shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Ryan Gosling Loves His Warby Specs (Sent From My Night iPhone)

gosling

Morin needs a Mophie Path founder Dave Morin, he of Gosling Parker Economically conscious walking Internet meme Ryan Gosling was recently spotted looking dashing in his Warby Parker frames. The company humble-bragged about the royal sighting on its Facebook page earlier this week noting that the frame is the “Preston.” We share their exuberance. This is one piece Read More

New Media

Paul Carr’s NSFW Corp Picks Up 3,000 Subscribers and Hires ‘The War Nerd’–All to Help Save Journalism

war-nerd

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the antics of rapscallion writer Paul Carr since he dropped that resignation bomb on TechCrunch last year, here’s a little refresher: After accusing his former editor of being a man without hap, Mr. Carr migrated across the tech blogosphere to PandoDaily, where he and his charming British accent cohost a video series called “Why Isn’t This News?” with the ever-righteous Sarah Lacy.

A few months ago, Mr. Carr did one better than just questioning others’ news judgement. He founded his own online magazine: NSFW Corp. Mr. Carr raised a mid-six-figure seed round to launch the site, which describes itself as “the future of journalism, with jokes.” Read More

Smooth Criminals

Records Point to Credit Card Fraud by Silicon Swindler Shirley Hornstein

Ms. Hornstein (Photo: Facebook)

This week, the world was introduced to Shirley Hornstein: an ersatz entrepreneur who Photoshopped and name-dropped her way through Silicon Valley. For at least a year and a half, Ms. Hornstein has been trading on flimsily fabricated connections to powerful tech investors, startups, and celebrities–always depending, as TechCrunch first reported, on the optimism of strangers.

“She told people she had the authority to approve up to a $1 million investment from Founders Fund. That was her line,” an investor from Los Angeles who recently moved to San Francisco told Betabeat, recounting the time Ms. Hornstein cajoled a pair of young entrepreneurs into pitching her on a Saturday, convincing them on Sunday that she had already heard back from the board with good news.

The fact that Ms. Hornstein’s roommate was TechCrunch community manager Elin Blesener also helped “legitimize her,” the same investor added. Read More

Technical Difficulties

Virgin Group Unveils Tech Support Service, Which Is Funny Because Virgin America’s Website Still Doesn’t Work

A Space Age airline with a Dark Ages reservation system.

Update at the bottom with a statement from Virgin America.

We reported on Virgin America’s technical difficulties back in November, after a switch to a new reservation system left some users out on the tarmac. Customers encountered weird glitches when they tried to view their accounts or book a flight, and the customer service line was overwhelmed with inquiries. At the time, the problems had been ongoing for a month. And we thought that was bad. Virgin America customers are still running into glitches three months later.

PandoDaily’s Paul Carr wrote about it. Random other people with blogs wrote about it. Even though Virgin Atlantic America (see disambiguation) told Mr. Carr the service would be fixed by mid-February (first week in December was what they told us), customers are still complaining of errors. Read More

Blog Lords

Parsing the TechCrunch Burn Book: Reactions to Paul Carr’s Resignation Bomb

Refresh, refresh, refresh.

Those of you who hopped on a plane without Wifi Friday evening can be forgiven for not keeping track of what AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher described as “pure twaddle wrapped in ridonkulous grandstanding.” First came TechCrunch writer Paul Carr’s lively public resignation letter. That was followed by newly-crowned TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld’s equally public resignation acceptance. And then, to pile it on, TechCrunch writer MG Siegeler offered a semi-private anti-Huffington IED because hey, it’s no fun if you can’t play too.

Digg’s Kevin Rose compared all the adolescent drama to “a LiveJournal page,” so put on some emo jams and join us, won’t you, as we flip through the pages of TechCrunch’s Burn Book. And, yes, for the most part, you’ll find it at the same URL where the professional tech blog used to be. Read More

End of an Era

Erick Schonfeld Cut a Side Deal With Arianna for TechCrunch Editorship, Paul Carr Says in Resignation Blog Post

Mr. Carr

Flabbergasts! New York-based TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld, newly-named editor in chief of the site, has been accused. In a glorious resignation post, TechCrunch writer Paul Carr pointed a finger at the New Yorker: “While Heather, Mike and other senior editorial staffers were making a stand for the site’s editorial independence from The Huffington Post, Erick cut a side deal with Huffington to guarantee him the top job once Mike was gone.”

This information came from Mr. Arrington “and was later corroborated by more than one other person close to the situation,” Mr. Carr told Betabeat by email. “I don’t really want to say much more than that.”

Mr. Schonfeld appears to be on an airplane at the moment and did not respond to an email seeking comment. Read More

Blog Lords

Breaking Down the Curious Case of Michael Arrington’s Venture Capital Fund, Rashomon-Style

We're really gone and done it now!

Woo boy. If our head wasn’t spinning, this might actually be funny. It’s been less than 24 hours since Fortune or the New York Times reported (to keep things lively, there’s even some debate around who broke the news) that Michael Arrington would be launching a $20 million venture capital and almost every player involved has offered conflicting stories about how they expect this to unfold, including, earlier this afternoon, one of TechCrunch’s own bloggers.

Will Mr. Arrington still be able to write about startups now that he has an financial inventive to help them succeed? Is blogging even journalism? Was it a good idea to name your VC fund after your news outlets about startups? Depends on who you ask! Read More