Love in the Time of Algorithms

Modern Love: OKCupid Officially Accepts Bitcoin Payments

How it looks. (Photo: OKCupid)

Good news, singletons: you can now spend your Bitcoins to help you get laid. OKCupid has begun accepting the popular decentralized digital currency as a form of payment. Payments will be accepted via Bitcoin wallet website Coinbase, according to an announcement on its blog.

Betabeat first reported two weeks ago that the IAC-backed site was considering accepting Bitcoins after a Reddit user posted a screenshot from an alleged OKCupid representative claiming that the company was looking to expand its payment options.  Read More


Booting Up: NASA Mohawk Guy is Back

Miss u (Photo: 1039 RXP)

Remember that Crazy Blind Date app from OKCupid that purports to set you up with someone who hopefully won’t kill and/or maim you for a night on the town? Turns out it accidentally exposed users’ email addresses and birthdays. Sucks for everyone who lied about their age! [Wall Street Journal]

Google is holding a developer event for Glass. If you paid that $1,500 to get a test pair of Glass, you’re in for a treat. [AllThingsD]

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren has proposed a bill that she hopes will be called “Aaron’s Law” aimed at modifying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act which many say was abused in the Aaron Swartz case. [The Hill]

New MySpace seems kind of like it’s just a big ad for Justin Timberlake’s new song. [TechCrunch]

The awesome NASA mohawk guy is going to ride with a Mars Rover float in the Inaugural Parade, because America. [Wired]


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]

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Researchers Say Online Dating Algorithms Are About as Accurate as Picking Up Strangers in Bars

Except through an app. (Photo via

The basic premise of OkCupid,, or eHarmony seems to be that science, or at least math, is a better judge of a potential partner than you are. While you (fallible human) may fall for a winsome smile, the algorithm knows whether that guy or gal is too religious or kinky or short for you to really get along.

However a new report commissioned by the Association for Psychological Science calls bullshit, basically. Along with four other psychology professors, Northwestern’s Eli Finkel found that while dating sites are a “terrific addition,” the algorithms they employ are no better than having a “real estate agent of love,” says Reuters. Does that mean they try to get you to go out with someone who is soulmate-adjacent? Read More

the startup rundown

Startup Threads Wants To Be Your Friend

Making threads. For your startup.

WEAVE. Startup Threads, a merchandising site for startups from local newletter mogul and startup founder Frank Denbow, just launched a new monthly program where consumers can subscribe to receive new startup gear each month. The company will partner with a different startup each month to create interesting merchandise. Right now that lucky startup is Hipmunk, the company behind the new flight finding tool. Startup Threads hopes to become a “marketing channel for startups.”

ALL ABOARD. StartupBus is now accepting applications for the hackathon-on-a-bus competition in March and this year New York will be represented. To get invited you’ve got to shine like the brightest star in the sky… or look on social media to see if people are offering invites. StartupBus said they are expecting way more applications than they can handle. You’ve been warned. Read More