Sarah's Feed
Aug 11, 2015

New Google CEO Pichai made ascent with low-key style and technical chops

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 10 (Reuters) – A low-key style and an
unusually firm handle on diplomacy propelled new Google chief
executive Sundar Pichai to the top of the search engine giant,
former colleagues said, cementing his successes such as creating
the Chrome browser.

As part of a major overhaul of its operating structure,
Google said on Monday it was creating a new holding company
called Alphabet. Google co-founder Larry Page will step down as
Google’s chief and Pichai was appointed as head of a
“slimmed-down” version of the company.

Jul 20, 2015

The $100 million question: are we alone in the cosmos?

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – Scientists are
about to embark on the biggest search yet for alien life,
sweeping the skies for signals of civilisations beyond our solar
system with $100 million from a Russian billionaire and the
backing of physicist Stephen Hawking.

Whether we are alone in the universe has engaged minds down
the ages, and the recent discovery that there may be tens of
billions of habitable planets in our galaxy alone has added
urgency to finding an answer.

Jul 20, 2015

Billionaire Milner pledges $100 million to find intelligent life in space

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wondering if we are alone in the universe has engaged minds through the ages. Add to the list Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, who announced on Monday that he plans to spend $100 million to explore the idea.

Using some of the world’s largest radio telescopes, a team of scientists handpicked by Milner will oversee an initiative he calls Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year search for radio signals that could indicate the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

Jul 17, 2015

Yeah right! Sarcasm poses problem for computer algorithms in US election

SAN FRANCISCO, July 17 (Reuters) – When the U.S. Supreme
Court upheld same-sex weddings in the same week that South
Carolina debated keeping a controversial Civil War battle flag,
Twitter user @xTomatoez posted “Gay marriage and the Confederate
flag going down everywhere. Tough week for your redneck uncle on
Facebook.”

The poster had no idea his tweet was one of many scrutinized
by an analytics firm, whose algorithm took his mocking message
seriously and decided it was negative toward gay marriage.

Jul 14, 2015

Clinton’s sharing-economy remarks draw reaction in Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Presidential contender Hillary Clinton’s comments on Monday on the sharing economy struck a nerve in Silicon Valley, home of such companies as Uber, Instacart and Airbnb.

   “This ‘on demand,’ or so-called ‘gig economy,’ is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation but it’s also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future,” Clinton said in her first major economic speech as a Democratic candidate for the November 2016 presidential election.

Jul 10, 2015

Ellen Pao resigns as Reddit CEO in fresh sign of turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Ellen Pao resigned as acting chief executive of Reddit Friday in the latest sign of turmoil at the site, recently roiled by the firing of a popular employee and ongoing tensions over the limits of free speech on its social-news platform.

Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, also a co-founder of travel site Hipmunk, will become chief executive. Alexis Ohanian, another co-founder who has been working as executive chairman of reddit, will work “alongside” Huffman, said Reddit board head Sam Altman in a statement on Friday.

Jul 7, 2015

Insight – Car dashboards that act like smart phones raise safety issues

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When it comes to dashboard displays that are more like smart phones, two things are clear: Customers want them, and automakers are intent on supplying them.

But are they really a good idea?

Car companies answer with an emphatic yes. They say outsized dashboard displays that behave more like smart phones will boost revenue and attract buyers. And they also insist the new screens will make driving less dangerous, because of well-integrated voice controls and large touch screens that will keep drivers from fumbling with more dangerous mobile phones.

Jul 7, 2015

Car dashboards that act like smart phones raise safety issues

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When it comes to dashboard displays that are more like smart phones, two things are clear: Customers want them, and automakers are intent on supplying them.

But are they really a good idea?

Car companies answer with an emphatic yes. They say outsized dashboard displays that behave more like smart phones will boost revenue and attract buyers. And they also insist the new screens will make driving less dangerous, because of well-integrated voice controls and large touch screens that will keep drivers from fumbling with more dangerous mobile phones.

Jul 7, 2015

Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg joins board of SurveyMonkey

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is taking a seat on the board of SurveyMonkey, the online polling company that was run by her late husband, Dave Goldberg.

SurveyMonkey, a privately held company valued at $2 billion,

also appointed to its board David Ebersman, the chief executive officer of behavioral health company Lyra Health and the former chief financial officer of Facebook. Ebersman shepherded Facebook through its 2012 initial public offering.

Jun 25, 2015

Oculus-backer Formation 8 raising $400 million venture fund

SAN FRANCISCO, June 25 (Reuters) – Formation 8, the
venture-capital firm known for backing virtual-reality company
Oculus VR, has filed to raise a $400 million fund for late-stage
investments in Asia, highlighting the growing appeal of the
region for private-company investors.

The filing, made Thursday at the Securities & Exchange
Commission, comes as Uber, the privately held ride-hailing
service, says it plans to invest more than $1 billion in China
this year, and as many privately held Asian companies break the
$1 billion valuation mark, including phone maker Xiaomi, online
retailer Flipkart and lending platform Lufax.