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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.
Eye Candy

Swappable Lens Startup ‘Frameri’ Is Coming For Warby Parker’s Throne

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Warby Parker is one of the hottest ecommerce companies of the past five years, and has been awarded all of the startup buzzwords (disruptive, innovative) for their great user experience and direct to consumer business model. But you can’t be an insurgent company without someone else coming up fast for your number one spot.

Frameri, an online eyewear site that makes glasses with interchangeable lenses, officially launched this morning. They’ve set their sites on the trail blazed by Warby, but claim that their product is actually something new in eyewear, as opposed to being the same old product in a new shape, style, or designer label. Read More

Bitcoin Nation

Capitol Hill Is Hosting Its First Bitcoin Demo Day Today

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Rep. Jared Polis, the “Gamer Congressman,” has been a big advocate for Bitcoin on Capitol Hill. He’s taken BTC for campaign donation, lampooned his colleagues for speaking out against Bitcoin, and invited fellow congressmen to give Bitcoin a shot. Now, he’s helping bring Washington, D.C. its first Bitcoin Startup Demo Day.

Today, a few major Bitcoin startups like Coinbase, BitPay and BitGO will set up shop in the Rayburn House Office Building to convince Washington regulators to embrace Bitcoin. They’ll be joined by major companies who have successfully integrated Bitcoin into their business models, like Expedia, who started taking payments in Bitcoin earlier this summer and have been more than happy with the results. Read More

Mad Data Science

OkCupid Brags About Manipulating Online Daters in Secret Tests

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After all of the furor over Facebook’s invasive experiments on users’ news feeds, other startups running the same plays had to be thinking: “What do we do now?” In the case of OkCupid, their version of ass-covering is to come out loud and proud about the games they’ve been playing with their users’ hearts.

OkCupid posted a snarky, image-loaded essay on their blog today called “We Experiment On Human Beings!” where they make a list of hijinxes they’ve pulled on their users without them knowing, all in the name of science. In the post, OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder points to how offended people were that Facebook published a research report based on manipulating users’ news feeds. Read More

Fashion Tech

The Modern Man’s Guide to Dressing Your iPhone

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Us men don’t have many opportunities to add a little pop to our wardrobe. We have a few conservative options in watches, belts and shoes, but every pair of cufflinks needs its own French cuff shirt, and trying to bling every day at the office quickly turns you into Needless Tie Bar Guy.

We do, however, all have smartphones. When treated correctly, they’re the perfect gateway to branch out stylistically. Unfortunately, there are few good tips on how to wear your phone, so if GQ won’t do it, we will. Read More

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