HBOKAY

Kara Swisher Has a Cameo Role in HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’

Ms. Swisher on set. (Photo: Twitter.com/karaswisher)

Tech and entertainment junkies alike are practically frothing at the mouths over the premier of Silicon Valley, which debuts at South by Southwest today — and it turns out the show will have some Easter eggs in store for tech types.

Co-creator Mike Judge said the new show will be the anti-Entourage, which could be good or bad (but definitely not as bad as Betas, sry Amazon) on Friday during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Read More

rumor has it

AllThingsD Editors Reportedly Near Deal With NBCUniversal to Fund New Site

Shades on. (Photo: Google+)

When AllThingsD completes its diaspora from parent company News Corp. early next year, NBCUniversal is reportedly going to invest in the revamped, renamed tech blog and conference business.

Bloomberg reports that a deal has been struck among editors Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher and the Comcast-owned company to bring over much of its current staff when the website starts anew in January.

Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Instagram Is Soon Going to Be Inundated With Ads

150 million of these people! (Photo: Hashgram)

150 million people are using Instagram each month, with about half of those photos being a cocktail pressed against a sunset. Now the app is seeking advertisers to capitalize off it. [Wall Street Journal]

Spotify lost $177 million last year so of course the streaming service thinks it’s worth a $5.27 billion valuation. [Billboard]

Could millennial’s relationship with Tinder be on the rocks? Usage of the app from people aged 18 to 24 decreased 20 percent since the beginning of the year. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Everyone can shut up about Amazon releasing a free smartphone because it’s not happening. *side eye* [The Verge]

Michael Wolff <3′s Kara Swisher. [USA Today]

Linkages

Booting Up: Groupon Names its Interim CEO as its Real CEO

Groupon.

The S.S. Groupon might be finally veering into steadier waters: The daily deal site deleted the interim tag from Eric Lefkofsky’s name, meaning it finally has a CEO. That sent shares up 20 percent. [AllThingsD]

YouTube founders are releasing their own Vine and Instagram competitor today called MixBit. It appears easier to edit videos than the other two apps and lets users record a full 16 seconds of film. [New York Times]

Bebo’s back! Site founder Michael Birch released a weird video celebrating its return proclaiming “The new Bebo will be very different from the old one” then showed some phallic artwork. [Business Insider]

Facebook is trying out a trending topics section. [TechCrunch]

Kara Swisher, a former Washington Post employee, has some unsolicited advice for its new owner Jeff Bezos. [AllThingsD]

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Zuckerbergs in Budapest, Naveen’s API and at Least One Tumblr Engineer Is Super Stoked to Now Work for Yahoo

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Yahoo! for Yahoos! We’ve found a leading candidate for the single person happiest to hear that Yahoo was acquiring Tumblr. No, we’re not talking about CEO David Karp.

Meet Tumblr engineer Jeremy Johnstone. He used to work for Yahoo, and, apparently, the company retains a place of pride in his heart. In fact, he still wears Yahoo gear so constantly that one of his colleagues (the parent of Tommy Pom, no less) has created an entire Tumblr–”Jeremy’s Yahoo Wardrobe”–to chronicle his displays of loyalty.

For example, here is the bright purple car covered in Yahoo decals that he drove in 2007. Here is his Halloween costume from 2006, when he dressed up as the Yahoo logo. And then there are his many company t-shirts. Love is a beautiful thing, you guys. Read More

Cordcutting

HBO’s New Tactic for Promoting Game of Thrones? Courting Techies

Sure. (Photo: Hashgram)

As HBO drums up promotion of the upcoming season of Games of Thrones, the premium cable network is trying a different approach: cozying up with the digerati. (Historically, HBO has greeted the Internet much Night’s Watch would approach a horde of White Walkers.)

Last week, the cabler held elaborate Games of Thrones-themed events in techie hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle–home base to Internet giants like Amazon, Google, Netflix prone to disrupting the archaic television distribution process. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Writing Slideshows About Hot Tech Ladies Sucks, But ‘It’s Hard to Say No to $500′

SMDH (Photo: Complex)

40 Sexist Stereotypes It was not a great week for women in tech. Between the Adria Richards fracas and Complex deciding the best way to contribute to the discourse was to throw up a slideshow of the “40 Hottest Women in Tech,” it’s almost as if the takeaway from Sheryl Sandberg’s book was Lean In… with yer boobs. The good news is that in order for the gender disparity in tech to shrink, we need to have conversations like this–even if they turn ugly or mean-spirited or upsetting. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: When Is Alexis Ohanian Gonna Run for Office Already?

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Your Name Here A Silicon Valley source had the pleasure of dining near Path cofounder Dave Morin and his wife, Brit.co founder Brit Morin recently. Mr. Morin spoke about the future of Path while Ms. Morin, a DIY enthusiast, used crayons provide by the restaurant to doodle on the paper table cloth, said the source. There were rainbows, flowers and balloons, but our favorite was a drawing of the Brit.co logo, with “Morin” written underneath and an arrow pointed towards Ms. Morin (just in case the restaurant staff didn’t recognize her). That’s one way to disrupt advertising, we suppose. Our tipster was kind enough to snap a pic on their way out.

Happy Internet, Mr. President Twice this week in conversation with tech types, Betabeat was asked when Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian was running for office already. The 29-year-old credited with helping to defeat SOPA/PIPA already toured the country (in a bus once leased for John McCain’s  “Straight Talk Express”) running for president of the Internet. But with Sheryl Sandberg hot on his heels, isn’t it time to start campaigning for the real thing? Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Kevin Ryan Is a Ping Pong Champ and AllThingsD Knows All About Mustache Rides

We'll use this as an artist's rendering. (Photo: flickr.com/lac-bac)

Silicon Alley Smackdown One of the many tech events on rain delay because of Hurricane Sandy was the Big Apple Smackdown ping pong tournament, whose guest list included an impressive number of familiar names from the New York tech scene. (Betabeat is one of the media sponsors, so we may be a little biased.) Among the techno-athletes scheduled to play was Gilt Groupe CEO–and soon-to-be Gilt Groupe chairmanKevin Ryan. Apparently, we missed quite a show.

The tournament was scheduled for Sunday, “and I played on Friday and on Sunday just to get ready for it!” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat. Really? “Oh yeah, because I won a tournament about a month ago.” That was an invitation-only affair for ping pong ringers at the Hamptons manse of ABC Carpet & Home’s Ken Pilot. “You had to put $100 into the pot and the winner got two-thirds of the pot, so I was pretty excited about that,” Mr. Ryan enthused. Read More

Frankenstorm

Hurricane Sandy Ruined Every New York Tech Party

Cheryl Mills (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

A lot of startups are letting their employees work from home for the next few days because of hurricane Sandy. That’s all swell news, but those members of New York’s tech scene who were supposed to go out and party or sit through conferences are screwed. Tech events are getting cancelled left and right, though some scene luminaries don’t seem to mind.

AllThingsD’s “D: Dive Into Mobile” conference has been postponed until a later date that will be announced as soon as possible. The event had originally been set for tomorrow and Tuesday in New York City. If you booked a room at the Ritz Carlton (looking at you, VC’s), the hotel is apparently giving full refunds and waiving cancellation fees. Speakers like Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy and Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, will just have to wait until another day to make their speeches. Read More