Office Space

SoundCloud Opens NYC Office as an International Rally Point

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Another international tech giant has put down roots in Silicon Alley. This morning, Berlin-based audio platform SoundCloud opened their New York City offices — their largest office in the United States.

In the new 5th Avenue location, engineers and audio technicians will work alongside marketing and sales staff. New York City has the kind of talent pool that allows a company like sound cloud to hire both technical staff and creative professionals, which is vital for a tech company that offers a platform for artists. Read More

It's the Cops!

LAPD Adds a Couple of Drones To Its Arsenal, Tells Public Not To Be Alarmed

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When drug runners started using drones to scout out marijuana growing fields that were ripe for the raiding, it was only a matter of time before the police nabbed a couple for themselves.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently added two small camera-equipped, remote control helicopters to their arsenal, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The drones were a gift from the Seattle Police Department, who quickly changed their minds about the drones as soon as everyone in Seattle freaked out about having little police helicopters flying around. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Columbia English Majors, Ashton Kutcher Wants YOU for His New ‘Consumer-Oriented’ Startup

(Photo: Venture Village)

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. Read More

Disruptions

Pheeding Phrenzy: New Star-Studded Social Network Pheed Launches an iPhone App

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Mr. Kobo (Photo: Admin5)

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.” Read More

Alley vs. Valley vs. Beach

Tech Execs Spend Their World-Changing Billions in the Land of Smog and Nose Jobs

The new Winklevoss pad. (Photo: TMZ)

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. Read More

Tech Celebs

The Winklevoss Twins Buy a Hollywood Hills Bachelor Pad, Reportedly Prepare to Invade L.A.

That's quite a view. (Photo: TMZ

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.

Says TMZ: Read More

The Third Degree

The One Thing Startups From L.A. Have in Common

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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.” Read More

Fail Whale

U.K. Man Deported From L.A. For Joke Tweet About Destroying America

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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. Read More