The morning that Aol CEO Tim Armstrong announced the $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post, he stood beside a beaming Arianna Huffington in the company’s Broadway headquarters.
Watching from the back of the room, I remember Huffington proudly declaring that her sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, whom she had brought with her, still used an Aol e-mail address.
The couple hundred assembled Aol workers, already disoriented by the surprise merger, greeted this with a tentative cheer that seemed to trail off into a question mark. Even employees found it hard to reconcile the company’s ambitions as a world-beating tech giant with the unfashionable reality of having Aol e-mail.
As a lifelong Hotmail user, smirking at the hipster apocalypse that was yesterday’s Gmail outage, I beg to differ.
Forget fighting off the Grim Reaper with devout attendance at the local New York Sports Club and endless self-quantifying. That’s not moonshotty enough for Larry Page. Luckily, he’s got the resources of an enormous American corporation at his disposal, which is how Calico, Google’s new anti-aging initiative, came about.
This isn’t like living through the prologue of a singularitarian novel, nope, not at all.
Fashion, turn to the left Wednesday night, Betabeat ventured down to the Bowery for a party celebrating the launch of Zady, the anti-fast-fashion startup founded by Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat. Attendees tended toward the leggy, and the bar was serving “moonshine” cocktails. At one point, we watched a meticulous mustachioed man line up an iPhone shot of a piece of paper on the wall, printed with the party’s official hashtag.
“‘Stealth’ mode is such a terrible word,” said Ms. Bédat (a patterned clutch from their holiday line-up tucked under her arm) when we asked about the company’s hush-hush birth. “Working on things quietly!” she corrected.
Sometimes, when news is slow, Betabeat likes to imagine what the tech elite would be like should they appear on Bravo’s hugely successful reality TV franchise The Real Housewives. Would Sean Parker throw a glass at Zuck? Would Brit Morin flip her arts and crafts table in a fit of rosé rage? Will Elon Musk disappear for Read More
Yesterday evening AllThingsD broke the news that one of Google’s top VPs was departing the search giant for Xiaomi, a company widely regarded as China’s answer to Apple. It seemed a strange and sudden move until this piece of news surfaced in tandem: Mr. Barra was reportedly involved with a fellow Googler, and that Googler is now dating 40-year-old married Google cofounder Sergey Brin.
The Future Will See You Now
As it turns out, Sergey Brin doesn’t have his sites set entirely on crash-resistant self-driving cars or dorky-looking face computers. The Google cofounder is expanding his futuristic interests and dipping a toe into the Ray Kurzweil pool by fully funding the creation of a lab-grown burger manufactured by scientists using cow stem cells.
“The new bar down the street. Garden gnomes. Your date. What you don’t know, you Google, but what does Google know about you? Google knows a lot more about us than we know about them.”
So begins the newest episode of Bloomberg TV’s Game Changers, a behind-the-music for the tech set. This week’s Read More
Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Eric Schmidt today, asking the Google C.E.O. to use New York State as the testing ground for its new, incredibly fast broadband service.
“Google choosing New York as the place to locate its broadband project would be a homerun for entrepreneurs, small businesses, students Read More
Conclusive proof of Google’s ascendancy, according to received wisdom, is the fact that its name has become a verb. Becoming a noun, like Jell-O or Kleenex, is so 20th-century. A verb is unprecedented! A company with a trademark verb could practically Xerox money for its shareholders—it could Hoover up dollars.
And not just dollars: “Germans Read More