Amazon

Publishing Professionals ‘Insulted’ By Amazon Brick-and-Mortar Store

7 W. 34th Street, the rumored location of Amazon's brick-and-mortar store. (Google Maps)

Tech fanatics might be excited about the brick-and-mortar Amazon store opening on Manhattan’s 34th Street, but if the store decides to stock best-selling novels alongside Fire phones and e-readers, we won’t be able to say the same for New York City’s publishing community.

“New York publishing, for better or for worse, is very cordial,” Tin House editor Rob Spillman told Betabeat. “Amazon is more, ‘We’re going to crush all of you.'” Read More

Amazon

Amazon Is Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Store in NYC [UPDATE]

7 W. 34th Street, where Amazon is rumored to be opening a retail store. (Sage Lazzaro/ New York Observer)

UPDATE, 10/10: Betabeat spoke to members of New York City’s publishing community, who feel “insulted” by Amazon’s decision to open a brick-and-mortar store.

UPDATE, 10/09: According to the Wall Street Journal‘s sources, Amazon’s brick-and-mortar store will be located at 7 W. 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building.

Betabeat reached out to Amazon requesting further details about the store. “We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan,” a spokesperson responded.

So we made the voyage down to 7 W. 34th Street, where we spoke with a doorman inside the lobby. “I don’t know anything,” he said, when we asked if Amazon was opening a retail store in the building. The building currently contains offices, as well as Mango and Express retail stores on street level.

We popped into Mango, where a security guard said he’d noticed construction in the 7 W. 34th Street building. “Nobody knows what that’s about,” he said.

Betabeat also called the building manager of 7 W. 34th Street, but the person who answered the phone said the manager wasn’t available. When we asked if he knew anything about the Amazon store, he hung up on us mid-sentence.

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Love in the Time of Algorithms

Steve Harvey Created a Dating Site to Help Women ‘Become More Dateable’

Match CEO and Delightful CLO (

There’s Tinder, X-rated Tinder, 3nder (Tinder for threesomes) and sites like Match.com and OkCupid, but Steve Harvey doesn’t think any of those are cutting it.

In an attempt to offer relationship-minded singles a better alternative to what’s currently online dating, the author and entertainer created Delightful.com, a website aimed to help users “find love and keep it.” Read More

Kickstart It

If You’re Crowdfunding for Sharpie Markers Or a New House, You’re Doing It Wrong

Apparently these will help you dance. (Image via Indiegogo)

Kickstarter and Indiegogo — which were invented to help launch interesting and revolutionary ideas — have lead a countless number of products to great success. A cooler equipped with everything you could possibly need recently raked in more than $13 million to break Kickstarter’s record, and a campaign on Indiegogo even caused a blowjob machine to go viral.

Recently though, sprinkled in between legitimate crowdfunding attempts are more and more joke projects and flat out ridiculous campaigns. Read More

Better Advertising Bureau

Pornhub Billboard Taken Down The Day After It Went Up After Hotel Manager Throws a Fit

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Well, the Pornhub billboard was fun while it lasted.

On Monday, in a glorious display of progress for sex positivity, Pornhub put up the first ever Times Square porn billboard — at least, the first ad since Times Square was basically a haven for prostitutes and peep shows. They debuted the ad with a performance from the Gotham Rock Choir, singing “All You Need Is Hand” and effectively sticking it to every mainstream advertiser that wouldn’t let Pornhub run a commercial. Read More

I Fought the Law

Here’s the Lawsuit Twitter Just Filed Against the FBI

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Tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have a surveillance problem on their hands: they have created some of the most ubiquitous surveillance networks in human history, and now the U.S. government is taking advantage of those systems by making them hand over their records. Now, Twitter is trying to tell the world exactly what’s been happening.

In a blog post called “Taking the fight for #transparency to court,” Twitters VP of Legal announced that they’re filing a lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of Justice:

It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance – including what types of legal process have not been received.

Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

How Can Free Apps Earn Revenue Without Selling User Data? Provide Paid Features Users Actually Want

(Screengrab: Apple Store)

Popularity makes a number of free apps seems successful, but no mater how many downloads they’ve seen, the companies behind them are struggling to generate revenue. With tech giants facing backfire for selling user data, it’s the last thing the little guys want to do to put money in their pockets.

Reently, 3nder came face to face with this dilema. Since the app is facilitating threesomes and linking to users’ Facebooks (just like Tinder), users of the iOS app (and soon the Apple Watch app, too) are especially concerned about privacy. So instead of giving up their data, 3nder listened to their users and figured out a way to turn their wants — not their worst Big Data fears — into money. Read More

Exit Through the GIF Shop

There Is a Silent, Feature Length Film Made Entirely of GIFs and It’s Transcendental

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The .GIF has taken over the Internet. Once the purview of Geocities sites and cheap Internet 1.0 shenanigans, they’ve made a Renaissance as a form of humor and communication in Tumblr posts, Buzzfeed listicles and ways to express our existential dread — they even have their own search engine.

This past Sunday, in a packed screening room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, filmmakers Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus showed the first feature length experimental gif documentary. The film, called twohundredfiftysixcolors, is a historical record of the gif-as-art-form from 1987 to 2013 as told by the medium’s strangest, most viral practitioners. The team behind twohundredfiftysixcolors spent years putting the film together, collecting the gifs by putting out open calls, contacting artists and building a database of over 3000 gifs organized by similar aesthetic themes. Read More

health alert

These Rare Australian Berries Might Contain Cancer Cure

The drug made from the berries had a 75 percent success rate. (Screengrab: YouTube)

Today in surprising medical news, scientists now believe some rare, unsuspecting berries found in the far northern corner of Australia might hold the key to curing cancer.

After an eight-year study, researchers have discovered that Blushwood berries — found in the rain forests of Far North Queensland — contain a compound that might be able to destroy head and neck tumors, as well as melanoma, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. Read More