Mystery City

Dwaiter Weekly


August 31, 2023


Dreaming of a Tech Utopia

Aerialphoto of Travis Air Force Base by Dcoetzee / Wikimedia Commons

A company called Flannery Associates has committed more than $800 million to secure thousands of acres of farmland northeast of San Francisco for a unique venture: a new city.

Flannery is the brainchild of Jan Sramek, a 36-year-old former Goldman Sachs trader who has quietly courted some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names as investors, the New York Times reports. They include Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist; Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz; and Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs' widow and founder of the Emerson Collective.

The idea is to construct a utopian city with clean energy, public transportation and dense urban life. Solano County residents have received a survey that says “this project would include a new city with tens of thousands of new homes, a large solar energy farm, orchards with over a million new trees, and over ten thousand acres of new parks and open space," SFGate reports.

Because of its secretive nature and the fact that the land purchases are near Travis Air Force Base, the venture has attracted the interest of federal authorities, CNN reports. And in a state where land politics are extremely difficult, the Times notes, it could be years before there's a shovel in the ground.


Is Generative AI Already Passé?

When generative AI products started rolling out to the general public last year, it kicked off a frenzy of excitement and fear. Several months later, Vox reports, the bloom is coming off the AI-generated rose. Regulators are targeting the technology, creators are suing over alleged intellectual property and copyright violations, and recent reports suggest that consumers are starting to lose interest.


Yahoo Is Back from Near Death

Yahoo is on a buying spree to bolster its core products, most of which have miraculously survived nearly three decades of internet tumult, Axios reports. Yahoo was all but left dead by Verizon when it was sold to Apollo Global Management in 2021. Under its new owners, however, the company is getting a rare chance to reinvent itself.


How TikTok Music Plans to Compete

TikTok Music went live in Brazil and Indonesia in July, and will compete around the world with platforms like Spotify and Apple Music—in part by building relationships with them. "When a user on TikTok discovers a song, whatever the easiest way is for that user to listen to the full song—whether that’s Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music—we want to facilitate that," Ole Obermann, global head of music development at TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, tells Semafor.



  • The cryptocurrency fund manager Grayscale won a major court battle Tuesday against the Securities and Exchange Commission, paving the way for the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
  • Apple plans to reveal the next version of the iPhone and the Apple Watch on Sept. 12 in a livestream, the company confirmed in invitations sent out to members of the media.
  • Google DeepMind is launching a beta version of SynthID, a tool that embeds a digital watermark directly into the pixels of an image that is imperceptible to the human eye but detectable for identification.


"We need to ensure that we have humans in control, that we can slow things down or turn things off.”

—Microsoft president Brad Smith, on artificial intelligence

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Looking for more?

Ready to discuss your project with us?