THURSDAY FEBRUARY 2, 2012
- The Facebook IPO Players Club: Peter Thiel
They were doing just fine before, but Facebook’s biggest minority owners are about to be catapulted into a far more elite bracket. As we ponder what they’ll do with with new millions (or more billions, for Peter Thiel), here’s a look at what got them where they are today.
Who he is: Peter Thiel is a “business magnate, venture capitalist and hedge fund manager.” His own ThielFoundation.com website puts it this way: He’s a “technology entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist.”
- Beyond ACTA: next secret copyright agreement negotiated this week—in Hollywood
One of the worst parts of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was its ridiculous secrecy, under which it was easy for negotiators and industry reps to see draft text, but impossible for the public to do so except through leaks. Thankfully, those leaks showed just how bad ACTA was going to be for the Internet, and public pressure helped remove the worst provisions. But the basic approach to doing deals didn’t die, and it’s back again this week as negotiators meet in Hollywood to discuss a new, totally secret intellectual property chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional trade agreement. Civil society and digital rights groups would dearly love to be part of the process; barring that, they’d like to know simply what the process is so that they can at least mount press conferences of their own. But even that is difficult.According to Sean Flynn, an American University professor who has worked on these issues for several years, the cloud of secrecy is again in force. “Although there has been no official announcement about the planned meeting, public interest advocacy organizations have determined that intellectual property negotiations will be held January 31-Feb 4th at a hotel in West Hollywood,” he wrote last night in an e-mail.
- Fast Talk: How This 17-Year-Old’s Breakup Inspired His Startup
Meet Michael Moore-Jones, ambitious entrepreneur, nostalgic ex-boyfriend, teenager. Michael Moore-Jones is a 17-year-old entrepreneur from New Zealand, and already the founder of two websites, They Don’t Teach You This In School and Duo. Fast Company caught up with Moore-Jones to talk about data security, ex-girlfriends, and why he can’t wait to get out of high school.
- Google Docs for Android updates: adds offline support, better tablet experience
Google clearly didn’t want to blow everyone’s mind right away with its Google Docs app for Android. That’s why it’s been slowly rolling out the updates, incrementally adding features and turning what began life (more or less) as a glorified web browser into a useful app. The latest upgrades deliver possibly the most requested feature — offline access. Now there’s an option to pin individual files for local storage and the app will automatically sync the latest version anytime you’re on WiFi. If that’s not often enough, you can manually update whenever you have a data connection. There’s also a new layout for viewing docs on tablets that allows you to swipe left and right to flip between pages and a scrubber at the bottom for quickly jumping from one part of the doc to another. Hit up the Android Market now to score the update for yourself.
- Mobile Ad Network Mojiva Reaches 1 Billion Devices
Mobile ad startup Mojiva is the latest startup to start throwing around the word “billion” in its press releases. The company says it now reaches one billion unique devices each month.Of those devices, about 224 million are in the United States, Mojiva says. The United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, account for 33 million, 10.6 million, and 8.7 million devices, respectively. Overall, Mojiva says it’s serving 45 billion ad requests in 190 countries.(When mobile ad network Millennial Media filed for an IPO last month, it said it reached 200 million unique users worldwide and claimed 40 billion ad impressions per month.)