Satoshi Nakamoto is the Real Satoshi Nakamoto… But Now Claims That He Isn’t

Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up?

Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up?

Newsweek made headlines when its recent front-cover story linked the real Satoshi Nakamoto, the famed creator of Bitcoin, to a curmudgeonly engineer named… Satoshi Nakamoto. You won’t believe what happened next.

Now, Satoshi Nakamoto (the real one) denies it all, claiming that Satoshi Nakamoto (the bitcoin one) has nothing to do with him. Via an article published today on TechCrunch, Nakamoto (the real one), asserts:

“I did not create, invent, or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report.”

It’s the latest chapter in the ongoing, mysterious saga of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency sweeping the globe. Will it ever end? Probably not.

Codementor Introduces One-on-One Help for Frustrated DIY Programmers

There are better ways to enjoy your laptop.

There are better ways to enjoy your laptop.

Online programmer education is enjoying a renaissance, led in no small part by NYC-based CodeAcademy. But those struggling to learn codecraft on their own may often find themselves lost in a well-known quandary: #TWYGS — or, the Time When You Get Stuck.

Reported today in TechCrunch, Codementor, a new startup out of Seattle-based TechStars, extends a branch to those stuck on TWYGS. By introducing live video chat with experienced developers, along with side-by-side screens to pair program, Codementor offers aspiring developers the next step in online education.

The startup, founded by YCombinator alumni Weiting Liu, curated a pool of 500 experts from a field of over 2,500 candidates. Each expert was vetted, in part, on their profiles on LinkedIn, CodeAcademy, and Stack Overflow.

Codementor joins a competitive field of startups offering similar services, include AirPair and HackHands. Liu says the company hopes to distinguish itself with an incremental pricing model that begins at just $10 for a 15-minute lesson.

Facebook Acquires WhatsApp for Staggering $16 Billion

facebook-whatsapp

Texting: Now worth 10x Youtube

In SEC filings released today, Facebook is acquiring cross-platform mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for a monumental $16 billion, almost ten times the acquisition price of Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube.

WhatsApp is a widely used messaging app that circumvents the fees imposed by SMS, along with the platform lock-in on networks like BBM and iMessage. According to the filings, WhatsApp enjoys over 450 million monthly users, 70% of whom access the service every day.

Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, “WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”

The acquisition is the latest in Facebook’s foray into mobile, following the $1 billion purchase of Instagram, along with its in-house launch of the critically acclaimed Paper app for iOS.

Almost half of Facebook users access the service exclusively through mobile, reports TechCrunch. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has called the social network “a mobile company now,” and the latest purchase of WhatsApp signals the company’s redoubled commitment to the space.

With Unanimous Vote, Oregon Moves to Ban Patent Trolls

A bill passed today in the Oregon Senate would make the state the first of its kind in the nation to ban the practice of patent trolling. As reported by OregonLive:

Senate Bill 1540 would make patent trolling a violation of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The bill would also allow an individual or business targeted by a patent troll to sue and recover attorneys’ fees.

Patent trolls are companies that buy often obscure patents and threaten lawsuits against hundreds or even thousands of people and businesses. The real aim is to get companies to fork over cash to make the troll go away. 

“We want to help and protect the small businesses who fuel our local economies,” said Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, who sponsored the bill.

Twitter CEO Wins Crunchies, Crappies

The power of Twitter lies within his chin.

In what might be a Silicon Valley first, Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, won two startup awards on the same night, highlighting both the achievements of his role at the company’s helm, and the controversies created in the process.

Inside the Davies Symphony Hall, Costolo won “Best CEO,” the Best Actor equivalent of The Crunchies, Silicon Valley’s lavish annual award ceremony co-organized by TechCrunch, GigaOM, and VentureBeat. Costolo’s newest accolade emerged from fierce competition, in which he edged out Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer, and runner-up-winning Travis Kalanick of Uber.

“This is really a team award,” said Costolo, in a gracious and brief acceptance speech. “It’s just such a delight to be able to get up in the morning and come to work with such enthusiastic, and creative, and courageous people. It makes it fun, it makes it exciting, and it never gets old, so thanks very much — I really appreciate it.”

Today marked the seventh year of The Crunchies, and the first of another event: The Crappies, organized in protest by the San Francisco chapter of Jobs With Justice. Playfully adorned with hand-written, paperboard signage, The Crappies organizers “awarded” individuals and companies for actions deemed problematic and harmful to the city and its myriad communities.

Dick Costolo was among the dubious cast of Crappies prizewinners, receiving the award for Best Tax Evader. The award references the company’s decision to relocate to the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood in the now-termed “Twitter building.”

In agreeing to the move, Twitter accepted a payroll tax credit pioneered by Mayor Ed Lee. The credit, misleadingly called the “Twitter tax break,” in fact extends to any company that relocates to the Mid-Market neighborhood, a trending district that incorporates areas of Civic Center and the Tenderloin, along with stretches of SoMa from 6th to 10th Street.

In guise of the real Costolo, local nonprofit worker and activist James Chionsini, playing a rather convincing Fake Dick Costolo, accepted the award. Chionsini’s last tweet, dated from almost a year ago, rings today with newfound prescience:

The Crappies have followed a wave anti-gentrification protests across the Bay Area, where private buses transport Google workers to and from the company’s Mountain View headquarters. The protests, widely covered in both tech and mainstream press, highlight the tensions rippled by the wave of a tech economy that fails to lift all boats.

“San Francisco is in a crisis,” decries Jobs With Justice. Median rental prices recently topped $3,000 for the first time in history, situating the City by the Bay as the country’s single most expensive place to live.