The Most Well-Funded Bay Area #Tech #Startups By City In One Map
The Most Well-Funded Bay Area #Tech #Startups By City In One Map
We Are Hopelessly Hooked | The New York Review of Books (Jacob Weisberg, 25 février 2016)
Some of Silicon Valley’s most successful app designers are alumni of the Persuasive Technology Lab at #Stanford, a branch of the university’s Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute. The lab was founded in 1998 by B.J. Fogg, whose graduate work “used methods from experimental psychology to demonstrate that computers can change people’s thoughts and behaviors in predictable ways,” according to the center’s website. Fogg teaches undergraduates and runs “persuasion boot camps” for tech companies. He calls the field he founded “captology,” a term derived from an acronym for “computers as persuasive technology.” It’s an apt name for the discipline of capturing people’s #attention and making it hard for them to escape. Fogg’s behavior model involves building habits through the use of what he calls “hot triggers,” like the links and photos in Facebook’s newsfeed, made up largely of posts by one’s Facebook friends.
(…) As consumers, we can also pressure technology companies to engineer apps that are less distracting. If product design has a conscience at the moment, it may be Tristan Harris, a former B.J. Fogg student at Stanford who worked until recently as an engineer at Google. In several lectures available on YouTube, Harris argues that an “attention economy” is pushing us all to spend time in ways we recognize as unproductive and unsatisfying, but that we have limited capacity to control. #Tech_companies are engaged in “a race to the bottom of the brain stem,” in which rewards go not to those that help us spend our time wisely, but to those that keep us mindlessly pulling the lever at the casino.
Harris wants engineers to consider human values like the notion of “time well spent” in the design of consumer technology. Most of his proposals are “nudge”-style tweaks and signals to encourage more conscious choices. For example, Gmail or Facebook might begin a session by asking you how much time you want to spend with it that day, and reminding you when you’re nearing the limit. Messaging apps might be reengineered to privilege attention over interruption. iTunes could downgrade games that are frequently deleted because users find them too addictive.
A propos de quatre bouquins :
– Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle
– Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, by Sherry Turkle
– Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web, by Joseph M. Reagle Jr.
– Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover
Get Rich U. - The New Yorker (avril 2012)
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were graduate students, showed Hennessy their work on search software that they later called #Google. He typed in the name Gerhard Casper, and instead of getting results for Casper the Friendly Ghost, as he did on AltaVista, up popped links to Gerhard Casper the president of Stanford. He was thrilled when members of the engineering faculty mentored Page and Brin and later became Google investors, consultants, and shareholders. Since Stanford owned the rights to Google’s search technology, he was also thrilled when, in 2005, the stock grants that Stanford had received in exchange for licensing the technology were sold for three hundred and thirty-six million dollars.
In 1999, after Condoleezza Rice stepped down as provost to become the chief foreign-policy adviser to the Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Casper offered Hennessy the position of chief academic and financial officer of the university. Soon afterward, Hennessy induced a former electrical-engineering faculty colleague, James Clark, who had founded Silicon Graphics (which purchased MIPS), to give a hundred and fifty million dollars to create the James H. Clark Center for medical and scientific research. Less than a year later, Casper stepped down as president and Hennessy replaced him.
Hennessy joined Cisco’s corporate board in 2002, and Google’s in 2004. It is not uncommon for a university president to be on corporate boards. According to James Finkelstein, a professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, a third of college presidents serve on the boards of one or more publicly traded companies. Hennessy says that his outside board work has made him a better president. “Both Google and Cisco face—and all companies in a high-tech space face—a problem that’s very similar to the ones universities face: how do they maintain a sense of innovation, of a willingness to do the new thing?” he says.
#Start-Up Leaders Embrace Lobbying as Part of the Job (The New York Times, 23/11/2015)
While total annual spending on #lobbying has decreased slightly over the last five years, Internet companies have tripled their lobbying spending, to $47.5 million, during the same period. The industry now spends just a little less than the auto sector, according to the website OpenSecrets, which tracks lobbying and campaign finance.
Le Sénat a des solutions radicales pour taxer les plateformes et le e-commerce
La commission des Finances du Sénat a présenté ce mercredi ses solutions pour taxer les revenus issus de l’#économie_collaborative et mettre fin à la #fraude à la TVA massive pratiquée par les sites de e-commerce. Un arsenal certes original, mais pas facile à appliquer.
(...) tech corporations employ an “invisible workforce” of Latino, Black, and immigrant workers: those who clean, guard, maintain, and cook on tech campuses every day, often for poverty-level wages and without benefits.
These contracted service workers aren’t counted on tech companies’ official employment rolls and are rarely mentioned in the public discourse.
Working Partnerships (WPSUA) is a public policy institute that builds partnerships with community, labor and faith groups to improve the lives of working families.
La Fed s’inquiète de la survalorisation des réseaux sociaux
La Banque Centrale américaine vient de publier un rapport sur l’activité économique du pays, mais aussi à l’international.
Et dans ce document, elle relève notamment des anomalies en ce qui concerne la valorisation de sociétés dans certains secteurs.
Et parmi ces secteurs où la cotation en bourse interpelle la Fed figurent les #biotechnologies, mais aussi les petits acteurs des #réseaux_sociaux – même si la Banque constate une baisse notable du prix des actions de ces sociétés depuis le début d’année. Le rapport juge ainsi certaines valorisations exagérées.
#Google to create European venture capital arm (Murad Ahmed, FT.com, 10/07/14) ▻http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/cb19852a-0783-11e4-b1b0-00144feab7de.html
The move adds to the capital that has started to flood into the European tech scene. In June, Index Ventures launched a €400m fund dedicated to early-stage technology companies in #Europe. In 2013, the London offices of Silicon Valley group Accel Partners unveiled a similar fund worth $475m. Google Ventures said the initial investment of $100m could rise over time depending on its success.
Blameful Post Mortem - Week 21
Chris Dixon of loathsome venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz has been up to no good spreading blatant exaggerations about tech salaries: “What we see at #tech_companies is initial offers for top CS students (just graduating) starts at $200K/year.”
After many people - including CEOs, graduating CS students from top schools, #Silicon_Valley entrepreneurs and workers at multiple publicly-traded tech companies - called bullshit, he deleted the tweet. Still, it stands as another example of venture capitalists deliberately and irresponsibly spreading misinformation that results in an artificial inflation of actual and perceived financial indicators in the tech sector. This both helps build the tech bubble and secure its eventual collapse in an orchestrated cycle which venture capitalists are the primary beneficiaries of.
Good work, team.
Et plus loin :
A WSJ editorial asks if Silicon Valley venture capitalists are investing in the wrong things: “And you don’t have to be a venture capitalist to question whether, from the perspective of net social benefits, or even just long-term return on capital, the problem of replacing instant messaging is a better investment than countless other potential businesses in the $16 trillion real economy.”
Au rayon rachat de conscience :
Internet Giants Erect Barriers to Spy Agencies (mouais)
NYTimes, 6 June 2014 by DAVID E. SANGER and NICOLE PERLROTH
Facebook and Yahoo have also been encrypting traffic among their internal servers. And Facebook, Google and Microsoft have been moving to more strongly encrypt consumer traffic with so-called Perfect Forward Secrecy, specifically devised to make it more labor intensive for the N.S.A. or anyone to read stored encrypted communications.
One of the biggest indirect consequences from the #Snowden revelations, technology executives say, has been the surge in demands from foreign governments that saw what kind of access to user information the N.S.A. received — voluntarily or surreptitiously. Now they want the same.
At Facebook, Joe Sullivan, the company’s chief security officer, said it had been fending off those demands and heightened expectations.
Until last year, technology companies were forbidden from acknowledging demands from the United States government under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But in January, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft brokered a deal with the Obama administration to disclose the number of such orders they receive in increments of 1,000.
As part of the agreement, the companies agreed to dismiss their lawsuits before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
“We’re not running and hiding,” Mr. Sullivan said. “We think it should be a transparent process so that people can judge the appropriate ways to handle these kinds of things.”
The latest move in the war between intelligence agencies and technology companies arrived this week, in the form of a new Google encryption tool. The company released a user-friendly, email encryption method to replace the clunky and often mistake-prone encryption schemes the N.S.A. has readily exploited.
But the best part of the tool was buried in Google’s code, which included a jab at the N.S.A.’s smiley-face slide. The code included the phrase: “ssl-added-and-removed-here-; - )”
We poked around LinkedIn, looking at the top five “donating” schools for seven tech firms (roughly 95 percent of employees at the companies in question have accounts) to see if non-Stanford grads have a chance at Silicon Valley firms (they do) and whether Ivy Leagues dominate (they don’t). So start plumbing your alumni network: Those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves. Those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves.
Les gros mensonges de Google et Microsoft, par Dan Schiller (octobre 2013) ►http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2013/10/SCHILLER/49729
En dépit de leurs déclarations vertueuses, les multinationales de l’Internet font partie du système de #surveillance orchestré par les services secrets américains.
Aujourd’hui 15 mai a été lancée une nouvelle initiative de grande ampleur contre Google. Des éditeurs français et allemands ont décidé de se rassembler au sein de l’Open Internet Project (OIP) afin de lutter contre les monopoles sur Internet et d’attaquer #Google devant la Commission européenne pour abus de position dominante.
(...) Les initiateurs de cette démarche sont les groupes Axel Springer, Lagardère Active, CCM Benchmark (éditeur du JDN), le Geste (qui fédère plusieurs dizaines de sociétés du numérique ainsi que tous les grands éditeurs français TV, radio et presse), l’ESML (syndicat des éditeurs de services de musique en ligne), le Seto (syndicat des entreprises du tour operating) et Funke Medien Gruppe. Mais au total, ce sont 400 acteurs du monde numérique européen, issus du monde des médias, du tourisme et de l’e-commerce, qui s’engagent sous la bannière de la nouvelle coalition.
Cf. L’Open Internet Project, le nouveau meilleur ennemi de Google
Apple and Google’s wage-fixing cartel involved dozens more companies, over one million employees
US tech giants knew of NSA data collection, agency’s top lawyer insists | Spencer Ackerman | theguardian.com, 19 March 2014
Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the #NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies – both for the internet collection program known as #Prism and for the so-called “#upstream” collection of communications moving across the internet.
Cf. Les gros mensonges de Google et Microsoft
Silicon Valley Can’t Ignore The Haters
Bill Wasik | Wired Opinion | Mar 2014
If inventing new modes of communication or collaboration was seen as a mercenary act — as no nobler than drilling a well or devising a mortgage-backed security — then such platforms would never thrive, because their value tends to arise from a long, slow, unprofitable process of experimentation.
If anything, the public love affair with Silicon Valley is more crucial today than ever.
Samsung Push Into U.S. Government Sector Threatens BlackBerry
Samsung Electronics Co. is revamping its push into the U.S. enterprise and government sector, adding further pressure to the new leadership at the company that once dominated that space, BlackBerry Ltd. BB.T -1.96%
Samsung recently won an order for roughly 7,000 smartphones from the U.S. Army and is close to an order for several thousand devices from the U.S. National Security Agency, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Army order is for the company’s Nett Warrior system, which outfits soldiers with a chest-mounted Samsung Note II smartphone to use while on the battlefield. While Samsung already had an initial contract to supply devices for the Nett Warrior system, the new order expands the number of Samsung devices in use there. The NSA order would be for the agency’s Fishbowl Project, an initiative it started several years ago to update the devices used by #NSA personnel. Both the Army and the NSA equip the devices with their own, secure software.
A spokesman for the Army didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the NSA declined to comment.
#Samsung recently hired BlackBerry’s former chief information officer, Robin Bienfait, to work at its IT services subsidiary Samsung SDS, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Bienfait stepped down from her post at BlackBerry in late 2012, just before the launch of the company’s new line of phones.
Samsung also recently hired Carl Nerup, from Washington, D.C., contractor General Dynamics Corp. GD +2.35% , to lead sales of its enterprise software, according to a person close to the company.
A Samsung spokesman confirmed the new hires.
Apple to name-and-shame suppliers of ‘conflict minerals’
#Apple is extending its supply chain clean up beyond Chinese factories and into African mines, using name-and-shame tactics to cut the amount of “conflict minerals” that end up in its iPhones and iPads.
As it touts fresh improvements to working conditions in the factories that produce its devices, the world’s most valuable technology company is now combining its might in electronics-component purchasing and marketing to pressure smelters to make their sourcing more ethical.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice-president of operations, told the Financial Times that last month was the first time it was able to verify that none of the tantalum used in capacitors and resistors in its devices had come from mines in conflict regions.
It is now urging “conflict-free” audits for gold, tin and tungsten suppliers by publishing a list of all its suppliers’ smelters and their compliance with ethical sourcing guidelines every quarter.
Les géants du Net font un #lobbying intense à Bruxelles
Le Monde, 05.12.2013 (cet article m’avait échappé en son temps)
« Le business model de ces compagnies repose sur la violation des lois européennes », accusait même récemment Thilo Weichert, le commissaire pour la protection des données du Land allemand du Schleswig-Holstein.
Pour défendre leurs intérêts, Facebook, Google ou IBM agissent soit directement, soit par le truchement d’associations récemment créées à Bruxelles, comme l’European Privacy Association ou le Center for Democracy and Technology. Ils concentrent leurs critiques contre des points emblématiques du texte. Ainsi pas question pour eux d’accorder « un #droit_à_l’oubli » trop étendu des données collectées auprès de leurs utilisateurs, comme le demandent la #Commission et les députés européens. Pas question non plus de laisser aux usagers la possibilité d’autoriser ou pas le transfert de leurs données vers un pays tiers, comme les Etats-Unis. Des enjeux lourds de conséquences pour des groupes américains qui tirent leur fortune du traitement des informations personnelles prélevées au fil des visites sur leurs sites.
Des preuves d’entente accablent Steve Jobs et Eric Schmidt
Dans les années 2000, plusieurs grandes d’entreprises de la Silicon Valley se sont entendues pour ne pas démarcher leurs salariés en vue de les recruter, afin de ne pas faire monter les prix des salaires. Les preuves révélées par la justice américaines accablent en particulier Steve Jobs, l’ancien patron d’Apple, et le président de Google, Eric Schmidt.
Ah justement je voulais partager cette enquête détaillée et assez marrante
Accord amiable dans le procès des emplois dans la Silicon Valley
Court Rejects Deal on Hiring in Silicon Valley
Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court in San Jose rejected as insufficient a proposed $324 million settlement in a class-action antitrust case that accused leading tech companies of agreeing not to poach one another’s engineers.
How #Silicon_Valley Helped the #NSA | By Abraham Newman | Foreign Affairs (06/11/2013)
Since the 1990s, companies from Google to Yahoo and Microsoft have done their best to ward off national #privacy rules, calling instead for self-regulation. Early attempts to pass privacy laws, such as the Online Privacy Protection Act in 2000, died thanks to #lobbying by the Direct Marketing Association and the Information Technology Association of America, which represent most of the country’s major information and communications technology firms. The firms have stood behind an older 1997 government framework, “Privacy and Self-Regulation in the Information Age,” which maintained that the best way to protect consumers was to let the technology market handle sensitive issues on its own.
Why Obama’s NSA Reforms Won’t Solve Silicon Valley’s Trust Problem | Threat Level | Wired.com (17/01/2014)
The president himself sent a zinger to the tech companies in his speech, implying that their hands were not exactly spotless: “The challenges to our privacy do not come from government alone,” he said. “Corporations of all shapes and sizes track what you buy, store and analyze our data, and use it for commercial purposes; that’s how those targeted ads pop up on your computer or smartphone.”
Maybe the president is sending a message to both the NSA and the Internet companies — a message that the tech industry doesn’t want to hear: We’re in this together.
Reaching for Silicon Valley [At the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta — sur fond de contentieux et de chips]
NYTimes.com - Nick Wingfield 16/11/13
At Stanford, in the heart of #Silicon_Valley, academic research with an eye toward private industry — that “quasi-Wild West way” — is a way of life.
No other university has been associated with so many big tech giants created by former students and faculty members— companies including Google, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. A study conducted last year by two Stanford professors estimated that nearly 40,000 active companies generating annual revenue of $2.7 trillion can trace their roots in some way to #Stanford.
The university’s affiliation with so many of these spin-outs, as they are known, is lucrative as well as legendary. Stanford has earned about $337 million just from licensing to Google its search algorithm, which was developed while the company’s co-founders were in graduate school.
One of Stanford’s closest rivals in creating spin-outs has been the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which played a role in the creation of Akamai, iRobot and the E Ink Corporation. Many other schools with respected computer engineering programs, including Cornell and the University of Washington, are all doing more to copy Stanford’s success in commercializing technologies, which can benefit the schools through #patent licensing fees, alumni donations and the cachet that attracts future generations of students.
Aux #Etats-Unis, les liens entre #université et #startups sont étroits. Une certaine culture de l’#entreprenariat qui fait naître des #tech_companies, ce qui ne va pas sans #conflits_d'intérêts. De là à la #silicon_army...
Au rayon ma #startup deviendra grande, l’étrange histoire de Skype.
“How can they be so good?”: The strange story of #Skype | Ars Technica via @opironet
On August 29, 2003, Skype went live for the first time. By 2012, according to Telegeography, Skype accounted for a whopping 167 billion minutes of cross-border voice and video calling in a year—which itself was a stunning 44 percent growth over 2011. That increase in minutes was “more than twice that achieved by all international carriers in the world, combined.” That is to say, Skype today poses a serious threat to the largest telcos on the planet. It also made Jaan Tallinn and other early Skypers rich.
Skype’s Incredible Rise, in One Image
// Microsoft is prepared to hand over Skype users’ data to Russia
’Tech’ Is Misnomer for Internet Giants | Business
The British humorist Douglas Adams once summed up the trajectory of computers and the internet in four teleological sentences: "First, we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII—and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television." Finally, observed Adams, "with the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure."
They aren’t about math and science and building things. They are about acquiring, processing, and selling information to steer consumers toward a purchase.
Of course, the computer is all these things today, and now with ubiquitous wireless networks, the computer has become the all-in-one mobile device. It’s the phone-camera-computer-walkman-TV-gameboy-GPS all in one.
Je découvre ces « teleological sentences » de D. Adams et je les trouve belles.
With one #algorithm Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin built an advertising giant the likes of which the world has never seen. The first step, in classic Silicon Valley tech form, was to patent the invention in order to create an extremely valuable monopoly. Patent No. 6,285,999, a “method for node ranking in a linked database,” did the trick. Stanford University owned the rights and licensed the invention to Page and Brin (who conveniently put the president of the university on their company’s board of directors). The terms of that license remain undisclosed, but it has #Google paying #Stanford a pretty penny. That single patented equation allowed Google to offer a search engine that provided, on average, search results that were of seemingly higher quality, and more relevant to users.
Then in a flurry of activity that has never stopped, Google’s code writers proceeded to file 228 distinct #patents based directly on the original “method for node ranking in a linked database” invention. On top of this, the company filed another 3,079 patents, the majority of which are intended to monopolize infinitely more clever means of gathering and processing the personal and social information of web users so as to sell ads at higher and higher rates.
So why do we call Google a “tech” company if most of what it does is advertising? (...) Perhaps then #Silicon_Valley ’s finest should be called the new ad industry?
Angry Over U.S. Surveillance, Tech Giants Bolster Defenses - By Claire Cain Miller
New York Times, 1er novembre 2013
companies are building technical fortresses intended to make the private information in which they trade inaccessible to the government and other suspected spies.
Yet even as they take measures against government collection of personal information, their business models rely on collecting that same data, largely to sell personalized ads. So no matter the steps they take, as long as they remain ad companies, they will be gathering a trove of information that will prove tempting to law enforcement and spies.
The New #Mobile Advertising Ecosystem Explained via @opironet que je remercie
Tech Companies Escalate Pressure on Government to Publish National Security Request #Data - NYTimes.com
On Monday, Yahoo and Facebook each filed suit in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to ask the government for permission to reveal information about the number and types of national security requests for user data that the companies receive. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft, which filed suit in June to ask for this permission, amended their petitions Monday to compel the government to publish even more detail about the requests.
Les voix (faussement dissonantes ?) de la #silicon_army
Marissa Mayer (Yahoo) redoute la prison pour haute trahison en défiant la NSA :
« Nous ne pouvons pas en parler parce que ce sont des informations classées », a-t-elle ajouté. « Révéler ce type d’information relève de la trahison et vous êtes incarcéré. En ce qui concerne la protection de nos utilisateurs, il y a plus de sens à travailler à l’intérieur du système ».
San Francisco’s tech boom has often been compared to the Gold Rush, but without much discussion about what the Gold Rush meant beyond the cute images of bearded men in plaid shirts with pickaxes looking a lot like gay men in the Castro in the 1970s. When gold was discovered in 1848, employees left their posts, sailors abandoned their ships, and San Francisco – then a tiny port town called Yerba Buena – was deserted. In the Mother Lode, some got rich; many died of contagious diseases, the lousy diet, rough life and violence; some went broke and crawled back to the US, as the settled eastern half of the country was called when the gold country was an outpost of newcomers mostly arriving by ship and the American West still largely belonged to the indigenous people.
Supplying the miners and giving them places to spend their money became as lucrative as mining and much more secure. Quite a lot of the early fortunes were made by shopkeepers: Levi Strauss got his start that way, and so did Leland #Stanford, who founded the university that founded #Silicon_Valley. The Mexicans who had led a fairly gracious life on vast ranches before the Gold Rush were largely dispossessed and the Native Californians were massacred, driven out of their homes; they watched their lands be destroyed by mining, starved or died of disease: the Native population declined by about four-fifths during this jolly spree.
#San_Francisco exploded in the rush, growing by leaps and bounds, a freewheeling town made up almost exclusively of people from elsewhere, mostly male, often young. In 1850, California had a population of 120,000 according to one survey, 110,000 of them male. By 1852 women made up ten per cent of the population, by 1870 more than a quarter. During this era prostitution thrived, from the elegant courtesans who played a role in the city’s political and cultural life to the Chinese children who were worked to death in cribs, as the cubicles in which they laboured were called. Prices for everything skyrocketed: eggs were a dollar apiece in 1849, and a war broke out later over control of the stony Farallones islands rookery thirty miles west of San Francisco, where seabirds’ eggs were gathered to augment what the chickens could produce. A good pair of boots was a hundred dollars. Land downtown was so valuable that people bought water lots – plots of land in the bay – and filled them in.
Silicon Valley transfers its slogans—and its money—to the realm of politics.
Encore un truc sur le fossé entre l’élite des #tech_companies (#inégalités) et la flambée de l’immobilier ou la #pauvreté (des Noirs et des latinos surtout) dans la bay area