Linkages

Booting Up: Google Doodle Protests Russia’s Asinine Anti-Gay Laws

Boom. (Photo: Google)

Bitcoin’s value plummeted 20 percent last night after a major glitch hit trading exchange Mt. Gox. [CNBC]

Google laid the ultimate body slam against Russia’s anti-gay laws as it’s about to kickoff the Winter Olympics. The search giant changed its homepage into a colorful logo with a slam at the IOC for not addressing the problems. [Verge

The FTC approved Google’s $3.2 billion deal to buy fancy thermostat maker Nest. [Recode]

Here’s an honest version of how those Facebook “Look Back” videos should really look like. [BI]

After being snubbed by Spotify, Tesla inked a deal with Rdio to include the service in its vehicles. [GigaOM]

Linkages

Booting Up: Aereo’s CEO Is Really Confident The Supreme Court Will Rule In His Favor

Effective? (Photo: Uber)

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojila said he’s confident that the Supreme Court will rule in his favor.  “I can’t imagine they won’t be on the side of innovation,” he said. [New York Times]

Uber launched an ad campaign mocking Lyft on Facebook in hopes of luring customers away from its lower-priced competitor. [AdAge]

Michael Sippey, Twitter’s VP of Product, is moving into an advisory role at the company then eventually leaving. [TechCrunch]

You can soon buy brands’ overpriced t-shirts through a new Spotify app. [Telegraph]

This happened: “Apple’s Phil Schiller unfollowed Nest CEO Tony Fadell on Twitter” [Verge]

Linkages

Booting Up: Aol Finally Gives Up On Patch

Out. (Photo: Yahoo)

Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro, who was called a “dead man walking” by coworkers, was finally fired yesterday. He was Marissa Mayer’s first major hire shortly after she was installed as CEO more than a year ago. [BI]

Aol is handing over control of Patch to Hale Global, essentially ridding itself of the flailing network of hyperlocal blogs. [Recode]

In what is seen as a preemptive move against Beats Music, Spotify has eliminated listening time limits it had enforced on its website for free users. [TechCrunch]

Skype carried an estimated 214 billion minutes of international calls between users in 2013–that’s up 36 percent since the year prior. [WSJ]

Linkages

Booting Up: Snapchat’s New ‘Replay’ Feature Freaks Us Out

Coming to China. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

With Apple’s iPhone struggling to gain a foothold in China, a new deal with the country’s largest wireless network might turn around some of its fortune. China Mobile is expected to start selling the device beginning Jan. 17. [The New York Times

Careful, sexters! A new Snapchat update from adds fancy filters, bigger text, and the ability to replay a snap. [Gizmodo]

Buoyed by conferences and video, Aol-owned Huffington Post is expected to be profitable next year. [Reuters]

Here’s an inside look at Google Ventures. [Fortune]

Spotify downloads have increased fourfold since its free streaming announcement. [CNet]

Linkages

Booting Up: Apple’s Holiday Is Annoying and Incorrectly Filmed

So sullen. (Photo: YouTube)

Bitcoin’s value sunk last night after a Chinese exchange stopped accepting deposits because of the country’s new regulations. [Daily Dot]

The latest Google Glass update includes the ability to upload videos to YouTube, expanded Google Hangouts support and the option of *winking* to take a picture. [The Verge]

Today, members of the City Council hope to persuade the Port Authority not to renew its contract with wireless provider Boingo. That might finally mean free Wi-Fi at the city’s three airports. [New York Post]

Spotify’s desktop client is getting an extreme makeover. [The Verge]

Let’s all shut up about this year’s Apple holiday ad because it’s stupid. [Gizmodo]

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Emojis Get Artsy At This Gallery Exhibit and Questlove Spins for Spotify’s Holiday Party

Emoji show. (Photo: Jordan Valinsky)

Emojis everywhere. Last night, Betabeat ventured to an emoji-inspired art exhibit at a gallery in Chelsea. The exhibit is a joint project between Forced Meme Productions, Eyebeam and GroupMe. It’s sure to have fans of the tiny Japanese icons texting rows and rows of thumbs up symbols.

We gazed at famous paintings that were reinterpreted with emojis and even touched a piece of concrete modeled after Facebook’s thumbs-up icon. There’s also a gift shop selling goodies embossed with emojis that will be perfect for any of your friends who only communicate using the icons. Read More

Internet Killed the Radio Star

Spotify’s Free Streaming for Smartphones Will Only Work on Shuffle

CEO Daniel Elk. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

We were excited about Spotify’s announcement today that they’ll soon offer free streaming on smartphones, providing a whole new avenue for America to enjoy embarrassing music.

Sadly, though, our dreams of listening to “Purple Rain” over and over and over again for free on our way to work were dashed when we learned that the service will only be available in shuffle mode. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: FCC Might Allow In-Flight Calls Because the FCC Hates You

Soon? (Photo: SarahPAC/Flickr)

Gilt might file for an IPO in early 2014…or could delay it until early 2015. Guessing is fun! [AllThingsD]

This might be the nine worst words in the English language: “FCC to consider allowing cell phone calls on flights.” [CNN]

Spotify has secured $250 million in fresh funding, which values the company slightly north of $4 billion. [MarketWatch]

NBCUniversal is reportedly taking a “minority stake” in Kara Swisher’s new tech site. [New York Times]

Let’s high five a million angels because HBO Go now works with Chromecast. [USA Today]