Tucker Max’s Rejected Twitter Campaign and Stab at Celebrity Endorsement
A few weeks ago, author and infamous frat-boy blogger Tucker Max told Forbes contributor Michael Ellsberg that he was giving up the game: giving up the writing, giving up the blogosphere baiting, and giving up living the debauched, narcissistic life that had catapulted him to internet fame and dominated much of his 20′s. He may have spoken too soon.
Brazil Files Twitter Injunction To Take Down Roadblock Warning Tweets
A request for an injunction to stop Twitter users from alerting drivers to police roadblocks, radar traps and drunk-driving checkpoints could make Brazil the first country to take Twitter up on its plan to censor content at governments’ requests.
Twitter unveiled plans last month that would allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws.
FarmVille Toys Are Coming: Zynga and Hasbro Sign Licensing Deal
If Angry Birds and Cut the Rope can have toys, why can’tFarmVille?
Social gaming juggernaut Zynga is teaming up with toy maker Hasbro to create a “wide range of toys and gaming experiences” based on Zynga properties and brands, a release read.
140 characters can get Indonesians 12 years in jail
Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister has declared that anyone tweeting illegal content, such as blasphemy, pornography, and threats, could spend up to 12 years in prison.
Indonesia has a strained history with free speech issues and open media, so a law that would punish Twitter users harshly for their words isn’t entirely surprising. The case of Prita Mulyasari is one big example of how uncomfortable the country is with online communication. Mulyasari was jailed and fined for sending e-mails to 20 of her friends that complained about a hospital’s service.
Tesla’s new Model X is the electric car of your dreams
Electric car maker Tesla unveiled its latest vehicle last night, the Model X, a cross-over that offers more space than the company’s Model S sedan and original sporty Roadster.
For those waiting for a semi-affordable electric car that offers plenty of space, power, and versatility, the Model X looks to be the best option yet.
Apple vs. Google: The Stakes Are Rising
Google Inc. is developing a home-entertainment system that streams music wirelessly throughout the home and would be marketed under the company’s own brand, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.
The effort marks a sharp shift in strategy for Google, which for the first would time would design and market consumer electronic devices under its name. The company has mainly focused on developing the Android operating system that powers devices such as smartphones, tablets and televisions. It has also allowed other companies to build and brand the hardware that uses it.
BitTorrent Piracy Doesn’t Effect US Box Office Returns, Study Finds
A new academic paper by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College has examined the link between BitTorrent downloads and box office returns. Contrary to what’s often claimed by the movie industry, the researchers conclude that there is no evidence that BitTorrent piracy hurts US box office returns. Internationally, there is a link between downloads and revenues, which the researchers attribute to long release windows.
Ron Conway is a Silicon Valley startup’s best friend
The rooftop deck of Ron Conway’s San Francisco apartment building is packed with a random and seemingly incongruous assortment of tech A-listers, celebrities, and sports stars snacking on hors d’oeuvres and sipping fine wines. Conway, Silicon Valley’s most prolific startup investor, has graciously opened his tony Pacific Heights pad, which has sweeping views of the Golden Gate, to let about 150 of his closest friends get a good look at the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s aerobatics team, which are in town for the weekend.
Texas Jury Strikes Down Patent Troll’s Claim to Own the Interactive Web
After threatening web companies for more than a decade, Michael Doyle and his patent-holding company Eolas Technologies — named after the Irish word for knowledge — may be finished.
An eight-member federal jury in East Texas deliberated Thursday for just a few hours before concluding that all of Eolas’ asserted claims of ownership to technology allowing access to the interactive web were invalid. That means the three upcoming trials that were scheduled to rule on infringement and damages, for Google, Yahoo and other companies, have been canceled. The eight defendant companies who resisted the lawsuits won’t pay anything to Eolas or its partner, the University of California, for using the web.
Don’t Look Now: A Car That Tweets
Undaunted by fear of safety regulations, auto makers are piling new technologies into their vehicles: everything from 17-inch dashboard screens to services that check Facebook and buy movie tickets.
This newfound confidence comes as a push for national regulations governing driving and cellphone use—including the suggestion of a total ban—has petered out.