Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week and tell you what you need to know and why it matters.
The deal(ish): King Digital’s quarterly report shows the people are losing interest in Candy Crush, and stock prices fell 23 percent.
Investors are trend-chasers, and in tech, those trends move particularly quickly. But when it comes being a slave to fast-moving fads, gaming companies put the rest of the tech business to shame.
As profits continue to tumble, so do Zynga’s staffing levels. The San Francisco-based game maker said today it’s laying off 15 percent of its workforce, or around 300 employees in its support and maintenance departments, Read More
Zynga is accepting bitcoins as a form of payment in some of its games that people still apparently play. [WSJ]
Yahoo has a lot of clunkers under its hood, like Answers, so why won’t they sell them? [Recode]
Facebook is jamming your News Feed with ads, but not as an effort to annoy you (that’s just a fun side effect). Rather, it’s to keep employees from jumping ship before the job is complete. [Quartz]
Similar to what it already does for creating playlists, Pandora is mining your music history to better tailor its ads. [New York Times]
Apple has bought the company behind Snappycam, a $1 photo app that lets users take photos in rapid succession. [CNBC]
Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft want Bill Gates gone as chairman. They worry he’s blocking the company from evolving and limits the power of the new CEO to make “substantial changes.” [Reuters]
Lines like “I found myself pressing the skip button on iTunes Radio more often than Pandora,” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s fledgling service. [Wall Street Journal]
The Washington Post is officially under Jeff Bezos’ control. [Washington Post]
Zynga founder Mark Pincus is “pretty bored with all games.” At least he acknowledged playing Running with Friends? [WSJ]
Sam Biddle shows how easy it is pretending to be a venture capitalist and gamed AngelList for fun. Hopefully this is just funding a second season of Start-ups: Silicon Valley. [Valleywag]
Love in the Time of Algorithms
Tis the season for Amazon to staff up for the holidays. It’s planning to hire 70,000 workers–an increase of 40 percent from last year. [USA Today]
Facebook has tweaked its settings for Graph Search…again. Now posts on your profile that aren’t made private are openly searchable. Or something. [VentureBeat]
Zynga and Bang With Friends have settled their trademark dispute although terms weren’t disclosed. However, BWF is hinting at their new future at TheNextBang.com. [AllThingsD]
Manhattan and the outer boroughs is going to be blanketed in even more free Wi-Fi by December. [The Verge]
Science and tech departments, like NASA, will be largely affected by today’s government shutdown. [CNet]
Exit This Way
Three months ago, Bang with Friends got booted from the App Store for being just plain salacious. But today brings good news for those of you iPhone users desperate for the dirty (unless you’ve already moved on to Tinder): TechCrunch reports that the service is available once more for download, though it’s been renamed the decidedly more generic “Down.”
You know, as in DTF.
After shuttering its NYC office, effectively closing down New York game studio OMGPOP forever, gaming behemoth Zynga announced today that it will be permanently shuttering OMGpop.com and four of the company’s games by September 30th. According to Polygon, Cupcake Corner, Gem Rush, Pool World Champ and Snoops will all be shut down by August 29th, with the website going dark the month after.
Devoid of any other ideas to generate cash, Zynga is now suing the owners of Bang With Friends because the Words with Friends owner feels the name is infringing on its trademark.
The struggling mobile gaming studio develops popular games that commonly end with the “With Friends” moniker (Words, Chess, Running, etc.) and asserts that Bang With Friends used it to gain popularity.
Zynga has seen three of its top execs depart the struggling gaming company within the past month. [Bloomberg]
There’s nothing weird about Bob Mansfield’s name from being scrubbed on Apple’s exec page. Rumor has it that he was so successful that he can do whatever he wants at the company. [Daring Fireball]
Instagram is so nonplussed about Windows Phone users sharing pictures through a third-party knock-off app called Instance that they’re supposedly deleting them as soon as they appear. [TNW]
Spotify’s music discovery feature is going to suck less if this leaked video is to believed. Even better, the new releases section might return too. [Gizmodo]
Vimeo, Redbox Instant and even HBOGo might soon appear on your Google Chromecast making for one very useful dongle. [GigaOM]
Astronomers have detected a mysterious intergalactic radio signals, and, “in just a few milliseconds, each of the signals released about as much energy as the sun emits in 300,000 years.” Mindblown.gif. [Discovery]
A new project struck up through a partnership with Facebook and Dartmouth will analyze veterans’ opt-in social media data to determine whether it’s possible to predict suicide risk through Facebook status updates. [Naked Security]
Millions of young people in Japan are holed up in their rooms after becoming withdrawn, or “Hikikomori,” and paralyzed by social anxiety. Why? [The BBC]
Zynga accidentally put the email address of a random stranger on their customer support page. This is what happened. [Kotaku]