In Other News: Tech Stories You Missed
ft. Whrrl, Vittana, Animoto, FontFont, Mashery and More!
Each week, so many wonderful people send us so many great tips about new apps and new features, but these stories often slip beneath the waves when a big company launches a product or holds a conference. This is an attempt to shed some light on cool news and apps that you and I may have missed this week.
FRESHLY LAUNCHED STARTUPS
A mom-and-pop music shop online: Your Music. Your Price. No Bull.
Mavaru is an online music store that supports independent-minded artists with more than money. And in return for unprecedented flexibility in getting the music you want on your own terms, our artists want to get to know you better. Will you come out if they stop in your town? It’s like fan mail that sustains careers. And it gives you more of what you want. More music.
Social Network for Political Nerds
Because even politicos need their own social network. To young guns gunning for Capitol Hill, this social network is an ideal resource. The first major social networking site expressly designed for politics, VoteiQ is a non-partisan, groundbreaking platform that revolutionizes the relationship between voters and policy makers.
Marketing/Advertising Platform for Ebay Sellers
Fflap compiles resources for entrepreneurs in Ebay selling. They help sellers increase sales for their eBay listings by publishing the details of what you’re selling on eBay to all the social networking sites you’re on.
Online Activity Monitoring
Privacy alert! This plug-in enables stalkers. That is, install a plug-in and any employer can spy on any employee’s computer screen, and any parent can do the same to a child. Says SnooponMe: we help you beat procrastination, spot freeloaders, invite accountability partner, keep away from obscenity, and invoke peer pressure.
- ShoutOmatic: Twitter with sound: Stop Typing. Start Shouting. Record and broadcast “audible Tweets” across your social networks and web spaces.
- MacKeeper: System maintenance app for your Mac. Keep it safe, fast, secured, reliable, foolproof, and attended.
- Twitstickers: Stickers for Twitter. The name says it all. Share stickers (icons, images) for your favorite sports teams, cute drawings/photos, and more. No more countless links sent to friends over chat!
- Developers, start your engines. There’s an iPad developer challenge for location-based service apps and $40K is at stake. 3…2…1…go!
- Microlending company Vittana has announced the launch of Vittana Credit. Now, instead of going through PayPal for every payment (and repayment), you’ll be able to get your repayments from students and re-invest in new students directly through Vittana itself — no PayPal necessary. Vittana aims to “build a world where anyone can go to college”
- Our good buddies at Whrrl have announced a cool partnership with Red Bull. Fans who join Whrrl’s Red Bull Society will gain access to insider knowledge and perks at venues all around NYC, as well as special access to Red Bull Air Race events.
- June 20th is Father’s Day. Celebrate your granddad by sharing a funny, inspiring, or heartwarming story about your grandfather over at GrandPowers, a startup that just launched that aims to connect children with their grandparents through sharing stories and fun, family-building activities. Share your story and you could win a FlipCam!
- Animoto is on Fire! When some of you asked for higher-energy video styles, Animoto designers took it on as a challenge. They stoked the furnace, lugged out the anvil, and in a fit of passion, finally forged…FIRE!
- Context Optional, the social marketing company, announced yesterday the acquisition of Unwrap Inc, makers of Buzzeo, a leading platform for Facebook application creation.
- Magnetic, a New York ad technology company, is closing its Series A of $4 million led by Charles River Ventures, Ron Conway, and NYC Investment Fund. Along with seed money, investments now total $5.25 million. Previous investors include Founder Collective and IA Capital Partners, which also participated in the latest financing.
- Hey web developer font geeks, get excited: WebFonts are on sale! Get 30% off here.
- Mashery helped the Associated Press develop an iPhone application, giving fans 24X7 access to their favorite teams and World Cup happenings. Available in four languages with customizable skins for all 32 countries participating in the tournament, the AP app has proven to be successful and is already a very popular download on iTunes.
- Wix added a fresh batch of stylish new web designs to the Wix template gallery. New designs Include: food/drink, restaurant, lifestyle, and jewelry.
UPDATES FROM OUR FRIENDS
- Brian Erzen is working on a independent horror movie “Straight On Till Morning” in L.A. They are running a Kickstarter campaign. Vote with dollars if you like indie horror flicks!
- Cathy Brooks is scheduling the next storynavigation workshops for SF (late June), L.A. (late July) and NYC (early August). These workshops are invaluable — Jolie highly recommends signing up.
- Ezra Butler is advising this cool GLBT initiative.
- Chris Merritt is serving up free music every Tuesday and has upcoming shows in NYC. If you’re in town, check him out!
- Baratunde Thurston is letting you know: The Onion is launching “News from 2137″!