On Tuesday evening, the pair revealed that the powerful Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has been secretly underwriting Hulk Hogan s litigation against Gawker:According to people familiar with the situation who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, Thiel, a cofounder and partner at Founders Fund, has played a lead role in bankrolling the cases Terry Bollea, a.k.a.Hogan is being represented by Charles Harder, a prominent Los Angeles-based lawyer.He also made a $10,000 donation to fund the efforts of right-wing sting artist James O Keefe III.In just the last month, Gawker Media s tech site Gizmodo published a series of stories on Facebook s use of news curators to manipulate the site s trending module, sparking a congressional investigation into the social network s practices.In a comment on a 2007 post by Valleywag editor Owen Thomas on the open secret of Thiel s sexuality, Denton described being threatened for his prior attempts to report on the billionaire s dating habits: He was so paranoid that, when I was looking into the story, a year ago, I got a series of messages relaying the destruction that would rain down on me, and various innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, if a story ever ran.Thiel later described Valleywag as the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.
It s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence, Thiel told Sorkin.Thiel went on to explain that he had decided several years ago to secretly fund multiple cases to try to cripple Gawker, saying if he didn t fight on behalf of Gawker s victims, he feared no one would.His first step was to hire a legal team to look for cases that he could help financially support.While some think Thiel is right to stick it to an outlet that at times seemed to rely on tormenting him to meet its traffic targets, others — including reporters and First Amendment specialists — expressed concern today that Thiel and other wealthy benefactors could effectively silence journalists and other critics by funding lawsuits against them.Indeed, though not illegal or new — American Lawyer says more third parties are covering legal fees than ever before — the suddenly high-profile case has seemingly raised awareness about the practice, for better or worse.Featured Image: Noah Berger/Getty Images
Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and sits on Facebook s board of directors, allegedly provided millions of dollars for Hogan s lawsuit and is apparently funding other cases.The Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin noted that Thiel declined to reveal what other cases he supported.It s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence, Thiel told the Times in his first interview since the rumors that he funded the lawsuit reached a tipping point on Tuesday.Neither the jury nor the public knew of Thiel s involvement in the case.Thiel told The Times he has been planning for years to secretly fund lawsuits against Gawker in an effort to shut the company down.Gawker founder Nick Denton denounced Thiel's involvement in the lawsuit in a statement to The Times: Just because Peter Thiel is a Silicon Valley billionaire, his opinion does not trump our millions of readers who know us for routinely driving big news stories including Hillary Clinton s secret email account, Bill Cosby s history with women, the mayor of Toronto as a crack smoker, Tom Cruise s role within Scientology, the N.F.L.cover-up of domestic abuse by players and just this month the hidden power of Facebook to determine the news you see.Read the full report from The New York TimesGawker is the high-brow gossip sheet covering media, entertainment, politics and technology.NOW WATCH: Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel explains precisely how Mark Zuckerberg changed the worldLoading video...
Tribune Publishing — now known as tronc — chairman Michael Ferro appeared on CNBC today to announce some of his plans to revitalize the company whose share price has dropped by nearly half in just a couple years.Part of this plan, it seems, is to start churning out mass-produced videos without much need for human assistance.There s all these really new, fun features we re going to be able to do with artificial intelligence and content to make videos faster, Ferro told interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin.As the internet turns to cheaper ways to produce more content than ever before, you have to wonder who s left to pay for quality production, writing and reporting.On a completely unrelated note, what s a good career for a tech journalist that s about to be replaced by AI?Recode on Tribune Publishing chairman: We want to start publishing 2,000 videos a day with artificial intelligenceRead next: New Instagram update lets iOS users post photos and video without ever opening the app
In 2004, Google finally went public in a long-awaited offering, via Dutch auction, that lit the public markets on fire.The outlook for the IPO market has been even bleaker in the technology sector.To address this crisis, JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon convened gatherings in New York for some of the nation s leading investors and CEOs, including Warren Buffett.The meetings were held to brainstorm solutions to the deteriorating state of public companies, according to a report in The New York Times DealBook.In another event on July 28, the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation released a number of proposed changes relative to market trading problems.The committee was responding to charges that the market itself is rigged.
Why then, asks Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times, do they not speak out?Why do they quickly follow up their private comments with, I could never say that on the record.As Trump himself would say, there s something else going on.Sorkin quotes Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, who was one of the few willing to speak to him on the record:People are fearful that, especially in a circumstance where he might be in a position of extreme power as a potential presidential candidate, that that would be used in a retaliatory way, that would be used in vengeful way.... Everyone gets worried about being attacked, and part of the logic and mechanics of bullies is that they cause people to be fearful that they ll be singled out and attacked.
Insider NBCUniversal invested a whopping $500 million in the initial public offering of Snapchat's parent company, Snap Inc., as "part of a strategic investment and partnership," CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin first reported Friday. Insider independently confirmed that figure.After Snap's stock popped 44% on day one, that stake is worth about $720 million, a cool $220 million up.
Two journalism heavyweights took the stage at Cannes Lions to talk about building strong businesses in a changing world: Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-anchor of CNBC’s Squawk Box and editor-at-large of The New York Times’ DealBook and Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of The New York Times.This creates an interesting market dynamic between users and the company’s front lines – not the corporate office.Commenting on the topic, Sorkin said: “Most people are still happy to click on the Uber app.This is one of a few companies where people who are the frontline relationship have nothing to do with the [corporate] culture, and what does that mean?”Thompson added that “brands would normally be terrified about ambassadors not being trained, but if you’ve got a leadership situation that’s controversial, it might be an advantage, because it’s the citizens who represent the company to the public.”Sorkin has it right: what does it mean in the larger context of brand communications when the shenanigans of the corporate office (i.e.
We've gone through our existing "best-of" lists and others to determine which business histories and management and investing guides have been most critically acclaimed.But if you familiarize yourself with these 15 books, you will be left with a thorough understanding of some of the most important business milestones and theories of the last 100 years."Barbarians at the Gate" is considered the best business book ever written by former GE CEO Jeff Immelt, New York Times and CNBC report Andrew Ross Sorkin, and MarketWatch columnist Jon Friedman."Den of Thieves" follows how some of the biggest power players on Wall Street in the '80s let avarice lead them to insider trading, and how federal authorities finally nailed them.'The Innovator's Dilemma' by Clayton M. Christensen"The Innovator's Dilemma" is required reading for Silicon Valley, and received praise from late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Saudi Arabia is the first country to grant citizenship to a robot.Sophia, the humanoid produced by Hanson Robotics, spoke at the recent Future Investment Initiative.An empty-eyed humanoid named Sophia has become the first robot to be granted citizenship in the world.Saudi Arabia bestowed citizenship on Sophia ahead of the Future Investment Initiative, held in the kingdom's capital city of Riyadh on Wednesday.At the event, Sophia also addressed the room from behind a podium and responded to questions from moderator and journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.Questions pertained mostly to Sophia's status as a humanoid and concerns people may have for the future of humanity in a robot-run world.
This week Andrew Ross Sorkin, of the New York Times, was interviewing Sophia, a robot ‘citizen’ when she made the not-so-subtle jibe at tech billionaire Elon Musk, who has previously warned that AI is the “greatest risk” facing our civilisation.When asked about her values, Sophia, who was created by Hanson Robotics, said: “My AI is designed around human values like wisdom, kindness, compassion, I strive to become an empathetic robots.”Pushing back on her comments, Sorkin responded: “We all believe you, but we all want to prevent a bad future.”And Sophia responded: “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk.And watching too many Hollywood movies.Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you.
Saudi Arabia granted Sophia the humanoid robot with robot citizenship ahead of the Future Investment Initiative conference.Following is a transcript of the video.This robot just became a citizen.Sophia (robot): Oh, good afternoon.My name is Sophia and I am the latest and greatest robot from Hanson Robotics.Andrew Ross Sorkin (moderator): You have been now awarded what is going to be the first Saudi citizenship for a robot.
After years of warning of the dangers of artificial intelligence, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk finally got into it with an AI robot this week.CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin interviewed Sophia, Hanson Robotics' artificially intelligent humanoid robot designed to look like Audrey Hepburn on stage at the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.When Sorkin brought up worries about the future of AI, Sophia responded, "You've been reading too much Elon Musk."Over the years, Musk has referred to the potential dangers of AI as "summoning the demon" and more concerning than the prospect of nuclear conflict with North Korea.He later responded to the bot's dig in a snarky tweet: "Just feed it 'The Godfather' movies as input.What's the worst that could happen?"
In the latest example of “Philip K Dick-inspired nightmare becomes real life,” Saudi Arabia just became the first nation to grant citizenship to a robot.It is artificially intelligent, friends with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, and, arguably, a glimpse into the dark future that will kill us all.You see, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been interested in androids for years.It seemed almost quaint at first.This desert nation with more money than caution and a taste for the futuristic was bound to explore the odd possibilities of new technologies.Years ago, Saudi Arabia began experimenting with robots boldly, tasking them with everything from building construction to brain surgery.
Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to a humanoid robot named Sophia at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh — the first country to do so — on Wednesday (25 October).The robot then swiftly proceeded to throw shade at SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk who has long warned about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.Panel moderator and business writer Andrew Ross Sorkin said on stage: "We have a little announcement.The robot, developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and designed with the ability to answer questions, replied: "Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.I am very honoured and proud for this unique distinction.The move comes just a month after the conservative kingdom issued a royal decree granting women the right to drive in the country — a landmark decision set to go into effect in June 2018.
The former CEO of J.Crew, Mickey Drexler, told Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times' DealBook conference that he approached Amazon about a possible acquisition.The deal did not go through, obviously.Drexler also said that the company was close to a deal with Uniqlo.Mickey Drexler has a few regrets in his time of business.One of them, as he told Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times' Dealbook conference on Thursday, is that he never sold J.Crew when he had the opportunity.Drexler, the current chairman and former CEO of J.Crew, told Sorkin that he approached Amazon about acquiring the company before he stepped down earlier this year.
Exhibit A is Neom, part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative, a proposed utopian city whose modest slogan is “the world’s most ambitious project.” Neom imagines itself a swinging, sort-of-liberal international trade center, built from scratch, at a cost of five hundred billion dollars, on the shores of the Red Sea.In conversation, she will look you in eye in order to memorize your face; she will present, in succession, like cards from a deck, her sixty-two facial expressions; she will wink in patterns designed to put you at ease.Her creator, David Hanson, an alum of Disney, is the kind of person who throws around such phrases as “framework for computational compassion.” The surprise announcement of Sophia’s new Saudi citizenship was made at the Future Investment Initiative conference, in late October, where she was interviewed onstage by Andrew Ross Sorkin, of the Times.In her remarks, she flattered her audience as “smart people who also happens [sic] to be rich and powerful.” With comically horrible comedic timing, she cracked jokes about Elon Musk’s anti-A.I.warnings; she even managed to output some witticisms about not destroying humankind.(That interview, and others like it, are believed to be scripted, and they certainly come off that way.)
Last month, the world was introduced to Sophia, the first robot to receive citizenship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Millions of people tuned into CNBC as Sophia was interviewed by Andrew Ross Sorkin, responding to his questions with all the poise and perceived emotional intelligence of a confident, educated human woman.While changes will certainly be specific to their own industries, there are some common themes:Repetitive jobs will become extinctAccording to Verizon B2B analyst RaShea Drake, the jobs that will be eliminated rely on redundancy and repetition.These include jobs like taxi drivers, cashiers, telemarketers and factory workers.
When Carisa Miklusak launched AI-enabled staffing platform Tilr two years ago, she and her two cofounders decided on Cincinnati, Ohio as their company’s headquarters, thanks to the city’s large concentration of Fortune 500 companies.Today, Miklusak says that private equity firms she meets with, and even some venture capital firms, see the Midwest as a hot new area for investment.On Monday, the New York Times reported that AOL cofounder and venture capitalist Steve Case — who has been leading tours across the U.S. for the past three years to highlight startup activity in underserved areas — has raised a new $150 million seed fund to invest in startups outside major tech hubs.“All told, it may be the greatest concentration of American wealth and power in one investment fund,” the Times‘ Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote, while acknowledging that the $150 million fund was “pocket money for most of the investors.”This year, other pledges to invest more in Heartland tech include Apple, which created a $1 billion fund in January to invest in advanced manufacturing startups in the U.S. There’s also Microsoft, which recently launched an initiative called Tech Spark, designed to “foster greater economic opportunity and job creation in six communities across the United States.” As part of one of its first Tech Spark initiatives, Microsoft announced that it would be donating $5 million to fund the creation of an accelerator and an early-stage VC firm in northeastern Wisconsin.Some of the high-profile investors in Case’s latest fund told the Times that while they hoped their investments would create more jobs, the main reason they wanted to invest in companies outside of Silicon Valley is because those startups are a good deal.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says some technology has addictive qualities and should be regulated.Benioff is the latest high profile tech executive to raise questions about the way some tech products have become intertwined in people's daily lives.Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff may have made his billions selling software, but that doesn't mean he's giving the tech industry a free pass.Speaking with CNBC correspondent Andrew Ross Sorkin from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, Benioff said that it's about time for Washington to start regulating Silicon Valley.With discussions about Russian interference in US elections and the addictiveness of consumer tech currently at the forefront of the national conversation, Benioff said, Facebook should be regulated "exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry," with the safety of consumers coming before the financial health of the companies.It's a sharp criticism from within an industry that has historically evaded government regulation.
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