Expert Thoughts

Google Is a Supervillan: It’d Be Funnier if It Weren’t True

Superhero or supervillain? (Wikimedia Commons)

We imagine, for a second, that we are writing a movie script.This script features an international technology company run by a pair of charismatic billionaires. It’s omnipresent and yet difficult to define, with deep pockets and huge, high-profile projects that seem to bear only a passing resemblance to actual revenue streams. Most of these projects involve eerily sophisticated methods of finding out as much as possible about everyone on Earth. In recent months, this company has made headlines buying drones, home monitoring software, artificial intelligence, and a firm that makes military robots. Read More

Planet GOOG

Google Wants Us to Live Forever So We Keep Clicking on their Ads

"Faaame, I'm gonna live forever." (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Forget fighting off the Grim Reaper with devout attendance at the local New York Sports Club and endless self-quantifying. That’s not moonshotty enough for Larry Page. Luckily, he’s got the resources of an enormous American corporation at his disposal, which is how Calico, Google’s new anti-aging initiative, came about.

This isn’t like living through the prologue of a singularitarian novel, nope, not at all. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: The Winklevoss Twins Do Burning Man and Zady Has a Launch Party

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 4.09.32 PM

Fashion, turn to the left Wednesday night, Betabeat ventured down to the Bowery for a party celebrating the launch of Zady, the anti-fast-fashion startup founded by Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat. Attendees tended toward the leggy, and the bar was serving “moonshine” cocktails. At one point, we watched a meticulous mustachioed man line up an iPhone shot of a piece of paper on the wall, printed with the party’s official hashtag.

“‘Stealth’ mode is such a terrible word,” said Ms. Bédat (a patterned clutch from their holiday line-up tucked under her arm) when we asked about the company’s hush-hush birth. “Working on things quietly!” she corrected. Read More

glassholes

Everything We Know About the Google Love Triangle That Sent a VP Packing and Ended Sergey Brin’s Marriage

bill7

(See updates at bottom)

Yesterday evening AllThingsD broke the news that one of Google’s top VPs was departing the search giant for Xiaomi, a company widely regarded as China’s answer to Apple. It seemed a strange and sudden move until this piece of news surfaced in tandem: Mr. Barra was reportedly involved with a fellow Googler, and that Googler is now dating 40-year-old married Google cofounder Sergey Brin. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: An Uber Blunder, Tickets to Dick Costolo’s Gun Show, and David Karp Is Having the Best Week Ever

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 3.38.23 PM

The Gun Show This week, Twitter launched a shiny new client-friendly

Music Class Are you excited for the new Daft Punk album? Well, we’ll tell you who’s really excited, and that’s Square CEO Jack Dorsey and VC Fred Wilson. “The new Daft Punk album is a knockout. Pure joy,” Mr. Dorsey said in a micro-review of the album on Twitter. Mr. Wilson responded: “yup. I’ve had it in heavy rotation all week. It was even on in the coffeeshop today.” Just an FYI in case, for some reason, you get stuck in a car with both of them sometime this summer. Read More