Cinemagram, an app for creating and sharing animated GIFs, adds 1 million users in six weeks

The animated GIF is one of the few native art forms on the web, a delightful micro-movie which has spawned countless memes. Cinemagram combines the stylish filters and simple sharing of Instagram with a app that allows users to turn short three-second videos into animated GIFs. In the six weeks since it was released as a free app on iOS, it has added more than one million users.

Entrepreneurs and investors meet in New York to organize for profit and for revolution

There were two pretty incredible tech events in New York this Tuesday. I only managed to score an invite to one of them, the Lerer Ventures CEO summit at Citi Field. The other was Union Square Ventures more exclusive Hacking Society get together, which luckily was live streamed. It’s worth taking a look at these two gatherings to get a sense of where the Silicon Alley scene is at right now and how the most powerful players in the East Coast tech world are thinking about the future.

Nokia’s head of sales steps down after it reports $1.7B first quarter loss

The tough times continue for Finnish phone giant Nokia, which has struggled to keep up with Apple and Android in the smartphone era. Today the company announced its results for the first quarter of 2012. Net sales fell sharply year over year from $13.6 billion to $9.7 billion. The company took a $1.7 billion loss on those sales, and Colin Giles, the head of sales, stepped down after 20 years at the company.

Ignored by venture capitalists, Pebble smartwatch has raised over $4M on Kickstarter and counting

VCs always have a war story about the one that got away. Time to add the Pebble smartwatch to the list. The creators of the Pebble had some initial success raising $375,000 in angel funding. But when it come to raise a series A, Pebble was roundly rejected by venture capital firms that didn’t want to risk betting on a hardware firm. So the Pebble team put their project on Kickstarter, where they have now raised $4.2 million and counting without giving away any equity in their company.

Crowd computing taps artificial intelligence to revolutionize the power of our collective brains

The two hundred people packed into a small screening room in Midtown Manhattan on a recent Tuesday night made quite a throng. Engineers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs sipped Sam Adams and nibbled bits from a fruit plate. They were there to learn about CrowdControl, a New York startup that is melding human workers with artificial intelligence to create the next paradigm for global labor: crowd computing.

Too legit to quit? Megaupload was headed for billion dollar IPO before Feds shut it down

Apparently Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is under the impression that when companies go public, it means they are a legitimate business (see Enron, Groupon, etc). Pirate news site TorrentFreak reports that before it was shut down by U.S. authorities, Megaupload was preparing for a billion dollar IPO, and had contacted major accounting firms to have its business audited.

Founders beware: accelerators offer upside, but only if you’re ready

This spring alone, over 100 companies will graduate from startup boot camps, accelerators, incubators, or other similarly named programs. As my own company Dibsie prepares for demo day with Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) in NYC, I want to share some thoughts with the founders thinking about applying. Do your diligence, and make sure you’re an educated buyer. Here’s what you need to know…

Clone king Marc Samwer out as Groupon’s international head following record high ad violations

Groupon’s business stateside has been embroiled in an accounting scandal that cut the stock price in half. But its international operations are responsible for two-thirds of the company’s revenue. Yesterday the company announced that Marc Samwer, who along with his brothers notoriously creates clones of successful American startups, was stepping down as head of their international operations, to be replaced by the Austrian Veit Dengler.

Ooyala boosts viewer engagement 4X with new, personalized, video discovery tools

If you’ve been by the websites of big names like ESPN, Rolling Stone or Victoria’s Secret (not guilty) then you’ve probably watched video powered by Ooyala’s white label service. Today the company is rolling out a new set of tools that personalizes that experience for each user, an update the company says has boosted engagement four fold among its beta testers.

Developers cry foul after Google+ redesign breaks their apps and extensions

One of the most valuable resources for a social network looking to attract new users is a robust market of apps that extend the platform’s functionality and increase engagement. So when the redesign for Google+ broke a number of apps and extensions built for the search giant’s social network, developers cried foul, asking why Google hadn’t given them fair warning.

Connotate raises $7M to help companies monitor and collect big data in real time

You’ve heard it before so we’ll say it again, big data is the new black. New Jersey based Connotate helps companies like AP, Reuters and Dow Jones to scour and analyze unstructured data from thousands of web sites in real-time. Today the company announced a $7 million second round of funding led by Castille Ventures, Prism VentureWorks, and .406 Ventures.