Buying Event Tickets Is a Sham

Sam Thielman reporting for The Guardian:

Want to know why you can’t get tickets for Adele at Madison Square Garden in September without auctioning a kidney? New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman knows why: buying tickets in the city, he wrote in a report released on Thursday, is “a fixed game”.

Schneiderman’s investigation found half [the] seats at many popular concerts are never even made available to the general public. A single high-tech scalper bought more than 1,000 tickets in less than a minute for one U2 show at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for Springsteen’s 2016 River tour started appearing on secondary ticket-selling sites like StubHub before they went on sale. Some were offered for $5,800.

I just went through this when trying to buy Adele tickets. I hope this gets fixed somehow. There’s nothing more rage-inducing than seeing tickets sell out, then promptly re-sold for hundreds, if not thousands more.

Ex-Yelp Employee, Talia Jane, Writes Letter to CEO

Talia Jane:

Will you pay my phone bill for me? I just got a text from T-Mobile telling me my bill is due. I got paid yesterday ($733.24, bi-weekly) but I have to save as much of that as possible to pay my rent ($1245) for my apartment that’s 30 miles away from work because it was the cheapest place I could find that had access to the train, which costs me $5.65 one way to get to work. That’s $11.30 a day, by the way. I make $8.15 an hour after taxes. I also have to pay my gas and electric bill. Last month it was $120. According to the infograph on PG&E’s website, that cost was because I used my heater. I’ve since stopped using my heater. Have you ever slept fully clothed under several blankets just so you don’t get a cold and have to miss work? Have you ever drank a liter of water before going to bed so you could fall asleep without waking up a few hours later with stomach pains because the last time you ate was at work? I woke up today with stomach pains. I made myself a bowl of rice.

Look, I’ll make you a deal. You don’t have to pay my phone bill. I’ll just disconnect my phone. And I’ll disconnect my home internet, too, even though it’s the only way I can do work for my freelance gig that I haven’t been able to do since I moved here because I’m constantly too stressed to focus on anything but going to sleep as soon as I’m not at work. Should I sell my car? It’s not my car, actually, it’s my grandpa’s. But the back left tire is flat and the front right headlight is out and the registration is due to be renewed in April and I already know I can’t afford any of that. I haven’t even gotten an oil change since I started this job (in August). But maybe I could find someone on Craigslist who won’t mind all of that because they’ll look at the dark circles under my eyes and realize I need the cash more than they do.

A jaw-dropping account. Living in the Bay Area already seems like a hard thing to do, but add to that working for a company who isn’t giving you a living wage. Of course, a post like this comes out and people cry entitlement. They attribute it to these “darn millennials” and that she could’ve found a way out.

Here’s the thing: anyone who’s ever been in a position to quit a job, has been in a position of privilege. Quitting a job is not an option for everyone. I applaud Talia’s courage in writing this, and given Yelp’s response, won’t be using their service anymore.

Back From Paradise

My island vacation is over.

Cozumel Resort Ocean Unlimited drinks Mini golf with Kelly Reading my book on the beach
Some of the highlights of the week.

As they say, all good things must come to an end. We had such a relaxing and fun week, but I’m happy to be home and ready to get back to work. Now, let’s return to your normal programming.

Cozumel Vacation

Dear Reader,

I could really get used to this.

I’m in Cozumel at an all-inclusive this week. I’m busy enjoying the clear ocean water, having some great food, and unlimited drinks. Back to normal posting next week.

‘Bulls’ Gasol Replaces Injured Butler on All-Star Team’

From NBA.com:

Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace his teammate, injured Eastern Conference All-Star reserve Jimmy Butler (strained left knee), in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The fact that Pau Gasol is averaging a double-double at the age of 35 and wasn’t selected as a starter, is absolutely ridiculous. He’s one of my favorite players of all time. I think my fellow Laker fans don’t appreciate what he did for the back-to-back championships enough. Pau is a future hall-of-famer, and yet one of the most underrated players in the league.

‘The Sliding Scale of Giving a [Damn]’

Cap Watkins:

I was frequently out of touch with how strongly (or not strongly) I felt about a particular topic of discussion. Regularly, I’d find myself impassioned more towards the ten-out-of-ten side of things, mostly because I wasn’t stopping to think about the scope and importance of those topics.

My co-worker Loc, shared this link a few days ago. It’s a great reminder that you shouldn’t be arguing with your co-workers for the sake of arguing. Sometimes, you’ve got to stop, gather your thoughts, and if you don’t have a strong opinion, trust the judgement of your teammate.

On Inspiration

What inspires you? I’ve been asked that question many times. Either by fellow creatives, in job interviews and here. I’ve never been able to give an answer I’m content with. However, I feel like this might be the perfect place to explore what my answer should be.

I’m not the type of person to spend hours on Dribbble, or any other gallery in an effort to “gather inspiration.” That’s not what you’re doing there. You’re subconsciously copying the work of other designers. Not to mention, you’re reducing the craft that we practice to aesthetics.1

I feel that inspiration is so much more than that. Inspiration is not only the way you think; it’s why you think that way. It’s a feeling. It’s the feeling you get before you work on something for hours. For me, it’s the moment I know I’ll need a fresh cup of coffee.

Yet, I’ve found that if you feel that inspiration is the key to getting work done, it can be very limiting. The truth is, design is not magic and inspiration is not the secret potion. Design is calculated and the result of an in-depth understanding of goals.2

What really inspires me, what makes me analyze my own work and strive to do better, is how fellow designers think about design. It’s interesting to hear their process and experiences, and how they execute on that process. The challenging of patterns and theories is what I find inspiring. The web is an ever evolving place. Shouldn’t the way we design for it evolve as well?

Completely changing direction, have you ever heard a disco song with a funky beat? What about the smell of freshly ground coffee? The way the lights reflect on a busy city street? The warmness you feel in your heart being surrounded by family and friends?

After considering all things, living life should be inspiration enough.


Originally published on The Branch in 2013.

  1. I don’t agree with this anymore. Yes, our craft is so much more than aesthetics, but everyone copies other people’s work. You see a magazine you like, or well-designed packaging, and without even noticing it, there are details that creep into what you’re working on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

  2. This I still agree with. If you’re waiting for inspiration to strike, you might be waiting for a long time. Yes, if you’re feeling blocked, take a break, go for a walk, work on something else for an hour. But sometimes, you’ve just gotta sit down and do some work. 

T-Mobile’s ‘Binge On’ violates Net Neutrality principles

Greg Sandoval reporting for GeekWire:

T-Mobile, one of the country’s largest providers of mobile internet access, launched Binge On in November. The service features video from Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others. Binge On customers can watch this content without it counting against their data allotments.

I’m surprised this didn’t come up sooner. Not as direct as throttling a site, like Comcast tried to do with Netflix, but instead giving you these select sites essentially for free. Supposedly it’s a program you can opt-out of, but the average user won’t do it. In fact, they might not even understand what’s so wrong about it. People will choose to watch something on these platforms instead of others, giving T-Mobile control it shouldn’t have.

‘On Standing’

Chris Bowler:

After these past three years, I can attest to the fact that standing vs. sitting is not the discussion we should be having. It’s inactivity, period. If you’re standing in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, you’re not moving enough. Your heart rate is too slow. While your brain is working away, your body is wasting away.

Being healthy in this profession is very difficult, but not impossible. I’m trying a new thing where I do a brisk activity for ninety seconds every hour.