Scammers find a fertile market in India as internet spreads

March 15, 2023
BEED, India —  Ravindra Gaikwad did what is expected of cyberpolice chasing an online scam: He followed the money. But what initially seemed like an ordinary fraud case in his small town in western India ended up sending him on a 2,000-mile trip across three Indian states. Only then did he begin to understand how sophisticated […]

After SVB collapse, California business owners scramble

March 14, 2023
Locked out of her three accounts with failed Silicon Valley Bank, cookbook author Anna Vocino spent the weekend in a state of high anxiety, unsure about the future of her sauces and spices company. “I spent most of Friday afternoon writing all of our creditors and saying, ‘Hey, I know that we owe you money […]

Prop. 22: California appeals court upholds most of gig driver law

March 14, 2023
A California appeals court reversed most of a ruling invalidating Proposition 22, the state’s 2020 voter-approved gig economy law allowing giant ride-hailing and delivery companies to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. The 1st District Court of Appeal determined Proposition 22 should stand, disagreeing with a 2021 ruling finding that central provisions […]

Bank's failure disrupts a tech-world tradition at SXSW

March 13, 2023
AUSTIN, Texas —  Walking through Roku City on Sunday afternoon, you’d hardly know the namesake company was having an unusually stressful weekend. Sure, the faux metropolis — a several-story re-creation of Roku’s beloved screensaver, set up in the heart of downtown Austin for the city’s tech and culture extravaganza South by Southwest — had its share […]

Merchant: Silicon Valley Bank broke. Silicon Valley is broken

March 12, 2023
There have been a lot of reckonings for Silicon Valley of late — the falls from grace of once-mighty founders, the collapse of the crypto industry and mass layoffs across the tech sector, to name a few. But it’s the stunning failure of Silicon Valley Bank, the region’s go-to regular old bank and one of […]

Silicon Valley Bank's collapse sparks fears of layoffs, more failures

March 11, 2023
“Stay calm.” That’s what Greg Becker, chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank, told clients Thursday morning on a conference call, hastily convened to assure them the Santa Clara institution was confident it would weather a liquidity crunch. By the end of the day, as high-profile venture capital firms urged their portfolio companies to get their […]

Hiltzik: An old-fashioned run on a newfangled bank

March 10, 2023
All banking crises throughout history have shared a common element: Short-term depositors try to withdraw their money from institutions locked into long-term assets. When all the depositors try to get out at the same time, the result is an old-fashioned run on the bank. The bank can either dredge up the money to pay them, […]

Merchant: The week free speech died on Elon Musk's Twitter

March 6, 2023
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s officially safe to declare that Elon Musk’s dream of “free speech” on Twitter, whatever it may have been, is dead. It died as it lived: confusingly, underwhelmingly, and at the vainglorious whims of the man who dreamt it. Last week, without attracting much notice, Musk crossed a […]

ChatGPT raises the specter of conscious AI. Here's what to do about it

March 5, 2023
Even a couple of years ago, the idea that artificial intelligence might be conscious and capable of subjective experience seemed like pure science fiction. But in recent months, we’ve witnessed a dizzying flurry of developments in AI, including language models like ChatGPT and Bing Chat with remarkable skill at seemingly human conversation. Given these rapid […]
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