Earlier this year, Leah Culver appeared on the cover of a tech magazine blowing an enormous pink bubble. But the shrill-voiced San Francisco programmer no longer desires fame — even the modest sort afforded Silicon Valley's microcelebrities. The turnabout seems odd, considering how aggressively she once courted notoriety.
Leah Culver, the ever-romantic founder of file-sharing site Pownce, does not think anything should keep two lovers apart, least of all work. True! And if she wants to date MG Siegler, the handsome VentureBeat blogger, more power to her. Brian Solis's lens captured the two sticking quite close to each other at a party for MySpace Music last night. But shouldn't Siegler, rather than Valleywag, disclose the relationship to his readers before he writes flatteringly about Pownce and quotes Culver in an article? (Photo by Brian Solis/Bub.blicio.us)
For quippy superstar engineer Cal Henderson, the fellow who has kept Flickr from crashing all these years, attendance at Yahoo's Hack Day developer event was all but mandatory, since he works there. But what attracted Pownce cofounder Leah Culver, Henderson's ex-girlfriend? A Valleywag tipster's spy camera caught the two of them hard at work, laptops side by side. All business, clearly — until it came time for the awkward parting hug, and perhaps more. "Looked like they were kissing in the pic with him holding her, but can't say it looked very enthusiastic or romantic," our tipster analyzes. Full photos below, so you, too, can interpret the body language in the comments.
When we popularized "the 250" as a nickname for San Francisco's Internet cool-kids crowd, we didn't realize how literal the incest was. Take the flirtation between Flickr's engineering chief, Cal Henderson, and Ariel Waldman, the community manager of Pownce, an online file-sharing service. Pownce was cofounded by Leah Culver, Henderson's ex-girlfriend, who has also dated around the scene. Henderson and Waldman traveled to Hawaii together, and have made jokes — on Twitter and Flickr, of course — about Henderson wishing Waldman shared his last name and calling her his "fake wife." It's all so darling, veering on disturbing.
Sheryl, Sheryl, Sheryl. It's been quite a week, for us and for Facebook's COO. Sheryl Sandberg isn't the kind to yell, like the 10 tyrants we featured this week. She's much more subtle than that. Or at least we thought she was, until she botched product marketer Ben Ling's high-profile return from Facebook to Google. Sheryl, sounds like you need some advice on how to end a relationship. May we suggest talking to Pownce's Leah Culver? (Photo by tifotter)
Programming Django isn't quite the same as dropping Dorothy Parker quips at lushed-out parties, but Pownce cofounder Leah Culver's line last night warmed even my cynical heart. Scene: We were mobbed briefly around the photo booth at 330 Ritch, former gay bathhouse and setting for the public launch of Yahoo's location-based mobile social thing, Fire Eagle. "Melissa, I want you to meet Cal Henderson," she said, presenting Flickr's head of engineering. "He's a fan ..."And here Mr. Henderson shook my hand and didn't mind at all when I said it was really his longtime companion Tom Coates, part of the Fire Eagle team and old queer hand of the blogosphere, whom I came out to meet. "We're here in my circle of exes," Culver continued. "And I have one to toss back at you," I added. The rest of the evening is lost in a botched Flip video file sync — no footage for you — and a flurry of text messages wherein I tried to locate the guy getting a handjob in the men's room at the end of the night. No help from Fire Eagle there! Tip me if you know who the lucky jack was? (Photo by Andrew Mager)
Vancouver-based NowPublic is ostensibly all about citizen journalism. But since Guy Kawasaki sold Truemors to it and signed up as an advisor, it's becoming better known for publishing flattering lists of "influencers," supposedly ranking them according to various social media metrics. The first "Most Public" list focused on New York, but a new list for the Valley and San Francisco is "coming soon." And by virtue of being included in the latest edition, we received an early copy as a press release. Who comes out on top? Ubiquitous attention slut Robert Scoble, naturally. Full list after the jump.
We've been remiss in informing you of this: Cal Henderson, the eminently scalable Flickr engineer, and Leah Culver, the shrill-voiced cofounder of Pownce, San Francisco's favorite way to share MP3 files while evading copyright cops, broke up some time ago. (We hear it wasn't exactly his idea.) But don't feel sorry for Henderson, or Culver. She has no shortage of suitors — including, it seems, Technology Review editor-in-chief Jason Pontin, who was taken enough with Culver to put her on his magazine's latest cover. Pontin's married, but a man can dream, can't he? Sorry, Jason: We now hear Culver's hooked up with a Googler. (Photo of Henderson by magerleagues)
I remain utterly obsessed with ubiquinnoying Pownce cofounder Leah Culver and heterofabulous Flickr engineer Cal Henderson, not least because he tweaked my nipples the last time I saw the pair in Austin. A tipster reports spotting the besotted twosome at the Westfield mall in downtown San Francisco, going into a screening of 21, a tale of geeks who used higher math to take the house in Vegas. Could a desert debauch be in their future? (Photo by magerleagues)
We asked which man most deserves Pownce founder Leah Culver's attentions: Googler Andy Smith or Flickr's Cal Henderson? In a late rally, Smith advocates won out. His 48.4 percent of the vote displaced the early leader, none-of-the-above option "cupcakes to face for both," at 43.5 percent. Now a pair of tipsters confirm Culver has, in fact, selected a new man. Has she heeded the wisdom of the crowd?
Pownce founder Leah Culver has made more geeks go wild than we can count. For starters: Daniel Burka of Digg; LiveJournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick; and Justin.tv's Kyle Vogt. They're all history, however. One tipster confirms our suspicions that Culver and Flickr's Cal Henderson are "definitely dating." But another writes:
Former Uncov guy and Persai CEO Kyle Shank, at center, recovers from an unsolicited cupcake smearing by Pownce's Leah Culver. The attack, likely motivated by Uncov accomplice Ted Dziuba's frequent gibes directed at Culver, took place at Flickr's fourth birthday party. Flickr's Cal Henderson, right, is said to have served as Culver's accomplice. Speaking of, can anyone confirm whether Henderson and Culver are dating? The two were inseparable at SXSW. If so, snaps to Culver: We hear Henderson's website is highly scalable. (Photo by magerleagues)
Last night Pownce attempted to launch live to the public, but instead launched FAIL, a tipster tells us in an email with this error message attached. No, this tipster is not Uncov's Ted Dziuba, the Leah Culver-despising hero of all real programmers. We ended all that. Nevertheless, Dziuba's definition of the site remains useful.
This photo, taken right at 10 p.m. shows people still waiting in line to get into tonight's Pownce party at the Madrone Lounge, two hours after it started. Are they that desperate to hoist a beer with Kevin Rose? And do they realize they may be exposed to the jarring powers of Leah Culver's voice? One bored queue-stander has cracked open a laptop. That's hot, whoever you are. (Photo by Danny Bernstein)