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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.
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

Kickstart or Kill

This Is the Most Bizarre Crowdfunding Video We’ve Ever Seen

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At Betabeat, we consider ourselves connoisseurs of the Kickstarter horror story. Usually, the strange videos we’ve come across have been poorly made home videos — honest attempts by clueless civilians. Sometimes though, you find that perfect marriage of high production value and complete WTFness.

The crowdfunding video for a productivity app called Wimble looks like Barney Stinton’s video resume meets The Room. In it, a Finnish man wearing all black errthang is chased through an urban dystopia by a swarm of flying clocks before discovering the almighty Wimble. Read More