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Recode Daily: Travis Kalanick’s limits-pushing life, and watching YouTube for a living

Plus, listen to the rise and fall of Friendster — the first social network — 15 years later.

Mike Coppola / VF17/ Getty Images

Tim Cook, Mark Cuban and others talk about how Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s personal drive to win has led to a pattern of risk-taking, from his early startups to Uber, that has at times put the ride-hailing company on the brink of implosion. [Mike Isaac / The New York Times]

As a big player in a Russian digital crime ring is sent to jail for hacking-related credit card and identity theft charges in the U.S., here’s how Russian hacking evolved from simple credit card schemes in the 1990s to the Russian government working with cybercriminals. [Sheera Frenkel / BuzzFeed]

A Silicon Valley investor trying to pressure Elon Musk into terminating his relationship with the president paid $2 million for full-page ads in the New York Times and other national newspapers. Doug Derwin — who cancelled his Model S order in protest of Musk’s work with Trump — took out ads that say the new president is “a disaster for the fight against climate change.” [Tony Romm / Recode]

You could be watching YouTube for a living: Google’s contracted cadre of $15-an-hour “ads-quality raters” look for violence in videos, classify clips as “offensive” or “sensitive,” flag abusive banter — and train the companies’ machines to eventually take their jobs. [Davey Alba / Wired]

Here are the biggest e-commerce acquisitions of all time, topped by PetSmart’s recent $3.35 billion acquisition of Chewy — even bigger than Walmart’s of online retailer Jet.com last year. [Rani Molla / Recode]

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Kara Swisher talks with Matt Ross, who plays Hooli CEO Gavin Belson on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” The satire is more than just a comedy, says Ross — it’s “an incredibly great workplace drama” about how hard it is to make it in tech. [Eric Johnson / Recode]

Top stories from Recode

Democrats plan to press Trump’s competition cop on his ties to AT&T and other tech giants.

They’ll get their chance when Makan Delrahim has his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

A robot-delivery startup helped write state laws that are locking out competition.

New robot laws are popping up across the country.

Alphabet claims that Uber was hiding the self-driving technology it allegedly ripped off.

Google’s parent company continues to fight for an injunction against Uber.

Facebook is offering publishers money to create produced video.

The new deals include a mix of both live and produced video commitments.

Pinterest is killing off its ‘Like’ button, and wants you to know that it’s different from Facebook and Instagram.

Pinterest isn’t a social network, okay?

This is cool

Friendster 4-Ever

In 2003, Jonathan Abrams and his social media website Friendster were at the forefront of an industry that would eventually be worth more than $400 billion. What went wrong? [Gimlet]


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.