Silicon Valley Watcher (Saturday Post)

2015
May
10,
2015
| 05:34 PM America/Los_Angeles
Just over ten years ago I jumped from one of the best jobs in my profession, Technology Correspondent at the Financial Times, into the curious world of "blogging."I had no idea what I was doing, how I would make rent or what "blogging" was, and how i...
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January
25,
2015
| 01:05 PM America/Los_Angeles
[A Saturday Post... The future is already here — it just needs some connecting dots...]If we take our technologies of personalization and predictive business analytics to their ultimate conclusion, in the future we won't need marketing or consumers. ...
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2014
November
22,
2014
| 08:19 PM America/Los_Angeles
The Facebook campus sits next to colorful algae on salt flats along San Francisco Bay.Ten years ago in mid 2004 I left the Financial Times and started publishing Silicon Valley Watcher. Silicon Valley was starting to wake from a long downturn from th...
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July
21,
2014
| 01:18 PM America/Los_Angeles
SF historian Gary Kamiya signing a copy of his book "Cool Gray City of Love."San Francisco's transformation into a bedroom community for Silicon Valley's business parks is a huge mistake because tech companies should be exposing their people to the c...
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July
19,
2014
| 11:11 AM America/Los_Angeles
The media industry, including digital media companies, is breathtakingly silent on the issue of advertising fraud.What other industry would sit quietly while being robbed in broad daylight on such a massive scale? As huge as $6 billion to an astoundi...
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June
06,
2014
| 03:02 PM America/Los_Angeles
The huge challenge facing media companies as readers shift to mobile platforms, is far worse than is generally known. Say Media, an online publisher and advertising network based in San Francisco, last year reported that mobile ads generate just one-...
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April
04,
2014
| 03:09 PM America/Los_Angeles
“Every company is a media company,” which is why there is a deluge of content marketing as companies struggle to produce media and build an audience.A new media publication typically budgets at least two years to develop a solid readership and it wil...
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March
21,
2014
| 12:17 PM America/Los_Angeles
The media industry has been dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world and forced to adopt new media technologies and drastically overhaul its operations.The successful new media model is a combination of three components: professional media...
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March
11,
2014
| 08:56 AM America/Los_Angeles
The BBC recently asked permission to use this story as a case study for an upcoming programme, Silicon Valley Watcher's discovery of the identity of LonelyGirl15.At the end of the summer of 2006 we had the biggest story in the US: Silicon Valley Watc...
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January
24,
2014
| 12:46 PM America/Los_Angeles
San Francisco is different from Silicon Valley in very important ways: it has always produced great media content — and the city itself is great content —  starring in movies, photos, books, and songs. It inspires creativity.Silicon Valley produces t...
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January
24,
2014
| 12:06 PM America/Los_Angeles
The protests over the giant corporate buses that cruise menacingly around San Francisco’s streets is not really about the buses. It’s a culture war: SF culture clashing with corporate culture.The conformity of Silicon Valley’s corporate culture is po...
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January
23,
2014
| 12:13 PM America/Los_Angeles
 The tower of the copper-clad de Young museum in Golden Gate park.San Francisco has been at the epicenter of more than just earthquakes, it has a long tradition of being at the forefront of the media industry stretching back to the gold rush.It’s whe...
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2013
December
27,
2013
| 04:39 PM America/Los_Angeles
Over at Quartz, Christopher Mims reports that 2013 was a lost year for tech:2013 was an embarrassment for the entire tech industry and the engine that powers it—Silicon Valley. Innovation was replaced by financial engineering, mergers and acquisition...
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November
23,
2013
| 12:47 PM America/Los_Angeles
Headlines like the one above from a Reuters story anger regular tax payers in the US, UK, France and frankly, everywhere.  They use legal loopholes and international transactions to weave a complex web of tax avoidance.Google Chairman Eric Schmidt fl...
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October
04,
2013
| 03:25 PM America/Los_Angeles
Credit: San Jose MercuryI had a great conversation with photographer  Charles DiLisio (above), who is a man with a mission: photographing, and tracking down old photos of some of Silicon Valley's most important historical buildings for a project he c...
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September
28,
2013
| 04:32 PM America/Los_Angeles
Data Scientist Hilary Mason on a GE Software panel.The excitement about "Big Data" in tech circles is very optimistic and many companies are rushing to hire "Data Scientists" to profit from the explosion of hype about the reams of data collected insi...
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September
11,
2013
| 11:44 AM America/Los_Angeles
I've recently been asking people a simple question at parties: "What have you bought lately that was marketed to you online that you probably wouldn't have bought anyway, like a favorite brand of jeans, etc.?"People smile, some of them giggle at the ...
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July
27,
2013
| 11:36 PM America/Los_Angeles
 It was great to catch up with Aarti Shah from The Holmes Report, and Matthew Greeley, CEO of BrightIdea. Matt had a great take on 3D printers. He pointed out that when the time between thinking something up, and then physically having it - shrinks t...
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July
26,
2013
| 09:32 AM America/Los_Angeles
From left: Loren Feldman with Mike Arrington, Loic LeMeur, and Robert Scoble during happier times - photo by Loic LeMeur."#SoMe" is video maker Loren Feldman's long, funny, witty, insightful, and beautifully melancholic movie, recalling a time when s...
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July
17,
2013
| 03:26 PM America/Los_Angeles
Competition for software engineers is incredibly intense and Silicon Valley firms are pulling out all the stops to recruit and retain top talent. A great software engineer is a very scalable asset.Every company can offer perks of free food and high s...
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July
13,
2013
| 11:01 PM America/Los_Angeles
"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society;and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies,to secret oaths and secret proceedings..."- - -"…there is very grave danger that an announced need for inc...
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June
29,
2013
| 06:35 PM America/Los_Angeles
There's a saying in journalism, that if you want to get to the truth of a story, "follow the money."The flow of money says much more about the truth of any action in this world than anything else.  Snooping on emails, phone calls, Facebook friend net...
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June
28,
2013
| 04:21 PM America/Los_Angeles
(Steve Blank, left, next to Deborah Magid, Chair of SVForum, and Ray Kurzweil, at Visionary Awards press conference.) One of my high points of the year is attending the SVForum Visionary Awards because it's a chance to spend time with some of Silicon...
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June
26,
2013
| 02:11 PM America/Los_Angeles
We will have Big Brother because we can: Surveillance systems both government run and commercial are powerful and cheap, and are getting cheaper and more powerful at an exponential rate. This relentless doubling of computer chip capabilities every 18...
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May
04,
2013
| 05:52 PM America/Los_Angeles
I was walking along Haight Street and spotted a poster competition for the upcoming Haight Street Fair, June 9, which has always been one of the best San Francisco Street Fairs. For a long time it was organized by the wonderful Pablo Heising, a good ...
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April
27,
2013
| 11:40 AM America/Los_Angeles
Google Glass has a promissing future -- although not in the markets that Google thinks it's targetting: urban early-tech adopters -- they are a fickle bunch at best.Where Google Glass will make its mark and find a large and loyal customer base is in ...
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February
09,
2013
| 01:40 PM America/Los_Angeles
 My 2013 prediction warned of the continued fall in the value of online content which would lead to the production of ever more content as media companies tried to maintain ad revenues.You can think of it as a towering tsunami of content, or as a mas...
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February
06,
2013
| 12:53 PM America/Los_Angeles
Watch Silicon Valley on PBS. See more from American Experience.The superb American Experience documentary series on PBS finally cast its focus on Silicon Valley yesterday evening in an 82 minute program largely focused on the founders of Fairchild Se...
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February
05,
2013
| 11:42 PM America/Los_Angeles
Early this week, Hamish McKenzie attended a memorial for Aaron Swartz, the young activist who committed suicide while being prosecuted for downloading millions of academic papers.He writes:Berin Szoka, the president of the group TechFreedom, offered ...
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January
21,
2013
| 11:28 PM America/Los_Angeles
Newspapers face uncertain paths to a brighter future.The Financial Times said it would try to eliminate 35 editorial jobs through voluntary means and add 10 jobs as part of its focus on "digital" and a move away from news to "a networked business."Li...
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