Feed

Jordyn Taylor

Kickstart It

‘World’s First Smart Earplugs’ About to Double Their $100K Kickstarter Goal

If your partner's alarm goes off at 4 a.m., you won't hear it! (Kickstarter)

The Kickstarter campaign’s been up for less than a week, but these smart earplugs have already almost doubled their $100,000 fundraising goal.

Created by three engineers at UCSD, “Hush” are purportedly the “world’s first smart earplugs.” With 28 days remaining in Hush’s Kickstarter campaign, the gadget has already raked in $195,003 at the time of publication. Read More

Amazon

Brick-and-Mortar Amazon Store? Company Signs 17-Year Lease On NYC Space

The entrance to 7 W. 34th Street, where Amazon just signed a 17-year lease. (Sage Lazzaro/ New York Observer)

It looks like Amazon is definitely moving into 7 W. 34th St., but it’s still unclear whether they’ll be opening that rumored brick-and-mortar store.

Rumors surfaced back in October that Amazon was opening a physical retail store in NYC. The store, according to a detailed Wall Street Journal report, would be located at 7 W. 34th St., and open in time for the holiday season — perfect for buying your BFF that Fire Phone they definitely never wanted.

At the time, an Amazon spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether the rumors were true or false, simply telling Betabeat, “We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.” Read More

Over The Aereo

Streaming Service Aereo Files for Bankruptcy

Broadcast networks were pissed that Aereo let people do this. (Facebook)

Following a series of dramatic court battles this past summer, as well as dozens of recent lay-offs, streaming service Aereo today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The service, which is funded by IAC’s Barry Diller, long butted heads with broadcast TV networks, as it used antennae to collect TV signals from the airwaves, and — for $8 per month — let users stream live TV on their Internet-connected devices.

Networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Univision and PBS claimed Aereo was violating copyright laws and stealing their content, and proceeded to take the company to court. Ultimately, things didn’t go in Aereo’s favor. Read More

snail mail

‘Parcel’ to Finally Deliver Packages in Brooklyn

Now in Brooklyn. (Facebook)

Brooklyn residents, prepare to stop fretting over missing package deliveries.

Launched in 2013, Parcel is a service that delivers your packages at a time when a normal human being might actually be home — namely, in the hours between 7 and 11 p.m., and not at 11 a.m., or whenever it is that FedEx always manages to show up.

Originally only available for customers in Manhattan, the service will launch tomorrow in parts of Brooklyn. Starting tomorrow, the company is also introducing Sunday deliveries. Read More

Friends

New Site Helps Couples Befriend Other Couples, Swears It’s Not for Swingers

Don't you wish you were having as much fun as those people? (Facebook)

Are you one of those couples who, now that you live in the suburbs and shop at Whole Foods, can’t bear to spend time with your wild, aimless single friends? Are you in need of more friends who share your passion for minivans and Traditional Home magazine?

CoupleHang is a new service that works kind of like dating site, except it’s for couples in need of other couple-friends. The site’s currently in beta testing, but will publicly launch on Dec. 31 so you can kick off 2015 with a slew of awkward double dates.  Read More

Delivery From Inconvenience

High-Tech Butler Service Launches in NYC, Raises $2 Million

This could be your Alfred picking out your crappy all-natural, raw, vegan granola. (Alfred)

It’s hard to feel fancy when you’re living in a cramped, occasionally-roach-infested apartment in Brooklyn. But guess what? Now you can pay $99/month for an app-controlled butler.

Alfred, the TechCrunch Disrupt-winning app that calls itself “the first human-powered operating system for your busy life,” launched today in New York City and Boston. The company also announced the completion of a $2 million funding round, led by Spark Capital, additional investors SV Angel and CrunchFund. Read More

Wearable Tech

Intel’s New $500 Smart Bracelet Has Yelp and Not Much Else

MICA, Intel and Opening Ceremony's questionably-useful new wearable device. (MICA)

Ever desperately needed to search Yelp, but have just been so on-the-go that even whipping out your iPhone is inconvenient? Yeah, us neither — which is why we’re a little concerned about Intel’s new wearable.

Spawned from a partnership between Intel and Opening Ceremony, the device is called MICA, or My Intelligent Communication Accessory. Set to debut in early December for the exorbitant price of $495, MICA is a chunky bangle with a screen on the inner wrist, from which users can carry out a series of, quite frankly, pretty unexciting functions. Read More