It’s simply a part of life: sometimes, when you emerge from the depths of the Internet to refill your Star Trek mug with Stumptown coffee, you accidentally encounter a real live girl. You know, that genre of human being that has boobs and always keeps a copy of Lean In on her desk. Your heart might skip a few beats as you’re forced to pass by her, dreading having to interact with someone outside of your favorite IRC channel. A wave of relief hits you as she keeps her eyes glued to the floor and doesn’t acknowledge you: you’re safe. For now. Read More
The Department of Homeland Security appears to have shut down the ability to use Dwolla, a mobile payment service, to withdraw and deposit money into Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin trading platform. A Dwolla representative confirmed the move to Betabeat. Chris Coyne, cofounder of OKCupid, posted a screenshot of an email he received from Dwolla, stating that due to recent orders from the Department of Homeland Security, Dwolla cannot complete the bank transfer to Mt. Gox. Read More
It’s been nearly seven years since YouTube first launched its “Partners Program,” a platform for YouTube creators that gives them a portion of revenue made on their videos, and nearly two years since Google invested more than $100M in YouTube content producers. Despite this financial influx, the quality of content on YouTube has stagnated somewhere between “awful” and “downright terrible.”
Call it the Jenna Marbles paradox, after the top YouTuber profiled in the New York Times earlier this year who, after more than one billion views and millions earned in ad revenue, still makes some of the most amateur videos you can imagine. As she put it, she makes “more money than I need, ever” and yet, if you had no idea who she was and watched one of her million-views-plus videos, you’d think this was the first time she’d ever turned on a video camera.
Moshi Moshi! Time to learn a new language, perhaps? Cofounders and brothers Scott and Ryan Rapp want you to parler francais (or Japanese or Spanish or Portugese) using their online language-learning platform, Instreamia. The educational app uses online videos to create contextualized teaching moments. So while you crank up Shakira or geek out to an online lecture, Instreamia will follow along with you to make sure you understand all the subtle nuances of the lyrics or prose. Unlike other language learning platforms, Instreamia utilizes technology to customize the learning experience and offer students interaction with teachers.
If there was one salient lesson gleaned from the two-hour, day-glo sex romp that was Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, it was this: just pretend that life’s a video game. As it turns out, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley maintains the same mantra. At the Twofixsix conference in Brooklyn, presented by gaming magazine Kill Screen, Mr. Crowley told the crowd that his success in tech largely hinges on his love of video games. Read More
Seeking a Cheap Thrill? Play Social Roulette and Risk a One in Six Chance of Having Your Facebook Account Deleted
Update: Facebook has revoked API access for Social Roulette, effectively killing the app. Bang.
If you’ve long considered acquiescing to the groans of privacy wonks and straight up deleting your Facebook account, but couldn’t quite bring yourself to commit social media suicide, we may have found a solution for you.
Social Roulette is a game that gives you a one in six chance of deleting your Facebook account. If you lose, the game will delete all of your posts, friends, photos and other elements of your profile before completely deactivating it. If you’re lucky enough to survive, the message “I just played Social Roulette and survived” will be published to your wall. Read More
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is worried about our state’s significant uptick in phone thefts, but that’s really more Tim Cook’s problem. Bloomberg reports that Mr. Schneiderman has penned a letter to tech giants like Google and Apple asking them why, if you guys are capable of making face computers and cars that drive themselves, can’t you make phones unstealable? Read More
Yesterday on a grey and drizzly New York morning, hackers, designers and educators gathered in a loft space in Chelsea to participate in the Project: Connect hackathon. Hosted in conjunction with the MacArthur Foundation, Facebook, Mozilla and the Family Online Safety Institute, the event focused on building a “more equitable, social, and participatory internet.” Teams showed up at the space and were treated to a hot breakfast and escorted to the third floor for opening remarks before breaking into groups to start the hacking. Read More