betaworking

Skip the Round-Ups: ‘Homescreen’ Will Tell You What Apps Everyone Is Really Using

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You’ve probably been bombarded by dozens of year-end listicles and slideshows of 2014’s best apps, you head spinning from hundreds of new suggestions. Well, come on in from the storm: There’s something to help you sort through all of the madness.

Homescreen, a new app from Betaworks, is compiling an organized, networked database of what apps everyone is using. The app allows users to upload pictures of their smartphone home screens, uses image recognition to builds a database of what apps everyone is using. The whole system links to Twitter so you can see who an app’s most influential users are and what your friends’ favorite apps are. Read More

Web Series

New Video Skewers All Your Melodramatic, Vague Facebook Statuses

Sammantha Anderson, accused "Vaguebooker." (Above Average)

As anyone with angst-ridden Facebook friends knows, there’s nothing more annoying than coming face-to-face with someone’s vague, depressing status updates.

“Life sux so much right now”; “Can’t believe u did this 2 me”—you know, the kind of statuses that don’t give you nearly enough information, but give you just enough dramatic details to make you desperate to know the full story of why Kaitlynne might “never get out of bed 4ever.” Read More

Q&A

What Does ‘Product’ Even Mean? Complex Exec Lays It All Out

Ms. Barazany (jjdigital PR)

When Complex hired Ayalla Barazany, it was the first time they’d hired someone to work in “product.”

Now, as VP of Product, the Israeli-born Ms. Barazany works to ensure the company’s business goals are in line with what its tech department is capable of producing. She also makes sure Complex’s user experience, or UX, is as strong as possible.

On top of it all, Ms. Barazany has excelled in a series of predominantly-male departments.

“I’ve never focused on [being the only woman],” she told Betabeat. “I’m doing what’s best for me.” Read More

Reddit

Reddit is Taking Down Accounts That Publish the Sony Hacks

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Remember when it took nearly a week for Reddit to decide it was time to stop people from sharing stolen photos of nude celebrities? When it comes to corporate secrets, they’re much faster to act.

Reddit confirmed to Business Insider last night that they’ve complied with takedown requests from Sony. The emails went out to Reddit along with a number of news organizations threatening legal action if they continued to publish the leaked information. Read More

jet set

Startup Hands Out Free Private Jet Flights for Christmas and New Year’s Eve

So much better than Megabus. (Facebook)

Are you making last-minute travel plans for the holidays? Are you the jerk in your friend group who likes proving how much swankier and classier he is than everyone else?

JetSmarter, the app perhaps best described as the Uber for private jets, recently debuted their new #TisTheSeasonToFly campaign.

On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the company’s offering free empty leg flights on private jets to anyone with the app. To clarify, by “free,” we mean YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING FOR A RIDE ON A PRIVATE JET. Read More

In The News

Wiki Co-Founder Creates ‘Wikipedia for News’ to Fight Bias in the Media

The newest news stand. (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The grand jury decisions for the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases sent the media into a whirlwind. It was difficult to get a good sense of what was going on—with right-winged news outlets pushing one bias, left-winged pushing another, everyone aggregating everything and Facebook friends circulating falsities they read on Reddit. As our country erupted in discussion and protest, information was distributed through a buzzy media and Internet rumors. The “facts” weren’t as readily available.

To rid the public of this type of problem, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger made Infobitt, a free, open content news resource he’s calling “Wikipedia for the news.” No, it’s not Wikinews; this site grabs facts from news sources, summarizes them and organizes the information to make it a news go-to. Like our beloved online encyclopedia, Infobitt is a collaborative effort. Read More