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Kelly Faircloth

furry friends

Uber Offers to Bring Kittens to Your Office Today

Use Uber or the kitten gets it. (Photo: Uber)

Just how many employees has Uber dedicated to dreaming up PR stunts? It seems there’s a new one every two weeks. This time, the company wants to ply you with kittens in honor of National Cat Day.

The startup has partnered with Cheezburger on “I Can Has Uber Kittens.” For $20, you can order up a kitten for 15 minutes of playtime, as long as you’re in New York, San Francisco or Seattle. For maximum tweeness, you’ll also receive a basket of “unique designer cupcakes” from Ace of Cakes. Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Add Facebook to the List of Who’s Got an Opinion About the Health of Your Marriage

DOOMED. (Photo by Newsmakers).

Lovebirds might want to brace themselves, because it turns out that, like your Great Aunt Mildred and second-best friend from third grade, Facebook has an opinion about the near-term life expectancy of your marriage. Figures.

The New York Times reports on the results of a study by a Cornell computer scientist and a senior Facebook engineer, who crunched numbers from 1.3 million (anonymous) Facebook users with a “spouse or relationship partner.” They discovered that the best indicator of coupledom is not total number of mutual friends, but rather dispersion, when “a couple’s mutual friends are not well connected to one another.” Read More

I'll Tumbl For You

At Long Last, Tumblr Has Decent Search Functionality

Get ready to FREEBASE some Sherlock fan art.

For most of Tumblr’s history, attempts to search the site have been frustrating and often just plain fruitless. It really took a lot of dedication to keep up with the erotic Optimus Prime fanfic community, you know?

But it looks like the company finally invested some effort into fixing this particular feature. Tumblr announced today the site’s search functionality “has been rebuilt, front to back, to help explore all of your 65 billion(!) posts.” Read More

An App for That

Tech Solves Another Minor Problem with Lock-Screen Customizing ‘Cover’

Fumbleless future.(Screencap)

Get ready to be wowed by the power of modern technology to solve very minor pain points: TechCrunch reports that a company called Cover has just raised a $1.7 million seed investment from First Round Capital. Designed explicitly for Android by former Googlers, it’s an app that customizes your lock screen with the apps you’re most likely to want at any given time and place.

The app is like a Google Now for your mobile OS, serving up Google Maps when you’re in the car but Netflix when you’re hungover in bed. TechCrunch breathlessly reports that, “Cover’s ‘Peek’ feature is the fastest way to open apps I’ve ever seen. Start pulling an app icon to the right and the lockscreen slides away to reveal the app’s innards as if it was open all along.” Read More

IDK

Director ‘Pranks’ Illegal Movie Downloaders With 80 Minutes of His Own Balls

Why? (IMDB)

These days even HBO can’t get too worked up about illegal downloads of Game of Thrones. But that didn’t stop one director from pranking movie pirates by uploading a version of his latest movie–after he’d replaced most of it with an extended shot of his bare balls.

Director Johan Kaos recently released Pornopung, a Norwegian comedy “featuring two pick up artists who share their tricks with a ‘novice’ called Christian.” The title is slang for “shaven balls”; here is the trailer. Read More

XX in Tech

Ban Halloween: There’s a ‘Hackers and Hookers’ Party Planned in San Francisco

Oh, okay! (Screencap)

Serious question: How stupid, sexist and unprofessional can people actually get?

We ask because Twitter just stumbled upon this Eventbrite listing for a Halloween costume party called, not joking here, “Hackers and Hookers.” Hackers and Hookers! The description promises, “Beer. Dance Floor. Shot Bar. Food Truck. Girls.” Because that’s what women are–just another perk to be proffered to developers, the equivalent of a food truck. Read More

Ride or Die

UberX Drivers in Boston Reportedly Plan to Strike

Who's shrugging now???(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

More than once, Uber has responded to public transit strikes with cheeky promotions. One major investor even responded to the government shutdown with the cry, “Let’s just Taskrabbit and Uberize the Government.” But now the shoe’s on the other foot: Reports suggest that Boston UberX drivers are preparing to strike today, from 3 to 8 p.m.

Worth mentioning: The World Series is supposed to start tonight at 8 in Fenway Park.  Read More

Crime and Punishment

Someone Allegedly Tried to Pass a Fake ‘Star Trek’ Tricorder Off as the Real Deal

James_Kirk,_2266

Who hasn’t, probably while peeing into a cup or being poked for a blood sample, wished that the medical industry would go ahead and invent the tricorder from Star Trek already?

Don’t get carried so away with your wishful thinking that you write a check, though. The New York Post reports that federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have bagged one Howard Leventhal, who allegedly claimed he’d invented a similarly all-knowing diagnostic device that he dubbed the “McCoy.” Read More

Sharing is Caring

And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going: Airbnb Talks Up Its Economic Contribution to New York City

Don't worry, this lil owlhouse is safe. (Airbnb)

After notching a victory in the case of host Nigel Warren, locking down the legality of hosting while you’re still on the premises, Airbnb is dealing with another legal challenge from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He wants data on 15,000 local hosts, saying it’s necessary to determine unpaid hotel taxes and root out illegal hotel operators on the platform. The company is fighting the subpoena as, they say, too broad.

In the meantime, public policy head David Hantman convened a presser at General Assembly to tout how much the startup is contributing to the economy of New York City. Between the sternly upbeat tone and the stack of printed pamphlets, it felt like a visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Read More