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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.
This Means War

Gett Calls Out Uber For ‘Playing Dirty Tricks’

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The battle for taxi app supremacy has gotten ugly between Uber and Lyft, with both companies firing snarky comments back and forth and accusing each other of sabotage. Along the way, they’ve decided that going after each other isn’t enough, and that they might as well throw a few punches at the smaller companies caught in the crossfire.

Apparently, Uber ran the same playbook on Gett this past January. In an appearance on Bloomberg’s “Street Smart,” Gett’s Head of Marketing Brooke Moreland accused Uber of ordering Gett rides and canceling them last minute to disrupt service. Read More

Crowd Power

Kickstarter and Indiegogo Close Record-Breaking Campaigns On the Same Day

Ryan Grepper, the man behind the Coolest Cooler. Which by default makes him "The Coolest Guy." We're sure he planned that. (Screengrab via Kickstarter)

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are always held up against each other as rivals — people ask which is more secure, which is more indie, and which one is the better place to raise money. But this weekend, they both get to be winners, to an extent.

The Coolest Cooler broke Kickstarter’s record for highest funds raised by a campaign ever, coming in around $13 million, and Stone Brewing Company broke Indiegogo’s at $2.5 million. Read More

Airbnb

Airbnb’s Latest Subway Propaganda Reminds You That You Love, Support Airbnb

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Just about everyone in New York has seen the ads: “New Yorkers agree: Airbnb is great for New York City.” But apparently, the message wasn’t clear enough the first time around.

Airbnb has updated the campaign to be much more in-your-face and explicit. On many of the new ads, the smiling portraits of the lovely and diverse cast of Airbnb hosts have been scraped away for bold, white space and much bigger text. For anyone who didn’t get the message before — many New Yorkers we spoke to simply thought they were ads for Airbnb’s service — the message is much clearer. Read More

Sex

Pornhub Study: Isolated Loners of Wyoming, Alaska Love Bondage Porn

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Next time you’re on a trip to a romantic mountain getaway, a ski vacation, or just a trip to that little cabin in the woods, don’t forget the bondage tape, ball gag and OhMiBod. Turns out, people in remote areas are way more curious about bondage than those of us who live in cities and suburbs.

Pornhub Insights, the blog that looks at porn browsing habits to produce such revelations as “America Runs On Anal,” dug into the search terms surrounding BDSM porn. Though bondage accounts for less than two percent of searches — which seems low to us — Americans are clearly curious about dom/sub relationships, if the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey is any indicator. Read More

Digital Publishing

Vox Media May Open Their Coveted CMS To the Wider WordPress-Plagued World

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Every blogger, writer and reporter has a love/hate relationship with their content management system. If your professional life belongs to WordPress, for example, the woes of formatting overkill and half a dozen SEO fields have no doubt caused you to look up to the sky and ask: why isn’t there a better way?

Vox Media, the network of mostly profitable news sites that includes The Verge, SB Nation, Curbed and Vox, has its own coveted in-house system called Chorus. In a recent post about the future of blogging, Vox Media Editorial VP Lockhart Steele hinted that Vox could be preparing to open Chorus up to the rest of the publishing world: Read More

Money Money Money

Former Bond Villain Builds Personal Submarines For International Billionaires Like Richard Branson

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As Graham Hawkes describes it, he was sitting in the front seat of what is basically an underwater sports car when he was ambushed by a great white shark. He’d recognized the shark’s behavior as a territorial challenge, and wanted to pull away, but unfortunately he had business magnate and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson riding shotgun.

“I remember Richard saying ‘Get closer, get closer!’ and I thinking ‘I’m not going to face down a great white shark,'” Mr. Hawkes told Betabeat. Read More