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Data Sheet—Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I turned off the TV early last night and went to bed. Did I miss anything?

I did notice as I was shutting down that stock market futures were plunging at the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. These types of exogenous-variable market shocks typically don’t last as they aren’t tied to fundamentals. The markets judge this to be a disaster, like a terrorist attack or a major natural calamity. Typically only events like weak earnings or lost business truly affect stock market fundamentals.

And yet, the picture global investors are painting for U.S. markets is bleak, and Silicon Valley won’t be immune. Plunging equity values would put a damper on all the M&A that has been remaking the tech landscape. A U.S. trade war with China would hit technology companies hard, given how they have outsourced their manufacturing to China and have begun to count on it as a major end market. A protectionist country with an unpredictable president is no place to do serious business. Obama-loving Silicon Valley, a region replete with rags-to-riches stories of immigrants who parlayed their brains into great fortunes, will find no friend in the new White House.

At Fortune, we’ve been busy this week wrapping up an issue of the magazine that will anoint a different leader, our Businessperson of the Year. The election for our annual honor was contested overwhelmingly by data, that is, the financial performance of the business leader’s company. We allowed no candidate to campaign for the spot, and the only debates were among our editorial team. I can’t reveal the winner as we plan to do that first thing Thursday morning. I can tell you it’s a laudable, self-made executive who runs a one-of-a-kind business whose impact has been felt around the world.

Sounds like a leader to get behind, right?

Adam Lashinsky


Samsung apologizes for Galaxy Note 7 debacle. The South Korean smartphone maker took out full-page advertisements in major newspapers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to say it was “truly sorry” for the quality and safety issues with its ill-fated product. (Fortune)

Here’s how Intel is making its data center products even faster. The giant chipmaker is using embedded lasers and fiber optics technology to help its chips to communicate data to each other more rapidly—without using more energy. The approach won’t be available in commercial applications for at least three to five years, but it’s already being called a game changer. (Fortune)

Alphabet’s drone delivery project hits turbulence. Google’s parent removed two managers from the Project Wing initiative because of internal conflicts within the research lab. The team also grounded a partnership being discussed with coffee chain Starbucks, apparently due to a disagreement over how data would be used. (Fortune, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal)

GoPro recalls its new drone. The issue appears to be a problem with the Karma’s power supply, and GoPro has halted shipments until it can figure out the cause. Meanwhile, it’s offering full refunds on the roughly 2,500 devices it has sold so far. GoPro has been betting in this product diversification to rekindle growth, and the news comes as another blow to those prospects. (Fortune)

The cloud is ready for business, and business is finally ready for the cloud. There may still be a lot of “server huggers”— IT people who don’t want to trust any of their computing jobs to an outside cloud provider—but they’re getting harder to find, speakers at a technology conference in San Francisco agreed this week. (Fortune)

Ford pours millions into new technology center in India. The automaker, which has already invested about $2 billion in the country, will put another $195 million over the next five years into a facility near the Indian city of Chennai. Among other things, the group will work on mobility services. (Reuters)

Ireland readies its official appeal of Apple tax case. The country expects this week to file its formal challenge to the European Commission’s decision to fine the U.S. tech giant for billions in back taxes. The EU believes Ireland gave Apple special breaks that it shouldn’t have. (Reuters)


Facebook continues push to change data center industry. The social networking giant’s latest hardware invention is a relatively new type of networking switch dubbed Backpack, which when used in conjunction with Facebook’s recently announced Wedge 100 switch, can help the company greatly boost the speed in which data is funneled through its data centers.

Many technology analysts have said that Facebook’s push into an open-source data center hardware development model threatens the business model of traditional data center and telecommunication hardware companies like Cisco, Ericsson, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Indeed, many operators seem excited about Facebook’s approach.


Why Twitter Might Sell Vine Instead of Shutting It Down, by Mathew Ingram

Facebook Puts Deep Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, by Katie Fehrenbacher

Snapchat’s Lenses Aren’t Just for Human Faces Anymore, by Kia Kokalitcheva


Silicon Valley is panicking. The reality of a Donald Trump presidency hit hard among Twitter-loving tech types—few of whom supported the Republican candidate—on Tuesday evening. (Fortune)

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.
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