Speaking at TED, Sergey Brin called the smartphone user experience “emasculating,” on the basis that ”You’re standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass.” Maybe Google that word when you get home, Sergey. [CNET]
Could perennial concerns about cancer keep Google Glass from realizing its full potential as a wearable communication device? [Quartz]
Groupon didn’t do so hot in Q4, causing a big drop in the company’s stock in after-hours trading. ”The forecast is underwhelming,” said one analyst. No kidding. [Reuters]
Time Warner Cable is pretty sure you don’t even want gigabit Internet. Because when you think “attentive to customer desires,” you think Time Warner Cable. [Verge]
I.B.M. is still figuring out money-making uses for the supercomputer Watson. Besides all the big data applications, he apparently makes a mean croissant. [New York Times]
Time Warner Cable is boosting the download speed for its standard Internet service by 50 percent in its New York City service area, the company said today in a press release.
Lots Of Tiny Wicker Puppets Sold Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson took to the company’s blog to address his craft-obsessed minons and report big new numbers. Etsy recently hit 20 million members across over 200 countries. In the first week of November, they passed the $700 million sales mark and their direct checkout system has now processed over $100 million in transactions. By the end of the year, Etsy projects that it will have sold over 100 million items in the company’s history.
The company is also going all out for the holiday season and expects to have its best month yet. It’s running a multi-million-dollar online advertising campaign and opening a Etsy Holiday Shop in SoHo from November 29th through December 8th. SoHo though? Isn’t Greenpoint or Williamsburg more on target with the Etsy brand?
Chu Bets Against Zynga Betable has already announced partnerships with big game companies and is right on the path to become the Spotify of online gambling and pass its closest rival, Zynga. Ya-Bing Chu, a former VP and GM of Zynga’s mobile division, has now joined Betable as the company’s new Chief Product Officer. At Zynga, he was responsible for operating Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends. Mr. Chu explains the move in an essay on Betable’s blog, where he says, “I realized that Betable was the only frictionless way to enter the real money market, which is revolutionary.”
When Lawyers Send Letters
When last we heard from Time Warner Cable, a corporation so reviled that even Starfleet captains can’t help but voice their discontent, it was devising its latest scheme to become the most hated company ever by charging a modem rental fee. Now, the New York Daily News reports that not one but two class action suits have been lodged against Time Warner, alleging that the $3.95/month modem leasing fee is essentially a money-making racket.
After the Storm
Time Warner Cable is sending 10 mobile charging stations equipped with WiFi into areas of New York that still don’t have power. The local Time Warner Twitter account, @TWCABLE_NYC, will update users with the truck’s location. Today they plan to hit residential areas of Chinatown, the Flatiron district and the West Village. And tomorrow the crew will announce additional areas. Time Warner stores in Staten Island and at the Queens Center Mall are fortunately also opening their doors to let people charge up. That should quiet the TWC haters in New York City–at least for a couple weeks.
The photo on the left was taken this afternoon in Chinatown and you can see how many people really need a charge from the trucks by the mess of wires around the outlets.
Today Time Warner Cable announced that the company expects to invest $25 million to expand its fiber optic network in both “established and emerging” business sectors around New York City. Many of the areas highlighted in today’s announcement happen to coincide with burgeoning tech hubs.
In a press release to Betabeat, Time Warner said it would extend its broadband capabilities in “the World Trade Center, the Flatiron District, all areas of Midtown and throughout the Financial District,” in Manhattan. In addition to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Time Warner is also upgrading fiber in the “Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Industry City.” Long Island City in Queens, the future home to Shapeways 3D-printing factory, will also benefit from the effort.
I Want My Free TV
Are you a Kansas City employee of Time Warner Cable? Are you also, perchance, an amateur sleuth? Well, get out your magnifying glass and your deerstalker cap, because your corporate overlord wants something investigated.
Let’s back up. Kansas City is a pilot location for Google Fiber, an experiment in ultra high-speed Internet access. It’s not clear entirely Read More
Stars, they’re just like us: Unable to remember the plethora of gibberish passwords dictated by our countless web accounts. Of course, this is an entirely common problem, one experienced by the famous and non-famous alike. But this is also the New York Times Styles section, and talking to rich people is much more fun.
The actress Parker Posey writes her passwords on scraps of paper before promptly forgetting what website they’re for. The musician Courtney Love uses mnemonics that correlate to her favorite songs. Lawyer Olivia Kraus is outraged that security questions play favorites, like “What’s your favorite food?”
“The whole favorite thing is so juvenile,” she told the paper of record.
The sun was still setting when The Observer rounded the corner under The High Line for IAC’s Internet Week closing party, co-hosted by Aereo, a provocative new startup that will allow users to view broadcast content on their computers, smartphones and tablets. Off the drab West Side Highway, the Frank Gehry-designed building shimmered like a landing dock for a space ship–as if the top could twist off and whir its way into the atmosphere. Will Arnett and Wilmer Valderrama walked the red carpet. Dolled-up in pale pink, Allison Williams (the Miranda to Lena Dunham’s Carrie) took Barry Diller’s elbow as she navigated the crowd.
As the origin myth has it, Mr. Diller’s transformation from a Hollywood mogul to Internet soothsayer for this new digital era started with an Apple PowerBook. “No question that his relationship with his little screen, which is irritating to everybody in the room, has altered his life,” his closest confidante and now wife Diane von Furstenberg told The New Yorker some years back.
It was the early ’90s—right around the time Rupert Murdoch refused to make Mr. Diller a principal at Fox, the fabled fourth network Mr. Diller pioneered when competitors insisted that three would do just fine.
To both cable TV distributors and cable TV programmers, the possibility that consumers will finally cut that cord probably sounds like a slashing sound somewhere near their their bottom line. But at least one big distributor is choosing to adapt.
The New York Times reports that Time Warner Cable, one of the top cable and internet providers in the country, announced yesterday that it would soon be subsidizing the cost of Slingbox, a set-top device that untethers viewers from their home television screen and lets them watch programming from anywhere, including computers, mobile phones, or second homes.
Based on Time Warner’s recent legal battles with Viacom, which owns channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon, Viacom isn’t going to be very happy about getting shot in the foot.