shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Sexism at CES? It Ain’t Me, Babe

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 4.06.08 PM

#RealTalk Dave McClure, our favorite giver of zero fucks, went on a bit of a Twitter tear the other day. It started with the admission that he’d “just had really hard tough love talk w/ startup founder. fucking sucks, but better harsh truth than bullshit ‘you’ll make it work’ lies.” He didn’t stop there, adding that “what really sucks is none of other investors (incl big lead VC) have the balls 2 tell them its not going 2 fucking work & shut it down.”

He concluded: “the Silicon Valley story is indeed the 1% story of Instagram $1B win, but also 99% broken dreams, shattered hopes & try, try again. sigh.” Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: When Google’s Eric Schmidt Discovers North Korea is Isolated Edition

PICEDITOR-SMH

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to open Internet access to its citizens, or doom them to a state of virtual isolation. Which, if we understand Mr. Schmidt correctly, he thinks will be far more insidious than the actual isolation North Koreans are currently experiencing. [AP]

North Korea’s official Twitter account only follows three, and only three, other accounts. One belongs to Jimmy Dushku, a 25-year-old investor who’s been to almost 60 Coldplay concerts and counts The Fast and the Furious as his favorite movie. What? [Mother Jones]

They’re not saying how they know, exactly, but U.S. officials are convinced that the cyberattacks on the consumer-facing websites of American banks are the work of the Iranian government. [NYT]

Soon you will buy prepaid iPhones at Walmart. Sounds like another season of The Wire is in order. [PRNewswire]

Not to put a timetable on anything, but Digg figures its content discovery app  is about one percent done. Which is as fine a time as any to talk about monetization. [Digg]

Reality Check

Quora Asks What Murder Feels Like; San Quentin Inmates Oblige

Brian Wong and Friends (Photo: twitter.com)

Quora is the site where headsdown homebodies ask other sheltered types questions like, “What are some things I’d be shocked to learn about the outside world?” But now that Quora is over three years old, it seems as if they’re finally going into the real heavy stuff.

A question posed under the topic “Murder,” asked, “What does it feel like to murder someone?” Some inmates from San Quentin State Prison opened themselves up, providing deeply personal answers that offered up something rare on Quora: a glimpse of life far, far away from the tech bubble. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: David Karp Goes Native, Netflix for Real Life, Digg Is Reborn (Again)

Hipstblr (Photo: wikipedia.org)

Among the Natives David Karp put on his salesman hat this week and preached the Tumblr gospel in front of execs at an Advertising Week event. Karp pushed his company’s new approach to “native” non-intrusive marketing. He went as far as to call Tumblr the “brave new world.” The site now nets 27 million visitors a month and is expected to release some sort of earnings report this week, six months after ads started running on the site.

Pass The Popcorn MoviePass, a subscription service for unlimited movie-going, launched today, but is still invite-only. The app lets you check into a movie theatre, which then unlocks your MoviePass card. You pay at the credit card ticket kiosk using your MoviePass card, like you would with an ordinary card. The service is starting out at $29.99, which makes it a steal for New Yorkers because that’s a little under the price of two movies with popcorn in Manhattan. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Apple Aggressively Recruits Devs to Fix Maps, Jake Lodwick’s Office Ball Pool

Jakob Lodwick

It’s a gloomy, rainy Friday in New York, but we’re about to serve you a piping hot bowl of gossip. Bon appetit!

Map-maker, Map-maker, Build Me a Map! If Tim Cook‘s mea culpa wasn’t enough to demonstrate how hard Apple is scrambling to fix its iOS 6 mapocalypse, then how about its last ditch recruiting techniques to find Ruby developers? Mojo Talantikite, a cluster engineer at Engine Yard in New York City, said he (and a number of his technically talented friends) have been hit up by Apple recruiters recently.

“I don’t think it’s too out of the ordinary for a company to scramble to soak up talent once they figure out their product is deficient,” he told Betabeat by email. “But considering that the beta of Apple Maps was terrible three months ago, you’d think they would have started the aggressive recruitment phase then,” he said, adding, “It’s pretty easy to realize they are in put out the fire mode.” Read More

Can You Digg It?

Kevin Rose Explains Embarrassing Businessweek Cover: Photog ‘Promised Me He Wouldn’t Use It’

The infamous pic. (Photo: Businessweek)

Last night, Digg founder Kevin Rose announced that he was doing an AMA on Reddit. Following the announcement, he immediately vacated the site and did not return to it for 24 hours. As many of the interested Redditors are refugees from Digg, they did not take kindly to this crucial misunderstanding of how exactly Reddit works. Generally, you don’t announce you’re doing an AMA unless you intend to answer questions at that very moment.

“Kevin just tweeted an Instagram picture at Alcatraz,” wrote one user. “Pretty sure he forgot about this.”

“Maybe it is symbolic of being trapped in an AMA he regrets,” retorted another.

Some time this afternoon, Mr. Rose returned to the thread in order to answer the (mostly indignant) questions that had collected while he was away. Perhaps to make up for his tardiness, he even took the time to record a few video replies to Redditors’ questions. Read More

Can You Digg It?

The Digg Bang Theory: Can Betaworks Make a Run on Reddit?

Mr. Rose (Photo: flickr.com/joi)

In the winter of 2004, soon after the husks of once-great dot-com startups had dried and shriveled, a 27-year-old college dropout named Kevin Rose deployed a barebones new site, simply named “Digg.”

It was one of the first social networks in existence. Back then, the term “social networking” hadn’t shouldered its way into our lexicon yet. Facebook was a nascent, walled platform for college gossip; Google was still idly toying with its search algorithm; Twitter wouldn’t launch for another two years.

News itself was a hierarchical affair, largely produced and disseminated by trusted broadcasters and editors. Journalism’s democratizing forces hadn’t congealed, yet; bloggers weren’t sitting front row at fashion shows or making a living off of Google Ads. The idea that a community of Internet geeks could manipulate the news cycle would’ve elicited howls of mocking laughter from the Conde kingmakers. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: There’s No Such Thing as a Gmail Killer Edition

(Photo: Network World)

Microsoft Outlook now operates in-browser and is apparently a legitimate Gmail competitor? No flipping desks for Steve Ballmer today. [Wired]

Things are not looking good in iPad mag land. The Daily has laid off a 1/3rd of its staff. [AllThingsD]

Kevin Rose did an AMA, just in time for the release of the new Digg. It got less than 1,000 upvotes and apparently he didn’t actually answer any questions. [Reddit]

Two online poker sites are paying millions in damages following fraud and money laundering charges. Guess the government called their bluff. [New York Times]

Times Square will broadcast the Mars landing on one of those gigantic screens. The space geek in us is currently fighting with the person in us who fucking hates Times Square. [NASA]

UBS lost $356 million in the Facebook IPO. Yikes. [The New York Times]

Can You Digg It?

Betaworks Releases Preview of New Digg: ‘Beautiful, Image-Friendly and Ad-Free’

v1 wireframes. (Photo: Rethink Digg)

The clock is ticking for the team at Betaworks, which has promised to overhaul its newly-acquired social news site Digg by Thursday. Today the team published a preview of V1, complete with photos of design wireframes and some hints as to what we can expect of the new release.

Rethink Digg stresses that V1 will adhere to minimalist themes. Many of the bloated features tacked on to the old version of Digg as an afterthought–features that drove many of its users permanently to Reddit–will be lumped off in favor of three core principles: “Top Stories, Popular and Upcoming.”

Hmm, that sounds familiar. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Nobody Wants a Stupid Facebook Phone Edition

(Original photo: App Advice)

Deconstructing the myth of the “booth babe.” [Jezebel]

Speaking of myths, the Facebook phone is apparently a reality, which is a shame because nobody wants a stupid Facebook phone. [Bloomberg]

Roku continues getting cozy with pay TV, raises $45 million from News Corps. and BSkyB. [TechCrunch]

Kevin Rose on the new Betaworks incarnation of Digg: “It’s very simple, and there’s a lot of emphasis on real-time.” Version one of the new Digg is set to debut in one week. [GigaOm]

Google is livestreaming its announcement about rolling out a fiber network in Kansas City today. [Google]

Zynga shares tumbled 42 percent yesterday; not even gullible mothers taking care of virtual crops can fix that. [Bloomberg]