The Bad Kind of Viral

Embarrassing Viral Video of You Being Stupid in Public: Not a Violation of Your Privacy, Court Rules

youtube pic

Remember the 2004 clip of that pompous DEA agent who shot himself in the thigh in front of a community center classroom? It was like an awful deleted scene from Breaking Bad meets a bloopers reel, or so the millions who watched it seemed to think. The DEA agent wasn’t so happy, especially with the gossipy agency he worked for, who passed the video around enough to go viral. He’s since sued the DEA for violating his privacy, by letting the video get out into the open. The result? Read More

SOPA Opera

New Yorkers: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Has Heard You on SOPA/PIPA, and She…Doesn’t Really Care?

Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is a co-sponsor of PIPA, the sibling legislation for SOPA, the awful one that still contains the provision that would allow our government to shut down websites accused—not convicted of—but accused of copyright infringement. Today, there was quite a large protest outside of her office! 1,000 people and a bunch of Internet luminaries were there.

As it turns out, Sen. Gillibrand has heard the voice of the people! And as such, she has taken to her page on (the SOPA-opposed) Facebook to say… Read More


Kickstarter-Funded Restaurant Gets Seal of Approval from New York Times

Beware all ye mollusks who enter here.

When the proprietors behind Brooklyn seafood shack Littleneck couldn’t come up with the cash to get their restaurant started through traditional outlets, they took to the people: a Kickstarter campaign to fund Littleneck helped get them to where they needed to be. The restaurant opened, and only a few months in, they now have what every chef and restauranteur—especially in this city—dreams of: a seal of approval from the New York Times dining critics. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Sporty Spice! An NFL Player and Two Olympians Applied for TechStars New York

Great, now we have to figure out what a Tebow is.

TechStars New York managing director David Tisch is neck-deep in applications for the accelerator’s eagerly-anticipated upcoming class. But he managed to share a few scintillating details with Business Insider.

Among the 1,000-plus would-be entrepreneurs that have already applied (well ahead of last year), are some notable surprises including: graduates of previous accelerators, a current NFL player, and two former Olympians. Read More

The Tech Scene

Bloomberg Calls for Compromise On SOPA


At a morning news conference, Mayor Mike Bloomberg urged Congress to come to a compromise on the Internet piracy legislation now making its way through the House and Senate.

"There’s no easy answer," he said in response to a question from Juan Manuel Benitez of NY1 Noticias. "You have to protect the rights of people to transmit information in a practical sense."

The mayor reached for an old-fashioned comparison for today's digital age, telling reporters,  "If you make a threatening phone call over the telephone, going after the telephone company is not something that makes some sense." Read More

Blackout Day

Stop SOPA, Pass on PIPA! Hundreds of Internet-Lovers Gather Outside Senatorial Offices

(via foursquare)

UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: About 300 to 400 900 to 1,000 New York techies are gathered in front of the Midtown offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at 780 Third Ave to protest their sponsorship of the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts that internet workers say will have destructive effects on the web.

“They’re making chants,” Stephen Duffy, our man on the scene, told Betabeat over the phone. The protesters reportedly took a page from the Occupy playbook with “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” and crafted the cachy, “STOP SOPA, PASS ON PIPA!” (N.B.: It’s apparently pronounced “pippa.”)

“What we have here is one of the geekiest, most rational protests in NYC history,” Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and now advisor, told the crowd (via Ben Kessler).

“This is a whole rearranging of the way the web works,” Jessica Lawrence, managing director of the New York Tech Meetup, which helped organize the event, told our reporter. “Taking away the free speech elements and making it censored in the U.S. in way that it shouldn’t be, and that it is in foreign countries.” Read More


And Now for Something Completely Different! Color Debuts YouTube Spot for New Video-Based Color

color new

The new Color is here! (To recall: the guys who were funded $40 million pre-product, botched their hyper-hyped launch with a janky app and weird UI, then immediately cried “pivot!”) Color announced back in December that it would be rolling out a Facebook-centric app for video status updates, a far cry from the first iteration, “photos of people around me in real-time.” Color just released a video for the new product, a repulsive Arcade Fire-meets-American Apparel-meets MTV’s Skins God-awful Facebook sellout thing and we hate it, oh we hate it, as did 99 percent of the people who rated it on YouTube. So tone-deaf, so icky. O, Color! You used to be (sort of) cool. [via AdAge]

Read More

Blackout Day

Roundup of All the Cute Things the Internet Is Doing Today to Protest SOPA/PIPA

-Informative websites with clever names.
-Peer-to-peer SOPA/PIPA tutoring.
-Sympathy cards to Congress, for the death of the internet.
-Raising money for a lobbyist.
-The New York Tech Meetup emergency anti-SOPA/PIPA rally.
-Blackouts at Craigslist, Wikipedia and Reddit; opt-in blackout at Tumblr.
-Changing all our Twitter avatars!
-Animated Vimeos.
-LOLcats song.

What are we forgetting?