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

Space the Final Frontier

Buzz Aldrin Thinks We Will Colonize Mars in the Next 25 Years

Buzz Aldrin. (Getty)

It’s been 45 years since humans first landed on the moon, and the world’s now wondering when people — not just adorable selfie-loving rovers — are going to head over to Mars.

Buzz Aldrin seems confident a Mars colony will happen, based on a Reddit AMA the famed astronaut conducted this afternoon. Among other fascinating topics, like that time he met Tina Fey, Mr. Aldrin espoused his “very strong idea, concept, conviction, that the first human beings to land on Mars should not come back to Earth.” Read More

Hacked!

Yo Drama: Everything You Need to Know About the Backlash Surrounding the World’s Dumbest App

Yo no! (Screengrab: iTunes)

There’s trouble in paradise for Yo, the app that raised a million bucks and rocketed to Internet fame this week.

If you haven’t yet heard of the absurd app, Yo lets users do one thing — message the word “yo” to one another. Useful, right?

Besides the widespread fear that Yo’s funding confirms the existence of a tech bubble, the app has been experiencing some more concrete issues in the past 24 hours, involving a fake celebrity account and a pretty serious hack. Read More

Investments

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Ashton Kutcher Mysteriously Invest in Artificial Intelligence Company

Mr. Zuckerberg has teamed up with Mr. Musk and Mr. Kutcher to invest in an artificial intelligence company because WHO KNOWS WHY? (Getty)

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Ashton Kutcher — a veritable tech trifecta — have quietly come together and invested $40 million in a “secretive artificial-intelligence company,” the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The company is called Vicarious FPC, and its goal is to create a computer program that functions like the neocortex in a human brain. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Tumblr’s Spooktacular Halloween Party and Techies Flee to the Emerald Isle

Screenshot_2013-11-01-15-40-04

Tumblr Goes Hard Taking a break from reblogging, faving and figuring out when their shares are going to vest, Tumblr employees threw themselves a cute little Halloween party. We spotted them sharing some photos on rival social network Twitter, but it looked like they were having a good time. The sales team dressed up as the cast of Spring Breakers, Betaworks’ golden child Poncho was spotted in the crowd and some jokester decided to be a Yahoo! employee. That forced smile and suit looks rigid enough to fit in the corporate world, so well done. Read More

IRL Iron Man

Elon Musk Is Dragging His Family on a Cross-Country Road Trip to Tout the Tesla Model S

"Get in the car I MEAN IT." (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Elon Musk really wants to convince everyone that the Tesla Model S won’t constantly run out of juice, leaving you stranded in traffic more than the lemon of a Triumph this reporter’s dad drove in the late 1970s.

Now, it seems, he’s decided to rope his kids into promoting the Tesla brand with a cross-country road trip, designed to demonstrate that you can get wherever you need in a Model S.

This sounds like a fantastic opportunity for Mr. Musk and his five sons to subsist entirely on Vienna sausages and cheese and peanut-butter sandwich crackers. But let’s hope the experience is more Crossroads, less National Lampoon’s Vacation. Read More