Jason Calacanis, the professional email sender and part-time CEO of Mahalo, is a busy man. Fresh from executing layoffs at his fewer-humans-than-before-powered search engine, he's jetting off to Japan. This, mind you, despite promising to cut down on travel as an austerity measure. Brian Alvey, Calacanis's cofounder at Weblogs Inc., the blog network they sold to AOL for $25 million, is keeping house for him. "Heading to L.A. so I can house sit for @jasoncalacanis and help with any packages that arrive while he's in Japan," he writes on Facebook, according to a screenshot sent in by a tipster. Alvey later admits the "package" that's arriving: Calacanis's $109,000 all-electric Tesla Roadster. Here's the Facebook discussion this prompted:
After Yahoo bought email startup Zimbra for $350 million, where did the money go? Cofounder and CEO Satish Dharmaraj put at least some of it down on a customized Toyota Prius, now on display at the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas. The yellow-and-orange car was so outrageously over the top it made even the heartless carbloggers at Jalopnik weep.The Prius features an extended battery for all-electric operation — how green! (Unless you count the coal which more than likely generated most of that electricity.) MyRide says that Dharmaraj's outré choice of scissor-wing doors means "the Lamborghini-door trend is officially over." (Photo by MyRide)
At the center of a small armada, Kleiner Perkins VC Tom Perkins's three-masted superyacht Maltese Falcon took a turn around San Francisco Bay last weekend. It's currently anchored in Richardson's Bay north of Sausalito, and if you've got a couple hundred million around, you could probably convince Perkins to let you take it off his hands. This post needs a better headline like Perkins needs humility, so offer one up in the comments and we'll select our favorite to re-title the post with. "Mashable founder proves he loves brown sugar" from ResearchZilla was the cupcake that took the cake yesterday. (Photo by Chris Comparini)
The world's largest sailing vessel, the Maltese Falcon, will be visiting San Francisco Bay. It's owned by Tom Perkins — "Perkins" as in "Kleiner Perkins," the venture-capital firm he helped found — and cost around $130 million to build. However, Perkins has been trying to sell the thing with a price tag of $233 million. With a financial crisis on Wall Street and the economy getting flushed down the head, parading a 289-foot tribute to "vulgar ostentation" feels a bit like a thumb in the eye to the average American right now. There is a way Perkins could redeem himself.Two words: Homeless shelter. With homeowners failing to make mortgage payments, and the Bay Area known for a seemingly intractable homeless problem, the Falcon could provide part of the solution. And Perkins has admitted to being embarrassed by its expense. After all, it shares a name with a book by noted socialist (and alcoholic) Dashiell Hammett. The onboard "hotel" only accommodates twelve guests, so it would only be a symbolic gesture — at least 5,000 homeless live in San Francisco alone. But as it stands, it's a symbol of unrepentant greed, which at the moment is about as trendy as mortgage-backed securities. (Photo by AP/Lionel Cironneau)
Just when you blew your IT budget on quad-core servers, Intel has a six-core Xeon 7400 processor that'll be available from Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell starting September 15th. I'm a bit disappointed, because I was hoping they'd also boost the 7400's L3 cache to 32 megs. But that's just me.
Network appliance manufacturer Echelon will now cover half the cost of CEO Ken Oshman's travel on his private jet after a vote by the company's board. Previously, the company only reimbursed up to the equivalent expense of first-class commercial airfare for Oshman and any employees travelling on company business. Based on Oshman's travel so far this year, the new perk will cost the company an extra $370,000 a year. [Mercury News]
At Skandia Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight, Niklas Zennström's racing yacht Ran won five of seven races amongst the largest class of boats, and won the overall title without having to race on the final day. Zennström joined the competitive yachting class after successfully suckering eBay into buying Skype. His latest project, Joost, however, couldn't generate enough hype to raise the spinnaker, with the online video startup's sails continuing to
luft luff in dead winds. (Photo by Rick Tomlinson)
Armin Heinrich's "I Am Rich" iPhone App, sadly no longer available for $999.99 in the iTunes App Store, was probably the most important software development of our time. Wonderfully, some 502 iTunes App Store shoppers took the time to review it, giving it a rating of two stars out of a possible five. Our 10 favorite reviews — sometimes marked by calm, playing-along cynicism, sometimes by wide-eyed fury — are below:
Maybe you haven't heard about the $999.99 "I Am Rich" iPhone App by Armin Heinrich yet. We'll catch you up, poor thing. Purchase this app for your iPhone 3G from the iTunes App Store now and it will do two things: display a glowing red gem for an icon and tell everyone who handles your iPhone 3G that you have more money then there are orca skin purses to spend it on. It's a bargain compared to a Patek Philippe watch which does the same thing.
Forbes lays on the Cosmo when it comes to finding wives for the rich: "Today, there are just 110 eligible 10-figure bachelors, including divorced men, in the world. So what does it take to marry one? For starters, looks are great—but brains are even better." Take Melanie Craft, the romance-novelist wife of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. A wife with her own career can stay busy and well-off. The more successful she is on her own, the more time her guy has to hire girls for rides in his Love Copter. And the less money he'll have to hand over in a future settlement. Everybody wins! (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Keeping Oracle CEO and cofounder Larry Ellison safe cost the company $1.7 million over the fiscal year ending May 31, 2007. Most of that money went to guards at his homes as well as installing and repairing home security systems, according to Oracle's SEC filings. Part of Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos's 2007 compensation included $1.2 milion for personal security. Google CEO Eric Schmidt spent $475,000 on security in 2007. A lot of the money probably goes to security precautions that might seem a lot more like luxuries than necessities.
The 233-foot yacht owned by Charles Simonyi, the Microsoft billionaire and Martha Stewart love-muffin, has been spotted in the Hudson River. For a sense of scale, the helicopter, painted to match, can be clearly seen perched on the helipad. (True story: the only time I've flown in a helicopter, Simonyi was the pilot). I'm sure that with Stewart's help, the whole thing is quite tastefully decorated — if only to remove the stank of the Danish girlfriend whose pet name for Simonyi was "skat." That's also the name of the yacht, according to Wikipedia. (Photo by Eric Etheridge)
Early last month Sequoia Capital fired TokBox founder Serge Faguet as CEO. An engineer who spoke with Faguet for a job interview tells us his firing "comes as no surprise." The tipster, perhaps sore that his job interview didn't go so well, characterizes Faguet as "rude and arrogant" and argues that the original idea for TokBox came from cofounder Ron Hose. But mostly, our tipster objects to Faguet's car: a BMW 650i.