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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Intel teases 28-hour laptop battery life. Here's what you need to know – CNET

Seriously impressive, even if caveats abound.
Source: CNET

Norwest just scored an interesting new partner: Google and Facebook alum Priti Youssef Choksi

A lot of people who’ve been working in the venture industry — even for many years — haven’t seen a true down cycle.

Somewhat ironically, Priti Youssef Choksi, a newly minted VC, knows very well what one looks like. The newest partner of the multi-stage investment firm Norwest Venture Partners has been working in tech since before the last boom and bust — and she has lessons to share about both good times and bad.

It all started in her native Mumbai (“Bombay to me!” she says). Choksi didn’t tell her parents when, as a teenager, she applied to the University of Pennsylvania to study architecture and business. “I couldn’t study both back home,” she says, somewhat sheepishly from Norwest’s glass-lined new offices in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood.

Instead of wind up at an architecture firm, she landed at Broadview Associates, an investment bank that was based in the Bay Area and advised dozens of tech companies during the go-go dot.com days — before nosediving along with the market. (In 2003, it was acquired by bigger rival Jefferies.)

By then, Choksi had already joined one of the bank’s clients, an internet marketing company called USWeb whose CEO asked her to work for him despite having no discrete job description. Looking back now, Choksi remembers the experience fondly, saying she ran strategy projects and competitive analysis of what others in the industry were doing as USWeb grew from a 200- to an 8,000-person operation. This being the dot com era, however, USWeb, which was renowned for its roll-up strategy at the time, merged with another company, which promptly went bankrupt.

Choksi again left before her employer’s demise to join a streaming media company, but alas, it wasn’t meant to last long either, either, including because broadband connections didn’t yet exist to support startup’s vision. If at this point, Choksi felt ready to throw in the towel, she doesn’t seem to recall it. Instead, she entered into a one-year program at the Kellogg School to burnish her “soft skills and negotiating skills and things you don’t have time to practice” at a startup. Then she headed right back to Silicon Valley.

Her return would begin a second chapter of sorts. In fact, like a lot of people who came to the Bay Area in the ’90s and who have stayed, Choksi’s fortunes began to turn after the detritus of the bubble’s burst began to blow away. First came a job at Google, where she stayed six years, holding roles in both strategic partnerships and, later, distribution partnerships, where she says she helped convince management to bundle the company’s search bar with other products to get it into the world more widely.

By 2009, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg — a former Google exec who’d seen Choksi’s work — was reaching out to Choksi to ask if she would help run business development at Facebook, which itself was still privately held at the time. Choksi said yes, so thoroughly enjoying the company that five years later, she moved to the “dark side, doing M&A at Facebook” for another four years.

She notes that, by then, Facebook had “moved beyond acqui-hires to doing big tech bets” but like everyone in the M&A world, she wasn’t able to strike a deal with every interesting founder she met. Eventually, her abiding fascination with compelling founders and startups led her work with a recruiter earlier this year.

At first, she imagined she would take on yet another operating role at a small but growing company. Instead, Norwest managing partner Jeff Crowe raised his hand and asked for a meeting with her. It was apparently a match from the start. Sitting in an airy conference room, Choksi says of the move that she and Crowe were and remain “just very direct with each other.” Norwest was also, somewhat incredibly, the “only venture firm that invited me to a partner-and-pitch meeting” while it was trying to lure her into the fold, she says.

Crowe certainly sees Choksi’s hire as a big win as the firm continues to build out it consumer-facing investment practice.

He volunteers that he’s particularly appreciative of Choksi’s ties to Facebook and to the many people who’ve spun out of the company to work on their own projects. But he also recognizes her ability to identify a good opportunity when she sees one and to support founders as they grow their companies. “Somebody who’s been in the industry a long time, knows a lot of people, seen a lot of technologies, and worked with entrepreneurs both inside of out of companies like Facebook — including during their awkward teenage phase?” says Crowe. “It’s pretty exciting for us.”


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook shared data with Chinese telecom Huawei, raising US government security concerns

Concerns around Facebook’s recently revealed data sharing relationship with some device makers just took a turn for the worse. The practice, first revealed over the weekend, is now confirmed to have included relationships with Chinese companies Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL, according to The New York Times. Given that the U.S. government has longstanding national security concerns over Huawei, Facebook’s newly revealed data deal with the Chinese company has raised some eyebrows in Congress.

“Concerns about Huawei aren’t new – they were widely publicized beginning in 2012, when the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a well-read report on the close relationships between the Chinese Communist Party and equipment makers like Huawei,” U.S. Senator Mark Warner said of the revelation. Warner serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The news that Facebook provided privileged access to Facebook’s API to Chinese device makers like Huawei and TCL raises legitimate concerns, and I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers.”

In that report, the House Intelligence Committee wrote that “Huawei did not fully cooperate with the investigation and was unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or Chinese Communist Party, while credible evidence exists that it fails to comply with U.S. laws” and that Huawei’s history indicated that it likely had ties to the Chinese military.

Earlier in the day, the Senate Commerce Committee addressed a letter to Facebook over the broader issue of these manufacturer relationships and questioning Facebook’s assertion that the shared data was not abused. As the New York Times reports, these relationships date back “at least 2010” — the relative dark ages of Facebook’s mobile strategy. It does not appear that ZTE had a similar agreement with Facebook.

Facebook has disputed the characterization of these relationships as a privacy scandal, emphasizing that it imposed tight restrictions on this class of device integration.

Facebook told the New York Times that while the partnerships have been ongoing for years, the company would end its relationship with Huawei by the week’s end.


Source: TechCrunch

Taser-maker Axon partners with DJI on police drone program – CNET

The partnership could bring more eyes to the sky.
Source: CNET

Elon Musk Calms Down, and More From Tesla's Shareholder Meeting

At the automaker’s annual shareholder meeting, the CEO struck a conciliatory note while providing updates on Model 3 production, Autopilot, Tesla’s Supercharger network, veganism, and more.
Source: Wired

How Kate Spade impacted admirers: 'Color, joy and friendship' – CNET

Social media users share photos of the designer’s handbags in her memory, with many calling the purchase a symbol of career accomplishment or adulthood.
Source: CNET

Jared Leto is reportedly in talks for Joker spin-off movie – CNET

No joke — Gotham’s most famous villain could get his own film from Warner Bros.
Source: CNET

Facebook reportedly gave Huawei special access to user data – CNET

The Chinese telecommunications giant has been in the US government’s crosshairs for security concerns.
Source: CNET

Instagram reportedly tinkering with longer-form video posts – CNET

The Facebook-owned app may allow video posts up to an hour long, says The Wall Street Journal.
Source: CNET

Google wants you to add your kids to its Project Fi phone service – CNET

Your kids *are* responsible, right?
Source: CNET

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