burning Man 2012. Let them eat... acid? (Photo via Flickr)

I think, sometimes — perhaps too often — about Versailles. It was by all accounts, staggering: all of the richest people in France staying in one of the world’s grandest palaces eating and drinking themselves into a stupor at the feet of Louis XIV while the country fought and starved. It was, and remains, a symbol of the purity of excess: a grand, insane bacchanal that seemed to aspire to nothing less than oblivion. Of course, there were good political reasons for the thing that was Versailles to exist as well (keep the nobles drunk enough that they neither notice or care that you’ve become an absolute monarch), but the main takeaway is this: one of the most powerful men in the world used the resources of his nation to throw the bitchingest party on Earth.

This week, I’m thinking about Versailles because of Burning Man. Read More

Digital Publishing

Vox Media May Open Their Coveted CMS To the Wider WordPress-Plagued World

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Every blogger, writer and reporter has a love/hate relationship with their content management system. If your professional life belongs to WordPress, for example, the woes of formatting overkill and half a dozen SEO fields have no doubt caused you to look up to the sky and ask: why isn’t there a better way?

Vox Media, the network of mostly profitable news sites that includes The Verge, SB Nation, Curbed and Vox, has its own coveted in-house system called Chorus. In a recent post about the future of blogging, Vox Media Editorial VP Lockhart Steele hinted that Vox could be preparing to open Chorus up to the rest of the publishing world: Read More

Rise of the Drones

Drones Might Soon Harass Disneyland Park Goers

Drones are coming. (Photo: Facebook)

If all goes as planned, Aladdin’s Magic Carpet will be replaced by a drone.

Walt Disney World is mulling the idea of bringing drones into its theme parks as a way to carry “large puppet-like characters and projection screens during nighttime shows,” reports the Orange County Register.  Last week, three <air quotes> Disney Imagineers </air quotes> filed patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that outlined their plans of what they would do with the flying robots.  Read More

Money Money Money

Former Bond Villain Builds Personal Submarines For International Billionaires Like Richard Branson

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As Graham Hawkes describes it, he was sitting in the front seat of what is basically an underwater sports car when he was ambushed by a great white shark. He’d recognized the shark’s behavior as a territorial challenge, and wanted to pull away, but unfortunately he had business magnate and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson riding shotgun.

“I remember Richard saying ‘Get closer, get closer!’ and I thinking ‘I’m not going to face down a great white shark,'” Mr. Hawkes told Betabeat. Read More