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​Letters to the Editor: Waze Politics and Very Expensive Bicycles

Back into the inbox.

by Emanuel Maiberg
Oct 9 2016, 2:00pm

Image: Erin Nekervis/Flickr

Greetings, loyal readers. It's been a couple of weeks since we published one of these letters to the editor sections, but don't worry. I've personally been busy finishing this feature on the making of big budget video games, but we never stopped looking through our inbox. We still love you.

And of course it's always nice to see that the feeling is mutual. As always, we have some criticisms from readers to share this week, but we also got a lot of great feedback on our recent Luxury Week, where we delved into the secret lives of the rich. If you haven't checked it out already, I highly suggest you do so now. We had stories about virtual reality real-estate, expensive salads, the Maserati of prosthetics, and more.

Much to my surprise, one of the items readers were most interested in was the expensive bicycle Motherboard editor-in-chief Derek Mead got to take for a spin, as you can see in the email below.


Re: Could a $9500 Bicycle Turn Me, a Sad Sack of Flesh, into a Superathlete?

Hello Derek,

That's a nice article! I wouldn't want to push such a fine piece of engineering to limits on the streets of New York City or any other packed metropolitan area in regular traffic. After all that's quite a wacky take on to exploring the finer arts of checking out really nice bicycles.

Whereas you might consider your level of fitness as modest, you could benefit from a neat trick. If you've discovered an inner urge to continue cycling you might want to shave your legs. Slow now, it might come across as an odd move, but shaved legs bring along a very different feel while wearing cycling gear.

That's the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that one picture depicting you in front of that blue shack all smiles and eager to keep on pushing.

Once you're back home, it's a lot easier to care of sore legs properly. Not to mention the effect it has on one's inner perception as a reputable cyclist in the making.

Never mind - that was a really nice read for a Saturday morning. I quite enjoyed it!

Have a nice day,



10 more years of legs? And you're only 29? I beg to differ.

I have two Tarmacs, a Roubaix, and an Allez (aluminum Tarmac Jr.) and I'll be 71 years-old in December.

  • Restored 2006 Tarmac SL (more aggressive S-Works 10R Carbon Frame). The components are a mixture of Ultegra and 105 (not the original S-Works).
  • 2011 S-Works (custom build) Tarmac SL3, all Dura-Ace, 11R Carbon Frame.
  • 2011 Roubaix SL3 Expert, all Ultegra, 10R Carbon Frame, I call this my "comfort road bike".
  • 2005 Allez Sport, what I consider the pinnacle of aluminum road bikes at the time is was designed and built (love this bike).

(Oh, I also have a 2014 Recumbent Performer tadpole trike)

I ride about 20 miles every day (weather and health permitting) and generally end up with 5,000 miles a year. I started riding again when I was 68 years old.

I have a bike buddy (age 79) that just bought a 2017 S-Works Roubaix E-tap ($10,000). Why not, you can't take your money with you.

So you have many more years left in those legs, especially if you ride the Roubaix (the best selling bike in America) a lot.

Enjoyed your article. I'd give my left (censored) for an E-tap Tarmac. And/or the new Roubaix.

Keep the rubber side down.

-- R.L.


Re: The Italian Mob's Toxic Waste Dumping Is Giving People Cancer

I am absolutely shocked about this article and the research I've been reading. I stayed in Napoli for one month and I ate all the food and I'm sick to my stomach about it. I'm so angered!

I stayed in Accera. May you please tell me if they continue to dump toxic waste in the region and, if so, where is the safest place to live near the Napoli region?

Looking at the map here,it seems nowhere is truly safe.

Is there still toxic dumping? Are they removing the toxic waste?




Hey Jehan,

I just got your message about the Italian mob dumping waste in the Naples region.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether this practice is still ongoing. I would suggest contacting the National Institute of Health, who conducted the study on the dumping, and ask them. They'll probably have a better idea re: the current status of the Camorra mob's waste racket. You can email them at:


Daniel Oberhaus, Motherboard Contributor


Re: How Ketamine Infusions Saved My Life

Hey Motherboard,

I just finished reading the article you published on one girl's experience with drug addiction and specifically how ketamine treatments saved her life.

I too am a recovering drug addict, as well as someone who has suffered from and been treated for depression for most of my life. I am also from Orange County, where the author resides in treatment. Even though I have been drug and alcohol free for over 2 years, I still struggle with the depression. I am on medication which works somewhat, but I am greatly intrigued by the treatment this girl went through.

This whole email is basically to thank you for publishing the article and also to ask if there would be a way for me to get into contact with the author of the article. I would love to speak to her more in depth about the treatment and perhaps exchange stories, and show support with her new-ish journey in sobriety. Please let me know if this is possible, and what you think.




Re: Waze Lets Israelis Avoid Palestinian Areas, but Not the Other Way Around


It's a very nice headline to claim there is some kind of discrimination done by Waze.

The thing is, and it's a small thing for sure - the only reason an Israeli would need to avoid a Palestinian area is the plain and simple thing that if an Israeli would even enter such an area by mistake he will be almost for sure attacked and there have been so many of these attacks that ended in murder of Israelis (also families and children), that regretfully, it's a necessity to avoid them (which is also bad for the Arabs since it avoids interaction and commerce that can actually improve the situation and lead to real peace). On the other hand, there is no need for Arabs to avoid Israeli areas, because unless they attack, no one will harm them. This happens every day and this is something I saw personally . So this is why Waze doesn't really need to calculate a "safe route" for Arabs.

Just setting the facts straight.

With kind regards,

Tomer Abta


Hi Tomer,

Thanks for reading my story and for your response. I recognize the danger Israelis face when entering Palestinian areas and I attempted to convey that danger in the article, when I mentioned the Ramallah lynchings of 2000 and the Qalandiya incident from earlier this year when two IDF soldiers were viciously attacked when they mistakenly entered a refugee camp near Jerusalem.

I agree that in most cases, the danger to Jewish-Israelis in Palestinian areas is higher than it is for Palestinians who venture on to Jewish settlements.

However, your statement that "there is no need for Arabs to avoid Israeli areas, because unless they attack [an Israeli], no one will harm them" is not true. According to statistics from the United Nations, there were 89 Palestinian casualties last year due to violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. That's a rate of about two per week. Three of those casualties were civilians, including an 18-month-old baby, who were burned to death in July 2015 when their house was firebombed by suspected Jewish settler-extremists known as the "hilltop youth." These people were in their own home, in their own community, likely asleep when their home was attacked.

Even in West Jerusalem it can be dangerous to be Palestinian. Last year, I witnessed an angry mob of Israelis from the extremist "Lehava" group march past my Jerusalem apartment chanting "death to Arabs." The Lehava organization has been known to attack Palestinians in the past, and I have Palestinian friends who avoid West Jerusalem after dark during periods of heightened tensions, such as the recent "knife intifada," because they don't feel safe there.

So I am not advocating that Waze remove its feature that allows Israelis to avoid Palestinian cities. I'm only saying: maybe Palestinians should have a similar option.

Thank you again for reading.

Hunter Stuart, Motherboard Contributor

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