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Friday
Dec022011

Facebook Boosts New York's Startup Cred -- Here's Why NYC Is So Hot

[ Image courtesy of fotopedia.com via creative commons license. ]

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Facebook's New York engineering office earlier today, the Big Apple saw its startup cred go up more than a few notches.

Facebook's first East Coast office for engineering is set to open in early 2012 with long-time engineer Serkan Piantino heading it up. No word yet on how many engineers it will hire, but 15 positions are currently open. Facebook will join -- and compete with -- top New York born-and-raised startups like Tumblr, Etsy, Kickstarter, Gilt Groupe and foursquare.

New York-based Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon, whose company eBay just acquired, tweeted, "Congrats to Serkan & Facebook. Awesome guy & great for NYC.

Gilt Groupe retweeted Bloomberg's note, and Foursquare appears to have...

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Friday
Dec022011

Kevin Rose Calls LivingSocial a Sell-out, Affluent Customers Not Loving McDonald's Deal


Like Groupon, LivingSocial isn't afraid to go mass-market with its daily deals. It sold 1.4M $10 for $20 at Amazon deals, selling out in 29 hours in January. The Washington, DC-based company topped that performance by selling out its 1M $10-for-$20 Whole Foods deals in September in 14 hours (about 70K deals per hour).

You'd think $13 for $26 worth of McDonald's Big Macs and large fries that never expires might be similarly popular (LivingSocial is promoting the deal as a holiday gift), but its customers are lukewarm at best, buying just 268K out of 1M available deals as of 1pm PT today with 13 hours still remaining. We're not surprised that LivingSocial extended the deal, which started yesterday, to today.

LivingSocial customer and serial entrepreneur Kevin Rose tweeted yesterday that LivingSocial -- a company he "enjoyed" -- sold out with the McDonald's deal, later adding, "Last @LivingSocial tweet: we all make our own decisions, I get it.. I just expected more from them, it doesn't always have to be about the $."

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Friday
Dec022011

Social Travel Engine Tripl Lets You Pimp Your Profile



Travel recommendation network Tripl lets you add trips, recommend people to see worldwide and earn points based on how global you are.

Sweden-based Tripl went live in September but recently revamped its service with the addition of profiles that feature a bio line, trip timeline, showcase of services like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, and passion and interest tags.

When you first sign up, Tripl asks you to...

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Thursday
Dec012011

It's About Time: Spotify iPad App Is Coming Soon

[ Spotify for iPad concept image courtesy of Cult of Mac. ]

Spotify is reportedly currently working on an iPad app and should be coming out soon, Spotify's UK Media Director Chris Mapes told Pocket-lint in an exclusive interview.
 
Maples says that the iPad app is "a priority" and "absolutely in the pipeline." He also hinted that Spotify might follow Amazon's lead and manufacture its own hardware for music playback.

"At the moment we're absolutely not a manufacturing business but if consumers demand something cool that we should create ourselves and we think we could do it better than anyone else, who knows?" Mapes says.

The Spotify apps, which were just announced yesterday, are only...

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Thursday
Dec012011

Google+ Goes After Skype, Adds Voice Calling to Hangouts



For people who don't use Google+ or simply don't quite understand how to Hangout, you can now communicate with those people via a voice calling feature in Hangouts with extras.

"We are constantly listening to feedback so that we can make Hangouts even better for Google+ users, and we're excited by the really cool ways people are using the product," Jarkko Oikarinen writes on Google+. "Today we’re making it possible to make phone calls from inside a hangout, so you can dial people into the room from wherever they’re at. (Helpful for party lines and conference calls alike.)"

To use the free feature, visit Hangouts with Extras to make a call to anyone in the US or Canada but to make an international call, you must use your Google Voice account. From the top of the Hangouts window, click Invite and then Phone.

Skype, on the other hand...

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