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Adrianne Jeffries

Adrianne Jeffries has been a reporter for the New York Observer since December 2010 and the editor of Betabeat since January 2012. She has written for newspapers, magazines, and blogs in three states, and is a ReadWriteWeb alum.
Caveat Backer

Is This Overfunded Sandals Project the Biggest Kickstarter Flop Yet?

vere fire 2

Bad news for those among Vere Sandals’ 1,091 backers on Kickstarter who still haven’t received their footwear: The factory caught on fire and your sandals may have gotten burned up. Really.

At least Vere’s creators are offering to negotiate “options” to fulfill its obligations to backers and has refunded some pledges. Because the situation at this point is best described as a quagmire. The creators posted a request for funds in January, 2011, saying they had the equipment and the experience necessary to make a bunch of sweet, eco-friendly flip-flops right here in the U.S.A. (“I LOVE FLIP FLOPS!!” one backer commented at the time.) But the Geneva, New York-based operation has struggled monumentally with actually making and shipping sandals for a year and a half after raising $56,618 of its $12,000 goal. Read More

Privacy is Dead

Clever New Site Republishes Facebook Updates About Drugs, Phone Numbers and Bosses

Mr. Haywood. (Photo: Twitter)

The 18-year-old U.K.-based developer Callum Haywood just pulled the latest prank on Facebook users with leaky privacy settings.

Weknowwhatyouredoing.com pulls public Facebook updates in four categories: people complaining about their jobs,  people talking about being hung over, people talking about drugs, and those who recently changed their phone numbers and didn’t realize they were announcing the new number to the world.

“Just an FYI I forgot to put out there, I’ve got a new Phone Number. For all those interested it’s 0776x010x06. Text me and lemme know who you are so I can add you,” writes one user in a typical update. Read More

Missed Connections

Have You Been Lying to Your Internet Girlfriend? MTV Wants You

Calling all catfish.

“Has someone fallen for your online alter-ego?” MTV is casting for a reality show in the vein of the possibly fake hit documentary Catfish, in which a young filmmaker falls in love with his dream girl, Megan, on Facebook, only to find he was talking to the woman Megan had said was her mother. MTV is producing the show with the producers of Catfish, including the duped Nev Schulman, and RelativityREAL. Read More

Startup Food Chain

On Track to Be Cashflow Positive This Year, Sailthru Goes On Buying Spree

Mr. Capel. (Photo: Sailthru.com)

Just one month after making its very first acquisition, New York-based email marketing company Sailthru has snapped up another. “It’s not been a direct strategy,” CEO Neil Capel told Betabeat over the phone. “At the same time, we’re finding some really talented people and some IP to add to our layer. We keep an active lookout for interesting startps.” Read More

hands off our internet

White House Presciently Asks for Backlash on Copyright Policy Before It’s Written

President Barack Obama does not want Wikipedia to shut down again. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator, just put out a call for public comment on “legislation, regulation, guidance, executive order, Presidential memoranda, or other executive action, including, but not limited to, changes to agency policies, practices or methods” pertaining to intellectual property protection. In other words, speak now or please, forever hold your peace.  Read More

Space Money

This Economist Got Hired to Study Video Game Economies (And He’s Blogging About It)

Team Fortress 2.

Last week, a Washington-based gaming company got some attention for an odd job listing: economist. “Valve’s multi-player games… have allowed for the spontaneous emergence of complex virtual, yet quite real, economies,” the company said. “The task of a Valve economist is to make good use of the incredible wealth of data concerning these social economies, to pose fresh questions about their workings, and to generate methods for converting new knowledge about these economic vistas into tangible ideas that help improve our customers’ experiences.”

The chance to study an economy using perfect data? Yanis Varoufakis, a professor of economic theory at the University of Athens and visiting professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, took the bait. “I was more than intrigued. I was interested!” the economist wrote on his newly-launched Valve Economics blog, which already has more than 1,100 RSS subscribers. Read More

Office Space

Buddy Media, Apple and Facebook’s Realtors Are Really, Really Happy Right Now

(mappedinny.com)

If you’re a real estate broker, you might want to shift your attention from bonus-scrimping Wall Streeters to ramen-eating techies. We’ve known for a while that tech companies are sprouting up at an alarming rate. While some of them go bust, many of them raise funding, hire workers, and therefore need offices. Even if that Bowery apartment seems comfortable now, a fast-scaling web company will need its own digs before long. Read More

Jumping the Gun

As Equity Crowdfunding Nears, Platforms Race to Be the First

(flickr.com/portland_mike)

Equity-based crowdfunding, whereby unaccredited investors plunk down money in a company in exchange for more money down the road, is set to be legal sometime in early 2013. Small investors and unfunded startups are waiting until after the Securities and Exchange Commission figures out how to write the rules so widows and orphans don’t get fleeced of their last pennies. That could take a while. But the timeline hasn’t stopped startups from competing to be the very first equity crowdfunding site. Some aren’t even waiting until the law is finalized. Read More