NTT Group, Japan's $112 billion communications giant, unveiled ambitious plans for expansion by leveraging its strengths in global communications infrastructure, its aggressive investments in its IT services division, and in the rapid monetization of key technologies and services created by its new Silicon Valley based research center, NTT Innovation Institute.
I was the only journalist at a recent strategy briefing at NTT's research and development center in Palo Alto. The company's representatives laid out an ambitious plan to grow out its overseas business into a $20 billion annual revenues operation by the end of its 2016 fiscal year (March 2017), a 33% jump from this year's projected $15 billion.
Casey Newton in The Verge has a great story about how Uber, the San Francisco ride app startup, is trying to sabotage its rival Lyft by hiring people to call and cancel thousands of rides.
So much for the top innovator wins in Silicon Valley. These are very unethical and sleazy tactics:
CNET's reporters have published a series of articles under the title "Vexed in the City" examining the pressures on housing and community caused by the expansion of San Francisco's population of tech workers.
There are ten articles in the special report including an interview with Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce by CNET Executive Editor Charles Cooper:
Interns across Intel campuses in Arizona, California and Oregon participated in a two-day hackathon weekend, where the theme was “code for good.” Interns were tasked with creating a game that was both fun to play and taught mathematics.
Every summer, students from around the world take part in Intel’s highly sought after internship program, where students gain working experience at a major technology company and Intel taps into young, brilliant minds. It’s also an opportunity to learn about Intel through training and networking events that supplement actual project work.
Marc Canter, a leading pioneer of multimedia technologies with his work at Macromedia 25 years ago, has launched ThingFace, a startup focused on authoring mobile apps across all major platforms.
Canter says he hopes to emulate the power and popularity of authoring tools he helped develop at Macromedia, which led to an explosion of creativity in producing interactive media. At the time, CR-ROM based media titles were the only way rich interactive media could be distributed and presented on a computer. San Francisco in the late 1980s and early 1990s was at the epicenter of CDROM multimedia development and Canter was its leading figure.
Luca Penati (above), a former senior executive at Ogilvy has joined Weber Shandwick as General Manager of its San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices. He spent 9 years at Ogilvy, mostly as Global Managing Director of Ogilvy's technology practice.
The company is able to analyze a brand's YouTube channel and also identify other YouTube channels that are a good fit for the client. Its technology works exclusively with Google's TrueView metric and AdWords. Here are some notes from our conversation:
Tata Consulting Services (TCS), employing more than 300,000 IT consultants, is celebrating the sixth year of its goIT student technology awareness program, which tries to build early awareness of computing skills, on August 13th at Cherrywood Elementary School in San Jose.
The program has involved 7,000 students in Silicon Valley and in 10 additional US regions, a total of 35 school districts. Tata says that,
Some of Silicon Valley's largest and most profitable companies are facing a serious setback in their attempt to finally settle a hugely embarrassing class action lawsuit alleging a conspiring to cap salary levels and limit job prospects for more than 64,000 tech workers.
Late Friday in San Jose, US District Judge Lucy Koh said the $324.5m settlement was too low given that the case against the plaintiffs had strengthened and that it was less than a $20m settlement paid by Lucasfilm, Intuit, and Pixar who were also part of the collusion. It would need to increase by at least $55m to $380m. The original suit asked for $3 billion in damages rising to $9bn under antitrust penalty laws.
Dan Levine at Reuters reported:
I recently received this note from Pablo at Secsign Technologies... It looks like an interesting application especially for the enterprise market where security is a never ending battle.
There's a lot of backlash out there around Silicon Valley and I think it's largely because of the hypocrisy in techies claiming to be changing the world yet they can't change anything in the very places where they live.
Silicon Valley cities and schools face the same problems and high drop out rates that others face around the nation. What's the point of communities living with tech companies if there's little benefit? Twitter demands huge tax relief in one of the poorest neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Silicon Valley's halitosis of hypocrisy stinks and it is becoming a laughing stock. Mike Judge's "Silicon Valley" on HBO is very funny — because it's very true.
Joel Stein at Businessweek comes to the defense of Silicon Valley and its predominately male techies in this month's cover story. However, he ends up reinforcing many negative perceptions of Silicon Valley rather than changing them. Here are some extracts:
Native advertising has become the poster child of content marketing as companies try to raise awareness of their brands through promotional content that looks similar to the native content of a media site.
Where is their brand as differentiator?
In another demonstration that the management of the New York Times doesn't understand the importance of its readers' trust in editorial content, it has reduced the labeling on paid editorial content.
The move is 180 degrees out of line with the findings of the largest survey of readers' attitudes to native advertising released last week by Edelman, the world's largest privately held PR company. Edelman's survey of 5,000 readers, recommended adding more labeling on native advertising, and it advised publishers to be careful because many readers said it adds no value to their experience.
Michael Sebastian at Advertising Age, writes
Eric Schmidt, Google's former CEO and current chairman, is offering his time and a cup coffee to the winner of an auction organized by CharityBuzz, which will donate the proceeds to the Rush charity for disadvantaged youth.
Schmidt "is excited to show off the $2 billion digs in Chelsea. When asked about the auction, Schmidt said, "I look forward to hosting the auction winner at Google NYC!""
Last year, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple raised $610,000 for 30 minutes of his time. Warren Buffett cost the top bidder $156,000.
But his chosen charity might be a bit disappointed with Schmidt's auction. So far, he's raised only $10.5k from 6 bids, well below a target of $50K. But there's still a few days to go before the bidding ends August 14.
His publicists are keen to point out his spontaneous generosity:
Schmidt is no stranger to giving back to great causes. Back in March he spontaneously selected 10 nonprofits to split a $1 million grant.
Forbes estimates his net worth at $9.1 billion.
Teaching media literacy means teaching how the media sausage is made. The tools are becoming so much cheaper but it doesn't mean they are within the reach of all. The Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts & Technology (BAYCAT) has been providing access to media technologies and teaching people how to create media in one of the poorest communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's an extremely valuable skill for these times.
This Thursday it celebrates its ten year anniversary at an event that will showcase its work:
Over three years in the making, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara will be the new home of the San Francisco 49ers this fall. Before the very first kickoff, Major League Soccer club San Jose Earthquakes will host Seattle Sounders FC on August 2 as the first event at the new venue.
Saturday, August 2, there was a memorial service for Berkeley-born chemist Alexander Shulgin, who died recently aged 88. Mike Power, reporting for the Guardian newspaper (above) described his work as "fearless" because
Sol Tzvi is CEO and co-founder of Genieo
Genieo, an Israeli startup developing AI software for consumers, has been acquired by Somoto, a publicly traded software company specializing in toolbars for monetizing users' web browsing.
The deal is worth $34.12 million — $20m in cash and the rest in shares. Aviv Levy, reporting on Globes,
InPowered, an online platform designed to allow brands to promote stories about their products or services across a large number of web sites, has introduced a new ranking of writers that focuses on their expertise rather than their influence.
Brands are expected to use this information as in this example of an advert: "Read the #1 Toyota Expert on the new Toyota models."
The pool of working media professionals continues to shrink wth the loss of 1,300 newsroom jobs in 2013, reports the American Society of News Editors.
Rick Edmonds at Poynter, writes: