Guess who’s still droning away? Former Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson has just raised a $30 million Series B for his startup 3D Robotics. Investors include Foundry Group, True Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and SK Ventures. It’s in addition to $5 million raised last year.
The company plans to use the money to “mainstream aerial robotics and surveying,” i.e., turning this hobbyist habit into something relatively affordable and approachable for those who aren’t lifelong subscribers to, well, Wired. The team is zeroing on commercial use cases, the big example being agriculture. Mr. Anderson said in a statement:
Delivery From Inconvenience
Anyone who’s ever waited in line for a MetroCard or set foot in the soul-sucking purgatory that is the Port Authority will be excited for the following news: British analysts believe mobile transit ticketing is set to triple in the next five years, according to Wired
Go Home Science You're Drunk
Just in time for the season six premier of True Blood, the UK’s Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has given researchers at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine the go-ahead to try creating synthetic blood with stem cells.
This happened late last month, according to Wired, and either the timing is a total coincidence or HBO has Read More
Go Home Science You're Drunk
Pinterest is known as the magical place where sorority girls and your friend’s mom can amass their fave photos of recipes, wedding dresses and craft ideas on their very own online scrapbooks. With immense satisfaction, they then stare at those color-coordinated material items that just might help them to forget the harsh realities of cul-de-sac life.
But the site doesn’t just traffic in shabby chic porn for Tory Burch wannabes. Online retailers have found great success with its largely female, middle-class demographic. Enough repins on the perfect Pinterest image can translate into actual sales.
How Not to Use Email
In spite of her training in military intelligence and West Point education, David Petraeus’s biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell apparently never learned about tracing data embedded in emails. That’s what ultimately brought the F.B.I. to Ms. Broadwell’s door and led to the ugly unveiling last Friday of her affair with the former general and CIA director.
Wired reports the tawdry tale began its downhill slide into public scandal with email harassment:
Space the Final Frontier
As much as we love the notion of 3D printing ourselves a pizza and sitting down to a 3D printed game of canasta at a 3D printed dinner table, it sometimes seems this snazzy technology is often used to produce little more than tchotchkes.
And then NASA goes and 3D prints some rocket parts.
"But you guys love cats"
“If one has set out to say something definitive about the relationship between cats and the Internet, it’s important not to be delayed indefinitely by Internet cats,” writes Gideon Lewis-Kraus in a thousands-word long Wired piece about cats on the Internet. He studied the cultural impact of Internet cats in Japan, and traveled there to meet with a famous cat band. It is glorious.
Sadly, Maru declined to be interviewed for the piece.
Startup soothsayer Paul Graham penned a letter to Y Combinator’s portfolio companies about withstanding the fallout from Facebook’s poorly-performing IPO. [Business Insider, Hacker News]
Fred Wilson wants to put Mr. Graham’s musings in perspective. [A VC]
Apple will yank Google Maps from iPhones later this year, which is just another reason why we’re quite happy with our Galaxy Nexus, thankyouverymuch. [Wall Street Journal]
GigaOm rounds up what we know about Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker’s video startup, Airtime, set to launch at a press event this morning. [GigaOm]
Oh good, there is an Instagram for animated GIFs. [Wired]
Lego my LEGOs
Remember Thomas Langenbach, the SAP executive who used his tech chops to steal and resell thousands of dollars worth of LEGOs? Turns out he was–unsurprisingly–a bit of a LEGO hoarder, even going so far as to build what “looked like a mini Legoland,” Cindy Hendrickson, Supervising Deputy District Attorney with the Santa Clara County D.A.’s office, told Wired.
Last week, Betabeat received an email from an anonymous source claiming to have leaked an internal FBI report about the virtual currency Bitcoin. The report, published April 24, revealed the agency is worried the currency could become a payment method for cyber criminals in the near future, and could be used to fund “illicit groups.” (Wikileaks, anyone?) The FBI also determined the currency to be an “increasingly useful tool for various illegal activities beyond the cyber realm,” and could become attractive to money launderers.
The report, titled “Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Intelligence. Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit Activity,” was the FBI’s first research report on Bitcoin. The report was not classified, but it was marked “for official use only.” Betabeat, Wired, and a number of blogs ran with the story without confirming the report’s authenticity, but today we got a call back from the FBI. “It is legitimate, but it was not leaked by the government,” an FBI representative told Betabeat.