Bloglikes - Tech https://www.bloglikes.com/c/tech en-US Wed, 26 Feb 2020 06:00:26 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter NSA Phone Surveillance Program Cost $100 Million, Yielded One Major Investigation http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/iziXA67zSMs/nsa-phone-surveillance-program-cost-100-million-yielded-one-major-investigation

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 22:30:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Congress Tech Fbi The New York Times Trump House Judiciary Committee National Security Agency NSA Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board NSA Phone Surveillance Program Cost
How many times do we have to say this? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash https://go.theregister.co.uk/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2020/02/26/tesla_apple_death/ The deadly crash of an Apple engineer's Tesla was down to the victim being overly trusting of the car's Autopilot software while distracted by his phone, America's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded this week.…

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 22:05:34 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple America Tesla Software National Transportation Safety Board NTSB
Amazon Warns Sellers Not to Gouge Users on Face Masks as Prices Skyrocket on Coronavirus Fears https://gizmodo.com/amazon-warns-sellers-not-to-gouge-users-on-face-masks-a-1841921960

Amazon is warning third-party sellers on its Marketplace platform not to gouge customers on protective face masks as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak that originated in mainland China continues to spread internationally and becomes increasingly likely to hit the U.S., emails obtained by Wired show.

Read more...

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:50:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Health Amazon Science Technology Medicine China Disease Wuhan Price Gouging Face Masks Wuhan Virus Coronavirus Covid 19 Sars Cov 2 Amazon Warns Sellers Not
How To Google Search From Commandline Using Googler https://www.ostechnix.com/how-to-google-search-from-commandline-using-googler/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:40:11 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Linux The sudden departure of Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block could show how Marc Benioff is preparing a new generation of talent to take the reins at the cloud giant http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider/~3/sCcpROV2SAI/salesforce-co-ceo-keith-block-leaving-analysts-leadership-benioff-2020-2 Keith Block

  • Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block has stepped down from his role, less than 2 years after he first ascended to the role in the summer of 2018.
  • Analysts say that it was always a strange choice for Salesforce to have a co-CEO: While they respect Block's success at the company, experts say that his lofty title didn't necessarily give him more power over the company than founder and CEO Marc Benioff, known for doing things his own way.
  • Block's departure could clear the deck for a new generation of leadership at the company, analysts say: The company is in a good position today, thanks in no small part to Block's efforts, they say, but Benioff and cofounder Parker Harris could be looking to the future.
  • Rising stars at the company include Bret Taylor, promoted to COO last fall, and Adam Selipsky, CEO of Tableau, which Salesforce recently acquired to add more data analysis chops.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

The sudden and surprising departure of Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block after only about a year and a half on the job could signal that Marc Benioff — now the sole CEO of the $161 billion cloud software giant once more — is clearing the decks for a new generation of leadership.

Since joining Salesforce in 2013 as head of sales, getting promoted to COO, and then moving on to the co-CEO role, Block played a crucial role in building out Salesforce's sales strategy — particularly in building traction in selling to specific industries like healthcare and government. He had over 26 years of experience at Oracle before coming to Salesforce.

There's evidence that Block had a lot of success: Salesforce's revenue just about quadrupled from $4 billion annually when he joined in 2013, to doing about the same in a quarter now. 

Even so, Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst at Valoir, said its not surprising that Block is stepping down. The ever-bombastic Benioff and his cofounder and CTO Parker Harris are still very much involved in the day to day operations of the company.

She suggests that despite Block's lofty title, the two founders still wielded outsized power over the company, and that their more freewheeling style never fully meshed with Block's more traditional approach to business.

"People talked about Keith as the heir apparent to Marc, but Marc is still firing on all cylinders and he and Parker continue to be the key leadership figures for Salesforce," Wettemann told Business Insider. "While he was doing a great job, Salesforce has never marched to the traditional enterprise software drummer, and Keith was the perfect drummer boy." 

Dan Newman, an analyst at Futurum Research agrees, and said he always found it interesting that Salesforce decided to have someone share the CEO role with Benioff. "I felt from the beginning it would be hard for the two to be equals, but it was a fascinating experiment," he told Business Insider. 

He added that while Block seemed to be indispensable to the company's operations, Bret Taylor seems to already be fulfilling some of the operational duties left vacated. Taylor, formerly the CTO of Facebook and a key engineer at Google, was named chief operating officer last fall, taking over Block's old job.

The next generation

Steve Koenig, an analyst at Wedbush, said that while Block was a great asset to the company, Benioff might be looking to pave the way for a future generation of leaders — like Taylor. 

"I think bigger picture, my guess is that Marc is looking forward into the future and looking at what he needs to do put in place the next generation of leadership at the company," Koenig told Business Insider, adding that Taylor is one example of that kind of talent. 

Koenig adds that he could see Salesforce putting Taylor into a CEO role in the future, something that others have speculated before as well. Taylor came to the company when Salesforce acquired his startup Quip, and he quickly rose though the ranks, reporting directly to Benioff once he joined. 

Another person who represents the type of leadership talent Benioff could be looking for is Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky, Koenig said. Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.3 billion last year. Selipsky was previously an executive at Amazon Web Services and took over Tableau in 2016.

Koenig said Selipsky has done a "remarkable" job reviving Tableau when it was having trouble and "propelling it forward and then taking Tableau to the next level."

While Block had a huge impact on the company, he built a sales organization that can continue doing the work, so analysts said they don't expect much to change with the day to day operations.

"I really don't see any significant impact on the external perception of the business based upon this move. Internally, Block appeared to be pivotal to operations and this could see a transitional period where the company will have to make adjustments in Block's absence," Newman said.

Salesforce has also hired Gavin Patterson, formerly CEO at BT, as the new president and CEO of Salesforce International, responsible for the company's operations outside the US. 

Rob Oliver, an analyst at Baird, said that Salesforce has a strong bench of executives, so while Block leaving is certainly a big deal, he's not worried about the company's future performance.

"If there's any company that can withstand the departure of one person it's Salesforce, because Marc Benioff has built a culture of surrounding himself with great people," Oliver said. 

The Vlocity acquisition

Additionally, Wetteman said she sees the acquisition of Vlocity, a startup that makes industry-specific cloud and mobile software that is built on the Salesforce platform, to play a key role here. Salesforce said it acquired Vlocity at the same time it announced Block was leaving. 

The acquisition will help Salesforce increase its focus on a industry specific sales strategy, tailoring its products to industries like financial services, healthcare and government — a strategy that Block spearheaded. 

"They get not only the vertical IP, but also [Vlocity CEO] David Schmaier, who is positioned to have a great leadership role there if he wants to do it. David knows the market, he knows the customers, from an industry perspective, he could be a great person to bring on to central leadership of Salesforce," Wetteman said. 

Oliver said that the Vlocity acquisition gives reassurance that Salesforce's industry specific sales strategy will continue to grow, even though Block is leaving the company. He added that Salesforce has acquired "one of the best vertical plays on the Salesforce platform."

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at pzaveri@businessinsider.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to find water when you're stuck in the desert

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:18:04 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Bt US Trends David Gavin Patterson Salesforce Taylor Oracle Amazon Web Services Cto Oliver Marc Benioff Business Insider Block Tableau Keith Parker Newman Wedbush Baird Marc Koenig Keith Block Benioff Bret Taylor Steve Koenig Dan Newman Vlocity Adam Selipsky Rebecca Wettemann Selipsky Futurum Research Parker Harris Valoir David Schmaier Salesforce Wettemann CTO of Facebook Adam Selipsky Koenig Salesforce International Rob Oliver Wetteman Salesforce Wetteman
The sudden departure of Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block shows how Marc Benioff is preparing a new generation of talent to take the reins at the cloud giant http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider/~3/sCcpROV2SAI/salesforce-co-ceo-keith-block-leaving-analysts-leadership-benioff-2020-2 Keith Block

  • Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block has stepped down from his role, less than 2 years after he first ascended to the role in the summer of 2018.
  • Analysts say that it was always a strange choice for Salesforce to have a co-CEO: While they respect Block's success at the company, experts say that his lofty title didn't necessarily give him more power over the company than founder and CEO Marc Benioff, known for doing things his own way.
  • Block's departure could clear the deck for a new generation of leadership at the company, analysts say: The company is in a good position today, thanks in no small part to Block's efforts, they say, but Benioff and cofounder Parker Harris could be looking to the future.
  • Rising stars at the company include Bret Taylor, promoted to COO last fall, and Adam Selipsky, CEO of Tableau, which Salesforce recently acquired to add more data analysis chops.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

The sudden and surprising departure of Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block after only about a year and a half on the job could signal that Marc Benioff — now the sole CEO of the $161 billion cloud software giant once more — is clearing the decks for a new generation of leadership.

Since joining Salesforce in 2013 as head of sales, getting promoted to COO, and then moving on to the co-CEO role, Block played a crucial role in building out Salesforce's sales strategy — particularly in building traction in selling to specific industries like healthcare and government. He had over 26 years of experience at Oracle before coming to Salesforce.

There's evidence that Block had a lot of success: Salesforce's revenue just about quadrupled from $4 billion annually when he joined in 2013, to doing about the same in a quarter now. 

Even so, Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst at Valoir, said its not surprising that Block is stepping down. The ever-bombastic Benioff and his cofounder and CTO Parker Harris are still very much involved in the day to day operations of the company.

She suggests that despite Block's lofty title, the two founders still wielded outsized power over the company, and that their more freewheeling style never fully meshed with Block's more traditional approach to business.

"People talked about Keith as the heir apparent to Marc, but Marc is still firing on all cylinders and he and Parker continue to be the key leadership figures for Salesforce," Wettemann told Business Insider. "While he was doing a great job, Salesforce has never marched to the traditional enterprise software drummer, and Keith was the perfect drummer boy." 

Dan Newman, an analyst at Futurum Research agrees, and said he always found it interesting that Salesforce decided to have someone share the CEO role with Benioff. "I felt from the beginning it would be hard for the two to be equals, but it was a fascinating experiment," he told Business Insider. 

He added that while Block seemed to be indispensable to the company's operations, Bret Taylor seems to already be fulfilling some of the operational duties left vacated. Taylor, formerly the CTO of Facebook and a key engineer at Google, was named chief operating officer last fall, taking over Block's old job.

The next generation

Steve Koenig, an analyst at Wedbush, said that while Block was a great asset to the company, Benioff might be looking to pave the way for a future generation of leaders — like Taylor. 

"I think bigger picture, my guess is that Marc is looking forward into the future and looking at what he needs to do put in place the next generation of leadership at the company," Koenig told Business Insider, adding that Taylor is one example of that kind of talent. 

Koenig adds that he could see Salesforce putting Taylor into a CEO role in the future, something that others have speculated before as well. Taylor came to the company when Salesforce acquired his startup Quip, and he quickly rose though the ranks, reporting directly to Benioff once he joined. 

Another person who represents the type of leadership talent Benioff could be looking for is Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky, Koenig said. Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.3 billion last year. Selipsky was previously an executive at Amazon Web Services and took over Tableau in 2016.

Koenig said Selipsky has done a "remarkable" job reviving Tableau when it was having trouble and "propelling it forward and then taking Tableau to the next level."

While Block had a huge impact on the company, he built a sales organization that can continue doing the work, so analysts said they don't expect much to change with the day to day operations.

"I really don't see any significant impact on the external perception of the business based upon this move. Internally, Block appeared to be pivotal to operations and this could see a transitional period where the company will have to make adjustments in Block's absence," Newman said.

Salesforce has also hired Gavin Patterson, formerly CEO at BT, as the new president and CEO of Salesforce International, responsible for the company's operations outside the US. 

Rob Oliver, an analyst at Baird, said that Salesforce has a strong bench of executives, so while Block leaving is certainly a big deal, he's not worried about the company's future performance.

"If there's any company that can withstand the departure of one person it's Salesforce, because Marc Benioff has built a culture of surrounding himself with great people," Oliver said. 

The Vlocity acquisition

Additionally, Wetteman said she sees the acquisition of Vlocity, a startup that makes industry-specific cloud and mobile software that is built on the Salesforce platform, to play a key role here. Salesforce said it acquired Vlocity at the same time it announced Block was leaving. 

The acquisition will help Salesforce increase its focus on a industry specific sales strategy, tailoring its products to industries like financial services, healthcare and government — a strategy that Block spearheaded. 

"They get not only the vertical IP, but also [Vlocity CEO] David Schmaier, who is positioned to have a great leadership role there if he wants to do it. David knows the market, he knows the customers, from an industry perspective, he could be a great person to bring on to central leadership of Salesforce," Wetteman said. 

Oliver said that the Vlocity acquisition gives reassurance that Salesforce's industry specific sales strategy will continue to grow, even though Block is leaving the company. He added that Salesforce has acquired "one of the best vertical plays on the Salesforce platform."

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at pzaveri@businessinsider.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:18:04 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Bt US NFL Trends David Gavin Patterson Salesforce Taylor Oracle Amazon Web Services Cto Oliver Marc Benioff Business Insider Block Tableau Keith Parker Newman Wedbush Baird Marc Koenig Keith Block Benioff Bret Taylor Steve Koenig Dan Newman Vlocity Adam Selipsky Rebecca Wettemann Selipsky Futurum Research Parker Harris Valoir David Schmaier Salesforce Wettemann CTO of Facebook Adam Selipsky Koenig Salesforce International Rob Oliver Wetteman Salesforce Wetteman
Rappler editor Maria Ressa: 'They could shut us down tomorrow' https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/26/rappler-editor-maria-ressa-journalist-they-could-shut-us-down-tomorrow-philippines-fake-news Philippines journalist leading war on fake news may be jailed for 12 years on libel charges

“The toughest part is not knowing whether it’s going to be a normal day, or a not normal day,” says Maria Ressa, speaking by phone from her office in Manila. A former CNN bureau chief who spent two decades as an investigative reporter, Ressa is the founder of a news website that has found itself on the frontline of the global disinformation wars.

Since the summer of 2016, her reporters at Rappler have been engaged in a running battle with paid trolls, influencers, bot armies and fake news websites run by supporters of Rodrigo Duterte, the authoritarian president of the Philippines.

Continue reading...]]>
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 21:00:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Facebook Technology Media Social Networking Social Media World news Cnn Asia Pacific Philippines Digital Media Manila Rodrigo Duterte Philippines Continue Rappler Maria Ressa Ressa
Scientists Find the First-Ever Animal That Doesn't Need Oxygen To Survive http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/nKzMOxKmZqQ/scientists-find-the-first-ever-animal-that-doesnt-need-oxygen-to-survive

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 20:45:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Israel Tech PNAS Tel Aviv University
Google Updates Image Search With Icons for Products, Recipes, & Videos via @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/13291782 Google is updating its image search results pages with icons indicating what type of content the images lead to.

The post Google Updates Image Search With Icons for Products, Recipes, & Videos via @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 20:20:11 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google News Seo
Key Silicon Valley Reservoir To Be Completely Drained Due To Earthquake Risk http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/V5CoNhIXt1U/key-silicon-valley-reservoir-to-be-completely-drained-due-to-earthquake-risk

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 20:02:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Tech Silicon Valley San Jose Bakersfield Morgan Hill South County Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Santa Clara County Anderson Reservoir Santa Clara Valley Water District San Jose When San Jose Norma Camacho
Facebook users would tell social media platform their bank balance for $8.44 a month https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/26/users-would-tell-facebook-their-bank-balance-for-844-a-month Study of people across six countries finds German users would charge most for sharing personal data

German Facebook users would want the social media platform to pay them about $8 per month for sharing their contact information, while US users would only seek $3.50, according to a study of how people in various countries value their private information.

The study by US-based thinktank the Technology Policy Institute (TPI) is the first that attempts to quantify the value of online privacy and data. It assessed how much privacy is worth in six countries by looking at the habits of people in the United States, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia and Argentina.

Continue reading...]]>
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:40:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Facebook Technology Media Privacy Social Networking US World news Argentina Technology Policy Institute TPI United States Germany Mexico Brazil Columbia
Users would tell Facebook their bank balance for $8.44 a month https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/26/users-would-tell-facebook-their-bank-balance-for-844-a-month Study of people across six countries finds German users would charge most for sharing personal data

German Facebook users would want the social media platform to pay them about $8 per month for sharing their contact information, while US users would only seek $3.50, according to a study of how people in various countries value their private information.

The study by US-based thinktank the Technology Policy Institute (TPI) is the first that attempts to quantify the value of online privacy and data. It assessed how much privacy is worth in six countries by looking at the habits of people in the United States, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia and Argentina.

Continue reading...]]>
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:40:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Facebook Technology Media Privacy Social Networking US World news Argentina Technology Policy Institute TPI United States Germany Mexico Brazil Columbia
In Extraordinary Move, Judge Brings In Jurors To Blow Up Stone’s Claims Of Misconduct https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/stone-defense-admits-they-failed-to-google-potential-jurors-ahead-of-trial WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 20: Roger Stone, former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse on February 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. Stone will be sentenced Thursday morning on his convictions for witness tampering and lying to Congress. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In a remarkable hearing Tuesday, three members of Roger Stone’s jury were brought in to testify about claims Stone has made about juror misconduct that he said warrants a new trial.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that she was doing this due to the “unprecedented, unique nature of the situation,” and she explained that she was taking extra precautions to protect them, after President Trump had publicly shown a “spotlight” on the allegations.

She questioned specifically the foreperson who Stone has targeted with his claims of misconduct. The judge also brought in two other jurors to weigh in on some of Stone’s allegations.

Both of the jurors praised the foreperson’s handling of the deliberations, and denied witnessing any episodes of a juror trying to dominate the jury deliberations. The foreperson defended the answers she gave during the jury selection process — including about her social media posts — that Stone is now claiming were dishonest.

“I was giving the best answer I could,” the foreperson said, after Stone attorney Seth Ginsburg badgered her about several posts on her social media accounts that were critical of the President.

On the questionnaire, the foreperson had said she couldn’t remember if she had posted publicly about Stone, the House Intelligence Committee, or the special counsel investigation, but suggested it was possible she had shared a related article on social media.

“It is why I did not check yes or no because I did not want to be deceptive,” the foreperson said, defending the answer. “I don’t have a memory of every tweet or share that I’ve done.’

Throughout the proceedings, the judge appeared to be deeply skeptical of Stone’s allegations. Nonetheless, she said she was bringing the foreperson in to “give her an opportunity to get to the bottom of those allegations.” She also indicated an interest in the record of the matter she was creating, in case her final decision was appealed.

Stone filed the motion for a new trial under seal just days before he was sentenced to three and half years for lying in the House’s Russia probe. While the details of his official allegations had not been publicly disclosed prior to Tuesday’s hearing, there was speculation that Stone had targeted the foreperson, who got media attention for a recent social media post defending the prosecutors in the case. Once the foreperson was identified, she quickly found herself in the crosshairs of Trump’s allies because of her previous political ties to the Democratic Party and her several anti-Trump posts on social media.

Trump has amplified those allegations by accusing her publicly of bias.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, two other members of Stone’s jury — referred to as only Juror A and Juror B — provided no evidence that the foreperson had acted inappropriately in her role.

The foreperson “absolutely” treated the rest of the jury with respect and civility, Juror A testified. Meanwhile, Juror B revealed that it was the foreperson who suggested during deliberations the jury slow down and look at one of the counts against Stone more closely.

Neither of the two witnesses had said they saw a juror inappropriately discussing with other jurors the case or the news around it in violation of the judge’s rules for the trial — debunking another speculative claim that Stone had apparently made in his bid for a new trial.

The foreperson also denied violating the judge’s rules about avoiding news about the trial.

Stone’s gambit appears aimed at getting the attention of the President who many believe will ultimately pardon his longtime friend.

Before the jurors were brought in for their questioning, Stone’s attorneys admitted that they did not Google the names on a list of potential jurors that was provided to them during the juror process.

Stone attorney Robert Bushel confirmed that the team had not taken this step. The judge noted that it was “regular practice” for parties to use so-called jury panel lists to do internet research on potential jurors that could be sat for trial.

Berman Jackson also grilled Stone’s team on what social media postings in particular they believed showed that the foreperson had lied on the written questionnaire.

Stone attorney Seth Ginsburg identified just two posts on the foreperson’s media accounts that were directly related to Stone. But they claimed that her anti-Trump tweets were also relevant since Stone was a prominent supporter of the President’s — an argument that appeared to not go very far with the judge.

Before the jurors were brought forward, Berman Jackson pressed Ginsburg for evidence that the foreperson lied on the questionnaire, instead of focusing on whether she was “a dyed in the wool Democrat and probably wouldn’t like Mr. Stone if she met him.”

The judge also repeatedly interrupted Ginsburg’s questioning of the juror’s anti-Trump social media posts to encouagre him to focus on the content directly relevant to the Stone case.

The judge did invoke Trump — and his recent attacks against the juror — in a preliminary portion of Tuesday’s hearings, when she explained why she was placing certain limitations on the public access to the proceedings. Before the jurors were brought in, the courtroom was cleared out and the proceedings could only be followed by an audio feed broadcasting elsewhere in the courthouse. She also barred the parties from referring to the jurors by name or their juror number.

“This is a highly publicized case, and in a highly polarized political climate in which the president himself has shown a spotlight on the jury through his Twitter platform,” the judge said, while also calling out Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, and others on the right for their allegations about the jury.

At the end of the hearing, the judge did not make a ruling on Stone’s request from the bench, and said she was taking the matter “under advisement.”

This post has been updated.

[Author: Tierney Sneed]

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:40:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google News Russia House House Intelligence Committee Trump Tierney Sneed Democratic Party Roger Stone Ginsburg Stone Amy Berman Jackson Mr Stone Berman Jackson Robert Bushel Seth Ginsburg Tucker Carlson Alex Jones
AI chatbot maker Babylon Health attacks clinician in PR stunt after he goes public with safety concerns http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/034tocrMppM/ UK startup Babylon Health pulled app data on a critical user in order to create a press release in which it publicly attacks the UK doctor who has spent years raising patient safety concerns about the symptom triage chatbot service.

In the press release released late Monday Babylon refers to Dr David Watkins — via his Twitter handle — as a “troll” and claims he’s “ targeted members of our staff, partners, clients, regulators and journalists and tweeted defamatory content about us”.

It also writes that Watkins has clocked up “hundreds of hours” and 2,400 tests of its service in a bid to discredit his safety concerns — saying he’s raised “ fewer than 100 test results which he considered concerning”.

Babylon’s PR also claims that only in 20 instances did Watkins find “genuine errors in our AI”, whereas other instances are couched as ‘misrepresentations’ or “mistakes”, per an unnamed “ panel of senior clinicians” which the startup’s PR says “investigated and re-validated every single one” — suggesting the error rate Watkins identified was just 0.8%.

Screengrab from Babylon’s press release which refers to to Dr Watkins’ “Twitter troll tests”

Responding to the attack in a telephone interview with TechCrunch Watkins described Babylon’s claims as “absolute nonsense” — saying, for example, he has not carried out anywhere near 2,400 tests of its service. “There are certainly not 2,400 completed triage assessments,” he told us. “Absolutely not.”

Asked how many tests he thinks he did complete Watkins suggested it’s likely to be between 800 and 900 full runs through “complete triages” (some of which, he points out, would have been repeat tests to see if the company had fixed issues he’d previously noticed).

He said he identified issues in about one in two or one in three instances of testing the bot — though in 2018 says he was finding far more problems, claiming it was “one in one” at that stage for an earlier version of the app.

Watkins suggests that to get to the 2,400 figure Babylon is likely counting instances where he was unable to complete a full triage because the service was lagging or glitchy. “They’ve manipulated data to try and discredit someone raising patient safety concerns,” he said.

“I obviously test in a fashion which is [that] I know what I’m looking for — because I’ve done this for the past three years and I’m looking for the same issues which I’ve flagged before to see have they fixed them. So trying to suggest that my testing is actually any indication of the chatbot is absurd in itself,” he added.

In another pointed attack Babylon writes Watkins has “ posted over 6,000 misleading attacks” — without specifying exactly what kind of attacks it’s referring to (or where they’ve been posted).

Watkins told us he hasn’t even tweeted 6,000 times in total since joining Twitter four years ago — though he has spent three years using the platform to raise concerns about diagnosis issues with Babylon’s chatbot.

Such as this series of tweets where he shows a triage for a female patient failing to pick up a potential heart attack.

The @babylonhealth Chatbot has descended to a whole new level of incompetence, with #DeathByChatbot #GenderBias.

Classic #HeartAttack symptoms in a FEMALE, results in a diagnosis of #PanicAttack or #Depression.

The Chatbot ONLY suggests the possibility of a #HeartAttack in MEN! pic.twitter.com/M8ohPDx0LX

— Dr Murphy (aka David Watkins) (@DrMurphy11) September 8, 2019

Watkins told us he has no idea what the 6,000 figure refers to, and accuses Babylon of having a culture of “trying to silence criticism” rather than engage with genuine clinician concerns.

“Not once have Babylon actually approached me and said ‘hey Dr Murphy — or Dr Watkins — what you’ve tweeted there is misleading’,” he added. “Not once.”

Instead, he said the startup has consistently taken a “dismissive approach” to the safety concerns he’s raised. “My overall concern with the way that they’ve approached this is that yet again they have taken a dismissive approach to criticism and again tried to smear and discredit the person raising concerns,” he said.

Watkins, a consultant oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust — who has for several years gone by the online (Twitter) moniker of @ DrMurphy11 , tweeting videos of Babylon’s chatbot triage he says illustrate the bot failing to correctly identify patient presentations — made his identity public on Monday when he attended a debate at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Murphy unmasked. Now for his positional statement. His driving force – patient safety. Can’t argue with that!! @DrMurphy11 #RSMDigiHealth @RoySocMed pic.twitter.com/hOC7kzlNz3

— clive flashman (@cflashman) February 24, 2020

There he gave a presentation calling for less hype and more independent verification of claims being made by Babylon as such digital systems continue elbowing their way into the healthcare space.

In the case of Babylon, the app has a major cheerleader in the current UK Secretary of State for health, Matt Hancock, who has revealed he’s a personal user of the app.

Simultaneously Hancock is pushing the National Health Service to overhaul its infrastructure to enable the plugging in of “healthtech” apps and services. So you can spot the political synergies.

Watkins argues the sector needs more of a focus on robust evidence gathering and independent testing vs mindless ministerial support and partnership ‘endorsements’ as a stand in for due diligence.

He points to the example of Theranos — the disgraced blood testing startup whose co-founder is now facing charges of fraud — saying this should provide a major red flag of the need for independent testing of ‘novel’ health product claims.

“[Over hyping of products] is a tech industry issue which unfortunately seems to have infected healthcare in a couple of situations,” he told us, referring to the startup ‘fake it til you make it’ playbook of hype marketing and scaling without waiting for external verification of heavily marketed claims.

In the case of Babylon, he argues the company has failed to back up puffy marketing with evidence of the sort of extensive clinical testing and validation which he says should be necessary for a health app that’s out in the wild being used by patients. (References to academic studies have not been stood up by providing outsiders with access to data so they can verify its claims, he also says.)

“They’ve got backing from all these people — the founders of Google DeepMind, Bupa, Samsung, Tencent, the Saudis have given them hundreds of millions and they’re a billion dollar company. They’ve got the backing of Matt Hancock. Got a deal with Wolverhampton. It all looks trustworthy,” Watkins went on. “But there is no basis for that trustworthiness. You’re basing the trustworthiness on the ability of a company to partner. And you’re making the assumption that those partners have undertaken due diligence.”

For its part Babylon claims the opposite — saying its app meets existing regulatory standards and pointing to high “patient satisfaction ratings” and a lack of reported harm by users as evidence of safety, writing in the same PR in which it lays into Watkins:

Our track record speaks for itself: our AI has been used millions of times, and not one single patient has reported any harm (a far better safety record than any other health consultation in the world). Our technology meets robust regulatory standards across five different countries, and has been validated as a safe service by the NHS on ten different occasions. In fact, when the NHS reviewed our symptom checker, Healthcheck and clinical portal, they said our method for validating them “has been completed using a robust assessment methodology to a high standard.” Patient satisfaction ratings see over 85% of our patients giving us 5 stars (and 94% giving five and four stars), and the Care Quality Commission recently rated us “Outstanding” for our leadership.

But proposing to judge the efficacy of a health-related service by a patient’s ability to complain if something goes wrong seems, at the very least, an unorthodox approach — flipping the Hippocratic oath principle of ‘first do no harm’ on its head. (Plus, speaking theoretically, someone who’s dead would literally be unable to complain — which could plug a rather large loophole in any ‘safety bar’ being claimed via such an assessment methodology.)

On the regulatory point, Watkins argues that the current UK regime is not set up to respond intelligently to a development like AI chatbots and lacks strong enforcement in this new category.

Complaints he’s filed with the MHRA (Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) have resulted in it asking Babylon to work on issues, with little or no follow up, he says.

While he notes that confidentiality clauses limit what can be disclosed by the regulator.

All of that might look like a plum opportunity for a certain kind of startup ‘disruptor’, of course.

And Babylon’s app is one of several now applying AI type technologies as a diagnostic aid in chatbot form, across several global markets. Users are typically asked to respond to questions about their symptoms and at the end of the triage process get information on what might be a possible cause. Though Babylon’s PR materials are careful to include a footnote where it caveats that its AI tools “do not provide a medical diagnosis, nor are they a substitute for a doctor”.

Yet, says Watkins, if you read certain headlines and claims made for the company’s product in the media you might be forgiven for coming away with a very different impression — and it’s this level of hype that has him worried.

Other less hype-dispensing chatbots are available, he suggests — name-checking Berlin-based Ada Health as taking a more thoughtful approach on that front.

Asked whether there are specific tests he would like to see Babylon do to stand up its hype, Watkins told us: “The starting point is getting a technology which you feel is safe to actually be in the public domain.”

Notably, the European Commission is working on risk-based regulatory framework for AI applications — including for use-cases in sectors such as healthcare — which would require such systems to be “transparent, traceable and guarantee human oversight”, as well as to use unbiased data for training their AI models.

“Because of the hyperbolic claims that have been put out there previously about Babylon that’s where there’s a big issue. How do they now roll back and make this safe? You can do that by putting in certain warnings with regards to what this should be used for,” said Watkins, raising concerns about the wording used in the app. “Because it presents itself as giving patients diagnosis and it suggests what they should do for them to come out with this disclaimer saying this isn’t giving you any healthcare information, it’s just information — it doesn’t make sense. I don’t know what a patient’s meant to think of that.”

Babylon always present themselves as very patient-facing, very patient-focused, we listen to patients, we hear their feedback. If I was a patient and I’ve got a chatbot telling me what to do and giving me a suggested diagnosis — at the same time it’s telling me ‘ignore this, don’t use it’ — what is it?” he added. “What’s its purpose?

“There are other chatbots which I think have defined that far more clearly — where they are very clear in their intent saying we’re not here to provide you with healthcare advice; we will provide you with information which you can take to your healthcare provider to allow you to have a more informed decision discussion with them. And when you put it in that context, as a patient I think that makes perfect sense. This machine is going to give me information so I can have a more informed discussion with my doctor. Fantastic. So there’s simple things which they just haven’t done. And it drives me nuts. I’m an oncologist — it shouldn’t be me doing this.”

Watkins suggested Babylon’s response to his raising “good faith” patient safety concerns is symptomatic of a deeper malaise within the culture of the company. It has also had a negative impact on him — making him into a target for parts of the rightwing media.

“What they have done, although it may not be users’ health data, they have attempted to utilize data to intimidate an identifiable individual,” he said of the company’s attack him. “As a consequence of them having this threatening approach and attempting to intimidate other parties have though let’s bundle in and attack this guy. So it’s that which is the harm which comes from it. They’ve singled out an individual as someone to attack.”

“I’m concerned that there’s clinicians in that company who, if they see this happening, they’re not going to raise concerns — because you’ll just get discredited in the organization. And that’s really dangerous in healthcare,” Watkins added. “You have to be able to speak up when you see concerns because otherwise patients are at risk of harm and things don’t change. You have to learn from error when you see it. You can’t just carry on doing the same thing again and again and again.”

Others in the medical community have been quick to criticize Babylon for targeting Watkins in such a personal manner and for revealing details about his use of its (medical) service.

As one Twitter user, Sam Gallivan — also a doctor — put it: “Can other high frequency Babylon Health users look forward to having their medical queries broadcast in a press release?”

Can other high frequency @babylonhealth users look forward to having their private medical queries broadcast in a press release?

— Sam Gallivan (@samgal) February 25, 2020

The act certainly raises questions about Babylon’s approach to sensitive health data, if it’s accessing patient information for the purpose of trying to steamroller informed criticism.

We’ve seen similarly ugly stuff in tech before, of course — such as when Uber kept a ‘god-view’ of its ride-hailing service and used it to keep tabs on critical journalists. In that case the misuse of platform data pointed to a toxic culture problem that Uber has had to spend subsequent years sweating to turn around (including changing its CEO).

Babylon’s selective data dump on Watkins is an illustrative example of a digital service’s ability to access and shape individual data at will — pointing to the underlining power asymmetries between these data-capturing technology platforms which are gaining increasing agency over our decisions and the users who only get highly mediated, hyper controlled access to the databases they help to feed.

Watkins, for example, told us he is no longer able to access his query history in the Babylon app — providing a screenshot of an error screen (below) that he says he now sees when he tries to access chat history in the app. He said he does not know why he is no longer able to access his historical usage information but says he was using it as a reference — to help with further testing (and no longer can).

If it’s a bug it’s a convenient one for Babylon PR…

We contacted Babylon to ask it to respond to criticism of its attack on Watkins. The company defended its use of his app data to generate the press release — arguing that the “volume” of queries he had run means the usual data protection rules don’t apply, and further claiming it had only shared “non-personal statistical data”, even though this was attached in the PR to his Twitter identity (and therefore, since Monday, to his real name).

In a statement the Babylon spokesperson told us:

If safety related claims are made about our technology, our medical professionals are required to look into these matters to ensure the accuracy and safety of our products. In the case of the recent use data that was shared publicly, it is clear given the volume of use that this was theoretical data (forming part of an accuracy test and experiment) rather than a genuine health concern from a patient. Given the use volume and the way data was presented publicly, we felt that we needed to address accuracy and use information to reassure our users.  The data shared by us was non-personal statistical data, and Babylon has complied with its data protection obligations throughout. Babylon does not publish genuine individualised user health data.

We also asked the UK’s data protection watchdog about the episode and Babylon making Watkins’ app usage public. The ICO told us: “People have the right to expect that organisations will handle their personal information responsibly and securely. If anyone is concerned about how their data has been handled, they can contact the ICO and we will look into the details.”

Babylon’s clinical innovation director, Dr Keith Grimes, attended the same Royal Society debate as Watkins this week — which was entitled Recent developments in AI and digital health 2020 and billed as a conference that will “cut through the hype around AI”.

So it looks to be no accident that their attack press release was timed to follow hard on the heels of a presentation it would have known (since at least last December) was coming that day — and in which Watkins argued where AI chatbots are concerned “validation is more important than valuation”.

A little challenge to one of our critics…#RSMDigiHealth https://t.co/XqvQpRYMLX

— Babylon (@babylonhealth) February 24, 2020

Last summer Babylon announced a $550M Series C raise, at a $2BN+ valuation.

Investors in the company include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, an unnamed U.S.-based health insurance company, Munich Re’s ERGO Fund, Kinnevik, Vostok New Ventures and DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis, to name a few helping to fund its marketing.

“They came with a narrative,” said Watkins of Babylon’s message to the Royal Society. “The debate wasn’t particularly instructive or constructive. And I say that purely because Babylon came with a narrative and they were going to stick to that. The narrative was to avoid any discussion about any safety concerns or the fact that there were problems and just describe it as safe.”

The clinician’s counter message to the event was to pose a question EU policymakers are just starting to consider — calling for the AI maker to show data-sets that stand up its safety claims.

Europe sets out plan to boost data reuse and regulate ‘high risk’ AIs

]]> Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:33:10 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Uber Europe UK Saudi Arabia Berlin Tech Eu NHS European Commission National Health Service Care Quality Commission Royal Society Wolverhampton Demis Hassabis Ico Babylon Health Babylon Murphy Hancock Watkins Munich Re Royal Society of Medicine David Watkins Matt Hancock Public Investment Fund Ada Health Healthcheck Regulatory Agency Watkins Twitter The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust Dr Murphy Bupa Samsung Tencent MHRA Medical and Healthcare Sam Gallivan Keith Grimes ERGO Fund Kinnevik Vostok New Ventures Tesla Autopilot, Distracted Driving To Blame In Deadly 2018 Crash http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_ZWrY99hwLY/tesla-autopilot-distracted-driving-to-blame-in-deadly-2018-crash

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:25:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs California Tech Tesla CalTrans Nhtsa Ntsb Huang National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Mountain View California National Transportation Safety Board NTSB Robert Sumwalt Walter Huang
PayPal Accounts Are Getting Abused En-masse For Unauthorized Payments (slashdot) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/FreshnewsMostClicked/~3/TI24s9c2p5I/paypal-accounts-are-getting-abused-en-masse-for-unauthorized-payments [Author: msmash]

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:20:58 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google New York News US Paypal Reddit Twitter Msmash
Here’s why RE/MAX incorporated augmented reality into its new app http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheFutureOfRealEstateMarketing/~3/2dfGEzEOk6k/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:12:58 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Technology Radio Ar Augmented Reality Brokerage Select RE/MAX Search App Real Estate Website Booj Ido Zucker Consumer Search VCs bet millions on Microverse, a Lambda School for the developing world http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/bjJmz1P_Yns/ The student loan crisis in the U.S. has left venture capitalists searching for novel approaches to financing higher education, but can the same systems designed for helping coders in Silicon Valley get jobs at Google help underserved students in developing countries become part of a global work force?

Similar to the buzzy San Francisco startup Lambda School, Microverse is a coding school that utilizes ISAs, or Income Share Agreements, as a means of allowing students to learn now and pay later with a fixed percentage of their future salary. Microverse isn’t aiming to compete heavily with Lambda School for U.S. students, however, they are looking more heavily at courting students in developing countries. The startup currently has students in 96 countries, with Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon and India among their most represented, CEO Ariel Camus tells TechCrunch.

The pitch of bringing the ISA model worldwide has attracted investor interest. The startup tells TechCrunch it has just closed $3.2 million in seed funding from venture capitalists including General Catalyst and Y Combinator.

WTF are ISAs and can they transform education and spark a startup wave?

Lambda School and its ilk have excited plenty of investors. There has also been plenty of scrutiny and some questions on whether quickly scaling to venture-sized returns or building revenue by selling off securitized ISAs ends up pushing these startups toward cutting corners.

Microverse, for its part, is already built quite lean. The program has no full-time instructors. The entire curriculum is a self-guided English-only lesson plan that relies on students that are just months ahead in the program serving as “mentors.” Students are expected to spend eight hours per day pushing through the curriculum with assigned study partners and peer groups, graduating in about eight months on average, Camus says.

“The average starting salary for us — it’s of course lower and that’s expected,” said Camus. “The only way we can offer as good or better learning experience as Lambda or any other campus-based education in the U.S. — with salaries that will usually be lower — is if our costs are lower, and that’s why we have designed the entire system to allow us to scale faster. We don’t have to hire teachers, we don’t have to create content and that allows us to adjust to changes in the market and new technologies much much faster.”

While Lambda School’s ISA terms require students to pay 17% of their monthly salary for 24 months once they begin earning above $50,000 annually — up to a maximum of $30,000, Microverse requires that graduates pay 15% of their salary once they begin making more than just $1,000 per month, though there is no cap on time, so students continue payments until they have repaid $15,000 in full. In both startups’ cases, students only repay if they are employed in a field related to what they studied, but with Microverse, ISAs never expire, so if you ever enter a job adjacent to your area of study, you are on the hook for repayments. Lambda School’s ISA taps out after five years of deferred repayments.

Without much of the nuance in how Lambda School or Holberton School have structured their ISA terms, Microverse’s structure seems less amenable, but Camus defends the terms as a necessary means to getting around under-reporting.

“When you use a cap, you’re using a perverse incentive for under-reporting,” Camus says. “In the U.S. where you can enforce tax reviews, there’s no need to worry about that and I think it’s better if you can cap it, but in most of the developing countries where there is not a strong tax system, it isn’t a possibility.”

For students that qualify for terms for repaying this ISA, they are, again, on the hook for $15,000. Charging such a hefty fee for an online course without full-time instructors geared toward students in developing countries could be controversial for a venture-backed startup, but it will also put a heavy burden on the school to keep their students satisfied and help them find employment via its network of career counselors.

The CEO acknowledges the high price of Microverse’s instruction. “It is huge,” but he says that the premium is necessary to build a business around getting students in developing countries careers in the global workforce. Microverse is keeping its total number of admitted students small early on so that it can ensure it’s meeting their needs, Camus says, noting that Microverse accepts just 1% of applicants, adding 70-80 students to the program per month.

“This conversation around the ISA in the U.S. is so hot that you have to frame it in such a different way when you’re talking about students in developing and emerging countries. Like, there are no alternatives,” Camus says. “…if you can find a value proposition that aligns with their goals and gives them some international and professional exposure, that gives them a world-class education… that’s a very compelling proposition.”

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:08:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Startups TC Y Combinator Education India San Francisco Tech Silicon Valley Isa General Catalyst U S Holberton School Camus Income Share Agreements Lambda School Recent Funding Lambda School Microverse Lambda School for U S Mexico Brazil Kenya Nigeria Cameroon Ariel Camus The startup tells TechCrunch Microverse
Investors bet millions on Microverse, a Lambda School for the developing world http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/bjJmz1P_Yns/ The student loan crisis in the U.S. has left venture capitalists searching for novel approaches to financing higher education, but can the same systems designed for helping coders in Silicon Valley get jobs at Google help underserved students in developing countries become part of a global work force?

Similar to the buzzy San Francisco startup Lambda School, Microverse is a coding school that utilizes ISAs, or Income Share Agreements, as a means of allowing students to learn now and pay later with a fixed percentage of their future salary. Microverse isn’t aiming to compete heavily with Lambda School for U.S. students, however, they are looking more heavily at courting students in developing countries. The startup currently has students in 96 countries with Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon and India among their most represented, CEO Ariel Camus tells TechCrunch.

The pitch of bringing the ISA model worldwide has attracted investor interest. The startup tells TechCrunch it has just closed $3.2 million in seed funding from venture capitalists including General Catalyst and Y Combinator.

WTF are ISAs and can they transform education and spark a startup wave?

Lambda School and its ilk have excited plenty of investors. There has also been plenty of scrutiny and some questions on whether quickly scaling to venture-sized returns or building revenue by selling off securitized ISAs ends up pushing these startups towards cutting corners.

Microverse, for its part, is already built quite lean. The program has no full-time instructors. The entire curriculum is a self-guided English-only lesson plan that relies on students that are just months ahead in the program serving as “mentors.” Students are expected to spend eight hours per day pushing through the curriculum with assigned study partners and peer groups, graduating in about eight months on average, Camus says.

“The average starting salary for us — it’s of course lower and that’s expected,” said Camus. “The only way we can offer as good or better learning experience as Lambda or any other campus-based education in the US — with salaries that will usually be lower — is if our costs are lower, and that’s why we have designed the entire system to allow us to scale faster. We don’t have to hire teachers, we don’t have to create content and that allows us to adjust to changes in the market and new technologies much much faster.”

While Lambda School’s ISA terms require students to pay 17% of their monthly salary for 24 months once they begin earning above $50,000 annually — up to a maximum of $30,000, Microverse requires that graduates pay 15% of their salary once they begin making more than just $1,000 per month, though there is no cap on time so students continue payments until they have repaid $15,000 in full. In both startup’s cases, students only repay if they are employed in a field related to what they studied, but with Microverse, ISAs never expire so if you ever enter a job adjacent to your area of study, you are on the hook for repayments. Lambda School’s ISA taps out after five years of deferred repayments.

Without much of the nuance in how Lambda School or Holberton School have structured their ISA terms, Microverse structure seems less amenable, but Camus defends the terms as a necessary means to getting around under-reporting.

“When you use a cap, you’re using using a perverse incentive for under-reporting,” Camus says. “In the U.S. where you can enforce tax reviews, there’s no need to worry about that and I think it’s better if you can cap it, but in most of the developing countries where there is not a strong tax system, it isn’t a possibility.”

For students that qualify terms for repaying this ISA, they are, again, on the hook for $15,000. Charging such a hefty fee for an online course without full-time instructors geared towards students in developing countries could be controversial for a venture-backed startup, but it will also put a heavy burden on the school to keep their students satisfied and help them find employment via its network of career counselors.

The CEO acknowledges the high price of Microverse’s instruction, “It is huge,” but says that the premium is necessary to build a business around getting students in developing countries careers in the global workforce. Microverse is keeping its total number of admitted students small early on so that it can ensure it’s meeting their needs, Camus says, noting that Microverse accepts just 1% of applicants, adding 70-80 students to the program per month.

“This conversation around the ISA in the U.S. that is so hot, you have to frame it in such a different way when you’re talking about students in developing and emerging countries. Like, there are no alternatives,” Camus says. “…if you can find a value proposition that aligns with their goals and gives them some international and professional exposure, that gives them a world-class education… that’s a very compelling proposition.”

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:08:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google TC India US San Francisco Tech Silicon Valley Isa U S Holberton School Camus Lambda School Lambda School Microverse Lambda School for U S Mexico Brazil Kenya Nigeria Cameroon Ariel Camus The startup tells TechCrunch Microverse
Salesforce grabs Vlocity for $1.33B, a startup with $1B valuation http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/iZzYezakK2Q/ It’s been a big news day for Salesforce . It announced that Co-CEO Keith Block would be stepping down, and that it had acquired Vlocity for $1.33 billion in an all-cash deal.

It’s no coincidence that Salesforce targeted this startup. It’s a firm that builds six industry-specific CRMs on top of Salesforce — communications, media and entertainment, insurance and financial services, health, energy and utilities and government and nonprofits — and Salesforce Ventures was also an investor. This would appear to have been a deal waiting to happen.

Brent Leary, founder and principal analyst at CRM Essentials says Salesforce saw this as an important target to keep building the business. “Salesforce has been beefing up their abilities to provide industry specific solutions by cultivating strategic ISV partnerships with companies like Vlocity and Veeva (which is focused on life sciences). But this move signals the importance of making these industry capabilities even more a part of the platform offerings,” Leary told TechCrunch.

Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research also liked the deal for Salesforce. “It’s a great deal. Vlocity gives them the industries platform they need. More importantly, it keeps Google from buying them and [could generate] $10 billion in additional industries revenue growth over next 4 years,” he said.

Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block steps down

Vlocity had raised about $163 million on a valuation of around a $1 billion as of its most recent round, a $60 million Series C last March. If $1.33 billion seems a little light, given what Vlocity is providing the company, Wang says it’s because Vlocity needed Salesforce more than the other way around.

“Vlocity on its own doesn’t have as big a future without Salesforce. They have to be together. So Salesforce doesn’t need to buy them. They could keep building out, but it’s better for them to buy them now,” Wang said.

Still the company was valued at $1 billion just under a year ago, and sold for $1.33 billion after raising $163 million. That means it received 8.2x total invested capital ($1.33b / $163m invested capital), which isn’t a bad return.

In a blog post on the Vlocity website, founder and CEO David Schmaier put a positive spin on the deal. “Upon the close of the transaction, Vlocity — this wonderful company that we, as a team, have created, built, and grown into a transformational solution for six of the most important industries in the enterprise — will become part of Salesforce,” he wrote.

Per usual, the deal would be predicated on regulatory approval and close some time during Salesforce’s second quarter in fiscal 2021.

Vlocity nabs $60M Series C investment on $1B valuation

]]> Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:06:44 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Fundings & Exits Startups TC Cloud Enterprise Tech SaaS M&a Mergers and Acquisitions Salesforce CRM Salesforce Ventures Exit Wang Leary Keith Block Constellation Research Brent Leary Vlocity TechCrunch Ray Wang Salesforce It Salesforce It 's David Schmaier Checkout.com acquires payment optimization startup ProcessOut http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/siqBfFBRkAE/ Checkout.com, the quiet London-based payment platform, has acquired its first startup, ProcessOut. Checkout.com surprised everyone last year when it announced a gigantic $230 million Series A round. It turns out the payment processing boom is not over yet.

Checkout.com focuses on enterprise clients with customers all around the world. It provides a full-stack payment service, from accepting transactions, processing them and detecting fraud. It helps with reconciliation thanks to an API and a reporting hub.

The startup is particularly efficient when it comes to supporting multiple currencies and payment methods. You can accept payments in more than 150 currencies. Checkout.com supports debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as local payment methods such as Klarna, iDEAL and Giropay, and e-wallets such as PayPal and Alipay.

A quiet London-based payments startup just raised among the biggest Series A rounds ever in Europe

ProcessOut is a French startup that realized e-commerce companies have been leaving money on the table by relying on a single payment provider. The company built a smart routing checkout module that works with dozens of payment providers.

When you enter your card number, ProcessOut can select the best payment provider when it comes to fees and acceptance rate. For instance, a local payment provider can be a lot cheaper than Stripe, but transactions get declined a lot more often. The startup can figure out whether a transaction will go through before selecting an obscure payment provider.

The company then shows you dashboards so you can visualize payment data in a single location. You can generate report and match transactions on your bank account with transactions on different payment providers.

That combination of data visualization and smart routing helped them score some big clients, such as Glovo, Veepee, Rakuten.fr and Dashlane. In 2019, ProcessOut tracked 10% of online transactions in France. Transactions representing $20 billion have been analyzed by ProcessOut over the past 12 months.

With today’s acquisition, ProcessOut’s team of 14 employees are joining Checkout.com’s team of 600 employees. Checkout.com isn’t disclosing the terms of the transaction. Checkout.com is getting a ton of insight on different payment providers. It can learn from ProcessOut’s technology to optimize its internal payment workflows, as well.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:00:56 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Fundings & Exits Startups Europe London France Tech Paypal M&a Payments ProcessOut Checkout.com Glovo Veepee Rakuten
Roger Stone Judge Scolds Trump, Allies Over Claims of Jury Bias https://news.yahoo.com/roger-stone-judge-slams-jury-191010733.html Roger Stone Judge Scolds Trump, Allies Over Claims of Jury Bias(Bloomberg) -- Three of the jurors who convicted Republican operative Roger Stone for lying to Congress and witness tampering testified that political bias played no role in their decision, pushing back against Stone’s contention that he deserves a new trial.U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not issue a ruling at the end of a Tuesday hearing on Stone’s request. But the judge said a juror’s social media posts criticizing President Donald Trump did not necessarily mean she was biased against Stone, who was convicted in November and sentenced last week to three years and four months in prison.At the beginning of the hearing in Washington, the judge sharply criticized the president and “false” news reports for promoting claims of bias she said could endanger jurors. “The risk of harassment and intimidation of any juror who may testify in the hearing later today is extremely high,” Jackson said, adding that “the jury has even been publicly criticized by the President of the United States.”The notion that Stone’s trial was tainted by left-leaning jury members, particularly the foreperson, has been promoted aggressively by Trump and right-wing media in recent days. The president, who has also hinted he may pardon his longtime ally, tweeted further on the issue Tuesday.At the beginning of the hearing, Jackson specifically criticized Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for falsely claiming an Obama administration official was placed on Stone’s jury and that another juror was married to a “Deep State” bureaucrat. The judge also noted that Carlson had accused the foreperson of being an “anti-Trump zealot” and broadcast her Twitter handle during his program.Jackson allowed Stone’s lawyer, Seth Ginsberg, to question the foreperson and two other jurors in the case. Ginsberg said the foreperson lied on her jury questionnaire when she denied having opinions on federal law enforcement agencies or Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The charges against Stone stem from testimony he gave a congressional committee also probing Russian meddling.Ginsberg said the foreperson had written Facebook posts supportive of the Mueller investigation and had also retweeted a CNN contributor who criticized Stone’s supporters for complaining about his arrest while remaining silent on police shootings of African Americans.If such views had been known, Ginsberg said, the foreperson would have been excused from the jury.Read More: Roger Stone Gets Over Three Years in Jail for Trump Cover-UpGinsberg questioned the foreperson about social media posts dating back to 2017 in which she criticized Trump policies. In one post, she suggested Trump supporters wanted to keep people of color out of the U.S.But Jackson told Ginsberg he was making an assumption that the juror was biased against Stone based on her more general views on issues like immigration or racism. “Having an opinion about Trump’s policies doesn’t mean she can’t fairly and impartially judge the evidence on Roger Stone,” the judge said.Two other jurors testified that the foreperson did not pressure anyone to give a particular verdict and conducted the deliberations in an impartial manner. One of the jurors said the foreperson even pressed the panel to consider one of the charges more carefully after they were ready to give a guilty verdict.The foreperson has been widely attacked online for tweeting support for four prosecutors who resigned from the case when their tough sentencing recommendation for Stone was revised downward by senior Justice Department officials. Jackson said at the beginning of the hearing that the juror had done nothing wrong by stating her opinion.One of the four prosecutors, Michael Marando, appeared at the hearing Tuesday to answer Jackson’s questions about the jury selection process. The judge also asked one of the prosecutors why they hadn’t Googled the potential Stone jurors.Googling Jurors“I think it’s a regular practice for lawyers these days to Google potential jurors, isn’t it?” the judge asked. The prosecutor replied that it “just didn’t happen” and suggested it might have been a “cost and strategy” issue.Jackson, an Obama appointee, hasn’t been receptive to Stone’s earlier allegations of bias. A previous request for a new trial -- based on claims that a different juror was biased -- was denied on Feb. 5. Over the weekend, she rejected his claim that she herself was biased and denied his request to argue his latest motion before another judge.She expressed a measure of skepticism about his latest request on Tuesday, noting that his filing was somewhat hyperbolic.“Like the motion for recusal, it’s marked by a tone that I haven’t seen previously in pleadings in this case and was particularly reliant on adjectives,” Jackson said.(Adds detail from hearing)To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Anthony LinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


]]> Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:49:57 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Facebook New York News Obama Congress Washington Bloomberg Cnn United States Fox News Jackson Republican Donald Trump Justice Department Trump Ginsberg Tucker Carlson Roger Stone Stone Carlson Mueller Erik Larson Robert Mueller Amy Berman Jackson Michael Marando David Glovin Anthony LinFor Seth Ginsberg Microsoft Wants To Do Away With Windows 10 Local Accounts http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/96jPl458h2o/microsoft-wants-to-do-away-with-windows-10-local-accounts

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:45:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Microsoft Germany India Tech
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra is a lot of phone for a lot of money http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/qjs730Lj4EE/ Let’s talk about money. More specifically, let’s talk about how much things cost. A few years back, the price of flagship smartphones leapt above the $1,000 threshold, owing largely to the cost of screen technology. It’s a tough calculus, but that’s the price of innovation.

The rising cost of smartphones is largely regarded as a major contributing factor to flagging smartphone sales. Phones have gotten better and last longer, and with four-digit prices, users are far less compelled to upgrade every two years or so.

Samsung skips nine numbers, announces the Galaxy S20

Samsung knows this as well as anyone. Along with its usual array of budget phones, the company’s gone to great lengths to offer “budget flagships,” a relatively new category that aims to find the sweet spot between high-end features and less-impressive components, first through the S10e and now its new lite devices.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is decidedly not that. It’s a picture of smartphone opulence in an era of declining smartphone sales. It’s yet another new tier in the company’s ballooning flagship smartphone line(s) designed to reestablish Samsung’s place in the bleeding edge of mobile technologies, while appealing to those with a little extra money to spend in order to future-proof their devices.

“A little more” here being defined as starting at $1,399. Or $1,599, if you’re, say, feeling extra flush after your tax returns and looking to upgrade to 512GB from the default 128GB. As for what top of the line means these days, that, too, has changed. Samsung was ahead of the curve by introducing multiple 5G phones last year. At the time, the handsets were, understandably, confined to the top tier, due to both cost of hardware and the general lack of global coverage.

For 2020, it’s 5G across the board, on all S20 models, so the kitchen sink Ultra needs to find ways to further set itself apart from the S20+. There are a few keys areas in which the Ultra sets itself apart. First and most immediate is size. Along with increased prices, the other thing you can count on, like clockwork, is bigger displays. The good news is that Samsung’s hardware advances have kept the footprint roughly the size of the last generation of devices.

Samsung continues to impress on that front, this time sneaking a roomy 6.9-inch display into a 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm; compare that to the 162.6 x 77.1 x 7.9 mm on the 6.7-inch S10 5G. The thick profile is almost certainly due to a larger battery. The 4,500 mAh found on last year’s device and this year’s S20+ is upgraded to a beefy 5,000 mAh.

Samsung remains conservative with its own expected battery life, owing to power-hungry features like the big AMOLED with a 120Hz refresh rate and the 5G radio. The company rates the phone as “all-day battery.” It’s a pretty nebulous phrase, all things considered. I suspect there’s still research to be done on the adverse impact of next-gen radios on battery life. With the default settings on (and little to no 5G, owing at least somewhat to some network issues), I found I got about 28 total hours on a charge.

[gallery ids="1951109,1951110,1951111,1951112,1951114"]

That certainly qualifies for the “all-day” mark, even if it’s a bit disappointing given the massive battery size. But it should definitely get you through a day and then some, with no issues. The other good news on that front is super-fast charging if you use the included wall adapter. I was able to go from zero to fully charged in just under an hour.

The design language is pretty much identical on all three S20s, and honestly, largely unchanged from last year’s model, though Samsung has moved to a hole-punch camera (a generous 40 megapixels for selfies) up front. Flip it around and the biggest difference is immediately apparent. The camera module on the Ultra is, well, ultra. There are four cameras back there, in a lip that occupies about a sixth of the phone’s total surface area.

The S20+’s more than adequate 12MP, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultra wide and time of flight sensor have been bumped up to a 108MP main, 48MP 10x telephoto, 12MP ultra wide and time of flight. The ToF, mind you, is absent on the plain-old S20, bringing an added sense of depth for bokeh effects and fun tricks like 3D scanning. One also gets the sense that Samsung is very much laying the groundwork for an even stronger play in the AR world, extending beyond the current selection of AR emoji. Though, as with the rest of the industry, mainstream implementation is still slow going.

The biggest thing here — both figuratively and literally — is the telephoto. The camera features a folded telephoto, which is essentially turned on its side to fit the form factor. The camera is capable of a solid 10x hybrid zoom. Using a combination of the hardware and software, the company is able to achieve the 100x “Space Zoom,” versus the other models’ 30x max. It’s impressive all around, but important to note that the claims of “losslessness” only extend to 10x.

Beyond that, things start to degrade. And honestly, by the time you get to 100x, things start looking like a digital Monet painting. You can generally make out the objects, but in most cases, it’s probably not something you’re going to rush out to share on Instagram. For things like nosebleed seats at concerts or sporting events, however, sometimes it’s just enough to remember you’re there.

Honestly, though, I think Samsung is laying the groundwork for future updates, as it is with the ToF sensor. It’s easy to imagine how a 100x zoom coupled with some future imaging AI could lead to some pretty impressive telephoto shots, without the need for an external, optical lens. For now, however, it feels like more of a novelty. Honestly, a number of the upgrades over the S20+ feel a bit like excesses, and none but true devotees need to go all in with the Ultra.

My only momentary hesitation in recommending one of the lower-tier devices over the Ultra are questions of what happens to battery life when you dip below 5,000 mAh. The 120Hz screen is great for things like gaming, but for most users, I’d recommended keeping it off most of the time. That should buy you an extra couple of hours of life, switching to 120Hz when needed and back to 60 the rest of the time.

Ditto for the 108-megapixel camera. For most photos it makes sense to utilize pixel binning, which makes for a small 12-megapixel shot, but allows for a lot more light to be let in on a per pixel basis. Photo are brighter and sharper and the phone does better in low light. Also, the image isn’t gigantic — I forgot to swap the setting for a few photos and didn’t realize how massive they were until I sent them.

The best new photo feature, however, isn’t hardware at all. I’ve long posited that the key to a good imaging feature is simplicity. Cameras keep getting better and offer more features for those who want to shoot more professional photos on their mobile devices. That’s great, and if you’re Google, it means that the legendary Annie Leibovitz will show up to your launch event and sing your device’s praises.

But unless something works out of the box, it’s going to be of little use to a majority of consumers. Single Take is a clever addition to default camera settings that takes a whole bunch of different types of photos at once (provided you can stand still for 10 seconds). You get Live Focus, Timelapse and Ultra-Wide all at once. The camera saves everything to the roll, where you can choose the best image. It’s a larger file, but not huge in the grand scheme of things. For those who don’t want to be a digital hoarder, you can always just go in and manually delete them.

The biggest updates to the S20 line feel like future-proofing. Elements like like 5G, 100x zoom and 8K video record don’t always make a ton of sense as of this writing, but much of Samsung’s biggest plays have been centered around getting out in front of the curve. With 5G, for example, there are still coverage barriers, but with users holding onto their handsets for longer, it’s almost certain that the next-gen wireless technology will be ubiquitous before the time comes for many users to upgrade.

In its current state, however, charging $1,399 and up for the Ultra is a pretty hard ask. Thankfully, however, Samsung has more than enough options for users looking for something a little cheaper. It’s a list that now includes the S10 Lite line and newly discounted standard S10 devices. Features like 100x, on the other hand, are novel, but it’s hard to justify the premium.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:41:29 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Mobile Hardware Samsung Tech Smartphones Annie Leibovitz Ultra Galaxy S20 Ultra
How to enable Picture in Picture mode in Google Chrome on Debian 10 https://vitux.com/how-to-enable-picture-in-picture-mode-in-google-chrome-on-debian-10/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:40:14 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Linux Fox Wants to Buy Free-Streaming Service Tubi https://www.slashfilm.com/tubi-sale/ tubi sale

Tubi, or not Tubi – that is the question. Fox Corp. – not to be confused with 20th Century Fox, which was sold to Disney and no longer really exists – is hoping to buy Tubi. What’s Tubi, you ask? Why, it’s a free streaming service with a funny name, of course. The streaming service offers free movies and TV shows with ads, and Fox is looking to purchase it for over $500 million.

Fox Corp., which deals with television broadcasts, news, and sports broadcasting industries that were not acquired by Disney, wants in on that red hot streaming action, so they’re hoping to buy Tubi, according to Variety. Per their story:

With Tubi, Rupert Murdoch’s TV broadcasting and cable company would be adding a dedicated streaming component — offering over 20,000 older TV shows and movies to watch for free — to its portfolio to capture the surge in internet-video viewing.

Tubi may not exactly be a household name, but it is free, and that’s the type of detail that catches people’s attention. The company reports that last year, its monthly active user base “grew to 25 million (up from 20 million six months earlier) while total viewing time hit over 163 million hours watched, a 160% year-over-year increase.” Tubi was founded in 2014. By 2019, it had over 20 million active monthly users. They offer video content from studios like Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM and more, and Fox Corp. likely wants that kind of library for themselves. But will they keep the name? Or will they change it to avoid confusion with another oddly-named service, Quibi? Let’s all wait and see!

These days, everyone wants their own streaming service. And while some, like Disney+ and Apple TV+, are willing to build from the ground up, others are turning toward already existing platforms to get the job done. Viacom bought the free streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million, and Amazon launched the free-to-stream IMDb TV, which was formerly called Freedive. Vudu, a streaming platform owned by Walmart, is in negotiations with NBCUniversal. NBCU is launching its own streaming service, Peacock, which will have a free ad-supported component.

The post Fox Wants to Buy Free-Streaming Service Tubi appeared first on /Film.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:30:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Amazon Movies Disney Walmart Fox Viacom Pluto TV Tubi Business and Industry News NBCUniversal NBCU Quibi Fox Corp Paramount Lionsgate MGM Tubi Rupert Murdoch Freedive Vudu
SEO 101 Episode 376: Even Enterprise Level Companies Need Basic SEO and More Google My Business News http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/search-engine-optimization-blog/~3/scLSr0DXP2E/ The SEO 101 Logo for WebmasterRadio.FM This week J ohn and Ross discuss how an enterprise-level company shared SEO deficiencies in a quarterly report to shareholders revealing SEO 101 level issues. Then, after discussing some useful intel on the Coverage Report in Google Search Console, the discussion turns to the latest news on local SEO and Google My Business.

NOTE: If you like to receive our show notes straight to your inbox, sign up to our SEO 101 Podcast Show Notes Newsletter available at SEO101Radio.com.

 

Notes from SEO 101 Episode 376 General News

TechTarget cites technical SEO issues as reason for 25% decline in Google traffic

Ross Rant – Google’s New Partner Program Debacle

“ Having one user Google Ads certified will no longer cut it. Agencies will need to have at least half of the users who have admin or standard access to their manager account take and pass the relevant certification tests (Search, Display, Video, Shopping).” – Searchengineland.com

Get Google to Index Your Site With the Coverage Report

A Note on Cloudinary Pagespeed Auditor

Sample results: Here

 

Local SEO

No, the Google My Business description does not impact ranking

Update from Last Show: Google resolves rejected Posts problem

“Last week many local SEOs discovered that their Google Posts were being rejected. The speculated reason was that images in these Posts violated Google’s guidelines. However, according to a Tweet yesterday from Mike Blumenthal, a “fix” went live yesterday allowing new Posts to publish.” – Searchengineland.com

Google My Business Notifying After Deleting Reviews

Francisco CV shared a screenshot of Google My Business emailing him after a review was deleted from his (or his clients) Google local listing. The email comes from Google My Business with the subject line “We have deleted a review of your business profile.”

Check out this example of zip spam… yikes: Example

 

Questions from SEO 101 Listeners

Ross and John also welcome some SEO-related concerns from listeners. Please listen to the show to find out their detailed answers to these questions.

Noah Lam “Can someone explain link juice. Does it include internal links pointing to pages on your website or external links pointing to your pages on your website?”

 

End of Show Notes

If you have any questions you would like to share with Ross and John, please feel free to post them on the SEO 101 Facebook Group. And, if you enjoy SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM please consider supporting the hosts with feedback on Apple PodcastsStitcher, or your favourite podcast stream.

The post SEO 101 Episode 376: Even Enterprise Level Companies Need Basic SEO and More Google My Business News appeared first on StepForth Web Marketing Inc..

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:24:55 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Google Seo Tips John Ross Seo Podcast Uncategorised Local Seo Facebook Group Google My Business Mike Blumenthal Google Posts SEO 101 podcast Noah Lam J ohn Google My Business News General News TechTarget Ross Rant Google
A new book about Facebook leaves out a glaring detail about Mark Zuckerberg's views toward privacy in the social network's early days (FB) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider/~3/o3ycY_IOsvc/new-book-facebook-omits-key-detail-about-zuckerberg-privacy-views-2020-2 Mark Zuckerberg

  • In "Facebook: The Inside Story," author Steven Levy offers an unprecedented look into how Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook into the world's largest social network.
  • Levy, a writer at Wired magazine, says Zuckerberg  "vowed to make privacy a core component" of Facebook from its early days, but noted he often fell short of that aim.
  • However, the book leaves out a series of messages sent by Zuckerberg, first reported by Business Insider in 2010, where he calls people "dumb f--ks" for trusting him with their information.
  • The exchange offers crucial additional insight into Zuckerberg's early thoughts on privacy, as Facebook continues to draw criticism for how it handles users' data.
  • Levy told Business Insider that he included examples of Zuckerberg's actions that were "more illustrative" than words, like when he accessed users' accounts to hack their emails.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

One of the most salient topics surrounding Facebook is privacy. It has been at the center of many of the company's biggest scandals, from Cambridge Analytica to breaking Apple's App Store rules so it could pay people to spy on them, with Facebook's privacy missteps ultimately netting it a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission.  

In his new book about the rise of the internet giant, "Facebook: The Inside Story," Wired editor and writer Steven Levy offers insightful details about CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg's approach to privacy, especially in Facebook's early days.

But the book leaves out one particularly noteworthy instant message exchange that suggests Zuckerberg's privacy views weren't exactly straightforward. 

In 2003, while Zuckerberg was still at Harvard and experimenting with online social networks, he spun a prank website called "Facemash" that showed pictures of classmates and asked students to vote on who was most attractive.

The catch? Zuckerberg had hacked into the university's computer system to download the photos, without consent from any students.

Administrators quickly cut off Zuckerberg's internet access and threatened to expel him, the school's newspaper, The Harvard Crimson wrote at the time. In the immediate aftermath, the Crimson also penned an editorial grilling Zuckerberg for his lack of concern for students' privacy.

"Zuckerberg took the editorial to heart, and vowed to make privacy a core component" of the social media network he was quietly working on, Levy wrote.

However, just a year later, Zuckerberg hacked the emails of student journalists at the Crimson by accessing their Facebook login information, a story first reported by Business Insider. 

Shortly after launching "The Facebook" from his dorm room, Zuckerberg sent the following messages to a friend, originally reported by Business Insider in 2010:

Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuckerberg: Just ask.

Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.

Zuckerberg: I don't know why.

Zuckerberg: They "trust me"

Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks.

While the exchange suggests Zuckerberg's attitudes toward privacy were somewhat flippant even in the network's early days, the book's author Levy doesn't draw the same parallel.

"If you're talking about Facebook in 2020, there's limited value to holding up an email from when he was 19," Levy told Business Insider by phone, explaining his decision to leave the incident out of the book. Levy said examples like the Crimson email hacking were "more illustrative" of Zuckerberg's approach to privacy.

Zuckerberg told Levy that he regretted the messages and chalked them up to immaturity. But he also expressed frustration, in a text to Levy, that "'old instant messages and emails from from when I was a kid kept getting surfaced out of context.'"

Zuckerberg and Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg: 'My goal for the next decade isn't to be liked but to be understood'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reportedly just spent $165 million on a Beverly Hills estate — here are all the ways the world's richest man makes and spends his money

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:15:24 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Facebook Mark Zuckerberg Trends Harvard Levy Beverly Hills Jeff Bezos Federal Trade Commission Zuckerberg Crimson Steven Levy Wired Magazine Cambridge Analytica The Harvard Crimson Harvard Zuckerberg
Chris Lattner, the creator of Apple’s Swift, thinks that the smash-hit programming language is going to be a major force in AI development http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/alleyinsider/silicon_alley_insider/~3/scBIygzqm-g/sifive-chris-lattner-apple-swift-machine-learning-2020-2 Chris Lattner

  • Chris Lattner, the senior vice president of platform engineering at SiFive, started building the programming language Swift in 2010 when he still worked at Apple, and it's now used by companies like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, and Square.
  • Lattner said it was still too early to say if he would work with Swift at SiFive, but he is still involved in the Swift community.
  • He says the future of Swift is in data science and machine learning.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When former Apple engineer Chris Lattner first started building the iOS programming language in 2010, it was just a nights-and-weekends side project.

Since its launch in 2014, Swift has quickly become the top language for building new iOS apps, and it's used by companies like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, Square, and Apple itself. Lattner said when he first started building Swift, he didn't expect it to be adopted as quickly as it did. At the time — when it was still just a hobby project — he just wanted to learn and see what could be done. 

Since leaving Apple, Lattner has held stints at Tesla and Google. Recently he joined the artificial-intelligence-chip startup SiFive as its senior vice president of platform engineering. Lattner said it was still too early to say whether he would work with Swift at SiFive, but he maintains connections with the core team that maintains Swift and is still involved in the community.

"Swift is not just me," Lattner told Business Insider. "I started it and managed it and drove it and cared for it for a long time, but it's actually the result of a tremendous team."

'A lot of ideas have been battle-tested'

Lattner started the project because of challenges he had working with C Plus Plus, an older programming language. 

"C Plus Plus is a complicated language," Lattner said. "Coming out of this, I was burned out, and I thought, 'There has to be a better thing. C Plus Plus and Objective-C, neither of them are bad. They're products of the circumstances they came from. We can do something way better.'"

Later, when he realized that Swift could be a better alternative, he started asking for funding and growing a team at Apple to work on it. And by the time it launched in 2014, he said he had "a pretty good sense it would be really popular."

"One of the great things about Apple culture is it's very analytical," Lattner said. "They ask questions because they're trying to shape things. That really does shape a product ... It's been four years in, and a lot of the ideas have been battle-tested. A lot of the hard questions had been answered." 

'The reception of it blew me away'

Before Swift, the main language for building iOS apps was Objective-C. Lattner doesn't expect Objective-C to ever disappear, as many existing projects are still written in it. But most new iOS projects he sees are in Swift, including at Apple. 

"Are people still choosing to write projects in Objective-C?" Lattner said. "That's kind of game over for Objective-C."

Looking forward, Lattner said the data-science and machine-learning community was quickly changing. Most people in that community use Python, but more people are starting to use Swift. 

"Swift is far more approachable and allows people to be productive," Lattner said. "It pulls in more people from the community."

Lattner said Swift was "very Apple-centric" when it first began, but now he sees developers using Swift to write all sorts of projects and tools, including in servers and machine learning.

"We knew we were on the right track and thought it would be exciting and popular," Lattner said. "The reception of it blew me away."

SEE ALSO: Why Silicon Valley developers are betting on Apple's programming language Swift and calling it 'the future' of app development

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This animation shows how far your sneeze can actually travel

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Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:09:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Apple Google Trends Tesla Silicon Valley Swift Business Insider Lattner Swift Swift SiFive Chris Lattner Lyft Uber Airbnb Lyft Uber Airbnb Square Apple Lattner
The Psychology Of Document Review http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abovethelaw/~3/d0UtT-8QMWk/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:04:34 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Technology Podcasts Law Bia Ediscovery Thinking Like A Lawyer