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Data Sheet—Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017, 1:45 PM UTC

Good morning from San Francisco, where last night Fortune hosted its annual Brainstorm Tech conference walk-up dinner, a preview of our July event.

I interviewed Yoky Matsuoka, the brilliant roboticist who is chief technology officer of Alphabet’s Nest Labs. She painted a picture of how scientists from multiple complementary disciplines are working together to understand how machines and humans can work together.

We also used the dinner to have a group conversation with 80 or so tech industry luminaries about what the hottest topics in tech are and what we should be discussing in Aspen this summer. (The room was packed with impressive people. Three examples: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams of Medium, and Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital.) Here are three themes that resonated for me:

  1. Tech’s downside. There’s a conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley that all technology is good technology. No one much wants to hear the downside: that tech throws people out of work and otherwise can have a negative impact on our lives. One participant suggested a “societal impact statement” before technology is implemented, much the way environmental impacts need to be assessed before building projects commence.
  2. Voice. Twice this week people have made the case to me that as powerful voice-recognition and processing engines like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Home improve, we won’t need our computers or smartphones as much. That’s a paradigm shift I hadn’t fully considered until now.
  3. False news. I was heartened to hear that non-journalists are hopping mad about the pernicious impact of contra-factual “content” on civil society. They’re pointing fingers, too, at Google and Facebook for not devoting enough of their billions in profits to fixing the problems. That leaves me hopeful we’ll fix this.

Have a great weekend.

Adam Lashinsky


Lyft is getting a $500 million lift from investors. The ride-sharing company is finalizing a new funding round that values the company at approximately $7.5 billion, which is about $2 billion higher than what it was worth after its last infusion. Lyft is using Uber's various scandals, especially controversy of its treatment of women, to its advantage. (Fortune, New York Times)

Samsung rises above scandals to project best quarter in three years. The South Korean conglomerate expects operating profit of $8.8 billion for the January-to-March period, which far exceeds the $8.29 billion projected by analysts. The big driver is its semiconductor business, which is benefiting from accelerating smartphone and data center server sales. The revelation coincided with opening arguments in the bribery trial against vice chairman Jay Y. Lee. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

Facebook is giving away a free version of its Slack killer. The paid edition of the social networking giant's collaboration and messaging app, Workplace, came out last year and is used by big companies like French food giant Danone and coffee purveyor Starbucks. (Fortune)

AMD's stock rally screeches to a halt. The chipmaker's shares lost 9% of their value on Thursday, after an analyst suggested the company will have a tough time meeting "lofty competitive and financial targets." (Fortune)

Adidas will use 3D printers to mass-produce soles for its latest sneaker. The athletic apparel company will partner with startup Carbon to pull off this plan. Rivals Nike, Under Armour, and New Balance are experimenting with similar strategies, but not at this proposed scale. (Reuters)

The battle against fake news continue. Facebook has published a set of guidelines for how to spot untrue stories, while Google's YouTube video division has made it tougher for channels that feature disputed content to make money on advertising. (Fortune, Fortune)

Auto supplier Delphi wants to do more with data from trucks and cars. It has signed several new agreements that should help its automaker customers better organize and analyze the flood of information and metrics now generated by vehicle components. Research suggests there could be at least 152 million Internet-connected cars on the road by 2020. (Fortune)

Twitter's co-founder plans to unload 30% of his stock. Evan Williams, who is the social media company's biggest shareholder, said he will sell off the shares over the next year. Apparently, he intends to use the money for charitable and political causes. (Wall Street Journal)


Comcast Is Now Selling Wireless Service, But Only In Its Regions, by Aaron Pressman

Google Brings New Search Option to Its Cloud Services, by Barb Darrow

Here's Why Twitter Lost the NFL and Will Probably Lose Similar Deals in the Future, by Mathew Ingram

Justin Trudeau Has a Plan to Save Jobs from Automation, by Jonathan Vanian

Amazon Is Hiring 30,000 Part-Time Employees, by Don Reisinger

How Sprint Is Making Unlimited Data for the Long Term, by Aaron Pressman


Twitter resists summons to disclose who's behind Trump-critical account. The handle in question, @alt_uscis, may or may not be controlled by former or current federal employees and Homeland Security wants their identities. The social media company is suing to block that demand, saying it threatens a "time-honored tradition of pseudonymous free speech on matters of public moment." (New York Times)


Open Networking Summit: The future of open source communications. (April 7-9; Santa Clara, Calif.)

MuleSoft Connect: Connect apps, data and devices. (April 18-20; San Francisco)

F8: Facebook's developer conference. (April 18-19; San Jose, Calif.)

Marketing Nation Summit: Marketo's annual event for digital marketers. (April 23-26; San Francisco)

JiveWorld: Strategies and technologies for workplace collaboration. (May 1-3; Las Vegas)

Data Citizens: Strategies for data governance. (May 2-3; New York)

Apttus Accelerate: Perspectives on automating the "quote-to-cash" process. (May 2-4; San Francisco)

Collision: A tech conference created by the organizers of Europe's Web Summit. (May 2-4; New Orleans)

Red Hat Summit: The premier open source technology event. (May 2-4; Boston)

Knowledge17: ServiceNow's annual customer gathering. (May 7-11; Orlando, Fla.)

Gartner IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit: How to accommodate cloud services and other "digital" technologies. (May 8-10; Orlando, Fla.)

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference: Actionable advice about martech. (May 10-12: San Diego)

Outperform: The PROS annual conference about omnichannel commerce technology. (May 10-12; Chicago)

Build: Microsoft's annual conference for software developers. (May 10-12; Seattle)

MarkLogic World: Enterprise database strategies and insights. (May 16-17; Chicago)

Google I/O: Alphabet's annual developer conference. (May 17-19; Mountain View, California)

Epicor Insights: Strategies for retail and resource planning. (May 22-25; Nashville)

Signal: Twilio's annual developer confab. (May 24-25; San Francisco)

Apple Worldwide Developer Conference: An annual gathering of iOS, macOS, and watchOS coders. (June 5-9; San Francisco)

Pure//Accelerate: The future of data storage. (June 12-14; San Francisco)

MongoDB World: A gathering of the world's fastest-growing database community. (June 20-21; Chicago)

Cisco Live: Education for technology innovators. (June 25-29; Las Vegas)

.NEXT: Nutanix's conference on the future of enterprise cloud services. (June 28-30; Washington, D.C.)

Fortune Brainstorm Tech: An invitation-only summer retreat for business leaders. (July 17-19, Aspen, Colo.)

Microsoft Ignite: Hands-on learning and industry insights for business leaders. (Sept. 25-29; Orlando, Florida)

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.
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