Microsoft recently updated its YouTube app for Windows Phones, but Google isn’t too pleased with the results–going so far as to send a cease and desist. That’s because Microsoft built in features allowing users to block ads. [The Verge]
A spokesman said they’d be “more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs.” [The Verge]
“Reading is an activity more likely to be on screen than on the printed page.” So there’s that. [BBC]
Car-sharing service Relay Rides has gotten the ax (locally at least) from the New York State’s Department of Financial Services, who said their insurance is “illegal and inadequate.” [PandoDaily]
Looks like, after technical problems, NASA’s other-Earth-seeking Kepler Telescope is powering down. [Popular Science]
“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.” That’s the kind of email that, even if you are Steve Jobs, lands you in hot water with antitrust enforcers. [AllThingsD]
Off the Media
It’s been nearly seven years since YouTube first launched its “Partners Program,” a platform for YouTube creators that gives them a portion of revenue made on their videos, and nearly two years since Google invested more than $100M in YouTube content producers. Despite this financial influx, the quality of content on YouTube has stagnated somewhere between “awful” and “downright terrible.”
Call it the Jenna Marbles paradox, after the top YouTuber profiled in the New York Times earlier this year who, after more than one billion views and millions earned in ad revenue, still makes some of the most amateur videos you can imagine. As she put it, she makes “more money than I need, ever” and yet, if you had no idea who she was and watched one of her million-views-plus videos, you’d think this was the first time she’d ever turned on a video camera.
YouTube has just debuted an entertaining feature on its Trends page: a map where you can see which videos are the most popular by city and region. It is a K-hole without parallel.
Here’s a high school policy we can get behind: a group of students in San Diego were suspended and banned from their prom and commencement for making a twerking video. The nearly three dozen kids, who filmed a version of the raunchy viral video on school property, made it during their journalism class and posted it on YouTube.
Hey, you! You who hates everything. I’m diggin’ your smirk. Boy, have we got something to show you. If you thought flashmob wedding proposals were bad, get a load of this: some guy actually used an aerial drone to propose to his girlfriend. Because nothing says romance like “unmanned aerial craft that’s typically used to kill people.”
All it took for Google to buy Provo, Utah’s fiber-optic network was a dollar. If only you had four quarters! [AP]
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that YouTube did not violate Viacom’s copyright–despite the fact that several of the company’s shows were being illicitly uploaded onto the site. That’s because the Google-owned service is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe-harbor provision.” [Los Angeles Times]
Time‘s very important “100 Most Influential People List” is packed with techies with fake-sounding titles, like “Internet talent discoverer” Scooter Braun. [AllThingsD]
Twitter announced it has teamed up with BBC America to offer “in-tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” What does that mean? Your guess is as good as ours. [CNet]
Amazon, looking to expand its international operations, has opened an office in Russia. [TechCrunch]
As predicted, LinkedIn has shelled out $90 million for the mobile news aggregation startup Pulse. [AllThingsD]
Facebook is still the biggest social network for teens but they’re getting, like, so totally bored with it. Ditto YouTube. [Business Insider]
People who believe they’re “electrosensitive” are moving to a small town in West Virginia to escape Wi-Fi and cell phone service and other such rays. [Slate]
“Because people broadcast their lives on Facebook and Twitter and Vine, there’s a notion that everything that happens is going to be shared.” Social media is helping convince people they need to film their wedding proposals. [Forward]
Bitcoin has dropped 77 percent in two days. Hope everyone’s learned their lesson. [Business Insider]
Twitter is reportedly launching its music service sometime either today or this weekend, to coincide with–sigh, of course–Coachella. [AllThingsD]
At this point, it seems fair to say that celebrity-associated tech startups occupy their own stratum of Startupland. There’s the celebrity-backed startup, benefitting from the digital ambitions of investors like Scooter Braun, Ashton Kutcher, and Lady Gaga. Then there’s the celebrity “cofounded” company (see: half the startups in Los Angeles). There’s even startups that help brands harness the buying power of, say, Team Breezy.
Coming soon: a celebrity-backed venture capital fund, with a hashtag in the title, of course.
Crime and Punishment
Google Ideas, the search giant’s “think/do tank,” recently funded a study about Internet usage among gang members. Fast Company reports on the results, and surprise, surprise: Rather than committing complicated cyber crimes or crowd-funding gun purchases, their main activities involve “self-promotion and braggadocio.” Primarily by posting YouTube videos.
Gang members, they’re online narcissts like everybody else!
For a brief period on Sunday, several popular K-pop videos were blocked from international viewers. And, as Billboard reports, devoted fans reacted (as you’d expect) like a bunch of junkies arriving home to discover their stash stolen. In short, they freaked right the fuck out.