Microsoft “accidentally” sent a DMCA takedown notice to Google, asking them to remove pages from TechCrunch, the BBC, Wikipedia and the U.S. Government. Psst… no one cares that much about Windows 8. [TorrentFreak]
Companies are using patents to stifle innovation and the Times is ON IT. [New York Times]
Is EBay staging a pivot? [TechCrunch]
Whoa, you can raise money for a company without Kickstarter? Mind blown. [TechCrunch]
Jack Dorsey apparently got pushed to a backseat role at Twitter because he’s “difficult” to work with. [SiliconBeat]
Speaking of Twitter, who knew CEO Dick Costolo used to be a standup comedian? [New York Times]
The government of Germany is urging citizens to stop using Internet Explorer–at least until a security hole you could drive a Volkswagen through is fixed. But who goes back to IE once they’ve switched, even for a couple of days? [Reuters]
If you must patent troll, it’s important to get a few basic technological details correct. GitHub and Rackspace are different entities. [Wired]
It’s official–tech companies including Amazon, Yahoo, and Facebook are joining forces to form The Internet Association, their very own lobbying shop. [TNW]
Do not shell out $1,600 on eBay just to have the iPhone 5 a few days early. That would make you a chump. [CNET]
A visit to the Ace Hotel: “‘I’m just trying to figure out who those people are and do they have jobs,’ said Chip Morrow, a lawyer from Memphis, staying at the hotel while trying a prescription drug case. ‘I mean, I see laptops everywhere but I can’t figure out what everybody’s doing.’” [Marketplace]
eBay announced on its blog today that it has acquired Svpply, the NYC-based social shopping site that curates personalized collections of clothing and products. Located on Broome Street in Soho, Svpply raised $550,000 in seed funding back in 2010 from investors like Founders Collective, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Dennis Crowley and Jason Hirschhorn. Since then, Svpply has been bootstrapping itself to 620,000 product views per week and 140,000 registered members (as of May).
Last May, founder Ben Pieratt offered a candid perspective on first-time entrepreneurship, admitting his vulnerability. ”I have zero experience or expertise in building a company,” he wrote in a 2011 blog post. “So I’m learning on the fly.”
Put a Spell on You
We were delighted to learn yesterday that it’s possible to purchase a magic spell on eBay that will merge your soul with that of a dragon. However, in the process of researching the Very Important subject of paranormal goods on the ecommerce site, we reached out to an eBay representative regarding the legality of listing these items.
Put a Spell on You
Unlucky in money matters and possessing a startling lack of unicorn-like abilities, Betabeat was delighted to discover that magic spells are available for bidding and purchase on eBay. Users like starlightoddities are peddling magic like “CUSTOM SPELL FOR NYMPH GIRLFRIEND magic haunted sex love lust genie WORKS FAST” and “POWERFUL MAGIC SPELL-SPIRIT OF THE UNICORN haunted magick WEALTH, LOVE, FRIENDS.”
Yuk it up all you want, nonbelievers, but starlightoddities has 100 percent positive user feedback. “fast shipping, just waiting for the energy at the moment,” raved one customer. “Best spellcaster of all time!!!” declared another.
The distinction between business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies is fading. Betcha dollars to donuts that “big data” is involved. [New York Times]
Ebay is testing out a same-day delivery service. For when that drunken online shopping purchase just won’t wait. [TechCrunch]
Get ready to be slightly freaked out by the runaway success of Huawei, China’s massive telecoms-equipment company. [Economist]
The Curiosity Rover is now on Mars, roving about for science. [Wall Street Journal]
Nobody had any questions for Facebook Questions. [SlashGear]
Last month, DUMBO-based e-commerce platform Etsy redesigned their popular wedding section, a “combination of wedding items, trends, how-to’s, expert advice and the stories of real couples.” The sleek redesign, which was rolled out in conjunction with a wedding registry, was meant to showcase designs from a variety of contributors, but according to the Daily Dot, that’s not what happened at all.
A few weeks ago, The Observer first broke the news that eBay closed a deal for the entire third floor of 625 Avenue of the Americas at 18th Street to use it as an outpost for Hunch, the recommendation engine that eBay purchased last November. The company finally made the announcement official today and the Read More
Seed Stage Slaughter
Earlier today, the Boston Business Journal broke the news that Rue La La, private shopping and flash sales site, was going to lay off nearly half of its 200-person staff and had already let go of 30 people today. Betabeat heard that across the country, local teams have closed their doors. Now the Boston Globe, has confirmation from the company that it is cutting 60 people from a staff of 550 people.
Rue La La, a Boston-based company founded in 2008, is operated by a parent company called Retail Convergence Inc. The Business Journal reported that Retail Convergence plans to close down SmartBargains.com, a separate discount site, and merge it into Rue La La. “They [Rue La La] certainly have a better brand than Smartbargains,” noted Fashism founder Brooke Mooreland when reached for comment.
The company told the Globe, that it plans on “outsourcing our sales force and consolidating SmartBargains.com into Rue La La…These moves unfortunately resulted in the elimination of some staff positions.”
Annals of Ebay
Hey corporations and social media addicts: you do not want to miss this opportunity.
Nick Symmonds, a 2012 Olympian and member of the U.S. Track and Field Team currently ranked no. 1 in the U.S. for 800 meters, is subsidizing his training with an eBay auction. The Oregon runner announced yesterday he plans to wear a temporary tattoo with the auction winner’s Twitter handle on his left shoulder.