suggested reading

Oyster Launches a Lit Mag For Their Erudite E-Readers

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There’s something about ebook reading that’s still icky for some finicky readers who fancy themselves intellectuals. Maybe it’s that the ~handfeel~ of an iPad doesn’t stand up to the deckled edges of a Penguin Classics Deluxe edition, or that there’s no street cred from reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century if no one in Caffe Reggio can see the book jacket. But that doesn’t mean these readers can’t be won.

Oyster, an app that’s most often described as being “Netflix for Books,” is launching a literary magazine called The Oyster Review.

The new digital mag is the first brainchild of writer, editorial remixer and famed Internet Person Kevin Nguyen in his new role as Editorial Director for Oyster. Mr. Nguyen joined the startup a few months ago after he was poached from Amazon, where he put together the Best of the Month picks as a books editor. 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

Tech for the Holidays

Confuse Your Grandma This Christmas By Giving Her One of These Internet Meme Gifts

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Back Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire month of December are right around the corner, which means it’s almost time to exhaust both your energy and your expendable income buying gifts.

Rather than choosing generic holiday presents like scarves, bathrobes and chocolate this holiday season, consider something a little more viral — we’re talking about memes. 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

Office Space

‘Q’ Replaces Your Office Manager With an iPad

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In the past 10 years, digital tools, economic devastation and common sense have pressured companies of all sizes to cut down on the number of employees who are assigned to take care of the office. Unfortunately, jobs like cleaning the kitchen and buying more grinds for the shitty coffee maker are being offloaded onto people that have nothing to do with stocking the supply closet — like social media managers or operations staff.

Managed by Q (or “Q” from here on out, for the sake of decency), is a NYC-based service that turns all of those concerns into, of course, an app. Read More

Betabeat Approves A Thing

‘Pantelligent': This Smart Frying Pan Cooks a Mean Steak, Salmon Fillet

(New York Observer/Sage Lazzaro)

I grew up in what some might call a meat-and-potatoes home. This in no way resembles my current diet, but during my childhood, steak made its way onto the dinner table once or twice a week. With this being said, I have never actually prepared a steak myself and couldn’t even begin to tell you how to reach a pink, juicy center. So when I heard about a frying pan that makes cooking the perfect steak effortless, I had to give it a try.   Read More