2/02/2016

CA Bill Gives Tax-Free Delivery To Out-Of-State Tesla Buyers


Well, this might upset a few martini glasses at National Automobile Dealers Association social events.

A bill passed by the California State Senate two days ago allows out-of-state car buyers to take delivery of their electric cars in California without paying any sales tax.

The legislation was approved 33-2 by the Senate; it now moves to the State Assembly.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the bill's Senate sponsor, Bob Wieckowski [D-Fremont], hopes that Tesla buyers specifically will be drawn to the state to pick up their vehicles in person.

That's an opportunity afforded to buyers of European luxury cars, and Wieckowski hopes to spur “industrial tourism" in his senate district (which includes the Tesla plant).

He envisions buyers from other parts of the U.S. visiting Tesla's assembly plant in Fremont to take delivery of their cars, then staying to see the sites....more 

Inside the studio of Joan Miró

As a reproduction of Joan Miró’s studio goes on show in London, his grandson gives Alastair Sooke a tour of the real thing.

“It is something I will never forget,” says Joan Punyet Miró, standing on the threshold of the Majorcan studio where his grandfather, the acclaimed Spanish artist Joan Miró, worked from the late ‘50s almost until his death in 1983. “It was 20 April 1978: my grandfather’s 85th birthday. I was 10 years old. He clapped his hands and said, ‘Joan, today we will walk down to my studio.’”

Even though Joan Punyet had grown up nearby in Palma, the island’s capital, and usually visited his grandfather twice a week, this was the first time that he had been allowed inside the eye-catching atelier designed by Miró’s friend, the Spanish architect Josep Lluis Sert.

Few people were invited into this fantastical building overlooking the Mediterranean, with its distinctive, undulating white roof like a pair of seagull wings, and shutters of bright blue, yellow and red, recalling paintings by the artist.

The interior, dominated by a primitive-looking wall of rough-hewn boulders, yet awash with beautiful light, was a sanctuary where the artist could summon his phantasmagorical art in peace. Although Miró was a fan of music, he insisted on silence while he worked – and he certainly did not encourage his grandchildren to play in his vicinity when he was painting....more 

I'm Not Broke Anymore, And I'm Terrified


“I’m sorry, can you say that one more time?” That was my response to the recruiter who’d just revealed my new job’s salary. She repeated the offer, and though I wanted to shout my assent from the top of my lungs, I was in the middle of an empty coffee shop, plus I didn’t want to scare her off. Besides, it’s not like I won the lottery. I was simply being offered more money than I’d made at any point in my 11-year career as a journalist.
Four months into my new job, I still don’t know if the money I’m making is good or just decent, but it has changed my life in ways that are both meaningful and terrifying.

My first purchase with this fresh windfall was a plane ticket to Chicago for the funeral of my close friend’s dad. A sympathy card and a night of drinks on me sometime in the future would’ve sufficed, and had this personal tragedy occurred one month sooner than it did, when I was a part-time features reporter making one-third as much as my live-in girlfriend, a card and drinks would’ve been the best I could do. But now, I could afford to do more, and so I did.
Of course, I was proud of myself, but my actions also scared me. To quote 50 Cent, “Whoever said money shouldn’t change you just didn’t make enough.” That popped into my head as I drove to the church in my rental car (another necessary but scary expense for me). Was my in-person visit about being the best friend I could be, or simply being the friend I could afford to be?...more 

The definitive list of what everyone likes on Facebook


Last week, Facebook made public a huge trove of data about its users’ interests as part of a new tool called Audience Optimization. For the first time it revealed not only the hundreds of thousands of categories into which Facebook divides its users, but also the number of people who belong to each one.

Here’s how it works: the tool allows any official page manager to identify the "Preferred Audience" for a post by searching for and selecting interests relevant to the story. To help make sure these interests are neither too niche nor too broad, Facebook auto-completes interests and displays the total audience size for each one — not as a subset of your page’s followers, but as a subset of all Facebook users. These categories run from the obvious — Beyoncé — to the more perplexing: emotions, illegal activities, and other identifiers people likely wouldn’t publicly post.

Because Facebook’s interest categories are publicly available, accessing this data was relatively simple. By programmatically emulating searches of all possible letters and numbers until no more results were returned, we were able to pull a list of 282,002 interests — which Facebook says may not even constitute the entire dataset. Most interests are sorted into broad categories like Lifestyle and Culture, People, or News and Entertainment. Each has a very precise number for audience size, ranging from zero all the way up to 1,466,365,990, the number of people interested in Facebook itself. You may have already glimpsed a few of these tags in your advertising preferences, but this is the closest we’ve come to a complete, ranked list of every interest on Facebook....more 

Cuba for sale: ‘Havana is now the big cake – and everyone is trying to get a slice’


Property developers are queuing up to pounce as Cuba opens its doors to the world. Proposals for Havana’s old harbour are described as ‘Las Vegas meets Miami in the Caribbean’. So can the city cope with the commercial storm ahead?

In central Havana’s Parque Fe del Valle, at the end of a street bustling with the usual scenes of queues for the bakery and clapped-out 1950s cars weaving between piles of rubble, is a glimpse of a very different Cuba. Every bench, wall, dustbin and plant pot in this tree-lined square is occupied by bodies hunched over laptops and gathered around smartphones, as people swipe at tablets and gesticulate at their screens.

Three generations of one family are huddled around a phone, the children fighting over who gets to wear the headphones while the granny holds a baby up to the camera – so that relatives in Miami, who they haven’t seen for years, can inspect the family’s new arrival. Nearby, two brothers scroll through Facebook to check the latest enquiries for their bed-and-breakfast business, their laptop balanced on a makeshift desk of crates, while a gaggle of teenage girls stream music and practise dance moves under a tree.

This lively scene, which looks like an impromptu secondhand technology fair, is the result of a new phenomenon in Cuba: Wi-Fi hotspots. In a country where the internet is still forbidden in private homes and an hour checking emails at an internet cafe can cost nearly a week’s wages, the arrival of five designated Wi-Fi zones in Havana has been nothing short of revolutionary....more 

MUSIC: Hugh - Direction

MUSIC: Emma Louise - Underflow (Little Dragon Remix)

MUSIC: AMTRAC - Long Nights