Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
On Nov. 9, the good folks @ XO Group and Angelhack are organizing We Hack to Help Women, a hackathon to help build sustainable technological solutions to better the lives of women around the world. Use the discount code “hack4women” for 50 percent off.
When Lawyers Send Letters
Today, in lawsuits: A disgruntled employee is suing Intel, after his (jerk) coworkers at Intel’s New Mexico manufacturing facility allegedly stuck a “Kick Me” sign on his back and, yes, kicked him several times, then “laughed hysterically.” Cool company culture, dudes.
The AP reports:
Recording artist Will.i.am, as you may know, is something of a self-styled technologist. Besides holding down a sweet gig as Intel’s director of “creative innovation,” he pops up in pro-coding propaganda and once featured a Makerbot in one of his videos, because why not. Now he’s further demonstrating his devotion to technology in the title of his latest track: “#thatpower,” released today.
Google’s Mountain View campus is home to a beach volleyball court, a bowling alley, a climbing wall, seven fitness centers, “more than 100 micro-kitchens” and, it seems, toxic vapors.
CBS says readings of TCE, or trichloroethylene vapors, as high as eight micrograms per cubic meter were found in Google buildings. Not to get too Erin Brokovich on you, but the normal range is five per cubic meter.
Aleksey Vayner, the Yale grad who gained Internet infamy in 2006 for his video resume, “Impossible is Nothing,” is dead at 29. [Motherboard]
Square COO Keith Rabois is leaving the San Francisco-based payments company; Kara Swisher says disagreements with CEO and founder Jack Dorsey are at least partially behind the departure. [AllThingsD]
The latest petty sleight in the high-school style feud between two social media giants: Facebook has cut off access to Twitter’s new video-sharing service, Vine, preventing the app from using Facebook to find new friends. [AllThingsD]
What asshole decided to name a smartphone made for the African market YOLO? [Mashable]
A French court wants to force Twitter to reveal the identities of users who author racist tweets in violation of the country’s hate-speech laws. Twitter is deciding whether to fight the ruling. [NYT]
Somebody’s ready to make it rain in Stamford: Indeed.com has been acquired by the Japanese company Recruit Co. Ltd., for a price reportedly in the $750 million to $1 billion range. [Business Insider]
The California bill allowing driverless cars on the road has now been signed. [New York Times]
Total Google Play downloads thus far: 25 billion. In celebration, all kinds of goodies are available for download at 25 cents a pop. [The Verge]
Apparently the CEO of Intel doesn’t think Windows 8 is fully baked. [Bloomberg]
Even literal rocket scientists can’t keep their passwords safe. [Ars Technica]
XX in Tech
Just because wisdom is conventional doesn’t mean it’s right, and just because dudes 18 to 25 are considered the prized tech demographic doesn’t mean it’s true. The Atlantic dug up a recent talk by Intel researcher Genevieve Bell, and it turns out that women are pretty much the customers you want to have on lock. And people wonder why Pinterest has a great big Scrooge McDuck-style cache of venture capital cash.
Ms. Bell has shared several interesting nuggets, including that women in Western countries use the Internet 17 percent more per month; they spend more time talking on their mobile phones (hold your stereotyped jokes, please); and they’re the biggest users of every social networking site that’s not LinkedIn. Also, “Women are the vast majority owners of all internet enabled devices–readers, healthcare devices, GPS.”
The Singularity Isn't Here
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku is calling it: Moore’s Law ain’t what it used to be. The principle, which holds computing power doubles roughly every 18 months, is reaching its limits. In fact, in this recent Big Think video, he gives it about a decade. Nor does he hedge: “In about ten years or so, we will see the collapse of Moore’s Law. In fact, already, already we see a slowing down of Moore’s Law,” he says.
Brought to you by the folks at Startup Bus comes a new challenge: 30 hackers. 36 hours. 900 miles. Imagine that being read by Don LaFontaine, and tell me you’re not excited, even if you’ve got a case of hackathon fatigue. The hackathon is sponsored by Intel, which means the prizes will be fiiine–so far $10,000 cash has been announced. Says Justin Isaf, who captained the New York bus hackathon last spring and now spends his days community managing at The Huffington Post: “NYC really delivered on the StartupBus to SxSW. We need someone to go defend that reputation and keep kicking some Silicon Valley rear end.”
It’s pretty commonplace for me to grant access to third party sites and web apps that want to use my Facebook data. When I stumbled on the link for Intel’s new Museum of Me, I didn’t think twice about letting it peek through my account.
But during the short tour, a “journey that explores who I am” by traveling through a virtual museum composed of images, text and video from my profile, I found myself unsettled.