Last Wednesday, a Twitter fight erupted between technology experts Michael Arrington, founder and former editor of TechCrunch, and Vivek Wadhwa, a technology researcher and writer, after a screening of CNN's documentary, "The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley."
Weeks ahead of the premiere of a CNN documentary focusing on diversity in the tech industry, the charged issue is already generating sparks. A heated debate broke out on Twitter Wednesday night after a preview screening of Black in America 4.
One year ago at his annual TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Michael Arrington -- founder of the blog that functions as Silicon Valley's hometown newspaper -- took the stage and shocked the audience with a deal to sell his venture to AOL.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about "sharing" info and "connecting" people to each other more than Kanye West talks about himself. And the site's mission statement hits those themes hard, saying Facebook's goal is to give people "the power to share and make the world more open and connected."
When Fox and NBC Universal announced last March that they would join forces to put their TV shows online, the pundits of Silicon Valley howled with derision. Old media doesn't get the Internet, they said. Michael Arrington, the influential editor of TechCrunch, rattled off the reasons the project would never succeed and suggested that Fox and NBC quickly name their joint venture before it got stuck with the moniker insiders at Google had reportedly given it: Clown Co.
Michael Arrington is a partying kind of guy. While showing off his home in Atherton, Calif., he boasts about how he crammed 500 people into his one-acre backyard at a bash in February. Then there are the official parties, like the one he threw last Friday at August Capital, a nearby venture firm. Weeks ago, Arrington posted an open invitation on his website at 3 a.m. By sunrise, all 500 spots were taken; the onslaught of traffic crashed his site.
The headlines all screamed of a musical detente between Apple and Sony. But the headlines got it wrong. Sony is in fact adding support for AAC, a digital-music file format also used by Apple. But Sony isn't adopting FairPlay, the digital rights management system Apple uses in its iTunes Music Store to prevent piracy. Still, Sony's move will make it easier for iTunes users to move at least part of their music libraries onto Sony music players. Any songs they have ripped from CDs onto their hard drives in the unprotected AAC format -- the default setting in iTunes software -- will now play without requiring cumbersome recoding.
Since the Motorola Rokr's disappointing launch, iPod lovers have been hotly anticipating a cell phone that really does the job of playing music and fielding calls with equal aplomb. Now, it looks likelier than ever that Apple is actually working on such a device, which observers have dubbed the "iPhone." Smarthouse, an Australian tech magazine, reports on its website that Apple has approached several Taiwanese contract manufacturers to build the product for it. "Among manufacturers in Taiwan it is common knowledge," says an unnamed executive at BenQ, a Taiwanese maker of cell phones and handhelds. The BenQ executive's comments follow analyst reports that Hon Hai Precision or Taiwan Green Point Enterprises may land an iPhone contract.