In Hindsight

The Best of Betabeat: A 2012 Retrospective

BETA BEAT Celebrates The Pitch Series

As 2011 came to a close, we looked back at our most popular posts. But this year, we’re a little older (a mature year and nine months!), a lot wiser, and thought we’d try something a little different. Thank you for reading!

LONGREADS

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take a Hard Line on the Internet at Rally of 40,000 Men (And Me) In which our intrepid reporter sneaks into Citi Field in drag. 

Faith, Hope, and Singularity: Entering the Matrix with New York’s Futurist Set It’s the end of the world as we know it, and they feel fine. Read More

Dreams Do Come True

Silicon Valley Finally Gets the TV Treatment It Deserves, From the Dude Who Wrote ‘Beavis and Butt-head’

(Photo: MTV)

If the sunny, overblown drama of Bravo’s Start-Ups: Silicon Valley has left you aching for a bleaker take on Valley culture, then we have some wonderful news for you. Deadline reports that HBO has just greenlit a new pilot called Silicon Valley, produced by cult comedy icon Mike Judge.

The show will be a single-camera affair, offering a dark take on the “high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.” You know what that means: hoodies! Read More

Television Without Pity

In Which We Went to Bravo’s Casting Call for the Real Wantrepreneurs of Silicon Alley

The scene. (Photo by Michael Gold, via Instagram)

When we arrived at the Dream Hotel on 55th, there was already a substantial crowd of would-be attendees worrying that the one-hour open bar at #techdrinkup’s holiday party would end before we made it upstairs. Ahead of us, two young men were debating the relative merits of Sean Parker in the wake of Airtime’s abysmal numbers: “I’m a fan,” said Mr. Parker’s defender. “Everyone has success and failing.”

What no one mentioned within our earshot: Gotham Casting would be in the house, looking for personalities to feature in a possible New York spinoff of Start-ups: Silicon Valley, Bravo’s oft-maligned, Randi Zuckerberg-produced reality showRead More

RAAAAAAAANDI!

Look Out, New York: Randi Zuckerberg Is Casting for a New Techcentric Bravo Show Set in the Big Apple

(Photo: Connected Social Media)

With 634,000 viewers tuning in for last week’s premiere of Start-Ups: Silicon Valley, newly-minted Bravo TV producer Randi Zuckerberg already has her sights set on New York. According to the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg Media, Bravo and the production house responsible for Start-Ups, Den of Thieves, have all confirmed that they’re planning a tech-focused show based in NYC. It won’t be a Start-Ups reboot for the Manhattan set, but according to the Journal, “Ms. Zuckerberg and her team are looking to expand and see what techie opportunities there are.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Kevin Ryan Is a Ping Pong Champ and AllThingsD Knows All About Mustache Rides

We'll use this as an artist's rendering. (Photo: flickr.com/lac-bac)

Silicon Alley Smackdown One of the many tech events on rain delay because of Hurricane Sandy was the Big Apple Smackdown ping pong tournament, whose guest list included an impressive number of familiar names from the New York tech scene. (Betabeat is one of the media sponsors, so we may be a little biased.) Among the techno-athletes scheduled to play was Gilt Groupe CEO–and soon-to-be Gilt Groupe chairmanKevin Ryan. Apparently, we missed quite a show.

The tournament was scheduled for Sunday, “and I played on Friday and on Sunday just to get ready for it!” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat. Really? “Oh yeah, because I won a tournament about a month ago.” That was an invitation-only affair for ping pong ringers at the Hamptons manse of ABC Carpet & Home’s Ken Pilot. “You had to put $100 into the pot and the winner got two-thirds of the pot, so I was pretty excited about that,” Mr. Ryan enthused. Read More

RAAAAAAAANDI!

Bravo’s Start-ups: Silicon Valley Debuts Clips; Dave McClure Immediately Called ‘Disrespectful’

Mr. McClure (Screencap: BravoTV)

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is briskly approaching. Though the much-maligned Start-Ups: Silicon Valley reality show doesn’t premiere until Monday November 5th at 10 p.m., Bravo has begun publishing clips to its website in order to sate our boundless curiosity. AllThingsD picked up on the two drama-filled scenes, one of which features 500 Startups cofounder and noted giver of zero fucks Dave McClure. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Mo Koyfman’s Icelandic Bachelor Party, Attack of the Silicon Valley Viewing Parties

Mo Koyfman

Bjorking Your Bachelor Party As a sign of just how many bachelor parties an up-and-coming venture bro is obligated to attend, during a recent PandoMonthly panel, Thrillist Ben Lerer said if he had to pick a totally ordinary superpower, it would be making sure his wife was cool with him going to bachelor parties. (To be fair, it took him a long time to come up with it, so it might not be that high on his list.) Hopefully his better half was understanding about a recent trip Mr. Lerer took to Iceland celebrate the end of singledom for Spark Capital’s Mo Koyfman.

The recently promoted general partner invited a number of other techies for the festivities, including Eater.com cofounder Ben Leventhal and what looks an awful lot like Jakob Lodwick and Ricky Van Veen, who Mr. Koyfman would know from his days as an IAC executive “adult supervising” College Humor. Definitely present? Author and MSNBC cohost Touré! Mr. Koyfman tested hashtags for Instagramming his international excursion, trying out #koyfops before settling on #icemomo, although NYC yoga instructor Heather Lilleston also suggested #mochella. Read More