Snapchat Has Raised $485 Million More From 23 Investors, At Valuation Of At Least $10B

snapchat-still Back in the day, we reported that messaging app Snapchat* was raising over $100 million in a round led by Kleiner Perkins. And then the WSJ reported that it was $20 million, which left us wondering why a growth round would be so small in terms of total principle. Well, it turns out it’s not. Snapchat has raised a much bigger amount: Nearly $500 million in aggregate, according to an… Read More

5 Things 2014 Gave Us And 5 Things It Took Away

Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy

Gave:

1. Huge iPhones – Android phones have been oversized for years, but it wasn’t until Apple launched their new line of huge iPhones in September that the age of the enormous phone truly came to pass. Our thumbs are working harder than ever to keep up and it is glorious. Long live the giant phones!

2. The Comeback – We asked for it. HBO gave it. Lisa Kudrow’s first post-Friends television show died a quiet and underrated death in 2005 (atop a pile of critical praise). After years of whispers and questions we finally saw the return of Valerie Cherish in November and this sequel season is, dare I say, better than the first. Please never leave us again, Val.

3. Broad City – Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer’s Broad City began as a web series in 2009, but it’s skyrocket to success on Comedy Central started in January of this year. Not only is the show hilarious, it’s also true to life and, for once on television, truly original. Also, thank you for helping this marvel along, Amy Poehler.

4. Chris Pratt 2.0 – The premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy gifted us many things, mostly in the form of memes and catchphrases. Perhaps its greatest gift of all was the newly slender and jacked Chris Pratt. Pratt has always been lovable and handsome but his new superhero status and rocking body make him the complete package we didn’t know we needed. On to Jurassic World we go!

5. Immigration Reform – In November of this year President Barack Obama finally took decisive action on immigration reform. Starting February of 2015 the President’s new plan will protect about 5 million unauthorized immigrants, including 4 million parents of legal citizens, from being deported. It’ll also help those people gain legal immigration to the magnitude of an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 skilled workers. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s certainly a better answer then we’ve had.

Took Away:

1. Celebrities – Boy, was 2014 a bitch when it came to celebrity deaths or what? Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, Elaine Stritch, Jan Hooks, Shirley Temple-Black, Joe Cocker, and Philip Seymour Hoffman were among those we lost. While we should try to focus on the work of theirs we did get to see, it’s hard not to resent the loss of such talents. A round of applause and the hope that they rest in peace.

2. Our Denial About Bill Cosby – Whispers about Bill Cosby’s sexual behavior have been around for years, but they weren’t really brought to our national attention until Hannibal Buress made some jokes about his alleged crimes in October. Thank god he did. Cosby should be shunned, investigated, and made to answer for his crimes. Take our denial, 2014, and keep it.

3. Our Trust in the Police – Thanks to human prejudices, minorities of all kinds have always had a strained relationship with law enforcement. 2014 saw that finally come to a head for the black community in Ferguson and New York following the deaths of unarmed citizens, such as Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Protests have broken out across the nation against our highly militarized police force and high rates of police discrimination and brutality. I don’t know if 2015 has any answers for us but I’m glad 2014 asked the right questions.

4. Our Privacy – Between the disgraceful celebrity nude picture leak and the hack of Sony in the fall, 2014 has been quite a year in public education about the state of privacy. Many people were finally forced to realize what recent college grads have known for years: What you put on the Internet stays on the Internet. Perhaps your New Years resolution should be two-factor authentication and a password-protecting app, such as 1Password or LastPass? Just my advice. Nobody wants to be in Sony’s shoes right now.

5. The Democratic Congress – Was the American congress awful? Yes, objectively yes. They were the second most useless Congress in history. Was the answer to elect a bunch of conservatives in their place? I’m not entirely convinced, but America sure thought so! With the loss of liberal congressional seats we’ll limit the ability for Obama to pass legislation (not that he was doing that anyway). This two party system is working out great! 2015, here we come. TC mark