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50 First Gates
Bill and Melinda get Windows 47.5 each
Bad software tycoon Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates-Foundation announced that after 27 years, they are done trying to stay together for the kids (Bono), and will raise the total divorce count among the world’s four richest men to six. Gates long had “an arrangement with his wife” that he could take an annual getaway with ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad, so the potential divorced-guy energy has always been there. Bloomberg looked at what might become of the charities the Microsoft villain has used to whitewash his reputation after decades of stifling the computer industry with his software monopoly. Recode also focused on the foundation. The Sun took a different angle, covering “claims Gates is due to be arrested on charges of ‘crimes against humanity’ and bizarre allegations that Melinda had actually be [sic] replaced years ago by an actor.” Ok! The tweets were hot, and I’m sure we all wish him the best of luck with his rocket company.
Meltdown Updates: I had to look up when I last mentioned Basecamp, because it felt like it’s been a while, but apparently it was yesterday. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Last night Casey Newton reported the dirt from the all-hands that triggered 1/3 of the company to punch the eject button, and it was worse than I imagined. Head of Strategy Ryan Singer, “who worked for the company for nearly 18 years” and “In 2016… praised right-wing website Breitbart’s coverage of the presidential election in an internal forum” took the opportunity at Friday’s “no more political debates” meeting to tell the whole company:
“I strongly disagree we live in a white supremacist culture… I don’t believe in a lot of the framing around implicit bias. I think a lot of this is actually racist.”
And “Anonymous Current & Former Employees” of Believer Magazine and the Black Mountain Institute posted an open letter saying ex-editor and Wrong Said Fred Joshua Shenk “was an inattentive and negligent boss who created a fractured workplace rife with pay and labor inequalities, and whose behavior on the Zoom call matched a pattern of callousness and abusive disregard for the staffers who worked under him” and that he “was well-known inside and outside the workplace as someone who made women uncomfortable.” Ryan Grim, any updates on this take? Rumors of a more complete Believer meltdown story in the works persist but have not, as yet, borne fruit.
What does bear fruit, in a bad way, is The Offensive Frappuchino. I sent Intern Tess to Starbucks and this is what she brought back.
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I promise I’m not going to make this my beat all month, but the same day I mentioned that I almost drank a spider, Kathy Valentine proved how much worse it could have been. But there was something even more sinister than fly eggs lurking in the timeline: The Offensive Frappuccino.
The Offensive Frappuccino contains many things—bananas, “honey blend,” heavy cream, bossy instructions—but what makes it particularly grody is its arrival at a time when the restaurant industry is facing a late-Covid reckoning.
Our relationship to food has shifted so much over the past year. We learned to bake bread! Ate the bread. Wow, that’s garbage bread. Even dog doesn’t like this bread. Baking bread again! No, even worse bread, looks like eldritch horror from collective unconscious. Publicly we examined the ethics of what we eat, but privately we are gluttons who will wait four hours for White Castle and demand our five bananas blended twice and poured into a kiddie pool with a straw the size of a tube slide. I dunno, man, we’re all dealing with a lot right now. Ezra Klein, a vegan himself, said that “being veg is less delicious,” and got in trouble for it yesterday, so tensions are clearly running high (also: Indian… food?). There is only one viable option, and that is to stop eating altogether. We can all go level 5 vegan and still support the restaurant industry by simply becoming decor:
2021: no food, just 🌴vibes🌴. Seriously though, where’s my flat white?
Someone added a few Yukon Party members to a group chat with strangers and they immediately started talking about their dicks, in case you thought Meltdown May was U.S. only. Today in Crabs. Clubhouse downloads “have dropped off a cliff” says Morning Brew. Sarah McBride profiled fired micro-dosing Iterable CEO Justin Zhu for my friend Bloomberg News, who would also like to know if you want a $1,495 manual coffee grinder? Our Incredible Journey: Twitter is acquiring Nuzzel and shutting it down. Thanks a lot. Brian Hioe in Popula: “Andrew Yang: The Man Without Qualities.” Meanwhile, in Australia…
According to The Atlantic some people never had a pandemic, and some people will never stop having a pandemic. Public health is all about statistics, so on average we’ve each still had approximately one pandemic. Get vaccinated, ok?
Today’s Song: Lazy Queen, “Self-Care 101”
~ Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! ~
Look, I’m a Linux guy since the 90’s, I will never forgive Bill Gates. He should give all his money to the government and go live on Saint Helena. Gates/Bezos photoshop by Alison Headley, who I’m thrilled to announce has earned a promotion to Senior Contributing Editor for Graphics. It’s May the Fourth! Happy Pi Day!