Odds and Ends 

In venture capital, its still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting. But the proliferation of unicorns begs raises certain questions. Is this new breed of unicorn artificially created? Could these magical companies see their valuations slip and fall out of the herd? Does this indicate an irrational exuberance…

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Odds and Ends 

A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Times this weekend sheds new light on the apparent targeting of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years ago. It comes in the wake of the confirmed death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi had long been a target of a Saudi troll army, according to the report, which employed hundreds of people to stifle the speech of government critics, like Khashoggi, who left the kingdom to live and…

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Headlines 

Salesforce CEO: tech billionaires ‘hoard their money’ and won’t help homeless

In Guardian interview, Marc Benioff calls out Twitters Jack Dorsey and others for failing to give back to city where they got rich Marc Benioff, the Salesforce CEO, has escalated his attacks on fellow San Francisco billionaires, saying they are hoarding money and dont want to help the homeless. In an interview with the Guardian on Tuesday, the tech entrepreneur intensified his efforts to call out ultra-wealthy business leaders has caused divides in the tech industry, which has typically been resistance to taxes that could income inequality. The CEOs unusual…

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Headlines 

Will Others Follow Microsoft’s Lead on Paid Parental Leave?

An objectively good thing happened in big tech Thursday: Microsoft said it will require companies that supply it with subcontractors—think cafeteria and custodial staff—to give those workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave. In doing so, Microsoft is once again taking the lead in ensuring contractors get benefits that other big companies reserve for full-time employees. Back in 2015, Microsoft began requiring its suppliers to give their employees 15 days of paid vacation and sick leave annually. That prompted other tech companies like Facebook to follow suit. Labor advocates hope…

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Headlines 

KSI v Logan Paul:was the YouTubers’ fight more than just hype?

The pairs boxing bout on Saturday drew a global audience of two million. For a fanbase used to fake online beef, it was a welcome next step To understand why millions of people watched two YouTubers duke it out in the Manchester Arena this weekend, you have to remember one thing: it had very little to do with boxing. KSI, real name Olajide William JJ Olatunji, and Logan Paul are better known for their antics online than they are for their boxing prowess. Yet, after months of online feuding, they…

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Headlines 

Why Prada Can Charge $1,700 for Bananas on Your Shirt

return of its early-2000s saddle bag line by asking style bloggers from around the world to post snaps of the satchel on Instagram at the same time. In September, Versace showed a “tribute” collection with updated versions of founder Gianni’s most memorable looks, closing the show with a reunion of 1990s models including Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and former French first lady Carla Bruni. Prada also isn’t the only brand doing ugly anymore. From crystal-studded platform Crocs and clunky sneakers at Kering’s Balenciaga to thigh-high Ugg boots at Y/Project to…

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Headlines 

What is QAnon? Explaining the bizarre rightwing conspiracy theory

The sprawling internet theory, beloved by Trump supporters, has ensnared everyone from Tom Hanks to Hillary Clinton If you happened to be watching YouTube videos on Monday morning and were struck by an urge to check in on one of Americas most beloved movie stars, you were likely in for a nasty surprise. Sarah Ruth Ashcraft says Tom Hanks is a pedophile, read the title of the top video search result for the actors name. Tom Hanks Alleged Sex Slave Speaks Out, read another top search result. Indeed, the top…

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Headlines 

Democracy at risk due to fake news and data misuse, MPs conclude

Parliamentary inquiry to demand urgent action to combat relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views Democracy is at risk unless the government and regulators take urgent action to combat a growing crisis of data manipulation, disinformation and so-called fake news, a parliamentary committee is expected to say. In damning conclusions to a report leaked by former Vote Leave campaign strategist Dominic Cummings before its official publication on Sunday, the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee in a post on his personal blog, saying that it had been leaked to him. Cummings,…

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Odds and Ends 

Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it needs to be to be considered a world-class service. Maps needs fixing. Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps. It’s doing this by using first-party data…

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Headlines 

The AirlinePropeller Era Is Coming to an End

A chapter of U.S. air travel came to a quiet end on July 4 when the final turboprop flight at American Airlines Group Inc. landed on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at dusk. American regional carrier Piedmont Airlines was the final operator of turboprops among the Big Three U.S. carriers and their affiliates, an era that stretched back to the first flights by Delta Air Lines Inc. and United in 1928. American’s initial commercial service in June 1936 used a Douglas DC-3.  United ended its prop flying May 31, with the last service in…

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Headlines 

Apple, Samsung Declare Peace in Biggest Modern Tech Patent Fight

The biggest patent battle of the modern technology world has finally come to an end after seven years. Samsung Electronics Co. told a judge Wednesday they’d resolved the first filed but last remaining of the legal disputes that once spanned four continents. The string of lawsuits jihadist.” The ensuing litigation cost each company hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees, and tested their reputations as innovators. ‘Sumo Wrestlers’ “The sumo wrestlers have tired of the wrestling match,” said Paul Berghoff, a patent lawyer with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff…

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Headlines 

Crypto Collapse Spreads WithHundreds of Coins Plungingin Value

The meltdown in Bitcoin is weighing on more than the biggest cryptocurrency. Over 80 percent of 1,586 digital coins Finder.com tracks in a weekly survey decreased in price in the past seven days. The tokens fell 19 percent on average, Finder.com found in the week ended June 25. Trading volume dropped as well, declining by 6 percent from the previous week, Finder.com said. Bitcoin, Tether, Ether, EOS and Bitcoin Cash were the top five traded cryptocurrencies. Volume was half of what it was at the end of April, when Finder.com…

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Headlines 

First Marijuana-Based Medicine Is Approved for Sale in U.S.

The first-ever medical treatment derived from a marijuana plant will hit the U.S. market in a few months after regulators on Monday gave the epilepsy treatment the green light. The Food and Drug Administration approved Photographer: Kathy Young/AP Epilepsy patients and doctors have long had interest in marijuana’s therapeutic potential. The approval marks the first time patients will have access in the U.S. to a cannabis-derived drug that has undergone a safety and efficacy review by the FDA. “The same principles around any prescription medication can now be applied to…

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Headlines 

When It Comes to Tipping, Millennials Are Cheapest

U.S. millennials are quick to whip out their wallets for pricey avocado toast and craft beer. But when it comes to rewarding the waiters and bartenders who serve them, those wallets often stay closed. Ten percent of millennials don’t tip at all when dining out compared with only three percent among the older generations, according to a The study was conducted for CreditCards.com by market-research firm GfK, which gathered data last month from 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older. Millennials were defined as between the ages of 18 and 37. Beyond those poor…

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Headlines 

Why Apples AirPower Wireless Charger Is Taking So Long to Make

When Energous Corp., which is developing a wireless-charging system called WattUp, fell 4.3 percent on Thursday. The company has said it’s working with tier 1 device makers, sparking speculation that Apple is a partner. However, the iPhone maker is using a mix of its own chip and wireless technology from the Qi standard. Apple plans to produce the charger with

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