Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Napster Founders’ Airtime to Debut June 5

Airtime, the long-awaited new start-up from Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, finally plans to show its face to the public. Today the company invited media to a launch event in New York City on June 5.

Airtime is to be a live video platform built around meeting new people. The site is currently accepting signups via Facebook Connect.

Parker and Fanning had previously tried to work with and even buy Chatroulette — the anonymous webcam pairing site built by a Russian teenager that sparked a zeitgeisty desire for online serendipity in 2010, and then was overrun by naked dudes — but that deal fell apart.

One thing to watch for with Airtime is how the service negotiates between anonymity and real identity sharing. Here’s a hint from the site’s privacy policy:

Your name is not shared when you are paired with a stranger. However, your Airtime and Facebook friends will be able to directly call you and see when you are online. You may edit or delete your interest information on Airtime and modify your profile information to increase anonymity.

Airtime’s investors include Founders Fund, Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Ashton Kutcher,, Scott Braun and Michael Arrington.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik