Marco’s confident Tumblr made the right call: “This is clearly what David believes is best for his product. On such big decisions, he hasn’t been wrong yet. This time, though, I don’t have any doubts.” [Marco.org]
Dave Winer, on the other hand: “When you sell your company, no matter what promises were made, you sold it. It’s theirs now. They will do what they want to with it. Promises don’t matter.” [Scripting News]
Sounds like former Tumblr president John Maloney is just irked he’s being left out of the story. [Twitter]
Fab is reportedly raising a round somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million to $300 million, pushing the company’s valuation north of a billion dollars. [Wall Street Journal]
The Senate, meanwhile, says Apple dodged, oh, about $44 billion in taxes. [Politico]
Stand down, Instapaper fanatics: Betaworks has no plans to shut the service down. That was the first question out of Alexia Tsotsis’s mouth this morning at Disrupt, when she took the stage to interview CEO John Borthwick.
Wearing his ubiquitous brown corduroy jacket, Mr. Borthwick told her no, followed by an awful lot of throat-clearing.
Hawaii Zuck-O Look who ditched the hoodie (but kept the Adidas sandals). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was recently spotted indulging in a little Hawaiin R&R with wifey Priscilla Chan. US Weekly reports the pair “looked excited to be spending quality time together,” which makes sense since it’s pretty easy to be happy when you’ve escaped the maw of Silicon Valley. The Zucks also “chowed down” on something called “beachside burgers” at a “picnic table.” Stars: they’re just like us (but rich).
Twitter attempted to have a conversation about race and the tech industry yesterday. The loudest voices? White men on either side of the argument shouting each other down. What got obscured along the way was just how much pattern-matching plays into the lack of diversity in the tech industry and the people who cover it and how that holds all of us back.
They almost made Jamelle Bouie’s point for him.
In a feature for The Magazine, Mr. Bouie examined why the mastheads of tech blogs like The Next Web, The Verge, Engadget and Gizmodo were overwhelmingly white and male. Rather than “overt racism,” he found a prohibitive combination of dependence on unpaid internships–and the network effect of a wired boys club whose members sometimes seem to be talking solely for each other’s benefit.
Instapaper proprietor Marco Arment has launched an iPad magazine called The Magazine. It will “often, but not always, be about technology,” and it’ll run four articles (solicited just for the magazine) every two weeks. What happens when you Instapaper those articles is not clear. [Marco.org]
That latest update to Google StreetView adds a whopping 250,000 miles. Included are locations like Catherine Palace and Singapore’s Fort Canning Park, which seems to confirm our suspicions they’re having to look really hard for new things to photograph. [Google Maps Blog]
Speaking of Google: The company’s self-driving cars probably have more full-time lobbyists advocating on their behalf than you. [ Wall Street Journal]
The IFP–the Independent Filmmaker Project, that is–will be developing and operating a Bloomberg-approved “Made in New York” Media Center, a kind of coworking-space-cum-networking-hub where creative types can connect with entrepreneurs and new technologies. Partnering with IFP will be General Assembly, which’ll run educational programming in the space upon its opening in the spring. [IFP]
Apple in Your Eye
Instapaper, the hugely popular read-later app, recently announced on their blog that they have made their app compatible with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. Along with that news, Instapaper founder Marco Arment revealed that users would now have the option to use Open-Dyslexic font, an open source font that makes things easier to read for people with dyslexia.
Good news, Silicon Alley denizens. After much demand from fellow gossip-mongers, Betabeat has decided to resurrect your favorite recurring Friday feature. Welcome back to Rumor Roundup! Overheard a juicy tidbit about impending departures or imminent acquisitions? Dying to dish about startup blunders or frothy financing? Holler at your girls: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE SUN SOMETIMES SETS ON THE AOL EMPIRE Multiple sources have told Betabeat that AOL Ventures plans on shutting down QLabs–the press-shy experimental think tank in Soho located at 670 Broadway. ”The time frame must be darn near immediate,” one source told Betabeat, alluding to some urgency around winding down existing projects. ”It’s dead,” said a source with indirect knowledge of the decision. “Their funding ran out,” the second source added, speculating that the initiative had a set funding size, but “nothing yielded.”
Much has been written about Valley celeb Dalton Caldwell and his rather notorious new social network, App.net. The Twitter-like site charges $50 to join, in an effort to weed out spammers and people who aren’t really dedicated to the integrity of the community.
BuzzFeed wondered if the walled garden of App.net signaled the beginning of “white flight” from more inclusive sites. Venturebeat called Mr. Caldwell a “betrayed entrepreneur” crusading against Facebook and Twitter. But perhaps the most scathing critique comes from Ihave50dollars.com, a site built to look exactly like App.net that satirizes the fact that App.net is basically a social network for people with an extra $50 laying around.
Bridging the Gap
Instapaper’s Marco Arment just made his first big advertising buy with a spot on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show, which aired last week. ”I am a huge fan by the way, and this for real, of Instapaper,” Mr. Stern says in the spot. “I have Instapaper on all my devices… I love you Instapaper. I want to make out with you.”
Read It Later
Readability is a close cousin of Instapaper: both beautifully and minimally designed “read it later” apps built right here in New York. The two have even collaborated. But while Instapaper’s Marco Arment dropped the free version of his app and now charges everyone $4.99, Readability just announced it’s dropped the paid version and making all its features, which included unlimited access to reading list, favorites and an archive, for free.