Data Thieves

Signal-Blocking Phone Case Might Keep the Government From Finding You, You Special Snowflake

For sale. (Photo:

A new phone case promises to protect your mobile device better than a refrigerator does, according to VentureBeat.

The OFF Pocket is “Untrackable. Unhackable. Undistractable,” its website insists. It blocks 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, keeping prying eyes away from your data and also pretttttty much turning your phone into a paper weight. Read More

Kickstart It

After Glowing Plant Project, Kickstarter Bans Offering Genetically Modified Organisms as Rewards

(Photo: Kickstarter)

Futurists on Reddit are up in arms about a recent update to Kickstarter’s project guidelines that states that creators can’t offer “genetically modified organisms” to backers as a reward for donating to the project.

The rule change, instituted on July 31st, comes on the heels of the uber-successful funding of the Glowing Plants project in June, which uses “synthetic biology and Genome Compiler’s software” to create “sustainable natural lighting.” Creator Anthony Evans and team are currently offering glowing plant seeds as a reward to backers who pony up $40 or more. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Spike Lee Joins Kickstarter to Fund New Project That’s Not A Veronica Mars Movie

Kickstarter user, Spike Lee. (Photo: Flickr/Thomas Rome)

Hoping to emulate the success of Veronica Mars, multipurpose man Spike Lee is also turning to Kickstarter to fund an upcoming project of his. According to the project’s most #blessed description, he’s seeking $1.25 million in funding to craft some new “joint” because he’s sick of Hollywood’s propensity to ignoring independent film makers, like him.

The Read More

Kickstart or Kill

Someone’s Trying to Raise $100K on Kickstarter for a Bitcoin Movie

This is what a Bitcoin user looks like.

Surely this is some sort of startup Singularity: Someone is trying to raise $100,000 via Kickstarter in order to make a documentary that would educate the world about Bitcoin and its global “socioeconomic impact.”

Says one interviewee featured in the sizzle reel, “There should be a lot more documentaries because of the complexity of how Bitcoin works.”

Sounds riveting. Read More


Booting Up: 63 Tech Companies are Publishing a Letter Calling for More NSA Transparency

More people prefer him. (Photo: Netflix)

Several dozen tech companies, including Google, Apple and Facebook, are jointly publishing a letter calling on the NSA to be more transparent. [AllThingsD]

Verizon’s raked in $30 billion in revenue and added 1 million in new subscribers in the second quarter if you were worried about them. [USA Today]

Ouya is embarking on a new $1 million Kickstarter campaign. The Android-powered gaming console will match donations between $50,000 and $250,000 but developers who accept the money must make their games exclusive to Ouya for six months. [The Verge]

Lonely Planet is laying off several employees across the world and shifting its digital offices from Melbourne, Australia to bucolic Nashville. [Skift]

More people are supposedly watching old television series, like Mad Men, than Netflix’s original programs such as House of Cards.  [Wall Street Journal]

XXX in Tech

With Another NSFW Kickstarter Clone Launching, There’s No Excuse To Be Tired of Internet Porn

A typical project on Fan Fund XXX.

Apparently “Kickstarter but for porn” is the new “Netflix for [insert noun here].” Another new crowd-funded website aimed at libidinous content creators looking to craft their own DIY porn launched today. It’s called Fan Fund XXX (NSFW if the XXX didn’t alert you) and it only has three projects listed so far, including a porn parody of the movie Saw. Read More

Kickstart It

Kickstarter Admits It Was ‘Wrong’ to Host Redditor’s Creepy Dating Book, Bans ‘Seduction Guides’

Mr. Hoinsky (Screenshot: Kickstarter)

In a post published to the Kickstarter blog today, the New York-based crowdfunding platform wrote that it was “wrong” to allow a controversial dating book published by a Redditor to collect funded on Kickstarter. The book, which many have called a “rape manual,” included several passages that suggested men make unwanted advances on women, though its creator insists the quotes were taken out of context.

The book, to be published by Redditor Ken Hoinsky, raised over $16,000 on Kickstarter. Despite calling it “abhorrent,” Kickstarter initially declined to remove it, stating that “the material on Reddit did not warrant the irreversible action of canceling the project.” Read More

Kickstart It

Kickstarter Thinks Redditor’s Creepy Dating Book Is ‘Abhorrent,’ But Declines to Remove It

Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 6.16.02 PM

In a statement provided to Betabeat, the powers that be at Kickstarter announced that they will not be taking down the project for Redditor Ken Hoinsky’s dating advice book, which contains unsettling suggestions for how to treat women, including “grab her hand and put it right on your dick.” The book, called Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome With Women, far surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal and promises to compile much of the dating advice the prolific Mr. Hoinsky has published to Reddit over the years. Read More