Money Money Money
Bad news, guys: It sounds like Startupland might be losing 4-Hour Workweek scribe and Valley guru Tim Ferriss. Or at least his money, anyway.
Mr. Ferriss recently sat down for a chat with Fortune and revealed that, in fact, he’s “considering dialing my startup involvement.” (We think he meant “back,” but it looks like somebody dropped a word.) Why’s that? Too much dumb money:
When the Department of Homeland Security seized the funds from Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox’s Dwolla account, we were unsure just how much was taken; now, according to court documents, that number totaled $2.9 million. [Gigaom]
Yesterday Twitter added “related headlines” to tweets, and everyone momentarily freaked out. [PandoDaily]
If you’re building an app that connects to Instagram, better not put “Insta” or “gram” in the title or else you’re gonna have a bad time. [Techcrunch]
Internet citizens, typically reasoned and level-headed when it comes to these sorts of things, freaked the fuck out yesterday when Amazon temporarily went down. [Fast Company]
Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S achieved the highest safety rating of any car. Ever. We like to imagine Mr. Musk celebrating with a lavish party on Mars. [Tesla]
Wall Street in the age of Twitter: Yesterday Carl Icahn tweeted about holding a position in Apple–and the stock promptly jumped. [Business Insider]
“Sitting in a conference room in Mountain View, California, he beams proudly as he runs a YouTube clip of one of the newscasts. The mysterious craft was his doing. Or, at least, the work of his Google team.” [Wired]
Looks liking Amazon is staffing up a hush-hush facility in New Jersey (wonder if any of the Real Housewives needs a gig?), which might mean grocery delivery is coming to New York City. [AllThingsD]
Here’s an extremely aggravating story about one reporter’s exchange with Xbox Live support re: in-game harassment. [The Mary Sue]
Dave Eggers is writing a novel about someone who works at a big, creepy tech company. LOL? [Valleywag]
Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of technologies, is suddenly no longer an executive. His bio was removed yesterday from the site without explanation, but a spokesman said he’s now working on “special projects reporting to [CEO] Tim [Cook].” [AllThingsD]
Amazon is hiring 5,000 people and opening five more fulfillment facilities over the next few years. [Bloomberg]
Michael Dell is making one final offer to take his computer company private: $13.75 a share. He said he’ll remain with the company even if his attempt fails. [Forbes]
Get excited: Here is possibly what the packaging of the new, budget version of the iPhone looks like. Or maybe not! [CNET]
Here’s a deep dive into the tax breaks Twitter receives from San Francisco. [BuzzFeed]
After taking a $900 million write down on Surface RT, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted they probably made too many of the tablets. In a town hall meeting, he reportedly expressed his disappointment in its sales. [Verge]
Facebook’s strong quarterly earnings were all a mirage because the social networking site is worth $24 billion less than when it first went public. [TechCrunch]
What does Google do when a promotion is doing too much promoting? End it! The company said “due to overwhelming demand” it has stopped offering a three month free trial of Netflix with every Chromecast sold. [Los Angeles Times]
For Q2 earnings, Amazon registered a $7 million loss but increased its revenue 22 percent since last year to $15.7 billion. [Forbes]
New York-based app Timehop raised a $3 million round led by Spark Capital. [TechCrunch]
The Future of the Ebook
Goodreads, the book-focused social network Amazon purchased back in March, just announced that it’s now got 20 million members, who’ve written 25 million reviews total. That’s double the number of users the site had just 11 months ago.
The Apple e-book trial could go either way, and we may not know the outcome for a few months. But on the second-to-last day of the case, the presiding judge divulged not only her familiarity with the iPad, but also her love for it.
Lisa Rubin, the attorney representing Apple, had Apple iBookstore head Robert McDonald demonstrate the iPad’s page-turning animation when Ms. Cote interrupted, Read More
Pivot-happy ecommerce startup Fab has raised yet another round of cash. CEO Jason Goldberg announced in a blog post that the company has just closed $150 million in new funding. Participants include Tencent, Atomico, Andreessen Horowitz, Itochu Technology Ventures, and existing investors.
What’s more, he adds, it’s “just the first part of a larger Series D round” they expect to complete over the coming weeks.
This brings two-year-old Fab’s total VC funds to $310 million. No word whether it’s all stuffed into Brillo Pad poufs and weird plant holders lying around the office.
Leave it to Bezos
We’re so, so close to a world where Amazon removes all reason for you to leave your apartment. You can order lightbulbs for same-day delivery and, while you wait, watch Dora the Explorer in the dark. And soon, Reuters reports, you’ll be able to order fresh groceries (as opposed to the Soap.com staples available now) from the company.
Amazon is expanding its AmazonFresh pilot in Seattle, soon to Los Angeles and then San Francisco later this year. Depending on the results, Amazon might expand to 20 other cities in 2014.
The Future of the Ebook
Luna Loupe is a prolific writer. According to Amazon, the self-described “erotica author, geek and generally classy lady” has written 25 anthologies of completely bizarre, out-there paranormal sex novels.
Though she hasn’t updated her blog or tweeted since 2012, Laughing Squid picked up one of her stranger works out of the blue today. Called Someone to Cuttle, the erotic story revolves around a gay man who discovers and eventually has a sexual relationship with a trio of shapeshifting cuttlefish. “18+ only!” reads the warning. “Contains partial shifting, hot gay sex, and a cuttlefish shifter gangbang!”