Linkages

Booting Up: The Person Behind Siri Was Revealed And She’s Not a Robot

Siri isn't a robot. (Photo: CNN)

Here’s your new complex: You only generate 55 cents of ad revenue for Twitter. Facebook gets $1.55 per user. [Quartz]

Adobe smartly thought that yesterday was a good time to disclose that a security breach affected three million of its customers’ credit card numbers and passwords. [AllThingsD]

Amazon is readying a streaming device to add to your dusty, set-top device platter that looks longingly at your TV. [Wall Street Journal]

CNN doxxed the voice of Siri and all it got was a woman from suburban Atlanta. [CNN]

Apple purchased personal assistant startup Cue to better compete against Google Now. [TechCrunch]

Linkages

Booting Up: Does Yahoo Want Its Very Own Video Site?

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Twitter now has a broadly worded patent on its own service, but the company pinkie swears it won’t go patent trolling. [The Verge]

Yahoo’s reportedly in negotiations to buy a big stake in the video site Dailymotion. Does someone have a little GOOG envy, hmm? [Wall Street Journal]

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, who was thought to be in the running for Adobe CEO, was named Apple’s VP of technology. Given the animosity between the two companies, we’re going to guess he won’t be invited back for employee happy hours. [AllThingsD]

But is he any good? Or is he a “bozo”? [Daring Fireball]

Google is expanding Fiber to the suburb of Olathe, Kansas. And here we thought cities owned the 21st Century. [Kansas City Star]

“Android has outgrown Andy and honestly, I don’t think he knows where to take it next.” [The Verge]

Hemp Seed Round

Bong with Friends: Silicon Valley’s Programmers Are Flying High

tech_geeks10_405

It’s not easy being a computer programmer in Silicon Valley. Even with slides, buffets, and any other number of ridiculous amenities, the tech business can be a stressful and even physically painful endeavor (you try typing for twenty hours straight). But for many of America’s best coders, the remedy to stress is manifesting in a way bosses would probably rather not know about: they gettin hiiiiiiiigh, brah! San Jose, which is home to over 100 medical marijuana dispensaries, is seeing a noticeable uptick in the number of customers who work in tech, according to a report from Businessweek. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Doing Deals at the End of the World

end of the world

JPMorgan Chase agreed to acquire the online coupon site Bloomspot for $35 million. Good to seek synergies in case the world doesn’t end. [Bloomberg]

Another precautionary measure: Seven months after raising $6.5 million in a funding round led by Union Square Ventures, Behance has been acquired by Adobe Systems. Behance said that it would remain in New York in a blog post discussing the deal. [Behance]

Zynga confirmed that it’s shutting down its Japanese operation at the end of next month. If we get there. [TechCrunch]

Three Google executives were cleared by an Italian appeals court, which reversed a lower court’s findings that the execs violated a child’s privacy by failing to remove a bullying video. [Reuters]

NASA is going to keep blogging that the world isn’t really ending until the sidewalk opens up and swallows its communication team whole. [NASA]

Perk Up

Do Startups Get Run Down by Passive-Aggressive Perks? The Downsides of Unlimited Everything

The Tipping Point Partners office (Photo: Tipping Point)

Like cushy sign-on bonuses or drool-worthy stock options, perks are a potent recruiting tool for startups, dangled before potential hires like a treat before a ravenous animal. Expensive, Steve Jobs-approved gear and kitchens overflowing with every snack imaginable are treated like they’re the equivalent of platinum health insurance.

We get it–having a thriving, enjoyable Read More

Acquisitions

An Acquisition for Buddy Media Makes Sense—After FB’s Dive, It Can’t IPO

Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media (flickr.com/leweb3)

AllThingsD is reporting that social marketing company Buddy Media is in talks to be acquired by Salesforce for $800 million. We had been hearing similar rumors ourselves, and reached out to Buddy Media last week, but the company refused to confirm, saying only, “We’ve been hearing this kind of chatter since the day we started the company, and it has always turned out to be false.”

An acquisition for Buddy makes sense–Facebook’s bungled IPO (its stock dropped another 10 percent today) left little room for companies with offerings reliant upon Facebook to go public themselves. And judging from Buddy’s hiring of an “IPO-ready CFO” last August, an IPO was its preferred route. Read More

Ch-Ch-Changes

Aviary, Now Editing 10 M. Photos a Month on Mobile Alone, Launches Version 2 for Web and Mobile

via Aviary

Aviary has done pretty darn well for itself in the four months since launching its mobile SDK. In a blog post announcing a new version of its embeddable photo editing software for web and mobile, the puppy-obsessed startup shared some noteworthy stats. Aviary is now editing more than 10 million photos were month on mobile alone and picked up 300 partners through its API. Both in terms of unique users and edits, the company is growing at 50 percent a month.

The Aviary blog features a number of luxe screenshots of what the updated user interface, which includes enhanced speed, sleek dials, overhaul of its cropping tools, and more effects, will look like. But Betabeat spoke to Alex Taub, head of business development and partnerships, to get the full story about the upgrade, which also includes some attempts at monetization. In the meantime, if you want to start playing around with it, Pic Stitch will be the first partner to implement and go live with V2. Read More

In Tablet We Trust

Tablet for Two: The Brothers Mueller, Twin Maestros of the iPad, Will Make You See Double

10 Photos

Kirk (left) and Nate Mueller at the SPD Awards dinner.

Identical twins Kirk and Nate Mueller sat side-by-side in identical leather chairs wearing identical GANT gabardine suits fiddling with identical Le Pen pens. It was chilly December afternoon just before the New Year at the Fort Greene offices of Studio Mercury, a boutique design firm made up entirely of alumni from the Rhode Island School of Design’s hyper-exclusive Digital + Media graduate program.

The Muellers’ similarities are more than superficial. The twins, who are 27 and stand 5’5″, share the same bank account. They share the same calendar. They share the same curriculum vitae. The same sexual orientation (gay), brownstone (Prospect Heights) and taste in boyfriends (“over 30”). They share the same profession, and the same specialty (interactive design). They even, in a manner of speaking, share an identity. Email the Brothers Mueller at their shared account, and the only way to tell which Mueller is responding is by whose name shows up first in the signature: Nate & Kirk versus Kirk & Nate.

“We have this little notation,” said Kirk.

“Some people figured it out,” chimed in Nate, who, along with his brother, seems unburdened by matters of selfhood.

One stutters trying to figure out how to address them. “The Brothers, the Brothers Mueller, or ‘the twins,’ or ‘the boys,’” Kirk said.

In the year and a half since the Brothers got their master degrees from RISD—sharing the podium as commencement speakers in 2010—and moved to New York, they have created iPad apps for Martha Stewart and e-books for Vanity Fair and Bon Appetit. Coming soon are a political website for The New Yorker and an iPad app for Newsweek. Whereas most graphic and user-interface designers tend to hand off the technical work, the brothers do it all, relying on Nate’s speed in programming and Kirk’s facility with design. Read More

Class Is in Session

Khoi Vinh: Publishers Should Be Developing for the Mobile Web Instead of Making Replica Apps

khoi

For this week’s cover story about Condé Nast’s struggle developing for the iPad, Betabeat had the opportunity to talk to Khoi Vinh, former Design Director for NYTimes.com. On his widely-read design blog, Subtraction, Mr. Vinh has repeatedly expressed his skepticism toward publishers like Condé Nast and Hearst and software companies like Adobe for thinking that what iPad readers want is a magazine replica app that takes a print-centric approach to tablet design. But we didn’t get the chance to include some really interesting predictions Mr. Vinh made about the direction he thinks consuming content on the iPad is heading (in short: back to the browser) and what readers really want.

Mr. Vinh, who recently released a book on web design, seem to have contracted that start-up fever making its way around the city and is currently working in stealth mode on an app of his own. He compared the bells-and-whistles of the current magazine app rush to the CD-ROM bubble and advised publishers to think more like Netflix. Read More