These Letters Reveal Which Congressmen Google Has In Its Pocket

Yesterday twelve U.S. Congressmen signed, sealed, and delivered a letter (embedded below) to members of the European Parliament lobbying their counterparts to leave Google alone. According to the Financial Times, at least three letters from American legislators were sent as part of a "rare and concerted public… » 11/26/14 6:00pm Yesterday 6:00pm

Blue Bottle, Which Raised $45 M, Cut Health Benefits for Part-Timers

Blue Bottle, the artisanal coffee retailer popular with hipsters from coast to coast, just informed employees that part-time workers will not receive health benefits, effective January 2015. A tipster reached out to Valleywag with the news and the company confirmed the change. » 11/25/14 7:19pm Tuesday 7:19pm

Clinkle Is Bribing College Students With a Vending Machine Full of Cash

Clinkle, a well-funded startup run by Lucas Duplan, the Prince Joffrey of mobile payments, recently revealed its $30 million idea. After rounds of layoffs and many setbacks, young Duplan has bestowed the world with . . . a debit card. Not sold? Well how about if Clinkle gives you $20 from its Treat Bot vending machine? » 11/25/14 3:45pm Tuesday 3:45pm

Tech Companies Stoke Fears of a Talent Shortage to Get Cheaper Labor

How is Silicon Valley supposed to stay exceptional when its belief system keeps getting debunked? First empirical evidence proved there's no such thing as a meritocracy. Then they had to add a disclaimer that "change the world" may not mean for the better. Now the shortage of tech workers—a phenomenon used to justify… » 11/24/14 6:50pm Monday 6:50pm

Your Dating App Is Probably Not Going to Fix Dating for Women

Here's some hot tech news about a hot new app with a hot new idea: Bumble is a forthcoming app that appears to be yet another product devoted to creating "a safe and respectful community" for single women looking to find love. They're working to weed out the charming boneheads who frequent the dating apps you're… » 11/24/14 5:19pm Monday 5:19pm

Airbnb Had Housing Activists Pushed Into a "Free Speech Zone"

This weekend Airbnb held its first-ever conference for hosts in San Francisco. Inside, executives restated the company's goal to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Outside, local cops allegedly shoved housing activists who were protesting Airbnb's role in the eviction crisis, confining demonstrators into a "free speech" pen. » 11/24/14 4:35pm Monday 4:35pm

List of Salaries For Interns Who Can Code Will Burn Your Eyeballs

Earlier today Tiffany Zhong tweeted out a list of "top" offers for undergraduate internships at tech companies. Her use of a single paltry money bag emoji in the caption barely cover$$$$$$$ it. The hospital bill for internal organ corrosion after staring directly at this list will be smaller than what these kids cop… » 11/24/14 2:45pm Monday 2:45pm

Fab May Sell for a Pittance While Ex-Founder Abandons Fab-Like Startup

For years, venture capitalists exuberantly assumed Fab, the online furniture store, could be worth $1 billion, despite mounting evidence that it was difficult to make money off of flash sales. Now TechCrunch reports that Fab may soon be sold to PCH International, an Irish supply chain company, for $15 million "and… » 11/21/14 4:50pm 11/21/14 4:50pm

What to do about Uber

Let me get one thing clear: I am fascinated by Uber, as a business, as a service, as a model for the modern economy, and even as a force for racial justice (more on that some other time). But it's increasingly clear that the fast-growing ride-hailing service is what economists would call a natural monopoly, with… » 11/21/14 11:55am 11/21/14 11:55am

Male Startup Founders Think Your Vagina Should Smell Like a Ripe Peach…

When the PayPal cofounder came for your period, I did not speak out enough. So I blame myself, really, for this waste of science. According to Inc. magazine, two male bio-hackers just "previewed plans for a new probiotic supplement that will enable women to change the way their vaginas smell."

It is called it Sweet… » 11/19/14 8:25pm 11/19/14 8:25pm

Will Facebook Really Let Its Bus Drivers Unionize?

Facebook's fleet of shuttle bus drivers will vote today on whether to join the Teamsters labor union. The drivers have protested their work conditions, saying their employer requires them to work 15.5 hour-long split shifts, receive pay below the living wage, and say they're "held hostage" for the six hours between… » 11/19/14 5:55pm 11/19/14 5:55pm

Startups Promising the Future Have Resorted to Embarrassing Direct Mail

Silicon Valley thinks the U.S. Postal Service is a joke. Tech investor Tim Draper called it a classic example of a "fat and lazy" industry. They tried, but failed to put it out of business. "Paper" itself is a dirty word. But when there's inventory to move, the old ways will do. » 11/19/14 3:10pm 11/19/14 3:10pm

Uber Investor Ashton Kutcher Defends Slandering Critical Journalists

Ashton Kutcher is a walking conflict of interest. He invests his acting fortune into startups like Uber and then promotes those companies without disclosing his financial ties. Now that Uber's culture of sleaze is making headlines across the country, Ashton's back out there defending Uber's exposed plans to discredit… » 11/19/14 12:35pm 11/19/14 12:35pm

If you had a wager on which tech reporter would quit journalism to get paid by the company he once covered, I hope you bet on a long shot. The staff of TechCrunch is intact. But Snapchat believer Ellis Hamburger is leaving The Verge to work for Snapchat. » 11/18/14 7:02pm 11/18/14 7:02pm

Parents Forced Frat Boys to Screw a Partner Out of a Popular Startup

Yik Yak may not be a household name like Snapchat, but it's almost as popular. The anonymous college bulletin board app was founded by three frat brothers at Furman University last fall and has already pulled in around $85 million in venture capital. Like other apps born out of frats, two of the founders allegedly… » 11/18/14 5:20pm 11/18/14 5:20pm

Uber CEO Posts 13-Tweet Apology Without Answering a Single Question

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick just responded to privacy and ethics concerns about Emil Michael, after the top executive publicly suggested paying $1 million to smear journalists who have criticized the multi-billion corporation. Kalanick's medium of choice was Twitter and his method was a "tweetstorm," a series of… » 11/18/14 4:15pm 11/18/14 4:15pm