Homeopathy, an alternative form of medicine employed by free-spirited aunts everywhere, has just made a very potent enemy. On his newly-minted Quora blog, Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales voiced his disapproval for the method, which has been systematically proven to be an ineffective pseudoscience.
This week, the startup community mourned the death of Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO who was found dead on Monday. In the days that followed, Mr. Sherman’s friends and colleagues remembered his drive and generosity and sense of humor in a series of blog posts—posts that largely left out the cause of Mr. Sherman’s death, which the Clark County Coroner’s Office determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hey, ladies! Are you 18-25? Are you attractive and looking to make a little extra dough? Do you sometimes miss the gender tropes of the Mad Men era and long to be treated like a nubile piece of furniture? Well, you’re in luck!
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Amazon.com’s homepage appears to be temporarily down, showing a “service unavailable” message to users. Links within Amazon are still functional, but the homepage is inaccessible.
As TechCrunch notes, the site is serving a 503 error, indicating that “the server powering the site is down due to maintenance or overloading,” which can mean the server is being DDOS’d. Amazon Web Services’ dashboard says all hosting services appear to be operating normally.
Last August, Silicon Alley darling Venmo, a mobile app that lets you split bills and pay friends, was acquired by Braintree, a PayPal competitor, for $26.2 million. At the time, Braintree emphasized the shift towards mobile commerce. And it looks like having a consumer-facing brand like Venmo is helping in that department.
Today, they announced the launch of Venmo Touch, which should help lower the barrier to buying things on mobile by avoiding the hassle of having to enter your credit card information with every new app . . . as long as it’s part of the Braintree family.
The Real TechStars of New York
In December, after reports about an impending downturn in the accelerator boom, some local investors expressed concerns about the future of TechStars New York. Would the next Demo Day be the same parade of oversubscribed startups when much-hyped graduates were still stuck in beta? Were the lessons learned in TechStars enough to prepare companies for life outside the bubble?
David Tisch’s departure as managing director added to that uncertainty. But TechStars CEO and founder David Cohen dismissed those worries, pointing to “heavy inbound interest” in the role. Today, he announced his new hire from the 35 candidates interviewed: Eugene Chung, a former venture capitalist with New Enterprise Associates.
Law and Order
Look, nobody expected Mississippi to be this shining bastion of liberalism, lovingly welcoming every transhumanist-animal-hybrid-Singulatarian to cross its borders. But unfortunately, in its quest to further criminalize and stigmatize abortion by explicitly defining personhood, Mississippi may have gone one step too far: House Bill 819, the Protection of the Human Person Act (PDF), would outlaw human-animal hybrids like animorphs, which should strike outrage in the heart of every ’90s kid who loved the sci fi series.
Yesterday, Betabeat asked Compete for traffic data on BuzzFeed—the richly-funded purveyor of image-heavy listicles, breeding ground for future New Yorker scribes and everything in between—and when the spreadsheet arrived, it came wrapped in a little gift: Along with the monthly unique visits and demographic breakdowns we requested, Compete gave us a long list of BuzzFeed search referrals for the last three months, ranked by total share.
Remember the heady days of Livejournal, when your emo post about how much your parents don’t “get” you was only complete with an accompanying song and mood, the latter of which could be entered by choosing from a surprisingly robust menu of descriptive emoticons? Facebook, it turns out, certainly remembers those rosy days of yore, and is intent to bring back the emoticon feature to your very own status box.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg raved about his company, declaring the social media giant a “mobile company” during a conference call discuss quarterly earnings. [Betabeat]
More importantly, is that a picture of the Zuckster at a rave? According to the DJ shown in the image at left, the photo was taken three years ago. [Gawker]
Note to BlackBerry: Next time you launch a big new product, maybe better to firm up your release date before you hire Alicia Keys to sing your praises. [Bloomberg]
Sometimes matching a business model to a celebrity founder is like picking out the right pair of shoes to go with a pair of new pants. ShoeDazzle, the online shoe-seller cofounded by Kim Kardashian, dropped its subscription model a year ago. Now the subscription package is back. [AllThingsD]
A man was shot dead in Georgia after a GPS error lead him to the wrong house. [Gizmodo]