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Danny In The Valley

Author: The Sunday Times

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After more than a decade in London, Danny Fortson returns to Silicon Valley to meet the techies trying to change the world - and make loads of money while doing it.

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155 Episodes
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The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Jeff Kofman, founder of Trint, to talk about creating a transcription startup (4:30), solving the problem (7:30), what to do when others start giving it away for free (8:45), why competition isn't a bad thing (11:00), the history of speech-to-text (18:00), how being a journalist trained him to be an entrepreneur (20:50), how digital shifted to the front foot (23:30), being terrified by rivals (28:50), expanding beyond his first idea (31:30), lettuce (34:50), raising $10 million (35:50), and his worst day of work (37:50).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson bring on Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, to talk about pole vaulting (3:50), meandering from Ghana to Mississippi to Oxford (5:50), how her upbringing shaped her work (8:20), founding the Justice League (10:10), the lack of transparency in artificial intelligence (12:30), on how we’ve already lost our faces (14:20), the problems with data (15:40), Amazon’s failing system (21:10), why companies sell flawed product (26:10), the problem of standards (28:10), what she expects to happen with facial recognition (31:20), the regulatory backlash (33:35), why she chose the Justice League name (35:50), why she backs films and art (36:35) and being joined by others (38:50).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Andrew Fursman, co-founder of 1Qbit, to talk about quantum computing (4:00), how close we are to useful applications (7:00), simulating worlds (9:30), desktop carbon sequestration (13:00), what quantum computers look like (16:20), the race to develop hardware (20:00), if we are approaching a quantum “moment” (22:00), what he did before 1QBit (25:40), his pitch to investors (27:40), and investing in quantum as an insurance policy (29:15).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent brings on Dr Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security, to talk about what we’ve learned about coronavirus (2:55), why we should be wearing face shields (8:25), whether we should sanitise our groceries (11:05), why outdoors is better (12:25), the second wave (13:45), lockdowns (15:05), the differences from 1918 (18:25), how who is getting sick influences the response (23:00), why he’s confident a vaccine is coming (26:45), living with risk (29:25), the importance of leadership (33:00), and what we know about immunity (36:40).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Amber Atherton, founder of Zyper, to talk about brand “super-fans” (4:45), finding them (6:55), starting as an intern at Vogue (7:35), starting her first company in her teens (8:30), moving to California for Y Combinator (11:20), why super fans are important (12:55), the problem with influencer marketing (15:35), why rampant online fakery is good for Zyper (19:45), being anti-influencer (21:45), creating brand “clubs” (23:00), starring in Made in Chelsea (26:10), leaving the show (30:25), the wild ride of fame (31:05), and transforming into a remote-only company (33:35).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Rashida Richardson, head of policy research at AI Now, to talk about tech’s pang of conscience about facial recognition technology (3:40), predictive policing (5:20), the problem with the technology (8:15), how pervasive it is (11:30), the laws (13:40), the visceral effect of this technology (18:00), how AI is seeping into law enforcement (20:25), the data problem (25:20), whether this moment will lead to a crackdown (27:05), if a ban is realistic (29:25), and the race to the bottom (33:45).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paddy Cosgrove, founder of tech conference Web Summit, to talk about doing a virtual event in a pandemic (6:00), the hit to cities and vendors (10:15), the existential threat to events (13:15), why software might help (15:30), cancelling (18:30), what happens to flagship event Web Summit (22:30), the collapse in costs (24:15), algorithmically-engineered random meetings (28:10), how potential attendees have reacted (34:25), negotiating with cities (36:15), why he prizes having a non-techie slate (40:00), the problem with tech journalism (42:30), and the unknowable future (45:10).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A moment to honor George Floyd  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity and chief executive of Kitty Hawk, on the turning point for online education (6:40), the slow evolution of university (8:10), the broken business model of higher education (11:20), the importance of social cache (16:05), how he got started (18:40), doing it despite Stanford’s resistance (22:00), competing against the big brands (25:40), the limits of online learning (28:20), how the pandemic has impacted his other passion, flying cars (30:40), how he got started (34:40), what flying cars could do to transport (37:10), the hurdles (40:10), why history is important (42:40), the fear of uncertainty (46:00), and using AI in cancer (49:55).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson, managing partner at venture capital firm NFX, to talk about the golden age of social media (3:00), the early social network he founded (5:10), the ice age (7:20), how social media is like railroads (9:10), the opportunity for social work apps (11:50), the chilling Facebook effect (13:00), the early days of Houseparty (16:), its moment arriving five years later (20:00), the buzzy Clubhouse app (21:00), how the idea of identity has changed (22:40), his involvement in the founding of Bebo (25:15), why being first isn't necessarily best (27:50), the paucity of founders (32:10), and why we shouldn’t underestimate Facebook (32:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on John Bruce, co-founder with Sir Tim Berners-Lee of Inrupt, to talk about remaking the web (3:40), putting data back in users’ control (5:30), data pods (6:50), getting “paid” for your data (8:50), why progress will be gradual (10:50), the underlying tech (13:20), how close it is to coming to market (15:00), the pilot with the NHS (17:00), how the incumbents might react (19:10), how Covid could create an opening (22:00), how 20 people can change the web (27:00), bypassing Silicon Valley venture capital (30:10), what happens next (32:15), and what a better internet could look like (35:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Fred Turner, founder of Curative, to talk about creating a new coronavirus test (3:55), hiring 200 people in 7 weeks (5:35), what’s different about Curative’s test (7:10), how he got involved (10:40), who is backing him (13:25), starting with cows (16:00), then moving to STD’s (19:10), sepsis testing (25:20), coming from a tinkering family (26:), getting rejected by the NHS (29:00), the bottlenecks (33:10), moving to California as a teenager (35:20), raising money in a pandemic (37:30), singing up the US Air Force (41:00), and how he tests his employees (41:25).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Steve Sinclair, product head at Mojo Vision, to talk about "smart" contact lenses (2:00), why glasses are harder (4:00), working on this for ten years (7:30), gambling as a killer app (10:00), the possibilities of “invisible computing” (14:00), uses in conjunction with brain-computer interface tech (17:00), raising $159 million (20:40), how it works (23:10), the movement toward less screen time (28:20), the military applications (30:10), why now (32:50), and what else needs to be figured out (37:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Big Short, to talk about government as a manager of risk (3:35), the fifth risk (5:0), how Trump’s handling of the transition from Obama foreshadowed crisis (8:10), what he found inside the government (10:20), when he realised the nightmare scenario had arrived (12:50), why Donald Trump is responsible (15:50), why no one is surprised (19:35), the death clock (23:25), and why cowardice is dangerous (24:50).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Eric Ries, author of Lean Startup and founder of the Long-Term Stock Exchange, to talk about trying to build a PPE procurement website (2:55), the problem (5:40), what he can do as a techie (10:35), starting a hotline (13:35), waiting for the government (13:45), the bottlenecks (18:00), fears of oversupply (22:05) why the cavalry is not coming (25:00), the difference between demand and production capacity (28:20), and launching a stock exchange in a pandemic (31:55).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Meredith Whitaker, founder of AI Now and organiser of the Google walk-out, to talk about how she arrived at the search giant 13 years ago (3:40), delving into tech’s effects on society (4:30), becoming a critic (6:15), and then a labour organiser (8:40), the debate on Silicon Valley working with the Pentagon (11:30), AI bias (14:50), sentencing algorithms (17:00), the Google walk-out (19:45), retaliation (22:30), the dangers of government co-opting Big Tech in the coronavirus response (25:25), how AI can reinforce societal divides (32:30), and the plight of “essential” workers (34:15).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings Damion Shelton, founder of Agility Robotics, to talk about what he did before robots (3:00), making a humanoid robot (5:20), legs v wheels (10:30), the Covid effect (12:45) the public acceptance challenge (15:30), going to market as quickly as possible (17:40), how the smartphone changed the game (23:10), delivering parcels (26:40), where he draws the line with military uses (30:05), how long before it will be this robot is in the wild (34:30), how the machines will be like volunteer firefighters (38:05), and his worst day of work (41:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Serge Saxonov, founder of 10x Genomics, to talk about the end of normalcy (3:00), his high-end espresso machine for biology (4:20), delivering on the promise of genomics (6:20), how 10x is contributing to the coronavirus vaccine race (8:00), why a vaccine is theoretically achievable (10:15), the global shift to Covid research (13:15), leaving the Soviet Union and landing in New York (15:30), starting 23andMe (19:20), starting 10x (22:00), why it was hard to raise money (23:25), luring Softbank as an investor (25:55), 10x's footprint (26:50), the importance of resolution (28:10), and his worst day of work (32:00)  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Keller Rinaudo, founder of Zipline, to talk about using drones to deliver medical supplies (3:25), dropping blood from the sky (6:10), the fast-forwarded plan for America (7:10), why drone delivery has been so slow to roll out (10:00), how the coronavirus pandemic will sweep away obstacles (11:50), the future of pandemic treatments (14:40), how drone delivery works (17:35), the way Africa is responding to coronavirus (20:00), the rise of the robots (22:00), what Zipline's planes can do (24:15), and why the future is now (25:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paul Romer, Nobel Prize-winning economist, to talk about making our way out of the coronavirus crisis (2:15), the two key investments (5:35), mass testing (9:25), the future of work (14:00), how long can we do lockdown (16:30), whether private industry can rise to the occasion (18:30), how the world will bifurcate (23:10), what life looks like in two months (25:30), the debt bomb (27:45), the metrics to watch (30:15), and the dangers of a failed state (33:30).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (1)

Santiago Calderón (Perejil)

Man, what an asshole! No wonder this episode is so short!

Nov 29th
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