2016-11-12

TechReView: US Votes For Change, Silicon Valley Shell-Shocked (video)

TechReView | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly review of technology news:

Feature • There's no way to sugarcoat what happened in the U.S. Presidential election: Entrepreneur and VC Peter Thiel, ridiculed and shunned in Silicon Valley for supporting Trump, emerged early Wednesday morning completely vindicated. Meanwhile, most of the Valley, which had joined the media and political establishment in heavily supporting, financially and otherwise, a baggage-laden candidate promising "more of the same," lost. For background see Clinton’s Coziness With Silicon Valley: More Troubling Than Her Wall Street Ties | TheFiscalTimes.com.

The biggest losers? Probably those wealthy tech insiders whose power stretches all the way to inside the beltway: Eric Schmidt (Google) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon).

Schmidt and Google had worked behind the scenes, until exposed by Wikileaks, to put Clinton in the White House. Bezos owns the Washington Post which had joined the free-for-all anti-Trump cacophony which dominated establishment media (TV, newspapers, online) reporting on the election. Even worse for the Clinton cabal, they were deceived by data--the media pollsters' defective methodologies proved once again the old tech adage--garbage in, garbage out:  

"Shell-Shocked"
Trump’s Data Team Saw a Different America—and They Were Right | Bloomberg.com: "How Team Trump Used Data to Win ... “Hillary Clinton was the perfect foil for Trump’s message,” says Steve Bannon, his campaign chief executive officer. “From her e-mail server, to her lavishly paid speeches to Wall Street bankers, to her FBI problems, she represented everything that middle-class Americans had had enough of”... “In the last week before the election, we undertook a big exercise to reweight all of our polling, because we thought that who [pollsters] were sampling from was the wrong idea of who the electorate was going to turn out to be this cycle,” says Matt Oczkowski, the head of product at London firm CambridgeAnalytica.org and team leader on Trump’s campaign. “If he was going to win this election, it was going to be because of a Brexit-style mentality and a different demographic trend than other people were seeing.”"
To top it all off, #TrumpTrain utilized the tools developed by Silicon Valley, from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram to Reddit to YouTube, to overcome the false narratives and fake news emanating from the political and media establishment.

What now? Two words: antitrust and taxes. For eight years, the Obama administration has been running interference for U.S. tech behemoths utilizing offshore tax avoidance schemes as well as flaunting antitrust regulations, most notably in the European Union. While Trump may pass a tax bill that gives an opening for U.S. companies to repatriate their billions in profits trapped offshore, don't expect Trump to condone, much less run interference for, tax avoidance schemes utilized by the likes of Google, Amazon, Apple, et al. Nor is Trump likely to look away from antitrust violations, in the U.S. or abroad, by the tech giants, having already said Amazon has an antitrust problem. Google has antitrust problems as well. So does the AT&T-Time Warner deal. They're all vulnerable now due to their arrogant abuse of dominant market positions and political power. They didn't hedge their bets, and now, Trump owes them nothing.

Other Takes:

•  Silicon Valley Reels After Trump’s Election | NYTimes.com: "In private, during the campaign, many tech leaders were positive that their vision would prevail over Mr. Trump’s. When asked about whether they were preparing in any way for a Trump victory, bigwigs at many of the industry’s leading tech and financial firms were bemused by the notion. They thought it would never happen. The deeper worry is that tech is out of step with the national and global mood, and failed to recognize the social and economic anxieties roiling the nation — many of them hastened by the products the industry devises."

•  Peter Thiel Said to Join Trump’s Presidential Transition Team | Bloomberg.com--"Thiel to vet appointees, prioritize policies, people say eliminating waste, decreasing debt likely to top list--Venture capitalist Peter Thiel will join President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition team, a move that solidifies the Facebook Inc. board member’s power and could help Silicon Valley have a say in the next administration ..."

•  Jeff Bezos, who once joked about sending Trump to space, changes tune | USAtoday.com

•  Trump meets with Obama at the White House as whirlwind transition starts | WashingtonPost.com

•  3 Things Startups Can Learn From the Donald Trump Victory | AfricaStartUpLab.com

Other Tech News:

•  Alibaba's Alipay Takes On Apple Pay And PayPal On Their USA Home Turf: "... DFS Group inked a deal with Ant Financial to launch Alipay at San Francisco International Airport. Retailers around the world are also eager to embrace Alipay in order to court Chinese spenders. Alipay is now accepted at British luxury department stores Harrods and Selfridges. Before long, it will be at Macy's or Nordstrom. What's alarming is that Alipay seems to have no contenders. Apple Pay, PayPal, or any other U.S. payment service provider, powerlessly watched Alipay's whirlwind foray around the world and into the U.S. market without making any attempt to combat it. Their lack of action presents a startling contrast to Alipay's breakneck development."--SeekingAlpha.com

•   Alibaba Tops Singles’ Day Record as Chinese Consumers Rally: "Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. broke its Singles’ Day sales record with room to spare, offering assurances about the strength of the Chinese consumer despite the nation’s economic slowdown."--Bloomberg.com

•  Russia to Block LinkedIn after Court Ruling: Russian lawmakers passed new rules last year that required any personal digital data on Russian citizens collected by companies to be stored within the country.--NYTimes.com

•  Tech stocks drop as Wall Street focuses on Trump stimulus--Reuters.com
•  Google lawyer says Android helps rather than harms competition--Reuters.com
•  Tesla buys Germany's Grohmann Engineering, to assist electric car production--Reuters.com
•  Ireland to formally submit appeal on Apple case--Reuters.com
•  Broadcom lines up $6.5 billion bridge loan for Brocade buy--Reuters.com


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