Single-cell nerds spur web scorn
By · 10 Sep 2013
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10 Sep 2013
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Single-cell nerds spur web scorn

According to the two Sydney men who have caused an international storm with their app "Titstare", abuse is "the Australian way of showing affection".

In that case, tech entrepreneurs David Boulton and Jethro Batts must be feeling the love right about now. On Monday the pair took to the stage at a US tech conference to debut Titstare.

As a room full of male nerds who have never had sex chortled, the pair promised the app would allow you to "take photos of yourself staring at tits".

The app supposedly features a real-time feed of boob photos, together with the ability to rate the pictures and upload your own.

Reaction was swift and scornful, with the pair's effort traduced all over the internet as "disgustingly sexist", "brain-bleedingly sexist", "offensive and misogynistic" and a "gutless, sexist, little shitfest".

Boulton and Batts were themselves described as "Beavis and Butthead from Oz", "morons" and - CBD's favourite - "paramecium" (a single-celled underwater protozoa).

The pair's previous effort was, a website that enabled users to send abusive postcards to their mates. It was in that context that Batts and Boulton spoke up in favour of "playful abuse" as an Australian tradition.

Given they love abuse so much, it's something of a mystery why their social media presences started evaporating following the backlash against Titstare.

Gone is Boulton's Twitter and Batts' LinkedIn profile, which listed him as "just another ridiculously charismatic brokenprenuer".

However, Batts' entry on Meetup, under his middle name Clayton, remained alive on Monday afternoon.

It reveals he's the member of 11 eclectic groups, including GreenUps (drinks for Sydney greenies), Young Entrepreneurs Sydney and, of course, the Sydney Freemasons Meetup Group.

Schmooze daters

Call it speed-dating for CEOs: the heads of 30 Australian companies are off to New York, via Boston, this week to schmooze institutional investors.

Bosses attending Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Australian Investment Conference in the Big Apple this Thursday and Friday include Elmer Funke Kupper (ASX), David Robb (Iluka Resources), Chris Delaney (Goodman Fielder), David Bartholomew (DUET Group), Geoff Lloyd (Perpetual), Mark Steinert (Stockland), and David Dearie (Treasury Wine Estates).

CBD's ultimate boss, Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood, will also be there, together with chief financial officer David Housego.

About 160 fund managers are to front up, with 300 one-on-one meetings scheduled.

Some of the Australian CEOs will be pulling double duty, putting in a similar appearance in Boston on Wednesday.

Jobs unstocked

Singapore-owned PhillipCapital is continuing its drift away from stockbroking, shedding jobs in the process.

CBD understands somewhere between one and five positions have gone in the past week or so as the business, formed when Intersuisse took over the broking business of boom-time glamour house Austock, moves to consolidate its position as a wealth manager.

Lighting up

It's official: smoking makes you cool.

"The benefits that smokers receive from smoking may include immediate pleasure, control of stress, improved self-image and the avoidance of withdrawal symptoms," Treasury officials say in a regulatory impact statement on tobacco excise.

On the other hand, "Tobacco use leads to serious illness and premature death," the officials say.

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