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Data Sheet—Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving is a special time of year: We sit around the table, stuff our faces with pumpkin pie, and remember all of the things that drive us crazy about our relatives. It is also a time to give thanks for the blessings in our lives.

Here in Silicon Valley, those blessings are many—from warm weather to access to some of the world’s best minds and way more flavors of slow-drip coffee than any one person would ever have time to drink (they drip really, really slowly). In the spirit of the holiday weekend, I created my own list of things I’m thankful for, Silicon Valley-style. Anything to add? Tweet it to me: @mlevram.

Venture capital bubbles: For bursting and giving us business/tech journalists something to speculate and write about.

The sky-high real estate market: For guarding me from having to pay property taxes (because, at this rate, I’ll never be able to afford a home in the Bay Area and will be a lifelong apartment renter).

The Nextdoor social network: For notifying me about every single thing going on in my neighborhood, including that lady down the street looking for “others without plans for Thanksgiving.” (Cue pangs of guilt for not inviting her to my aunt’s Turkey Day dinner.)

Bitcoin digital currency: For providing me with a new way to give my hard-earned money away to my kid’s school. (Yes, my kindergartner’s public elementary school accepts donations via PayPal and bitcoin—only in the Bay Area.)

The Tinder dating app: No, I’m not on it. But I am thankful for the salacious stories inspired by its founding team, which have made for hours of titillating bedtime reading.

Big data: For making me feel ever so small.

And, last but not least, Soylent meal replacements: For giving introverts everywhere an alternative to socializing on Thanksgiving.

Your regular host, Fortune assistant managing editor Adam Lashinsky, is enjoying an extended Thanksgiving break. Michal Lev-Ram is a Fortune senior writer based in Silicon Valley who writes frequently about technology. Look for your next edition of Data Sheet on Monday, Nov. 30. Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers, and thanks for your support!

Michal Lev-Ram


Institutional shareholders want changes to Dell-EMC deal. Since the $67 billion buyout was disclosed in mid-October, the stock prices of VMware and EMC have plummeted by 30% and 9%, respectively. Some big investors say they’ll only support the deal if certain changes are made, reports Re/code. Among the requests: a $3 billion VMware stock buyback, adjustments to the rights of VMware tracking stockholders, and a new structure for the EMC-VMware cloud computing joint venture, Virtustream. (Re/code)

Reconfigured Hewlett-Packard companies are off to slow start. For its final quarter as a combined organization, Hewlett-Packard recorded its 16th revenue decline in the past 17 quarters. Don’t expect a fast turnaround now that HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have gone their separate ways. The CEOs for both companies just issued forecasts for the current quarter that are below analysts’ expectations. (Fortune)

Here’s how Marissa Mayer is performing. Three years into her turnaround strategy, the Yahoo CEO’s progress is “mixed” at best. If you’re keeping count, you should consult this handy scorecard created by the Wall Street Journal. Her biggest achievements: reaching 1 billion unique monthly viewers (although there’s no independent verification) and growing annual mobile revenue to $1.2 billion. (WSJ)

Square’s IPO gets bigger. Because the digital payments company’s initial public offering was priced below the anticipated range, the IPO underwriters issued another 4.05 million shares at the opening price of $9 per share. That means it raised $279 million instead of $243 million, 15% more than previously thought. (Fortune)

IBM open sources artificial intelligence technology. The tech giant is sharing a decade-old project called SystemML with the respected Apache Software Foundation, so other developers can use the software to write machine learning applications. Facebook and Alphabet’s Google division have both made similar overtures to the software development community. All three are racing to improve their AI expertise and believe that by sharing their technology, they can encourage faster adoption. (Wall Street Journal)

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi plans first Windows tablet. The device, which will be priced around $200, looks an awful lot like Apple’s iPad Mini. It isn’t likely to be sold in the United States: Xiaomi is best-known for its Android products in India and China. Still, the product—due in late December—could be a big boost for Windows 10. (Fortune)

E-commerce startup Jet raises another $350 million. The new infusion comes from Fidelity, and it values the company at around $1 billion before this round. Jet, which is trying to beat Amazon by selling products at steep discounts, has verbal commitments for another $150 million. It needs the cash, given its heavy spending on marketing. (Fortune)


Wearable tech gets intimate with women’s bodies

When we think about wearables, most of us imagine the Apple Watch, or fitness tracker FitBit—hardware that is worn on our wrists. Of course, some companies have gotten more creative, with smart ringsnecklaces that track your sleep, and clutches that double as phone speakers. But a new wave of wearables for women is going even further: inside our bodies. Read Fortune writer Valentina Zarya’s report on why this is far more than just a fashion campaign.


Why Fitbit’s auto-activity tracking is a big deal by Jason Cipriani

This futuristic maglev pod transit system will soon be a reality
by David Z. Morris

Retailers scrambling against latest credit card-stealing malware
by Robert Hackett

Have a smart thermostat? Now it’s time for a smart air vent.
by Stacey Higginbotham

Google shows sites that get the most ‘right to be forgotten’ requests, more than 500,000K pages removed by Jeff John Roberts

Survey says: Here’s the holiday season’s hottest tech by Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Microsoft cuts women’s jobs and ends up more male than last year
by Valentina Zarya


Jeff Bezos one-ups Elon Musk in new-age space race. The Amazon founder’s other venture (called Blue Origin) successfully launched its reusable rocket, which flew 62 miles up into space, and then landed safely in the Texas desert. (Fortune)

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy: