Space the Final Frontier
Fun fact: Pluto was named in 1930 by an 11-year-old girl. In the spirit of her christening skills, Wired reports, astronomers at the SETI Institute is asking the Internet to help name two tiny, newly discovered moons of Pluto. They’ve created a website dubbed “Pluto Rocks!” with a list of possibilities for which you can cast your ballot.
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.
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.”)
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.
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.
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.
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.
New York’s finest funding platform, Kickstarter, has helped its 10,000th project secure backing this month. On July 6th a Toledo, Ohio-based band called Citizen raised $830 from 28 backers to produce a new seven-inch. This was $30 more than the band had hoped to raise and came mostly from pledges of $30 or less. It was micro-financing for creative expression at its finest.
Here’s a new one for the startup kiddies. The New York Times took a spin through SXSW, and discovered a digital elite that needed some deflating.
The technocracy, according to Anand Giridharadas, is the new aristocracy. “Like aristocracies past, it has its own rituals and symbols and practices, and it conceives of itself as uncynically serving the best interests of mankind. Like aristocracies past, it seeks to remake the remainder of humanity in its image. It reaches into the innards of our consciousness to shape what we believe, how we spend our days, how we love and reason and remember.”