Poor BlackBerry. It’s not like the struggling mobile company doesn’t know what we all think of it. To add insult to injury, its competitors are jumping into the fray, helping usher BlackBerry further towards irrelevance with an oh snap promoted tweet targeted at Twitter users interested in mobile phones.
Word on the street says Apple has fired the manager who oversaw the development of its ill-fated Maps app. [Bloomberg]
This anthropologist completely submerged herself in the culture she was studying for three years … meaning she moved to the Bay Area and started chatting up hackers. [Wired]
Google has released an icy slew of Street View updates, including photos of Svalbard, Norway–which is about 400 miles north of continental Europe. [TNW]
The most commonly asked politics question on Ask.com in 2012: “Who will win the Presidential race?” Guys, it’s a search engine, not a crystal ball. For fortune-telling, you need Nate Silver. [VentureBeat]
Nokia is suing to block the sale of many RIM products until they can straighten out royalties, not that it’ll save either company from the scrapheap of corporate history. [ComputerWorld]
Warby Parker just raised [adjusts glasses] a $37 million round, reportedly led by General Catalyst Partners. [Fortune]
Toys “R” Us plans to sell its own tablet for the kiddies. [Wall Street Journal]
If you search “Emma Watson” online, there’s a good chance you’ll land on malware. Also, you may very well be kind of a creep. [Boston Globe]
Turns out even Google Fiber can’t magic away racial and economic fault lines. [New York Times]
Shit, remember the movie Sneakers? Oh, for the days when hackers had to leave their lairs! [Slate]
Despite less-than-stellar Lumia sales, Nokia continues to plug valiantly away. Down at the CTIA Wireless convention, the company has just announced several new brand-name Windows Phone apps–some of which will be initially exclusive to the Lumia. But it remains to be seen whether simply improving the app store is enough to catapult the platform to where it needs to be.
Lumia users will soon have the option to download a PGA Tour app, an updated Groupon app, and hubs for both ESPN and AOL Entertainment. Also available across the Windows Phone platform will be Angry Birds, several EA games, Time, and a PayPal app.
This week, Nokia, the Finnish phone company currently taking a beating on its bottom line, was forced to pay back $420,000 for a broken deal to bring jobs to its former North American headquarters in Westchester.
The Empire State Development Corporation, a group responsible for moving companies to New York, had originally bestowed a $700,000 “Jobs Now” grant unto the smartphone maker back in 2006 when Nokia purchased a former IBM building in Harrison, New York, roughly 20 miles outside Manhattan. The problem was there were no “Jobs Later,” so to speak.
Let Me Locate You
Of all of Google’s bleeding edge projects and technologies–say cars that drive themselves or the Internet on your goddam face–there’s only one Marissa Mayer described as futuristic during a recent Q&A at the 92nd Street Y: Indoor positioning systems. Google has already implemented the technology, which lets you locate yourself inside a building, on Google Maps for Android at Macy’s flagship store (using the building’s floor plan and Wifi readings) and all the transit stations in Tokyo.
“Even though I helped build it,” Ms. Mayer told the crowd, “It’s like scifi!”
Cell your Soul
Nokia may have scored a couple points on the hip chart with their commercials featuring 30 Rock’s Chris Parnell, but even Dr. Spaceman couldn’t save the company from continuing to be pigeonholed as that cheap brand for throwaway phones you buy during study abroad. Nokia’s Q1 earnings reports are in, and while the Lumia nabbed some pretty impressive reviews, its actual sales numbers have been a little less than impressive.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
This coming Saturday and Sunday, Aviary and General Assembly are hosting the second installment of their baller photo hackathon, often touted as “the world’s largest photo hack day,” though we’re not sure there’s that much competition. At last year’s event more than 175 developers produced 40+ hacks, a number of which were built using Face.com’s futuristic facial recognition technology.
More than 200 developers have already signed up for the second go-round, officially known as Photo Hack Day 2 (Twitter hashtag #PHD2), so you can expect even more hacked-together photo goodness. Like Aviary’s photo editing suite itself, the emphasis now is on mobile development rather than the web. “Sunday demo tickets completely sold out a full week and a half before the event, so we’re anticipating a good, curious crowd,” said Alex Taub, Aviary’s head of business development and partnerships.
Aviary and GA have already announced an impressive roster of speakers for a fireside chat moderated by Aviary CEO Avi Muchnick, including Tumblr’s David Karp, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh. But today they’re ready to talk about the good stuff: prize$$$.