The New York Times last week published an article titled “All Is Fair in Love and Twitter.” Tad Hirsch, a researcher in MIT’s Smart Cities Group, today published a post countering the description of Twitter’s early days by author Nick Bilton, and explaining that Twitter all began with status-sharing service TXTmob.
Here’s the crux of it:
To be clear, TXTmob wasn’t Twitter. The Twitter team made a number of key innovations that allowed the project to scale, and to attract investors. Further, pointing out that TXTmob played a role in Twitter’s creation is in no way to suggest that Evan, Blaine, Jack Dorsey, or anyone else stole anything from me. TXTmob was an open-source project that I freely shared. The folks at Odeo took this project and adapted it for mainstream use in ways that I frankly did not anticipate. And while I wouldn’t object if one of the Twitter millionaires decided to send along a few “thank you” shares, I don’t believe that they are under any obligation to do so.
In other words, much like Facebook was a significant improvement over Myspace, Twitter was a significant improvement over TXTmob. The only difference is that out of the four services, TXTmob is probably the one you’ve never heard of.
Top Image Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Only a few months after its debut, mobile couponing app Clipless for Android has already been acquired by deal aggregator 8coupons, which had previously served as a data source within the app, along with other providers like Yelp, Groupon, Amazon Local, Foursquare, LivingSocial, and more. Clipless founder CEO Michael Barnathan, who was also acting as CTO of CoatChex (aka the Shark Tank startup which turned down Mark Cuban), is now leaving CoatChex to become 8coupons’ new “Head of Mobile.”
8coupons, for those unfamiliar, has to date delivered over 13 million deals across all verticals, including local, national, goods, and travel. It covers all local deals, including both “daily” deals and “everyday” deals like card-linked offers and zip-targeted offers from partners like Valpak and Money Mailer, among others. Today, its network of around 600,000 deals from over 500 sources are made available both on the web for consumers, as well as to developers through an API.
The company once offered an iOS application, too, but it has been pulled down from the iTunes App Store ahead of its makeover and relaunch.
Following this acquisition, both the Clipless Android app and current 8coupons iOS applications will both be relaunching with a user interface makeover, designed to offer a better user experience, additional functionality, more intelligence, better content, and other improvements, we’re told.
That should be helpful to the 8coupons brand, which despite having pioneered location-based couponing (8coupons had, for example, partnered with Foursquare during its early days to power real-time deal alerts), has since been somewhat lacking the in-house talent needed to take on various competitors who have been transitioning their businesses to mobile.
Clipless, meanwhile, was interesting because of its ability to offer targeted, location-based deal alerts in real-time, and on mobile where those alerts are most practical. Broadly speaking, it competes with other shopping/deal finders like Shopular, Shop Alerts, Retail Me Not, Shopkick, and others. But as Barnathan explained at the time, many of these apps have been focused on malls and big box stores. They’ve been more like having mobile access to circulars, and less like having a personal assistant, he told TechCrunch in August.
Now at 8coupons, Barnathan will continue to focus on that same product vision at his new home, while helping the company build out its mobile engineering team further. (This could also mean there’s the potential for more startup acquisitions in the future.)
“The acquisition of Clipless was driven by its natural fit into 8coupons’ technology roadmap and we’re excited to have Michael join us in our mission to help people make the most out of their daily lives, by integrating the most advanced technology and data to give people what, when, where, and how they want it,” says 8coupons co-founder and CEO Landy Ung.
“Together with Clipless and Michael as Head of Mobile, we’re looking forward to accelerating our product development pipeline, designed to help 8coupons fulfill its mission since launching as a location-based platform for mobile deals on demand,” she adds.
From TechCrunch’s understanding, the deal was more about Barnathan’s talents than the Clipless app itself. The deal was some cash, but mostly stock at 8coupons’ valuation of $30 million. Stay tuned.
Clipless is a “contextual deals” mobile app, currently released for Android. The premise is simple: you visit a place with a deal, we pop it up for you so you can use it right there. Think Foursquare’s check-in concept but with the intelligence of Google Now. Deals are the start, but we ultimately want to make our users “VIPs everywhere”, and we have the data and knowledge to do it. With direct and indirect access to over 2,000 daily deal…
8coupons is the largest source for local deals AND daily deals. 8coupons’ network of 500,000 live, geo-targeted deals come from partners such as Valpak, Restaurant.com, Groupon, Living Social, plus 2,000 other sources. 8coupons aggregates deal information from just about everywhere so our users can be confident they’re seeing the best deals from one place. Keep up with the best deals near you by visiting http://www.8coupons.com/, subscribing to 8coupons’ email newsletter, following @8coupons on Twitter, or by becoming…
Read the original post: Deal Aggregator 8coupons Acquires Clipless App To Aid In Move To Mobile
In an effort to protect government whistleblowers from unprecedented levels of surveillance, the Freedom of the Press Foundation has launched SecureDrop, an anonymous submission tool for secure communications between sources and journalists. SecureDrop accepts encrypted documents and tips from sources and facilitates communication without putting journalists in jeopardy of having to reveal sources under the threat of imprisonment.
The need for security is heightened given the Obama Administration’s aggressive prosecution of leakers under the Espionage act. Last Spring, for instance, the Justice Department seized the phone records of AP journalists involved in reporting a foiled bomb plot in Yemen.
“One of the reasons that the Obama administration has prosecuted so many whistleblowers is that there’s an easy way to find digital trails of how journalists meet sources and talk to them,” said Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director, Trevor Timm. “We need to figure out a way for journalists to talk to sources without that fear.”
SecureDrop was originally the project of fallen hacktivist, Aaron Swartz (then called DeadDrop). The project has since been updated to account for recent National Security Agency spying revelations, though the organization reminds reporters than nothing is 100% secure. The code base is open source and has been vetted by security experts from the University of Washington [PDF].
Freedom of the Press Foundation has even offered to help outlets install the rather complex encryption tool. Learn more about it here.[Image Credit: Flickr User Electronic Frontier Foundation]
Here’s a question: Are rappers rapping about being verified on Twitter? As it turns out, a number have, both in the positive (verified) and the negative (not verified). And, it also turns out, I am way, way behind.
The lyrics, as you might have already guessed, are fucking incredible. It’s fun to see Twitter become culturally relevant enough that status on the service is something worth boasting about. If you have any other examples, the comments are yours.
To the songs!
Still ain’t verified on Twitter, started from the bottom still here [Source]
In this lyric, Kid Slim points out that he is not verified on Twitter, and that unlike Drake who started from the bottom to reach “here,” he remains low on the status totem.
Your minds on bitter your vibes on Twitter / Check my file my resume is verified on Twitter [Source]
Royce Da 5’9 in this case isn’t impressed that you are whining on Twitter, and would like to point out that his resume is verified by Twitter. That entire Funkmaster Flex session, by the way, is really worth listening to. Crooked I nails his first verse.
Ya’ll verified on Twitter, I’m verified by real n*****S / Ain’t they don’t hashtag, they toe tag / Have me send a DM to ya folks pad [Source]
Joell is a member of Slaughterhouse, a rap supergroup that apparently has a thing for Twitter. The irony here is that Joell is actually verified on Twitter, so, there’s that.
When are you gon’ realize? / That Fat Trel certified, that’s why my Twitter verified [Source]
The irony? Fat Trel isn’t verified.
Cause my idol’s going up and verified on Twitter [Source]
Not completely sure what Chrystopher is saying here, but he is verified on Twitter.
The me-me generation where everybody is famous / Blue check next to ya name or remain nameless [Source]
XV isn’t very proud of the current generation, who are self-centered and focused on ephemeral symbols, such as Twitter verification.
I just ain’t just a trend, but lately I’ve been trending, baby / Blue check beside my name, so call me maybe? [Source]
Ok, Miller is actually verified, so this isn’t too far out there. But the Carly Rae Jepsen allusion is mostly flat.
Special thanks to Ellen Cushing for finding most of these for me.
Top Image Credit: Ernest Duffoo
Here is the original post: Rappers Are Rapping About Being Verified (Or Not) On Twitter
Google today started to provide financial incentives for proactive improvements to open-source software (OSS) that go beyond merely fixing a known security bug. Awards currently range between $500 and $3,133.70.
Google says it will be rolling out the program gradually, the speed of which will be dermined on the quality of the received submissions and feedback from the developer community. The initial run is limited in scope to the following projects:
Soon (it wouldn’t say when exactly), the company will extend the program to:
In other words, Google is trying to bring its Vulnerability Reward Program to the world of OSS in the hopes of improving the security of key third-party software critical to the health of the entire Internet. That’s a great goal, if we may say so ourselves.
Google says it toyed with the idea of just launching an OSS bug-hunting program, but it said the approach could “easily backfire.” The company worried that broad bug bounties would lead to a significant volume of spurious traffic that might overwhelm a small community of volunteers, not to mention finding bugs is only half the work (Google wants bug hunters to actually fix the issues they find).
If you’re interested, check out the rules, submit your patch directly to the maintainers of the individual projects, and then once it is accepted and merged into the repository, send all the relevant details to email@example.com.
See also – Three years in, Google has paid researchers over $2 million in security rewards and fixed more than 2,000 bugs and Google’s CIO explains the challenge of keeping data secure: ‘We spend a lot of time worrying about it’
Top Image Credit: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images
Uh oh — Adobe has just disclosed that one of their servers has been hacked.
While their investigations are still ongoing, Adobe has shared a few details on what they believe could have been accessed and obtained in the hack — and it’s a big one.
From what Adobe has shared so far, it sounds like the hackers had access to encrypted data for as many as 2.9 million customers. While Adobe stresses that the data is encrypted and that they “do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers”, that data — encrypted or not — is definitely not something they want out in the wild.
Adobe has yet to disclose how that data was encrypted, so it’s currently unclear just how secure it is.
Meanwhile, it also appears that the hackers may have been able to access the source code for at least three of Adobe’s products: Acrobat, ColdFusion, and ColdFusion Builder. This goes hand in hand with a report from Brian Krebs this morning, who noted that he and a fellow researcher had discovered at least 40GB of Adobe source code available on a hacking group’s private server.
Beyond the obvious business implications of having your otherwise locked down source code floating around in the wild, there are potentially massive security concerns here. Once you’ve got the source code for an application in hand, it becomes much easier to dig up the stealthy lil’ security screw ups that might otherwise go unnoticed. Combine this new potential for big zero-day exploits with the many, many millions of Adobe Acrobat (Adobe’s official PDF reader) installs around the world, and this all starts to get pretty worrisome.
View original post here: Adobe Gets Hacked, Product Source Code And Data For 2.9M Customers Likely Accessed
RadiumOne is completing the selection of which bankers will underwrite its IPO, which it plans to secretly file for soon, according to a source close to its Wall Street negotiations. The advertising tech company is said to have nearly $100 million in yearly revenue, and hopes to draft off of successful IPOs by fellow adtech provider RocketFuel and Twitter, which also filed a secret S-1.
RadiumOne provides businesses with marketing and analytics tools that generate data that the startup uses to target ads for its clients. It earns a cut of the advertising spend for accurately targeting the ads to potential and existing customers on the web, mobile, video, and Facebook. It’s said to be profitable, unlike some other players in the space that are still burning venture capital.
The company has raised $33.5 million from Crosslink Capital, Adams Street Partners, and Trinity Ventures. CEO Gurbaksh Chahal, who recently pleaded not guilty to allegations of assault, provided the company’s initial funding with proceeds from previously selling the startups BlueLithium and ValueClick for $300 million and $40 million respectively.
RadiumOne’s funding is about half that of competing adtech firm Rocket Fuel, which IPO’d last month and has seen its share price nearly double on the public market. Its success inspired RadiumOne to speed up its own IPO.
Our source says the schedule is to firm up which bankers will back the IPO and then monitor market conditions, especially the public debuts of Twitter and another ad tech startup called Criteo that filed last month. When things look right, it will confidentially file its S-1 thanks to the JOBS Act and go public after that.
RadiumOne declined to comment on these details.
RadiumOne’s public offering is timed to capitalize on Wall Street’s increased support for tech IPOs as of late. After Facebook stumbled out of the gates last year and saw half its value evaporate, it was dark days for IPOs for a while.
But $FB has now blown past its $38 IPO price to hit $50. Meanwhile, adtech firms that got beat up when they entered the public markets like Tremor and Marin Software have been clawing their way back up since July. It’s becoming clearer that TV ad dollars will shift to digital and that businesses can earn money on mobile ads, so RadiumOne seems to think it’s ready for the spotlight.
RadiumOne maintains the most intelligent, efficient and effective advertising platform for engaging and activating consumers across online, video, Facebook and mobile using real-time bidding. In a market exploding with data and complexity, we make digital media buying intelligent, seamless and effective, giving brands the transparency and control they need. RadiumOne’s platform harnesses data from hundreds of millions of social interactions through its own first party products and various data partnerships to deliver unique audiences and more accurate audience purchase…
At the age of 16, Gurbaksh dropped out of high school to pursue his dream as an entrepreneur and started his first company, ClickAgents. It was one of the first ad networks focused around performance based advertising. Eighteen months later, he sold it for $40 million to ValueClick. In January 2004, Gurbaksh founded his second company, BlueLithium, this time with an insight into sophisticated new ways that data, optimization and analytics could help Web advertisers with behavioral targeting. BlueLithium was…
The rest is here: RadiumOne Finalizes IPO Plan As It Hits ~$100M In AdTech Revenue
Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, has acquired file-sharing service Cloudup, which launched in beta in June. The acquisition will help Automattic improve two features of WordPress.com in particular: the media library used for uploading visual content and post editing to give multiple users the ability to edit at one time.
Cloudup is an offshoot of ed-tech company LearnBoost, which was founded in 2010, meaning it includes the same team and existing investors. LearnBoost co-founder and CTO Guillermo Rauch said the classroom management service will continue to operate under Automattic, as well.
Out of the gate, the Cloudup team will focus on revamping the post editor and replacing WordPress.com’s media library with Cloudup. Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg said that the service is much more advanced, elegant, and intuitive than WordPress.com’s current media uploader. ”Not many people say their favorite [WordPress.com] feature is the media library,” he noted.
It was an understatement. Cloudup’s technology will enable multiple parties to edit and write at the same time, meaning a writer could be drafting the text while a photographer uploads images to the same post. The service also allows for sharing a file before it is done uploading, meaning that a second party can begin viewing the file before it is complete.
Mullenweg said that he sees WordPress.com’s forthcoming co-editing capabilities as different from services like Google Docs. The latter fundamentally treats documents as documents, he said, whereas a blog post or page is a much richer experience due to its video, image, and gallery features.
Mullenweg did not give an estimate on when users will see the fruits of the integration, but he said their intention is to have it up as soon as possible.
According to Rauch, the Cloudup beta is a complete product, as some of the open-source technology that powers the system has been in development for years. Still, Mullenweg said there will likely be significant work to be done in scaling the Cloudup infrastructure and integrating it with WordPress.com and with Jetpack by WordPress.com.
Cloudup, which has accumulated around 10,000 active users since June, will continue to be available independently of WordPress.com. Automattic will continue running it and adding new features, and the service will soon be open to the public.
Although it would be an easy source of revenue, Mullenweg said that there are currently no plans to monetize on the service.
“We think Cloudup is something intrinsically useful to have in the world, and Automattic’s core businesses in WordPress.com, VIP, VaultPress, and Akismet are doing more than well enough for us as a company,” he said.
Mullenweg has said before that his goal is to see WordPress.com power the majority of all sites on the Internet — they are currently at just over 20 percent market share — and that the first step toward that end is simply improving WordPress.com as a platform. Cloudup helps accomplish that. For sites like TechCrunch, which uses the platform, the ability to co-edit a post and upload photos faster would certainly be an improvement in the flow of using WordPress.
Mullenweg said the acquisition was for both talent and technology, as he had been aware of LearnBoost’s open source ethos and had followed Rauch’s work for a number of years.
This acquisition brings Automattic’s total employee count to just over 200 people. While the majority of Cloudup employees are San Francisco based, three are international. One will be Automattic’s first Brazil-based employee, which extends the company’s reach to 29 countries.
Growing the Automattic team to the intended thousands of employees will be 95 percent hiring, Mullenweg said, with only a small percentage coming from acquisitions like this.
Automattic is the company behind WordPress.com and WordPress.com VIP, the cloud version of WordPress. Automattic hosts and supports all WordPress.com sites ensuring that there is continuous and strategic development of the software available to its users. WordPress.com is the simplest, most secure way to start web-publishing immediately on the open source WordPress platform. On WordPress.com, users can publish for free and then have the choice to pay for more premium features. Automattic also supports WordPress.com VIP, a premium service designed…
Cloudup allows users to share streams of anything – video, photos, music, links and files – instantly and easily. By simply dragging and dropping, Cloudup users can create streams of anything – videos, links, documents, pictures, songs, etc – and generate a shareable link that they can send to anyone (whether or not the recipient has an account). Cloudup focuses extensively on making the sharing experience seamless and gorgeous for both the sharer and the recipient to remove any and…
The Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal has confirmed today that it will part ways with All Things D. The media publication — and conference powerhouse — is still in talks with potential suitors but its relationship with the Journal is dead. The news was first reported by Fortune’s Dan Primack.
Negotiations have been going on for some time and sources tell us that this is largely due to the fact that Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the founders and standard-holders of the ATD brand, have been looking for funding to expand the business, rather than simply selling out to a larger media publication. One of the potential acquirers, we’re hearing, was AOL, which owns TechCrunch, Engadget, Autoblog and other blog properties including Patch.
“We plan to embark on a major global expansion of our technology coverage, which will include adding 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors, and reporters covering digital,” said Gerard Baker, Editor in Chief of Dow Jones and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal. “As part of this global push, we will also be expanding our conference franchise to include an international technology conference and building a new digital home for our first-class technology news and product reviews on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. “
At this point the ATD brand remains with the Wall Street Journal, which would likely continue to use it to in some fashion. The fate of the conferences, from what we know, is still up in the air. Whether a deal is cut to have them continue to run the conferences — or to buy them out — while parting ways on other matters, is yet to be determined. It seems unlikely that Dow Jones will want to let the lucrative events, run by Mossberg and Swisher, out of their grasp, and it’s difficult to see how that relationship would work out. It seems doubtful that they would shutter them entirely, however, as they’ve become marquee events.
The Wall Street Journal says that part of its deal will be for a new conference that will focus on international markets.
As far as the team goes, they are contracted with a corporation owned by Swisher and Mossberg, so they will stick together wherever the team ends up. This will be a deal for the whole kit and kaboodle, even Mike Isaac.
Primack reports that ATD won’t share any content and ‘certain’ advertising functions with the Journal, but that Mossberg will also leave his column. The timeline for the shuttering, as we’ve been hearing for some time, is end-of-year. Potential funding sources that that are being discussed for Mossberg and Swisher’s new effort are Reuters, NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, Condé Nast, Cox and The Washington Post.
The iconic red chairs that grace the stage at D events will remain with Mossberg and Swisher.
The Wall Street Journal’s statement in full:
For years, Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal has enjoyed working with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to bring the best of tech coverage to readers around the world under the All Things Digital brand, however, after discussions, both parties have decided not to renew the agreement when the contract expires at the end of this year.
Technology is the central driver of economic growth and the Journal is committed to being the indispensable global source of news and information in this critical area. We plan to embark on a major global expansion of our technology coverage, which will include adding 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors, and reporters covering digital.
As part of this global push, we will also be expanding our conference franchise to include an international technology conference and building a new digital home for our first-class technology news and product reviews on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. This new initiative will be an integral part of The Wall Street Journal and will be rooted in the Journal’s reputation for excellent, fair, objective, reliable and stimulating journalism. As part of the mutual separation, Walt Mossberg will be leaving the Journal at the end of this year. I want to offer heartfelt thanks for more than twenty years of Personal Technology columns as well as his very fine reporting on national and international affairs in the years before he turned his attention to technology coverage.”
In his keynote today at Linuxcon, Valve CEO and Founder Gabe Newell said Linux is the future of gaming and hinted about the announcement next week of a gaming box built on the open-source operating environment.
As proof of Linux’s bright future, Newell pointed to Steam, the company’s online platform. Since it launched last spring, developers have created 198 games on it.
He said it points to a future in which games will be nodes in a connected economy where the vast majority of goods and services will be created by individuals not companies.
The reasons for Linux’s rosy future dates back to the age when PC vendors ruled with proprietary technologies. By blocking competitors, open systems emerged and the proprietary hardware became less relevant. Today, PC gaming is where the innovation is occurring, with the most interesting developments coming from open communities.
He said proprietary systems create friction, which slows things down. Fo example, he said it took Valve six months to get an update approved by Apple for an iPad game. That’s antithetical to the open environments that come with Linux-based environments.
The PC market illustrates the impacts of such a strategy. PC sales today are showing significant year-over-year declines. On the other hand, PC gaming has been immune to the downturn and open-source, innovation-friendly environments that have emerged. This democratization of gaming is blurring the line between creators and consumers. For example, its Team Fortress community creates 10 times the amount of content as the developers at Valve.
Newell hinted at its move into the living room by using Linux to illustrate how it can be the underlying technology to abstract the complexities that come with using hardware that requires its own proprietary systems. He said that Linux can act as the universal unifier of mobile, the living room and gaming. People want their systems to be simple to use and not be tied into hardware that forces them to buy consoles, controllers and games that only work on one system.
It has long been rumored that Valve would launch a Steam Box, a gaming hardware systems. If it really is then it looks like Linux will be at its core.
Valve is an entertainment software and technology company founded in 1996 by Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington and based in Bellevue, Washington. The company became famous from it’s first game Half-Life. Valve currently develops and maintains several video games including the Half-Life 2 series, Counter Strike Source, Day of Defeat Team Fortress 2, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. As well as it’s current projects, Valve has impressive back catalogue including Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition…
See the original post: Valve CEO Gabe Newell Says Linux Is The Future Of Gaming, Hints At SteamBox Announcement