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Tax forms filed by the nonprofit OpenAI provide insight into the enormous salaries and bonuses paid to AI specialists across the world (Cade Metz/New…

Cade Metz / New York Times : Tax forms filed by the nonprofit OpenAI provide insight into the enormous salaries and bonuses paid to AI specialists across the world   —  SAN FRANCISCO — One of the poorest-kept secrets in Silicon Valley has been the huge salaries and bonuses that experts in artificial intelligence can command.

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Startup ecosystem report: China is rising while the U.S. is waning

Startups are a gamble, but it’s possible to better understand why some thrive and many more die by looking at the ecosystems in which they operate. Such is the mission of eight-year-old Startup Genome , comprised of a group of researchers and entrepreneurs who, every year, interview thousands of founders and investors around the world to get a better handle on what’s changing in the regions where they operate, and what remains stubbornly the same. The larger objective is to figure out how to help more startups succeed, and the outfit — which this year surveyed 10,000 founders with the help of partners like  Crunchbase and Dealroom — produced some data that should perhaps concern those in the U.S. To wit, China looks positioned to overtake U.S. dominance when it comes to numerous tech sectors. Consider: In 2014, just 14 percent of so-called unicorns were based in China. Between the start of last year through today, that percentage has shot up to 35 percent, while in the U.S., the number of homegrown unicorns has fallen from 61 percent to 41 percent of the overall global number. You could argue that investors are simply assigning China-based startups overly lofty valuations, as happened here in the U.S., and we partly believe that to be true. But China is also clearly “in it to win it,” based on a look at patents, with four times as many AI-related applications and three times as many crypto- and blockchain-related patents registered in China last year. With so much of the tech industry now focused on deep tech, it’s worth noting. As much as we loathed the January Financial Times column penned by famed VC Michael Moritz, who suggested that U.S. companies follow China’s lead , his underlying call to arms was probably, gulp, prescient in its own way. What else should startups know? According to Startup Genome’s findings, in addition to the rise of AI, blockchain and robotics manufacturing, there are clearly declining sub sectors, too, including, least surprisingly, ad tech, which has seen a roughly 35 percent drop in funding over the last five years.

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Startup ecosystem report: China is rising while the US is waning

Startups are a gamble, but it’s possible to better understand why some thrive and many more die by looking at the ecosystems in which they operate. Such is the mission of eight-year-old Startup Genome , composed of a group of researchers and entrepreneurs who, every year, interview thousands of founders and investors around the world to get a better handle on what’s changing in the regions where they operate, and what remains stubbornly the same. The larger objective is to figure out how to help more startups succeed, and the outfit — which this year surveyed 10,000 founders with the help of partners like  Crunchbase and Dealroom — produced some data that should perhaps concern those in the U.S. To wit, China looks positioned to overtake U.S. dominance when it comes to numerous tech sectors. Consider: In 2014, just 14 percent of so-called unicorns were based in China. Between the start of last year through today, that percentage has shot up to 35 percent, while in the U.S., the number of homegrown unicorns has fallen from 61 percent to 41 percent of the overall global number. You could argue that investors are simply assigning China-based startups overly lofty valuations, as happened here in the U.S., and we partly believe that to be true. But China is also clearly “in it to win it,” based on a look at patents, with four times as many AI-related applications and three times as many crypto- and blockchain-related patents registered in China last year. With so much of the tech industry now focused on deep tech, it’s worth noting. In fact, as much as we loathed the January Financial Times column penned by famed VC Michael Moritz, who suggested that U.S. companies follow China’s lead , his underlying call to arms was probably, gulp, prescient in its own way. What else should startups know? According to Startup Genome’s findings, in addition to the rise of AI, blockchain and robotics manufacturing, there are clearly declining sub sectors, too, including, least surprisingly, adtech, which has seen a roughly 35 percent drop in funding over the last five years.

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Twitter banned Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

The U.S. government isn’t the only one feeling skittish about Kaspersky Lab . On Friday, the Russian security firm’s founder Eugene Kaspersky confronted Twitter’s apparent ban on advertising from the company, a decision it quietly issued in January. No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF . They do a lot to fight censorship online. — Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) April 20, 2018 My open letter to @jack Dorsey asking for more transparency to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter https://t.co/XKtIOpbmd3 pic.twitter.com/UhecZRY7ZB — Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) April 20, 2018 “In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” Kaspersky wrote . “One thing I can say for sure is this: we haven’t violated any written – or unwritten – rules, and our business model is quite simply the same template business model that’s used throughout the whole cybersecurity industry: We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them.” He noted that the company has spent around than €75,000 ($93,000 USD) to promote its content on Twitter in 2017. Kaspersky called for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to specify the motivation behind the ban after failing to respond to an official February 6 letter from his company. “More than two months have passed since then, and the only reply we received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text. Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban; fully explain the decision to switch off our advertising capability, and to reveal what other cybersecurity companies need to do in order to avoid similar situations.” In a statement about the incident, Twitter reiterated that Kaspersky Lab’s business model “inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.” In a statement to CyberScoop , Twitter pointed to the late 2017 Department of Homeland Security directive to eliminate Kaspersky software from Executive Branch systems due to the company’s relationship with Russian intelligence. “The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks,” DHS asserted in the directive at the time.

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Twitter bans Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its network, pointing to DHS’ September notice of vendor’s ties to Russian intelligence services…

Patrick Howell O'Neill / Cyberscoop : Twitter bans Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its network, pointing to DHS' September notice of vendor's ties to Russian intelligence services   —  (Norwegian University of Science and Technology / Kai T. Dragland / Flickr)  —  Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab has been banned …

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SF supervisor doesn’t want you riding electric scooters on sidewalks

For those of you keeping track of the scooter saga in San Francisco, Supervisor Aaron Peskin has filed a resolution in opposition of California State Assembly bill 2989. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Heath Flora and sponsored by electric scooter startup Bird, seeks to increase the speed limit of electric scooters from 15 to 20 mph, increase the wattage to 250 to 750, let people ride them on sidewalks and only require minors to wear helmets. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and the Municipal Transportation Agency are actively creating a permitting process to better regulate scooters. The intent is to ensure “sensible, regulatory frameworks,” Peskin said earlier this week. In legislative meetings earlier this week, members of the public and supervisors expressed concerns pertaining to people operating scooters on sidewalks, as well as people riding them without helmets. This bill, introduced back in February, would essentially enable the opposite of what San Francisco envisions. “While San Francisco policymakers pursue common sense regulation of standup electronic scooters to enhance the public benefit of this new shared mobility technology and to reduce potential harm to the public, state legislators seek to eliminate elements of the Vehicle Code that exist to protect the health and safety of members of the public including users of standup electric scooters,” Peskin wrote in his resolution . I’ve reached out to Bird and will update this story when I hear back.

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Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry grow closer

Containers are eating the software world — and Kubernetes is the king of containers. So if you are working on any major software project, especially in the enterprise, you will run into it sooner or later. Cloud Foundry, which hosted its semi-annual developer conference in Boston this week, is an interesting example for this. Outside of the world of enterprise developers, Cloud Foundry remains a bit of an unknown entity, despite having users in at least half of the Fortune 500 companies (though in the startup world, it has almost no traction). If you are unfamiliar with Cloud Foundry, you can think of it as somewhat similar to Heroku , but as an open-source project with a large commercial ecosystem and the ability to run it at scale on any cloud or on-premises installation. Developers write their code (following the twelve-factor methodology ), define what it needs to run and Cloud Foundry handles all of the underlying infrastructure and — if necessary — scaling. Ideally, that frees up the developer from having to think about where their applications will run and lets them work more efficiently. To enable all of this, the Cloud Foundry Foundation made a very early bet on containers, even before Docker was a thing. Since Kubernetes wasn’t around at the time, the various companies involved in Cloud Foundry came together to build their own container orchestration system, which still underpins much of the service today. As it took off, though, the pressure to bring support for Kubernetes grew inside of the Cloud Foundry ecosystem. Last year, the Foundation announced its first major move in this direction by launching its Kubernetes-based Container Runtime for managing containers, which sits next to the existing Application Runtime. With this, developers can use Cloud Foundry to run and manage their new (and existing) monolithic apps and run them in parallel with the new services they develop. But remember how Cloud Foundry also still uses its own container service for the Application Runtime? There is really no reason to do that now that Kubernetes (and the various other projects in its ecosystem) have become the default of handling containers. It’s maybe no surprise then that there is now a Cloud Foundry project that aims to rip out the old container management systems and replace them with Kubernetes.

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As FOSTA became a law, Cloudflare kicked Switter, a community for sex workers, from its network, forcing the service to move to another CDN (Megan…

Megan Farokhmanesh / The Verge : As FOSTA became a law, Cloudflare kicked Switter, a community for sex workers, from its network, forcing the service to move to another CDN   —  Safe havens continue to dwindle post-FOSTA as Cloudflare boots the Mastodon instance  —  Around 3PM ET on April 17th, Switter — a social media space for sex workers — went offline.

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