The weekly tech tl;dr –- 12th August 2016

The Big Story

Walmart takes on Amazon with $3 billion acquistion. “Looks like retail ecommerce space is heating up and Walmart is applying the fuel this round,” says Andy Lynch.

Top News

Google patent outlines a drone that would make videoconferencing easier. “Think of all the fun I could have flying this thing around @verizon HQ!!” John Legere quips.

Delta computer system failure highlights backwardness of commercial airline tech. Mike Dudas comments: “A power outage in Atlanta grounded the *entire* global @delta fleet? I’m beyond speechless.”

Alibaba and Twilio both beat quarterly earning expectations. “Alibaba’s revenue jumps 59%,” says Rene Zielke while “@Twilio reports revenue of $64.5M in first qtr as public co,” Dave McClure tweets.

Tech Drama

Bitfinex customers see a 36% loss in their accounts after the $65 million hack. Bryan Beal comments: “The secret to helping any new product grow is taking 36% of your customer’s money without their consent.”

Apple and Samsung go to court over patent infringement. ML Haynes asks, “How much is good design worth? Apple v Samsung + SCOTUS will decide.”

IBM’s Watson saved a Japanese woman’s life. “Watson IBM just saved the life of a Japanese woman by correctly identifying her rare form of leukemia,” Paresh Vankar tweets.

Funding news

Airbnb makes plans to raise $850 million. Eddy Zakes says it best: “That’s a LOT of money!”

On-demand senior care startup Honor raises $42 million. “Ambitious challenge for senior care with ambitious capital size,” says Ryosuke Kimura.

Carvana raises $160 million for online car sales and car vending machines. “Car vending machines. What a time to be alive!” tweets Christopher Abbass.


Apple and Intel both make moves to acquire machine learning startups. China Martens comments: “Sooner or later every enterprise vendor will have bought at least one machine learning & AI startup.”

Google acquires Orbitera for $100+ million. “Congrats Team Orbitera!” says Mike Hirshland.

Data company Palantir, cofounded by Peter Thiel, acquires data visualization startup Silk. “Congratulations @salar and team @SilkDotCo for your acquisition by @PalantirTech!” tweets Don Ginsel.


Failing your way to success” doesn’t always work. “Silicon Valley’s ‘fail your way to success’ mantra can be deadly to #startups,” tweets Adrià Hernández.

As venture capitalists become pickier, some startups are choosing to cash out early. The Wall Street Journal sums it up: “Flush companies offer lucrative deals for struggling startups like Jet.”

Want a successful startup? Don’t work 80 hours a week. “Sound career/life #advice for every #startup,” says Kedar Prabhu.

IT Professionals

Otka hires Mark Settle, former CIO at BMC Software Inc., as its first CIO. Otka co-founder Frederic Kerrest tweets: “Welcome Mark Settle, @okta‘s first CIO – we are thrilled to have you!”

Chris Urmson, CTO of Google’s self-driving car project, steps down. “Interesting. Is #Google #selfdrivingcar efforts floundering?” asks Lucas K. T. Lee.

Learn how to prevent burnout among millennial employees. Carey Mercier explains reasons behind millennial burnout: “Generation-Stress: #Millennials create their own businesses, volunteer on social matters and foster personal hobbies.”