Interview with Konrad Zuse, inventor of first functional computer

Jackson West · 06/03/08 06:20PM

"You could say I was too lazy to calculate, so I invented the computer." The whole documentary is a lot of fun to watch — famed British thespian David Jacobi even makes an appearance in a dramatization as the legendary Alan Turing. Zuse and Turing were on opposite sides of World War II, with Zuse's machine mostly used to crunch numbers for the Nazis' rocket projects. Helping to keep track of the undesirables intended for slaughter in the concentration camps? That was IBM's job.

Secrets of the worst websites — revealed!

Owen Thomas · 03/08/08 11:30PM

Andy Baio created, a plausibly good group-calendar site he sold to Yahoo. Shirt-doffing VC David Hornik of August Capital has funded some plausibly good companies like Six Apart and Splunk. The two served as judges for "Worst Website Ever," a gag panel at SXSW where entrepreneurs gave their all to the worst startup pitches they could come up with. The ideas were funny enough — Sickr, Image Search for the Blind, My Happy Netbox, and the like. (See the photo gallery, after the jump.) But there was something sour about the whole business.

This Game Is An Entirely New And Better Internet

Nick Douglas · 02/26/08 05:27PM

My favorite kind of game is role-playing games that turn repetitive real-life work into repetitive game work with fewer rewards. I'm not impressed by PMOG, the massively multiplayer RPG played by just surfing the web. It's cute, but it's too distracting for anyone doing Serious Business on the Internet. I want to intentionally waste a few hours. The real game to play is Forumwarz, which launched early this month. It's stupid, insulting, and really damn clever. [UPDATE: I've started playing and the game is requiring me to have cybersex with a predator. This game rocks.]

Laughing and leaving

Megan McCarthy · 11/16/07 05:13PM

Laugh with a squid, say goodbye to a Yahoo, and relax with a flick, all in this weekend's Valleywag Calendar. creator leaves Yahoo

Owen Thomas · 11/12/07 01:39PM

Andy Baio, the entrepreneur who created group calendar site and sold it to Yahoo two years ago, is leaving the company. Not surprising that a company founder would leave after an acquisition, especially after two years, since that's a typical length of time for shares to vest under a deal's earnout provision. But Baio was part of a generation of startuppers brought in to transform Yahoo in the wake of that company's groundbreaking acquisition of Flickr — like, for example, founder Joshua Schachter, shown here rocking out with Baio. Schachter is still a presence at Yahoo. But what's most notable about the list of people Baio thanks in his farewell post are the ones who are no longer there — or are on their way out.

Declaring e-mail bankruptcy

Nick Douglas · 04/23/07 03:46PM

NICK DOUGLAS — "If you've sent me an email (and you aren't my wife, partner, or colleague), you might want to send it again." So says Fred Wilson, venture capitalist, declaring e-mail bankruptcy today on his blog. He's not the first high-profile person to take this measure. Here are three other notables who've given up on their e-mail (the most famous of whom reportedly white-lied) and three who found a better way.