• Mental Note: Do Not Print Stuff From The Internet In Afghanistan

    The US backed government in Afghanistan has sentenced a 23 year old internet user to death in a secret trial based on a document he printed off the internet. Sayad Parwez Kambaksh’s crime was printing a document from the internet that allegedly “violated the tenets of Islam.” Kambaksh then allegedly took the printout to Balkh University, where he discussed the contents with… Read More

  • European tech investing is "coming of age"

    It’s mildly diverting when some people, like Business Week reporters, say that Europe is still a slow place for technology startups, then pat us on the head and tell us that every day, in every way, we’re getting better and better. But it’s more interesting when people who really are at the heart of the sector pull all the threads together and come up with some cogent… Read More

  • Real-Estate Search Engine Roost Launches With Full MLS Listings

    Just when you thought the real-estate bubble had burst and the economy was going to hell, here comes another real-estate search engine. Today we see the launch of Roost, a real-estate site inspired by the lean look and feel of travel search engine Kayak. In fact, two of Roost’s board members and lead investors from General Catalyst Partners are also on the board of Kayak. Roost… Read More

  • 1,000 Free 23andMe Kits For Davos Attendees (plus one for TechCrunch readers)

    At a dinner last night at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 23andMe founders Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki announced that they are providing 1,000 free 23andMe personal DNA testing kits to conference attendees. Damn, I thought, I already paid $1,000 (more) for my kit (so much for the benefits of being an early adopter). Rumor is the company is also sending 100 free kits to attendees of the… Read More

  • FunnyorDie Hangs In There: Good Content Still The Key

    http://www2.funnyordie.com/public/flash/fodplayer.swfthe parody video Tom Cruise WANTS you to see! on FunnyOrDie.com When the Will Farrell/ Sequioa backed ($15m+) FunnyorDie launched in March 2007 it made a huge splash with Farrell providing original content that quickly went viral. After an initial peak the traffic slowed right down, with some suggesting that it may not rise again. Content… Read More

  • Automattic Lands Massive $29.5M for WordPress, Other Products

    As we speculated, Automattic, provider of the WordPress open-source blogging software and spam filter Akismet, has raised $29.5M in a Series B round of financing led by Polaris Ventures (which put in $20 million of the $29.5 million). Other participants in the round include The New York Times, True Ventures, and Radar Ventures. The large injection of capital will not only go towards the… Read More

  • Syndicaster.TV Launches. Gives Broadcasters An Instant Way To Publish TV on the Web

    Critical Media, a New York City startup that operates Web-based video clipping and video syndication services for local TV and national news content, jut launched Syndicaster.TV. Geared at local TV stations and television groups, Syndicaster.TV lets broadcasters log onto the Web and capture video clips from any TV station minutes after they air. They simply select the portion of the video… Read More

  • Video: First look at Comcast + TiVo interface

    http://progressive.playstream.com/playstream/progressive/flashplayers/FLVPlayer.swf Here’s a quick first look at the Comcast + TiVo interface that’s recently become available in the Boston area. Pros: Way better than the alternative Comcast DVR interface from 1982, it’s TiVo, dual tuner + HD for about what you’d pay per month for TiVo except you don’t have to… Read More

  • Sony casually reminds us that PS3 Network is free (and Xbox Live costs money)

    [photopress:ps3freexblnot.jpg,full,center] What’s a guaranteed way to stir the hornet’s nest that is the console wars? If you’re Sony you start an ad campaign reminding people that its PlayStation Network is completely free. The not so subtle “what doesn’t this ad say?” is that Xbox Live costs $50 per year. And then both camps started calling each other names. Read More

  • Local UK sites now in all out war

    There’s something about ‘local’ that really gets our startup juices flowing in the UK. Maybe it’s that ‘children of Thatcher’ thing? (She was a greengrocer’s daughter). Nine-year old local search site TouchLocal has raised £7M (€9.4M) from Balderton Capital to combine a yellow pages model with a social community of recommending and reviewing… Read More

  • We7 proving ad-supported music has a future?

    Ad-supported music seems to be gaining traction as a business model. We7, a UK-based music download service driven by advertising sales, has raised a $6M Series ‘A’ round led by musician/investor Peter Gabriel and Spark Ventures and UK VC firm Eden Ventures. The founders of We7 are John Taysom, chairman, and CEO Steve Purdham. Purdham founded SurfControl, a publicly-traded firm… Read More

  • Pleo, what have they done to you?

    The uber dorks have ported an AIBO tool over to the Pleo so you can make it do wretched things to satisfy your weird taste. Poor Ferbie. Robots Rule Read More

  • TrackMyShipments: Like TripIt For Deliveries

    TrackMyShipments offers a centralized delivery tracking service that is similar to TripIt. The concept is simple. Users sign up and forward emails they receive when ordering goods online to TrackMyShipments. The email can be in any format and any layout. The service then extracts the data to create a centralized tracking point for all deliveries. TrackMyShipments regularly pings the… Read More

  • Rumors running rampant over Pentax K20D

    Can you tell I’m obsessed with cameras lately? I’ve been closely watching the forums at DPR and today I came across some interesting posts regarding the Pentax K20D. One individual claims to have seen a handful of images taken with the K20D, which include EXIF files. There are also two purported images (super boring subjects) taken at ISO 100 and ISO 3200, but no EXIF files. Read More

  • Nope, no AT&T contract required for bring-your-own-SIM card plan

    [photopress:attoops.jpg,full,center] Some people freaked out the other day when they saw that AT&T wanted to tack on a two-year contract to its “bring your own SIM card” plan. Why should I have to sign up for a contract when the entire rationale for contracts is to subsidize cellphone, which I’m providing? It was a typo. Relax. AT&T will not require you to sign up for… Read More

  • Get out your piggy banks; the FCC spectrum auction starts thursday

    The big day is almost here! All the heavy tele-hitters will be making offers on the chunk of wireless spectrum being made available by the FCC. There are 5 blocks, A through E. A and B are regional and may be bought by carriers hoping to strengthen their coverage in certain areas. E is one-way, so it’s useless for cool stuff like email, mobile web, and so on. C and D are where the… Read More

  • Piper-Heidsieck limited-edition upside-down Champagne

    Sure it’ll set you back $125 but look at that bottle. Yes, folks, that’s a full bottle of old Champy in an upside-down bottle with a giant cork, designed by Viktor and Rolf. It’s actually a nice Rose with the “fruity flavor of morello cherry, citrus, and mandarin” and will reverse any hangover. I kid! Read More

  • The Club demo now out

    From the creators of Project Gotham Racing comes The Club, which is some underground fight-club-like shoot out involving seven other blokes who are pissed about something. The demo is available now for XBL and comes out January 24th for the Playstation Network. The game itself ships February 19th for the 360, PS3 and PC. The Club Read More

  • Noca Targets Transaction Fees with New Online Payment System

    If you sell anything online, whether physical goods or services, you’re probably keenly aware of the 2-3% (plus $0.30) lost through transactional fees every time someone makes a purchase with their credit card. This fee rears its ugly head whether you use PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon Flexible Payment Service since those companies are largely just passing on the fees imposed on them… Read More

  • Condemned 2: Bloodshot details emerge

    It’s not slated to hit shelves until March 11, but Sega just can’t keep a secret till then so today they revealed some tidbits about the online multiplayer modes for the second chapter of Condemned. Read More

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