Sarah's Feed
Sep 1, 2015
via Tales from the Trail

For Fiorina, a venture capitalist’s cash backing

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Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is getting more than just an endorsement from the venture capitalist who helped fire her from the top job at technology behemoth Hewlett Packard. Now, she’s getting a party.

Tom Perkins, whose letter praising her tenure leading HP raised eyebrows when it ran as a full-page ad in the New York Times last week, is planning to give a fundraiser on her behalf, he told Reuters. It will come with a venture-capital sized goal: at least $100,000.

Aug 31, 2015

Analysis – Venture capital cash surfers may see waves recede in market turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The waves of cash surfed relentlessly by some of Silicon Valley’s largest venture-backed businesses are showing signs of receding amid concern the companies may already worth more than they’re likely to be valued once they finally go public.

Investors have created 132 privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more each, according to tracker firm CB Insights, including ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL], accommodation service Airbnb and messaging app Snapchat. After a turbulent week for equities, prompted by worries about the faltering Chinese economy, it may take longer for companies aiming to join their ranks to raise multimillion-dollar funding rounds, and they may not get the investment terms they want.

Aug 31, 2015

Venture capital cash surfers may see waves recede in market turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The waves of cash surfed relentlessly by some of Silicon Valley’s largest venture-backed businesses are showing signs of receding amid concern the companies may already worth more than they’re likely to be valued once they finally go public.

Investors have created 132 privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more each, according to tracker firm CB Insights, including ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL], accommodation service Airbnb and messaging app Snapchat. After a turbulent week for equities, prompted by worries about the faltering Chinese economy, it may take longer for companies aiming to join their ranks to raise multi million-dollar funding rounds, and they may not get the investment terms they want.

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.