In Other News …

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Cities China Ripped Off From The Rest Of The World  [Business Insider]  I had no idea that the Chinese bootleg industry extended to ENTIRE CITIES. (However crazy the US went during our bubble, at least we never went this far.)  But I will say that I’d move to either of those Italian facsimiles, in the middle of the Gobi Desert or not.

The Weird And Wild History Of August In DC  [Washingtonian]  Do politicians wait until August to do all this insane stuff because everyone (including journalists) is on vacation and will be too busy doing nothing to notice?  I think they must.  It’s like the equivalent of sending out a press release at 5PM on a Friday.

One Developer’s Struggles With DC’s Zoning Laws  [Washington Business Journal]  I didn’t think I would ever feel bad for a developer, and then I read this headline, and I sort of felt bad.  Then I read the story, which is about how the developer is mad that the required market-rate units will cut into his profit margin, and I stopped feeling bad.

46% Of DC Renters Burdened By High Housing Costs  [Washington City Paper]  Pssst … the pop-up ban was essentially a back door rent inflation bill.  It’s only going to get more expensive, until we grudgingly accept the necessity of horribly ugly vertical additions.

What It’s Like Being An Airbnb Host In DC  [Urban Turf DC]   That last time I stayed in an Airbnb, the guy renting it was like, “the renters who checked out yesterday left a bunch of stuff in the fridge, you can have it if you want.”  It turned out to be two hundred dollars worth of organic groceries, fancy beer, and almost a quarter ounce of high-quality marijuana.  So, uh, yeah, Airbnb can be pretty cool.

Hitchhiking Robot Lasts Just Two Weeks In US  [Gizmodo]   Honestly, I’m just surprised it lasted two whole weeks before someone destroyed it.  This is a country in which people will swerve all the way across their lane just to run over a plastic bottle;  did they really think a rainbow-colored altruism robot was going to have a smooth trip?

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