The Chat-rooming Classes Today, seemingly every tech reporter in the business tuned into Jason Calacanis‘s “This Week in Startups,” presumably in the hopes that Mr. Calacanis would tell all re: the allegations of abuse against Michael Arrington. But as familiar names chattered away in the chat room, Mr. Calacanis had little to say beyond comparing himself to Obi Wan. That would make Mr. Arrington Anakin Skywalker, of course; Mr. Calacanis said he taught him how to be powerful in media, and “I regret that.”
As for the allegations themselves, Mr. Calacanis was quick to say he wouldn’t be commenting on whether they were true, citing his lack of direct knowledge. (He did, however, openly discuss the time that Mr. Arrington called a PR honcho “the c-word,”
thereby outing someone who’d never mentioned the incident publicly!) [Correction: Mr. Calacanis first mentioned the incident and the PR exec (Brooke Hammerling) by name in the comments of his Facebook post, prompting Ms. Hammerling to confirm the story, also in a Facebook comment.] All in all, it sounds like he (kinda sorta) regrets getting involved. He apparently thought writing a Facebook note wouldn’t go very far. “I thought that that would be a place where it just lived there,” he said. (Paging Randi Zuckerberg!) “I got a little P.T. Barnum in me and I feel like me commenting on all this stuff actually detracts from it,” he added.
Accel has closed a $475 million fund that they plan to use for Series A startups mainly in Israel and Europe. [TechCrunch]
Yesterday was Twitter’s 7th birthday and it celebrated by hitting the 200 million users milestone. That’s great and all but… [The Verge]
…YouTube announced they have one billion monthly users. You know what’s cool? [San Jose Mercury News]
The influx of new money from this round of billion dollar startups has undeniably changed the Valley. But is it for the better? [East Bay Express]
Turns out Starbucks baristas actually have no idea how to use that Square thing. [Fast Company]
As far as technophiles seeking political office go, Jack Dorsey is taking the opposite approach from Sheryl Sandberg.
Ms. Sandberg’s new book may read like the source material for a campaign platform, but on a recent 60 Minutes appearance, she evaded questions about leaning in to the White House. Mr. Dorsey, on Read More
When Lawyers Send Letters
Several big tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Intel have publicly declared their support for gay marriage. They’re part of a corporate group that’s reportedly planning to file an amicus brief in support of overturning California’s Prop 8. [Bloomberg]
Yahoo would like you to know that its new, anti-work-from-home police has absolutely nothing to do with you (unless you work at Yahoo). [Mercury News]
“While hanging with my 12 year old cousin the other day, I unknowingly entered into the world of Tweenstagram, a vastly different space than the Instagram I have grown to know and love (and refresh too often).” Do go on. [Wisdom of Pearls]
Max Levchin, one of the cofounders of PayPal, is launching a new mobile payments startup with the chipper name of Affirm. “You will essentially be putting a purchase on a digital tab, and we are going to make it work for us by looking at all available data to determine if you are someone who will pay it back.” [AllThingsD]
Former Square COO Keith Rabois, who left in the wake of sexual harassment accusations, has landed at Khlosa Ventures as a VC. [AllThingsD]
Earlier today, news broke that Square’s COO, Keith Rabois, had left the company. It was a strangely-timed departure, considering Square recently raised $200 million in a Series D. Now, the Wall Street Journal has broken the news that Mr. Rabois is embroiled in a sexual harassment claim from a fellow Square employee, and resigned so that the allegations would “not cause a distraction for the company.”
Aleksey Vayner, the Yale grad who gained Internet infamy in 2006 for his video resume, “Impossible is Nothing,” is dead at 29. [Motherboard]
Square COO Keith Rabois is leaving the San Francisco-based payments company; Kara Swisher says disagreements with CEO and founder Jack Dorsey are at least partially behind the departure. [AllThingsD]
The latest petty sleight in the high-school style feud between two social media giants: Facebook has cut off access to Twitter’s new video-sharing service, Vine, preventing the app from using Facebook to find new friends. [AllThingsD]
What asshole decided to name a smartphone made for the African market YOLO? [Mashable]
A French court wants to force Twitter to reveal the identities of users who author racist tweets in violation of the country’s hate-speech laws. Twitter is deciding whether to fight the ruling. [NYT]
Tech Celebrity Sightings
Not only is Starbucks accepting payments via Square, the coffee conglomerate is now also selling the Square credit card reader for $10 at its retail locations. [New York Times]
Spotify has suspended its music download service in the U.K. Users can still stream music, but are sent to an unhelpful FAQ page when they attempt to purchase it. [Pocket-Lint]
Kim Dotcom says the U.S. “planted” evidence, encouraging him to keep copyrighted files on the Megaupload servers but then punishing him when he did so. [Ars Technica]
That indie Steve Jobs film, that will star Ashton Kutcher and be an inevitable flop that we will still watch anyway, is slated for release in April. Who wants to go with us? [Wall Street Journal]
The New York state comptroller is suing microchip company Qualcomm for data about its political expenditures with the hopes it can bring more transparency to corporate political spending. [New York Times]
When not humblebragging about the fact that he–a millionaire–still takes the bus to work, Square cofounder Jack Dorsey enjoys the holidays the only way a nouveau tech founder truly can: by frolicking around with a model on a yacht in St. Bart’s.
Ride or Die
Lala Land When you plunk down $18 million in hard-won settlement earnings on an 8,000 sq. ft. manse with “a jetliner view of L.A.” you don’t just around on the couch watching Bravo. Especially not if your names are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The strapping venture capitalists recently hosted two parties at their new Hollywood Hills home. The first was feting Katie Finnegan and Erica Bell, cofounders of the fashion startup Hukkster, which recently scored a $1 million seed round from the duo. Guests included actor Jason Lewis (Samatha’s boyfriend to the rest of us).
With all the excitement over last week’s decision to test out taxi apps in New York City, another technological step forward got overlooked. During a meeting at its Beaver Street headquarters last Thursday, the Taxi and Limousine Commission also unanimously voted in favor of new rules for those credit card swipers and “entertainment systems” (scare quotes necessary) in back of your cab, referred to as T-PEP.