Thoughts from the Ringside) describing Ringside's demise. A link to Bickel's post was also on Ringside's corporate website on Wednesday. Now, that link is no longer on the Ringside site as far as I can tell and there is nothing else there that gives any indication of a shutdown.
Update: Bickel reconfirms Ringside's shutdown here.
Former TurnTide sales exec and angel investor Kendall Schoenrock is back in Philly with a new startup. Larger Than Life prints (LTLprints.com) allows users to create customized, oversized wall graphics of images uploaded to its website. Prices run from roughly $100 to $150 per print depending on size (up to 7.5 feet by 4.5 feet). They are also building a user interface that will allow people to create their own cutouts and designs, and also to sell those designs in LTLprints' online catalog or, eventually, from their own blogs or websites.
I am amazed at how so many social web or news sharing sites do such a poor job of testing the user-friendliness of their sites. I look at several new sites each week, and if I check one out and can't figure out in twenty minutes or so what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm out of there. I'm not talking about shoestring startups, but companies launched on budgets of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. My suggestion to startups is to be sure to budget enough for usability studies; even if you are very small there are still ways to do fairly rigourous testing.