Who says majoring in English is worthless? A leaked job listing from a Columbia English major listserv obtained by Salon proves that even professional wordsmiths can delve into the star-studded startup world. You could toil away at a publishing company for $25,000 a year, or you could work at the hot new startup from self-described brainiac and actor/investor Ashton Kutcher.
Launched just two weeks ago, the Los Angeles-based social networking startup Pheed has already seen a fair amount of ink spilled over it, perhaps most notably in a Forbes piece which wondered if the hyped platform was “the new Twitter.” With an iPhone app released today, that buzz is bound to build. But O.D. Kobo, a longtime internet entrepreneur and Pheed’s cofounder, argues that these comparisons are moot, and that Pheed is in fact blazing a brave new trail in the social networking world.
“I read one journalist compare us to App.net,” he told Betabeat, sounding slightly mystified. “We’re original. I think that’s obvious.”
Alley vs. Valley vs. Beach
As residents of Silicon Alley (a clever knockoff of California’s original Silicon Valley), we don’t have much room to mock other cities around the country for attempting to claim a piece of the tech pie all for themselves. But we couldn’t help but notice in a Wall Street Journal real estate feature that Los Angeles–despite the fact that it’s already well-known for being the entertainment capital of the world–is still trying to make “Silicon Beach” a thing. SMH.
Say it ain’t so! It appears that New York will be losing one of its two Winklevii. TMZ reports (via TechCrunch) that Tyler Winklevoss will be picking up stakes for Silicon Beach, to launch the West Coast outpost of the twins’ aptly named VC firm, Winklevoss Capital. (Cameron will be holding down the fort here in Manhattan.)
And since he can’t live in some hovel, the twins have purchased an ultra-modern home high in the Hollywood Hills, for a mere $18 million. Careful, gentlemen–that $65 million settlement won’t last forever, especially since part of it was paid in Facebook stock.
The Third Degree
In the past couple weeks, two startups from Science (the Betaworks of Los Angeles!) have tried to break into the New York City market, so it seemed like high time we gave Mike Jones, the CEO of Science and former CEO of MySpace, a call.
The Betaworks comparison refers to the fact that Science, which raised $10 million last November, uses its capital to “take deeper equity relationships” in startups than a typical VC firm, Mr. Jones said over the phone, noting similarities to Obvious Corp. and Idealab as well.
Science both launches its own companies and is intimately involved with the operations of the businesses it invests in. Like Betaworks, Science also eschews the i-word—i.e. “incubator”—opting for the more Hollywood-appropriate “studio.”
Never fear, cowering citizens of Los Angeles. The Department of Homeland Security is here to keep you safe . . . from wise-cracking British tourists with a penchant for gossip.
According to BoingBoing, DHS paperwork shows that one Leigh Van Bryan was matched to the agency’s “One Day Lookout” program–a computer-generated list, typically used to monitor individuals on the official terror watch list–based on a couple tweets about his impending trip to L.A.. Upon arrival, Mr. Bryan was placed under oath, denied entry, and deported back to the U.K.
The reason? Joke tweets about digging up Marilyn Monroe’s grave and 1,000 percent sincere plans to destroy America.