Odds and Ends 

Why Silicon Valley needs more visas

Henrique Dubugras Photo courtesy of Flickr/jvoves While it might sound counterintuitive, immigrants create more jobs and make our economy stronger. Research from the National Foundation of American Policy (NFAP) has shown that immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies doubled their number of employees over the past two years. According to the research, “WeWork went from 1,200 to 6,000 employees between 2016 and 2018, Houzz increased from 800 to 1,800 employees the last two years, while Cloudflare went from 225 to 715 employees.” We’ve seen the same growth at Brex. In just one year…

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Odds and Ends 

Contentful raises $33.5M for its headless CMS platform

Contentful, a Berlin- and San Francisco-based startup that provides content management infrastructure for companies like Spotify, Nike, Lyft and others, today announced that it has raised a $33.5 million Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from OMERS Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules. In total, the company has now raised $78.3 million. Contentful, a Stripe for content management, raises $28M led by General Catalyst Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/06/contentful-raises-33-5m-for-its-headless-cms-platform/

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Odds and Ends 

80 Years Later

Image via simple613 on reddit In this poignant image recently shared on reddit, we see the famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in 1938 and 2018. Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate was often a site for major historical events and is today considered not only as a symbol of the tumultuous history of Europe and Germany, but also of European unity and peace. While these two images represent the strongest examples of change, you can see in this image the various symbols and events that have appeared on these gates…

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Odds and Ends 

A leaky database of SMS text messages exposed password resets and two-factor codes

A security lapse has exposed a massive database containing tens of millions of text messages, including password reset links, two-factor codes, shipping notifications and more. The exposed server belongs to Voxox (formerly Telcentris), a San Diego, Calif.-based communications company. The server wasn’t protected with a password, allowing anyone who knew where to look to peek in and snoop on a near-real-time stream of text messages. For Sébastien Kaul, a Berlin-based security researcher, it didn’t take long to find. Although Kaul found the exposed server on Shodan, a search engine for…

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Headlines 

Merkel Vows Full Probe After Van Crashed in Crowd in Muenster

German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised a full investigation after a man killed two people by driving a van into a street cafe in the western city of Muenster, then fatally shot himself on the scene. About 20 people were injured in the incident on Saturday afternoon, which recalled recent terrorist attacks using vehicles, including one on a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016 that killed 12 people. The driver was a German national and there are "no indications" he had extremist Islamic ties, Herbert Reul, the interior minister of the…

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Headlines 

Merkel Wins Fourth Term as Germanys SPD Backs Coalition

Germany’s Social Democrats voted to join Chancellor Angela Merkel’s next government, clearing the last hurdle to her fourth term and restoring a sense of political stability in Europe’s biggest economy. SPD members approved the coalition pact by a wider-than-expected margin, which may make it easier for the party to effectively govern with Merkel’s Christian Democrat-led bloc. The result, unsealed on Sunday morning, was 66 percent in favor to 34 percent against. Before the vote, SPD leaders had said they hoped for 60 percent support. The chancellor can expect to be…

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