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Data Sheet—Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In what is sure to become a widely debated education policy, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to require computer science courses at the city’s public schools within the next decade. The New York Times broke the news of this strategy Tuesday night.

Chicago and San Francisco have embraced similar declarations. Big tech companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce are among those supporting those plans with their wallets. For its part, New York is throwing an estimated $81 million at this problem, much of that money from private sources. I’m sure we’ll hear more about donors in the days to come.

New York’s declaration underscores ongoing tech talent shortages across the United States, that is unless you’re trying to hire in tech hubs like San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. Now, the really hard part: finding K-12 teachers actually certified in this subject.

If you’re not a night owl, you might have missed Apple CEO Tim Cook’s interview with Stephen Colbert. The chat included the requisite plug for the new iPhone. Siri even got into the act. Also making headlines this morning: Re/code reports that former Cisco executive Rob Lloyd, once a potential successor to John Chambers, is now leading transportation startup Hyperloop Technologies.




HP’s latest jobs cuts would fill a small city. It will lay off another 25,000 to 30,000 people, about 10% of its entire workforce, in a measure meant to save $2.7 billion annually. Many of those positions will come from its enterprise services team, even though that’s still one of CEO Meg Whitman’s strategic priorities. (Fortune)


Big banks collaborate on blockchain. Goldman Sachs and Barclays are among the high-profile financial institutions behind a new initiative intended to set clearer standards for cryptocurrency. (Re/code)

Target has come a long way in e-commerce. It’s testing everything from grocery deliveries via Instacart to personalized marketing offers beamed by in-store beacons. The technology investments required to get there weren’t glamorous. (Fortune)

Comcast wants business from businesses. A new division will sell data services outside its traditional territory, helping customers aggregate purchases. (Wall Street Journal)

PayPal bets on gambling. The payments company is testing services with four online site operators, including Caesars Entertainment. (Fortune)

AT&T remakes itself. The wireless carrier has big plans for the Internet of things. Among companies already relying on its services: anti-car theft company LoJack and industrial equipment maker Emerson. (Fortune)

Walgreens prescribes on-demand deliveries. It’s the latest big company teaming up with Postmates. Other big brands using the service: Apple Store, Chipotle, 7-Eleven, and Starbucks. (Fortune)


There could be a silver lining behind the ad-blocking apocalypse

For most media companies and publishers, especially ones that rely on advertising for the bulk of their revenue—in other words, almost all of them—ad blocking sounds like an unmitigated disaster, albeit one that is partly of their own making. Fortune’s Mathew Ingram reports on why it could turn out to be a good thing.


Bring on the lawyers. Twitter faces snooping accusations. … Chicago citizens are suing over the new “Netflix tax.” The fight over responsibility for Target’s security breach is now a class-action lawsuit. … Uber takes on French regulations that threaten the sharing economy. Stateside, the ride-sharing company is appealing the latest ruling in its dispute with drivers over employment status. (Journal, Ars TechnicaReuters)

Buzz off while the Pope’s around. Drones are banned during the pontiff’s visit to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Selfies could be another story. (Fortune)

Coming soon (maybe): an alternative to Facebook’s “like” button. Not everybody likes that plan. (Times)

One big thing you should know about Nintendo’s new president. He’s a numbers man. (Fortune)

Want to release an insanely successful mobile app? You might want to consult Whalerock Industries, app creator to the Kardashian sisters. (Fortune)

Cisco network routers hacked. The attack has been detected on three continents. (Reuters)

The cost of Internet insecurity is high. But the economic potential outweighs the risks, declares a new analysis by the Atlantic Council. (Fortune)


It’s Jeff Bezos vs. Elon Musk and Richard Branson—in space by Tom Huddleston, Jr.

The U.S Air Force is building a supercomputer to cut through its own red tape by Clay Dillow

How Pixar brings its animated movies to life by Jonathan Vanian

Meet the women shaping our virtual future by Susan Price

How Slack is helping reimagine what a document is by Derrick Harris



Intel struts its stuff on the catwalk. The company’s “responsive garment” technology gets a preview among New York fashionistas. (Fortune)