Can hotels give Atari a 1-up?


January 29, 2020

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How big is your list of “Off-Facebook Activity?” The social giant rolled out a new feature yesterday that lists the sites that share your actions. Read on for more, plus a little friendly competition.

The Hustle Daily Email

Hotel Atari promises endless Pong for nostalgic travelers

It’s every Gen Xer’s childhood dream come true: Atari just inked a $600k licensing deal with real-estate developer True North Studio and strategy agency GSD Group to build 8 Atari-branded hotels. The first will break ground in Phoenix later this year.

You bet your Asteroids it’ll be tricked out

Amenities will include:

  • VR and AR installations
  • Arcades
  • Esport venues
  • Movie theaters
  • Coworking spaces
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Gyms

The company sees the Atari hotel as a primo destination for families as well as business travelers, which… yeah, OK.

But can 8-bit games become more than 2-bit hotel accommodations? 

After 3 decades of lackluster performance, Atari’s most recent half-year earnings showed a 16% year-over-year gross profit gain. Atari’s bottom line could get a boost if the hotels are successful, as it will take a 5% cut of hotel revenues.

But the company has been struggling elsewhere. Its systems could never compete with offerings from Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation, and in 2013 it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

A successful Indiegogo fundraising campaign in 2018 indicated that plenty of nostalgic gamers would be interested in a retro console called the Atari VCS, but the company failed to meet its delivery deadlines.

The console’s lead architect claimed last year that he hadn’t seen a paycheck in 6+ months.

This game doesn’t always give companies a 1-up

Atari won’t be responsible for hotel operations, but it’s worth noting that similar concepts — the arcade-based theme park DisneyQuest and the Nickelodeon Hotel, for example — didn’t last long.

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See how many sites share your activity with Facebook. Can you beat our high score?

Yesterday, Facebook released a long-awaited feature that lets you see exactly which websites are stalking you — even when you’re not on Facebook.

The new “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker spits out a list of the apps and sites that share your activity with Camp Zuckerberg. The platform can see when you visit a website or open an app, or add an item to your shopping cart, just to name a few examples.

Go here and click on “Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity” to peer into your personal abyss.

If your total depresses you, play along with us: Gamify that sh*t.

We conducted an informal poll to find out which contributor to your favorite email racked up the most shameful score. Here’s the leaderboard:

  • Steph Smith: 1,236 apps and websites (“Omg I won/lost ”)
  • Mark Dent: 1,170
  • Conor Grant: 1,017
  • Caroline Dohack: 860 (Including, um, “Gun Dog Supply.” No gun dog, she explained — “They just make sturdy collars.”)
  • Nick DeSantis: 566
  • Zachary Crockett: 514 (Highlight: bat-removal service at batproblems.net.)
  • Brad Wolverton: 180 (Apparently only tracked by media outlets and his climbing gym)

Can you beat our highest score? Tweet your number @TheHustle — and tell us the weirdest site that shared your info with Facebook. Or tell us on this Google form.

Oh, by the way: If your total really creeps you out, you can delete your history or disconnect yourself from future tracking.

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Art sales are moving online. Galleries — and forgers — see opportunity

What would the art world be without a little drama? As fine art sales move to the digital realm, counterfeiters are finding more marks.

Galleries are finally catching onto this ecommerce thing

On February 10, the well-respected Gagosian gallery network will launch “online viewing rooms” to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair in Los Angeles. In addition to showing works from a bevy of big-name artists, gallery specialists will be available for 24/7 chat support.

It’s like Zappos… but fancy.

Gagosian has been playing with this model for a while, and things have been going well:

  • Digital sales climbed 350% for FY 2017-18 after the gallery launched its first two online viewing rooms.
  • One notable sale was a $6m Albert Oehlen painting.
  • The gallery reports an increase in new buyers since it started its online exhibits, and many virtual visitors are more focused than people browsing IRL.

The famous auction house Sotheby’s also is investing in tech. In 2018, it bought the AI startup Thread Genius to gain insight into its patrons’ art tastes.

But fraudsters are one step and a Fauxcasso ahead of the game

When artists make etchings, woodcuts, or lithographs, they often work with a printer to make a certain number of reproductions. These prints are numbered and signed, and the original is typically destroyed.

Some prints are super valuable. An original Andy Warhol “Marilyn Monroe” print, for example, can fetch $300k. And as forgers up their photomechanical reproduction game, they’re able to churn out fakes that fool even experts.

And online sales are 1 more avenue for crooks to swindle aspiring aficionados.

In Switzerland, for example, an art expert gone bad sold hundreds of fake prints he claimed were originals by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and the like. He’s being prosecuted after doing it for 10+ years.

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Snippets

😂 CollegeHumor was a pioneer in online comedy. Then things went wrong.

🍴Why everyone thinks restaurant music is so annoying.

🎼 Strike up the band. The biggest tech companies have in-house orchestras.

📦 This is how Amazon escapes liability for the riskiest products on its site.

🥤Meet Instagram’s cutest critic: the Shirley Temple King.

Want snippets like these in your browser? Download our Chrome extension here.

🎧 We are the Work-From-Home Generation

Remote work isn’t the future, it’s the now.

This week on My First Million, take a deep dive into remote work with the founder of Rev.com to learn how he created a workforce 50K strong that works remotely transcribing audio. From conferences to meetings to some of your favorite podcasts 😉 , it’s big business.

Listen to the episode now: Apple / Spotify / Google Play

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