Exit This Way

Changes at Bitly as New CEO Mark Josephson Joins and Chief Scientist Hilary Mason Departs for Accel

Mr. Josephson (Photo: Flickr)

Bitly, the New York-based link-shortening and data analytics service, announced two big changes at the executive level this week. Yesterday, chief scientist Hilary Mason, who is arguably Bitly’s most visible employee, announced she would be moving on from the company to become the first ever data scientist in residence at venture firm Accel Partners. Though she’s been an advisor to Accel’s Big Data Fund since 2011, Ms. Mason is leaving Bitly to join Accel full time, where she will help to advise portfolio companies and evaluate potential investment areas. Read More

betaworking

Connect the ‘Dots’: How Betaworks Made Your New Favorite App

This is Dots. (Photo: iTunes)

Fling those dumb Angry Birds into oblivion already: there’s a new free replacement sitting in the iTunes App Store for your time-killing needs. Enter Dots, a minimalistic game that accentuates the speediness of your swiping skills by connecting as many same-colored dots as possible in 60 seconds. The more dots—or better yet, boxes—you link together and create, the higher you score.

The game was the brainchild of Betaworks hacker-in-residence Patrick Moberg, who had never designed or coded a game before. He began development of Dots in January under the direction that the non-incubator wanted to create a “zen-like” game that people wouldn’t feel guilty playing. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Zuck’s in Hawaii, While Kevin Systrom Looks So Maj Next to Rachel Zoe

(Photo: Instagram)

Hawaii Zuck-O Look who ditched the hoodie (but kept the Adidas sandals). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was recently spotted indulging in a little Hawaiin R&R with wifey Priscilla Chan. US Weekly reports the pair “looked excited to be spending quality time together,” which makes sense since it’s pretty easy to be happy when you’ve escaped the maw of Silicon Valley. The Zucks also “chowed down” on something called “beachside burgers” at a “picnic table.” Stars: they’re just like us (but rich). Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Digg Owner Betaworks Acquires Instapaper

Mr. Parker. (Photo: Flickr/Le Web)

NYC-based non-incubator Betaworks has acquired a majority stake in the article-bookmarking service Instapaper. Creator Marco Arment wrote on his blog that he will slide into an advising role “indefinitely” as Betaworks oversees operations and expands Instapaper’s staff. [PC Mag]

CISPA, the controversial Internet bill, is (probably?) dead. An anonymous source said that “there is no possible plan” to bring it up in the Democratic-controlled Senate because it faces little support from the party. [Daily Dot]

Some big names, like Sean Parker, Steve Ballmer, and Bill Gates, are joining Mark Zuckerberg’s political action committee, FWD.us. We would love to be on those brunch-planning emails. [AllThingsD]

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has joined the board of Jawbone, the hardware maker behind those groovy wireless headsets and speakers. [AllThingsD]

A study of Bitcoin exchanges revealed that 45 percent of them fail, often taking peoples’ money with them. And the exchanges that don’t shutter are more likely to be the target of cyber attacks. [Wired]

Stormy Weather

Betaworks Launches Weather Service Because Let’s Face It, You’re No Meteorologist

Brb, running to the Warby Parker store. (Photo: Screencap)

Do unexpectedly blustery days leave you wailing at the fates? Sick of dressing in your smartest spring sandals, only to walk outside and discover there’s still a nip in the air?

So are the folks at Betaworks, apparently.

And now, a small team led by hacker-in-residence Kuan Huang has dreamed up Poncho, a new weather service launching today for New York City. It promises to deliver a personalized forecast that’ll help you figure out whether you can really get by with just a cardigan.

Mr. Huang told Betabeat that the idea was born as “something for my personal use.” He wanted an interpreter for the forecast, who could tell him, “It’s 46 degrees, windy; you should wear a scarf.” He admitted it’s “a pain point I have in my life.” You and me both, buddy. Read More