Brooklyn Coder Lauren McCarthy Wants To Cure Your Crippling Social Awkwardness

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In a world where your friends can now set you up on virtual blind dates, it’s hard to believe tech could be the solution to any uncomfortable situation.

Lauren McCarthy is a coder and an artist whose strange art experiments put subjects face to face with their deepest social anxieties. She might not be able to cure your crippling awkwardness — or her own, for that matter — but she has designed over two dozen tech-based performances to help you breathe a little easier, even if it just means making a quick getaway. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Here’s How I’m Spending the $589,660 I Raised on Kickstarter

I worked for many years in a corporate environment before starting Albino Dragon. In that time there was a vicious animal that always found its way into projects: scope creep. Let’s look at the what Wikipedia has to say about it first:

Typically, the scope increase consists of either new products or new features of already approved product designs, without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget. Read More


If Silicon Valley Isn’t Like High School, Quora Certainly Is

Mr. Cheever (Photo: Quora)

Following the recent announcement that Quora cofounder Charlie Cheever will be taking a backseat role at the company, something of a revolution has begun to foment at the question and answer site so popular among the Valley’s elite. For a platform which purports to embrace openness and honesty as its core ethos, its own staff has not been particularly forthcoming about Mr. Cheever’s departure.

Social Times points out that a question about Mr. Cheever’s status at the company was answered by Quora’s other founder, Adam D’Angelo. Users immediately called Mr. D’Angelo out for his disingenuous reply, which was bathed in a thick coat of PR BS. One such indictment–posted by another startup founder–even garnered more upvotes than the original response. Read More


It Takes an Open Letter to Wikipedia for Philip Roth to Get a Correction

Mr. Roth, literary lion. (Photo: flickr.com/cdrummbks)

Like any good high school English teacher, Wikipedia requires writers to cite sources. The site can’t have the subject of an article merely leap in and say, “NUH-UH.” How would they ever write anything negative about anyone, were it otherwise? Winona Ryder might like to edit that business about shoplifting right out of her biography, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

And that is why Philip Roth had to publish an open letter to Wikipedia–in the New Yorker–to get the crowd-created encyclopedia to admit that his book, The Human Stain, was probably not based on the life of literary critic Anatole Broyard. (In the course of his lengthy rebuttal, Mr. Roth refers to it as a “falsity,” based upon “the babble of literary gossip.”) Read More


Crain Communications Now In Charge of Making Internet Week New York Happen

Internet Week 2012.

Sounds like changes are coming to that staple of the Silicon Alley social calendar, Internet Week New York. Crain Communications–the company behind publications like AdAge and Crain’s New York–has made a “strategic investment” in the festival. What’s more, the publishing conglomerate will be taking a role in the event itself.

An unlikely marriage, to say the least.

According to an announcement, Crain and the Internet Week team will “grow the festival under a shared vision,” but Crain will be taking over day-to-day management. Read More

Crowd Power

Will Work For Porn: XXX Site Partners with Crowdsourcing Platform So You Can Earn Credits for Porn

Mr. Tao (article.wn.com)

There are tons of places where you can complete small online tasks for cash–Fiverr, for example, where you can post tasks you’re willing to complete for $5, or Amazon Mechanical Turk, where you can get paid a few pennies for taking online surveys, among other mini jobs.

But some people aren’t looking to earn money. Some people are looking to earn porn.

For those enterprising individuals, Extra Lunch Money (NSFW) exists. Read More

Crowd Power

Crounty, a New Startup from Fast Company’s CTO, Lets You Offer Rewards for Successful Crowdsourcing

Mr. Mankins (Google+)

Crounty, a new venture from Fast Company CTO Matt Mankins that takes its name from a portmanteau of “Crowd” and “Bounty,” launched on Wednesday for one simple reason: Sometimes you need help from the crowd to locate talented programmers or trusted subletters, and sometimes the things you need help with are so important that you’re willing to pay a bounty for them. Crounty is a platform that lets you do just that. Read More

Metro Tech

ChallengePost, Kickstarter for Problems, Raises $4 M.

Challenge: Good AC on the A/C please

Crowdsourced fund raising platforms are in vogue right now. We’ve written a lot about the growing success of Kickstarter and yesterday we posted about Quirky raising a $16 million B round. Today Peter Kafka reports that ChallengePost has raised $4 million.

In a way a ChallengePost is an inversion of the Kickstarter model. The two year old start-up helps companies and non-profits run “challenges” that pay prizes to the crowd for solving problems. Investors include betaworks, Delicious’ Joshua Schachter and Mahalo’s Jason Calacanis. Read More