Monthly Archives: July 2017

Home »  2017 »  July

Mexico City Is Killing Parking Spaces. Pay Attention, America Vehicles move slowly in Mexico City traffic. Depending on who you ask, Mexico City is either the most or the 12th most congested city in the world. Either way: No fun! Residents who drive lose up to 227 hours each year to traffic jams. That’s more than nine days in aggregate—enough time to watch Game of Thrones all the way through. Thrice. So you might be surprised to learn that Mexico City just made it easier for real estate developers to avoid building parking. Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa this month announced a new policy that limits how many parking spaces builders can build. He hopes to spur development, which sounds counterintuitive. Without parking spaces, where will commuters rest their rides? But it turns out sprawling parking lots and looming garages can actually create more traffic and make housing less affordable […]

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Personalizes Opulence Rolls-Royce For more than 90 years, the rich, famous, and beautiful have been ferried to their special occasions inside Rolls-Royce Phantoms. The car epitomizes imposing elegance, a status symbol that signals, “I’m loaded, but I’m also very classy.” On Thursday, Rolls-Royce unveiled its newest version of the Phantom, a four-door, $500,000-dollar sedan. The car’s design illustrates the balance Rolls-Royce must strike to make the vehicle feel new, innovative, and personalized—worthy of its half-million-dollar price tag—while also maintaining connection to its storied eight-generation lineage. The general state of the luxury goods market further complicates things. “Wealthy buyers are placing a strong premium on more emotional and personal priorities: travel, food, adventure, and family,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, which tracks high-end spenders. The challenge for Rolls is to incorporate those spending behaviors into the car’s design. Making the vehicle stand out is a […]

Inside Cuba’s D.I.Y. Internet Revolution You’ll be sitting in the magnificently beautiful ruin of Havana, surrounded by decaying stonework and pastel-colored Detroit rolling iron, and you’ll be ignoring it all to swipe down on your Facebook feed like a cocaine addict licking his snort mirror—which you are, of course: a depraved cokehead trying to get a hit. And you’ll scroll over the same content you swiped over 15 minutes ago, pretending that it might have refreshed and that it might provide the dopa­mine rush your brain is demanding. Yet it does not refresh. It will not refresh. Your fix will come in the form of a small green scratch-off card, almost like a lottery ticket and usually costing a quarter of the average weekly Cuban wage. Some quick work with a coin will reveal two horribly long strings of numbers, and along with a hunched-over clutch of other addicts, you’ll […]

Scientists Map the Receptor That Makes Weed Work Cody Rasmussen/Getty Images Add marijuana to humans, and you get some fairly predictable results: euphoria, hunger, introspection, anxiety, and a whole panoply of other effects. Also known as being high. Most of that complicated reaction is thanks to a single cellular structure known as cannabinoid receptor 1. Your body has CB1 receptors lacing the surfaces of cells in the brain, liver, lungs, fat, uterus, and sperm. And whenever your … friend smokes, dabs, or eats an edible, the tetrahydrocannabinol molecules therein bind to these sites, stimulating the cells to release a cornucopia of chemical signals. For a long time, scientists thought CB1 receptors worked like lock and key with THC and its chemical cousins—one size fits one. However, new research shows that CB1 receptors are actually quite malleable, stretching to fit a wider range of molecules. That could be useful knowledge as […]

By Facebook’s Logic, Who Is Protected From Hate Speech? For months now, social media companies have been grappling with how to minimize or eradicate hate speech on their platforms. YouTube has been working to make sure advertisers’ content doesn’t show up on hateful videos. Instagram is using AI to delete unsavory comments. And earlier this week, ProPublica reported on the internal training materials Facebook gives to the content managers who moderate comments and postings on the platform on how to calculate what is and isn’t hate speech. According to the report, the rules use a deliberate, if strange, logic in determining how to protect certain classes of people from hate speech while not protecting others. ProPublica points to an example specific from the training materials: Facebook’s rules dictate that “white men” is a protected class whereas “black children” are not. How the Rules Work According to Facebook’s rules, there are […]

Elon Musk’s Chicago Tunnel Makes a Dumb Idea Even Dumber Chicago Transit Authority train. Who can blame Chicago for wanting a little piece of Elon Musk? The guy and his proverbial Mary Poppins handbag of ideas are having a good run. Customers clamor to plunk down $1,000 deposits for Tesla’s unreleased Model 3. SpaceX rockets are returning to Earth like they like it here. Cities all over the world are competing for the opportunity to host the first hyperloop. So you can see why Windy City Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in preliminary talks to have Musk’s latest venture, the Boring Company, tunnel a new high-speed rail line between downtown and O’Hare International Airport. He’s hoping to fund the whole thing through private investment. (A Musk representative confirmed the meeting between Muskovites and Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, and the city of Chicago didn’t respond to a request for comment.) You’ve got […]