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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.
NYC Disrupts Disruptors

Hiding In Plain Sight: What Airbnb Doesn’t Want You To Know About Their New Lobbyists

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A few hundred people sat in the summer heat in Central Park last night, waiting for tickets for the Public’s opening night of their production of “King Lear,” when they were approached by a young woman with a clipboard.

“Would you like to sign a petition saying you support Airbnb in New York City?” she asked, going one by one.

“Support what, exactly?” asked the first person she approached.

“Oh, you know, like the service Airbnb provides, and just what we’re doing,” she said, obviously lacking an aggressive, prepared script.

One by one people signed a petition saying they supported “AirbnbNYC,” and why not? The vague, upbeat language — asking for an endorsement without a clear mission statement — seemed entirely unobjectionable. Read More

Keeping Up With the Kardashians

This Site Shows How Much Kim Kardashian Is Raking in From Her iPhone Game in Real Time

(Image via Google Play)

Kim Kardashian’s app has been exploding in popularity — it’s finally reached number one spot for free apps at the Apple App Store, and is slowly making its way to the top of the highest-grossing charts as well. Meanwhile, the hype has caused game developer Glu Mobile’s stock prices to soar. But what about Kim’s cut of the profits?

Now there’s a site that tell you what Ms. Kardashian’s estimated royalties from the app will be. Aptly named KardashianCash.com, it was launched silently last night by Texas-based analyst firm PTT Research. Read More

Dating: The Final Frontier

This Bizarre Dating App Is More Depressing Video Game Than Matchmaker

Floret_Logo

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