Archive for day September 16th, 2011

2D Versions of Films Are Out-Performing Their Pricey 3D Counterparts [3D]

Roger Ebert was right. Not about video games not being art, that was pure bullshit. He was right about 3D being a waste of movie-goers' money—and apparently more and more people are agreeing with him. More »


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Roberto Baldwin

September 16th

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Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program: Posterous Raises $5 Million

Screen Shot 2011-09-16 at 4.19.04 PM

Um, oh hey guys, what’s up? Nothing much over on my side, except that I’d really like a Diet Coke. Also, I’m hearing that nascent photo sharing app née blogging platform Posterous is raising some money. So yeah that’s what’s up over here in my neck of TC HQ.

Chew on this if you’re in the mood for some actual tech news; the simple blogging service and Tumblr competitor has just raised $5 million in Series B according to multiple sources. Taking part in the round will be Redpoint Ventures, newcomer Jafco Ventures and existing angels.

On Monday Posterous revamped its entire product and focus around Posterous Spaces, which — in the same vein as Google Circles — allows users to pick and choose whom they share specific content with. Thus far the product has received mixed response from users.

I’m just going to assume that Posterous will be using the cash to increase its engineering team, because that’s what I usually write everyday in these things. This new funding comes in addition to another $5.14 million in seed, angel and Series A financing from Y Combinator, SV AngelLowercase Capital, Brian Pokorny and others, making the company’s total funding to date $10.14 million.

I think I just might go get that Diet Coke now.


Company: Posterous
Website: posterous.com
Funding: $5.14M

Posterous emerged from Y Combinator in the summer of 2008 as an innovative company focused on making blogging simple - as simple as sending an email - and now has more than 15 million monthly users. With the launch of Posterous Spaces, the company is bringing its trademark simplicity to help people share smarter with intuitive privacy controls to share selectively across multiple platforms.

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Alexia Tsotsis

September 16th

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ITC to review Apple win in patent battle with HTC

The United States International Trade Commission will re-investigate claims that HTC is infringing on Apple’s patents. In July, a judge ruled HTC was guilty of infringing on two of Apple’s patents that covered “a system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and “a real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” HTC quickly said it would appeal the decision, noting it has a strong case against Apple. HTC fired back and sued the iPhone maker for patent infringement in August when it accused Apple of infringing on three of its patents. HTC said it was disappointed in “Apple’s constant attempts at litigation instead of competing fairly in the market,” and even said it was willing to bury the hatchet in the ongoing patent battles. Apple and HTC must send in written submissions and “proposed remedial orders” related to the case by October 6th. The U.S. ITC will complete its investigation by December 6th, Bloomberg said.

[Via Bloomberg]

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Todd Haselton

September 16th

Apple

Apple Pippen: the Apple TV Precursor, NOT the Game Console [Past Perfect]

Yes, Apple TV officially debuted in 2007. And yes, Pippin was the failed Apple/Bandai gaming console from the early '90s. But did you know there was a set-top box Apple was working on in the late '90s named Pippen? More »


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Adrian Covert

September 16th

Apple

Perhaps Windows 8 Would Not Be That Good After All [Humor]

We are all extremely excited about the new user interface in Windows 8. I love Metro so very much. But looking at Microsoft's past history, perhaps we should keep the fireworks in the box until it gets released. [Thanks Karl!] More »


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Jesus Diaz

September 16th

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How to Delete (or Archive) Attachments in Apple Mail and Free Up Disk Space [Mac OS X]

Apple Mail is a pretty decent email client, but it saves all your attachments in a folder deep within your user library, sucking up disk space without ever really letting you know. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to solve if you know where to look. Sort of, anyway. Apple made removing your attachments very simple, but if you want to actually save and archive them it can be a bit more complicated—especially if you're running Lion. But not to worry, we'll walk you through the whole thing. The process can be a little tedious, but it's not too tough. More »


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Adam Dachis

September 16th

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Seven States Oppose AT&T/T-Mobile Merger, AT&T Isn’t Worried

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“This proposed merger would stifle competition in markets that are crucial to New York’s consumers and businesses, while reducing access to low-cost options and the newest broadband-based technologies.”

So sayeth New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is joined by the attorneys general of six other states in support of the Department of Justice suit that sought to halt the pending AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

And so the AT&T/T-Mobile craziness continues.

The states that have come out in favor of the DoJ suit are New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. Even when facing mounting opposition, AT&T seems rather nonplussed about the whole situation. AT&T spokesperson Michael Balmoris has stated that “it is not unusual for state attorneys general to participate in DOJ merger review proceedings or court filings.” Translation: it’s not a big deal.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that AT&T can count on the support of 11 states who have publicly endorsed the deal. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming have all thrown their support behind AT&T and T-Mobile, presumably because they stand to benefit from increased wireless build-out and more jobs.

The merger also received a spirited defense yesterday by a small contingent of 15 House Democrats (11 of whom received campaign contributions from AT&T), who encouraged President Obama to settle in favor of the deal. For the truly curious, only Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky overlap between the list of states that support the merger, and the states whom those 15 Democrats represent.

After all this, AT&T has a only few more obstacles to face when the case goes to trial. Not an impossible task, according to Reuters: it just means AT&T needs to convince a few more people before a settlement can be reached.



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Chris Velazco

September 16th

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Gimme Music, American Photo, the Invisible Universe and More [Best Apps Of The Week]

In this week's app roundup: music, discovered; 9/11, remembered with photographs; the Invisible Universe, seen; languages, translated; boarding passes, re-imagined; NBC, TNT, TBS, iPadded; turntable.FM, iPhoned; browsers, dolphined; and much, much more. More »


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Casey Chan

September 16th

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I’m Leaving TechCrunch. Here’s Why.

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So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark —that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I’ll get right to the point: this is my last post on TechCrunch. And it’s my resignation letter. The first resignation letter I’ve ever written, in fact. Usually I get fired.

To those who have been following the recent TechCrunch drama, this post won’t come as much of a surprise. A little over a week ago I wrote that, unless Mike Arrington was allowed to choose his own successor as editor of TechCrunch, I would no longer write for the site. Sure enough, this past Monday, a statement from AOL announced Erick Schonfeld as the new editor.

A lot of outside observers assume that Schonfeld, who has been with TechCrunch since 2007, was Mike’s choice to take over. But, in the interests of transparency, it’s important to clarify what really happened. The truth is, Erick was Arianna Huffington’s choice, not TechCrunch’s.

What I knew last week, but can only write now, is that while Heather, Mike and other senior editorial staffers were making a stand for the site’s editorial independence from The Huffington Post, Erick cut a side deal with Huffington to guarantee him the top job once Mike was gone.

The irony is that had Erick stayed strong for just a few days, he’d would have been appointed interim editor anyway, with Mike’s blessing. Mike and Heather were even considering Erick for the permanent position but had concerns about his ability to retain (in Fred Wilson’s words) TechCrunch’s “swagger“. Mike felt that current Senior Editor Sarah Lacy might be a better choice: she has the right personality — and sources — for the job and she actually lives in Silicon Valley (Erick is based in New York). Unfortunately she’s also away for four months, on maternity leave.

The curious thing is that Erick knew everyone at TechCrunch supported him, at least for the interim role. And yet when Arianna called, he answered. Mike and I spoke at the time and he gave me his take on the deal: “at the point Erick began negotiating with Arianna instead of standing firm with the rest of us, he became nothing more that Arianna’s pet. All hope for independence with him at the lead became lost”. (Mike asked me to keep our conversations confidential until the situation was resolved.)

Not three days after his appointment, Erick made his first ethics disclosure as TC’s new editor — insisting that Mike had played no part in the selection of TechCrunch Disrupt finalists. Bluntly put, that was not true — as Mike had to clarify in the comments…

“Erick… Please be careful making statements on my behalf. And remember that reader trust is what matters. You shouldn’t say “he was not involved in the final selection of these companies” just because it sounds nice. Since it isn’t true, you shouldn’t say it at all.”

One of these two men is your new ethical champion, Arianna. The other one is the guy you fired.

For what it’s worth — and this is the point in this post where I suspect Mike and I will part company — I still have a lot of time for Arianna Huffington. I was the first TechCrunch writer to celebrate her appointment as Editor in Chief of AOL and I still stand by much of what I wrote in my post welcoming Our Huffington Overlord. In this situation, though, I think she screwed up badly by allowing her growing personal animosity towards Mike — and, let’s be clear, this fight was almost entirely personal — to rule her head, ejecting Mike completely from the company he founded and installing his polar opposite as a puppet editor. As Barry Diller put it on Wednesday: “So now, he’s gone, and now they own this thing, which has no voice. Congratulations. What a good piece of business.”

Putting aside my professional feelings towards Erick — and I’ve been writing about those for a long time — the notion that a Silicon Valley blog should be run by a guy in New York is just ludicrous. As such, Huffington’s short-term victory is likely to prove a medium and long term disaster.

Still, even as I was writing the words above, I found my anger towards Erick fading. Despite the fact that he fucked over Mike and Heather — and, by extension, the whole of TechCrunch — I don’t think he’s a bad guy. There are times, in fact, when I positively like him: he works hard, crosses the t’s and is a fine, and experienced, analytical reporter. He’s just — what’s the word? — hapless. He is a man utterly devoid of ‘hap’. Hating him for being expertly played by Arianna Huffington is like hating a baby for crying on a long-haul flight. He doesn’t understand why people are mad at him, he just wants to be fed.

Towards the end of my last book I wrote about the importance of having loyalty to one’s friends and of knowing when to quit. The former principle literally saved my life while the latter I’ve never quite got the hang of — dragging out relationships, jobs, a drinking problem… sentences… to beyond snapping point. This time, though, I think I’ve learned my lesson. This past TechCrunch Disrupt was the best yet — a fitting tribute to Mike, and a lasting reminder of why he and Heather made (make) such a perfect team. Under Heather’s guidance the business of TechCrunch will continue to grow; and thanks to the site’s amazing editorial staff, the scoops and page views will keep on flowing both at home and abroad. But with Mike’s departure, the gonzo spirit that first drew me to TechCrunch — that desire to not just report the story, but to be part of it — has gone. And with it my confidence that if the shit starts flying, my editor will be there holding an umbrella. I really can’t over-emphasize how much Mike, as an editor, made writers feel like he had their back.

(Amusingly, I just looked back at my first ever column for TechCrunch and it contains this paragraph…

The Editorial independence thing was particularly important to me. TechCrunch is a publication that never shies away from a good story, which sometimes means it makes embarrassing or amusing mistakes. I called out these mistakes with glee when I was at the Guardian, and I see no reason why I should stop now. Or to put it another way, the next time Erick asks the question “Did Last.fm just hand over listening data to the RIAA?” I need to be able to say “no, you idiot” without fear of reprisals.

)

Back in February, when Paul Miller quit AOL-owned Engadget, I smugly schooled him on the five rules of effective stunt resignation. Revisiting that list today, I think I pretty much nailed rules one through three (Go Out In A Blaze Of Glory, Have A Specific Grievance, Timing Is Everything). Which just leaves numbers four and five.

Rule Four: “There’s No One Else Involved”

Since the Wall Street Journal reported my imminent resignation earlier in the week, plenty of folks have asked what I plan do next. Do I have another job already lined up? The answer is no. Once I hit “publish”, I’ll be without a regular writing gig for the first time in five years. This is both terrifying and exciting in equal measure. Sometimes you just have to hurl yourself off the cliff and see if anyone tries to catch you.

Rule Five: Find Someone Else Within A Week

For all of my pseudo-martyrdom, though, the hard fact is that TechCrunch was my regular gig, but not my only one. My “real” job is writing books, usually about myself — and believe me, the last few weeks have offered enough material for an epic — and tragicomic — tale. Don’t be surprised if you hear more on that subject soon. (You do follow me on Twitter, right?)

In addition to book ideas, there are two other potentially very exciting things floating around in my head — either one of which might make for an exciting next chapter of my career. According to my own rules, though, I’ve got seven days of due diligence left before I need to say more. So I won’t.

Except this: thank you Mike. Thank you for always having my back, and please know I’ll always have yours. The worst days working for you were still more interesting and fun than the best days working for anyone else. I hope we’ll get the opportunity to do it again soon.

Thank you to Heather for setting the inspiration bar so high that no future boss will ever quite measure up. Thank you (not for the first time) to Sarah Lacy for being my eternal voice of reason, and to Jon Orlin for the unflagging support — you guys made my days in the office more fun than is healthy. Thank you, in fact, to the entire TechCrunch team for being wonderful colleagues, and great friends; I’m going to miss the shit out of working with all of you. (Except for Jack McKenna: fuck that guy.)

And thanks finally to all of the TechCrunch readers who made it through my columns these past two-plus years. I genuinely appreciate your eyeballs and your brains, and I’ll miss the vast majority of you very much indeed.

And yet. And yet.

*Click*

*Publish*


Paul Carr is, by process of elimination, a writer. He writes a weekly column for TechCrunch, loosely focussing on media and technology. For the first part of what he laughingly calls his ‘career’, he edited various publications and founded numerous businesses with varying degrees of abysmal failure. After getting fired from every job he’d ever had – including at least two where he was his own boss – he realised it was easier to write about other people’s success than...

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Company: TechCrunch
Website: techcrunch.com
Launch Date: November 6, 2005

TechCrunch, founded on June 11, 2005 by Michael Arrington, is a network of technology-oriented blogs and other web properties.

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Paul Carr

September 16th

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NBC, TNT, TBS, American Photo and More [Ipad Apps Of The Week]

A bunch of networks released iPad apps, a touching look back at 9/11, Dolphin Browser finally shows up on the iPad and more this week. More »


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Casey Chan

September 16th

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