Is Yelp going the way of YouTube? TechCrunch reported last night on rumors that Google is in talks to purchase Yelp for a cool half a billion dollars. The New York Times and Allthingsd have additional reporting. Peter Kafka writes that when Google takes out its wallet for a smaller company "it generally wants its technology and the people behind it, and is less interested in the existing business itself, or the audience it has accumulated. Interesting to see if that's the case with Yelp, whose main asset appears to be a dedicated community of users who chatter about restaurants, stores, etc., and have churned out some 8 million reviews in 30 cities." Yelp hasn't commented on the rumors.
Twitter hacked by Iranian group. A political group called the "Iranian Cyber Army" temporarily disrupted Twitter last night. Around 10 p.m., TechCrunch reports it began receiving tips that the standard Twitter interface had been replaced with a black screen, Iranian flag, and anti-American rhetoric. The site was up and running again by the end of the night, with co-founder Biz Stone tweeting that "Twitter's DNS records were temporarily compromised by have now been fixed." While Twitter is no stranger to security breaches -- even President Obama's account fell prey to hackers -- there's something especially eerie about an Iranian attack on a service that was instrumental in the anti-government protests earlier this year.
Inside an entrepreneur's head. A day in the life of young entrepreneur Jordan Cooper's brain. And it goes something like this: "(scanning emails on my iPhone while still lying in bed)...where's the good news? Where's the good news?...oh shit, that guy actually wrote back to me...come on baby,,, come on baby...yes, he's willing to meet me...junk...junk...email from friend....oh yea, I should probably stop working and go hang out with my friends one of these nights." (via The Wall Street Journal.)
Wearing t-shirts becomes a business for one entrepreneur. Last year, a 27-year old entrepreneur named Jason Sadler began wearing other peoples' business t-shirts, and made $84,000 in the process. Sadler began by launching a website, and started selling businesses the opportunity for daily t-shirt advertising based on the day's "face value" (January 1 = $1; December 31 = $365). Reuters reports that some media experts are skeptical that this business model will keep money coming in for the long haul. Referring to Sadler's business as a "one-trick pony," ad specialist Rob Gorrie--who runs his own digital ad agency, called Adcentricity--said, "If you're going to build a company around it, you definitely have to watch out for the risks that it will tire as a tactic... you're going to have to continue to innovate and come up with new concepts to be able to take to advertisers to keep their interest and to keep the consumer's interest."
The mad genius behind Avatar. Improbably--given the expense, the hoakiness, and the blue tails--Avatar is getting good reviews. Before you see it, check out Wired's profile of James Cameron, who, in developing the $300 million movie, invented a new kind of camera and a new language.
Weekend reading. In need of a little pre-holiday inspiration? Check out Inc.'s inspirational story on the near-death and eventual rescue of Broadway Books.
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