Booting Up: Oh OK, Twitter Is Testing a @MagicRecs-Like Service for News

Hi. (Photo:

It’s tech company CEO exposé week on the Internet! Today’s person of interest is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Similar to @MagicRecs, Twitter’s personalized notification service is moving into news with @Eventparrot. [TechCrunch]

Peeved television networks plan to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review lower court rulings about the legality of Aereo. [Variety]

Asian group messaging apps like WeChat are posing quite the threat to their American counterparts. [Wall Street Journal]

Disney is launching a “family-friendly” music service, in case searching Kidz Bop on Spotify is too hard. [Billboard]


Booting Up: Netflix Creeps on Pirate Websites to See Which Shows It’s Going to Buy

Mr. Costolo (Photo:

Netflix trawls piracy websites to see which television and movies it should purchase. Did you know people in the Netherlands still watch Prison Break? Neat. [TorrentFreak]

Dick Costolo’s $25,000 investment in Twitter will rake him in $10 million.[Business Insider]

Evan Williams laid out his great plan for Medium but it’s probably just another thing that’s going to be stuck in our Instapaper queue if we’re being honest here. [TechCrunch]

Rdio, a.k.a. “hipster Spotify,” has struck a deal with Cumulus Media to sell ads. [New York Times]

If words are too hard, Rotten Tomatoes is implementing its rating algorithm on TV shows. [Variety]


Booting Up: Instagram Is Soon Going to Be Inundated With Ads

150 million of these people! (Photo: Hashgram)

150 million people are using Instagram each month, with about half of those photos being a cocktail pressed against a sunset. Now the app is seeking advertisers to capitalize off it. [Wall Street Journal]

Spotify lost $177 million last year so of course the streaming service thinks it’s worth a $5.27 billion valuation. [Billboard]

Could millennial’s relationship with Tinder be on the rocks? Usage of the app from people aged 18 to 24 decreased 20 percent since the beginning of the year. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Everyone can shut up about Amazon releasing a free smartphone because it’s not happening. *side eye* [The Verge]

Michael Wolff <3′s Kara Swisher. [USA Today]

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Spotify Hackettes, NYC Tech for Reshma, Tech In Motion, Test Tube, Education Tech, Social TV)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

Tickets for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil go on sale tonight. Better get on it, pronto!

Don’t miss this week … NYC Tech for Reshma (Candidate for Public Advocate) event on Aug 20. Amusemi dinner (w/ High Peaks Venture Partners’ Benjamin Sun) on Aug 22. Spotify Hackettes Coding Competition on Aug 24. Read More


Booting Up: Three Executives Have Fled Zynga Within the Last Month

New, new Spotify? (Photo: Gizmodo)

Zynga has seen three of its top execs depart the struggling gaming company within the past month. [Bloomberg]

There’s nothing weird about Bob Mansfield’s name from being scrubbed on Apple’s exec page. Rumor has it that he was so successful that he can do whatever he wants at the company. [Daring Fireball]

Instagram is so nonplussed about Windows Phone users sharing pictures through a third-party knock-off app called Instance that they’re supposedly deleting them as soon as they appear. [TNW]

Spotify’s music discovery feature is going to suck less if this leaked video is to believed. Even better, the new releases section might return too. [Gizmodo]

Vimeo, Redbox Instant and even HBOGo might soon appear on your Google Chromecast making for one very useful dongle. [GigaOM]

Pirate's Life

Music Festivals Encourage Sweaty, Molly-Addled Rave Monsters to Pirate MP3s, Spotify Claims

These Glasto revelers totally look like the type to pay for their music. (Photo: Getty)

Young people who attend week-long music festivals to get wasted and rub up against each other may not be the upstanding citizens you thought they were, Spotify’s researchers insist.

Instead, Spotify found that after festivals, youngs are keen to “sample [artists' music] through unauthorized channels,” which is fancy BBC-speak for stealing music on the Internet. Read More

Music 2.0

Spotify Is Expanding Its New York Presence, Plans to Staff Up to 200 Engineers

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

Today, Spotify made a big announcement: The company is expanding its local presence, with plans to hire an additional 130 engineers by the end of 2014. That’ll make New York home to the company’s largest office outside of Stockholm, with the bulk of the employees being engineers.

Rather than simply sending a press release or flying in Frank Ocean, the company had Mayor Bloomberg deliver the news at their current home in the Google building.

“The right engineering talent is here in New York. More and more that’s going to be true,” the mayor whistled his familiar refrain. He also announced that his office now has its own Spotify profile, which he personally approved. (Enjoy the mental image of Bloomberg bopping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy.”) Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (ALOHA To Summer!, CE Week, Spotify Music Hackathon, Alley Girls, Social Media Day, Brooklyn Tech, Startup Grind, Projective Space Demo Day)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

This week is all about the weeks … and a day! First off we have Consumer Electronics (CE) Week with Mobile Apps Showdown, Engadget+gdgt Live, Mobile Happy Hour at WeWork and more. Then there is Energy Week organized by ESF (part of the NYC ACRE incubator, an anchor of NY’s energy startup community). Don’t miss the Rooftop Party at 230 Fifth! Next up is Telecom Week, followed by Wear New York Week (celebrating New York fashion & design). And last but not least is Social Media Day, the biggest celebration ever with Mashable, VICE and Milk, with music, dancing and unlimited libations! Read More


Booting Up: Google Might Roll Out a Spotify Competitor Today

So natural to use. (Photo: Verge/PayPal)

PayPal is dropping processing charges for users of its mobile payment platform in an attempt to better take on Square and Groupon. [Verge]

Google is expected to debut a competitor to Spotify later today. Which one of you asked for this? [New York Times]

This is happening: “Boost VC is launching a fund of at least $300,000, called the Boost Bitcoin Fund to invest in Bitcoin startups.” [Forbes]

Airware, a company that creates the insides of unmanned drones, is now freshly funded. Andreessen Horowitz just pumped a $10.7 million Series A funding into it. [TechCrunch]

A Blackberry BBM app is coming to iPhone and Android phones this summer if you still remember your pins. [BGR]