Linkages

Booting Up: It’s Now Easier for Developers to Sell Themselves to the Highest Bidder

(Photo: flickr.com/86979666@N00)

This week Pinterest introduced a web analytics platform, while Twitter stepped up its ad insights game with more details for marketers. Really looking forward to seeing even more wedding dress ads. [Ad Week]

Twitter has also reportedly acquired the music delivery service We Are Hunted and plans to build a standalone music app. Can we get some Vine soundtracks going, here? [CNET]

To face Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination claims, Kleiner Perkins has hired the same guy who represented Facebook against the Winklevoss twins. [Wall Street Journal]

Blame Google+ for the fact that you are losing your Google Reader, effective July 1. [The Next Web]

A startup called DeveloperAuction has raised $2.7 million to build a site where talent can literally auction themselves off to the highest bidder. sign up and if they’re picked as one of the site’s top 150 job seekers in a particular month, be deluged with interview offers from companies. That’ll do wonders for the Valley’s skyrocketing salaries, sure. [VentureBeat]

Chrome honcho Sundar Pichai is now going to lead Google’s Android team, as well. Former Android boss Andy Rubin is going to stay at Google and do something that maybe involves moonshots. [Google]

Here's Apple In Your Eye

You Can Apparently Get an Android-Powered ‘iPhone’ in Brazil

Wealthy man, Mr. Cook (Photo: News.au)

This must be going over well in Cupertino: The BBC reports that the Institute of Industrial Property, Brazil’s IP authority, have ruled that Apple does not have the exclusive rights to use the term “iPhone” in the country. That’s because the Brazilian company Gradiente Eletronica registered the trademark seven years before Apple. This means the company can continue to sell its own version of the iPhone which, irony of ironies, runs on Android.  Read More

Planet GOOG

Weird Google Text-to-Speech Bug Randomly Blurts Out the Phrase ‘And Now He Praises the iPad’

(Screencap: Google Translate)

Google’s text-to-speech engine is arguably one of the most powerful in the world. It almost always perfectly captures our speech, making it far easier to speak our text messages than risk an embarrassing autocorrect faux pas.

We rarely have complaints about Google’s text-to-speech technology, but there is this one really weird bug within the engine: When you open Google Now, click on the microphone to activate text-to-speech and ask the question, “What is a giraffe?” the phone becomes kiiind of possessed. While reading back the definition of a giraffe to you, Google Now randomly inserts the phrase, “And now he praises the iPad.” Pretty awkward given that Google’s currently dueling in the tablet market with iPad’s own creator. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Two Regular New Yorkers Disrupt Christmas and Alexis Ohanian Just Wants to Park His Car

"Leave me alone." (Photo: Twitter)

r/findmeaparkingspace ParkWhiz, the Chicago company that enables users to find and reserve guaranteed parking spaces before reaching their destination, today announced that it has closed a $2 million Series A round of funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners. Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian also took place in the round along with Hyde Park Angels, Amicus Capital, and others. In a press release sent to Betabeat, the company said that since its launch in 2006, it has driven $10 million in parking revenue to parking operators and provided access to 3 million parking spaces nationwide.

Fab Goes To India Jason Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Fab, took to his personal blog yesterday to announce that his company had acquired new funding. Times Internet, the digital arm of The Times of India Group, India’s largest media company, has chosen to invest in the company. Mr. Goldberg notes in the post, “As part of this investment Fab will be working with Times Internet to explore and execute on our India market strategy in the coming years.” Since launching in June 2011, Fab has raised over $150 million from investors. Read More

Dumb Smartphones

Blackberries Now So Embarrassing People are Hiding Them Under iPads

(Photo: AFR)

If you’re not Beyonce and you’re still carrying around a Blackberry, chances are you are over 55, wear a three piece suit to work or–like a family itself–you are desperately beholden to a family plan from which there is no escape.

Where once we touted Blackberry Curves like prized possessions, obsessively BBMing friends and humblebragging about the jitters induced by that phantom blinking red light, we now cluck our tongues in derision at the behind-the-times fogies who dare to wield a device that isn’t an iPhone or Android. Read More

The Machines

Google Wants to Insert Itself into as Many of Your Conversations as Possible

Mobile devices: For so much more than Instagramming your dinner. (Photo: flickr.com/sixteenmilesofstring)

We’ve all done it: An argument breaks out at the bar/dinner table/book club meeting, about a half-remembered line of poetry or factoid about the American Revolution. What was Mick Jagger’s childhood nickname? Only Google can tell you for sure. So someone hauls out a smartphone and lickety-split, the matter is settled. Back to brunch! 

Well, the matter isn’t settled as far as Google is concerned, reports The New York Times. Rather than being a mere 30-second in-case-of-emergency argument ender, the company wants its search products integrated ever-deeper into your socializing, like that one dude who doesn’t know when to stop dropping Trivial Pursuit factoids at the cocktail party.

According to the Times: Read More