Rise of the Drones

Criminals Using Drones To Find Marijuana Farms, Steal Their Crop

It's coming for your weed. (Wikimedia Commons)

Criminal gangs in the UK’s Shropshire county are using drones to locate marijuana farms, and then blackmailing the farms’ owners or straight up stealing their weed, ITProPortal reports.

It’s a tactic that law enforcement authorities worldwide have been employing for years — using thermal imaging to detect possible locations of grow houses. Marijuana requires hot temperatures and hydroponic lamps to grow, meaning that grow houses generally emit a ton of heat, and show up on cops’ thermal cameras. Read More

hbo's silicon valley

‘Silicon Valley’ Ep. 3 Recap: The 4 Commandments of Naming Your Startup

(Photo: siliconvalleyhbo.tumblr.com)

This week on HBO’s Silicon Valley, we see that Hooli has already made an insufferable new commercial for its new product, which is a knockoff of Richard’s Pied Piper algorithm. Richard tries to buy the name Pied Piper from a blue-collar irrigation farmer and learns how to negotiate (read: yell at people until you get your way) in the process.

Peter Gregory learns what Burger King is, and uses his knowledge of sesame seeds and cicadas as a way to advance $15 million to a pair of clients who would have otherwise had to lay off workers.  Read More

Funding

NYC’s Birchbox Scores $60 Million in Series B Round

All of the Birchboxes. (Facebook)

Birchbox announced this morning that it’s just closed a $60 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors, along with existing investors First Round Capital, Accel Partners, Aspect Partners, Glynn Capital, Comcast Ventures, Sam Lessin, Consigliere Brand Capital, Slow Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp. Read More

In Loco Parentis

Couple Asks Reddit To Name Daughter, Reddit Does Surprisingly Great Job

Ah, the joy of not being named "Salad." (Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier this year, we reported on the possibly-insane husband and wife that asked the Internet — Redditors, in particularto vote on a name for their unborn daughter.

The husband set up Namemydaughter.com, and invited People of the Internet to submit and vote on ideas for baby names. With names like “Cthulu All-Spark,” “Ixtley” and “Slagathor” topping the list, we were seriously worried for a while about this poor, un-named baby’s future. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week: Chief Digital Officer Summit, Techtanic, Brooklyn Tech Triangle & More

sponsor_garys_red_tie_new

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

USI (US Israel Business Council) Tech Roadshow (May 7) 200+ founders, execs & investors. 30% off w/ code “GarysGuide”. CMX Summit (Jun 12) w/ Scott Belsky (founder, Behance), Scott Heiferman (founder, Meetup) & others.

Don’t miss ==> Andrew Weinreich (founder @ MeetMoi, Xtify & SixDegrees) teaching class (May 17 & 18) on product, mktg, sales, financing, deals, pivots. Highly Recommended! Limited tix. 20% off w/ code garysguide20 :) Read More

tinder? but i just met her

Hilarious Tinder-Inspired Video Gets Funding to Become Full Web Series

Star-crossed lovers Whitney and Skye (Screengrab: YouTube)

People must like watching their worst dating nightmares play out onscreen, because the team behind the “Local Attraction” pilotthat hilarious video inspired by bad Tinder dates — has raised more than enough money on Kickstarter to fund the entire web series.

Connor Hines, who writes, directs and stars in the series, never expected “Local Attraction” to gain the widespread following it’s accumulated. But as the pilot episode started to draw in thousands of viewers — and then tens of thousands of viewers — he and his production team decided to launch a Kickstarter to turn the pilot into a high quality web series. Read More

sweet rides

Lyft is Partnering with Slickdeals to Give People Free Cab Rides

Maybe she's so happy because she's riding somewhere for free. (Screengrab: Facebook)

Lyft has partnered with Slickdeals, the crowd-sourced site for deals and coupons, to offer a free ride to new customers.

Download the app, use the promo code SLICKDEALS, and you’re set for a free ride valued up to $50, as long as it’s your first time using the service.

This offer, which lasts until the New Year’s Eve ball drops, is valid in more than 30 cities across the U.S., but sadly not in NYC. Read More

Wearable Tech

Fitbit Is Now Officially Profiting From Users’ Health Data

Does my boss get to set that up for me, too? (image via Fitbit)

We saw this day coming, and we tried to warn you.

Fitbit has started to sell its trackers by the thousands to employers along with “sophisticated tracking software,” says a new report from Forbes. With employees’ permission, employers can then track their workers’ health, see how active individual employees are and foster a little healthy competition.

Wiring up companies so that employers can monitor workers’ health is becoming “one of the fastest growing parts of Fitbit’s business,” Fitbit CEO James Park told Forbes. Read More