Stephen E. Arnold: Palantir Funding + PBI Comment – Not Matched by Vision, Engineering, or Utility

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Palantir and Its Funding

I read “Palantir May Have Raised More Than We Thought, Perhaps $165 million.” The article presented a revisionist view of how much money is in the Palantir piggy bank. Here’s the number I circled: $165 million since February 2014. I also marked this paragraph:

The Palo Alto company led by CEO Alex Karp disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday that it had raised more than $440 million in a funding round that began last November.

The numbers add up. The write up asserted:

The company co-founded by Karp, Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale and others in 2004 has raised a total of about $1 billion, with some of that funding coming from In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of U.S. intelligence agencies.

This works out to a $9 billion valuation.

The question now becomes, “How long will it take Palantir to generate sufficient revenue to pay back the investors and turn a profit?” The reason I ask is that IBM is chasing this market along with a legion of other firms.

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Sep 19

ScwartzReport: Cargill Sues Syngenta (Monsanto) for Closing China Market — Should US IT Industry Be Suing Dell ,HP, IBM, Etc. for Selling Out to NSA?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

It is beginning to look like GMO, principally an American economic activity, may not endure as structured. This is one example of why I say that. There is a developing consensus against it.

Cargill Sues Syngenta Over Sale of GMO Seeds Unapproved in China
JACOB BUNGE – The Wall Street Journal

In a fight that highlights global sensitivity over genetically modified crops, Cargill Inc. sued Syngenta AG SYNN.VX -0.56% , claiming that the Swiss seed maker’s push to sell bioengineered corn seeds that weren’t approved in China cost the U.S. grain company $90 million when Beijing rejected corn shipments.

The suit, filed on Friday in Louisiana state court, escalates tensions that have shaken U.S. agribusiness since China last year sharply curtailed imports of U.S. corn. Beijing’s move all but closed off a major market for the grain, contributing to a sharp decline this year in prices for the U.S.’s biggest crop by value and costing shippers hundreds of millions of dollars, according to U.S. grain groups.

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Sep 17

SchwartzReport: Syngenta Akss EPA to Raise Tolerance Level for Bee Killing Chemical by 400X — Evil, Shameless, Greedy — and the EPA Might be Corrupt Enough to Agree to Kill Remaining Bees

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is the latest in the bee crisis. It is so shameless and greedy it is breath-taking. Monsanto, Syngenta. These are evil corporations.

Please contact the EPA and let them know you are opposed to this. The decision will directly affect your life.

Syngenta Asks EPA to Raise Tolerance Level for ‘Bee-killing’ Chemical
TIFFANY STECKER – E & E Publishing

Seed and crop management company Syngenta Crop Protection LLC has petitioned U.S. EPA to increase the legal tolerance for a neonicotinoid pesticide residue in several crops — in one case increasing the acceptable level by 400 times, according to a notice in today’s Federal Register.

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Sep 14

Mary Ellen Bates: The Indispensable Librarian

Mary Ellen Bates

Mary Ellen Bates

The Indispensable Librarian [57 Slides]

Mary Ellen Bates

Sep 11, 2014

What’s the value of priceless? Special libraries return $5.43 for every $1 invested.

See Also:

Mary Ellen Bates @ Phi Beta Iota

Cliff Notes Below the Fold

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Sep 13

SchwartzReport: Municipalities versus Telecomms on Internet Speed

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is why the U.S. has second rate internet. Third rate compared to countries like Korea. This is a classic monopolist move to block competition and keep prices high and service poor. Only citizen action is going to stop this. You need to get involved. It’s just that simple, we all need to get involved. Only 57,1% of Americans voted in the last Presidential and that was one of the largest percentages in ! years. That means in our best years over 42% of those eligible don’t vote.

How Big Telecom Smothers City-run Broadband
ALLAN HOLMES – The Center for Public Integrity

Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

. . . . . . .

She viewed the network, which offers speeds about 80 times faster than AT&T and 10 times faster than Charter in Tullahoma according to advertised services, as a utility, like electricity, that all Tennesseans need.

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Sep 13

SchwartzReport: BP Gulf Spill “Gross Negligence” – $18 Billion Fine? Does Corporate Accountability Begin Now?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is some excellent news about the Gulf oil spill. A major court decision has seriously placed the blame and responsibility where it belongs. And the court also made it clear what it thinks about BP, Transocean, and Halliburton ethics and behavior.

‘Worst Case’ BP Ruling on Gulf Spill Means Billions More in Penalties
MARGARET CRONIN FISK, LAUREL BRUBAKER CALKINS and JEF FEELEY – Bloomberg

BP Plc acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled, handing down a long-awaited decision that may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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Sep 5

SchwartzReport: US Telecomms Strike Three — Lazy, Ignorant, Irrelevant

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

We are in our own way a developing world. Here you see the naked greed of aging infrastructure corporations attempting to block new technology owned by the public.

US Telecoms Giants Call on FCC to Block Cities’ Expansion of High-Speed Internet
DOMINIC RUSHE – Reader Supported News

The US telecoms industry called on the Federal Communications Commission on Friday to block two cities’ plans to expand high-speed internet services to their residents.

USTelecom, which represents telecoms giants Verizon, AT&T and others, wants the FCC to block expansion of two popular municipally owned high-speed internet networks, one in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the other in Wilson, North Carolina.

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Sep 2

SchwartzReport: Feds Lie, Marijuana Good… Could Marijuana Plus 9/11 Plus Unemployment Plus Wanton Wars Lead to Electoral Reform?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

I think this essay is stating the truth. I have read stuff coming out from the government on the subject of marijuana so flagrantly wrong that it has to be deliberate. Nobody speaking truthfully about the present state of research could possible make those statements.

The Feds Are Incapable of Telling Truth About Pot
PAUL ARMENTANO – AlterNet (U.S.)

In her latest blog post [3], US National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora Volkow claims that ‘science should guide marijuana policy.” But if the nation’s top anti-drug doc truly believes that facts, not ideological rhetoric, ought to shape America’s drug policies, why does she feel the need to keep distorting the truth about pot?

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Aug 30

Jean Lievens: Sharing Economy Sucking Chest Wounds…

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Unbearable Loneliness Of The Sharing Economy

by Brian S Hall

August 25th, 2014

The sharing economy promises the potential for riches, personal empowerment, new modes of work, and fear, the kind of fear that swells from a livelihood dependent upon algorithms, star ratings, and the feedback of strangers.

When we imagined the future, certainly starting from the point when the smartphone was born, few of us expected a world where in-kind tips and real time number crunching might determine where we live, how well we ate, the size of our home, the composition of our dearest friends.

Of course, in a world where billions are virtually connected, all fighting over the same job, the same task, the same dollars to be made by sharing our rooms, our cars, our talents, can we have any real friends? Or does everyone morph into some 21st century amalgamation of customer-competitor?

The billions of dollars fueling Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy appears to generate as much fear as it does potential, and rightly or no, the great minds and deep pockets of Silicon Valley are failing to address these fears.

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Aug 29

SchwartzReport: Market Basket — Board Fires Progressive CEO, Boomers Go on Strike to Reinstate — Mutuality Economics from the Bottom-Up

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is a lovely story of how capitalism could be run. It illustrates very clearly the difference between the vampire capitalism that dominates our economy, and the compassionate capitalism we could have.

Market Basket: The Return of Boomer Activism
LAUREN STILLER RIKLEEN – Forbes

Workers at the Market Basket supermarket chain just successfully undertook a high-risk job action with potentially historic repercussions. But this was more than just a fight for leadership control. It was also a story about boomers standing up for workplace values.

. . . . . . .

Arthur T. ran Market Basket with a straightforward and progressive management philosophy: treat its 25,000 employees (and customers) with respect and attention; promote from within; provide great pay and retirement benefits and continually invest in your staff. As a result, he developed an extraordinarily devoted workforce of people who grew up at the company and remained for decades and took great pride in making the stores so successful.

Over time, though, Arthur T.’s pension programs and above-market salaries were criticized by the board, who felt such generosity depressed shareholder dividends. On June 23, the board ultimately voted to remove Arthur T. as president.

The Employees Push to Bring Back Their Boss

That’s when the chain’s employees – many of them boomers – rose up in revolt. Some went on strike; others played key roles in protests including rallies attended by thousands.

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Aug 29