The Year Observed
Edward Snowden, wringing his hands out in the sink and grabbing a towel, said his “mission’s already accomplished” in terms of disrupting everything. [Washington Post]
Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey is adding another job to his resume: joining Disney’s board of directors. Shareholders will vote on the appointment in March. [AdWeek]
Whatever the hell is going on at BlackBerry isn’t good. It shelved plans to release two new phones and axed its annual conference event. [The Verge]
The inside of an Amazon warehouse looks exactly how you imagined. [AllThingsD]
In response to the City of Seattle wanting to cancel Uber from operating, the on-demand car app is offering Alaska Airlines customers credits from downtown to the airport.[Seattle Times]
today in travel
Snapchat’s Staying Power
Despite being a picture-messaging app whose missives disappear in seconds, Snapchat made clear that it wants to stay on the tech scene for years to come.
Invented by fraternity brothers at Stanford University in 2011, the start-up is still profitless, but it hasn’t lacked for buzz in 2013—or controversy. In February, Snapchat achieved the ultimate start-up status symbol by being embroiled in a lawsuit by a spurned frenemy named Reggie Brown. He claimed that founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy stole the idea from him, in a Social Network-esque lawsuit.
Are you ever in the middle of a strange city looking for something to do that isn’t going to Madame Tussauds for the third time? You might be interested in Peek’s new app, which takes the same travel experiences as seen on the site but now makes them available to instantly purchase.
The San Francisco-based, Jack Dorsey-funded travel company released the app today for iOS that is targeting a different part of the travel sector: booking activities. They’re chosen by a team of fancy tastemakers (like recreating Adrian Grenier’s “perfect day” in New York!) and the app’s travel team to curate a list of things to do. Peek users can book tours in 17 U.S. cities and two European cities (London and Paris).
The Social Network Effect
Today Twitter, all primped and polished, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was welcomed with open arms, the stock promptly popping from the initial price of $26 to $45.10. And, of course, there was a small army of photographers ready to capture every moment.
Behold, scenes from the morning–with a little color commentary from Betabeat.
Here’s Jack Dorsey, presumably counting down the moments until he can buy every piece of train memorabilia anyone’s ever even thought about putting up for sale:
As soon as the first juicy excerpt of Nick Bilton’s Twitter creation story hit the Internet, people tweeted their little hearts out expressing their hope for a Social Network-esque movie based on the book.
Well, here’s a rumor to keep that pot boiling. Regarding turning Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal into a film, “interest is swirling at Sony and several other major Hollywood studios,” TechCrunch reports.
It’s profile season! Last week, we were treated to an excerpt of Hatching Twitter, NYT reporter Nick Bilton’s history of the company. Well, the New Yorker has just debuted a profile of Jack Dorsey that pushes back against the Times‘ implication that the Square founder is really just a genius at a) packaging himself and b) preening.
At this rate, once someone uncovers the mystery of the missing Biz Stone, the inevitable movie version will have to be less The Social Network, more Rashomon.
Ah, Silicon Valley, where the proverbial sun is always shining and everyone walks around with proverbial murder in his heart. Nick Bilton’s history of Twitter isn’t out for a few weeks, but this weekend we’re getting preview, thanks to an excerpt in the New York Times Magazine.
It reads like a condensed Game of Thrones installment, if you replaced all the blood and sex with podcasting, and it’s not especially flattering to self-styled wunderkind Jack Dorsey. (And there’s nary a quote from the man in the whole piece.)
Sometimes, when news is slow, Betabeat likes to imagine what the tech elite would be like should they appear on Bravo’s hugely successful reality TV franchise The Real Housewives. Would Sean Parker throw a glass at Zuck? Would Brit Morin flip her arts and crafts table in a fit of rosé rage? Will Elon Musk disappear for Read More
Jack of all trades If you recently moved to a new apartment and are looking for some non-Ikea works to spruce up the place, Twitter cofounder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has just the item for you. The creative Mr. Dorsey has put a pencil drawing he did up for sale on Square’s marketplace. For just $1,000, you can own a 4-panel pencil sketch of a gingko leaf, appropriately signed by “@jack.” But you might want to wipe that sneer off your face: the proceeds go directly to Charity:Water, so we don’t think Mr. Dorsey will be launching a personal moneymaking venture as an artist anytime soon.
Staid millionaire Jack Dorsey has a bit of a rebellious streak!
Last week, Mr. Dorsey–as he’s previously done a few times–posted a video of his jet taking off from San Francisco. That’s a no-no since the FAA claims the use of electronics is prohibited since they think it causes interferences with the plane’s radio signals. That means the Twitter creator was acting very naughty!