Booting Up: Kim Dotcom Is Back, Baby

Mr. Dotcom. (commons.wikimedia.orgAndreas_Bohnenstengel)

Kim Dotcom’s new service, Mega, will offer users a whopping 50GB of free storage. [TNW]

Welcome to the age of the cyber arms race, folks. An Air Force official recently informed reporters that, having been caught unprepared by Stuxnet, Iran has beefed up its cyber arsenal and will soon be a “force to be reckoned with.” [Reuters]

You can now turn your Facebook data into a 3D-printed tchotchke. [Wired]

Hey iPhone users: You can make voice calls from within your Facebook Messenger app. Provided, of course, you actually use Facebook Messenger, as opposed to communicating wholly through Snapchats. [New York Times]

It seems that for all the talk of sharp-elbowed recruiting techniques in the tech world, a couple of companies–including Apple and Google–once had a gentlemen’s agreement not to poach. That’s now coming back to potentially bite them in the butt, in the form of a possible class-action lawsuit. [Reuters]


Booting Up: How Would You Like to Go on a Crazy Blind Date?

"It's called 'Crazy Blind Date.'" (Photo: Derek Rose)

Internet dating not delivering the same thrill it used to? OKCupid would like you to try out a new service called “Crazy Blind Date,” which lets users arrange to meet people they don’t know much about it. It may sound like a Kate Hudson vehicle, but we assure you it’s not. Not yet, anyway.  [AllThingsD]

A group of online anarchists, wait, sorry, archivists, released a Javascript-based bookmarklet that lets users “liberate” a public domain article from JSTOR in memorial to the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz. [ArsTechnica]

The word on Wall Street is that Michael Dell is looking at a deal to take his company private, a move which may free the PC-maker from the attentions of profit-hungry investors and give the company room to shift its strategy to better compete in mobile and cloud computing.  [Bloomberg]

The Feds says that Kim Dotcom’s entrapment claims are baseless. Mr. Dotcom says he’s going to unveil a new file-sharing service on January 19, the one-year anniversary of his arrest. [Wired]

Is Y Combinator funding the future of Windows spam? [IStartedSomething]

In case you forgot, Facebook is holding a press conference today, fueling speculation that Zuck & Co. will announce a new product. One guess: Search. [Pocket-lint]


Booting Up: Countdown to the Ashton Kutcher Jobs Film

This guy. (Photo: Screenrant)

Not only is Starbucks accepting payments via Square, the coffee conglomerate is now also selling the Square credit card reader for $10 at its retail locations. [New York Times]

Spotify has suspended its music download service in the U.K. Users can still stream music, but are sent to an unhelpful FAQ page when they attempt to purchase it. [Pocket-Lint]

Kim Dotcom says the U.S. “planted” evidence, encouraging him to keep copyrighted files on the Megaupload servers but then punishing him when he did so. [Ars Technica]

That indie Steve Jobs film, that will star Ashton Kutcher and be an inevitable flop that we will still watch anyway, is slated for release in April. Who wants to go with us? [Wall Street Journal]

The New York state comptroller is suing microchip company Qualcomm for data about its political expenditures with the hopes it can bring more transparency to corporate political spending. [New York Times]


Which Techie Ex-Pat Is the Bigger Pain in the Neck: John McAfee or Kim Dotcom?

Your move! (Photos: Instagram/Kim_Dotcom; Vice)

It’s confirmed: Antivirus pioneer John McAfee has made it out of Belize (his 20-year-old girlfriend and a couple of Vice yahoos in tow) and into Guatemala, where he is now petitioning for asylum. What’s more, according to the latest post to his blog, he would like to please meet the prime minister of Belize on neutral ground to work through their supposed “mutual issues.”

Which inspires us to wonder which techie ex-patriot is the bigger pain in the butt: McAfee, or Megaupload mastermind Kim Dotcom. If you were an immigration official required to admit one of these loudmouthed, trouble-making characters, who would you choose?

Let’s break it down: Read More


Booting Up: RIP Dailybooth Edition

Even Aplusk had a Dailybooth account. (Photo: Wikispaces)

Dailybooth, the original platform for gratuitous selfies, is shutting down. At least we’ll always have Instagram. [The Next Web]

Remember when YouTube unleashed a slew of investments in branded content channels? Now it’s doubling down and infusing even more cash in content. Pity then that we can’t recall the name of a single one of those original investments. [AdAge]

Spotify is seeking a $3 billion valuation, down from a reported $4 billion round the Times wrote about back in May. [Wall Street Journal]

The Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp–akin to San Francisco’s Dogpatch Labs–recently finished its 12-week accelerator program. Adweek surveys the companies, the program and of course, the pivots. [Adweek]

Kim Dotcom’s new site is finally live at That whole Me.Ga didn’t work out so well with the Gabon government, which owns the .Ga extension. []


Booting Up: Embarrassing Airtime Stats Edition

(Photo: 4 the Media)

Ain’t nobody can hold Kim Dotcom down. [Wired]

Celebs are flocking to a new Twitter-like site called “Pheed” which allows them to charge monthly subscriptions or pay-per-view for content. [Forbes]

Google announced a $249 lightweight, durable Chromebook that it’s hoping can begin to corner the market on inexpensive laptops. [Google]

Airtime is flailing and its user stats are pretty depressing: “AppData, a service that collects data about sites and services that connect with Facebook, indicated that Airtime had just 400 users a day and 10,000 over the course of a month, but Mr. Parker and other executives at the company suggested those figures were off. Nielsen and comScore, two independent analytics firms, both said that traffic to Airtime was so small that it did not yet register on their charts.” [New York Times]

Apple’s logo is apparently considered blasphemous in Russia. [CNET]


New Zealand PM Personally Apologizes to Kim Dotcom

Mr. Dotcom. (commons.wikimedia.orgAndreas_Bohnenstengel)

It seems the government of New Zealand may have gotten more than it bargained for with that bonkers raid on Kim Dotcom’s compound. The whole incident, which should have been a simple wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am extraction and extradition, has metastasized into a endless headache over the most banal of legalities.

For instance: It appears that Mr. Dotcom, despite his legal residency, was unlawfully spied upon by the nation’s Government Communications and Security Bureau. The cops told them it was okay, and rather than doing a little independent verification, they proceeded accordingly.

Consequently, the Prime Minister has personally apologized to Mr. Dotcom. Via Read More


Booting Up: Be Smartphone Smart Edition

Serial numbers, plz. (Photo:

Apple is reportedly attempting to poach members of the Google Maps team. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, steal ‘em. [TechCrunch]

The latest boat lifted by the rising tide of the New York tech boom: accounting firms. [Crain’s New York]

Apparently NYPD officers were stationed outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship, asking new iPhone 5 owners to register their serial numbers in case of theft. [Yahoo]

Meanwhile, in New Zealand: A court has ordered an investigation into whether Kim Dotcom was the victim of “unlawful spying.” [BBC News]