For its most promising new technology, IBM has been searching for problems to solve that are both deep and broad enough. Now, with a clinical trial in the US aimed at personalising the treatment of cancers, it might just have found one. Read more
You need a strong gut to invest in a market when it’s just suffered the kind of financial scandal that hit the Bitcoin world with the demise of Mt Gox.
But that hasn’t stopped Matt Cohler at Benchmark from leading a $20m investment round in Xapo, the latest entrant in Silicon Valley’s bid to assume a leading role in Bitcoin innovation. Read more
Bill Gates has a soft spot for Mark Zuckerberg. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that has just been published, this is what he has to say about the Facebook CEO: “We’re both Harvard dropouts, we both had strong, stubborn views of what software could do.”
And he strongly endorses Zuckerberg’s acquisition of WhatsApp: “It means that Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be the next Facebook.” Read more
Looking back at the history of the world wide web (which celebrates its 25th birthday on Wednesday) brings to mind that famous question from Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “What have the Romans ever done for us?”
Like the Judean revolutionary complaining about his Roman overlords, it’s easy to see the downside. Spam, viruses, government surveillance, loss of privacy: the negatives are hard to ignore. Read more
How much freedom will Google have to come up with new advertising formats after its anti-trust settlement with the European Commission?
That question looks like being tested sooner than you might think. The ink isn’t even dry on the settlement yet, but Google is already trying out new forms of advertising that will reveal how well the regulators have done their job. Read more
Hold the Sean Parker jokes about $1bn.
It was Justin Timberlake, playing Mr Parker in The Social Network, who delivered the famous line: “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?”
Founders Fund has just raised its first $1bn fund – but Mr Parker has now officially cut his ties with the firm. Read more
The Wall Street analysts waiting eagerly for details of Tesla Motors’ planned “Gigafactory” will have been disappointed by the cursory treatment the project got on Wednesday, as the company announced plans to raise $1.6bn.
After all, this is the massive battery-making plant that is meant to cement Tesla’s rise as the world’s first mass-market electric car maker. According to an expansive report by a Morgan Stanley analyst earlier in the week, it could also make it the dominant player in a $1,500bn market for selling energy storage devices to electric utilities. Read more
It must have been galling to Microsoft when Hewlett-Packard brought back Windows 7 “by popular demand” last month. But it reflected a reality that has been hard to ignore: the vast majority of PC users who still manipulate a mouse and tap on a keyboard have little to gain from the touch-centric tiled interface of Windows 8.
Now, Microsoft is ready to make more concessions to the keyboard-and-mouse crowd – while insisting that it is still committed to touch. Read more
Microsoft has ended its search for a new CEO. Now comes the hard part: shrugging off the PC past and grabbing a lead in the growth markets of mobile and cloud computing.
These are the four main issues Satya Nadella will have to deal with if he is to have a chance of making Microsoft as relevant to the tech industry’s future as it was to the past. Read more
Like any widely hyped online phenomenon, Moocs – massive open online courses – are facing a reality-test.
Hardly anyone who starts one of the online courses actually finishes it. But even if the formula is being rethought, the potential impact on education hasn’t diminished. Read more
For all those confused about Google’s intentions in hardware, things just got much clearer.
No, it doesn’t see itself as the next Apple. And yes, it does understand the responsibilities that come with running an ecosystem if it wants to keep allies like Samsung onside. Read more
The interests of bondholders do not usually make it very far up the list of concerns of most tech executives. Thanks to the industry’s cash mountain (as we reported in our series on corporate cash last week) it’s been more a case of how to keep restless shareholders happy.
But all of that could soon change if debt levels continue to rise at current rates, according to a report from Richard Lane at Moody’s. Read more
Silicon Valley may have tried to wash its hands of Tom Perkins over his claim that criticism of the wealthiest 1 per cent bears comparison with Nazi persecution of the Jews.
But, even as he apologised for the comment on Monday, that didn’t stop the former venture capitalist from claiming to speak for Silicon Valley as he warned of the dangers of a populist backlash against the massive wealth being created in the tech industry. Read more
Forget the formal estimates: what Wall Street was really hoping for from Apple’s latest quarter was an acceleration in growth that would blow away the “official” forecasts.
The figures released on Monday failed to impress. At 51m, the number of iPhones sold in the quarter came in 2m short of estimates, though the 26m iPads topped most estimates. Within minutes, Apple’s shares had slipped more than 5 per cent.
Read below for our coverage of the earnings report and the company’s analyst call.
Nutanix, which looks like being the next billion-dollar start-up to emerge from the revolution sweeping through data centre technology, is nothing if not bold.
That extends to a new $156m round of financing announced on Tuesday which includes a $55m slice of debt – a hefty commitment for a company that only began to generate revenue two years ago and has yet to turn cashflow positive. But Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are already jostling for prime position in a future IPO. Read more
The $3.2bn acquisition of Nest will bring a whole new class of personal data under Google’s control: information about what happens inside your home. So it’s not surprising that privacy questions are already looming large.
After five years of trying, online investment management firm Wealthfront seems to have hit on a formula that works. Its assets under management jumped nearly five-fold last year to top $500m.
Of course, this hardly counts as a drop in the bucket in an industry where huge scale really matters. Vanguard and Charles Schwab count their assets in the trillions. But it hints at a fast-growing opportunity for new online financial brands if they can hit the right formula – as online credit firm LendingClub has also proved. Read more
John McAfee has his name back. The controversial anti-virus software entrepreneur had been sharing it with Intel since 2011. But after his bizarre exploits in Belize became prime tabloid fodder more than a year ago, it seemed only a matter of time before the association went the way of history. Read more
It’s financing season for cloud storage. With Dropbox reported to be looking for another $250m and Box working towards an IPO, the company hoping to stake a claim to being the number three independent name just took in a more modest round of $34m.
Hightail – the new name of file-transfer company YouSendIt – has been in the business longer than its bigger rivals and needs to step on the gas if it wants to be a player in a market that is destined for consolidation before long. Read more
Europe may be more sensitive to breaches of online privacy, but the US has levied larger penalties when things go wrong.
The latest case in point: the $17m that Google agreed on Monday to pay to a group of US states and the District of Columbia to resolve complaints that it circumvented cookie controls in Apple’s Safari browser. According to Google’s critics, however, it is still too easy for the company to buy its way out of trouble. Read more