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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.
Ello

This Is Ello’s New Charter and What It Means

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This morning, Ello officially closed a deal for $5.5 million in venture capital funding. Normally, this would be alarming — VC money typically indicates an exit strategy, which for social networks usually means ad-mongering and selling user data to the highest bidder. But Ello’s found a way to permanently head those complaints off at the pass.

Right before they received their investment, Ello wrote up a charter that basically reframed their infamous manifesto, only in more clear, specific language. In it, they say that there are three things they will never do: sell their user’s data, run ads on their site, or sell Ello to anyone who would compel them to do either of those things. The charter says: Read More

Ello

Ello Takes $5.5 Million in VC Money, Signs a Legally-Binding Charter to Never Sell Ads or Data

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Update: We’ve written a guide to Ello’s new charter, and exactly what a “public benefit corporation” is.

Since the explosive popularity of Ello, the virtuous “Anti-Facebook” social network, they’ve taken in over one million new users, with three million more on the waiting list. The Ello team has spent the past month racing to finish their beta testing phase even as thousands of new requests to join come in every hour. Now, they finally have a little support.

Only a month after they became one of the fastest growing social networks in history, Ello has closed a Series A round of venture capital funding to the tune of $5.5 million dollars. Considering Ello’s sudden explosion, the investment will give them the cash they need to hire more developers and keep racing toward finishing their private beta. Read More

Studies Show

Almost No One Believes the Internet Is a Safer Space for Women Than Men

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According to MRAs — that’s Men’s Rights Activists, for those who are uninitiated in the ways of complete sociopathy — the world is imperiled by entitled women who are using the Internet as a prime battleground for subjugating helpless men. Thankfully, they’re just about the only ones who believe that bullshit.

A Pew Research poll released today revealed that while most people believe that online communities are equally friendly toward women and men (take that with a grain of salt), those who found the Internet unequal think it’s a much safer space for men. The study took a deep dive into online harassment, prompted by a number of heinous events, such as a number of women in the gaming community being driven from their homes by violent threats. Read More

Sext and the City

Sexting App ‘Hidely’ Does Everything It Can To Keep Your Nude Selfies Safe

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It’s been a very bad year in web security. Only in the past couple of months, iCloud and Snapchat have seen major hacks that have exposed a number of naked selfies to prying eyes. Besides generating nervous chuckles and perfectly understandable (if not hypocritically sanctimonious) outrage, the leaks no doubt prompted many of us to Google things like “How do I perfectly secure my naked selfies?” and “How do I know if I’m naked on the Internet?”

Answer: a new app called Hidely keeps your stash of naked selfies as safe as possible by creating an encrypted locked box on your device that not even a phone thief or hacker could get access to. With Hidely, every picture you take with the app (and anything you import into it) is saved on your device, totally encrypted, and can only be seen through the password-protected app. Read More

IT Support of the Universe

Survey Shows Over 97% of Tech Support Pros Use PCs

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IT pros have a stigmatized reputation of being mostly white, mostly male nerds who talk over our heads and never see the light of day. But when it comes to how they use computers — and which computers they use — we should probably pay attention. After all, they are the experts.

A new survey of IT pros shows that 97 percent are using either just a PC or both a PC and a Mac for their work, with only 3 percent using just Macs. This can likely can be explained by IT professionals who deal exclusively with Macs. On the other hand, a full 13 percent of Mac technicians don’t use any antivirus software, as opposed to a negligible two percent of PC users. Read More

Bitcoin Nation

New York State’s Bitcoin Laws Could Ruin Everything Good About Bitcoin

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Bitcoin advocates have spent the past few years trying to sell cryptocurrency to the skeptical mainstream, who tend to be scared that bitcoin is an untrustworthy mirage fit only for drug dealers and criminals. But now that there laws are in the works to help bitcoin become a part of the legit world of financial tech, activists are saying that those laws undo everything bitcoin stands to offer in the first place.

New York State’s attempt to help bitcoin go legit has been the proposal of a “BitLicense,” a license from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for cryptocurrency businesses that would allow bitcoin startups to operate legally. The license would force companies to comply with a list of legislative demands, including keeping currency receipts, having compliance officers and telling the DFS every time a potential emergency arises. Read More

Your Tax Dollars

The Government Is 3D-Printing Bomb-Sniffing Dog Noses

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When the Singularity occurs, it’s not just humans that will be replaced by robot overlords. No, dogs now are at risk as well, all thanks to taxpayer dollars.

The U.S. federal government has been 3D-printing mechanically engineered dog noses that replicate the sniffing patterns of bomb-sniffing dogs, Nextgov reports. The noses are modeled off of female labrador retrievers, a historically favored breed of police dog. Read More