October 28, 2022
Illustration: mathisworks/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
Good morning! Data shows that Silicon Valley’s political giving supports many Democrats. But the area’s elite — including Marc Andreesen, Sam Bankman-Fried, and Reid Hoffman — are also trying to boost tech in politics. This morning, we're taking a close look at where the money is going.
To get a sense of how the Silicon Valley elite have been channeling their political giving this cycle, Protocol's Ben Brody worked with the Center for Responsive Politics to lay out the donation patterns of tech’s most influential figureheads.
Many major tech players gave to progressives in hot-button contests, which is a pretty typical approach.
Lots of tech dollars also went to tech-specific causes. Take GMI PAC as an example: The crypto-allied, independent, and bipartisan group brought in $6 million from Silicon Valley, making it one of the top 10 recipients of tech dollars.
If you want to understand what’s important to tech’s elite, follow the money. And for the midterms, at least, it seems that Silicon Valley wants to bring more Silicon Valley to the world.
After a week of Wall Street types freaking out about slowing growth rates for cloud computing services, AWS gave the traders a fresh reason to reach for a new bottle of Tums yesterday, Protocol's Tom Krazit writes.
AWS revenue growth slowed to 27% during the last three months, an enviable pace for anyone not involved in the 15-year cloud infrastructure boom but well below expectations for the quarter.
The consumer economy is on shaky ground heading into the end of the year — that's beyond obvious at this point. And there have been worries throughout enterprise tech that such weakness would eventually carry over into its world.
“It is a strong testament to the benefits of cloud computing that despite two major obstacles to growth the worldwide market still expanded by 24% from last year,” said John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research, in a press release sent after Amazon’s report. If you want to really freak out about the health of a tech sector, talk to somebody at a social media company.
Many business leaders aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to migrating to the cloud. To help organizations adapt to this revolution, Capital One launched Capital One Software, a new enterprise B2B software business focused on providing cloud and data management solutions.
Investors may be taking issue with Meta’s freewheeling metaverse spending, but that isn’t stopping ordinary people from embracing metaverse-like platforms en masse. That’s the gist of a new report from Michael Wolf’s Activate Consulting this week, Protocol’s Janko Roettgers writes.
People aren’t just playing games. Activate interviewed more than 3,000 consumers about their use of online games and metaverse platforms and found that 77% of gamers participated in metaverse-like non-gaming activities within video games in the past 12 months.
That’s good news for companies developing metaverse platforms, but the monetization path for brands looking to hawk their products in the metaverse may be less clear. Only 18% of respondents said they have purchased physical goods in games over the past 12 months.
VR itself is still a small contributor to these trends, but headsets could turn out to be a bit of a gateway drug: Only 25% of headset owners told Activate that they bought their device for social interactions, but 43% ended up using it for that purpose.
In a tweet directed to advertisers, Elon Musk said he’s buying Twitter because it’s important to create “a common digital town square”:
Xbox boss Phil Spencer clarified at WSJ Live that the Activision deal isn’t about stealing players from Sony:
Office corporate VP Joe Belfiore is leaving Microsoft after 32 years in various roles at the company. He’ll stay on as an adviser for a few months to help with the transition.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is launching a new Office of Financial Technology early next year in response to the growth of fintech.
Private equity firms Thoma Bravo and Sunstone Partners are buying UserTesting, a consumer insights platform, for $7.50 per share in cash. This values the deal at $1.3 billion.
Sean Cardenas is the new vice president of sales at TripleBlind, a cybersecurity company. Cardenas joins TripleBlind from Incopro, where he led global sales.
Nancy Louisnord is the new global chief marketing officer at Manta, a data lineage platform. She joins the company from EasyVista, where she held a similar role.
Elon Musk’s Twitter deal closed last night, and he immediately fired CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and head of policy Vijaya Gadde, The Washington Post reported. Musk is taking the CEO role, according to Bloomberg, and plans to reverse permanent bans on the platform. And here's a rundown of what will be different with Twitter being private.
How bad was this week for tech? Well, Big Tech's market caps are down a combined $800 billion.
Still, Apple avoided the fate of many other tech companies in its earnings, with revenue and profit both beating analysts’ estimates — though it did warn that there could be a slowdown this quarter.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy allegedly violated federal labor laws, according to an NLRB complaint, which points to comments Jassy made earlier this year about workers being better off without a union.
Volkswagen will work with Intel’s Mobileye on automated driving following the dissolution of Argo AI.
The EU’s Digital Services Act has officially been published in the bloc’s Official Journal, leaving tech firms to figure out how to comply with the policy.
Intel is cutting $10 billion in costs by 2028 as hardware sales slump, though it’s unclear which business units this will affect.
One of the biggest climate takeaways from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook: The world needs more clean power — and lots of it.
Who should pay for internet infrastructure? European telecom groups say that Big Tech should pay more because their services use up so much bandwidth.
Amazon and Google struck a deal that allows Amazon to work with manufacturers like TCL, which also makes Android TVs and phones. The company will release two TV sets running its Fire TV software in Europe this fall through TCL.
Want to know if your ballot was counted? There’s a website for that.
Voters in almost half the country can now sign up to receive text messages that include information about ballot due dates and whether the ballot was received. This doesn’t do the voting for you — you’re still on the hook for filling out and mailing in your ballot — but it does keep your votes anonymous.
The flexibility of the cloud helps companies like Capital One unlock access to their data with performance that can scale instantly. But this flexibility and scale can also create a unique challenge for organizations and users who are not proficient in cloud optimization.
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