Obvious Move: Biz Stone Steps Away From Twitter For Mysterious Venture; Plus, Trouble In Tumblville

The Fast Company reader’s essential rundown of people and companies making moves in your space. Updated all day by’s editors. Thousands of users of microblogging service Tumblr weren’t even cynical enough to avoid a phishing scam that’s become a real problem for the service. Users who eagerly clicked on a offer for free boobies instead found their passwords jacked. People. Have you no Cinemax? –TG


–Updated 5:49 p.m. EST

Biz Stone

[Image: Flickr user niallkennedy]


Capt. Obvious. Biz Stone is stepping away from Twitter, the company he helped found, to work on The Obvious Corporation (which incubated the company that would become Twitter) with other decamped Twitter principals Ev Williams and Jason Goldman (another blow to Noah Glass). Twitter CEO Dick Costolo supports the move, Stone writes, and he says he’ll still dabble when his help is needed. The Obvious Corporation is anything but. Here’s the murky mission statement, as Stone blogs it: “The Obvious Corporate develops systems that help people work together to improve the world. This is a dream come true!” –TG

–Updated: 4:08 p.m. EST



Tweet Salvation. As part of the Vatican’s social-friendly renovation, Pope Benedictus XVI is now on Twitter. Please someone tell him the difference between a DM and a regular update, quick. Also, he’s going to burn through those 140 characters if he has to append “with my prayers and blessings…” on every note. Would it be offensive to go with, “w mah pryrz n blsngs, B16?” –TG

–Updated 3:53 p.m. EST


MySpace Price Just $30 Million? The scuttlebutt had it that the MySpace deal would be done and dusted by now, but it’s not. What we have heard is that the once-giant social website is possibly priced at just $30 million. That’s a tiny fragment of what Twitter and Facebook may be worth. And it’s also possible that the buyer won’t end up being a big name you’ve heard of. –KE

–Updated 11:25 a.m. EST

Google Tells You What You Love. Quietly launched just now, Google has a new site called
that’s quite handy: If you type in a search string, it’ll return some
of the key matches across lots of different Google products. This is
data like pictures, video, trends, patents and even open calendar
entries. Is it a curiosity, the product of one of Google’s 20%
initiatives, or a promotional toy Google is going to use? Who cares when
Goog does good design work!? –KE


MySpace Ditching Staff In Pre-Sale Spiral.
In January MySpace shed 47% of its staff numbers, leaving it with only
about 400. Today it’s now rumored to be shedding another 150 staff,
while a further 150 are being put on notice, but will be paid while they
search for other employment. That would leave the firm with a mere 100
core workers–a very manageable number for any potential buyer. The deal
to acquire MySpace is expected this week and rumored buyers include LivingSocial. –KE

Google Facing Big Antitrust Case In France. As well as being probed by the European Commission for anti-competitive actions, Google is about to be challenged by another lawsuit that’s seeking over $400 million in damages. The suit is expected to be filed today in Paris’ Commercial Court by the owner of regional search engine 1plusV, with the amount fixed to match income 1plusV says it lost when Google illegally blocked some of its speciality search pages from appearing in Google results. –KE

Is Microsoft An Android Patent Troll? Microsoft’s just landed a new licensing deal with General Dynamics Itronix, which makes rugged Android-powered mobile devices destined for the armed forces. It’s the latest in a string of such deals. Earlier targets included Motorola and HTC–which also makes Windows-powered phones. It’s brain-twistingly odd that MS can sue makers of phones that use a rival maker’s OS, but things get weirder when you consider that these deals may make MS more money than it earns from its own mobile phone division. And with Windows Phone 7 unlikely to acquire huge chunks of market share, you could almost call MS a troll… –KE


–Updated 07:30 a.m. EST


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