Selfie study Kim Kardashian could be in possession of the just-announced iPhone 5s, or sunlight could’ve just made her black iPhone look grey. Tech!
Refinery29 spotted a photo uploaded to Ms. Kardashian’s Instagram in which the iPhone that appears looks mysteriously like the Space Gray color the new iPhone 5s will be offered in. That wouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak was one of the first non-Kardashian humans to visit baby North West. But let’s not kid ourselves: it’s been awhile since Mr. Wozniak had any sort of insider pull at Apple and he’s going to be waiting in line for the iPhone 5s just like everyone else.
We’ll chalk this one up to a suspicious choice in filter.
After a fraught public spat that included rape and abuse allegations and captured tech watchers on both coasts, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has filed a law suit against his former girlfriend, Jenn Allen, for attempting to “smear plaintiff’s name on the internet, to destroy his reputation, and to deter third persons from associating with him,” according to a lawsuit uncovered by Valleywag.
Techcrunch founder and venture capitalist Michael Arrington posted a letter to his Uncrunched blog this evening regarding statements made by his ex-girlfriend, RTist.com founder Jenn Allen. In March, Ms. Allen alleged on her Facebook page that Mr. Arrington physically abused her. She later stated in the comments of a Gawker post that he also raped her.
A subsequent Gawker story also outlined claims that Mr. Arrington had abused other women, including ex-girlfriend Meghan Asha. He was also investigated in 1999 for misconduct against a female coworker when working at the company RealNames.
The Chat-rooming Classes Today, seemingly every tech reporter in the business tuned into Jason Calacanis‘s “This Week in Startups,” presumably in the hopes that Mr. Calacanis would tell all re: the allegations of abuse against Michael Arrington. But as familiar names chattered away in the chat room, Mr. Calacanis had little to say beyond comparing himself to Obi Wan. That would make Mr. Arrington Anakin Skywalker, of course; Mr. Calacanis said he taught him how to be powerful in media, and “I regret that.”
As for the allegations themselves, Mr. Calacanis was quick to say he wouldn’t be commenting on whether they were true, citing his lack of direct knowledge. (He did, however, openly discuss the time that Mr. Arrington called a PR honcho “the c-word,”
thereby outing someone who’d never mentioned the incident publicly!) [Correction: Mr. Calacanis first mentioned the incident and the PR exec (Brooke Hammerling) by name in the comments of his Facebook post, prompting Ms. Hammerling to confirm the story, also in a Facebook comment.] All in all, it sounds like he (kinda sorta) regrets getting involved. He apparently thought writing a Facebook note wouldn’t go very far. “I thought that that would be a place where it just lived there,” he said. (Paging Randi Zuckerberg!) “I got a little P.T. Barnum in me and I feel like me commenting on all this stuff actually detracts from it,” he added.
XY in Tech
Jenn Allen, a startup founder and ex-girlfriend of Michael Arrington, revealed on Facebook that her relationship with the TechCrunch founder and investor was so wrought by physical and emotional abuse that she can’t get out of bed.
The public Facebook post, first reported by Gawker, was published late Thursday night to Ms. Allen’s 4,500 followers. Ms. Allen said that Mr. Arrington cheated on her several times during their eight year long relationship and threatened to murder her. She described the emotional abuse as “equally bad,” claiming that she is “completely over” him.
News of the first annual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day swept across the web this morning following an article penned by one of the event’s founders, gaming and social media reporter Leigh Alexander. “From booth babes to harassment, snide comments to double standards, women have often had a hard time feeling comfortable around the tech industry,” she wrote. In order to demonstrate “the absurdity of objectifying people you claim to agree with or support intellectually,” she’s encouraging female tech writers to give gendered compliments or make sexist proclamations to men about their work.
Though the actual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day isn’t until February 1st, Betabeat–comprised primarily of female writers–could hardly contain ourselves. Here are 25 gendered comments for 25 of our favorite male tech writers.
Tim Cook’s not sure where you all got the idea he’s robotic. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
He also confirmed Apple is bringing some manufacturing back to the U.S. No guarantees how much, though. [Bloomberg News]
Get psyched for Skype voice messages. [The Verge]
Hey Best Buy (and all other mega corporations): Maybe don’t assume you can just rip off a startup’s proprietary technology? [Redeye VC]
International fugitive John McAfee has been apprehended in Guatemala, reportedly for entering the country illegally. No word on whether the Vice guys are screwed. [New York Times]
Michael Arrington is very peeved at Instagram pulling Twitter integration. So peeved he felt it necessary to slap on a Winnie the Pooh hat and write a rant. [TechCrunch]
This is what the earth looks like at night. [NASA]
Born To Yodel
Saying it seeks to help politicians “become better listeners” and make techies effective citizens, TechCrunch today announced the launch of CrunchGov.
In an introductory post, CrunchGov creator Greg Ferenstein explained that the new site will include a political leaderboard grading politicians on how they vote on tech and a “legislative database of technology policy.” That database will contain bills under congressional review and names of both the politicians who clearly understand the intersection of technology and policy and those who don’t have a clue.
CrunchGov’s tech-related report cards for politicos will rank legislators with “transparent criteria” that merge the political and the technical.
Do It For Me
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.
Back in December, Bo Fishback, CEO of the peer-to-peer marketplace Zaarly, which lets you buy and sell products and services from the people around you, told Betabeat that Zaarly planned to grow its presence in New York City from two full-time employees up to 10 or possibly 30 new staffers.
For the Kansas City-based company, which has raised $15.1 million in a little over a year since it launched, it was a signal of how important New York was both as a market and testing ground. “We hope to learn what we need to know from the New York community to help us go to scale in other cities,” Mr. Fishback told us at the time, along with the news that local staff would be moving into Marc Ecko’s building at 40 West 23rd Street. Mr. Ecko is an investor, along with Ashton Kutcher, Michael Arrington, Crunchfund, and Kleiner Perkins.
But earlier today Betabeat was informed that Zaarly was closing down its New York office. “I’ve heard it’s gone,” said a source. Mr. Fishback confirmed the news, but said it was, “not really intended to be a big deal, and mostly just temporary moves,” he responded by email.