Linkages

Booting Up: Foursquare Is Expanding Check-In Deals to Visa and MasterCard

Everyone's favorite Dens picture.

Facebook agreed to remove pages created in tribute to victims of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at the request of Connecticut lawmakers. Some of the pages purported to honor the victims were being used to harass victims’ families, the lawmakers said. [CBS News]

Foursquare is adding Visa, Mastercard and debit cards to its check-in deals program as it attempts to expand an existing revenue model. The company has let users pay for the deals—which users can access after checking in at participating locations—with American Express since 2011. [AllThingsD]

The U.S. government wasted millions of dollars in its attempts to expand broadband wireless service, according to a Republican congressman. [Bloomberg]

Thomas Pynchon’s next novel is said to be set in Silicon Alley, in the period between the dot-com boom and the terrorist attacks of September 11; here are some rejected plot lines. [PandoDaily]

The Visual Effects crowd is pissed off, and rightfully, it seems, about the lack of airtime it was afforded during the Academy Awards on Sunday. Television broadcasts largely ignored demonstrators protesting the state of the VFX industry, in which many jobs have been shipped overseas; meanwhile, the Oscar winner for VFX had his speech cut short, and Ang Lee, who won Best Director for his CGI-heavy Life of Pi, forgot to thank his VFX man. [The Big Social Picture]

Uber is signing up drivers in San Francisco; no taxi license needed, but there will be a test. [Engadget]

No FOMO

The 16 SXSW Parties You Really, Really Don’t Want to Miss!

sponsor_garys_red_tie_at_sxsw_2013

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

So, as y’all know, SXSW (or, as I like to call it, Sundance for Geeks) is now just two weeks away. That’s right, people: Time to start planning how you gonna be partying it up and taking Austin by storm! :) To make your life easier (the better to gorge on all those mouth-watering Nuclear Tacos and drool-inducing Salt Lick BBQs) I’ve put together The ULTIMATE Guide to SXSW Interactive 2012 Parties (185 and counting)! And of course, it comes with my special commentary and notes to help you make sense of all the madness. You’re welcome.

Now, of course, as any SXSW veteran can attest, the seemingly endless parade of parties, panels and people can quickly become overwhelming. So to make your life even easier, I’ve compiled a list of the 16 most-awesome-must-attend-unmissable parties that are bound to give all your friends at home a giant pile of FOMO! Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Mark Zuckerberg At Top of List for Giving it Away

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 19, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were at the top of the list of the biggest U.S. philanthropists for the second consecutive year. The couple donated $500 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in December, making them the country’s second largest donors, behind Warren Buffett, who gave away $3.1 billion last year. [CNET]

Twitter and American Express announced a plan to turn the microblogging service into an ecommerce platform: Details are vague, but it sounds like the partnership will allow users to link their Amex to their Twitter feeds, than make a purchase by posting a message. What will you buy with your subtweets? [WSJ]

We guess Michelle Obama won’t be buying a Surface Pro anytime soon. Apple CEO Tim Cook will be a guest of the FLOTUS during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this evening. Last year, Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs joined Ms. Obama for the State of the Union. [Mercury News]

The residential real estate website Trulia crunched some numbers ahead of Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a man, try Las Vegas, Honolulu, Palm Bay, Florida, San Jose or Gary, Indiana; if you want the highest percentages of women living alone, try Bethesda, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York or Raleigh, North Carolina. [NYT]

What do you get a tech billionaire for his birthday? Books, apparently. But of the electronic or dead tree variety? [Business Insider]

startup rundown

Startup News: Gilt Group now has Search Capabilities; Codeacademy Can Help You Learn Python

The redesigned Nestio iPhone app.

Hunting season Nestio has redesigned its iPhone app, designed to help apartment hunters stay organized and share information with friends. In addition to improved camera functionality, the 2.0 version has some new features, including an activity screen to help users see what progress their roommates have made in the search, as well as a checklist to help potential renters and buyers remember what features to look for when they’re viewing an apartment.

Guilty convenience Gilt Group just announced that they have (finally) added search capabilities to the site. Members can now search each Gilt store by category, brand and price—just like almost every other website that exists.

1000+ Zinio—which produces interactive versions of existing magazines, providing a reading platform which enables readers to easily navigate text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, and videos—just announced the production of its 1000th interactive magazine. Read More

Awkward Conversations

American Express Sounds a Little Peeved Google Basically Pretended They’re Partners

No wonder they went with Mastercard.

Back in June, the founder of 4G hotspot provider Karma got up on stage and announced partnerships with American Airlines and car service Uber. Only there were no final, formalized partnerships–just “talks” that might’ve been going well, but certainly weren’t done. At the time, it looked like a pretty devastating misstep.

Fast forward to Wednesday, when one of the world’s largest tech companies did some similar fudging. Google announced “a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet.” Pretty sweet for those of you racking up the AmEx rewards. Read More

Corporate VC

AmEx Makes it Official: Launches $100 M. of Early Stage Investments

American Express just hosted their first ever Open Forum hackathon at General Assembly and the company has been invested and partnered with a number of New York startups this year. Now American Express has announced an initiative to invest $100 million in early startups to “facilitate the company’s transition to digital,” which seems like a fancy way of saying they want to be in on the smart money.  Read More

App for That

American Express Launches ‘I Will Volunteer,’ a 9/11 Facebook App

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Non-profit organizations like HandsOn Network and MyGoodDeed are leading a “Day of Service and Remembrace” for the upcoming tenth anniversary of 9/11. In support, American Express launched a Facebook application today called “I Will Volunteer” to reach out to its more than 2 million Facebook fans. (A credit card company has a couple million fans? Somebody’s working their social media strat right.)

HandsOn Network is powering the app, which lets users access a searchable 9/11 Day database to sign up for nearby volunteering activities and share it with friends to encourage more people to volunteer. According to The Next Web, current opportunities include revitalizing schools on the Lower East Side as well as programs around the country, such as turning an abandoned airport hanger in L.A. into a community center. Read More