For Sale: The New Republic

J.K. Trotter · 01/11/16 11:53AM

Nearly four years after acquiring The New Republic for an undisclosed sum, Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes is putting the liberal magazine (and alma mater of Andrew Sullivan, Jonathan Chait, Leon Wieseltier, and Marty Peretz, among others) on the market. According to a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Hughes apparently got tired of trying to transform a century-old print periodical into a successful online publication, a hopeful project that wound up costing him “over $20 million”:

Is the $1.3 Billion Powerball Rigged?

Brendan O'Connor · 01/10/16 11:25PM

The Powerball lottery has swollen to $1.3 billion. “Biggest jackpot in the history of the world. Absolutely confirmed,” Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, which is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association that runs Powerball, told the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the Association is quietly trying to deal with a multi-state jackpot rigging scandal that has forced the man who has run the Powerball game for 28 years to be placed on indefinite administrative leave.

In Cabal of Powerful Elites, Newspaper Sees Valid Alternative to Traditional Democratic Institutions

Alex Pareene · 12/29/15 04:02PM

“Think of it as The Establishment 2.0,” says the New York Times, of the “Working Team of the Itasca Project,” a group of “14 men and women who oversee some of the biggest companies, philanthropies and other institutions in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding area,” and who meet weekly “to quietly shape the region’s economic agenda.” Or think of it another way, if you want. Like... as a cabal?

If You Were Admiring Martin Shkreli’s Perp Walk Hoodie—Well, Here’s Where You Can Buy One

J.K. Trotter · 12/17/15 01:03PM

You might be wondering: Where did that alleged fraudster Martin Shkreli get the grey hoodie he was sporting on his perp walk in New York City this morning? A forensic analysis of various photos taken today (some of which captured the word “CARGO” pressed into the hoodie’s metal zipper fob) pointed us to the following hoodie sold by the New York-based sports retailer Modell’s: The Cargo Mens Full Zip Hoodie in Light Grey.* It is also available in a “big mens” version, for the big mens in your life.

The Words That Will Get You in Trouble on Venmo

Sam Biddle · 10/23/15 02:55PM

I can’t remember the last time I entered a description of a Venmo transaction that wasn’t a dumb joke, and if you use the service regularly, I doubt you can either. The ability to pay a friend back for pizza and call it “anthrax” is part of the financial app’s charm. But joking about certain places, people, or things could put you under investigation.

Snapchat Lost a Ton of Money Last Year

Sam Biddle · 08/19/15 09:30AM

In 2013, teenage attention-pit Snapchat turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook, which is only not an insane and arrogant decision if you’re going to reap so much profit that you’re eventually worth more than that. Internal financial documents obtained by Gawker show Snapchat was very far from profitable last year.

Here Are the Internal Documents that Prove Uber Is a Money Loser

Sam Biddle · 08/05/15 12:07PM

Uber, Silicon Valley’s prized amoral unicorn, is presumed to be a financial titan and a sure-thing IPO in the near future. Which may be true. But one thing that’s frequently missing from the conversation about its inevitable dominance over virtually every facet of our lives is the answer to a fundamental question: Does it make money? According to internal financial documents obtained by Gawker, the answer is a resounding no. Uber has lost tens of millions of dollars since 2012, and the documents suggest that CEO Travis Kalanick’s boasts about the company’s exponential revenue growth may be overblown.

Manhattan's Bodegas Are Slowly Dying Off

Andy Cush · 08/04/15 07:47AM

The corner bodega is the latest victim to Manhattan’s ever-ascending cost of living and operating an independent business, having been supplanted in some cases by chain supermarkets and pharmacies. That means even more premade Duane Reade bacon egg and cheese sandwiches for you, you filthy animal.

New Japanese Hotel Is Staffed With Adorable Job-Stealing Robots

Andy Cush · 07/17/15 10:32AM

Henn na Hotel, in Sasebo, Nagasaki, is staffed almost entirely by robots. A grinning velociraptor in a bellhop hat takes your check-in information; an automated cart takes your luggage to your room. The robots aren’t a gimmick, the hotel’s owner told the Associated Press, but an earnest bid to save money. Unlike pesky humans, the bots don’t require payment for their services.

190 Bowery Isn't for Sale Again After All

Andy Cush · 07/14/15 03:58PM

Are you a multi-millionaire real estate developer looking for a large mixed-use property that is chic yet gritty, gritty yet stylish, stylish yet authentic, authentic yet upscale, upscale yet downtown, downtown yet as expensive as anything uptown, as expensive as anything uptown yet appealingly sketchy-looking? I’ve got just the building for you.