Letter From San Francisco
Speaking of Steve Jobs doppelgangers, Ashton Kutcher might be in hot water.
Mr. Kutcher, who’s an actor in the sheets but a tech guy in the streets (or is it the other way around?), apparently owns a viral content site called A+. And the site’s being accused of plagiarism, the Daily Dot reports.
Ironically, the site’s being accused of lifting content from BuzzFeed — which recently came under fire after one of its writers was found to have plagiarized from such esteemed reference sites as Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers.
hbo's silicon valley
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When it comes to tech-inspired entertainment that isn’t contained within an app, pickings are surprisingly slim. The same themes — Silicon Valley culture, Steve Jobs — are recycled again and again, usually not to amazing effect.
That’s why everyone’s so thoroughly freaking out about HBO’s forthcoming Silicon Valley. Mike Judge, of Beavis and Butthead, Office Space and Idiocracy Read More
Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Ashton Kutcher — a veritable tech trifecta — have quietly come together and invested $40 million in a “secretive artificial-intelligence company,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
The company is called Vicarious FPC, and its goal is to create a computer program that functions like the neocortex in a human brain.
As part of his fervent, ongoing mission to prove he’s the tech-iest tech person in all the land, Ashton Kutcher will be designing a line of special edition phones for Lenovo.
In case you haven’t been keeping up with Mr. Kutcher’s burgeoning career, the
Butterfly Effect actor technological innovator joined Lenovo as a “product engineer” in late 2013, with the goal of making the company’s products “as consumer friendly as possible.” Part of the role evidently has involved designing this new line of phones, which Recode reports will be released later this year.
Stars—they’re just like us! (This is provided that you consider Joe Jonas a “star.”) Mr. Jonas, a former member of the formerly-existing Jonas Brothers, was recently spotted driving an Uber car in L.A.
According to the Daily Mail, Mr. Jonas’s excited passenger tweeted, “Today [my friend] and I got in an Uber and Joe Jonas was our driver,” and “We went to Pinkberry and then took a selfie.” Sounds pretty fun. And honestly, we’re pretty impressed the rider was able to accurately distinguish Mr. Jonas from his basically-freaking-identical brothers.
Fashion Turn to the Left
“Product engineer” aren’t usually the two words that come to mind when we hear the name Ashton Kutcher, but apparently nightmares do come true. The tech wunderkind has passed the interview process and is joining the computer company Lenovo in a role that he’s struggling to explain.
So it goes: Another once-buzzy startup has packed it in. Fashism, the New York-based social shopping app that let you post photos of outfits and solicit yes or no verdicts, just sent out an email titled “It’s so haaaaaard to say goodbyyyyyyyyyeeeee.” You might remember it as the company whose investors included Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, back before their marriage hit the rocks.
To their credit, the email is pretty straight-up: “We have not been able to generate enough revenue to keep Fashism up and running.”
In a comment to Betabeat, cofounder Brooke Moreland was similarly frank: “I think that even though our users love the app and the brand, we were never able to scale to the level we needed to generate significant revenue. It’s tough to make money on a social app.”
She added, “We were able to get creative and keep ourselves going for the past 4 years, but it became clear that we would not be able to create the type of business that we had initially intended. “
The CEO exit Marissa Mayer, the flaxen-haired Yahoo CEO with the machine gun giggle, got the feature treatment in the September issue of Vogue. In a six page spread published online today, readers are greeted with a photo of the ex-Googler awkwardly stretched out on a chaise lounge donning a navy blue shift, her own visage glowing from an iPad she’s holding.
Today, Ashton Kutcher’s take on Steve Jobs hits theaters. There’s a good chance many of you will decide to check it out. But you’ll probably want to be prepared, right? And by that we mean smuggle a flask of whisky into a late-night showing. It definitely seems like Woz could’ve used a drink while watching.
Just in case, here is a handy drinking game. Feel free to cue it up on your phone and play along the theater, but only if you’re sitting next to Hunter Walk, of course.
Take a drink whenever you see: