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Jack Smith IV

Jack is a reporter covering tech business in NYC, Silicon Alley founders and funding, trends in tech innovation and venture capital investment.
Dating: The Final Frontier

This Bizarre Dating App Is More Depressing Video Game Than Matchmaker

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Usually, dating sites and apps try to convince singles that their service is more likely to land you an in-person date than the competition. Tinder gives you a ton of options fast. OkCupid gives you the best match. HowAboutWe makes the first date the absolute priority.

Not Floret. Floret doesn’t care in the least about real dates. Instead, Floret is a “dating” app that makes quickly matches you up young singles so that you can just keep chatting with them on your phone and sending them little videos. In order to find your matches, it oddly uses an antiquated logic problem to pit you against other potential matches. Read More

Freshly Minted

Freshly Minted: Kim Kardashian’s App Might Not Live Up to Stock Hype

Some traders have already begun shorting the stock, ie: making bets that the price of Glu shares will plummet. Their expression is pictured above. (via Imgur)

Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week and tell you what you need to know and why it matters.

The deal(ish): The hype around the new Kim Kardashian game is causing sudden spike stock price for the game developer, setting stockholders up for a nasty surprise.

We’re not in a tech bubble. We’re just not, and anybody with a decent understanding of market economics can see it pretty clearly. But that doesn’t mean that hype can’t get the best of the market, and set investors up for some pretty public disasters.

The latest impending disaster waiting to happen starts with, of all people, Kim Kardashian. Read More

Dumb Smartphones

Amazon Fire Phone: The Solution to None of Your Problems

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At the Standard Hotel in New York City last night, AT&T held an event where a slew of reporters queued up for a momentary, tightly controlled preview of the Amazon Fire Phone. No videography was allowed, but it was enough time to see what sets the Fire Phone apart from the competition. The verdict is dim, even compared to something as dismal as a Windows Phone.

The front of the phone is surrounded by 3D cameras that track the motion of your face to see how your head orients to the phone. On a map of New York City, moving the gadget around in front of our eyes caused us to peek around the buildings. In order to see into the distance, we tilted the phone like we were searching for something hidden inside the edge of the screen, which was a little cool at first, but was more glitzy then convenient. Read More

Lulz

Inside Look: Imgur Reveals Redesign, Announces Plans for a Convention

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Imgur is at a tipping point.

What began as a photo storage site for Reddit users has grown, in just five years, into a thriving community with almost twice as much traffic as its de facto parent site, raking in five billion pageviews a month.

But in tech, a proven model with great results isn’t always enough. The site debuted a redesign this morning. They’re also planning a slew of in-person events and a convention, all thanks to a recent injection of $40 million in VC funding. It’s clear that Imgur is striving to become a social media staple on the level of Instagram or Twitter. Read More

Delivery From Inconvenience

WunWun Delivers Anything From Local Stores and Restaurants For Free

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Delivery app WunWun can be used for delivering anything: groceries, ice luges, boat batteries, a Jeep for Rosie O’Donnell —  but every time those orders came in, people were paying for the delivery. No more.

As of this morning, WunWun will now deliver anything you want from a local store or restaurant for free, as long as what’s being delivered actually cost something to begin with. The previous delivery fees were around $10 to $20, but WunWun CEO Lee Hnetinka told Betabeat that they want to cut away more and more costs in order to be the “best option on planet earth” for deliveries. Read More

Planet Google

Ingress Now Available on iPhone, Turns NYC Into a Sweaty Sci-Fi Battlefield

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iPhone-equipped New Yorkers now have something to do outside this summer besides defend their devices from thieves and sweat to death in this heat. Ingress, an augmented reality game popular in urban areas and previously available only on Android, is now officially available on iOS devices.

Ingress uses geomapping to transform real urban landscapes into a playing field that gets players moving around their city, fighting over portals and collecting resources — a smartphone game that’s played entirely IRL. The game’s sci-fi backstory, which involves an invading alien force that opposing teams of players either welcome or resist, evolves and grows constantly depending how well the real-life teams are doing. Read More