Teach Me How to Startup
Looks like the tech industry is still poaching from Wall Street, and the WSJ is ON IT! [Wall Street Journal]
Facebook’s first quarter results are in, and it looks like the company’s mobile ad revenue is finally increasing. [New York Times]
The father-son duo of NYC-based VC firm Lerer Ventures is launching a website in conjunction with Mayors Against Illegal Guns called StoptheNRA.com. [TechCrunch]
Now that the neckbeard lobby is growing in influence, can Hollywood A-listers master the Reddit AMA without having another Rampart situation on their hands? [LA Times]
Now New York Senator Chuck Schumer is going after patent trolls. Perhaps he’s jealous of all Mayor Bloomberg’s startup cred? [TechCrunch]
“Hey guys, we can make TV too!” – AOL [Adweek]
The patent wars rage on in the tech world, but today a couple of big names extended olive branches in hopes of brokering a peace–or at least one between the industry and the notion of patents. This morning, leaders from the Commerce Department and Cornell University announced that there’ll be a U.S. Patent Office staffer permanently planted right on campus.
That individual will serve as a kind of liaison between the worlds of tech and intellectual property, working to connect university students and affiliates to whatever resources the Commerce Department has to offer. (Before you private sector devotees scoff, that ranges from IP strategizing to government grants.) It’s all in the service of speeding innovations from academic notion to marketable product.
This is the first time the bureau has ever devoted such attention to a particular university campus. How you like dem apples, Stanford?
Today, Senator Charles Schumer popped up to New York City for a visit to General Assembly and an announcement: Tomorrow he plans to introduce new legislation to the Senate–the snappily-named BRAINS Act–in an attempt to help alleviate the tech talent crunch by making it easier for startups to hire foreign-born workers.
“The bill will fix America’s broken high-skilled immigration problem,” he promised, by providing 55,000 new green cards available annually for foreign students graduating from US universities with advanced STEM degrees.
Everywhere he goes, said Senator Schumer, business leaders cite the lack of technical talent as their number one challenge. “With the introduction and hopefully the passage of the BRAINS Act, we’re going to move closer to ensuring a more vibrant future for Americans not even born yet,” he promised.
Law and Order
Did all the Facebook cofounders promise to make honest women and men out of their partners, just as soon as the company went public? Because guess who graced the New York Times‘ Vows section today: Facebook cofounder and now New Republic publisher and editor-in-chief Chris Hughes and his partner Sean Eldridge.
The Times tells us that the pair were wedded yesterday, Read More
Way back in June, before Sen. Chuck Schumer wanted to break the internet, he wanted to break Bitcoin. After an incendiary story about Silk Road on Gawker, the site NPR called “the Amazon.com of illegal drugs,” senators including Sen. Schumer were up in arms. But Silk Road lives on, according to reports from techies savvy enough to traverse Tor to get there.
Series of PIPAs
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is a co-sponsor of PIPA, the sibling legislation for SOPA, the awful one that still contains the provision that would allow our government to shut down websites accused—not convicted of—but accused of copyright infringement. Today, there was quite a large protest outside of her office! 1,000 people and a bunch of Internet luminaries were there.
As it turns out, Sen. Gillibrand has heard the voice of the people! And as such, she has taken to her page on (the SOPA-opposed) Facebook to say…
Earlier today, Amanda Peyton (Y Combinator alum, Makery/Bnter resident and local Woman About Tech) posted a transcript of a conversation she had with a rep for Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who used “the c-word” in reference to the Protect IP Act, the Senate version of the Stop Online Piracy Act. “Censorship,” that is.
Both Ms. Peyton and Betabeat (we picked up the story) received calls from energetic staffers, eager to run, not just walk, the quote back. “It is absurd to suggest that Sen. Schumer, who led the charge against the assault on net neutrality, would support censoring the Internet; he unequivocally does not,” said Mike Morey, a spokesman for Sen. Schumer’s office.
Staffers from Sen. Schumer’s office got on the phone with Betabeat late Friday to go into more detail on the senator’s position on the bill, which they said had first been presented by a coalition of representatives from different industries more than a year ago. The industries represented including pharmaceutical companies, apparel manufacturers and more, in addition to the purveyors of movies and music who have emerged as the evil villains in the internet’s backlash against the legislation.
When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told a crowd of reporters last week that Facebook would be opening its first engineering office outside Palo Alto right here in New York, it sounded like the Bloomberg administration’s dream come true. Could the West Coast tech giants finally be taking New York seriously as an innovation center, rather than just a convenient base to sidle up to advertisers?
Indeed, earlier this year, the Economic Development Corporation said its goal in accepting bids to build an applied sciences campus in New York was to “increase the probability that the next high growth company—a Google, Amazon, or Facebook—will emerge in New York City and not in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paolo.” An engineering office from a company on the verge of what might be the biggest IPO in history sounds like the next best thing. What’s more, Facebook seemed so confident about luring technical talent (typically a sore spot with New York techies) that they weren’t waiting for the campus to break ground.
Facebook’s decision was so glaringly aligned with the city’s goal of diversifying into an innovation capital that it was hard not to wonder if New York had tried to sweeten the deal.
A secretive drug bazar delivering hard core highs to American school kids is bad enough. But when its operating using the untraceable digital currency known as bitcoin, politicians have to take action.