Attn Angel Investors: @Colourlovers is raising a round - investing in them will make you feel pretty!

My buddy Darius (a fellow making-the-world-suck-less-guy) wants to also make the world less ugly with his successful startup,

They're an etsy for graphic design. Here's the skinny straight from the team:

Using our creative software & web apps, our 500K users have created & shared more than 3M pieces of design content through our community. We're building a marketplace for this content that will make designing so easy that even a VC can put something together that looks amazing.

Well investors, they've already got 42 intros on AngelList and that's all I'll say about that. This is not a solicitation, because if I wanted to solicit something, I'd recommend the ShakeShack Shroomburger; eating vegetarian never tasted so good.

And for those of you who aren't (yet) angel investors, I hope you'll give them a try the next time you're picking out colors (or simply want inspiration) for anything in the digital or real world.

As Egypt Erupts, Al Jazeera Offers Its News for Free to Other Networks

Qatar-based cable news network Al Jazeera is not available on United States cable systems — except in local markets in Vermont, Ohio and Washington, D.C.

But that hasn’t stopped the major American news outlets from relying on the international news network for critical reportage on the growing unrest in Egypt.

Al Jazeera has more journalists on the ground, in-country, than any American news organization.

“Al Jazeera Arabic and English have seven teams in Cairo plus multiple reporters in Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia,” a company spokesperson said.

“The revolution is not being televised, it’s being streamed,” the rep added.

In order to make the news available worldwide, Al Jazeera has decided to make its content available for “other news sources to use through their Creative Commons website,” the company said. That means news outlets are free to use the organization’s reports and live footage, without getting permission, so long as the borrowers give credit.

Al Jazeera is popular in Egypt, as it is throughout the Arab world. But the 30-year strongman President Hosni Mubarak’s regime is no fan of the network’s coverage, and Al Jazeera says the regime has tried to disrupt the organization’s reporting.

On Thursday, Mubarak’s regime pulled the plug on Egypt’s internet service, making Al Jazeera’s multiple streams of coverage inaccessible to Egyptians.

Al Jazeera’s management says it is committed to global journalism and free speech.

“Braving the same violent attacks by policemen against demonstrators, including physical assaults, rubber bullets, and tear gas, Al Jazeera journalists were on location, doing their jobs, and capturing the scene faced by the Egyptians to help carry their voices to our audience around the world,” Al Jazeera management said in an internal email to staffers today.

Al Jazeera’s website saw a 2500% increase in traffic Friday, with over 50% of that spike coming from the US alone, a company spokesperson said. The company’s servers crashed earlier today, but it has taken steps to beef them up.

Al Jazeera is streaming live reporting out of Egypt on its website.

I know I heard a few laughs when I answered "Al Jazeera" as the media organization that would have a big year in 2011 at this UVA Media Panel here in New York.

We're still in January; I'm confident that this won't be the last time we hear of Al Jazeera journalists braving life-threatening situations to report on world news, especially in regions where our American news organizations are thinning ranks (or have no local presence whatsoever).

What happens in Tunisia matters to us. What happens in Egypt matters to us. And while social media helps us here in the USA read, watch, and view the raw footage and reports from all over the world -- there are still plenty of journalists doing reporting, too.

On Capitalism & Consumerism

On the contrary, I identify with the article because I know how stupid I am.

I know how manipulatable I am. I know how easy it is to hijack by overclocked-monkey-brain instincts. I know how subject I am to addictive behavior. I know how far I am from my ideal self. I know how much vigilance it takes to get closer to that ideal self.

I know that I am barely conscious for most of my life. The decisions I make throughout the day are mostly automatic, governed by forces trained on habit rather than intention. To live deliberately is a nearly impossible struggle with the meager tools at our disposal, and I'd be the last person to fault anyone for not doing it, or even for not desiring to.

It is not contradictory to believe that capitalism is the most effective engine for driving human ambition towards useful goals, and at the same time, decry the perverse incentives it creates to manipulate people against their interests and to destroy the environment.

I believe that capitalism is the best way to optimize a civilization towards an objective function. I don't believe that that objective function is correct, particularly when the the people optimizing for it have the ability to change it (through brand advertising, government influence, etc.) We ignore the tragedy of the commons at our peril.

In addition, a person freely making a bad decision of their own volition is not moral insulation for offering them that bad decision in the first place.

Couldn't agree more. Here's the article this fantastic Hacker News comment by moultano is referring to.

Hipmunk: The Next Huge Travel Site? @Daily_Finance reports

Earlier this week a small travel startup called Hipmunk got what was reported to be a $6 million venture round. I wasn't surprised. A friend had turned me on to Hipmunk a while back, and I loved it.

Aside from the whimsical name and catchy ads, Hipmunk is actually a new take on the stodgy business of travel search now populated by Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia and many others. Hipmunk provides travel search results with key twists that make it much easier and faster to find flights focusing on travel factors that really matter.

This is second-act startup for founders Steve Huffman (co-founder of social news site Reddit) and Adam Goldstein (founder of BookTour with Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine). The team also includes Alexis Ohanian, another co-founder of Reddit. Hipmunk is one of many promising Internet startups helped along by Paul Graham, founder of the Y Combinator tech incubator. Graham may be the most powerful Internet venture capitalist on Earth.


I never get tired of hearing these conversion stories -- when someone first searches on hipmunk and it just clicks. Thanks, Alex! And you can be sure I'm going to mention the "Graham may be the most powerful Internet venture capitalist on Earth" to PG when I see him at Y Combinator today...