Venture capitalists need to slay the zombies, the startups they fund which show no vital signs. / David Williss
The Baffler,  August 10, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Venture capitalists need to slay the zombies, the startups they fund which show no vital signs. / David Williss
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• “Hopelessly insecure” and “inherently weak” are two of the cheerful ways experts describe the 1980s networking technology almost all cars use, which is now being connected to the web by Internet of Things pioneers. As we saw last month, attaching existing technologies to the Internet with nary a thought to the risks creates “ripe targets” for hackers. And what of the snooping perpetrated by tech companies themselves? In April, Jacob Silverman wrote about how “dataveillance,” surveillance of our increasingly metered time on this planet, “represents an invasion of the market into ever more intimate, granular parts of our lives” on the Baffler blog.

• The Financial Times just got around to reviewing Baffler fiction editor Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora:

Robinson’s novels tend not to have sharply delineated good guys and bad guys. His protagonists are people using their intelligence to fight back against fate and build better worlds. His antagonists are entropy, the vagaries of Mother Nature, and the collective stupidity of humans en masse.

This “superior novel” is excerpted in our current issue.

• You can’t make a unicorn without creating a few zombies. Thus goes the famous venture capital adage; many startups are more Living Dead than VCs would like. The Baffler’s expert on rotting flesh-on-legs is A.S. Hamrah, whose salvo “Now Streaming: The Plague Years” appears in our blood-spattered current issue. (Thanks, Tech Crunch!)

• Today in Billionaires: the secret plot for billionaires to install Ted Cruz in government. (Hint: it’s still a secret.)

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