Linkages

Booting Up: GMail Is Going To Let Any Old Nigerian Prince On Google+ Email You

Aw, GMail #TBT. (Photo: File)

Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are scaring potential CEO candidates away from Microsoft because they’re worried they’re going to get bullied by the duo. [WSJ]

Facebook is sunsetting its controversial Sponsored Stories ads in April. [Fast Company]

Google is adding a neat new feature to GMail by letting users access email addresses from Google+, so you can email anyone on the increasingly unavoidable social network. [Gizmodo]

Reading Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s explanation about his company’s surge pricing model still confuses us–probably because we got C’s in economics. [NYT]

This is how a blind man navigated CES. [Recode]

Linkages

Booting Up: Farmville Mayor Mark Pincus is ‘Pretty Bored With All Games’

Bored AF. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft want Bill Gates gone as chairman. They worry he’s blocking the company from evolving and limits the power of the new CEO to make “substantial changes.” [Reuters]

Lines like “I found myself pressing the skip button on iTunes Radio more often than Pandora,” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s fledgling service. [Wall Street Journal]

The Washington Post is officially under Jeff Bezos’ control. [Washington Post]

Zynga founder Mark Pincus is “pretty bored with all games.” At least he acknowledged playing Running with Friends?  [WSJ]

Sam Biddle shows how easy it is pretending to be a venture capitalist and gamed AngelList for fun. Hopefully this is just funding a second season of Start-ups: Silicon Valley. [Valleywag]

XXX in Tech

Bill Gates Will Grant You $100,000 to Invent a Next-Gen Condom

(Photo: Core77)

Say what you will about techies and charitable giving, but Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has established himself as one of the most important philanthropists in the world, even nabbing a spot on Businessweek’s list of most generous people. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Gates and his wife work to eradicate poverty and increase access to healthcare.

Now, with a $100,00 grant offered through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Program, the Gateses are hoping to find “anyone — students, scientists or entrepreneurs” to reinvent the condom. It’s your time to shine, Ballmer. Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

Mark Zuckerberg, Will.i.Am and Chris Bosh Star in Infomercial About Learning to Code

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 10.42.41 AM

Agitprop about “coding as the new literacy,” lost momentum last year somewhere around the time adults felt compelled to issue public apologies to Codecademy for ignoring their email tutorials. But with President Obama shouting out high tech high schools in the State of the Union–and Chinese hackers inspiring a possible “Sputnik moment“–the cause of educating young minds in the ways of coding seems to have taken on new urgency.

Witness, for example, this video produced by Code.org, a nonprofit devoted to enhancing computer programming education. “Learn about a new ‘superpower’ that isn’t being taught in in 90% of US schools,” the description advertises. Wait, America still has a chance at staying a superpower? Tell me more! Read More

Ballmer Time

Bill Gates Is Now the Dowager Countess of Microsoft

(Photo: Screencap)

We just realized something: He doesn’t have the same ease with a zinger, but at this point in the history of Microsoft, Bill Gates is basically the company’s Dowager Countess.

Think about it. As chairman, he’s long since removed himself from the day-to-day running of the estate, preferring to focus full-time on his philanthropic projects. But like the grand Lady Grantham, he’s still kicking around, keeping one eye on how his successor is faring and forming his own opinion on the troubling remodel of the guest bedrooms, not that you asked (which you should have).

Hence, this exchange with Charlie Rose, during a recent interview with CBS News: Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Mark Zuckerberg At Top of List for Giving it Away

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 19, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were at the top of the list of the biggest U.S. philanthropists for the second consecutive year. The couple donated $500 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in December, making them the country’s second largest donors, behind Warren Buffett, who gave away $3.1 billion last year. [CNET]

Twitter and American Express announced a plan to turn the microblogging service into an ecommerce platform: Details are vague, but it sounds like the partnership will allow users to link their Amex to their Twitter feeds, than make a purchase by posting a message. What will you buy with your subtweets? [WSJ]

We guess Michelle Obama won’t be buying a Surface Pro anytime soon. Apple CEO Tim Cook will be a guest of the FLOTUS during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this evening. Last year, Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs joined Ms. Obama for the State of the Union. [Mercury News]

The residential real estate website Trulia crunched some numbers ahead of Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a man, try Las Vegas, Honolulu, Palm Bay, Florida, San Jose or Gary, Indiana; if you want the highest percentages of women living alone, try Bethesda, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York or Raleigh, North Carolina. [NYT]

What do you get a tech billionaire for his birthday? Books, apparently. But of the electronic or dead tree variety? [Business Insider]

Linkages

Booting Up: The NYC Tech Talent Draft Begins

Tech talent from Sesame Street. (Photo: flickr.com/libertygrace0)

This crisp weather says it’s fall, which means it’s time for another round of the NYC Tech Talent Draft. [Wall Street Journal]

Third-party image hosts like Twitpic and yfrog are reportedly the next services to get the ax from Twitter. [BuzzFeed]

Your favorite educational puppet show was once a startup, and its founders were told the concept would never work. And yet here we are, an entire generation taught to count by the Count. [New York Daily News]

Some master thief drove his BMW into an Apple store and started stealing, only to find his getaway impeded by flat tires. [ABC News]

Marissa Mayer is giving everyone at Yahoo an electronic leash smartphone. [Business Insider]

Meet your iPhone 5 early birds: “Hazem Sayed, 54, and his marketing manager Sage (short for Sagittarius), 31, set up camp Thursday at 8 a.m. — eight days early — to promote a social media startup called Vibe.” [Fortune]

Here’s a little blast from the past, in the form of Bill Gates introducing Microsoft Excel, circa 1987. [History]