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Why the Instagrammers whose photos Richard Prince sold for $90,000 should stop complaining


Richard Prince is an artist with a long history of “reappropriation.” In 1989, he re-photographed an existing photo of a cowboy from a cigarette ad and sold it for $1 million.

As Ross Ulbricht is jailed for life, Alex Winter’s “really fucking sad” Silk Road movie feels even more tragic


Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind Silk Road has been sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors described Ulbricht as “the kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise.” During sentencing, the judge told him “what you did in connection with Silk Road was terribly destructive to our social fabric.” In Alex Winter’s documentary, “Deep Web,” which airs Sunday night on Epix, Winter paints Ulbricht as, at worst, a naive idealist who found himself at the mercy of an overzealous, even corrupt, prosecution.

The dawn of the Age of the Silicon Valley Tuxedo – A company is Kickstarting “classy” sweatpants


Over the past week, I’ve probably changed my opinion a dozen times over how I feel about a new Kickstarter campaign from a Chicago-based “fashion” startup called Public Rec.

Amazon’s reportedly planning its own line of grocery products and household items


Amazon isn’t content selling household goods from other companies — it wants to offer its own branded products as well, according to the Wall Street Journal.

UN: Government efforts to undermine encryption threaten basic human rights


The United States is once again at odds with the United Nations over the country’s efforts to undermine encryption tools, curtail anonymity, and engage in wanton spying.

Dave Morin sells Path’s social networking and messaging services to prevent the rest of the Path ship from sinking


Path’s Dave Morin announced yesterday that Daum Kakao, the company behind the KakaoTalk messaging platform, has acquired Path and Path Talk.

The dangers of cliquebait: Crashing the Code conference, days two and a half


“I’m not kicking you out, and believe me I could if that was my personality. I took a bunch of people off of the list this year… I’m not kicking you out.” – Kara Swisher, 12 hours before I was kicked out of her Code conference I’m writing this final dispatch a couple of miles from the Terrenea Rancho Palos Verdes hotel, where the Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg’s Code conference is just wrapping up.

Your chances of becoming a unicorn? Just over 1%


“A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.” The Social Network is a pretty silly movie. But in addition to be being beautifully shot the film also captured — and probably helped create — the new obsession with starting not just a successful business, not just a wildly successful business, but a stupidly ridiculously successful business worth a billion dollars.

“These are not startups.” Elizabeth Warren is worried about big tech — and big banks — influencing politics


This morning, Massachusetts Democratic senator and human Wall Street bullshit meter Elizabeth Warren stopped into Greentown Labs, a clean-tech hardware incubator space in Somerville — Boston’s version of Brooklyn.

Seymour Hersh and the dangers of corporate muckraking


“The Times wasn’t nearly as happy when we went after business wrongdoing as when we were kicking around some slob in government.” — Seymour Hersh In its original meaning, “muckraking journalism” was all about exposing the awful power that corporations, trusts, and monopolies exercised over people and the broader public interest.

Following controversy and stiff competition, Uber makes its app more friendly to hearing-impaired drivers


Uber has updated its mobile applications with new features meant to make it easier for deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers to communicate with passengers.

Already a hit in Europe, Trustpilot gets $72M to become “the review site for the entire online world”


The last time you were in a new city and wanted to find dinner, what did you do? Walk to into the closest storefront with a blazing “PIZZA” sign on the window?

Jawbone files a desperate lawsuit claiming FitBit stole sensitive information


Jawbone is getting desperate. The maker of UP fitness trackers has filed a lawsuit alleging that several of its employees took sensitive information about the company’s “supply chain, gross margins, product lineup and market predictions” with them after they were recruited by rival FitBit.

Facebook reaffirms its commitment to virtual reality with new acquisition


Facebook has acquired Surreal Vision for an undisclosed sum to bolster its Oculus division’s virtual reality technologies.

With Buzzfeed announcing IPO plans and Comcast interested in Vox, let the dystopian future of media begin


Today, Buzzfeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti announced plans to take his cat listicle mega-company public. The fact that he made this announcement at a conference hosted by a tech blog, which was yesterday acquired by a larger media company that may soon be acquired by Comcast, is no coincidence.

Recon at the Rancho: Crashing the Code conference, day one


“The companies I admire are the companies that pursue their own mission not the mission of their parent company.

10 things Mary Meeker thinks you need to know about Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report


It’s hard to think of a more talked-about slideshow than Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report.

In a potential dystopian nightmare, Virgin Pulse gets $92M to help employers promote a healthy workforce


Based in the suburbs of Boston, Virgin Pulse has long been an odd little outpost of Richard Branson’s vast Virgin Group that includes everything from airlines to record labels to mobile phone networks to space tourism.

Kara Swisher has lost.


It seems like a million years ago that Kara Swisher and Michael Arrington would spend their days taking shots at each other: Kara calling Mike “Yurtle the Turtle” — a reference no one really understood — and complaining to any reporter who’d listen that he was unforgivably conflicted due to his investments in Internet giants Dogster and Seesmic.

Florida man undermines Uber’s claim that drivers aren’t employees


Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity has decided that an Uber driver is eligible for unemployment because he was, despite Uber’s claim that drivers are independent contractors, previously employed by the ride-hailing startup.


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