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

RIP

Internet Resurrection: Digg Will Launch a New and Improved Version of Google Reader

Sad. (Screenshot: Google Reader)

Fretful newshounds and anxious bloggers can stop sitting shiva. Digg, or rather Betaworks’ reboot of old Digg, wants to resurrect yet another ailing online mainstay. On its blog this afternoon, the startup announced it would be building a reader to replace the “much-loved, if under-appreciated” Google Reader.

In the post, Andrew McLaughlin, the former vice president of Tumblr who joined Betaworks as an entrepreneur-in-residence last summer, said Reader’s “early social features were forward-thinking and hugely useful.” However, as with the revamped Digg, the new iteration won’t look exactly like its predecessor: Read More