App for That

Travel App Lets Users Create Their Own Tours — And Get Paid

A sample Stray Boots tour. (Stray Boots)

Stray Boots, the travel app that lets you download interactive tours, is now making room for user-generated content.

Founder Avi Millman started the company back in 2009, after a family trip to Rome.

“We were visiting a bunch of different locations like the Pantheon, the Colosseum — I felt like I was sort of on a scavenger hunt, checking spots off on my list,” he told Betabeat. “It struck me that tour guide experiences are just extremely passive experiences, and not particularly social. If you could turn exploring a city into a game, you could make it a lot more fun, engaging and social.” Read More

All the jobs

Hired.com, Huge Online Marketplace for Tech Jobs, Moves to NYC

Here's what a Hired applicant's profile might look like. (Hired.com)

Hired, the online marketplace where companies compete to hire people with #tech skills, has just expanded from San Francisco to New York.

The company was founded in April 2012 under the name DeveloperAuction. The cofounders — all serial entrepreneurs — started the online marketplace because they’d all had trouble finding the right talent to hire for their companies in the past. Read More

Funding

Flatiron School Scores $5.5 Million in Funding, Vows To Become ‘Super High-End Vocational School’

Students at the Flatiron School learnin' stuff. (Flatiron School)

The Flatiron School announced this morning that it closed a $5.5 million funding round, led by Charles River Ventures (CRV) and Matrix Partners. Additional investments came from Box Group and other angel investors.

The money will allow the school —  which offers intensive twelve-week courses in web and iOS development — to really focus on improving the quality of education it offers its students.

“Where most companies take capital to grow, we took it to slow down and make sure we could really get the product right,” Flatiron dean Avi Flombaum told Betabeat. “We can continue our interesting classes, and focus on quality and experience of education — and not just stamping out into other cities and homogenizing our brand.” Read More

shorty awards 2014

Turns Out Andrew W.K. Loves Pinterest

Mr. W.K. on the red carpet. (Photo via Shorty Awards)

We overheard a lot of interviews about social media last night at the Shorty Awards. A hell of a lot. But there was one statement that really caught our attention.

Betabeat was standing next to Andrew W.K. while he was being interviewed by a video crew when we heard him say, “I really like Pinterest.”

Um, what?! Pinterest, the aspirational DIY site for former sorority girls? Pinterest, the fitspo mecca? Pinterest, the go-to destination for millennial bridezillas? We had to investigate. Read More

shorty awards 2014

Matt Walsh of ‘Veep’ Talks TV and Twitter

Mr. Walsh on the red carpet. (Photo: Shorty Awards)

Last night’s Shorty Awards ceremony certainly wasn’t short on hyperactive Internet people jockeying for attention. All that manic energy can exhaust a gal, so we were thrilled when we spotted the comparably calm Matt Walsh, who plays beleaguered PR guy Mike on HBO’s Veep.

Relaxed and friendly, the founding Upright Citizens Brigade member stopped for a chat before presenting the awards for Vine of the Year and Vineographer. Read More

Jesus died for our selfies

NYC Apartment Listing Promises Rooftop Is ‘Perfect For Selfies’

Imagine all the smizing you could do up here! (Screengrab: StreetEasy)

Renting an apartment to today’s youths poses a unique challenge. It must be close to the subway. It must be bright, and not located in a basement dungeon. Most importantly, it must be great for taking selfies.

At least, that was the thought process behind a recent listing on StreetEasy for an East Village apartment at 269 10th St. After describing the “5 to 10 minute walk from 6 & L trains, Union Square, NYU” and the “Modern kitchen, queen-sized bedroom with large closet & skylight,” the listing says: Read More

Off the Media

I Was Plagiarized By Arbitrage Magazine, But I’m The One Who Feels Terrible About It

offthemedia-1

A few weeks ago, my work was shamelessly plagiarized by a staff writer at the Toronto-based Arbitrage Magazine.

I know this not because I am an Arbitrage reader, but because the writer tweeted the article to me.

But honestly I feel terrible that it happened. I’m not angry at the writer (to the point that I have decided not to include his name here to spare him a bad Google-Scarlet-Letter forever). Though he clearly made mistakes, it was really his magazine and its negligent and cowardly leadership that failed us both. Read More

Kim Jong Ummm

North Korea’s ‘National’ Smartphone Is Really Just a Chinese Knockoff

And on the fifth day, Kim Jong Un created the selfie. (Getty)

Remember last summer, when Kim Jong Un visited a factory to give the new “North Korean” Arirang smartphone his blessing? Well, much like EVERYTHING in North Korea, this was probably a big fat lie.

When we first reported the news, we — along with just about everyone else — suspected the smartphones were actually being manufactured in China, and then shipped to North Korea, despite Kim Jong Un’s assertions that the phones were homegrown and reflective of “patriotic enthusiasm.” Read More