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]
Internet Killed the Radio Star
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.
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.
The company responsible for Cards Against Humanity charged customers $5 more for the game on Black Friday and sales actually spiked. [Business Insider]
Google Voice Search on Android and iOS will now respond to questions in German, French and Japanese, which is great news if for some reason you speak something other than American. Read More
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]
Sure, Facebook allows you to see the embarrassing songs your friends are listening to at work (Kenny G, all the way), but what about your neighbors? What about neighboring boroughs? You’re in luck: Spotify just sent us some numbers revealing what New Yorkers have been streaming over the past month.
Let’s get nosy!
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]
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]
Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
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]
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] garysguide.com.
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.