NEWS ABOUT: Silicon Valley

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Tech Honcho Nabs History's Biggest Life Insurance Policy

Identity remains a mystery

(Newser) - An unnamed Silicon Valley billionaire has purchased the world's most valuable life insurance policy. Guinness Book of World Records officials say the $201 million life insurance policy is more than double the previous record, set in 1990 by an unidentified "entertainment industry figure," the San Jose Mercury ... More »

The Internet's Workforce Is Faceless

We've forgotten that huge deals have a human toll: George Packer

(Newser) - Early 20th-century America had its factory workers; later decades had store employees. But today's Internet economy hides the faces of its workers, writes George Packer in the New Yorker . "Amazon’s workforce is made up mainly of computer engineers and warehouse workers, but when you think of Amazon... More »

Split California Into 6 States? Petition Moves Ahead

Venture capitalist gets go-ahead to start collecting signatures

(Newser) - Californians may soon get a chance to vote on splitting their state into six smaller ones, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Venture capitalist Tim Draper has gotten formal approval to start collecting petitions for his "Six Californias" idea. If he can get about 807,000 names by July 18,... More »

New Robo-Cop: 'R2-D2's Evil Twin'

300-pound Silicon Valley robot aims to keep an eye on things

(Newser) - Its makers don't like to compare it to "RoboCop or Terminator"—but it's hard not to. The K5 Autonomous Data Machine is an electronic security guard developed in Silicon Valley by a company called Knightscope, Fox News reports. It's five feet tall, weighs 300 pounds,... More »

Silicon Valley: Where America's Middle Class Died

Behind Google and Apple, there's a stark class divide: Charlotte Allen

(Newser) - Silicon Valley is home to creative thinkers, green cars, and cool cafes—right? True enough, but it's also a place where rich entrepreneurs live in one part of town and their poor Hispanic maids and gardeners live in another. And tech workers cluster in apartments because houses are too... More »

Walmart Tries to Look Cool in Silicon Valley

Has foosball tables, conference room named after Justin Bieber

(Newser) - Amazon has left Walmart in the dust in the online shopping game, so now the big-box store empire is playing catch-up, rapidly expanding its presence in Silicon Valley. To do so, the company is trying to replicate a hip Bay Area start-up environment, reports the New York Times : Walmart's... More »

GOP Turns to Silicon Valley to One-Up Democrats

RNC hopes to improve on Obama campaign's digital strategy: Washington Post

(Newser) - President Obama's 2012 campaign schooled Republicans in the art of digital campaigning—mining data about voters and tailoring pitches directly to them. Now, Republicans hope to return the favor for next year's congressional elections, reports the Washington Post . The multimillion-dollar plan involves opening a Silicon Valley office and... More »

Stop Trusting Geeks Like Obama

Like Google, Facebook, and co., Obama assures us he's got good intentions

(Newser) - Many people are confused by President Obama's relentless prosecution of Bradley Manning , and pursuit of other leakers . Isn't he supposed to be a Silicon Valley-style transparency-loving geek? That view is "charmingly naïve," writes Edward Luce at the Financial Times . "Obama is no traitor to... More »

2 Big Names Bail on Zuckerberg Advocacy Group

Elon Musk is one, angry over ads supporting Keystone pipeline

(Newser) - The advocacy group spearheaded by Mark Zuckerberg on immigration reform is down two high-profile players from Silicon Valley because of an ad strategy that has angered environmental and liberal groups, reports Reuters . The bigger name to leave is Tesla CEO Elon Musk. "I agreed to support FWD.us because... More »

Coming Soon: Floating Colony for Silicon Valley Start-Ups?

Project would welcome foreign entrepreneurs onto offshore cruise ship

(Newser) - Silicon Valley can be a tough place for foreign tech entrepreneurs to put down roots—so some local businessmen are suggesting they float instead. Max Marty and Dario Mutabdzija intend to set up a floating colony, in the form of a cruise ship 12 miles offshore in international waters. The... More »

Silicon Valley: Lofty Talk, Plodding Walk

Tech capitalists talk a good game, but they're not changing the world

(Newser) - PayPal co-founder Max Levchin once told a tech conference that the key to American innovation was to "aim almost ridiculously high." Levchin went on to develop a photo-sharing service based on "SuperPoke! Pets," and a company that lets you buy things on Facebook. "Neither, it'... More »

Zuckerberg Makes Biggest Charitable Donation Yet

Gives $500M in stock to health, education charity

(Newser) - Mark Zuckerberg has hit the "share" button on a sizable chunk of his fortune. In his biggest donation to charity yet, the Facebook founder has donated stock worth around $500 million to a Silicon Valley charitable foundation that funds educational and health initiatives, the Los Angeles Times reports. "... More »

Obama Won the 'Makers,' Romney the 'Takers'

Harold Meyerson: Techies went for president, bankers for Romney

(Newser) - A look at this year's political contributions makes a few generalizations safe: If an employee of Google or Microsoft donated to a candidate, it was probably Barack Obama. If an employee at Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley did, it was probably Mitt Romney. In short, Silicon Valley loves Obama... More »

Facebook Building Office Designed by Frank Gehry

Company hopes to break ground in 2013 on renowned architect's vision

(Newser) - A little sliding stock isn't keeping Mark Zuckerberg from thinking big about Facebook's future. The company has enlisted world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to design its first custom-built office site, reports AllFacebook . Gehry envisions one giant building "that manages to avoid the look of a warehouse or hangar... More »

Now Silicon Valley Warns of Device Addiction

Take a break from iPhones, iPads, tech leaders warn

(Newser) - You'd think those who work in Silicon Valley, of all places, would want you to be utterly dependent upon your smartphones and tablets—but increasingly, those in the tech industry are actually worried about users' growing addiction to their devices. People "need to notice the effect that time... More »

Google Exec Jumps Ship to Lead Yahoo

Marissa Mayer calls it 'a reasonably easy decision'

(Newser) - Yahoo shocked Silicon Valley today by luring a top Google executive to lead the rudderless Internet company, the New York Times reports. Marissa Mayer, one of corporate America's most prominent women—and a rare public face for Google—agreed to become Yahoo's CEO starting tomorrow. She "had... More »

Teenage Entrepreneur Squatted in AOL Offices

Eric Simons turned AOL campus into his personal office

(Newser) - A teenage entrepreneur found the perfect place to develop his new software: AOL's campus in Palo Alto, Calif. Only problem: No one knew he was also eating, sleeping, working out, and doing his laundry there, CNET reports. Eric Simons had invented his educational software, ClassConnect, in a new campus... More »

Tech's Richest Hate Showing Off Wealth

From Facebook to Google, Silicon Valley frowns on flashy spending

(Newser) - Facebook's staff may be full of zillionaires, but don't expect Ferraris in the parking lot. Silicon Valley, where almost 14% of homes earn more than $200,000 per year, is deeply opposed to conspicuous consumption—hence Mark Zuckerberg's iconic hoodies and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's underground... More »

Pinterest Joins $1B Valuation Club

And how ... its new valuation is actually $1.5B

(Newser) - Facebook may be dominating the headlines this week, but don't forget about the little guys—or the no-longer-quite-so-little ones. Pinterest's valuation has jumped from $200 million to $1.5 billion thanks to a new $100 million round of financing. The Wall Street Journal notes that the news pushes... More »

Attention, Silicon Valley: You Might Return to Sea

Old levees need $1B upgrade to protect Facebook, Google, et al

(Newser) - It might just be the only thing that could take down Facebook and Google in one fell swoop: some good old-fashioned biblical flooding. As the AP explains, a chunk of Silicon Valley sits on land that used to be part of San Francisco Bay. Which is fine except for two... More »

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