Cesar Sayoc allegedly was active on Twitter under the name “Cesar Altieri,” where he posted menacing tweets about Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, and others.
While we continue to lose ourselves in Rockstar Games’ open-world behemoth, we’ve got some thoughts.
To keep up with the rising demand for short-term rentals in U.S. cities and compete with the home-sharing giant Airbnb, travel booking site Expedia has picked up a pair of venture-backed hospitality startups, Pillow and ApartmentJet.
Employees of both companies will join Expedia . The company declined to disclose the financial terms of the deals.
“Acquiring Pillow and ApartmentJet will help unlock urban growth opportunities that, over time, will contribute to HomeAway’s ability to add an even broader selection of accommodations to its marketplace and marketplaces across Expedia Group brands, ensuring travelers always find the perfect place to stay,” the company explained in a statement.
Expedia paid $3.9 billion for HomeAway and its portfolio of travel brands in 2015. The deal was its first major move in the alternative accommodations space, as well as the beginning of a series of efforts to outdo VC darling Airbnb. Its latest targets provide software tools for property managers to easily manage short-term rentals on Airbnb competitors like HomeAway and VRBO.
Located in San Francisco, Pillow helps residents list their apartments as short-term rentals without violating their leases. It’s raised a total of $16.5 million in VC backing since 2013, including a $13.5 million round last year led by Mayfield, with participation from Sterling.VC, Peak Capital Partners, Expansion VC, Chris Anderson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Dennis Phelps and Veritas Investments.
ApartmentJet helps property owners earn money off vacancies. Founded in 2016, the Chicago-headquartered startup had raised a reported $1.2 million in capital from Network Ventures and BlueTree.
Bellevue-based Expedia Group owns several travel brands, including HomeAway, VRBO, Travelocity, trivago, Orbitz and Hotels.com. The company is both an active investor in and acquirer of startups.
Expedia’s shares rose 9.4 percent Thursday after its third-quarter earnings beat analyst expectations. The company posted $3.28 billion in revenue, a notable increase from last year’s $2.97 billion.
The delay could stretch into years, while a lawsuit challenging the FCC’s order repealing net neutrality rules is resolved.
At a press conference Friday, officials detailed how they identified and found Cesar Sayoc, who has been arrested in connection with a series of mail bombs targeting prominent liberals and CNN.
The Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI cloud contract bidding process has drawn a lot of attention. Earlier this month, Google withdrew, claiming ethical considerations. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos responded in an interview at Wired25 that he thinks that it’s a mistake for big tech companies to turn their back on the U.S. military. Microsoft president Brad Smith agrees.
In a blog post today, he made clear that Microsoft intends to be a bidder in government/military contracts, even if some Microsoft employees have a problem with it. While acknowledging the ethical considerations of today’s most advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, and the ways they could be abused, he explicitly stated that Microsoft will continue to work with the government and the military.
“First, we believe in the strong defense of the United States and we want the people who defend it to have access to the nation’s best technology, including from Microsoft,” Smith wrote in the blog post.
To that end, the company wants to win that JEDI cloud contract, something it has acknowledged from the start, even while criticizing the winner-take-all nature of the deal. In the blog post, Smith cited the JEDI contract as an example of the company’s desire to work closely with the U.S. government.
“Recently Microsoft bid on an important defense project. It’s the DOD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud project – or “JEDI” – which will re-engineer the Defense Department’s end-to-end IT infrastructure, from the Pentagon to field-level support of the country’s servicemen and women. The contract has not been awarded but it’s an example of the kind of work we are committed to doing,” he wrote.
He went on, much like Bezos, to wrap his company’s philosophy in patriotic rhetoric, rather than about winning lucrative contracts. “We want the people of this country and especially the people who serve this country to know that we at Microsoft have their backs. They will have access to the best technology that we create,” Smith wrote.
Throughout the piece, Smith continued to walk a fine line between patriotic duty to support the U.S. military, while carefully conceding that there will be different opinions in a large and diverse company population (some of whom aren’t U.S. citizens). Ultimately, he believes that it’s critical that tech companies be included in the conversation when the government uses advanced technologies.
“But we can’t expect these new developments to be addressed wisely if the people in the tech sector who know the most about technology withdraw from the conversation,” Smith wrote.
Like Bezos, he made it clear that the company leadership is going to continue to pursue contracts like JEDI, whether it’s out of a sense of duty or economic practicality or a little of both — whether employees agree or not.
Facebook took down another Iranian-based network of phony accounts Friday. This new campaign focused on American politics—and it was successful.