Booting Up: Stop Talking About Ditching Email Edition

You're welcome for the Comic Sans. (Photo: American Treasure Tour)

Here’s the new Amazon Kindle. It has a “paperwhite” backlit display. [The Verge]

Facebook set to launch email and phone number-based ad targeting this week which is only mildly creepy. [TechCrunch]

Fantasizing about ditching email is porn for tech people, basically. [Planet Krypton]

Reddit tackles the important questions: “If you have one GIF to represent you on your tombstone when you die, what would it be?” [Reddit]

Netflix video streaming accounts for 25 percent of all Internet data transmitted in North America. But it’s so worth it for all those Arrested Development marathons. [Yahoo]

Fun with GIFs

GIFs Infiltrate Advertising in Relentless March Toward Total Domination of All Communication


Is there any dusty corner of the Internet isolated from the fervor of the GIF craze? Now it appears that these mesmerizing mini-movies have crept into advertising. Take, for example, an email that the Standard Hotel’s Miami outpost just sent, which employs the best tool for the visual communication since the advent of the emoticon to trumpet its yoga offerings.

The email contains little besides four GIFs, two of which we’ve provided here: Read More

Summer Fun

Happy Birthday, Internet! We Would Like to Thank You For…

12 Photos

And of course... GIFs.

Wired pointed us to the fact that on this day in 1991, “the world wide web became publicly available for the first time.” Father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee posted an introductory post to the alt.hypertext Usenet group on August 7, 1991, and all at once another world was born: one where we’d be able to see each other’s faces without being near them and join with like-minded people to geek out about shit and–of course–watch lots and lots of free porn. Read More

Summer Fun

FYI, You Can Insert Animated GIFs Into Emails With Gmail

Picture 3

Hey guys, what’s up? Cool. Nothing’s really going on here at Betabeat, except that we just learned the best thing ever: In Gmail, you can insert animated GIFs into emails. Wooo.

This is a total game changer, communication-wise. Attaching a GIF just doesn’t possess the same panache. And what if your friends aren’t on Gchat to receive your (undoubtedly witty) IMs to Tumblr GIFs? These are serious problems that people like you and me grapple with every single day.

Read More

Technical Difficulties

Twitter Outage Caused by ‘Cascaded Bug’ and Not by Influx of GIF Avatars, as We First Suspected


Twitter has been in and out, in and out for the past three hours, and the company finally has an explanation, albeit limited to 140 characters: “Today’s outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components. We’ll provide updated information soon.” At first, we suspected this BuzzFeed service piece, which explains how to make any animated GIF your Twitter avatar.

Twitter’s policy explicitly prohibits animated GIF avatars, probably to avoid having the site go all Myspace on everybody or maybe because pulsing and looping hurts Larry T. Bird’s tiny brain. The site started experiencing issues the day after the great GIF invasion. Did the GIFs had anything to do with it? Twitter declined to say, instead forwarding on the above tweet. There goes that theory.

Inside Jokes

Someone at Foursquare Made a Goofy Tumblr of Engineering Jokes


Guys, we’re so glad Twitter is back. How else would we find things like this little gem, tweeted out yesterday by Foursquare engineer ringleader Harry Heymann with the observation, “I think the heat in nyc melted the brains of the @foursquare eng team.” It’s #WhatShould4sqCallMe, a Tumblr devoted wholly to the trials and travails of his own staff. And while we don’t have confirmation, the call is presumably, as they say, coming from inside the house. Read More

Fun with GIFs

Animated GIF Reactions to Fast Company’s “Meet the Drapers” Profile

Hang on, we're popping popcorn.

“Can VCs be bred?” asks US Weekly Fast Company‘s recent feature on the Draper dynasty, an absurdly wealthy coterie of ski-loving venture capitalists who just so happen to share the same bloodline. The elder Drapers founded some of the most notable investment firms–perhaps you’ve heard of Draper Richards, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, or Sutter Hill Ventures? Now, the younger Drapers–Jesse, Adam and Bill, all in their 20s–are ready for their time in the spotlight, and this article serves as their coming out of sorts.

While reading the piece, we found we were at a loss for words. Several frenzied Skype messages were exchanged, each more convoluted than the last. It was best, we finally decided, to communicate in our native language in order to truly do this piece justice: it was best to communicate via GIFs. Read More

Gif It To Me

Forget the Filters, Animate Your Photos with Gifture


The humble GIF has seen a renaissance in recent years, even evolving, in some cases, into an arresting artform. Now Gifture, which just hit the App Store today, hopes to make them into an entertaining alternative to the smartphone snap.

When Gifture’s press release first landed in Betabeat’s inbox, the sight of an Instagram-like interface and the prospect of yet another social mobile photo app left us unimpressed. Then we clicked through to a sample post, only to find a charming animated image of Astoria’s elevated train at night, flickering like a silent film. Downloading the app, we discovered an feed filled what appear to be members of the Gifture team: designer James McDonald bellyflopping onto a bed; business development brain Erik Stern doing a goofy dance outside an Apple store.  Read More

Kickstart or Kill

Kickstart or Kill? Bringing Animated GIFs To Life

kill bill uma

Welcome to the first of a new series here at Betabeat. Each week we will highlight one Kickstarter project focused on technology and based in New York City. The idea is to discuss the merits of the project and dissect their approach to fundraising.

To kick things off we’ve got Physical GIF, a project that combines our favorite file type with the laser-based maker culture that percolates at places like NYC Resistor.

Treating GIFs like high-brow art isn’t a new concept, but it’s having a moment right now. Read More