Did we mention that winter is coming? Y Combinator is funding less startups in its winter 2013 cycle—less than 50 so far, down from 84 this summer. To reach the smaller number, the accelerator focused on predictors of failure. Turned out, they took a friendlier view of applicants they met after lunch. [Y Combinator]
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.
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:
Via Gizmodo we have learned of PlaceRaider, the scariest damn Android malware you never want hiding on your cuddly old pal, the full-featured smartphone.
Researchers at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center created PlaceRaider and have dubbed it “visual malware.” It was developed as a proof of concept but would also be a great idea to sell to producers seeking spy gadget ideas for the next James Bond film, because PlaceRaider hints at the future of covert surveillance:
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Attendees at the EuSecWest-sponsored World Security Professional Summit in Amsterdam are participating in a contest called Mobile Pwn2Own. Contestants are, yes, basically revealing that our mobile devices can be easily pwned by someone with the know-how. Quell your bubbling phone fanboy or fangirl rage right now: it looks like both Androids and iPhones are vulnerable. The Next Web describes the Android pwnage, which was partially done, by the way, via near-field communication, or NFC:
Amazon is carpeting the country with distribution centers, thereby creeping ever-closer to next-day delivery and the possibility of sealing its complete dominance over all retail. Hail, Bezos! [New York Times]
Sorry, Jeff, but Walt Mossberg says he can’t quite sign off on the claim that the Kindle Fire HD is “the best tablet at any price.” [AllThingsD]
For those keeping score at home, there are now 500 million Android devices. [Fast Company]
Tesla plans to build an SUV. In the future, even the mildest-mannered, most ozone-conscious environmentalist will be able to his own modest tank. [Wired]
Microsoft has an uphill battle if they want to make “Bing it” happen. Why? Because it sounds lame. [Fast Company]
App.net would like feedback on its terms of service. [The Next Web]
Facebook employees are reportedly strongly encouraged to use Android phones, so they’ll take the terribleness of Facebook’s Android app seriously. [Business Insider]
Microsoft has a new, wildly unimpressive logo. [ZDNet]
Tumblr just blew past Myspace. [Marketing Land]
Today’s Kickstarter conversation starter: Full Metal Jacket iPad app. [Wired]
While Betabeat really liked the Foursquare redesign, there was apparently one feature left on the chopping block that had users in an uproar. The “Nearby Friends” feature, which allows users to see what friends in their general vicinity are doing, was knocked out of the redesign, but today benign overlords of Foursquare announced that they’ve brought it back.
“Rather disgruntled” programmers, rejoice! Apple says it fixed that bug that was causing apps to crash on launch. [AllThingsD]
Jerry Seinfield now has a web series? [Daily Dot]
Facebook tab engagement has declined 53 percent since the introduction of Timeline. Perhaps that’s why Buddy Media was so eager to sell? [Mashable, h/t Nicholas Carlson]
Microsoft researcher: Oops, that whole thing about an Android botnet was just an “educated guess.” [The Verge]
The Singularity is nigh: For the first time ever, scientists have controlled a robot using only their thoughts. [Gizmodo]
Twitter engineer says that today search and discovery are “set to change forever.” Does that mean they’ll actually be good? [The Next Web]
Okay, we confess: We’ve never owned an iPhone and are head-over-heels in love with our Galaxy Nexus. But even the most hardcore of Apple fanboys have to concede that Google’s new Android update, Jelly Bean, looks pretty sweet. Google Now seems like an easy way to seamlessly integrate your phone’s functionality into your every day schedule. Plus, the UI tweaks make the whole Android experience much sleeker and prettier.
Oh, but that’s not all. Jean-Louis Nguyen, a director of biz dev at GOOG, posted a video (to Google+, of course) of the beta version of Jelly Bean responding to over 40 voice commands. The phone gets it right every damn time. Even obscure requests like, “Where is that museum with Egyptian stuff in San Jose?” It’s pretty impressive.