Science Rules

At the Rose Center for Earth and Space, First Comes the Dream; Then, the Soon-To-Be Reality

(Photo: Brooke Hammerling, Instagram)

Last night, gangs of glammed-out New York techies and science enthusiasts trekked uptown to the Rose Center for Earth and Space to take in a stunningly optimistic program presented by Gizmodo and the American Museum of Natural History. The event was planned and hosted by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton (with the help of Brew PR), who appeared so eager about the “celebration of technology and discovery” that he tweeted about it numerous times prior to the event, published a grandiose blog post on Gizmodo reveling in the glorious achievements of science, and sent out an email to attendees: “This evening should be inspiring and fun,” he wrote.

“I’ve never seen Nick so excited for a social event,” one colleague remarked.

And who could begrudge Mr. Denton his excitement? The event was everything he claimed it would be–and perhaps more, depending on how many free cocktails you indulged in. Hosted by Ellen V. Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Mr. Denton himself, the gathering was as swank and inspiring as expected. Read More

Commenting Wars

Sound Familiar? Gawker’s New Commenting Threads are Called ‘Branches’

Mr. Denton (flickr.com/scriptingnews)

After a week of closed commenting sections, Gawker released its new commenting system today, and it’s a doozy. Nieman Lab has a great rundown of the changes, including a computer algorithm that sifts through the comments and looks for ones to feature, as well as “a new inbox [that] focuses attention on all replies to a user’s comments… the original commenter must explicitly approve a reply to allow it into the conversation.”

Nieman Lab reports that the proprietary system is officially called Powwow, but interestingly enough, the actual discussion threads themselves are called “branches.” Read More

The Third Degree

Gawker’s Ryan Tate On How You Can Do 20 Percent Time Better Than The GOOG

Mr. Tate

After years of reading Ryan Tate’s piercing coverage on the free time and foibles of Silicon Valley’s demigods at Gawker, Betabeat finally had the pleasure of making his acquaintance the other night. Spoiler alert: He might be the nicest dude in tech blogging, despite what the press releases regurgitation factories would have you think. Mr. Tate’s former pen pal Steve Jobs probably put it best: “He’s no dummy.”

We also had a chance to peruse his new book “The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business,” which takes its title and subject matter from Google’s much-admired practice of letting employees spent a fifth of their work week building whatever they want to. Like, say, multi-billion dollar revenue streams like AdSense or lifelines like Gmail. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: We Can’t Stop Turntabling

rumormonger

TURNTABLE.FM PARTY CRASHED! On Thursday, New Work City had the rockin’est Turntable.fm DJ-off and techie dance party north of the Mississippi, we’re told, despite a miscommunication in the Pepsi delivery. Turntable’s cutesy avatars were cut out and pasted on the wall behind the DJs, which included Shai Goldman, bringer of dance beats as well as Silicon Valley Bank sponsorship. “Had almost 200 people, got crashed by drunk, obstinate Obliterati around midnight,” says one attendee. “A woman who claimed be society columnist for WSJ showed up with 10 people and pretty much demanded entry. Mind you, it’s $30 at the door to get in for open bar. Women from Zaarly also showed up part of this cadre of drunken ‘VIPs’,” he scoffed. Video here, photos here. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Media, Nerds and Be-Officings

rumormonger

Osama bin Laden was the talk of Twitter today, wasn’t he, and we regret to say none of these rumors are bin Laden-based. However, they are mostly about tech! Read on for office angling, kittens, and the petty trials of internet mad men.

OFFICE SHUFFLE. Many tenant shakeups at the NYU-Poly incubator today, we hear from a source, “mainly because the biggest tenant, Ecological, moved in to their own office.” Finally–Ecological announced its intention to move months ago; companies had been itching to move into their old space. The freshly be-officed start-ups include Weeels (carpooling, “social transit”), BestVendor.com (social recommendations), and “Two Lines and a Dot,” a consulting company that uses NYU-Poly students as labor. “Not really a tech company, as I understand,” source tells us. Read More