XX in Tech

Whip Your Dongle Out for ‘cumOmatic,’ a New Way to Experience Dirty Movies

SeXXXy. (screencap)

Presumably, at some point in high school you were forced to read Brave New World and, because you were an oversexed teenager, you mostly remember the part about the “feelies,” the sexy movies complete with erotic sensations.

Well, call up your sophomore English lit teacher and let him know that dystopia is nigh, because a Dutch company has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for something called the cumOmatic. It’s billed as the “first wireless ‘Feel Real Erotic Movie’ system in the world.” Read More

Planet Google

Googler Wants to Kickstart a ‘Nonviolent’ Occupy Wall Street Militia

Ms. Tunney (Photo: Twitter)

Justine Tunney is a New York-based software engineer at Google, but she’s also a prolific activist who was and continues to be instrumental to the Occupy Wall Street movement. A “transgender anarchist,” she founded OccupyWallStreet.org and continues to maintain the @OccupyWallSt Twitter handle; her Github account has an Occupy Wall Street specific repository that boasts the tagline, “Stomping out capitalism, one line of code at a time.” And she also has an interesting new approach to crowdfunding. Read More

XXX in Tech

Would You Like to Buy a ‘Wearable Smart Vibrator’ From Start-ups: Silicon Valley Star Hermione Way?

Ms. Way. (Photo: Indiegogo)

Welcome to life after Bravo: Hermione Way, erstwhile Start-ups: Silicon Valley star, is now the face of Vibease, a company that purports to make the first “wearable smart vibrator.” They’ve just launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000, and they’re already at $13,695.

Ignore the fact that “Vibease,” when you say it out loud, sounds like it has something to do with bees. Vi-BEES. Read More

XXX in Tech

Indiegogo as Blackmail: Revenge Porn Proprietor Wants $200,000 to Take Down Your Naked Pics

(Screencap: Indiegogo)

Back in April, Colorado-based revenge porn proprietor Craig Brittain promised that he would shutter his online nudes hub Is Anybody Down, feigning remorse about posting naked photos without women’s consent and even changing his Twitter bio to something so emo it’d make Taking Back Sunday proud. But shortly after declaring his intent to shut down the site, Mr. Brittain registered obamanudes.com and transferred all of Is Anybody Down’s archives there. When visitors go to isanybodydown.com, they’re greeted with a message: “Is Anybody Down is OVER! Obama Nudes has begun. http://obamanudes.com/Read More

Meme me

Goatse Email Coming to an Inbox Near You

(Photo: Indiegogo)

In November of last year, Gawker reported that the notorious gross-out site “Goatse.cx,” which showed an old man splaying open his anus for all to see, was being transitioned from a nostalgia-laden ’90s meme to an actual email service. The site’s new owner, an Australian IT consultant who goes by the moniker Jonathan, planned to offer Goatse vanity email addresses for $5 a pop. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Etsy Goes Shopping for a Twee App Maker and Dwolla Goes to the Gov

Mr. Vinh (Photo: Tumblr.com)

Shopping Site Goes Shopping Back in 2011, Khoi Vinh, the former design director for The New York Times’s website, attempted to launch an iPad collage maker called Mixel that even Taylor Swift would love. The interface was kind of clunky, and the company soon pivoted to a smoother iPhone product, which became fairly successful. And now Mixel has been acquired by the custom product giant Etsy.

No, you won’t be creating any collages of your twee collectables any time soon. According to AllThingsD, The Mixel team is being acquired for its stellar mobile talents. Mr. Vinh and his cofounder Scott Ostler, along with employees Akiva Leffert and Roy Stanfield, will all make the move to Etsy’s Brooklyn offices. Mixel will be shutting down the social side of its app, but will leave up its collage-making tool. In an email to Betabeat, Etsy CTO Kellan Elliot-McCrea explains, “We expect our mobile traffic to surpass desktop traffic by the end of 2014.”  Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Kickstarter and IndieGogo Show Off Their Metrics and Middle Schoolers Get Appy

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Kickstarted The crowdfunding king released its annual highlights for 2012 this week. And the startups is going about as gangbusters as well, an oversubscribed, blockbuster Kickstarter campaign. In 2012, 2,241,475 people pledged almost $320 million and successfully funded a little over 18,000 projects. That works out to about $606 per minute. Monetization is so much easier when it’s baked into your platform, isn’t it?

Indie No More Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo also released data for 2012. Campaigns raised 20 percent more in last year than they did in 2011 and successful campaigns took an average of 11 days preparing for their launch. Read More

Philanthropy

Hurricane Relief Goes Viral, With a Little Help From Tumblr and Indiegogo

(Photo: Indiegogo)

Sandy’s gone but techie do-gooders are still coming out of the woodwork with new relief efforts. The latest: Popular photography blog Humans of New York is devoting the next ten days to chronicling the hurricane and its impact. It’s pretty much impossible to see the images without wanting to help. And so the site is also partnering with Tumblr to raise money for the afflicted, with an Indiegogo fundraiser.

The campaign, which went live last night, is already at $92,000 raised–well on the way to the $100,000 overall goal. It’s amazing how far 6,700 Tumblr notes can get you. Read More

Icons

Why Nikola Tesla Is Your New Hacker Hero

Nikola Tesla, circa 1895. (Photo: Marc Seifer Archives)

For all the modern-day desire to emulate Steve Jobs, the heroic nerd isn’t a new American trope. As long ago as the Gilded Age, scientist Nikola Tesla was a celebrity. He lived at the Waldorf Astoria and was close friends with Mark Twain.

But he was neither entertainer nor robber baron. Rather, as the inventor of an effective alternating current system of power generation, he’d helped usher in a new, electrified era. His ambitious visions of the future (and complete lack of a filter) made great copy, meaning newspaper reporters were always eager to put him in print.

In 1901, at the height of his fame, Tesla built a laboratory in the rural farmland of Shoreham, Long Island. Dubbed Wardenclyffe, the facility was designed by Stanford White and meant to be the site of his greatest achievement yet: Intercontinental transmission of wireless radio signals. But it wasn’t to be. “Wardenclyffe was a landmark as magnificent in concept and execution as America’s Golden Age of electrical engineering ever produced,” writes Margaret Cheney in her 1981 biography Tesla: Man Out of Time—“magnificent and doomed.” Read More