The FDA is ordering Google-backed 23andMe to stop selling its personalized DNA tests because it doubts the products are backed by science. [USA Today]
If we’re judging by follower counts, likes and comments then ads on Instagram are working. [Digiday]
Flipboard is reportedly close to securing a $50 million funding round. [Fortune]
Blackberry’s COO and CMO have been fired, which is probably an early Christmas gift for them. [Business Insider]
Could Best Buy’s #VineinLine campaign on Twitter for Black Friday lead to people recording their fights and using the hashtag to promote them? Hopefully not! [AllThingsD]
It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
Remember Ashton Kutcher, the huggable moptop from such comedy hits as Dude, Where’s My Car?, and That ’70s Show? Well, forget him. Forget he ever existed. Because the real Ashton Kutcher eats, sleeps and breathes tech and he always has, dummy.
You might have heard about the rollicking farce Mr. Kutcher is currently promoting, a film called Jobs. His part as the eponymous Steve Jobs “marks the all-in moment” solidifying his involvement in the tech world, CNet tells us. His foray into the industry began, of course, with his stint as “a popular Twitter user,” because that’s how all the greats get their start in tech.
The Wall Street Journal says that yes, the Facebook Reader is a real thing, and the company has been working on it for over a year. It’s probably more of a recommendation engine than an RSS product, and it reportedly “resembles” Flipboard.
The justification? Keeping those eyeballs on the page longer, meaning more engagement, meaning more ad dollars:
NASDAQ cops to “arrogance” and “overconfidence” in the lead-up to the Facebook IPO. [Wall Street Journal]
When will people learn that you can’t sue Google for linking to something embarrassing? Otherwise the search engine would be worthless. [TechDirt]
Teens lie about what they do on the Internet. In other news, the sun rose in the east this morning. [TG Daily]
Conde Nast mags including Wired and The New Yorker are cooling on Flipboard, just as the Times ramps up its relationship. [AdAge]
A team of scientists managed to hack RSA’s supposedly ultra-safe SecurID 800 security device, which we assume means more than a few Wall Street IT pros are being pulled into emergency planning meetings right this minute. [Ars Technica]
Microsoft buys Yammer, to the surprise of absolutely no one. [Microsoft Blog]
How does one properly convey just how miffed you are by a newspaper’s attempt to make money? By starting a blog post thusly, “Fuckers I am so sick of reporting on incremental tech news for fucking two years now.”
So began TechCrunch blogger Alexia Tsotsis’ invective-laced late-night rant about the New York Times decision to bring its paywall over to Flipboard, written, if Ms. Tsotsis is to be believed, “in between the downing of tonight’s two bottles of wine.”
Having already succeeded in building two of the most spectacularly successful Internet companies of the modern age–PayPal and YouTube–what on earth do you do next? We’d be inclined to buy an island and never touch a computer again, but that’s not the plan for Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who just announced that their digital magazine building platform, Zeen, will roll out next week.
Zeen is a part of AVOS, an Internet company helmed by the duo that acquired bookmarking tool De.licious last year. Precious little info is known about the mysterious Zeen. “Discover and create beautiful magazines,” reads the sparse splash page.
Perhaps the biggest hints about Zeen’s ethos come from its Facebook page, where avid fans have been posting about beta testing and wanting more information since April.
The popular iPad reading app Flipboard just announced integration with Google+, the latest service on top of Facebook, Twitter, Readability, SoundCloud, LinkedIn, and others that plug in to create the dynamic, customized digital magazine. But while the news tasted sweet to Flipboard, it was sour for one of Flipboard’s prospective partners: The Fancy, the social photo sharing and shopping app that is one of New York’s rising stars.
Betabeat obtained what appear to be screenshots from The Fancy for Flipboard, which has not been released. Flipboard allegedly commissioned the app in January, according to a source, and would have been The Fancy’s first API customer. The source speculated that Flipboard prioritized its Pinterest integration first. (Pinterest is a The Fancy competitor.)
Flipboard may still be planning to introduce The Fancy integration. We’ve reached out to Fancy and Flipboard for comment and will update if we hear back. (UPDATE: Joe Einhorn of The Fancy declined to comment on Flipboard, but he said The Fancy does have an API and is working with partners. Said Flipboard: “We think the Fancy is doing great work and hope to work with them at some time. We are heads down right now with several new additions to Flipboard.”) In the meantime, check out what The Fancy on Flipboard would have, or will eventually, look like.
UPDATE: The FTC said, via Twitter, that it does not plan to investigate Mr. Kutcher.
With the scintillating cover line “Forget Hollywood: Ashton Kutcher is Silicon Valley’s Secret Weapon,” the latest issue of Details tries to make the case that @aplusk is an investor first and an actor second. No surprise here, after all Mr. Kutcher recently described the kind of mentorship he offers start-ups in his portfolio, telling TechCrunch:
“There are certain people in the media world that can be really, really influential to a company. And I can kind of get a return phone call from most people that I place a call to. That level of introduction for people when they’re first starting out a company can become extremely valuable.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Kutcher his “extremely valuable” skill may end up running him afoul of the feds, reports Bits blog‘s Nick Bilton.