Meditation and mindfulness are the new rage in Silicon Valley.

More than a thousand Googlers have been through Search Inside Yourself training. Another 400 or so are on the waiting list and take classes like Neural Self-Hacking and Managing Your Energy in the meantime… The search giant even recently built a labyrinth for walking meditations… Across the [Silicon Valley] Valley, quiet contemplation is seen as the new caffeine, the fuel that allegedly unlocks productivity and creative bursts. Classes in meditation and mindfulness …have become staples at many of the region’s most prominent companies. There’s a Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute now teaching the Google meditation method to whoever wants it. The cofounders of Twitter and Facebook have made contemplative practices key features of their new enterprises, holding regular in-office meditation sessions and arranging for work routines that maximise mindfulness. Some 1,700 people showed up at a Wisdom 2.0 conference held in San Francisco in February, with top executives from LinkedIn, Cisco, and Ford featured among the headliners… – read more

Enlightenment Engineer, By Noah Shachtman.

Meanwhile, as Noah Shachtman pointed out, “there is in fact little data to support the notion that meditation is good for Google’s bottom line” … So, what is all about – next wave of the corporate rituals, the most recent version of Kool-Aid or …?
PS. So, if you are a software engineer, be careful, because in today’s Silicon Valley, there’s little patience for what many are happy to dismiss as “hippie bullshit”

… Mark Hurd Should Be Microsoft’s Next CEO.

… Steve Ballmer would step down as CEO … once the company chooses his successor… much of Silicon Valley thinks [Mark Hurd ] … is the best CEO not now serving anywhere as a CEO. Hurd’s style and strategy would serve Microsoft well … Hurd revived H-P after the dismal tenure of Carly Fiorina. He set that organization on the right path. He found a way to make the rocky acquisition of Compaq into a net positive for H-P. The company was struggling before he got there, and has struggled since he left. That alone should tell you the kind of leadership he provides… Microsoft wants to be a devices and services company. It is already in the process of trying to transform, but an outsider like Hurd can get the culture on board more easily simply through force of will. He did it at NCR. He did it at H-P. He is in the process of transforming the culture at Oracle… read more: 6 Reasons Why Mark Hurd Should Be Microsoft’s Next CEO. By Ray Hennessey,

See also: NDA Experiment Set up by Mark Hurd.

job experience in the tech industry … can work against you.

In 2012, three high-tech companies in Silicon Valley announced they were laying off a combined 48,000 employees. Layoffs continue this year, including last week’s announcement that an otherwise profitable Cisco Systems was letting 4,000 people go. At the same time, the total number of jobs in the [Silicon] valley and in San Francisco’s tech hub is on the rise. In fact, tech executives claim to have tens of thousands of jobs going begging, so much so that they need to bring in educated workers from overseas to fill them.

“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” [Mark Zuckerberg ] Facebook’s CEO told … “Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.” Younger and cheaper Like working around the clock, seven days a week on app development, coding and Web design …

In Silicon Valley, age can be a curse. By Andrew S. Ross

[Silicon] become a reference to any region with a high-tech economy

Silicon Alley(New York), Silicon Prairie (Midwest), Silicon Forest (Northwest), Silicon Slopes (Utah), Silicon Hills (Texas)… As much as “Hollywood” refers to nearly anything associated with the cinema industry, so too is “Silicon” a branding term for tech economies…Silicon Beach roughly refers to the Westside of Los Angeles — mainly Santa Monica and Venice Beach, where several incubators, accelerators, and startups are based. But because Los Angeles is so spread out — it more accurately references the Los Angeles tech economy as a whole. – read more

the average annual salary for Google software engineers … $143,000

and skyrockets to as much as $550,000 … companies like Facebook and Apple (AAPL) aren’t far behind. While the talent vacuum remains problematic for Bay Area companies, it presents a huge opportunity for candidates. Enter the Silicon Valley “boot camp,” a nouveau vocational school for the coding-inclined. Such nine- to 12-week accelerated programs, including Dev Bootcamp, Hackbright Academy, and Hack Reactor, arm students with the fundamental skills needed to compete as engineers — no previous coding experience required. That, coupled with pent-up demand is why program applicants come from all walks of life, from thirtysomething nannies to fortysomething attorneys and bankers. – read more

Are the electric cars safer than gas-powered cars?

California has more electric vehicles per capita than any other state in the nation, … The Palo Alto [financial and ideological capital of Silicon Valley] city council voted 9-0 in favor of a proposal that would require new single-family homes to come pre-wired for an electric car charging station – read more.

A Tesla Model S electric car, touted as the safest car in America, caught fire on Tuesday, spurring new worries about the possible risks of lithium-ion batteries. In two recent incidents, involving Boeing’s new 787 plane and Chevrolet’s Volt hybrid car, fires have emanated from batteries of the same type – read more.

The fire in the car’s lithium ion battery pack erupted Tuesday morning when the driver ran over a metal object in Kent, Wash., triggering the first battery fire in the company’s history… [Meanwhile] Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Tesla’s Model S its highest five-star safety rating… – read more.

Every hour, there are an average of 17 automobile fires somewhere in the U.S., according to government data. Mechanical failure in internal combustion engines cause the majority, and burning cars filled with gasoline result in more than 200 deaths per year – read more.

There are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla,” Musk [Tesla CEO, Elon Musk] pointed out.

[Musk] also said the Tesla Model S. battery pack is a safer power source than “a large tank of highly flammable liquid” – read more.