“Compass” recently released its annual Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking for 2015.
Four European cities made the cut: Amsterdam is enjoying its first appearance in the top 20 at number 19, Paris achieved an impressive 11th place, Berlin came in at an admirable 9th, and London remains the uncontested European heavy-hitter, at number 6.
–Europe, it’s time we built our own Silicon Valley. By Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. VentureBeat, August 15, 2015
“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity)… Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity)”
Source: Google Announces Plans for New Operating Structure by Larry Page CEO, Alphabet
Top Internet companies say there is no technical way for them to protect their users’ legitimate privacy with encryption while also enabling intelligence agents and law enforcement to gain access to what terrorists plot online… Even when the devices are lawfully seized through court orders, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies are unable to retrieve data from them… Last year, Apple announced that its iPhone operating system would encrypt data by default… “it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants.” Google now has similar encryption for Android devices, as does Facebook for its WhatsApp app…
Source: Why Terrorists Love Silicon Valley. By L. Gordon Crovitz. Wall Street Journal.
See also an “Opinion” column in WaPost: Why the fear over ubiquitous data encryption is overblown. By Mike McConnell, Michael Chertoff and William Lynn
First, such an encryption system would protect individual privacy and business information from exploitation at a much higher level than exists today. As a recent MIT paper explains, requiring duplicate keys introduces vulnerabilities in encryption that raise the risk of compromise and theft by bad actors. If third-party key holders have less than perfect security, they may be hacked and the duplicate key exposed. This is no theoretical possibility, as evidenced by major cyberintrusions into supposedly secure government databases…
Second, a requirement that U.S. technology providers create a duplicate key will not prevent malicious actors from finding other technology providers who will furnish ubiquitous encryption. The smart bad guys will find ways and technologies to avoid access, and we can be sure that the “dark Web” marketplace will offer myriad such capabilities. This could lead to a perverse outcome in which law-abiding organizations and individuals lack protected communications but malicious actors have them.
SilValVNews : In other words “a requirement that U.S. technology providers create a duplicate key” will finally lead to an attempt to create a cyberspace version of so called “Gun Free zone“:
CALIFORNIA’s Silicon Valley, the 50-mile stretch between San Francisco and San Jose, is perhaps the most productive and innovative land mass in the world.
The Economist has identified 99 listed technology companies with market values of over $1 billion that call the Valley home.
Together, these 99 companies are worth some $2.8 trillion (an increase of 75% over the past 30 months), and account for around 6% of all corporate America’s corporate profits.
Source: Silicon Valley’s fortunes: What a PErformance, Economist
51 new tech companies launched every month in the San Francisco Bay area.
The were 15,931 self-identified Silicon Valley “angel investors” in 2014
$118,949 Average salary for a Google software engineer, according to Glassdoor.com
$37,800 Average salary that San Francisco bay area–based startup founders pay themselve
+62% change in the price of San Francisco office space since 2009
$1,050 / Month – Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco in 2004
$3,150 / Month Median – in 2014,
Source: One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush, by Gideon Lewis-Kraus. Wired.
… population was coming online … with apps — stepping around the nation’s dominant search engine… Baidu CEO Robin Li came up with a fix. He shifted the company’s focus from online to offline services (or O2O), positioning Baidu to be the connective tissue between China’s Internet and its sprawling real-world commerce. Baidu indexed some apps for search, and cut deal with others for retail services as disparate as movie theater seats and massage parlors. Read more: http://recode.net/2015/07/25/chinas-baidu-with-uber-in-tow-takes-search-to-the-offline-world-qa/
Manna or Mammon in Silicon Valley? NY Times
Is Is technological innovation creating a better world, or just making lots of money for a few people? …Many tech luminaries think they are ”doing God’s work.” But are the innovations coming out of the Bay area really creating a new and better world, or just making lots of money for a few people?
Silicon Valley Is a Big Fat Lie Condé Nast
America’s most vaunted industry has also become its most self-satisfied, Silicon Valley is veering toward fall-of-Rome territory. Which is why it needs to blow up these seven myths about itself before it’s too late … Myth #1: Silicon Valley Is the Universe’s Only True Meritocracy … Myth #2: Silicon Valley Is Bringing Us Closer Together… Myth #3: Younger Is Smarter, Safer, and Inarguably Better… Myth #4: School Is for Suckers, Just Drop Out… Myth #6: San Francisco Is the (Moral, Cultural, Financial) Center of the Universe… Myth #7: Silicon Valley Is Saving the World
Silicon Valley is About Business, Not Change. NYTimes
… we have the tools and ability to build collectively owned messaging and social platforms — but instead, we have Twitter and Facebook, which mediate what users can see from other users and collect personal data to better tailor advertising sales… to reach their true potential, they would need to be uncoupled from the financial system that keeps Silicon Valley churning. Building a new platform is still incredibly resource-intensive, but the venture capital required to fund those projects is distributed with the goal of making more money, not spurring equitable innovation… Technology tools have a tremendous amount to contribute to society, but if all its power remains locked up in a tiny, concentrated (and often rather unimaginative) industry, those social and economic changes, even when positive, will always be primarily in service to private profits for a very few. And that’s hardly innovative.
Technology’s Promise of Social Justice Remains Unfulfilled NY Times
The lack of diversity of voices and the very limited perspective of those who are currently creating tech products have held the tech industry back from true change… The current tech marketplace is a bubble where the same products are created again and again, in service to the same demographic of consumers, while a broader community of both consumers and creators are systematically ignored and left behind. When will tech finally decide there is value in a broader pool of voices?
Plaintiffs accused Apple, Google, Intel Corp and Adobe Systems Inc in the 2011 lawsuit of limiting job mobility and, as a result, keeping a lid on salaries. Companies are offering to pay $415 million that is a pocket change to the companies. If they let the case go to trial, it might corrode their image as forward-thinking, worker-friendly benevolent empires.
Lawyer have a hard choice too. Their share of the settlement is as much as 25 percent. If the case went to trial, the plaintiffs might lose, in which case the lawyers would get nothing for years of work. On the other hand, a jury could award the plaintiffs billions. At one point, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the damages were $3 billion, which would be tripled after a guilty verdict.
64,613 Software Engineers Join Class Action Hiring Conspiracy Lawsuit against Apple, Google,…
Systemic Arrogance has Become Part of Silicon Valley’s Newer Public Narrative
Silicon Valley hiring practices gets class action status
Silicon Valley’s Dirty Laundry May Get Aired