Tumblr Experts Say Tumblr-Ready Things About Tumblr At Social Media Week


According to Tumblr experts (look for a course in becoming one at your local DeVry soon), Tumblr is something like an unholy hybrid of Twitter and WordPress and quite possibly the future of humanity. Or, more seriously, the future of print.

We exaggerate–but there was a shiny, glittering feel to The Next Web’s report on last Friday’s “Let’s Get Ready to Tumblr: Building community by reimagining and redistributing your content.” The panel was part of Social Media Week and featured Tumblr notables from Buzzfeed, Flavorpill and The Atlantic. Read More


Rapportive Admits It Was Acquired By LinkedIn, But Will Keep Its Gmail Plugin

Rapportive Linkedin

Welcome to today’s edition of news you already knew! On its staff blog, Rapportive confirmed that oh yeah, it actually has been acquired by LinkedIn . . . just like AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes reported 15 days ago.

For those of you who’ve been stumbling around your inbox blind, Rapportive is an incredibly handy browser plug-in (it only works with Gmail right now) that shows you information about the person you’re emailing with–like their photo, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook–right from your inbox. Back in September, CEO Rahul Vohra said Rapportive was being viewed by 65 million contacts per month.

Today Mr. Vohra offered a bit of temporary relief for Rapportive’s loyal fan base (Betabeat was enthusiastically introduced last year by a friend who shares our love of knowing more than everyone else whenever possible). “We have fantastic news: at LinkedIn, we will support Rapportive, and we will continue to build beautiful products that make you brilliant with people.”

That might dispel “acqui-hire” rumors, but we all know what happens to nimble products under big company umbrellas. Read More

Albany garage sale

Soon You’ll Be Able To Buy New York State’s Old Junk on eBay

Want to buy a car in almost mint condition? (Photo: Getty)

Earlier this afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he's going to be selling New York State's old stuff on eBay, to the excitement of whomever is interested in the state government's old office supplies, furniture, and highway equipment.

Why is New York State selling its old stuff? Is New York State moving out of its old dusty Albany apartment to a new loft in Williamsburg?

Probably not, it seems.

In his statement, Mr. Cuomo said the government is selling "unneeded equipment and supplies" in order to "reduce operating costs and cut back on excess spending and inventory."

Read More

Betabeat Approves A Thing

Find Great Kickstarter Projects With Kickstumbler: With Love, From Hype Machine Labs


With two Kickstarter projects breaking the $800,000 barrier in the same day, the mothership of crowdfunding sites is having its moment. We had a hunch this was coming when investors on recent panel about women in venture capital called out, unprompted, to Perry Chen, hoping he might be in the market for funding. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

So like any dutiful Kickstarter devotee, Hype Machine founder Anthony Volodkin did what he does best, build “apps that allow us to discover and enjoy new things.” Enter Kickstumbler: a site and tool bar that lets you stumble upon projects you might have otherwise missed. “This was made over a few weekends, sometimes, truly instead of sleeping,” Mr. Volodkin told Betabeat by email. It was a labor of love for what his team calls Hype Machine Labs. “It’s a name we use when making something not explicitly related to the core site.” Read More

Planet Google

Google’s New Terminator Glasses Bring the Future to Your Goddam Face


You know when people say ” . . . not until they figure out how to put computer chips in our brains”? Well this is one step closer. We would smash our iPad 2 on the floor right now if we could get our money back and spend it on this instead.

Yesterday evening, the New York Times‘ Nick Bilton reported that Google is planning to put its heads-up display [HUD] glasses, which “stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time,” to the public by the end of the year at somewhere between $250 and $600. Read More


E.U. Suspends A.C.T.A. Pending Review by Court of Justice

No, seriously, you should expect this.

The European Union has put the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (A.C.T.A.) on hold and referred it to the European Court of Justice. E.U. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding seeks legal affirmation that the anti-piracy treaty, an Anonymous cause célèbre, is truly in line with basic rights.

Ms. Reding seeks clarification on the question of whether the treaty will restrict the free flow of information. She has supported including an ‘Internet freedom provision’ in the legislation: Read More


Booting Up: The Throw Your iPhone Around Like a Ball Edition

Screen shot 2012-02-22 at 8.53.05 AM

TheO ball let’s you toss your iPhone for fun and sport. Sorry, hipsters, cool kid cracks not included. [TUAW]

User sues Google for bypassing default privacy settings on Safari. The Wall Street Journal‘s “What They Know” series strikes again! [VentureBeat]

Comcast tries to take businesses away from Netflix by launching its own streaming product. Netflix laughs. [Variety]

Group blogging platform Roundtable relaunches as Branch, with some very Internet famous beta users. [Business Insider] Read More

Investment Advice

Betterment Introduces Retirement Accounts, Lowers Fees

Mr. Stein.

Betterment, the online investment manager for individuals that TechCrunch named “New York’s Best Startup” in 2010, just announced it’ll be delivering more for less. The startup introduced individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, in addition to its investing accounts, and changed to a lower fee structure at the same time. Betterment—a portmanteau of “better” and “investment”—charges users a percentage of assets under management; it has 10,000 paying users and 20,000 subscribers, founder and CEO Jon Stein told Betabeat.

With 13 employees in its Soho office, that’s a pretty efficient company. Mr. Stein, a Certified Financial Analyst whose background is in investing and retail banking, wants Betterment’s customers to manage their money efficiently as well. “Think of it as Apple meets Vanguard,” he told Betabeat by phone last week. “A slick, intuitive interface on a smart investing backend.” Read More