Linkages

Booting Up: Feds Seized $2.9M from Mt. Gox’s Dwolla Account

Oops. (Photo: Round Rock Offices)

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]

Linkages

Booting Up: That UFO Might Be a Project Loon Prototype

Sure, okay.

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]

Linkages

Booting Up: Apple SVP Mysteriously Disappears From the Company’s Executive Page

The new iPhoneC(heap)? (Photo: WeiPhone)

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]

Linkages

Booting Up: New York-Based Timehop Raised a $3 Million Round to Keep Haunting You Forever

Chromecast. (Photo: Google)

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]

E-READER WARS

Judge in Apple E-Book Trial Confesses She Totes Loves Her iPad

Judge Denise Cote (Photo: law.columbia.edu)

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

Fresh Capital

Fab Just Raised $150M, But Their Series D Still Isn’t Done

International love.

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. Read More

Leave it to Bezos

World Moves One Step Closer to Dystopian Future Where We Eat, Sleep, Breathe Amazon

MWAHAHA! (Photo: flickr.com/oreilly)

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. Read More

The Future of the Ebook

Meet Luna Loupe, Author of Some of the Most Bizarre Erotica Amazon Has to Offer

(Photo: Amazon)

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!” Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Jeff Bezos Builds a Biodome

Ambitious!

Amazon is planning a big biodome at the foot of its new HQ, because Jeff Bezos. [Gizmodo]

More people are using their tablets on planes. Someone actually paid to conduct this study. [USA Today]

Square has expanded to Japan. [The Next Web]

Kim Dotcom says he invented two-factor authentication and Google, Twitter and others are engaging in “massive IP infringement.” [The Verge]

Foursquare now offers more specific search and filter capabilities. [TechCrunch]