shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Dave McClure Calls Big Omaha Attendee a ‘Lying Bitch’ and Zynga Employees Run Into Traffic

The picture of despair.

Lying Bitches 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, known for his rather dirty mouth, made a big slip-up at the Nebraska-based thinkfluencer festival Big Omaha today. According to Valleywag, Mr. McClure was giving a talk at the conference when he asked someone how good her iPhone battery life was. When she responded with a presumably positive answer, Mr. McClure called her a “lying bitch.” On stage. In front of tons of people. Read More

XY in Tech

Is That a Gadget in Your Pocket? Objectifying 25 Male Tech Writers

Sluttin' it up at CES.

News of the first annual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day swept across the web this morning following an article penned by one of the event’s founders, gaming and social media reporter Leigh Alexander. “From booth babes to harassment, snide comments to double standards, women have often had a hard time feeling comfortable around the tech industry,” she wrote. In order to demonstrate “the absurdity of objectifying people you claim to agree with or support intellectually,” she’s encouraging female tech writers to give gendered compliments or make sexist proclamations to men about their work.

Though the actual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day isn’t until February 1st, Betabeat–comprised primarily of female writers–could hardly contain ourselves. Here are 25 gendered comments for 25 of our favorite male tech writers. Read More

In Hindsight

The Best of Betabeat: A 2012 Retrospective

BETA BEAT Celebrates The Pitch Series

As 2011 came to a close, we looked back at our most popular posts. But this year, we’re a little older (a mature year and nine months!), a lot wiser, and thought we’d try something a little different. Thank you for reading!

LONGREADS

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take a Hard Line on the Internet at Rally of 40,000 Men (And Me) In which our intrepid reporter sneaks into Citi Field in drag. 

Faith, Hope, and Singularity: Entering the Matrix with New York’s Futurist Set It’s the end of the world as we know it, and they feel fine. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Randi Zuckerberg Isn’t the Only One Casting for a Startup Reality Show in New York

800px-Randi_Zuckerberg_WEF_2012

Randi, Can You Hear Me? Yesterday evening, Betabeat attended a Bravo casting call masquerading as a networking event. An email passed around the technoscenti sought locals “who have a full time career and full time lifestyle” to possibly maybe star in an New York spin off of Randi Zuckerberg‘s much-maligned show.

But we hear Ms. Zuckerberg may have some competition. A source mentioned that MTV is also working on a startup reality show rumored to be produced by peripatetic Foodspotter Soraya Darabi and “a Reddit cofounder.” Ms. Darabi told Betabeat she was “not involved” in the project and Reddit cofounders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman did not immediately responded to our inquiry, so it’s hard to say if that was just wishful thinking. However, an independent New York City-based casting director–not the lovely gentleman from last night!–confirmed that “There’s a bunch of networks” currently testing reality programming about startups, including MTV and possibly CNBC. Read More

Political Animals

New York Techies Want Campaign Finance Fixed

Paging Mr. Cuomo! (Photo: flickr.com/MTAphotos)

A coalition of techies say it’s time to do something about our campaign finance morass, and they’re starting with New York State. A veritable who’s who of Silicon Alley–including Fred Wilson, Andy Weissman, Dennis Crowley, John Borthwick, Kevin Ryan, and Esther Dyson–have released an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to take point on an effort to make the political process work a little more like Kickstarter or Github.

The problem, as they see it: “Today, elections in Albany are dominated by a small group of affluent campaign donors, professional influence-peddlers and deep-pocketed vested special interests.” Not to mention some of those state capital buildings are downright Politburo-back-deal chic. Read More

Insurgents

Tech Insurgents 2012: Anil Dash

Mr. Dash

Amiable Agitator

The day after Barack Obama won his second presidential term, @FakeDorsey, a satirical Twitter account mocking serial entrepreneur Jack Dorsey’s precious worldview, tweeted, “Pretty incredible to think we made any progress at all in this world before we had twitter, and @anildash telling us all what we should do.”

As the adage goes, it’s funny because it’s (partly!) true.

Read More

Insurgents

Meet Betabeat’s 2012 Tech Insurgents

(Illustration: Robert Grossman)

Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Twitter and Square, recently tried to disabuse the tech industry of its infatuation with the word ‘disruption.’ “We don’t want ‘disruption,’ where we just move things around. We want a direction. We want a purpose,” he said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, humbly suggesting the biannual conference change its name. But it’s more than just semantics. The tech sector’s claim to produce world-changing products and services often gets drowned out in a chorus of me-too companies solving problems no one ever complained about. The umpteenth nightlife-recommendations tool or empty real-time dating app can obscure the whirr of a nascent robotics sector in Manhattan or a futuristic, even revolutionary, experiment in manufacturing in Queens. Read More

Internet Drama

Violentacrez Admits Doing CNN Interview Was a ‘Huge Mistake’

(Photo: CNN)

Last night, the now-notorious Reddit troll Violentacrez, whom Gawker recently exposed as a 49-year-old Texas-based programmer named Michael Brutsch, appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 for God knows what reason. In the painfully awkward two-part interview, during which Mr. Cooper thankfully gave us a commercial break to collect ourselves and tweet our thoughts, Mr. Brutsch invoked every possible excuse to justify his poor behavior, which includes creating controversial subreddits like PicsofDeadKids and Jailbait.

Throughout the interview, Mr. Brutsch referred to his Reddit username Violentacrez in the third person, echoing other statements he’s made about Violentacrez being a character he played and attempting to distance himself from taking personal responsibility for his actions. He also admitted that his sole purpose for creating racist and misogynistic subreddits was to get a rise out of people (he bragged he has a “gift” for it) in order to accumulate “meaningless internet points.” Read More