With great tech success, comes even greater responsibly

As we watch major tech platforms evolve over time, it’s clear that companies like Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon (among others) have created businesses that are having a huge impact on humanity — sometimes positive and other times not so much. That suggests that these platforms have to understand how people are using them and when they are trying to manipulate them or use them for nefarious purposes — or the companies themselves are. We can apply that same responsibility filter to individual technologies like artificial intelligence and indeed any advanced technologies and the impact they could possibly have on society over time. This was a running theme this week at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

The AI debate rages on

While the platform plays are clearly on the front lines of this discussion, tech icon Elon Musk repeated his concerns about AI running amok in a
Continue reading "With great tech success, comes even greater responsibly"

Robinhood hires Josh Elman as VP of product, who’ll stay at Greylock

Zero-fee stock trading app Robinhood is getting some product firepower as it dives into cryptocurrency and weighs platform aspirations. Investor Josh Elman will join Robinhood as its VP of product while remaining a partner at Greylock. With 4 million registered users, $176 million raised and a $1.3 billion valuation, the five-year-old fintech startup is shifting from a period of finding product-market fit to building a serious business. Elman’s experience with rapidly rising companies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn could help guide Robinhood toward maturity. “In January, I started talking with a few of my partners about how I want to spend the next decade of my professional life. What gets me the most energized is when I can dig in on product with a hyper-growth company. To that end, I’m joining Robinhood to lead product, where we will continue building powerful tools to give everyone broader access to
Continue reading "Robinhood hires Josh Elman as VP of product, who’ll stay at Greylock"

Elon Musk’s ‘media empire’ staffed by ex-Onion writers might be called ‘Thud!’

If you can believe anything Elon Musk tweets, then ‘Thud!’ is the name of the media venture that the multi-CEO and space person is starting up, staffed by former Onion writers he’s poached and doing something with comedy. Musk apparently wanted to buy The Onion initially, but I guess that fell through and instead he went about assembling a team of funny people with access to keyboards to do whatever he’s doing on his own. ‘Thud(!),’ I guess.

I say this all with a degree of uncertainty (including the ‘might be’ in the headline to this article) because it’s very hard to tell when Musk is joking, trolling or otherwise playing with the media since we breathlessly report almost everything he does on social media (yes I do this,

Continue reading "Elon Musk’s ‘media empire’ staffed by ex-Onion writers might be called ‘Thud!’"

Elon Musk’s ‘media empire’ staffed by ex-Onion writers might be called ‘Thud!’

If you can believe anything Elon Musk tweets, then ‘Thud!’ is the name of the media venture that the multi-CEO and space person is starting up, staffed by former Onion writers he’s poached and doing something with comedy. Musk apparently wanted to buy The Onion initially, but I guess that fell through and instead he went about assembling a team of funny people with access to keyboards to do whatever he’s doing on his own. ‘Thud(!),’ I guess.

I say this all with a degree of uncertainty (including the ‘might be’ in the headline to this article) because it’s very hard to tell when Musk is joking, trolling or otherwise playing with the media since we breathlessly report almost everything he does on social media (yes I do this,

Continue reading "Elon Musk’s ‘media empire’ staffed by ex-Onion writers might be called ‘Thud!’"

The U.S. Secretary of State was fired. On Twitter.

 President Donald Trump just fired his embattled Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, via Twitter this morning; replacing him with former Tea Party Congressman and current Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo. Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the… Read More

The U.S. secretary of state was fired. On Twitter.

President Donald Trump just fired his embattled secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, via Twitter this morning, replacing him with former Tea Party Congressman and current Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo. Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson […]

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, long a favorite in tech circles, is reportedly still under armed guard

 Shares of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding, an international investment company controlled by  Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, soared in January when he was freed after two months of being held captive at a Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Turns out investors may have celebrated too soon. As people following the story may recall, Prince Alwaleed was arrested in early November with… Read More

Some hard truths about Twitter’s health crisis

 It’s a testament to quite how control freaky and hermetically sealed to criticism the tech industry is that Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey went unscripted in front of his own brand livestreaming service this week, inviting users to lob awkward questions at him for the first time ever. Read More

Facebook has signed a deal to stream 25 afternoon MLB games

 Filed under moves that are potentially groundbreaking with big implications but with quite small numbers, Facebook has signed an exclusive deal with the MLB to stream 25 afternoon games, according to Bloomberg. The deal is a bit reminiscent of the one Twitter signed for Thursday Night Football back in 2016 to stream games that are outside of the range of primetime football (usually reserved… Read More

Jack Dorsey wants to measure how Twitter affects society

 Earlier this month, Twitter began soliciting proposals from the public to help the platform capture, measure and evaluate healthy interactions. Today, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other members of the team held a public conversation via Periscope about the company’s new initiative to measure healthy interactions on Twitter. As Twitter previously noted, the goal is to come up with metrics… Read More

My Top 25 Daily Tech Reporters

I often get asked — who are your favorite technology journalists. I don’t know how to answer that question: they are all good on any given day. Some are great at writing features. Others are just fantastic on a day-to-day basis, displaying a broad sense of understanding. Some are just a great combination of all those characteristics — and here my current top 25 favorite reporters, neatly curated as a  Twitter List of my top 25 reporters who cover technology. Why? Because they keep me informed on all aspects of the technology industry on a daily basis. They create a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the industry. I have not included subscription-only services such as The Information — I don’t subscribe. I did at one point but wasn’t reading it that much. I also excluded people who didn’t share work of other writers. These 25 people do a good job of Continue reading "My Top 25 Daily Tech Reporters"

Twitter is (finally) cracking down on bots

 Twitter is cracking down on bots after it announced changes to its API that will massively reduce the impact of services that allow links and content to be shared across multiple accounts, i.e. the software that powers Twitter bots. So that means an end to services that let those controlling large numbers of accounts to batch tweet, follow users, retweet or like tweets. Twitter will continue… Read More

Twitter is killing its Twitter for Mac desktop client

 On Friday, Twitter announced that it would abandon its lesser loved Mac app, directing users to Twitter.com instead. The company declared that it will refocus its efforts on “a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms” rather than continuing development for Twitter for Mac, a message that doesn’t sound great for TweetDeck lovers. The Twitter for Mac… Read More

UK outs extremism blocking tool and could force tech firms to use it

 The UK government’s pressure on tech giants to do more about online extremism just got weaponized. The Home Secretary has today announced a machine learning tool, developed with public money by a local AI firm, which the government says can automatically detect propaganda produced by the Islamic State terror group with “an extremely high degree of accuracy”. Read More

Equity Shot: Twitter and Snap’s surprising, synchronized social success

 Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today we’re doing another Equity Shot, a short topic-centered episode where we assemble the troops to dive into one particular thing. Or, in this case, two particular things. Matthew Lynley, myself, and Katie Roof gathered to pick over Snap and… Read More

Twitter’s fourth-quarter results: The TechCrunch Review

 Here at TechCrunch, we cover company earnings on a pretty regular basis. And we promise it’s for a good reason: The success and failure of these publicly-traded companies tends to give us at least one more data point when it comes to calibrating which technologies are exciting to investors, as well as the trajectory of those technologies. One of our favorite companies to cover,… Read More