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Why Anonymous Sucks, the Problem With "Serial" and More #Mustreads

Know what else sucks? San Francisco real estate. Again and forever.

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Happy Friday!

Life is generally better as a team effort. That’s why Re/code is here to help you out with some fresh content:

  1. Where there’s an injustice getting attention on social media, there’s almost sure to be a response from the online “hacktivist” collective Anonymous, your friendly neighborhood vigilantes with Guy Fawkes masks and broadband Internet. Except, as Adrian Chen notes in the Nation, Anonymous has a funny way of always doing more harm than good, with the group’s missteps in Ferguson this summer serving as a great example of why.
  2. Everyone — more than a million people a week, at least — loves “Serial,” the true-crime podcast offshoot from “This American Life” that’s investigating a 15-year-old murder in real time. Vox has an explainer, obviously. And, predictably, there is some smart criticism about the series, too. Here’s Jay Caspian Kang in the Awl, talking about the tricky race/immigration issues at play here.
  3. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is one of Silicon Valley’s most entertaining characters. Unlike most tech execs, he speaks his mind and is crystal clear about his company’s strategy for global conquest. To get a sense of how Kalanick built Uber from the ground up (and where it might be going), Re/code co-executive editor Kara Swisher has a profile of Kalanick in Vanity Fair. And in San Francisco Magazine, Ellen Cushing has a longer piece focusing more on the company culture and the logic behind Uber’s ethically questionable tactics.
  4. “The Instant Gratification Economy” — VC-backed on-demand services like Uber, Spoonrocket, etc. — depends on the labor of independent contractors. But as New York magazine pointed out earlier this year, that arrangement may be legally dicey and may not work much longer. Now, some startups are hiring their workers as employees instead. Read about it at the Pacific Standard.
  5. Another report from the dark side of San Francisco’s most recent boom: A group of residents from a rent-controlled San Francisco single-occupancy hotel find themselves completely screwed. Tenants at 1040 Folsom left the building in 2011 due to a fire, and have since learned that a company looking to turn the building into a group-apartment complex for tech workers is trying to prevent them from returning. The S.F. Examiner has the story.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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