Booting Up: Get Off the Couch and on the Road

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Ever wish you could play Mario Kart in real life? Guess you didn’t want it as much as these guys. [Wired]

Obama campaign staffer Ashley Arenson, who served as director of innovation and integration during the recent presidential election, has joined Soho Tech Labs in the role of general manager. [AllThingsD]

StumbleUpon is laying off 30 percent of its staff in a move to achieve profitability in the first quarter of this year. [TechCrunch]

A British government agency fined Playboy about $160,000 for failing to install adequate controls to prevent minors from accessing pornographic videos. Seems like a slap on the … wrist. [Ofcom]

Private equity firm Silver Lake Management is said to be close to lining up financing to take Dell private, with a deal possible as early as next week. [Bloomberg]

Recommendation Engines

How Hunch and StumbleUpon Are Different

hunch taste graph

Local taste-grapher Hunch recently rolled out a feed of social recommendations and made it the default landing page, which has confused some users who wonder how it differs from sites like StumbleUpon and Digg, which also rely on the social graph and user feedback to serve recommendations. The crucial difference? StumbleUpon and its ilk emphasize web content–news, websites, apps, videos, especially whatever memey thing is trending that day or week–while Hunch is equally interested in recommending restaurants, events and books. Read More