Connect with us

Techcrunch

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan respond to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative scientists’ open letter on Trump

Avatar

Published

on

Mark Zuckberg and Priscilla Chan have penned a response to an open letter sent last week by a group of over 140 scientists who are working on projects funded by the Chan Zuckberberg Initiative. The letter, included in full below, expressed concerns about how Facebook manages misinformation and harmful, offensive and discriminatory language toward specific groups of people — and specifically around its treatment of Trump’s offensive, racist and dangerous rants.

The response from Chan and Zuckerberg thanks the scientists for expressing their concerns, and says specifically that both are “personally […] deeply shaken and disgusted by President Trump’s divisive and incendiary rhetoric,” and it also acknowledges that despite CZI and Facebook existing as wholly separate entities, they obviously share a common leader in Zuckerberg.

The letter goes on to point to some of the recent blog posts and resources that Facebook has published regarding its chosen position, as well as what it will be doing to review its existing policies around its products as they pertain to racial issues and social justice.

The response from CZI’s top leaders does say that Facebook’s policies are not its own, however, and goes on to suggest that from its perspective, it will be committing to doing more around addressing racial inequities and injustice.

Ultimately, the letter from Chan and Zuckerberg doesn’t say very much of substance, and if anything actually re-emphasizes the problem at the core of the letter from the concerned scientists to begin with. It notes the contradiction in having the entities remain separate in terms of elements of their guiding principles while led by a common individual, but doesn’t directly address the main ask of the scientists, which is that Zuckerberg use his position at Facebook to wield the power of that platform for greater social good, not that the CZI change its behavior necessarily.

This is bound to be a recurring tension for CZI and Facebook going forward, given the relative positions and participants in each. It’s unlikely that responses like this one will do much to quell any long-term concerns on the part of CZI researchers and academics.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/06/12/mark-zuckerberg-and-priscilla-chan-respond-to-chan-zuckerberg-initiative-scientists-open-letter-on-trump/

Techcrunch

Political strategist turned tech investor Bradley Tusk on SPACs as a tool for VCs

Avatar

Published

on

Bradley Tusk has become known in recent years for being involved in what’s about to get hot, from his early days advising Uber, to writing one of the first checks to the insurance startup Lemonade, to pushing forward the idea that we should be using the smart devices in our pockets to vote.

Indeed, because he’s often at the vanguard, it wasn’t hugely surprising when Tusk, like a growing number of other investors, formed a $300 million SPAC or special acquisition company, one that he and a partner plan to use to target a business in the leisure, gaming, or hospitality industry, according to a regulatory filing.

Because Tusk — a former political operative who ran the successful third mayoral campaign for Mike Bloomberg —  seems adept at seeing around corners, we called him up late last week to ask whether SPACs are here to stay, how a Biden administration might impact the startup investing landscape, and how worried (or not) big tech should be about this election. You can hear the full conversation here. Owing to length, we are featuring solely the part of our conversation that centered on SPACs.

TC: Lemonade went public this summer and its shares, priced at $29, now trade at $70. 

BT: They are down today last I checked. When you only check once in a blue moon, you’re like, ‘Hey, look at how great this is,’ whereas if, like me, you check me every day, you’re like, ‘It lost 4%, where’s my money?’

We got really lucky; Lemonade was our second deal that we did out of our first fund, and the fact that it IPO’d within four years of the company’s founding is pretty amazing.

TC: Is it amazing? I wonder what it says about the common complaint that the traditional IPO process is bad — is it just an excuse?

BT: [CEO] Daniel Schrieber was very clear that he and [cofounder] Shai Wininger had a strategy from day one to go public as quickly as they possibly could, because in his view, an IPO is supposed to represent kind of the the beginning. It’s the ‘Okay, we’ve proven that there’s product market fit, we’ve proven that there’s customer demand; now let’s see what we can really do with this thing.’ And it’s supposed to be about hope and promise and future and excitement. And if you’ve been a private company for 10 years, and you’re worth tens of billions of dollars and your growth is already starting to flatten out a little bit, it’s just much less exciting for public investors.

The question now for everyone in our business is what happens with Airbnb in a few weeks or whenever they are [staging an IPO]. Will that pixie dust be there, or will they have been around so long that the market is kind of indifferent?

TC: Is that why we’re seeing so many SPACs? Some of that pixie dust is gone. No one knows when the IPO window might shut. Let’s get some of these companies out into the public market while we still can?

BT: No, I don’t I don’t think so. I think SPACs have become a way to raise a lot of money very quickly. It took me two years to raise $37 million for my first venture fund, and three months was the entire process for me to raise $300 million for my SPAC. So it’s a mechanism that is highly efficient and right now is so popular with public market investors that there is just a lot of opportunity, and people are grabbing it. In fact, now you’re hearing about people who are planning SPACs having to pull [them] back because there’s a ton of competition right now.

At the end of the day, the fundamentals still rule. If you take a really bad company public through a SPAC, maybe the excitement of the SPAC gets you an early pop. But if the company has neither good unit economics nor high growth, there’s no real reason to believe it will be successful. And especially for the people in the SPAC, where they have to hold on to it for a little while, by the time the lockup ends, the world has probably figured out that this is not the greatest IPO of all time. You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

TC: You say you raised the SPAC very quickly. How is the investor profile different than that of a typical venture fund investor?

BT:  The investors for this SPAC — at least when I did the roadshow, and I think I did 28 meetings over a couple of days — is mainly hedge funds and people who don’t really invest in venture at all, so there was no overlap between my [venture fund] LP base and the people who invested in our SPAC that I’m aware of. These are public market investors who are used to moving very quickly. There’s a lot more liquidity in a SPAC. We have two years to acquire something, but ultimately, it’s a public property, so investors can come in and out as they see fit.

TC: So it’s mostly hedge funds that are getting paid management fees to deploy their capital in this comparatively safe way and that are getting interest on the money invested, too, while it’s sitting around in a trust while [the SPAC managers] look for a target company.

BT: Why it kind of does make sense for [them to back] VCs is they are basically making the bet to say: does this person running the SPAC have enough deal flow, enough of a public profile, enough going on that they are going to come across the right target? And venture investors in many ways fit that profile because we just look at so many companies before deploying capital.

TC: Do you have to demonstrate some kind of public markets expertise in order to convince some of these investors that you know what it takes to take a company public and grow it in the public markets?

BT: I guess. We raised the money, so I guess I passed the test. But I did spend a little under two years on Wall Street; I created the lottery privatization group of Lehman Brothers. And my partner [in the SPAC], Christian Goode, has a lot of experience with big gaming companies. But overall, I think that if you are a venture investor with a ton of deal flow and a good track record but very little or no public market experience, I don’t know that that would disqualify you from being able to rate a SPAC.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/what-bradley-tusk-sees-coming/

Continue Reading

Techcrunch

Watch GM unveil the $80,000 GMC Hummer EV right here

Avatar

Published

on

GM just took the wraps off the Hummer EV and it looks great. The vehicle is coming to dealers in 2022, with pre-orders starting in 2021. You can watch the unveiling here.

The vehicle is detailed here. With 1,000 HP, 350 mile range, and autonomous drive modes, it’s an impressive vehicle though still significantly more than Tesla said the Cybertruck will cost.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/watch-gm-unveil-the-80000-gmc-hummer-ev-right-here/

Continue Reading

Gaming

AOC aims to get out the vote by streaming Among Us with pokimane and HasanAbi

Avatar

Published

on

We are about seven months into a pandemic and just two weeks from a presidential election. At this point, surprises are a dime a dozen. So it should feel very 2020 that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about to stream Among Us, the hit game of 2020, on Twitch alongside mega-streamer pokimane and political analyst HasanAbi.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted yesterday that she was looking for people to play the popular game with in an effort to get out the vote, noting that she’s never played before but that it looks fun.

Streamer pokimane, who has 6 million followers on Twitch and whose YouTube videos regularly see more than 1 million views each, responded to the tweet with a figurative raised hand.

HasanAbi, a very popular political commentator on Twitch, who has more than 380,000 Twitter followers, also chimed in to the conversation saying that they’re already making a lobby. It wasn’t long before Rep. Ilhan Omar raised her hand, too.

A good game of Among Us (imagine that someone mixed a fairly basic multiplayer video game with a murder mystery party) usually requires 10 players, so the other six players are still TBD. But the Verge reports that a handful of other streamers (such as DrLupo, Felicia Day, Greg Miller, James Charles, and Neekolul) also lined up to play with AOC.

According to Ocasio-Cortez, the stream is all about getting out the vote. And this isn’t the first time that she’s used video games to connect with her followers. AOC opened up her DMs to all 6.8 million of her followers back in May to let them send her an invite to their island, and she visited them.

Millennial voters (and Gen Z) skew toward backing the Biden / Harris ticket, and AOC is coming to them by getting on Twitch and streaming one of the rocket ship games of this year.

The stream starts at 9pm ET/6pm PT and can be found here.

And you can check if you’re registered to vote here.

Update 9:01pm ET: AOC hasn’t even started playing the game yet and has nearly 250,000 concurrent viewers. 

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/aoc-aims-to-get-out-the-vote-by-streaming-among-us-with-pokimane-and-hasanabi/

Continue Reading
Energy3 hours ago

Global Electrical SCADA Market Report 2020: Developments in IoT Technology and Cloud Computing has Increased Growth

Energy3 hours ago

Global $855 Billion Bio-Refinery Product Market to 2026 with Neste Oil, Renewable Energy, Pacific Ethanol, UOP, Abengoa Bioenergy, and Valero Energy Dominating

Energy4 hours ago

U.S. Chemical Production Expanded In September

Energy4 hours ago

$9.8 Billion Worldwide Thermal Spray Coatings Industry to 2027 – Impact of COVID-19 on the Market

Energy4 hours ago

Valisure Expands Testing Capabilities With The Addition Of Elemental Analysis

AR/VR5 hours ago

Somnium Space’s Next Updates to Add Buildable Worlds, Web Access & More

AI5 hours ago

Beyond Limits and The Carnrite Group Create Alliance to Drive AI Innovation in Oil & Gas, Utilities, Power and Industrial Sectors.

Esports5 hours ago

BIG, OG, fnatic round out Flashpoint 2 team list

Crowdfunding5 hours ago

Earn $10,249 a Year in FREE “Crypto Income”

Energy6 hours ago

Ball Corporation and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment Announce Global Partnership to Advance Sustainability in Sports and Entertainment Through Aluminum Beverage Packaging, Improved Recycling Programs and Consumer Education

Energy6 hours ago

St. James Gold Announces Private Placement

Energy6 hours ago

Worldwide Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Industry to 2027 – Featuring SUEZ, Ecolab & DuPont Among Others

Energy6 hours ago

Automotive Refinish Coatings Market Size Worth USD 11.69 Billion by 2027 | CAGR of 3.7%: Emergen Research

AR/VR6 hours ago

Captain Toonhead vs the Punks from Outer Space Unleashes FPS Tower Defense in 2021

Germany
Esports7 hours ago

Vitality take down BIG to set up clash against Astralis in DH Open Fall

Energy9 hours ago

Dorian LPG Ltd Provides Update for the Second Quarter 2021 and Announces Second Quarter 2021 Earnings and Conference Call Date

Energy9 hours ago

SK Innovation Declares Ambition to ‘Lead the Efforts for Battery Safety, Charging Speed and Driving Range’ at InterBattery 2020

Energy9 hours ago

Canada Nickel Makes Third New Discovery at Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulphide Project

Energy9 hours ago

AEP Reports Strong Third-Quarter 2020 Earnings

Blockchain12 hours ago

Eyeing EU Banks, Hex Trust Teams With SIA on Crypto Custody

Blockchain13 hours ago

Collider Labs Raises $1M to Invest in Blockchain Startups

Blockchain14 hours ago

Voyager Agrees to Buy LGO Markets and Merge 2 Firms’ Tokens

Cyber Security20 hours ago

Business Enablement By Way Of The BISO

Ecommerce20 hours ago

Turing Pi 2 – compact edge clusters with 32 GB RAM and new Raspberry…

Ecommerce20 hours ago

The Top eCommerce Companies in October, According to eCommerce…

Ecommerce20 hours ago

Footwear Manufacturer Otabo Steps Up Digital Strategy with Centric…

Ecommerce20 hours ago

Cloud Sales Veterans Release Essential Read for B2B Salespeople

Ecommerce20 hours ago

LaserShip Announces Its Time Of Need Philanthropic Program

Indonesia
Esports21 hours ago

Gen.G in talks with Liazz – Report

Esports23 hours ago

cogu joins MIBR as manager and coach

Energy23 hours ago

Strategic Resources Files Mustavaara Technical Report

Energy23 hours ago

Ur-Energy Announces Extension of State Bond Loan and Provides Update

Energy23 hours ago

Pettit Marine Paint Develops the Most Effective Anti-fouling Paint to Hit the Market in Many Years – ODYSSEY® TRITON

Energy23 hours ago

Core Lab Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results From Continuing Operations:

Blockchain23 hours ago

Pelosi, Kudlow Signal Market-Moving US Stimulus May Wait Till After Election: Report

Energy23 hours ago

A Difference-Making Disinfectant

Blockchain24 hours ago

Market Wrap: PayPal Powers Bitcoin Past $12.8K as Ether Dominance Drops

Automotive1 day ago

How Car Tires Are Manufactured

Medical Devices1 day ago

5 Real World Applications of the Doppler Effect

Big Data1 day ago

Join Hands with Instagram’s New Algorithm to Boost Your Business’s User Engagement

Trending