108 posts tagged with siliconvalley.
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Om

Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum
posted by infini on Nov 28, 2016 - 107 comments

his unblinking stare

Portrait of a would-be world-changer Who is Sam Altman, the new head of Y Combinator? What does he want to do/for all of us? New Yorker portrait by Tad Friend. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Oct 3, 2016 - 45 comments

lol @ theranos

HOW ELIZABETH HOLMES’S HOUSE OF CARDS CAME TUMBLING DOWN
posted by Sticherbeast on Sep 6, 2016 - 112 comments

when the chips are down

Steve Blank has been writing an occasional series: The Secret History of Silicon Valley, on Uncle Sam's most successful startup. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 13, 2016 - 4 comments

“Can you Yahoo me now?”

Verizon to Pay $4.8 Billion for Yahoo’s Core Business [The New York Times] Yahoo was the front door to the web for an early generation of internet users, and its services still attract a billion visitors a month. But the internet is an unforgiving place for yesterday’s great idea, and on Sunday, Yahoo reached the end of the line as an independent company. The board of the Silicon Valley company agreed to sell Yahoo’s core internet operations and land holdings to Verizon for $4.8 billion, according to people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak about the deal before the planned announcement on Monday morning. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 24, 2016 - 97 comments

'That one actually happened to a friend of mine.'

"How 'Silicon Valley' Nails Silicon Valley" [SLYNY, Andrew Marantz] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 9, 2016 - 47 comments

I would say more, but I signed an NDA.

Uncanny Valley. "Morale is down.. We are making plenty of money, but the office is teeming with salespeople: well-groomed social animals with good posture and dress shoes, men who chuckle and smooth their hair back when they can’t connect to our VPN. Their corner of the office is loud; their desks are scattered with freebies from other start-ups, stickers and koozies and flash drives. We escape for drinks and fret about our company culture. “Our culture is dying,” we say gravely, apocalyptic prophets all. “What should we do about the culture?”"
posted by PercussivePaul on Apr 26, 2016 - 62 comments

Center for Corporate Studies

Welcome to the future you. The Center for Corporate Studies is a best-of-breed, high-level institute with a core competency in leveraging the power of language to develop personal, synergistic paradigm shifts within each of our students. You’ll learn how to champion mission-critical learnings across all verticals resulting in high-yield growth, for both your organization and your personal brand. Join us. And in just eight weeks, you too will be able to write barely decipherable paragraphs that put your career in the fast lane. [via]
posted by crazy with stars on Apr 14, 2016 - 87 comments

Good riddance, gig economy

Uber, Ayn Rand and the awesome collapse of Silicon Valley’s dream of destroying your job
posted by standardasparagus on Mar 28, 2016 - 156 comments

The Gilded Age, Henry George, the Land Value Tax and the Progressive Era

Kim-Mai Cutler: Nothing Like This Has Ever Happened Before - "San Francisco Bay Area poverty rates in all nine counties have increased in the last economic cycle, even with the Facebook and Twitter IPOs and private tech boom. The main transfer mechanism is land and housing costs, as rising rents and evictions push service and other low-wage workers to the brink. [Henry] George's solution was a single land tax that would replace all other government revenue sources. If an owner wanted to develop their property to make it more useful or productive, George argued that they should have the right to keep the value from those efforts. But increases in the value of underlying land were created by — and ultimately belonged to — the public at large." (previously: 1,2,3) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 19, 2016 - 33 comments

Tensions over private commuter shuttles in SF

The SFMTA is weighing an appeal that would dismantle the private commuter shuttle program, after the program was approved last November. Yesterday the board approved changes that would keep the program going for another year. [more inside]
posted by j.r on Feb 17, 2016 - 132 comments

Disrupt this!

It’s not Cyberspace anymore (from data & society, Medium). [more inside]
posted by redct on Feb 8, 2016 - 50 comments

Raw Power: From Iggy and the Stooges to AMD and Blu-ray

The Leap: The Improbable Transformation of a Punk Pioneer (mp3) - "James Williamson is a successful tech executive who's been working in Silicon Valley for decades. But it turns out Williamson had a secret, something that no one working with him knew. He was a pioneer in a type of music that is about as far from the tech world as you can get." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 31, 2016 - 24 comments

Magic+

Want a frozen pint of ice cream from your favorite artisanal creamery delivered by helicopter to your suite at the Burj Dubai at 11PM tonight? San Francisco startup Magic claims that they will arrange any request for $100 per hour, plus expenses.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jan 6, 2016 - 97 comments

Tinder Confidential

Ashley Terrill was in hiding the first time I heard her voice, splitting time between her Los Angeles home and a $600-a-night room at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Terrill had locked her laptop and phone in a secret vault, and would only contact me on disposable phones—all because, she claimed, the estranged co-founder of Tinder was trying to destroy her. And that fear was mutual. [more inside]
posted by rorgy on Nov 24, 2015 - 37 comments

Does it dry up like a raisin the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run

The Slow Demise of a Unicorn Everybody knows how the first tech boom went bust. But this time around, something's different. More than 100 tech start-ups are currently valued at more than $1 billion dollars, if you go by what VCs and other early investors have paid to buy ownership stakes. Unlike in the early 2000s, very few of today's unicorns have gone public, so there's no way to know what the market really thinks they're worth. Lately though, it seems like the hype train may be coming of the rails. So what happens to those companies now? The New York Times profiles Living Social to find out.
posted by Diablevert on Nov 20, 2015 - 65 comments

well past time

"We all know tech is excluding most people from participating. But one group is actually over represented. And we’ve been conspicuously silent." Metafilter's own Anil Dash asserts that "Asian American men who work in tech are benefitting from tech’s systematic exclusion of women and non-Asian minorities" and gives some recommendations about what they should do about it.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 22, 2015 - 23 comments

HUNTING THE DECACORN

WeWork Used These Documents To Convince Investors It’s Worth Billions
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 9, 2015 - 43 comments

We have replaced “venture” capital with “product-market fit” capital.

Bros Funding Bros: What's Wrong with Venture Capital. "What really matters is that we are in the midst of a technological renaissance that will be much farther reaching than any of us can predict if we invest correctly. Our generation has an opportunity, in our lifetime, to put a massive dent in human suffering and make trillions of dollars in return. ... We need a wake up call on Sand Hill Road. We need to recapture our potential and open the doors." [more inside]
posted by annekate on Oct 6, 2015 - 22 comments

COTS

Can the Pentagon do business with Silicon Valley?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 4, 2015 - 46 comments

"Adult Supervision"

Mozilla Firefox cofounder Blake Ross couldn't wait for the season 3 premiere of HBO's Silicon Valley, so he did the next best thing and wrote his own script which is pretty much indistinguishable from an actual episode.
posted by Pope Guilty on Sep 9, 2015 - 22 comments

We don't need pink canes and jewelled pill boxes

Barbara Knickerbocker-Beskind has been an occupational therapist, inventor, author and recently started a new career as a designer for famed firm IDEO. Her work there is on products to support the ageing community - which benefits from her perspective as a 91-year-old.
posted by Stark on Sep 8, 2015 - 16 comments

Tandem Computers

Remembering Tandem Computers: "Tandem was an archetype Silicon Valley company with stock options, an emphasis on taking chances, a recognition that sometimes the answer lies in a place where no one else has thought to go." The company was founded in 1974 by Jimmy Treybig. Though largely forgotten today, Tandem's surviving legacy is the NonStop line of servers, now owned by Hewlett-Packard.
posted by DrAmerica on Aug 26, 2015 - 20 comments

"things you thought would never end turned out to be the first to vanish

Start-up Costs: ‘Silicon Valley,’ ‘Halt and Catch Fire,’ and How Microserfdom Ate the World
Douglas Coupland’s novel Microserfs is about the spiritual yearnings and time-frittering activities of youngish coders immersed in the drudgery of the software-development process, and how those activities become an expression of those yearnings. It was published 20 years ago this month, which as far as I’m aware makes it the earliest significant stab by a fiction writer at the Great North American Tech-Company/Start-up Novel. It predates Po Bronson’s The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest, Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge, Dave Eggers’s The Circle, numerous other neuroman-à-clefs, score-settling pseudomemoirs and murder-dot-com whodunits,1 as well as tech-sector TV shows like Silicon Valley and Halt and Catch Fire, serials that pick up where the novels leave off.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 22, 2015 - 73 comments

"At this point, I started banging my head against my desk..."

"What’s compression in the first place? At its most basic, compression is a way of representing data using less space. An emoji is a good metaphor: it represents an entire word or even several words using a single character. Our minds then 'decompress' the character back into the word it represents.

"When hackers see a magical plot-driving compression algorithm, it’s hard to chalk it up as simply a narrative device. After all, universal lossless compression sounds pretty sweet. So, at a recent hackathon, I decided to get to the bottom of middle-out compression."
I Hacked the Middle-Out Compression from 'Silicon Valley' - Alexander Gould, Major League Hacking (Silicon Valley is on FanFare)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 18, 2015 - 50 comments

If productivity improves, that is morally good.

"But the problem runs much deeper, because Silicon Valley’s amorality problem arises from the implicit and explicit narrative of progress companies use for marketing and that people use to find meaning in their work. By accepting this narrative of progress uncritically, imagining that technological change equals historic human betterment, many in Silicon Valley excuse themselves from moral reflection. Put simply, the progress narrative short-circuits moral reflection on the consequences of new technologies."
posted by ignignokt on May 17, 2015 - 43 comments

Bid on YOUR waste profile!

Get ready to have your insides disrupted by SmartPipe, the Venmo of pipes! (adult swim, 11:01)
posted by The Whelk on May 16, 2015 - 22 comments

The next Googleplex goes way beyond free snacks and massages.

Big and Weird: The Architectural Genius of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick
The vision outlined in these documents, an application for a major expansion of the Googleplex, its campus, is mind-boggling. The proposed design, developed by the European architectural firms of Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, does away with doors. It abandons thousands of years of conventional thinking about walls. And stairs. And roofs. Google and its imaginative co-founder and chief executive, Larry Page, essentially want to take 60 acres of land adjacent to the headquarters near the San Francisco Bay, in an area called North Bayshore, and turn it into a titanic human terrarium.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on May 14, 2015 - 52 comments

I'd just need to exercise more, and hide my shell-cordovan boots

A Silicon Valley Community of Excellence Has Bunk Openings. "Educate. Liberate. Disrupt." At Startup Castle.
posted by wonton endangerment on May 14, 2015 - 152 comments

Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins

"The plaintiff, Ellen Pao, had accused the firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, of discriminating against her in the course of her employment and eventual dismissal. The decision handed Kleiner a sweeping victory in a case that had mesmerized Silicon Valley with its salacious details while simultaneously amplifying concerns about the lack of diversity in the technology industry." Pao is now the CEO Reddit - Relevant Reddit thread.
posted by marienbad on Mar 28, 2015 - 52 comments

How Silicon Valley (WANTS to) Shape(s) Our Future

These are the high priests of technocratic capitalism... [more inside]
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man on Mar 11, 2015 - 128 comments

Kathy Sierra draws parallels between skater culture and Silicon Valley

Kathy Sierra talks about the myth of meritocracy in tech and how skater culture broke her heart. You might know Sierra as the unfortunate victim of mega-troll weev, but her concise and touching analysis of her years as a promising skater shows an entirely new side of her.
posted by averysmallcat on Feb 27, 2015 - 29 comments

One Last Ride

How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley​ (Laura Hudson at Wired): ​
"​Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episo​​de revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.

​"​If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting ​​sold to new owners."
[more inside] posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 25, 2015 - 37 comments

GMaps @ 10

Google Maps recently turned 10. Ten Years of Google Maps, From Slashdot to Ground Truth
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 12, 2015 - 51 comments

insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope

"Instead, most current systems, almost without fail, do the opposite. Moderators responsible for content and complaints, regardless of gender, are making decisions based not just on the information they are reviewing, but on the way in which the information flows – linear, acontextual and isolated from other incidents. They are reliant, despite their best efforts, on technical systems that provide insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope. In addition, they lack specific training in trauma (their own or users) and in understanding gender-based violence. " -- "Silicon Valley sexism: why it matters that the internet is made by men, for men", by Soraya Chemaly, The New Statesman
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 9, 2015 - 25 comments

Je Suis Newsweek?*

The 5000 word cover story on "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women" in Newsweek is getting a lot of attention, but mostly for the illustration on the cover, which very simply (or simplistically) depicts high-tech sexism, and which writers like Rachel Sklar and Alexia Tsotsis consider to be sexist itself.
Responding to Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast**, article author Nina Burleigh says "It’s provocative because it quite powerfully and accurately depicts the disgusting behavior and attitudes toward women that dozens of women in tech described to me and that tens of thousands more must navigate on a daily basis, to the detriment of their professional advancement." [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 30, 2015 - 73 comments

"Basketball would be bad enough. But hoops?"

Article: Hiring is Broken [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 27, 2015 - 52 comments

Why I Am Not a Maker

There’s a widespread idea that “People who make things are simply different [read: better] than those who don’t.” [...] It’s not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). The problem is the idea that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it’s almost always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products. [more inside]
posted by haltingproblemsolved on Jan 24, 2015 - 116 comments

East of Palo Alto’s Eden

A history of East Palo Alto (SLTechCrunch) "a story of how two neighboring communities [Palo Alto and EPA] followed entirely different trajectories in post-war California — one of enormous wealth and power, and the other of resilience amid deprivation"
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Jan 10, 2015 - 19 comments

A makers gotta make, make, make, make, make

"It’s all about burn rate / Bout burn rate / slow spending" -- This years holiday video from First Round Capital, the venture capital firm that convinces dozens of its entrepreneurs to participate in parodies of the past year’s most popular songs.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 18, 2014 - 5 comments

...they’d look into "your personal lives, your families"

Ben Smith of Buzzfeed reports: Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Nov 18, 2014 - 242 comments

The other side of diversity

Here I’ll try to highlight how it has affected me, as I grew from a young black lady to a black woman in the predominantly white male tech industry.
posted by forza on Nov 5, 2014 - 15 comments

tech punditry: stage-managed gobbledygook with an undercurrent of sexism

The Dads of Tech – by Astra Taylor and Joanne McNeil, The Baffler
"The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house," Audre Lorde famously said, but let Clay Shirky mansplain. It "always struck me as a strange observation — even the metaphor isn't true," the tech consultant and bestselling author said at the New Yorker Festival last autumn in a debate with the novelist Jonathan Franzen. "Get ahold of the master’s hammer," and you can dismantle anything. Just consider all the people "flipping on the 'I'm gay' light on Facebook" to signal their support for marriage equality — there, Shirky declared, is a prime example of the master’s tools put to good use.

"Shirky invented the Internet and Franzen wants to shut it down," panel moderator Henry Finder mused with an air of sophisticated hyperbole. Finder said he was merely paraphrasing a festival attendee he'd overheard outside — and joked that for once in his New Yorker editing career, he didn't need fact-checkers to determine whether the story was true. He then announced with a wink that it was "maybe a little true." Heh.
[more inside] posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 4, 2014 - 41 comments

When a drag club dies in San Francisco, a classy cocktail joint is born.

Queens vs. the Machine - a look at nearly two centuries of drag culture in San Francisco and how it survives in today's tech economy.
posted by psoas on Oct 25, 2014 - 5 comments

Meet the "suitsy"

S.F. inventor hopes to dress for success with 1-piece suit
Local developer Jesse Herzog has solved a problem most of us didn’t know we had. It’s kind of a trend with him. Simply put, Herzog has created an alternative to the tired old hoodie-and-jeans look that permeates the lofts and startups of San Francisco techie culture. It is — wait for it — the "suitsy." The suitsy is a pair of dress pants, a nice white shirt and jacket ... all sewn together. You step into it like a pair of mechanic’s coveralls, zip up the hidden zipper, and voila — you’re dressed for success.

You know how people say it’s a fine line between genius and crazy?
posted by Lexica on Sep 25, 2014 - 208 comments

"the first service layer on the shared economy"

Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas : The winner of this year's TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Award is Alfred Club, basically "Uber for servants"
posted by gwint on Sep 16, 2014 - 203 comments

An Indian Woman Engineer from Bangalore post

What India Can Teach Silicon Valley About Its Gender Problem [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 16, 2014 - 28 comments

Hello my lovely Sloggers!

"Using contractors it calls "brand ambassadors," Uber requests rides from Lyft and other competitors, recruits their drivers, and takes multiple precautions to avoid detection. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets. Uber calls the program "SLOG," and it’s a previously unreported aspect of the company’s ruthless efforts to undermine its competitors."
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 27, 2014 - 94 comments

Email, the "cockroach of the internet" (that's a compliment)

Email is still the best thing on the internet
Getting an email address was once a nerdy right of passage for Gen-Xers arriving on college campuses. Now, the kids are waging a war of indifference on poor old email, culling the weak and infirm old-people technology. One American professor maintained that, to his students, "e-mail was as antiquated as the spellings 'chuse' and 'musick' in the works by Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards." The vice-chancellor of Exeter University claimed, "There is no point in emailing students any more." The youth appear to think there are better, faster, more exciting ways to communicate than stupid email.

Yet, despite all the prognosticators predicting it will—choose the violence level of your metaphor—go out of style, be put out to pasture, or taken out back and shot, email grinds on.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 23, 2014 - 140 comments

Armoring Up: Surviving Sexism As A Female Founder

Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking. After much persuading, she agreed to write about her experiences but asked that I omit her name, for several reasons. First (again, as she writes), the startup community is a small one, and founders rely heavily on social capital and goodwill to navigate it. Speaking up carries big risks. But fear of retribution wasn’t her only concern. While putting an individual human face on an issue, it can also be a way for critics to short circuit the discussion by engaging in ad hominem attacks. ”I don’t want it to be about me, but about the issue at hand,” the author says. “When we get into a witch hunt around particular personalities, we lose sight of the problem we should be tackling.
Read on to learn more about that problem.
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 8, 2014 - 71 comments

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