Vorbim mult despre ecosistemele de pornire din jurul acestor părți și dintr-un motiv întemeiat. Ecosistemele puternice au mari rezervoare de talente reunite între ele, o cultură construită în jurul ajutându-se unul pe celălalt la proiecte ambițioase și un capital de risc suficient pentru a se asigura că proiectele interesante au resurse pentru a începe.

Înlăturați-vă de stratul ecosistemului și rămâneți cu manifestarea fizică reală a unui oraș sau regiune – locuința sa, opțiunile sale de transport și mobilitate și infrastructura sa. Și dacă Charles Marohn este Orașele puternice: o revoluție de jos pentru a reconstrui prosperitatea americană este orice indiciu, o mulțime de mână a Americii nu prea are nicio speranță de a atinge vreodată economia cunoașterii moderne sau de a crea genul de creștere durabilă care construiește „Orașele puternice”.

În întreaga țară, Marohn vede dovezi despre ceea ce el numește o „schemă municipală Ponzi”. Orașele – înarmate cu dolari pentru dezvoltare economică și consultanți, se concentrează – își concentrează energiile și bugetele pe noile subdiviziuni de locuințe, precum și pe parcurile de birouri îndepărtate și auto-dependente și centrele de bandă, ignorând în același timp datoriile pe termen lung, costurile de întreținere și sarcinile municipale pe care le transferă generațiilor viitoare de rezidenți. „Creșterea creează o iluzie de bogăție, o percepție greșită, largă, culturală a faptului că comunitatea în creștere a devenit [sic] mai puternic și mai prosper. În schimb, cu fiecare nouă dezvoltare, ei devin din ce în ce mai insolvenți ”, scrie autorul.

El oferă o multitudine de exemple, dar puține sunt la fel de izbitoare ca cea a lui Lafayette, Louisiana:

Ca un exemplu, orașul Lafayette, Louisiana, avea 5 metri de țeavă per persoană în 1949. Până în 2015, aceasta a crescut la 50 de metri, cu o creștere de 1.000%. Aveau 2,4 hidranți de incendiu la 1.000 de persoane în 1949, dar până în 2015, aveau 51,3. Aceasta este o creștere de 2.140%. În aceeași perioadă, venitul median al gospodăriilor din Lafayette a crescut cu doar 160%, de la 27.700 dolari la 45.000 USD. Și dacă tendințele naționale se mențin la nivel local în Lafayette, lucru pe care îl fac aproape cu siguranță, economiile gospodăriilor au scăzut în timp ce datoria personală a scăzut. Lafayette și-a crescut datoriile de mii de ori în slujba unei teorii a creșterii naționale, cu toate acestea familiile sale sunt mai sărace.

Autorul contextualizează exact cât de ciudat este o suburbie și o comunitate americană moderne în marea măiestrie a istoriei umane, în care co-locația, practicabilitatea și densitatea la scară umană nu sunt doar norme, ci necesități. Lipsa unei planificări gândite, dinamice, care să permită orașelor să se adapteze și să evolueze în timp, ajunge să sfâșie vitalitatea orașului în sine. „Numai cea mai bogată țară din lume ar putea să construiască atât de mult și să o folosească atât de prost.”

Marohn a petrecut zeci de ani în planificarea urbană și conduce, de asemenea, Strong Towns, o organizație non-profit, care încearcă să creeze orașe mai durabile, încercând să ghideze conversația urbanistică spre modele mai bune de creștere adaptabilă. El aduce o autoritate asupra subiectului care este deznădăjduitor, iar cartea este absolut pe vectorul corect despre cum să începi să te gândești la planificarea urbanistică.

Pe lângă discuțiile sale despre finanțele municipale, face legături critice între planificarea urbană și unele dintre cele mai presante provocări cu care se confruntă America de azi. El observă cum dezintegrarea comunităților strâmte a înrăutățit probleme precum abuzul de droguri și sănătatea mintală și modul în care accentul pus pe dezvoltarea comerțului cu amănuntul a subminat antreprenoriatul la scară mai mică.

În unele feluri, chiar și mai dezlănțuitor este faptul că soluțiile sunt aparent atât de ușoare. De exemplu, trebuie să ținem cont pur și simplu de costurile reale, pe termen lung ale investițiilor în infrastructură și dezvoltare economică, contabilizând în mod corespunzător „valoarea pe acre”.

Cu toate acestea, defectele din carte sunt numeroase și nu am putut să nu dau din cap în numeroase ocazii, în măsura în care mișcările de îmbunătățire a planificării urbane par întotdeauna să se cutremure de greutatea realității.

Nicăieri nu sunt acele defecte mai vizibile decât preferințele reale ale locuitorilor din aceste orașe. După cum înțelege oricine locuiește în San Francisco sau Palo Alto, există un contingent serios de NIMB care votează constant împotriva locuinței și a densității, indiferent de efectele sale asupra inegalității sau a calității urbane. Kim-Mai Cutler a scris una dintre piesele definitive pe acest subiect în urmă cu cinci ani chiar aici la TechCrunch și, totuși, în toți acești ani mai târziu, aceeași dinamică încă animă politica locală din California și din întreaga lume.

Rețetele oferite în Orașele puternice nu numai că sunt corecte, dar sunt aproape incontestabile. „În loc să acorde prioritate întreținerii în funcție de condiție sau vârstă, orașele trebuie să acorde prioritate pe baza productivității financiare”, scrie Marohn. Dolarul public ar trebui cheltuit pentru proiectele de întreținere cu cel mai mare impact. Cine este cu adevărat împotriva acestui lucru?

Însă, oamenii sunt, după cum reiese din ședințele consiliului orășenesc din toate Statele Unite și simplul adevăr de bază că orașele nu cheltuie-și dolarii cu înțelepciune. Indiferent dacă problema dvs. este locuința, schimbările climatice sau dezvoltarea economică sau inegalitatea, realitatea este că rezidenții votează și vocile lor sunt auzite. Asta duce la scrierea lui Marohn:

În calitate de alegător, în calitate de proprietar de proprietate în cadrul unei corporații municipale, ca persoană care trăiește în cooperare cu vecinii mei dintr-o comunitate, pot respecta faptul că unii preferă stiluri de dezvoltare care sunt ruinatoare financiar pentru orașul meu. Administrația mea locală nu ar trebui să simtă nicio obligație de a oferi aceste opțiuni, în special la prețurile pe care le așteaptă oamenii.

Totuși, ce ar trebui să facem dacă 70-80% din alegătorii orașului doresc literalmente să sară de pe stânca proverbială?

În cele din urmă, orașele ar trebui să răspundă față de proprii lor alegători? Dacă San Francisco refuză să dezvolte o dezvoltare mai orientată către tranzit și, în acest proces, exacerbează schimbările climatice care ar da literalmente focului zonei golfului, nu ar trebui ca acei votanți blestemați să ardă direct la pământ?

Marohn, care vorbește pe mai multe pagini ale evoluției sale politice, de la republican la comunist libertinist complex, nu abordează niciodată fidel această problemă de bază cu Orașele puternice teză sau, într-adevăr, întregul activism din jurul politicii urbane de astăzi. „Cultura americană petrece mult timp dezbătând ce ar trebui făcut, dar aproape că nu mai discută cine ar trebui să ia decizia”, scrie el. Dar noi – am făcut – discutăm cine ia deciziile, iar sistemele noastre politice răspund în mod activ la acei factori de decizie: alegătorii locali.

Orașele americane se află într-o stare periculoasă – și tocmai asta au cerut și au primit oamenii. Marohn critică profesia de planificator pentru lipsa sa de sustenabilitate municipală, dar se pare că este dispus să înlocuiască un grup de experți îndepărtați cu altul pentru a trece peste localnici, probabil doar cu un set de valori diferit (mai bine?).

In analiza finala, Orașele puternice cartea primește drepturile fundamentale. Dar se va răzgândi? Sunt îndoielnic. Cu siguranță nu oferă un ghid clar despre modul în care liderii locali pot începe să-și educe vecinii și să construiască tipurile de blocuri de alegători necesare pentru a obține schimbări locale și democratice în aceste probleme. În cele din urmă, cartea se simte ca o notă de subsol mai mică pentru munca demnă a lui Orașele puternice organizația, care va conduce în cele din urmă activitatea necesară pentru a construi schimbări pe aceste probleme.

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LIVE: Chris Cox, fost ofițer șef de produse, Facebook, în conversație cu WIRED & # 039; s Lauren Goode

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LIVE: trăim cu # 039; Chris Cox, fost ofițer șef de produse, Facebook, de la summitul nostru # WIRED25 în conversație cu scriitoarea senior WIRED, Lauren Goode.

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Postat de WIRED vineri, 8 noiembrie 2019

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Cât despre ceea ce l-a determinat să plece, Cox a explicat că „nu a fost ceva în care am simțit că vreau să petrec alți 13 ani pe social media. Mark și cu mine am văzut lucrurile un pic diferit. . . eu gândi noi sunt încă investigare u00a0la fel de un industrie, Cum do tu echilibru protectoare intimitate de oamenii lui informație și continuarea u00a0la a pastra oameni în siguranță, a spus Cox.

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În legătură cu faptul că trecerea către criptare a făcut parte din asta, a spus că consideră că criptarea este „grozavă: și că„ Oferă o cantitate enormă de protecție ”, dar a menționat„ inu face cu siguranță unele dintre aceste lucruri mai complicate ”în ceea ce privește confidențialitatea și echilibrul de siguranță. El a completat eforturile Facebook de a construi modalități de a prinde actori răi, chiar dacă sunt protejați de criptare. Aceasta include inițiative de alfabetizare digitală în Brazilia și India înaintea alegerilor și oferirea de sisteme de transmitere pentru trimiterea de informații discutabile verificatorilor de fapt. "Cred că există argumente pro și contra cu aceste sisteme și nu sunt un hard-liner pentru niciunul dintre ele", a spus Cox și a remarcat că ceea ce construiește Facebook este "rezonant cu ceea ce își doresc oamenii."

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Cox a fost întrebat despre dezbaterea majoră despre dacă Facebook ar trebui să permită publicitate politică. „Credem că publicitatea politică poate fi bună și utilă. Adesea favorizează și vine în fața versanților. ”Totuși, la verificarea faptelor, el a spus:„ Sunt un mare fan ”, chiar dacă Facebook nu aplică asta anunțurilor politice. El a notat că „eu gândi companie ar trebui să investiga și este investigare micro vizare. . . dacă există sute de variantele fiind alerga de creator atunci u00a0este complicat la obține ta arme în jurul ceea ce este fiind a spus. ”De asemenea, el a pledat pentru mai mult context în interfața de utilizator care distinge reclame politice. u00a0

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Chris Cox vorbește la Wired25

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Următoarele proiecte ale lui Cox

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De la părăsirea Facebook, Cox s-a alăturat comitetului consultativ al unui grup numit Acronim, care ajută la crearea campaniei și a tehnologiei de mesagerie pentru candidații progresivi. „Acest este un zonă Unde Ale mele percepţie este acea progresiștii avea fost in spate pe abilitate la dezvolta și utilizare la fel de A echipă infrastructură acea ajută tu avea A bun alegător dosar, cum să dezvolta mesagerie - u00a0doar de bază politică în 2019.“

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Lauren Goode de la Wired a întrebat dacă se aliniază cu progresiștii, luând o poziție politică și dacă poate face asta în timp ce este încă pe Facebook. „Absolut nu, a răspuns Cox.Și De ce este acea eu gândi cand ești în A foarte u00a0senior rol la A platformă, ai datoria să fii mult mai neutru în politica ta. ”

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A ieșit apoi cu o declarație îndrăzneață activată de independența sa. „Cred că Trump nu ar trebui să fie președintele nostru. Celălalt lucru de care mă interesează foarte mult acum este schimbările climatice și el nu ne va ajuta acolo. "

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Acest lucru a dus la Cox să discute că a lucrat și pentru a sfătui pornirea din San Francisco Planet Labs, care utilizează imagini prin satelit pentru a urmări schimbările climatice. „ viziune a fost la construi aceste mic, despre pantofcutie-mărimea sateliți cu solar panou panou aripi și avea A flota de lor în spaţiu, care este real-timp imagistica Pământ."

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Cu aceste date, Cox a explicat că puteți urmări incendii, defrișări, centrale electrice pe cărbune, gaz metan și multe altele. Atunci, "Tu poate sa start la a contribui la având A sănătate sistem, Unde tu sunt pe scurt imagistica Pământ fiecare ora, și atunci ești crearea de niste public date a stabilit cu unelte acea priza în decizie factorii de decizie, bănci, asigurare companii, factorii de decizie, investitorii, jurnaliștii, studenții ... ”

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Întrebat despre responsabilitatea tehnologiei mari de a aborda schimbările climatice, Cox a spus „eu gândi la foarte cel mai puţin este luare A angajament la fiind carbon-negative.“

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Munca Acronim și Planet Labs se întrepătrunde, deoarece Cox consideră că datele climatice dovedesc nevoia de cineva nou în Oficiul Oval. În timp ce Cox nu a discutat la fața locului, Wired l-a listat ca făcând parte din grupul Shasta, care este propriul vehicul al lui Cox pentru a contribui la aceste proiecte. Totuși, nu este pregătit să lanseze o companie cu drepturi depline în domeniul politicilor și al climatului. „Sunt încă asa de tineri u00a0la acest camp acea eu nu avea destul încredere în Ale mele propriu mental model de lume."

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Cox a concluzionat că, prin valorificarea angajaților companiei mari și prin conducerea echipei, a pus mai multă atenție asupra schimbărilor climatice, „eu do gândi tech poate sa plumb.“ u00a0

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Discursurile motivaționale ale lui Chris Cox au stat la baza noii orientări a angajaților Facebook. Însă, după 14 ani de pe rețeaua socială, ofițerul principal de produse a plecat în martie, în mijlocul unei agitări executive și a noului plan al Facebook de a acorda prioritate vieții private, mutând pentru a cripta aplicațiile de mesagerie. Nu au fost dezvăluite detalii despre următoarele proiecte. Acum […]

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Josh Constine este un jurnalist tehnologic specializat în analiza profundă a produselor sociale. În prezent, este un editor-At-Large pentru TechCrunch și este disponibil pentru angajamente de vorbire.

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Anterior, Constine a fost principalul scriitor al Inside Facebook prin achiziția sa de către WebMediaBrands, acoperind tot ceea ce privește rețeaua de socializare.

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Constine a absolvit Universitatea Stanford în 2009 cu un master în ciberaciologie, examinând influența tehnologiei asupra interacțiunii sociale. El a cercetat impactul controalelor de confidențialitate asupra socializării copiilor, a ciclurilor de popularitate meme și a ceea ce influențează clicul prin rata linkurilor postate pe Twitter.

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Constine a primit și o diplomă de licență în arte, cu onoruri de la Universitatea Stanford în 2007, cu o concentrare în psihologie socială și procese interpersonale.

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Josh Constine este un vorbitor public cu experiență și a moderat peste 120 de interviuri pe scena în 15 țări cu lideri, inclusiv CEO-ul Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (prin intermediul conferinței video pe scenă) și senatorul american Cory Booker. El este disponibil pentru a modera panourile și chat-urile de pe foc, livrează note cheie și judecă competițiile hackathon și pitch.

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Constine a fost citată de The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Ardezie și multe altele, plus a fost prezentat la televizor la Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television și Fox News. Constine este clasată ca fiind cea mai citată jurnalistă tehnologică # 1 pe prestigioasa agregator de știri Techmeme.

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[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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Josh Constine este un jurnalist tehnologic specializat în analiza profundă a produselor sociale. În prezent, este un editor-At-Large pentru TechCrunch și este disponibil pentru angajamente de vorbire.

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Anterior, Constine a fost principalul scriitor al Inside Facebook prin achiziția sa de către WebMediaBrands, acoperind tot ceea ce privește rețeaua de socializare.

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Constine a absolvit Universitatea Stanford în 2009 cu un master în ciberaciologie, examinând influența tehnologiei asupra interacțiunii sociale. El a cercetat impactul controalelor de confidențialitate asupra socializării copiilor, a ciclurilor de popularitate meme și a ceea ce influențează clicul prin rata linkurilor postate pe Twitter.

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Constine a primit și o diplomă de licență în arte, cu onoruri de la Universitatea Stanford în 2007, cu o concentrare în psihologie socială și procese interpersonale.

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Josh Constine este un vorbitor public cu experiență și a moderat peste 120 de interviuri pe scena în 15 țări cu lideri, inclusiv CEO-ul Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (prin intermediul conferinței video pe scenă) și senatorul american Cory Booker. El este disponibil pentru a modera panourile și chat-urile de pe foc, livrează note cheie și judecă competițiile hackathon și pitch.

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Constine a fost citată de The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Ardezie și multe altele, plus a fost prezentat la televizor la Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television și Fox News. Constine este clasată ca fiind cea mai citată jurnalistă tehnologică # 1 pe prestigioasa agregator de știri Techmeme.

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[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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"modificat": "2019-11-08T13: 14: 44", "modified_gmt": "2019-11-08T21: 14: 44 " "slug": "Vape-pulmonar-descoperire-sugereaza-letale-culprit-in-produse-thc-ar putea-fi-vitamina-e-acetat", "statut": "publica", "tip":" post- " "link-ul":" https: / / techcrunch.com / 2019 / 11 / 08 / Vape-pulmonar-descoperire-sugereaza-letale-culprit-in-produse-thc-ar putea-fi-vitamina -e-acetate / "," title ": " redat ":" descoperire "Vape pulmonar sugerează că vinovăția letală în produsele THC ar putea fi acetat de vitamina E", "conținut": "redat": "

Cuvântul oficial a dat naștere autorităților federale cu privire la o cauză potențială a bolii misterului care afectează utilizatorii de vape: Vitamina E acetat, o substanță chimică găsită în unele produse vaporoase, care s-a dovedit a zăbovi în plămâni mult timp după aceea. Constatarea a fost numită „descoperire”, dar este departe de ultimul cuvânt al situației.

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Din păcate, afecțiunea a pretins deja viața a cel puțin 39 de persoane și mai mult de 2.000 de cazuri au fost raportate colectiv din fiecare stat, dar din Alaska. În prezent, singurul sfat oferit a fost să stop vaping altogether.

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In a media teleconference, the heads of the investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained the basis for pointing the finger at Vitamin E acetate. The substance was cited as a possible problem early on but only recent testing has established it as a bona fide suspect, the team explained.

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Samples taken from the lungs of 29 victims of the condition were sent in from 10 different states, and vitamin E acetate was found in all of them. “These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate as the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC .

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Although she agreed that this evidence is a “breakthrough,” she noted that it is at present merely a correlative finding u2014 more research is required to establish causation, namely the mechanism of harm, though other work has been done in that area.

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“Previous non-CDC research suggests that when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung function,” she said.

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“It’s important to note that these findings do not rule out other possible compounds or ingredients that may be causing these lung injuries,” she continued. “There may be more than one cause of the outbreak.”

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Equally important are the statistics involved with the sources of the substances in question. As mentioned earlier in the investigation, a huge proportion of those suffering from this condition were using THC products, and specifically ones acquired through unregulated channels like street dealers.

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The vitamin E acetate may have been added for the purpose of essentially cutting the product, Schuchat mentioned in response to a question on the call.

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“That may be done for the illicit purpose, or the profit purpose, of diluting the materials, making it look nice and perhaps not having to use as much THC or other active ingredients,” she said.

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Other potentially dangerous chemicals have been identified in vape products when heated and aerosolized, including many that even the creators might not have predicted.

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Knowing a potential culprit doesn’t get at the heart of the problem, which would be that this chemical (perhaps among others) has already built up over months or years in the lungs of frequent vape users. Treatment is a parallel line of research, but knowing at least one substance responsible should be helpful.

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The CDC’s previous advice still stands, the officials noted: They advise avoiding vaping altogether, as there are very few controls at present over which ingredients are allowed in vape products, and what must be declared on the packaging, or indeed whether those declarations are in any way accurate.

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Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on […]

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nn

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

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nn

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

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Every startup is a story and every startup’s success depends — on some level — on how well they can either tell that story or get that story told.

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The best stories are the ones that create an instant brand. One that sparks a relationship or a moment of inspiration with customers and consumers alike. Those are the stories that transform industries and re-contextualize how businesses think of themselves and their competition.

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On the Extra Crunch Stage at Disrupt Berlin three of the finest practitioners of the dark arts of branding, public relations, marketing and communications will share their tips and tricks on how to get coverage for a company and how to use that coverage to get at the strategic objectives that companies need to fulfill as they grow.

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These alchemists of allusive include Collette Ballou, the founder of the eponymous Ballou PR; Katy Turner, the managing director of Multiple; and longtime public relations pro, Joanna Kirk.

n

Ballou began her career in European public relations in the aftermath of the dot-com collapse in the U.S. in 2001. Both an investor and an entrepreneur, Ballou has worked with startups and investment firms including 83 North, Accel Partners, Box, Criteo, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoEuro (now Omio), Lakestar, Pinterest, Stack Overflow, Stripe, TransferWise, Twilio, Waze, WhatsApp and Zendesk. She also is an investor in venture funds, including Cavalry Ventures and Connect Ventures.

n

Before founding Multiple, Turner worked in several different roles across the tech industry in the U.K. and Europe. She began her career at Orange (in a time when it was actually cool to work for a mobile operator, she says). That role led to positions at Eden Ventures, Videoplaza and as the chief marketing officer at Tech City UK. In addition to her work at Multiple, Turner also serves as a mentor for Seedcamp and Techstars and sits on the investment committee for the University of Bristol’s Enterprise Fund.

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Every startup is a story and every startup’s success depends — on some level — on how well they can either tell that story or get that story told. The best stories are the ones that create an instant brand. One that sparks a relationship or a moment of inspiration with customers and consumers alike. […]

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Earning more dollars from home easily just by working 0nline j0b from home. Makes every month extra $20k or more from this easy h0me j0b. Last month i have made $22759 from this just in my spare time. Every person can now get this and start earning 0nline from the instructions given to this web page.. visit This Site ———->>> http://www.Buzz-Work.com

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Will this be as poorly attended as SF Disrupt and essentially a series of agendaed and scripted press conferences?

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Berlin 2019","slug":"disrupt-berlin-2019","taxonomy":"tc_event","rapidData":"pt":"","pct":"","_links":"self":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/576608071"],"collection":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event"],"about":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/tc_event"],"up":["embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/579419"],"wp:post_type":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tc_event=576608071","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_events?tc_event=576608071","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tc_event=576608071"],"curies":["name":"wp","href":"https://api.w.org/rel","templated":true]]]}},{"id":1906265,"date":"2019-11-08T08:09:47","date_gmt":"2019-11-08T16:09:47","guid":"rendered":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1906265","modified":"2019-11-08T08:09:47","modified_gmt":"2019-11-08T16:09:47","slug":"a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs/","title":"rendered":"A look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs","content":"rendered":"

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0

n

Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:

n
    n
  • Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures
  • n
  • David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup
  • n
  • Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund
  • n
  • Craig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative Fund
  • n
  • Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer
  • n
  • Beth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark Capital
  • n
  • Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • n
  • Eric Reiner, Partner at Sinai Ventures
  • n
  • Chris Paik, Partner at Pace Capital
  • n
n

Consumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.

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Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures

n

At USV, we are focused on opportunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. In doing so, we are looking for ways to make products and services previously available to a select segment available to many more. In particular, we have been investing in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes the care more convenient but also more affordable and higher quality; products and platforms in financial services that change the traditional underlying model to drive financial health for a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0

n

Within each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.

n

David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup

n

People are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.

n

These apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life, creating something with a very long one is really hard, but the demand is sitting on the phone scrolling thorough feeds, waiting for some new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.

nn

Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund

n

With the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.

n

With the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanut, a social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Star, an astrology app.

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To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: An aerial view of scenes around Manhattan from a Royal Navy helicopter on October 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0

n

Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:

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    n
  • Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures
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  • David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup
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  • Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund
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  • Craig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative Fund
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  • Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer
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  • Beth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark Capital
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  • Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures
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  • Eric Reiner, Partner at Sinai Ventures
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  • Chris Paik, Partner at Pace Capital
  • n
n

Consumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.

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Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures

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At USV, we are focused on opportunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. In doing so, we are looking for ways to make products and services previously available to a select segment available to many more. In particular, we have been investing in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes the care more convenient but also more affordable and higher quality; products and platforms in financial services that change the traditional underlying model to drive financial health for a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0

n

Within each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.

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David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup

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People are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.

n

These apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life, creating something with a very long one is really hard, but the demand is sitting on the phone scrolling thorough feeds, waiting for some new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.

nn

Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund

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With the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.

n

With the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanut, a social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Star, an astrology app.

","protected":false,"excerpt":"rendered":"

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]

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Eric Peckham is TechCrunch's Media Columnist. He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. Separate from TechCrunch, he writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/mdvjguhwsa5ycxpmnicd","twitter":"epeckham","_links":"self":["href":"https://techcrunchcom/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574219"],"collection":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"]],"wp:featuredmedia":["id":1907549,"date":"2019-11-04T02:15:13","slug":"aerial-views-of-manhattan","type":"attachment","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs/aerial-views-of-manhattan/","title":"rendered":"Aerial Views Of Manhattan","author":133574325,"license":"source_key":"getty images","person":"Christopher Furlong / Staff","person_url":"https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?family=editorial&photographer=Christopher+Furlong","authors":[133574325],"caption":"rendered":"

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: An aerial view of scenes around Manhattan from a Royal Navy helicopter on October 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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Indonesian capital will impact nation’s startup ecosystem","content":"rendered":"

Recently reelected, Indonesian President Joko Widodou00a0announced a desire to move the nation’s capital from Jakarta to the East Kalimantan region, citing environmental concerns, the most exigent of these being the fact that Jakarta is literally sinking due to the uncontrolled extraction of groundwater. Widodo said he wished to separate Indonesiau2019s government from its business and economic hub in Jakarta.

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However, what would a move from Jakarta do to Indonesiau2019s burgeoning startup economy?

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Shifting administrative governmental hubs

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According to Widodo, studies have determined that the best site for the proposed new capital is between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara, both located in East Kalimantan. The basis of this selection is due to studies highlighting the regionu2019s relative protection from natural disasters, especially when compared to other regions. This would definitely be a benefit for the governmental heart of Indonesia, ensuring continuous administrative functions in a disaster-prone region. Other governments have separated administrative centers from their economic hubs with varying degrees of success, with some examples being Brazilu2019s creation of Brasu00edlia, as well as Koreau2019s projected move from Seoul to Sejong.

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What is most interesting to note from prior examples is that these newer branched-out cities are non-surprisingly, heavily government-centric. In Brasu00edlia, roles tied to the government make up nearly 40% of all jobs, while in Sejong, a lack of facilities like public transit and commercial mall space cause many to commute into Sejong for government work, instead of permanently settling in the area. Given the semi-undeveloped nature of East Kalimantan, these anecdotes are quite troubling if the government is actually moving to North Penajam Paser or Kutai Kertanegara.

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These facts raise the question of economic impacts of such governmental moves. In fact, one may even opine that while these moves do allow for governmental growth, ultimately, they may hurt the country economically due to a divestment between both government and economic hubs. In this specific instance, it is most important to analyze the impact of such a move on Indonesiau2019s startup economy, as the nation is one the worldu2019s leaders in startup growth.

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Indonesiau2019s startup economy

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Indonesia has emerged as a startup hub within Southeast Asia in recent years, with its population of over 260 million marking it as the worldu2019s fourth-most populous country. Additionally, Indonesiau2019s mobile-first population has enabled the full embrace of the internet era, with 95% of all internet users in Indonesia connected to the web via a mobile device.

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Similarly, startup growth has boomed in the island archipelago, with several Indonesian-based unicorns disrupting local, regional, and global economies. Softbank-backed ecommerce giant Tokopedia is currently in talksu00a0for a pre-IPO funding round, while emerging super-app Gojek controls significant portions of the ride-sharing industry in Asia, simultaneously expanding intou00a0separate industriesu00a0to include digital payments, food delivery, and evenu00a0video-streaming. Additionally, online travel portal Traveloka (in which Expedia has a minority stake) has recentlyu00a0entered the financial services space, furthering its impact within Asia. These specific examples of high-growth startups demonstrate a population hungry for innovation, further driving the developing startup economy.

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A move to East Kalimantan would allow for further development in the startup industry, with a focus on ecommerce and sustainability-focused enterprises.

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Hugh Harsono writes about emerging technologies and economics in developing Asia nations. He is currently a US Army officer, and previously worked in finance for Monsanto. Hugh holds a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Vehicles commute next to a construction site of the LRT (light rapid transit) in Jakarta on October 31, 2019. (Photo by BAY ISMOYO / AFP) (Photo by BAY ISMOYO/AFP via Getty Images)

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Academy is scaling up a coding program for ‘the heartland’","content":"rendered":"

The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re earning a minimum income.

n

The model aligns education providers with students’ career outcomes, and one startup is staking a claim to be the leader in the space; Kenzie Academy, a year-long program with a physical campus in Indianapolis u2014 and a student body that’s 66 percent online u2014 announced a partnership with Community Investment Management (CIM) earlier this week that provides $100 million in debt to cover the operating costs associated with students who defer payment through ISAs.

n

Kenzie co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi says that core to Kenzie’s mission is the goal that its graduates “can stay in the heartland and attract more jobs so that someone coming out of the Midwest no longer has to move to Silicon Valley or New York to have a successful career in tech.” This $100 million is one of the largest commitments yet to financing ISAs and Kenzie is using it to recruit a more diverse population of students who may not be able to afford tuition or qualify for student loans otherwise.

n

I interviewed Ooi to understand how Kenzie differentiates itself from competitors, how it has iterated its model to improve retention and job placement and how he expects the ISA market to evolve over the next couple years. Here’s the transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity:

n

Eric Peckham: The landscape of software developer training programs is crowded. Where did you see an opportunity to do something different, and how do you position Kenzie relative to others in the market?

n

Chok Ooi: My co-founder came from Galvanize, so we observed firsthand the proliferation of tech and coding boot camps. These are typically short-term, three-to-five month programs and they tend to do well serving people with college degrees. I would say that they are disrupting the masters’ program space. We saw a major gap in programs that serve a much larger demographic of people who are much earlier in their development. People who never went to college, or did a little bit of college and dropped out, or just never had a professional work experience. A three-month training is insufficient to get them to a point where they could land a technical job and be successful.

n

We saw an opportunity to bring high-quality tech education to the American heartland that is 12 months in length. For about two-thirds of our students, this is their first post-secondary credential training.

n

We are giving them not just the technical skills, but elements from a traditional four-year college as well, like critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

n

Compared to those other bootcamps or training programs, is Kenzie targeting different job outcomes for its graduates?

n

We did a survey of our students that asked them to name the top five tech companies they desired to work for. None of the Silicon Valley companies made the list other than Salesforce. Indianapolis is the second largest Salesforce office outside of San Francisco. The rest of the companies our students named were companies like DMI and Zylo that people in Silicon Valley don’t hear about but are doing very well in the Midwest. Their friends work there. They’re a fabric of the community. If we really want to create job opportunities for the rest of America, we cannot adopt the Silicon Valley mindset.

n

Kenzie Academy co-Founder and CEO Chok Ooi.

Kenzie Academy co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi.

n

So how do you evaluate technical aptitude and critical thinking in the admissions process? What’s that process look like, and how has it evolved over the last couple of years? What have you learned in order to make that more effective?

n

Prior to founding Kenzie, I started a company nine years ago called AglityIO. The model for AgilityIO was similar to companies like Andela. We were trying to solve the talent crunch in the Bay Area by recruiting and training people with the raw talent in Vietnam. Today, that company works with Google, Uber, NerdWallet, Meetup.com and 150 other tech companies. So Iu2019ve experience in developing processes to identify raw talent in this context.

n

As people are doing the online assessments, we collect data points of how long it takes for them to solve the problem, what their different decision points are and things like that. Then as they get enrolled in Kenzie, we continue to collect attendance data, grades, and then placement data and use that to look at success and failure cases. We constantly refine our assessment.

n

Are you seeing any particular pattern or cluster in the applications youu2019re receiving or the candidates youu2019re accepting in terms of prior field of employment or aspect of their background?

","protected":false,"excerpt":"rendered":"

The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re […]

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Eric Peckham is TechCrunch's Media Columnist. He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. Separate from TechCrunch, he writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter.

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Photos: Kenzie Academy

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Microsoft is trying to become more innovative","content":"rendered":"

Microsoft Research is a globally distributed playground for people interested in solving fundamental science problems.

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These projects often focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, and since Microsoft is on a mission to infuse all of its products with more AI smarts, it’s no surprise that it’s also seeking ways to integrate Microsoft Research’s innovations into the rest of the company.

n

Across the board, the company is trying to find ways to become more innovative, especially around its work in AI, and it’s putting processes in place to do so. Microsoft is unusually open about this process, too, and actually made it somewhat of a focus this week at Ignite, a yearly conference that typically focuses more on technical IT management topics.

n

At Ignite,u00a0Microsoft will for the first time present these projects externally at a dedicated keynote. That feels similar to what Google used to do with its ATAP group at its I/O events and is obviously meant to showcase the cutting-edge innovation that happens inside of Microsoft (outside of making Excel smarter).

n

To manage its AI innovation efforts, Microsoft created the Microsoft AI group led by VP Mitra Azizirad, who’s tasked with establishing thought leadership in this space internally and externally, and helping the company itself innovate faster (Microsoft’s AI for Good projects also fall under this group’s purview). I sat down with Azizirad to get a better idea of what her team is doing and how she approaches getting companies to innovate around AI and bring research projects out of the lab.

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“We began to put together a narrative for the company of what it really means to be in an AI-driven world and what we look at from a differentiated perspective,” Azizirad said. “What we’ve done in this area is something that has resonated and landed well. And now we’re including AI, but we’re expanding beyond it to other paradigm shifts like human-machine interaction, future of computing and digital responsibility, as more than just a set of principles and practices but an area of innovation in and of itself.”

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Currently, Microsoft is doing a very good job at talking and thinking about horizon one opportunities, as well as horizon three projects that are still years out, she said. “Horizon two, we need to get better at, and that’s what we’re doing.”

n

It’s worth stressing that Microsoft AI, which launched about two years ago, marks the first time there’s a business, marketing and product management team associated with Microsoft Research, so the team does get a lot of insights into upcoming technologies. Just in the last couple of years, Microsoft has published more than 6,000 research papers on AI, some of which clearly have a future in the company’s products.

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Microsoft Research is a globally distributed playground for people interested in solving fundamental science problems. These projects often focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, and since Microsoft is on a mission to infuse all of its products with more AI smarts, it’s no surprise that it’s also seeking ways to integrate Microsoft Research’s innovations […]

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from China and India can accelerate the green card process","content":"rendered":"

Securing a green card can feel overwhelming for people in Silicon Valley who were born in India and China. But with the right help and guidance from a skilled immigration attorney, the process can be simpler, smoother and more successful.

n

Limits written into existing immigration laws on both the number of green cards issued each year, as well as the number of green cards available based on country of origin, leave some waiting half a century or more for a green card, with people from India and China facing the longest wait times for employment-based green cards.

n

In this fiscal year, which ended on October 31, 226,000 family-sponsored green cards and 141,918 employment-based green cards were available. And the per-country cap, which is the maximum number of green cards available to individuals born in a particular country, was 25,754.u00a0

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Although these U.S. laws pose an extra challenge for people born in countries with the highest demand for green cards, if you were born in India or China, there are some things you can do to mitigate this wait.

n

Differentiate yourself

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The EB-1 green card is considered the u201cfirst preferenceu201d for those who’ll receive offers for employment-based green cards. It offers three unique and accelerated sub-paths:u00a0

n
    n
  • EB-1A green card for individuals of extraordinary abilityu00a0
  • n
  • EB-1B green card for outstanding researchers and professors
  • n
  • EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives
  • n
n

EB-1A green card for extraordinary ability does not require an employer sponsor or even a job offer, which means itu2019s one of the few self-petition green cards. To demonstrate eligibility,u00a0you must be able to show you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and that you and your work have received national or international acclaim.u00a0

n

Individuals who apply for the EB-1A do not need to obtain labor certification (as required of employers). That means the process is simpler and can be much faster than typical employment-based green cards. Also, an individual applicant may have more flexibility to change jobs than if an employer applied on their behalf.

n

EB-1B green card for outstanding researchers and professors requires an employer to sponsor you. Candidates for the EB-1B green card must demonstrate great achievements in their academic field.u00a0

n

And finally, the EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives enables an employer to bring an executive or manager who has been working abroad over to the U.S. to live and work. The EB-1C candidate must have worked outside the U.S. for the employer for at least one year.

n

This Cato Institute analysis estimates individuals born in China and India face waiting eight and nine years, respectively, for an EB-1 green card.u00a0Despite the small and growing backlog for EB-1 green cards for individuals born in China and India, it still remains one of the quicker options.
n

n

Invest in a project that creates jobs
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Securing a green card can feel overwhelming for people in Silicon Valley who were born in India and China. But with the right help and guidance from a skilled immigration attorney, the process can be simpler, smoother and more successful.

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We talk a lot about startup ecosystems around these parts, and for good reason. Strong ecosystems have great reservoirs of talent congregated close together, a culture built around helping one another on ambitious projects, and sufficient risk capital to ensure that interesting projects have the resources to get underway.

n

Strip off the ecosystem layer though, and you are left with the actual, physical manifestation of a city or region u2014 its housing, its transportation and mobility options, and its infrastructure. And if Charles Marohnu2019s Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperityu00a0is any indication, a whole heck of a swath of America has little hope of ever tapping into the modern knowledge economy or creating the kind of sustainable growth that builds u201cStrong Towns.u201d

n

Across the country, Marohn sees evidence of what he dubs a u201cMunicipal Ponzi scheme.u201d Cities u2014 armed with economic development dollars and consultants galore u2014 focus their energies and budgets on new housing subdivisions as well as far-flung, auto-dependent office parks and strip malls, all the while ignoring the long-term debt, maintenance costs, and municipal burdens they are transferring to future generations of residents. u201cThe growth creates an illusion of wealth, a broad, cultural misperception that the growing community is become [sic] stronger and more prosperous. Instead, with each new development, they become increasingly more insolvent,u201d the author writes.

n

He provides a multitude of examples, but few are as striking as that of Lafayette, Louisiana:

n

As one example, the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, had 5 feet of pipe per person in 1949. By 2015, that had grown to 50 feet, an increase of 1,000%. They had 2.4 fire hydrants per 1,000 people in 1949, but by 2015, they had 51.3. This is a 2,140% increase. Over the same period, median household income in Lafayette grew just 160% from an inflation-adjusted $27,700 to $45,000. And if national trends hold locally in Lafayette, which they almost certainly do, household savings decreased while personal debt skyrocketed. Lafayette grew its liabilities thousands of times over in service of a theory of national growth, yet its families are poorer.

n

The author contextualizes just how weird the modern American suburb and community is in the grand sweep of human history, where co-location, walkability, and human-scale density werenu2019t just norms, but necessities. The lack of thoughtful, dynamic planning that allows cities to adapt and evolve over time eventually comes to tear at the vitality of the town itself. u201cOnly the richest country in the world could build so much and make such poor use of it.u201d

n

Marohn has spent decades in urban planning and also runs Strong Towns, a non-profit advocacy organization that tries to create more sustainable cities by attempting to guide the urban planning conversation toward better models of adaptable growth. He brings an authority to the topic that is heartening, and the book is absolutely on the right vector on how to start to think about urban planning going forward.

n

In addition to his discussions around municipal finance, he makes the critical connections between urban planning and some of the most pressing challenges facing America today. He notes how the disintegration of tight-knit communities has exacerbated issues like drug abuse and mental health, and how the focus on big-box retail development has undermined smaller-scale entrepreneurship.

n

Even more heartening in some ways is that the solutions are seemingly so easy. For example, one is to simply account for the true, long-term costs of infrastructure and economic development dollars, properly accounting for u201cvalue per acre.u201d

n

Yet, the flaws in the book are manifold, and I couldnu2019t help but shake my head on numerous occasions at the extent to which movements to improve urban planning always seem to shudder on the weight of reality.

n

Nowhere are those flaws more glaring than over the actual preferences of the residents of these cities themselves. As anyone who lives in San Francisco or Palo Alto understands, there is a serious contingent of NIMBYs who consistently vote against housing and density regardless of its effects on inequality or urban quality. Kim-Mai Cutler wrote one of the definitive pieces on this topic five years ago right here at TechCrunch, and yet, all these years later, the same dynamics still animates local politics in California and across the world.

nn

The prescriptions offered in Strong Towns are not only correct, they are almost incontestable. u201cInstead of prioritizing maintenance based on condition or age, cities must prioritize based on financial productivity,u201d Marohn writes. Public dollars should be spent on the highest-impact maintenance projects. Who is really against that?

n

But, people are, as evidenced by city council meetings all across the United States and the simple ground truth that cities donu2019t spend their dollars wisely. Whether your issue is housing, or climate change, or economic development, or inequality, the reality is that residents vote, and their voices are heard. That leads to Marohn writing:

n

As a voter, as a property owner within a municipal corporation, as a person living cooperatively with my neighbors in a community, I can respect that some people prefer development styles that are financially ruinous to my city. My local government should not feel any obligation to provide those options, particularly at the price points people expect.

n

Yet, what should one do if 70-80% of a cityu2019s voters literally want to jump off the proverbial cliff?

n

Ultimately, should cities be responsive to their own voters? If San Francisco refuses to build more transit-oriented development and in the process exacerbates the climate change literally setting the Bay Area on fire, shouldnu2019t the damn voters burn straight to the ground?

n
nn

n

Marohn, who talks over several pages of his political evolution from Republican to complex libertarian communalist, never faithfully addresses this core problem with the Strong Towns thesis, or indeed, the entire activism around urban politics today. u201cAmerican culture spends a lot of time debating what should be done, but hardly any time discussing who should make the decision,u201d he writes. But we do u2014 we did u2014 discuss who makes the decisions, and our political systems actively respond to those decision-makers: local voters.

n

American towns are in a perilous state u2013 and that is precisely what people demanded and received. Marohn criticizes the planning profession for its lack of municipal sustainability, but seemingly is willing to substitute one group of far-flung experts with another to override the locals, presumably just with a different (better?) set of values.

n

In the final analysis, Strong Towns the book gets the fundamentals right. But will it change minds? Iu2019m doubtful. It certainly doesnu2019t offer a clear guidebook on how local leaders can start to educate their neighbors and build the kinds of voter blocs required to get local, democratic change on these issues. Ultimately, the book feels like a smaller footnote to the worthy work of Strong Towns the organization, which ultimately will drive the activity needed to build change on these issues.

nn","protected":false,"excerpt":"rendered":"

We talk a lot about startup ecosystems around these parts, and for good reason. Strong ecosystems have great reservoirs of talent congregated close together, a culture built around helping one another on ambitious projects, and sufficient risk capital to ensure that interesting projects have the resources to get underway. Strip off the ecosystem layer though, […]

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nn

His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

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nn

His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

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