Born To Yodel

Marissa Mayer on Running Yahoo in 2010: ‘Smart Acquisitions’ are Key to Staying Relevant


(Photo: Yahoo)

Back at Le Web Paris in December 2010, then-TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington hosted a fireside chat with Marissa Mayer, who was recently named Yahoo’s CEO. In the video, unearthed by commenters at The Verge, Mr. Arrington poses a series of hypothetical questions to Ms. Mayer, including–quite presciently–“If you ran Yahoo, for example, what would you do?” (Michael Arrington: modern day Nostradamus?)

Ms. Mayer launched into that well-known machine gun giggle, perhaps at the notion of answering hypothetical questions, or maybe even at the concept that she would some day come to head the sinking web property. She then began a diplomatic response, lauding then-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz for some of her work. Read More


Mobile Ambassadors Needed for Video Streaming App, No Uglies Allowed


Beautiful people only, plz. (Photo: Veetle)

Sometimes when it’s a boring news day, we like to troll the depths of Craigslist for story ideas, and today we unearthed quite a gem. It’s an ad posted to the NYC jobs section, seeking “mobile ambassadors” for the Valley-based startup Veetle, a Viddy-like service that allows users to stream live video clips.

Of course, you need active users to build a successful service like Veetle. If Reddit built their site with an army of fake accounts, Veetle will build its platform with an army of beautiful people, ugly users be damned.

“We’re looking for actors and actresses to be Mobile Ambassadors – aka use our free mobile app to broadcast their lives on a semi-regular basis,” reads the ad entitled “Good looking people needed.” “You will use the mobile app to to broadcast live (can be anything – trips to the store, gyms, conversations, anything random in your life… ).” Because who wants to watch ugly people doing mundane things? Read More

Crowd Power

Indiegogo Campaign for Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein Quickly Gives Way to Self-Promotion


Ms. Klein (Photo: Pulse2)

On June 19th, just before a heat wave clutched New York in its punishing grip, a YouTube user named CapitalTrigga uploaded a video to YouTube entitled “Making the Bus Monitor Cry.” The video shows a gaggle of middle schoolers from Greece, New York hurling vicious insults at a senior citizen bus monitor named Karen Klein, who is forced to don her sunglasses to hide the fact that she’s crying. The cruelty drags on for a painful 10 minutes and 9 seconds. Anyone who was bullied as a kid will certainly find it difficult to watch.

The local school district quickly moved into damage control mode and held a press conference about the video, but several enterprising Internet denizens decided to take matters into their own hands. A Ukranian nutritionist named Max Sidorov started an Indiegogo campaign with a goal of $5,000 for Ms. Klein to help raise money for a much-needed vacation following the incident. As of this writing, the campaign had raised over $175,000. Read More


Pinterest Adds Vimeo, Likely Attracts More Eyeballs


Who's Pinterested?

What could possibly entice users of the famously sticky Pinterest to spend longer on the site? How about the addition of Vimeo pinning? Yup, that sounds about right. According to the company blog, the new functionality works just like YouTube pinning (available since last August) and, as an example, they’ve pinned that slightly heartbreaking short about the kid who built himself an arcade out of cardboard.

Read More

The Olds

Watch Rachel Sterne on ‘Morning Joe’ as Joe Scarborough Tries to Explain Foursquare to His Co-host


Screen shot 2012-03-21 at 11.56.31 AM

New York City’s chief digital officer Rachel Sterne has already graced the pages of Vogue magazine. But this morning, fresh off of waving the Made in NYC pom-poms at SXSW, she stopped by MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to announce NYCgov’s new Facebook photo contest to get your pic on the big screen in Times Square.

Joe Scarborough and his guests took the opportunity to shout out their personal digital requests, such as Wifi in the subway and shower.

“You know, I’m a small government conservative,” said Mr. Scarborough. “But you know just—

“—Free wifi for all,” interrupted one of his guests.

“Everybody!” Mr. Scarborough continued, gesticulating enthusiastically. “User name: USA. Password: Number1.” Read More

Silicon Alley U

Stunning Aerial Video of How Cornell-Technion Campus Will Change the Landscape of New York


Screen shot 2011-12-21 at 9.25.57 AM

Betabeat has been drooling over renderings of Cornell-Technion’s gleaming $2 billion campus on Roosevelt Island ever since we first saw the specs in October. At the press conference on Monday announcing the winner of the $100 million grant, Cornell President David Skorton debuted a video flyover of the campus and Curbed has the 30 second spot. Read More

New School Learning

General Assembly Rolls Out Video Classes


I see you C Corp. and raise you a spreadsheet

If you click over to the General Assembly website these days you will find a new section for video classes under the heading Hybrid Education. It’s the most robust online learning efforts GA has introduced so far, and gives a taste of the way they will be deploying the $4 million they raised earlier this year from folks like Yuri Milner and Jeff Bezos.

So far there are two courses online, Introduction to Web APIs and Forming Your Startup. They are on the short side, 45 minutes and a little under half and hour. The lesson on Web APIs is the sort of tutorial you might image finding on a Khan Academy. The course on forming your own startup, with Adam Dinow, an attorney at Wilson Sonsini, is a uniquely GA product, covering the legal intricacies and tax advantages of forming an LLC versus a C Corp. with the upbeat zeal of web tutorial.  Read More

Know Me Know Me

Quit Netflix? Meet The Netflix Predictor From Hunch


Feeling like some NC-17 from 1989 right about now.

One of Netflix’s big selling points over the years has been its ability to recommend films its users will like, to the point where the company gave away a $1 million prize to the team of scientists who could improve its taste graph by 10 percent.

But let’s say you’re one of the 810,000 people who quit Netflix over the last quarter. You could always go back to your local video store (just kidding! It’s closed). Or rebuild your taste graph by spending years watching films on a new service, like you did with Netflix, coming to know one another like trusting lovers, finally able to admit to yourself that yes, you love romantic foreign dramas with a comedic touch. Read More