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]
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]
Love in the Time of Algorithms
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.
Exit This Way
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]
It’s now reported that Don Mattick, the new CEO of Zynga, is going to be paid in 95% stock. Nothing about this sounds a like a good deal for the former Microsoft exec. [Wall Street Journal]
Relax: unread counts and a “mark as unread” button are coming to Digg Reader today. [Digg Blog]
Of course Apple is going to build a solar array next to its data center in Reno, which will be used to provide energy not only to its offices but to the community. [AllThingsD]
Google Reader’s creator said he would “absolutely not” build it inside the company if he thought of it today.Some employees worry the threat of the eventual ax will diminish the incentive to create new products at GOOG. [Forbes]
Michael Birch, who sold Bebo to Aol for $850 million in 2008, has bought back the chat service for a reasonable $1 million. He wants to “reinvent it,” so maybe he’ll transform it into an artisanal bakery. [TechCrunch]
Mark Pincus is stepping down from his role as CEO and being replaced with the former head of Microsoft’s entertainment division, Don Mattrick, according to Bloomberg. Several sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the deal could be announced as early as today, with Mr. Mattrick officially beginning the appointment on July 8th.
Play Your Video Games
Screw the tasteful minimalism of Dots: I am completely, hopelessly addicted to the gloriously tacky Candy Crush.
I play it on the subway, riding the elevator, in bed trying to fall asleep at night. It’s killing my battery. I’ve resorted to begging friends for additional moves, in hopes of escaping the replicating chocolate squares of level 65.
Nor am I alone in my addiction: According to App Data, it’s currently the most popular app on Facebook. It even makes real money off in-game purchases from desperate obsessives like yours truly.
That’s really not enough to justify an IPO, though. And yet the Wall Street Journal says that’s exactly what the makers of Candy Crush want.