Booting Up: Embarrassing Airtime Stats Edition

(Photo: 4 the Media)

Ain’t nobody can hold Kim Dotcom down. [Wired]

Celebs are flocking to a new Twitter-like site called “Pheed” which allows them to charge monthly subscriptions or pay-per-view for content. [Forbes]

Google announced a $249 lightweight, durable Chromebook that it’s hoping can begin to corner the market on inexpensive laptops. [Google]

Airtime is flailing and its user stats are pretty depressing: “AppData, a service that collects data about sites and services that connect with Facebook, indicated that Airtime had just 400 users a day and 10,000 over the course of a month, but Mr. Parker and other executives at the company suggested those figures were off. Nielsen and comScore, two independent analytics firms, both said that traffic to Airtime was so small that it did not yet register on their charts.” [New York Times]

Apple’s logo is apparently considered blasphemous in Russia. [CNET]


Booting Up: Open Government Busts You to Your Boss

Among the locations: Six subway stations. (Photo:

The MTA has screwed you over once again: There’s now a publicly available, easily searchable archive of all service alerts issued over the last four years. Your best excuse for tardiness is now gone. [New York Post]

“Theirs was the only [event] that got worse as the week went on.” Things aren’t going so well for Microsoft’s advertising business. [Ad Week]

Check it out: You can now search in attachments in your Gmail. [Google Operating System]

NBD, just a version of “Somebody That I Used to Know” composed entirely of computer noises. [Make]

The Internet of Things is making it easier for Swiss farmers to get their cows efficiently knocked up. [New York Times]

Summer Friday

What Does It Feel Like To Create ‘Wiener Detection Technology’?


Confession: lately, Betabeat has been on something of a Quora binge. In a fit of heat stroke yesterday afternoon, we found ourselves wishing we could just type “Quora” along with any question and have the answers magically appear. Quora: How many degrees will my apartment be when I get home? Quora: What’s a good age to freeze my eggs? But in our estimation, the service’s appeal isn’t the answers as much as the questions. It’s basically a window into the secret preoccupations of the human mind.

Take, for example, one anonymous user’s probing query into the development of Airtime, the video chat startup cofounded by Napster alums Sean Parker and Sean Fanning. “What does it feel like,” the user asked, “to be the engineer at Airtime who created the wiener detection technology?”  Read More


Airtime’s Massive PR Launch Quantified: Full-Court Celebrity Press Conference = Just 150K Users

Olivia Munn, Joel McHale, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Ed Helms and Jim Carry at the Airtime launch.

There were perhaps 100 print, online and TV reporters drinking coffee and eating parfait at the press event in Chelsea last week. Media from Bloomberg, CNN, the Associated Press and the New York Times down to GigaOM, Business Insider and BuzzFeed were there for more than an hour watching a mini-parade of celebrities take the stage. Now that Airtime has been out for a week, we can assess the results of that massive press push. Read More


The 5 Types of People You Meet on Airtime


Airtime, the Sean & Shawn bred startup that launched earlier this week, has slowly grown on us. Our initial reaction was in line with the majority of the Internet’s: “Okay, it’s Chatroulette without penises.” But the more we’ve used the service, the more its benefits for networking, flirting and stymying boredom have revealed themselves.

But the thing is, since the site hasn’t really hit critical mass yet, you tend to run into the same types of people over and over again. They’re almost always very nice, but in our experience, they also almost always fall into one of the below five categories. Read More

Booting Up

Booting Up: The State of the Internet Edition

Good morning, we brought you coffee. {

Hope you aren’t holding your breath ’til you can register that .money address. The expansion of top-level domain names has reportedly morphed into a “bug-plagued mess.” [CNNMoney]

Now here’s a blast from the pre-Internet past: Microsoft has partnered with Encyclopedia Britannica and will  now prominently feature its information in Bing results. [TechCrunch]

Sounds like the legal community is losing patience with the patent wars. A judge just canceled the Apple-Motorola trial, because neither could prove damages. [Reuters]

There sure are a lot of dudes on Airtime. Hey Sean Parker, maybe another way to make the Internet less boring would be to interest more women in your service? Spitballing here. [BusinessWeek]

The U.N. is mulling a tax on American Internet companies. Good luck with that, guys. [CNET]

North Korea has discovered cyberwar. [ZDnet]

Ready for Our Close Up

The Unintended Consequences of Using Airtime

Picture 68

Forbes freaked out your Betabeat writers recently with an alarmist post about the way Sean & Shawn’s new videochatting service, Airtime, monitors the tool for inappropriate content. Apparently Airtime takes pictures of you sporadically throughout your videochat sessions to make sure there’s no sexy cam action going on (reserve that for “off the record” Gchats, plz).

But the post got us wondering: what are some other issues–privacy-related or not–that you should be wary of when using Airtime? Here are a few we came up with. Read More


Try Out Airtime, You Might Run Into Mark Zuckerberg

Mr. Zuckerberg and the artist Ronen V.

If Airtime wasn’t already star-studded enough, here’s another celebrity who’s excited to check it out. Mark Zuckerberg popped up as the New York online video artist Ronen V. was testing out the service’s video-chat-a-stranger feature. (Interests: Facebook, Daft Punk, fencing. They both like Gary Vaynerchuk.) “I was still figuring it out, it was my first ‘random’ airtime chat,” Mr. V. wrote in an email. “Once I realized who he was, I just thanked him for making facebook. After like 30 seconds he NEXTed me.” Viral marketing stunt, or just trying out his buddy Sean Parker’s new app? We wonder how many other Airtime users got Zuck-rolled today.


Sean Parker’s Video Chat Startup Airtime Launches With a Splash at Lengthy, Star-Studded Event

Olivia Munn and Snoop Dogg, Airtiming.

Expectations were starting to flag as a scrum of reporters stood in a milk-white waiting room waiting for Airtime to fix a few last-minute bugs. “Sean is freaking out,” we overheard one Airtimer confide. (Or was it Shawn?) But media were ushered in just after 10:30, and when latenight talk show host Jimmy Fallon ran onstage to rock music to introduce us all to the “live social video platform,” we knew we were in for a show. “Tell me how you guys met,” Mr. Fallon asked Airtime cofounders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The audience’s terrible, frenzied applause was just getting started. Read More