Happy Monday, everyone! On today's show, we're loving the new RockMelt browser, even though yes, we know, we could do the same thing with extensions. We just don't want to. Also, Apple doesn't care if you make it to work on time, they're not fixing that DST alarm bug. Maybe you're just waking up wring. Also, we go crazy for the Call of Duty: Black Ops ad and I launch the most unfair phone-return plan ever. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Jeff's back to complete a week of episodes, and although we don't normally condone eating on the air (because it's gross), we'll make an exception for Wilson's favorite treat--Lotte Koala chocolate cookies! Anyone else see the resemblance? On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, we're delving into the bizarre world of Kindlerotica, aka e-reader pR0n; Groupon is offering $60,000 scholarships to any baby parented by a couple that used a Groupon on their first date; Google's new URL shortener Goo.gl; and a blacklist of words that Google considers too nasty to include in its Instant search feature.
Online coupon distributor Groupon just debuted the most ridiculous PR campaign we've seen in awhile--it's offering $60,000 college scholarships to Groupon babies, and here's how it works. To participate, two people must meet through Groupon's dating Web site Grouspawn, agree to go on a date at a restaurant that accepts Groupon coupons, and see what happens from there.
A Groupon baby is only eligible for the $60,000 scholarship prize if it was conceived on the first date, and proof must be obtained in the form of photographic evidence, credit card receipts, or waiter testimonials. Make sense? There are already 166 members on the Grouspawn Date Assistant, so get on it!
As of Wednesday of this week, the most downloaded novel on the Amazon Kindle Webstore was "Compromising Positions" by Jenna Bayley Burke. As you might not have guessed from the subtle wit in its name, "Compromising Positions" is an adult-rated novel that represents the latest trend in Kindlerotica, or e-porn.
Whereas classic romance novels are traditionally targeted at women, this latest genre is definitely written for men and most of the titles read like text out of Penhouse Forum letters. It's disturbing to think that people are actually reading these stories in public, but the problem may be that Amazon is distributing these stories for free, which explains why they keep popping up on the best-seller list.
None of us really get the appeal, and Jeff puts it best when he describes his visual affinity toward the subject matter. In either case, if you want to check it out, another novel called "Office Slave" seems to be a good place to start....but do everyone a favor and stay out of the subway when you read it, OK?
Speaking of dirty birdies, the 2600 just published the Google Blacklist--Words that Google Instant Doesn't Like, and there are a ton of submissions. Google Instant is a new search feature that shows results in real time as you type. It also relies on predictive results that could potentially save you two to five seconds per search, but that opens up the floodgates on certain words that Google deems universally offensive.
So alongside the standard four-letter cusswords and NSFW terms, there's also a heap of ambiguously dirty words like "golden," "lemon," "teen," and an entire section dedicated to variations on the word "dog." Use your imagination, or just check out the entire list, at your own discretion--this is your official NSFW warning!
Oh, Google also unveiled its own URL shortener called Goo.gl. FYI, we spend less time talking about that than it took for you to read the previous sentence.
Have a great weekend everyone!Episode 678 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
With Donald, Darren, and Benito at the helm, there's nothing stopping us from devoting a third of the show to outer space. After all, NASA has 19 billion dollars to burn, humanity has a new planet to play with, and space travelers now get their own special beer. Plan your space vacation now, because life on earth is getting creepy. Android apps are watching you, Groupon is launching a human breeding program, and the era of Minority Report "pre-crime" detection is nearly here.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
The news that Windows Phone 7 won't be coming to any CDMA carriers just yet has some of you close to suicide. That's extreme. Just wait for LTE. It'll happen. Also, the HDCP master key turns out to be legit (whoa!), notebook sales growth goes negative in a widespread iPad fallout pattern, and there's a new Yahoo Mail Beta coming!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Every so often a marketing fad comes along in digital media that makes companies willing to adopt it so quickly that they wind up bending and twisting their business models like Silly Putty. There were Facebook apps. There were Foursquare-style "game mechanics." These days, short-term retail deals have taken over.
Of course, none of this is new. Following the runaway success of Groupon, which offers a steep daily discount-a-day in dozens of cities around the world, with the condition that a minimum number of buyers must sign on; and Gilt, which has built an empire of low-priced designer … Read more
Twitter is getting into the online shopping business--or at least pointing to places where deals can be had.
The company's new service, aptly named @earlybird, is an official Twitter account that the company plans to feed with deals at both online and offline retailers, as well as "sneak peeks and events." Users who follow the account will see these entries just like any other tweet in their stream.
While it might seem to be a minor offering, @earlybird is notable in that Twitter plans to monetize it. The company is partnering with companies to provide the deals, … Read more
One way to deal with all of those pesky competitors in the online daily-deals market is to buy them. And likewise, one way to expand overseas is to acquire the European version of yourself.
"That means we're operating in 18 countries, 140 cities, and we have over 900 employees in about a dozen offices across two continents," Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason, said in a … Read more
It might not be getting as much coverage as the geolocation wars, but the battle for dominance in online daily-deals sites has been brewing ever since some start-ups decided they wanted a piece of leader Groupon's success. The latest development is that a second-tier player in the space, LivingSocial, announced Thursday that it's raised $25 million in a Series B funding round geared strictly toward growth and expansion.
The round was led by U.S. Venture Partners with participation from Grotech Ventures and Revolution, the firm chaired by former AOL CEO Steve Case. The goal with the funding … Read more
There's a scene in the 1989 comedy "Troop Beverly Hills" in which rival bands of Wilderness Girls attempt to best one another in a fundraiser by selling boxes of the same cookies to the households of a single upper-crust neighborhood--and unfortunately for the underdog protagonists, their arch-enemies have beaten them to the punch at just about every house. That's what it may soon look like for the explosion of companies offering ultra-discounted, fire-sale daily deals for local businesses, which have fast become the Web's latest retail craze.
Here's how it works. You'll sign … Read more
Discount coupon site Groupon has been in the press enough recently for its rapid growth, choice position in the venture capital spotlight, and the presence of a hundred thousand imitators, but it might be pushing its way into the media even more now. The Chicago-based company has launched what might be one of the most ridiculous social-media promotions that any brand has attempted to pull off: it's challenging a member to live off its deals for an entire year, and is offering a $100,000 prize if the guinea pig proves successful.