Move over, Josh Brolin: there’s a new uber-dedicated method actor in town, and his name is Aplusk.
If you thought the recently released clip of the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs looked a lot like Ashton Kutcher walking and talking just like Ashton Kutcher but in a black turtleneck, you obviously underestimate his dedication to his craft. USA Today reports that just prior to shooting Jobs, Mr. Kutcher was briefly hospitalized for submerging himself a little too deeply into the character. In an attempt to get closer to his hippie entrepreneur character, Mr. Kutcher adopted Mr. Jobs’s all-fruit-and-nut diet.
Feeling blue about missing Sundance? Cheer up. Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs biopic is slated to arrive April 19 at a theater near you. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Apple set a company record for iPhone sales last quarter, but it wasn’t enough to placate investors, who sent shares falling in late trading after Apple announced its quarterly results. [AllThingsD]
It wasn’t all bad for tech stocks. Netflix soared after the company announced better-than-expected profit on the strength of new subscribers. [Bloomberg]
Careful. The NYPD has a new device that detects the energy emitted by the rocket in your pocket. [NYDN]
“While I haven’t seen hard data on how this plays out across the industry, my personal experience has been that women in tech are primarily found in these emotional labor-heavy departments, even in the tiniest companies.” [Quartz]
Raaaaaaandi! [Fast Company]
Oh You Fancy Huh?
Shopping Site Goes Shopping Back in 2011, Khoi Vinh, the former design director for The New York Times’s website, attempted to launch an iPad collage maker called Mixel that even Taylor Swift would love. The interface was kind of clunky, and the company soon pivoted to a smoother iPhone product, which became fairly successful. And now Mixel has been acquired by the custom product giant Etsy.
No, you won’t be creating any collages of your twee collectables any time soon. According to AllThingsD, The Mixel team is being acquired for its stellar mobile talents. Mr. Vinh and his cofounder Scott Ostler, along with employees Akiva Leffert and Roy Stanfield, will all make the move to Etsy’s Brooklyn offices. Mixel will be shutting down the social side of its app, but will leave up its collage-making tool. In an email to Betabeat, Etsy CTO Kellan Elliot-McCrea explains, “We expect our mobile traffic to surpass desktop traffic by the end of 2014.”
Have you ever had a fantasy about being like Ashton Kutcher? Ours involve the emo-induced time travel powers from “The Butterfly Effect,” but some version of “untold startup riches” or “dating Mila Kunis” are also acceptable.
New York City-based startup The Fancy* is trying a different approach. In September, the commerce-minded photo-sharing network–which lets users post pics of products and in theory purchase the items directly from the site–went the Birchbox route with a monthly subscription service. The idea being luring in users with small-scale affordable versions of the pricey, aspirational goods like garcinia cambogia that The Fancy tends to attract.
Not only is Starbucks accepting payments via Square, the coffee conglomerate is now also selling the Square credit card reader for $10 at its retail locations. [New York Times]
Spotify has suspended its music download service in the U.K. Users can still stream music, but are sent to an unhelpful FAQ page when they attempt to purchase it. [Pocket-Lint]
Kim Dotcom says the U.S. “planted” evidence, encouraging him to keep copyrighted files on the Megaupload servers but then punishing him when he did so. [Ars Technica]
That indie Steve Jobs film, that will star Ashton Kutcher and be an inevitable flop that we will still watch anyway, is slated for release in April. Who wants to go with us? [Wall Street Journal]
The New York state comptroller is suing microchip company Qualcomm for data about its political expenditures with the hopes it can bring more transparency to corporate political spending. [New York Times]
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]
Apple in Your Eye
That’s according to some number crunching from PeekYou, anyway. The company has debuted a new analytics service and, to promote the product, took the time to rank Twitter’s top 1,000 most influential tech investors. CEO Michael Hussey explained the methodology to VentureBeat:
Ashton Kutcher has found his nemesis. Entertainment Weekly‘s Inside Movies blog is reporting that Matthew Modine will play John Sculley in upcoming Steve Jobs biopic called jOBS. As Jobsian scholars will recall, Mr. Sculley was the former Pepsi CEO personally recruited by Jobs in 1983 with the pitch, “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Um, door number 2?
Jobs resigned after clashing with Sculley, who was forced out in 1993–a move we imagine will be accompanied by a triumphant classical score.
Apple in Your Eye
Airtime, the super stealth video startup from Napster cofounders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, is launching at a press event this morning at Milk Studios in NYC, and celebrities on Twitter are apparently really, really excited about it. It’s perhaps unsurprising, though, considering the company that Shawn & Sean are used to keeping: Airtime’s investors include Ashton Kutcher, will.i.am and Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun. But who knew Martha Stewart was so plugged in to the startup scene? Perhaps Nick Bilton was right about tech being the new Hollywood.
We, too, are looking forward to the launch of Airtime, but could Sean & Shawn maybe fix their website first?
Oh look, someone at Forbes found this vaguely sad Craigslist ad soliciting extras for a “movie on Steve Jobs” filming next week in Palo Alto. Cult of Mac and Gizmodo both conjecture that, probably based on the general paltriness of Craigslist extra trawling, the ad is for serial entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS, though it doesn’t explicitly state that.