Hires and Fires
Wondering what happened to Turntable.fm’s fast following, Xoogler-founded cousin, Rolling.fm? The social music site has been serving up errors for about two weeks; Tenka, the founders’ previous startup, is also gone. Co-founder and chief product officer Tim Zhou, whose resume includes IBM and Google, did not respond to a request for comment by email, and now we know why.
So you can immediately click that X on the internet-destroying SOPA-mongers. Minneapolis developers Andy Baird and Tony Webster have released a Chrome extension that displays a banner at the top of a site letting you know if the company behind the domain supports the Stop Online Piracy Act. The developers “used the sources we could find;” the extension still says GoDaddy is a SOPA supporter, even though the registrar and hosting company rescinded its support for the bill (although it’s still implicated for consulting).
IP Uh Oh
In 2011, Wall Street caught friending fever. It was a hell of a year for social media IPOs, as investment banks welcomed themselves into the money-hungry arms of Computer Nerds, Many Of Whom Should Have But Didn’t Know Better. Of course, there were a few winners that weren’t said banks, as well as a few you’ve never heard of. In 2012, Facebook will lead one of the largest tech IPOs pretty much ever, and the largest year of tech IPOs since 1999. What did we learn? Mostly, that for every bet, there’s a sucker who’s as desperate for money as most people apparently are for friends. So:
Who won, who lost, and who debuted on the market without anyone really knowing?
A spokesman for Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), emailed Betabeat this morning to request a correction on our story about the Reddit-engendered crusade against the politician. “I’m unclear on how you could derive Rep. Ryan supports SOPA from the letter you link to in the post,” spokesman Kevin Seifert wrote, referring to this letter Mr. Ryan’s office sent to a constituent who wrote in ostensibly as a supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The letter does not say whether Mr. Ryan supports SOPA, just that he will follow the legislation carefully and consider the constituent’s comments if the bill were to come before him for a vote.
“Congressman Ryan provided a legislative update on the status of the proposal to inquiring constituents, he has never been a co-sponsor or supporter of this legislation,” Mr. Seifert said in an email.
Here’s some interesting data that slipped through the holiday news hole. CyberCoders, a technology staffing company, assembled a list of the top ten tech jobs in New York for the coming year.
The company is based in Irvine, California, but recently opened an office in New York. With the office expansion of companies like Google and Twitter, says CyberCoders CTO Matt Miller, “We are seeing a significant demand for various types of web development, as well as candidates who manage projects and the sales team to support those efforts.” Startups are unlikely to ask a staffing firm for help with hiring up, but their numbers offer a nice overview of coveted jobs and compensation.
Spam or Not?
Looks like our own Megan McCarthy was right after all; that spammy-looking email that went out to New York Times users yesterday was ultimately an accidental “reply all.” After first telling users that the email was spam, the Gray Lady hung her head and confessed it was just a mistake. “The New York Times mistakenly sent an e-mail on Wednesday to more than eight million people who had shared their information with the company, erroneously informing them that they had canceled home delivery of the newspaper,” the Times’s own Media Decoder blog reported.
You don’t have to get the hell out of dodge to enjoy some promotional holiday WiFi. A week after Skype gifted free WiFi at 50 airports around the U.S., the company is announcing free WiFi over New Year’s for New York City denizens.
According to The Next Web, from midday on December 31st until midday on January 1st, New Yorkers will be able to access free Skype WiFi (for Googling last minute resolution ideas or, ahem, making Skype calls) in neighborhoods covered by Towerstream, its partner network. That includes: Times Square, West Village, East Village, South Village, Greenwich Village, NoHo, SoHo, Lowe East Side, Clinton, Chelsea, Union Square, Midtown, Midtown South, Murray Hill, Stuyvesant Park and Turtle Bay.
UPDATE: This story has been corrected to reflect that Mr. Ryan, rather than being an explicit supporter of SOPA, has not taken a public stance on the bill.
Alternate headline: Paul Ryan Opponent Rob Zerban On Track to Be the First Politician Elected by Reddit.
For days, Reddit has been dominated by stories about SOPA, GoDaddy and the Congress members who are pushing the DMCA-supplanting bill forward. After a successful boycott of GoDaddy, which allegedly helped write SOPA, Redditors turned their sights on the politicians supporting the bill. ” As one Redditor wrote in a wildly popular post: “Let’s pick ONE Senator of voted for NDAA/SOPA and destroy him like we’re doing for GoDaddy. Relentlessly investigate and find skeletons in his closet, money bomb is [sic] opponents, etc. It [sic] we could unseat someone and destroy their career it would have massive repercussions.”
The folks at Form D landed the SEC form for what appears to be a new round of funding at Blip Networks, the corporate name of blip.tv. So far the company has sold $6 million in shares on what would be its Series D, with the option to sell another $5 million still on the table.
The War on Email
Peter Rojas is co-founder of gdgt, a reviews and Q&A site for consumer electronics. Previously, he was the founding editor of Gizmodo and Engadget. This post originally appeared on his personal blog.
About three or four years ago I resolved to get my inbox under control— like most people I was having a tough time keeping up with everything—and after a few weeks I was able to get there. Here’s what I do to stay on top of my inbox (and apologies if these are just completely obvious things to do).