NelsonG

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NelsonG last won the day on December 29 2012

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About NelsonG

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  • Birthday 01/15/1985

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  1. Two men had been apprehended and questioned by police View the full article
  2. Steve Jurvetson is staging a comeback, disclosing today that his new San Francisco-based, early-stage venture firm Future Ventures, has raised $200 million for its debut fund. “It’s good to be back in the saddle again,” says Jurvetson, whose career was somewhat derailed in the fall of 2017 when a former girlfriend wrote a Facebook post, accusing DFJ — the firm Jurvetson cofounded in 1985 — of “predatory behavior.” DFJ said publicly the next day that it was already investigating “indirect and secondhand allegations” about Jurvetson, and within weeks, the firm and Jurvetson apparently had enough of each other, mutually deciding that it was time to part ways. (Jurvetson, who was recently wed for the second time, has since said he poorly handled his love interests, some of which he acknowledges were extramarital.) It was surely an embarrassing chapter for Jurvetson, who’d enjoyed a pristine reputation, but notably, he didn’t lose the support of some of his former colleagues. At the time, two founders who worked previously at DJF spoke up on his behalf, crediting both Jurvetson and DFJ with “cultivating an environment where women advance professionally.” And Jurvetson has formed Future Ventures with another former apprentice who he mentored for a year at DFJ: Maryanna Saenko, who Jurvetson says is a “full partner” in the endeavor and who he characterizes as “the most talented investor I’ve ever worked with.” Certainly, they have much in common in the way of interests. Jurvetson has famously funded companies that seemed dangerously futuristic and capital intensive at the time, including Space X and Tesla. Saenko, who has two degrees from Carnegie Mellon in materials science and engineering, has long been fascinated with deep learning, space exploration, and robotics. She even helped start up Airbus Ventures before joining DFJ, where she worked with Jurvetson on deals like the “clean meat” company Memphis Meats and Orchid, a San Francisco-based startup that’s developing a a surveillance-free layer on top of the internet. They must work well together. Soon after Jurvetson left the firm, Saenko also split, spending six months at Khosla Ventures before rejoining him in November, when they began putting together a pitch deck in earnest for Future Ventures . Meetings with prospective investors soon followed. Asked about Future Ventures’s backers, Jurvetson says they are “people who know what I’m doing and want to invest in that — tech CEOs, other VCs, hedge fund [investors] — people who’ve known me for decades. I figured that was the easiest place to start.” Not that anyone is funding Jurvetson out of blind loyalty, one surmises. Future Ventures is charging 2.5 percent in management fees and 25 percent of any profits earned, above the standard “2 and 20” that many fund managers charge and more in line with the what the best-performing funds are able to secure from their investors. He seemingly has the track record for it. Future Ventures hasn’t written its first check just yet, but “the vast majority of term sheets I’ve issued [over my career] have been the only term sheet offered to the company,” claims Jurvetson. Pointing this editor to the companies he has funded over time, he adds that: “In almost every case, I was the first VC to offer a term sheet and take a board seat, and there was no one competing with me.” Among his bets that look prescient in hindsight are SpaceX and Tesla, on whose boards Jurvetson still sits. But he also holds a seat on the board of the quantum computing company D-Wave and was an early investor in Planet, the satellite company. Whether he still has the magic touch is something he’ll have to prove at Future Ventures, but the firm’s investors are giving it more time than is standard to invest the fund: 15 years instead of 10. Future Ventures will also be able to pull the trigger faster on deals than some firms because of its size, which is small by design, says Jurvetson. Though he and Saenko may eventually bring aboard a “partner-track associate,” for now, two is the right number of partners and “never more than five.” Team size is “so important,” says Jurvetson. “My favorite time was when i had a three partners” at the outset of DFJ, which he formed with investors Tim Draper and John Fisher. “You can have meetings whenever you want. You can iterate and deliberate. You want your team to be cognitively diverse but also small. Once you have more than seven people, it’s no longer a team.” As for what Future will back, Jurvetson says the future of food production remains one great area of interest, as is the proliferation of neural networks at “the edge — of your phone, your car, your security camera.” The latter, he notes, can be a “pain in the ass today, [issuing] false alarms all the time. But you can build a sensory cortex so that it becomes more intelligent and recognizes the owners of the house and doesn’t sound the alarm when it shouldn’t.” And it doesn’t need to push that information to the cloud to know it, either. Jurvetson admits that earlier in his career, he had the propensity to “fund science projects” that were not necessarily businesses that could scale. Longtime industry observers may recall, for example, Jurvetson’s early enthusiasm for nanotech. (Jurvetson was right — just too early — if you put synthetic biology in this bucket. ) But he also says that his reputation for investing early in what may sound crazy has paid off, and he’s counting on it continuing to do so. It’s why he’s a fixture at places like space conferences; they make it easier for him to reach founders who are focused on things he hasn’t necessarily heard of before. Indeed, if everything goes as planned, he says, “What I’ll be most excited about five years from now” won’t be anything that interests him right now. It will “be an industry sector that I couldn’t name for you today.” View the full article
  3. Look at the back of your car or the next car passing by. Unless it's an ultraluxury Lamborghini or something similar, you likely just saw which car company made the car (maybe a Honda) as well as which model it is (probably a Civic). Now look at the backside of a Tesla Model 3, the electric car company's newest sedan. It's almost entirely bare, save for the Tesla logo above the license plate. (The dual motor version is badged and says "Dual Motor," so there are exceptions.) Its predecessors, Models X and S, out in 2015 and 2012, respectively, didn't get this same treatment — their names were prominently displayed on the backs of the car. But when the new Model 3s first started appearing out of factories and on roads in 2017 the only clue a car was the Model 3 was a Model 3 license plate frame from the dealership. Now that the cars are more abundant, the frames are coming off, and there's little to indicate which car it is. Read more... More about Design, Tesla, Model 3, Tech, and TransportationView the full article
  4. Just days after unveiling a plan to hand out certain Oscars during commercial breaks, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided it will air every Oscars category live after all. "The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling," said the organization in a statement. "All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format." SEE ALSO: 4 categories will be cut from Oscars broadcast This news comes after a meeting between Academy leadership, including president John Bailey, and "top cinematographers," reports Variety. Read more... More about Oscars 2019, Entertainment, and Movies Tv ShowsView the full article
  5. Lies, paranoia, billions in alleged fraud, and potential jail time all hidden behind a Steve Jobs-style black turtleneck. You'd be forgiven for thinking the latest documentary from HBO, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, was more fiction that fact. But the film, which promises to chronicle the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her failed blood-testing company Theranos, is very much the latter. The documentary premieres March 18 on HBO, and, if the intense trailer that dropped is any indication, is going to pack quite the punch. Get your popcorn ready. Read more... More about Hbo, Trailers, Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and Tech View the full article
  6. Google and Apple are under pressure from human rights groups and a U.S. senator to remove from their stores an app called Absher. The app was created by the Saudi government and includes a feature that helps men monitor and control women who are under their guardianship, including wives and unmarried daughters. Saudi men have this right thanks to the country's oppressive guardianship laws, which mandate every woman has a male guardian to make critical life decisions on her behalf. That guardian can be a father, brother, husband, or son, according to Human Rights Watch. So men get the power to approve things like whether a woman applies for a passport, studies abroad, travels outside the country, or gets married. That system was already well in place before Absher'’s debut, but the app makes controlling women much more efficient. Read more... More about Tech, Google, Apple, Saudi Arabia, and Apps And SoftwareView the full article
  7. A lonely guy pretended to get stood up on a romantic Valentine's Day dinner at Outback, wasted hours of a well-meaning but clueless server's night, and went home with a free meal. Outback even offered him another free meal — provided he bring a real date. 27-year-old Stephen Bosner spent Feb. 14 on a mission: To bring home a free steak. He made a reservation for two at America's favorite Australian-ish fast casual steakhouse, donned a suit jacket, and packed some tissue paper into plastic bag as a makeshift "gift." He walked in, dateless, and told the host that the 10-minute wait was fine because "she said she was running a bit late anyway.” Read more... More about Twitter, Valentine S Day, Scam, Culture, and Web Culture View the full article
  8. Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice experience design tools, artificial intelligence to power those experiences, and toys like talking Barbie and Thomas The Tank Engine toys in partnership with Mattel. Founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives, PullString went on to raise $44 million. Apple’s Siri is seen as lagging far behind Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, not only in voice recognition and utility, but also in terms of developer ecosystem. Google and Amazon has built platforms to distribute Skills from tons of voice app makers, including storytelling, quizzes, and other games for kids. If Apple wants to take a real shot at becoming the center of your connected living room with Siri and HomePod, it will need to play nice with the children who spend their time there. Buying PullString could jumpstart Apple’s in-house catalog of speech-activated toys for kids as well as beef up its tools for voice developers. PullString did catch some flack for being a “child surveillance device” back in 2015, but countered by detailing the security built intoHello Barbie product and saying it’d never been hacked to steal childrens’ voice recordings or other sensitive info. Privacy norms have changed since with so many people readily buying always-listening Echos and Google Homes. In 2016 it rebranded as PullString with a focus on developers tools that allow for visually mapping out conversations and publishing finished products to the Google and Amazon platforms. Given SiriKit’s complexity and lack of features, PullString’s Converse platform could pave the way for a lot more developers to jump into building voice products for Apple’s devices. We’ve reached out to Apple and PullString for more details about whether PullString and ToyTalk’s products will remain available. The startup raised its cash from investors including Khosla Ventures, CRV, Greylock, First Round, and True Ventures, with a Series D in 2016 as its last raise that PitchBook says valued the startup at $160 million. While the voicetech space has since exploded, it can still be difficult for voice experience developers to earn money without accompanying physical products, and many enterprises still aren’t sure what to build with tools like those offered by PullString. That might have led the startup to see a brighter future with Apple, strengthening one of the most ubiquitous though also most detested voice assistants. View the full article
  9. Hotel chain giant Marriott will now let you check if you’re a victim of the Starwood hack. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it has put in place “a mechanism to enable guests to look up individual passport numbers to see if they were included in the set of unencrypted passport numbers.” That follows a statement last month from the company confirming that five million unencrypted passport numbers were stolen in the data breach last year. The checker, hosted by security firm OneTrust, will ask for some personal information, like your name, email address, as well as the last six-digits of your passport number. Marriott says data on “fewer than 383 million unique guests” was stolen in the data breach, revealed in September, including guest names, postal addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, genders, email addresses and reservation information. Later it transpired that more than 20 million encrypted passport numbers were also stolen, along with 8.6 million unique payment card numbers. Marriott said only 354,000 cards were active and unexpired at the time of the breach in September. Opening up the checker to the wider public is a bright spot in what’s been a fairly atrocious incident recovery by Marriott since the breach. The company’s initial response was plagued with hiccups and missteps that many security experts stepped in to fill in the gaps at their own expense. The checker won’t kick back a result straight away — you’ll have to wait for a response — and Marriott doesn’t say how long that’ll take. There is a certain irony in having to turn over your own data — not least to a third-party — to be told if you’re a victim of a breach. It’s literally the last thing any breach victim wants to do: hand over even their more of their personal information. But that’s the world we’re living in, and everything is terrible. Use the checker at your own risk. View the full article
  10. The NBA fans of Reddit are a lighthearted bunch. Extremely internet meme-dom peppers the typical talk of games and trades and stats. But the r/NBA subreddit recently took the discussion in a surprising — and delightful — direction, concerning pop star, queer icon, and internet queen Carly Rae Jepsen. On Jan. 30, Reddit user u/NAD_83 shared the news that Jepsen would be singing the Canadian National Anthem at the NBA All Star game, which takes place this weekend, on Feb. 17. The news itself is not that surprising: Jepsen, who is Canadian, rose to fame after placing third on Canadian Idol in 2007. Read more... More about Reddit, Nba, Basketball, Carly Rae Jepsen, and TechView the full article
  11. Watch out, starwhales. There’s a new weapon for the interstellar dwellers whom you threaten with your planet-crushing gigaflippers, undergoing testing as we speak. This small-scale version may only be good for removing dangerous orbital debris, but in time it will pierce your hypercarbon hides and irredeemable sun-hearts. Literally a space harpoon. (Credit: Airbus) However, it would be irresponsible of me to speculate beyond what is possible today with the technology, so let a summary of the harpoon’s present capabilities suffice. The space harpoon is part of the RemoveDEBRIS project, a multi-organization European effort to create and test methods of reducing space debris. There are thousands of little pieces of who knows what clogging up our orbital neighborhood, ranging in size from microscopic to potentially catastrophic. There are as many ways to take down these rogue items as there are sizes and shapes of space junk; perhaps it’s enough to use a laser to edge a small piece down toward orbital decay, but larger items require more hands-on solutions. And seemingly all nautical in origin: RemoveDEBRIS has a net, a sail and a harpoon. No cannon? You can see how the three items are meant to operate here: The harpoon is meant for larger targets, for example full-size satellites that have malfunctioned and are drifting from their orbit. A simple mass driver could knock them toward the Earth, but capturing them and controlling descent is a more controlled technique. While an ordinary harpoon would simply be hurled by the likes of Queequeg or Dagoo, in space it’s a bit different. Sadly it’s impractical to suit up a harpooner for EVA missions. So the whole thing has to be automated. Fortunately the organization is also testing computer vision systems that can identify and track targets. From there it’s just a matter of firing the harpoon at it and reeling it in, which is what the satellite demonstrated today. This Airbus-designed little item is much like a toggling harpoon, which has a piece that flips out once it pierces the target. Obviously it’s a single-use device, but it’s not particularly large and several could be deployed on different interception orbits at once. Once reeled in, a drag sail (seen in the video above) could be deployed to hasten reentry. The whole thing could be done with little or no propellant, which greatly simplifies operation. Obviously it’s not yet a threat to the starwhales. But we’ll get there. We’ll get those monsters good one day. View the full article
  12. The release of Star Wars: Episode IX on Dec. 20 is still far, far away, but director J.J. Abrams is reassuring everyone that the last chapter in the Skywalker saga is well on its way towards theaters. In a tweet Friday morning, Abrams posted a photo of stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac in character, seemingly hugging it out. After months of filming, the image's caption announced the official end of photography for the project. SEE ALSO: 10 movies we can't wait for in 2019 "It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX," reads the post. "There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I'm forever indebted to you all." Read more... More about Star Wars, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, J.J. Abrams, and John Boyega View the full article
  13. Donald Trump is back at it again with the extremely un-presidential tweets. On Friday afternoon, hours after he held a press conference outside the White House to announce he was declaring a national emergency (even though he didn't need to) the president tweeted a parody State of the Union video in an effort to mock Democrats. The video, originally created by @carpedonktum, shows clips of Democratic members of Congress at Trump's State of the Union address set to that super emo R.E.M. song, "Everybody Hurts." The 2:20 video was posted to YouTube earlier this month and received more than 50,000 views, but it seems Trump just noticed — and it must have really spoken to him. Read more... More about Politics, Donald Trump, Democrats, R.E.M., and State Of The UnionView the full article
  14. Mars' surface is a lifeless, unwelcoming desert. But beneath its red soil the planet still might be alive — geologically. Big space news broke in 2018: Using a ground-penetrating radar aboard a Mars satellite, a group of scientists detected a thin 12-mile lake thousands of feet beneath the Martian south pole. Now, researchers have put forward a paper arguing that if there is indeed a sizable briny-lake underneath this ice cap, hot molten rock (magma) must have oozed up near the surface and melted the ice. Such underground volcanism would have happened in geologically recent time, perhaps a few hundred thousand years ago, or less. Read more... More about Space, Science, Mars, Geology, and Volcanoes View the full article
  15. From the Gangster Music Vol. 1 compilation, also featuring Kaytranada, Quelle Chris, Father, and others View the full article