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

Rise of the Drones

Buying Drones For Holiday Gifts? The Government Has a Warning or Two

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It doesn’t matter if you’re still floundering on Thanksgiving plans: the holiday season is definitely upon us (yes, already) and you’re going to be out shopping soon enough. If Weird Al’s bizarre Radio Shack commercial is any indication, small quadcopters drones are going to be a hot item for dads who’ve already upgraded their spoiled kids to the iPhone 6 Plus already.

In advance of the holiday drone-buying onslaught, the United States and the U.K. are attempting to educate people about the laws surrounding their drone usage. After all, small drones inhabit a funny legal grey area between model planes and small aircraft — a distinction that gets more fuzzy if you plan on using them to pick up some freelance aerial photography gigs. Read More

Sorry/Not Sorry

Uber CEO Tweetstorms Empty Apology For His Executive Threatening Journalists

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For a company that is struggling with its “asshole” public image, Uber has had a baaaad 24 hours.

A recap: At a private event, Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael told Buzzfeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith that in order to deal with bad press, Uber could run opposition research secretly on contentious journalists, dox them, target their friends and family, and quietly expose the private details of their lives. Then, Mr. Michael said that Pando founder Sarah Lacy should be held responsible for sexual assault committed against women by cab drivers, all because she encouraged people to use Lyft for reasons of Uber’s (suddenly obvious) misogynistic corporate culture.

Just in the past hour or so, Mr. Kalanick took to Twitter to issue an apology, though it doesn’t look like Uber is going to be changing the way it does business. It’s nice to see that he’s taking personal accountability enough to issue the apology on his personal social accounts, but it doesn’t nearly approach the ideal move: giving those same journalists that his executive threatened more access to his typically opaque and shady company. 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

uber it

Uber Executive Says Sarah Lacy Is Personally Responsible For Sexual Assault Against Women in Cabs

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It seems like just yesterday we were all talking about Uber trying to absolve themselves of their asshole image in the public opinion. Because that was just yesterday. It was also fun while it lasted, but it didn’t even last the whole day.

Last night, Buzzfeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith published a series of remarks made by Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael over dinner. Mr. Michael suggested that the proper response to hostile journalists would be to spend a million dollars on an opposition research team which would dig up details on the private lives of those journalists in order to harass and target their families. 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