Thursday, July 29, 2010

2.5% of Married People Are Cheating Online

Illicitencounters logo newApproximately 2.5% of the UK married population are now members of an
extramarital dating site called According to a PR Web publication, the typical member is between the ages of 30 to 50, and has been married for ~7 years; adding some truth to the long-dreaded ‘7
Year Itch’ concept. Typically, the percentage of men and women on the site is 55% and 45% respectively.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apple Purges Erotic Stories From Book Store Bestseller List

Click here to read Apple Purges Erotic Stories From Book Store Bestseller ListYesterday, this was the number one book at the bestseller list of Apple's book store: Blonde and Wet, The Complete Story, followed by Big Sis, both erotic short stories written by English auteur Carl East. Well, not anymore.

Facebook Closing In On Acquiring Check-In Service Hot Potato

Sources close to the deal say that Facebook is in late stage negotiations to buy Hot Potato, the social activity service. The deal is not yet finalized from what we’re hearing, but could be at any moment.

Terms of the deal are likely still be negotiated, but it’s believed that this would largely be a talent acquisition for Facebook. Yes, another one.

Hot Potato raised a small $1.42 million Series A round late last year, so it should not be too expensive for Facebook to buy such a company. It would undoubtedly be much less than the supposed $50 million in cash and stock they paid for FriendFeed last year, for example. Hot Potato’s About page currently lists 8 employees.

Hot Potato actually launched at our Realtime CrunchUp event last November. Since then, they’ve slightly pivoted away from check-ins based around events, and more towards check-ins based on anything you may be doing.

While the service hadn’t yet exploded in usage, the team behind it impressed us with the way they built their application – particularly their mobile app for the iPhone.

As I alluded to above, Facebook has been on the prowl for talent acquisition targets recently. In particular they’re supposedly looking to bulk up the projects under Facebook Director of Product Blake Ross, and on the mobile side of things, we’ve heard. This Hot Potato deal could fulfill either of those — or both.

If the deal is completed, it would be the seventh known company that Facebook has acquired — with five of those deals taking place in the last six months (and a sixth, FriendFeed, happening just about a year ago).

Earlier this year, Facebook is believed to have sniffed around both Loopt and Foursquare as potential acquisition targets. Hot Potato is often clumped in with those two as a location-based service. But, as I said, the latest revamp moved the service away from location check-ins (though location is still a central part), and more toward general check-ins — a space which is currently heating up quite a bit. (Still, I’ll chalk this up to up to the Great Location Land Rush of 2010, if it goes down.)

But again, this would seem to be a pure talent buy. If the deal is finalized, you can probably expect Hot Potato, the service, to be shut down at some point in the future.

Eric Schmidt: The World Doesn’t Need A Copy Of The Same Thing

By this point everyone knows that Google is trying to create a Facebook-type social networking service. It’s been confirmed by Quora’s Adam D’ Angelo, given an ETA by a source internal to Google, and a name, “Google Me” by Kevin Rose.

And now the The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is trying to get a piece of the Facebook pie, the filling of which is primarily composed of social games, hence the rumored discussions with the newly acquired Playdom, and EA, not to mention Google’s recent $100 million investment in Zynga.
At this point just about the only person who is still in denial of the existence of Google Me is Eric Schmidt. Schmidt, when asked by the WSJ whether hypothetically Google would create a service which resembled Facebook’s replied, “The world doesn’t need a copy of the same thing.”

Schmidt went on to state that Facebook was actually good for Google because “Facebook users use more Google products than any other users” which is a valid yet somewhat misleading statement, as the 500 million strong population of Facebook is greater than the United States.

Schmidt also referenced TechCrunch's scoop on Google’s hooking up with Zynga, proclaiming “we haven’t announced it” but “you can expect a partnership with Zynga.”

Schmidt’s “The world doesn’t need a copy of the same thing” attitude might have served Google well earlier this year when its reported “Twitter killer” Google Buzz did not actually kill Twitter.
Facebook did not comment directly on Google’s foray into social, but politely rejoindered that it is looking “forward to seeing what others have to offer” all the while keeping much of its own platform closed to Google searches.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anna Fermanova Is America's New Sexy Russian Spy

Click here to read Anna Fermanova Is America's New Sexy Russian SpyMere weeks after America banished sexy Russian spy Anna Chapman, another has surfaced: 24-year-old Anna Fermanova is accused of smuggling military technology to Moscow. She has a belly ring and poses in bikinis on Facebook. Meet America's new sexy spy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hearst’s Kaboodle Gets Into Social Commerce With Flash Sales Site PopPicks

from TechCrunch by Leena Rao

Social shopping site Kaboodle, which was acquired by Hearst Interactive Group in 2007 for $30 million or so, is trying its hand at social commerce with new community-driven flash sales site PopPicks.

PopPicks, which is members-only, partners with a retailer each week to feature a collection of products. The Kaboodle community is then invited to vote for the products they like best. After four days of voting, the most liked products are made available to Kaboodle members at an steeply discounted prices for four days or until the inventory is sold out.

While Kaboodle is a little late to the online sample sale game, with the element of voting, PopPicks has a slightly different take on the flash-sales model that Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Hautelook, Beyond The Rack and others have seen success with. The ability to vote on what clothes go on sale could be a compelling feature to the flash-sales market. Initially, PopPicks will feature primarily fashion apparel and accessories and will eventually broaden its offering to include retail brands in home, beauty and gadgets.

Kaboodle, which underwent a realtime makeover earlier this year, has over 1 million registered users. Launched in 2005, Kaboodle faces competition from ThisNext, and Sugar’s ShopStyle.

Queer Eye-Phone: Gay Social Network Fabulis Gets An App

from TechCrunch by MG Siegler

Since its public beta launch in April, fabulis has been growing quickly. The gay mens’ social network now has over 51,000 members — up 40 percent in the last 30 days alone. And they’re taking that growth mobile, with the launch of a new iPhone app today.

The app offers all the best parts of the website, but extends upon them by utilizing the location element that the iPhone offers. The default view of the app is the “nearby” tab which shows fabulius members, known as “fabbits,” that are close to your actual location. If you find someone nearby that you want to engage with, you can chat with the click of a button.

There’s also a “shake-it” functionality, which launches a fabulis slot machine. This returns you a random fabulis member nearby who you may or may not know, and allows you to view their profile and chat with them.

The other major functionality of the app is the Plans area. This gives you access to what fabulis says is the largest directory of gay-related events in the world — over 71,000 events, with thousands more being added each day. And again, thanks to the use of the iPhone’s GPS, you can sort by events that are close to your location.

And, of course, there is a way to view your messages, and look at other fabbits’ profiles in the app.

Some other stats from fabulis:

  • Registered users spend 10 minutes per visit to the site currently
  • There have been over 300 million fabulis bits (their virtual currency) spent by members so far
  • 67 percent of members are in the U.S., with the UK coming in second with 9%

It’s hard to top CEO Jason Goldberg’s quote that fabulis for the iPhone “is like carrying the big gay world around in your pocket,” so I won’t even try.

You can find the fabulis iPhone app in the App Store here. It’s a free download.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lyudmila Bouzinova Is Too Hot For Apple [Apple]

Click here to read Lyudmila Bouzinova Is Too Hot For AppleWell, she does have a kind of pretty mouth—but is this image really too sexy for public consumption? According to Apple it is, as the app containing this photo was pulled for being "objectionable."

The app developer's rejection email stated that Apple found his tool contains "content that is objectionable for certain age groups" even though lovely Lyudmila isn't showing anything other than her shoulders and the thing going into her mouth there is clearly only a finger.

Once the photo of America's Next Top Model contestant Lyudmila was removed, the 'Mirror App' was successfully reinstated.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zuckerberg 'Quite Sure' He Didn't Sign Away Facebook Control

"Just as Facebook announces it has a half billion active users, a pesky lawsuit alleges Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg signed over control of the company to an early investor. The suit threatens to steal attention from the company's impressive milestone."

FacePlant: An App To Tell You When You Can Actually Use FaceTime

If you have an iPhone 4, you’ve probably had this problem: you really want to use FaceTime, but there are simply not a lot of opportunities to use it. Sure, one problem is that both parties need an iPhone 4 currently. But perhaps even more annoying is that you have no way of knowing which of your friends with iPhone 4s are actually connected to WiFi so they can use FaceTime. That’s where a new app, FacePlant, comes in.
FacePlant is a third-party application that shows you which of your friends is available to have FaceTime calls with you. The app integrates with your contact list on your iPhone so you simply load it up and it will display which of your friends both have iPhone 4 and are connect to WiFi to make FaceTime calls. It’s an idea that’s so obvious that it’s hard to believe Apple didn’t think of this.

Obviously, there’s one big catch to this: both you and your friends have to have FacePlant installed and running. Luckily, FacePlant takes full advantage of iOS 4 to be able to run in the background. So you can open it and forget about it. If a friend wants to FaceTime with you, you’ll simply be pinged just as you normally would for a FaceTime call.

With the app you can also record and leave video messages for other FacePlant users (perfect if they’re not on WiFi, for example). Given that the team behind this app is also the team behind the short video messaging service, 12seconds, this functionality shouldn’t be too surprising.

And yes, there’s a privacy mode which you can enter if you don’t want to be bothered at certain times with FaceTime requests.

Again, this idea seems so obvious that it’s a little hard to fathom that Apple didn’t think of this. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they do eventually do some kind of status indicator along these lines. But for now, FacePlant is the way to go — assuming Apple approves it, of course.

Founder Sol Lipman says the app is currently in the review process, but doesn’t expect any issues to get in the way of its approval. If it does get approved, you can be sure Apple is going to want to promote this one to tout FaceTime even more than they already have.

The app will be a free download in the App Store. Lipman says the plan to make money will come farther down the road with some premium features that users will be able to purchase.

Below, watch a video I shot with Lipman talking about the app.

I wonder if the application can eventually find its way into the dating world?! Why not have a profile and be available for video chats with people who find you interesting?!

Apple’s Friend Bar: A Place Where Fanboys Can Talk At People All Day Long [Humor]

The Onion has done it again. The satirical news outlet is generally great at parodying a wide range of topics — but they always seem to be especially good at parodying Apple topics. The latest victim? Apple’s Genius Bars. According to The Onion, Apple will soon unveil an extension of this idea called “Friend Bars” which Apple users can visit to find someone to “talk at” about their newest mundane Apple thoughts.

What makes this video even funnier is that an idea like this really doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. I mean, there is already a dating site for Apple users that is growing quite nicely.

Watch the full video below. The best part may be towards the end when an Apple fan gets on the phone with a Friend Bar call center employee. “Oh, yes!”

Sometimes Less Is More [Dating]

Click here to read Sometimes Less Is MoreDating pro tip: the longer you keep your mouth shut, the better chance you've got at forging a lasting relationship. More Dating Advice »

Fired Because Of Twitter [Video]

You’ve likely seen the EVO 4G vs. iPhone video. Maybe you’ve seen the follow up. And maybe you’ve read the story about how these videos almost got the guy who made them fired from his job at Best Buy. Well, he’s back with another video. And it’s good.

TweetFired is the story of Peter, a man who gets in trouble with his job because of the tweets he posts. “I can’t believe you would write this bullshit about the company that writes your checks,” his boss tells him.

The only problem? His tweets had nothing to do with his job. Yes, obviously this is a nice big F-You to Best Buy.

Peter, can you imagine what our stockholders are thinking when they read these?,” his boss says at one point. ”You are painting a very negative picture of working her in 140 characters or less.” All of this echoes what Brian Maupin, the creator of these videos, told us Best Buy basically told him before they suspended him. Of course, that was about his YouTube videos, not Twitter — but you get the idea.

When Peter asks how his boss even found the tweets, his boss replies: “I simply cross-referenced your interests on Facebook, checked your favorite hobbies on MySpace, researched your work history on LinkedIn, read your personal diary on Xanga, and then broke into your house in the middle of the night and videotaped you and your wife making love.

Good stuff.

You do have options here Peter. I could fire you. Or you could kill yourself.” According to Maupin, Best Buy first asked him to quit when they found his videos — he declined. Best Buy eventually offered to reinstate him after reviewing his case — but he also declined that. Probably a good call considering that Paramount Pictures reached out to us the other day looking for his contact info.

Well played, Brian.

[thanks Hunter]

14 Female Convicts, Six Digital Cameras, and One Romanian Prison [Image Cache]

Click here to read 14 Female Convicts, Six Digital Cameras, and One Romanian PrisonThis photo may not be a masterful snapshot, but I think it's absolutely beautiful. It was taken by a female convict in a Romanian prison—a woman who was terrified just holding the Canon Powershot camera entrusted to her. More »

How To Tell If Your Significant Other Is A Robot [Robots]

Click here to read How To Tell If Your Significant Other Is A Robot
Feeling unloved, but getting plenty of loving? This comic could be interpreted to suggest that such a situation may indicate that your significant other is a robot. [SMBC] More »

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5 Things That Could Topple Facebook's Empire

Facebook is primed to announce this week that it’s amassed a half billion active friends, a milestone reinforcing its status as the king of social networks – a company to be regarded with the seriousness and power (if not revenue) of Google, Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft.

500 million and rising also makes it clear to anyone not paying attention that Facebook is no fad and that it is a cultural force shaping our collective culture. Even if you have no desire to ever set up a profile, you can’t ignore it and you are now oddly defined in the negative and left out of the zeitgeist.

A service of that size won’t disappear anytime soon, even if Facebook has hit its plateau in the U.S. But net users are fickle and the web’s short history includes dozens of sites that were once high-flying that have either since died (Geocities), lost their luster (Yahoo) or faded into irrelevance (Friendster).

So how could Facebook lose its place at the center of the web?

1. Open, Distributed Alternatives – A pack of college kids drunk on Free Software launched an open-source, federated alternative to Facebook called Diaspora. After collecting an astonishing $120K in donations, the group is knocking out code. Meanwhile, there’s other cool stuff going on, including OneSocialWeb, the Appleseed Project and WebFinger. Get enough of these open protcols into decent shape and someone is likely to build them into an improbably powerful stack. Research the LAMP stack, if you don’t get my drift.

What might that look like? An elimnation of the need for a centralized home and coordinator of social networking — where your social profile lives wherever you want it to – as your e-mail does – and can interact with any other profile around the net — on your own terms.

While it sounds far fetched, a recent poll suggests that people are as happy with Facebook as they are with their cable company, even if they do find it similarly indispensable.

2. Google Me – There’s rumors the search giant is hatching its own social network system, despite the fact that it’s just not particularly good at social networking. It’s Orkut social network has flailed and even seems to be losing its final two treasures, India and Brazil, to Facebook.

Google’s take on Twitter — called Buzz — isn’t bad, but it’s not been much of a hit — despite some fine features — thank god for threaded coversations. And then it’s got Wave and Google Talk, and Google Chat and Google Profile and Google pages and Google Docs. I wonder if anyone has tried stacking any of those together over there in the Googleplex to create a place that people actually want to hang out at — the clear difference between a site like Facebook and a site like Google search.

Interesting things happen when people hang out.

3. Location-based services and the mobile device – With the stunning popularity of pocket computers — starting with the iPhone, location-centric services such as FourSquare are gaining users at the rate that Facebook use to. Perhaps most importantly, they figuring out ways to use the addictive mechanics of gaming to create services even more engrossing than Facebook.

To compete, Facebook has its own, very well liked mobile app, and is set to expand how it interacts with the real world. But there’s a real threat here that Facebook could get outflanked by clever kids not too much unlike themselves, who figure out how to create a more potent digital heroin.

4. The U.S. Postal Service – For those who love dark horses or the old and familiar, there’s always a chance that the world suddenly tires of their Wall and virtual farming, and decide to get off the net’s grid entirely. Socializing will still be necessary, of course, so we’ll see the return of sockhops, neighborhood restaurants and church socials.

As for written messages, the Postal Service is actually quite good at delivering hand-written correspondence anywhere in the States for a nominal fee. The photo postcard will be huge again. But since the Postal Service is proposing to cease Saturday delivery, its social networking service would be a weekday only affair. Vive la Poste!

5. Overreaching on the part of Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has changed the culture of the world with his single-minded devotedness to making people share more information with more people.

In a world where software can determine culture, Zuckerberg’s unwavering drive to make more and more of the details of our lives public by default has triumphed in nearly every instance over prevailing cultural norms — with the glaring exception of the Beacon project.

But as with all visionaries, there is always the danger that in his attempt to lead his flock to the land of milk and honey, there will come a moment where he steps too far ahead, and the flock abandons the frontier for the pasture, leaving him alone and howling in the wilderness.

Photo: Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Credit:Andrew Feinberg

Read More

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Social Travel Planning Service Kukunu Launches, Raises Funding

Kukunu is a social travel planning service that puts you, your fellow travelers and your friends in the driver's seat when it comes to planning your vacation(s). The company, which was one of the winners of Seedcamp Week 2009, has been operating quietly so far, having launched a private beta version at Le Web 2009.

Kukunu is now available in public beta, and the fledgling company has also announced that they've raised $400,000 from Seedcamp, Jaina Capital (the fund of Meetic founder and angel investor Marc Simoncini) and Kima Ventures (Xavier Niel).

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating

July 7th, 2010 by Christian Rudder

An interesting article on the big lies people tell in online dating. Why they do it and how they do it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Get Your Portrait Drawn Over FaceTime For $50 [Facetime]

Click here to read Get Your Portrait Drawn Over FaceTime For $50

Check out Dave Lanham, an artist who's doing caricatures over FaceTime for $50. He can help you create a dating profile picture. More »

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating [Dating]

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating [Dating]: "

Click here to read The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating

The Internet is a great place to pretend to be someone you're not. That's why popular online dating site OKCupid looked at statistics and its user base to discover the biggest lies we tell to potential mates. More »

Full Trailer For Facebook Movie ‘The Social Network’ Hits The Web

The full trailer for The Social Network, the highly anticipated film written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher that retells the origins of Facebook, has just landed. Buzz for the movie has been steadily building up for the last month as the studio released teaser trailers filled with dramatic music and punchy dialog — but no footage showing the actors. This latest trailer brings the goods, and the movie is looking pretty damn good.

The new trailer includes many of the same terse quotes we’ve been hearing in the teaser trailers — ”Is there anything that you need to tell me? — but with the footage to accompany them. As would be expected, the trailer is loaded with scenes of Jesse Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg (I especially like the last clip of him), Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker, with appearances from the Winklevoss twins, Dustin Moskovitz, and more. The movie is slated for release October 1 2010.

For those who were wondering, the song is Scala’s version of Creep.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Google AdWords and the Image Ads Approval Process

Why is it that little dating sites have to wait forever for their image ads to be approved by Google, while big companies get their banners up and running right the way? How come eHarmony already has banners, promoting discounts over the 4th of July weekend?

AT&T's Newest Comercial

AT&T's newest commercial made as part of the 'Rethink Possible' ad campaign looks like a movie trailer for Finding Nemo, or is it 'Finding Signal'?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spring Break Mistake

To avoid such mistakes, stick to online dating and know who you are talking to:

Anna Chapman, Alleged Spy was dating a 60-Year-Old Divorced Dad Michael Bittan

Just how undercover was alleged Russian spy Anna Chapman?

The 28-year-old red headed temptress was dating a wealthy 60-year-old man before her cover was blown.

Michael Bittan, a divorced dad from New Jersey, first came across Chapman about a year ago at popular Russian destination Mari Vanna.

The relationship started getting more serious within the past two months, as their rendezvouses became more frequent. Now that her cover is blown, is there a future for the 60 year dad? Maybe it is time for him to start using dating sites.

If only finding the perfect boyfriend was that easy

iPad DJ Rana June has picked up some tricks. She bought an iPhone 4, and is looking for her Prince Charming. Check out her amusing new music video, shot entirely with an iPhone 4.

The tune is called "Solace" and the video was shot entirely with an iPhone 4 (though it was edited in Final Cut). All the music was created on Rana's iPad DJing setup, using two apps called Looptastic and AKAI Synthstation.

You can read more about Rana June's project, Destroy the Silence, and her setup right here.