Soul Searching

In Evaluating Its Actions in the Aaron Swartz Case, MIT Pleads ‘Neutrality’

Aaron Swartz.

Today MIT released the results of its investigation–led by MIT professor Hal Abelson–into the university’s actions in the controversial case of Aaron Swartz, evaluating the facts and ultimately denying wrong-doing. The report suggests that the school didn’t target Mr. Swartz, but it didn’t go out of its way to do a damn thing for him, either.

The report, which is almost 200 pages long, outlines what MIT did when and outlines alternate courses. For example, MIT could have gone to greater lengths to provide documents to the defense, weighed in on prosecution publicly as JSTOR did or taken into account what a shoddy law the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is. Perhaps most painfully, as Lawrence Lessig argues, MIT could’ve cast doubt that Mr. Swartz’s access Read More

Exit This Way

Changes at Bitly as New CEO Mark Josephson Joins and Chief Scientist Hilary Mason Departs for Accel

Mr. Josephson (Photo: Flickr)

Bitly, the New York-based link-shortening and data analytics service, announced two big changes at the executive level this week. Yesterday, chief scientist Hilary Mason, who is arguably Bitly’s most visible employee, announced she would be moving on from the company to become the first ever data scientist in residence at venture firm Accel Partners. Though she’s been an advisor to Accel’s Big Data Fund since 2011, Ms. Mason is leaving Bitly to join Accel full time, where she will help to advise portfolio companies and evaluate potential investment areas. Read More

Complaint Department

Kvetch to Congress About Train Delays With ‘I’m Stuck’ App

Hot and possibly slow. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Turning to the stranger next to you to smack-talk the MTA when your train is delayed may be incredibly gratifying, but it doesn’t do much to improve mass transit.

A new app is seeking to change that, the Chicago Tribune reports. Known as I’m Struck, the app enables you to pen a rage-filled screed and email it to an elected official in hopes that he or she will put the creaky, smelly train wheels of change in motion. Read More

XXX in Tech

Would You Like to Buy a ‘Wearable Smart Vibrator’ From Start-ups: Silicon Valley Star Hermione Way?

Ms. Way. (Photo: Indiegogo)

Welcome to life after Bravo: Hermione Way, erstwhile Start-ups: Silicon Valley star, is now the face of Vibease, a company that purports to make the first “wearable smart vibrator.” They’ve just launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000, and they’re already at $13,695.

Ignore the fact that “Vibease,” when you say it out loud, sounds like it has something to do with bees. Vi-BEES. Read More

Life in the Fab Lane

Fresh Off a Fund Raise, Fab Cuts More Than 100 European Staffers

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

Fab just raised $150 million from investors including Tencent, and supposedly there’s another tranche of the Series D coming. And yet, according to AllThingsD, the company has just laid off more than a hundred of its Berlin-based employees, something like 15 percent of Fab’s total workforce, and an additional 36 are being asked to relocate to New York.

In an interview with AllThingsD, CEO Jason Goldberg spins the layoffs as part of Fab’s flash-sale-free future, swears the company is still committed to Europe and says the new investors knew this was a possibility: Read More


Booting Up: Three Executives Have Fled Zynga Within the Last Month

New, new Spotify? (Photo: Gizmodo)

Zynga has seen three of its top execs depart the struggling gaming company within the past month. [Bloomberg]

There’s nothing weird about Bob Mansfield’s name from being scrubbed on Apple’s exec page. Rumor has it that he was so successful that he can do whatever he wants at the company. [Daring Fireball]

Instagram is so nonplussed about Windows Phone users sharing pictures through a third-party knock-off app called Instance that they’re supposedly deleting them as soon as they appear. [TNW]

Spotify’s music discovery feature is going to suck less if this leaked video is to believed. Even better, the new releases section might return too. [Gizmodo]

Vimeo, Redbox Instant and even HBOGo might soon appear on your Google Chromecast making for one very useful dongle. [GigaOM]