The Bad Kind of Viral
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?
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…
KICKSTARTER SUCCESS STORIES
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.
The Real TechStars of New York
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.
Yet another Important Internet Person has come out against SOPA, the controversial legislation that would put the power of a kill-switch in our totally computer-savvy government’s hands: The Zuck.
You should not listen to him, nor commend him, nor care. Why?
The Tech Scene
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
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.”
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]
A number of art world internet concerns have joined with Wikipedia, Google, Reddit and others in protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate, both of which threaten to hinder openness on the web. Read More