- Bitcoin Bubbles, Bursts: After four years in the shadows, the crypto currency started grabbing headlines when its value rose from around $34 to $250 in a month, and then plummeted even faster, to around $100.
+Hoping to build a more stable, mainstream version of the digital currency, Andreesen HOrowitz-backed startup OpenCoin launched Ripple on Thursday
- Passthoughts vs Passwords: A team out of UC Berkley has built a device that scans the brainwaves associated with a specific thought to unlock protected items. Thoughts may be harder to hack than words, but are they easier to remember?
- The Imperius Curse, IRL: A new optogenetics device allows neuroscientists to wirelessly control mice behavior. Optogenetics is a method for genetically modifying neurons such that they can be activated or silenced with flashes of light.
- Google plans for your afterlife: Inactive Account Manager lets you tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die (or, apparently less likely, no longer wish to use your account). You can choose to have your data deleted — after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube.
- Foursquare Raises $41 Million in Loans and
Thus escaping what some predicted would be an inevitable down round. How they aim to make good on their $600 million valuation: improved search and location-based ads.
- NYC: Tumblr kills Storyboard: The microblogging platform's first effort at journalism, or "marketing as journalism" came to an end after only a year. The general idea behind Storyboard was to create stories for partner publications (NYT, Daily Beast, Time) based on stuff happening on tumblr. Some of the stories were pretty great, but, as Hamish Mckenzie at Pandodaily notes, they "always had a whiff of marketing."
It’s sad for Tumblr’s hard-working editorial team that Storyboard has met an abrupt demise, but it might well be the consequence of a realization that platforms should stay away from doing their own editorial. That’s not their core competency, it’s not what their users turn to them for, and it ultimately can’t be seen as anything other than marketing in disguise.
- App of the week: Happier