Before Urs Hölzle became Google's first chief engineer, he took a tour of the company's server room at the Exodus data center in Santa Clara, Calif. Not yet a Google employee, Hölzle was taken there by Google co-founder Larry Page on February 1, 1999, on possibly the shortest Google data center tour of all time.
The amount of wealth concentrated in Silicon Valley and the greater technology industry offers no small amount of conspicuous consumption: owning a fleet of private jets, maintaining extravagant estates, and throwing parties with live tigers.
The industry's wealthiest company founders and CEOs have so much money that each day offers a new invitation to chase their wildest dreams and indulge, from flying catamarans to building floating cities. Consider this: Thanks to a surge in Google stock, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made roughly $3 billion each in 24 hours last week.
They aren't alone. Facebook CEO Mark … Read more
Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have lost a jet fuel perk, according to a new report.
Google and the Pentagon inked a deal, which started in 2007, that let Google purchase fuel for its entire fleet -- seven jets and two helicopters -- at a discounted price from the US government, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal ended on August 31 and was not renewed by NASA, which sponsored the agreement. According to the Journal, the deal ended after the Pentagon discovered Google may have been using the fuel for non-government flights, potentially violating its contract … Read more
Did you know that after 28 years, Burning Man has officially jumped the shark? Or at least cut the tether with its counterculture roots and become the new Davos, where tech bigwigs swarm the annual desert gathering wearing fancy outfits and bearing fat wallets.
The "arrival" of tech's elite and their money led grumpy chroniclers to complain how the latest Burning Man festival was little more than another venue for Silicon Valley's ruling class to share power lunches. And that, harrumph, harrumph, we are told, is bad. "Is Burning Man the new golf?" tweeted … Read more
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is said to no longer be living with his wife, biologist and tech entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki, according to AllThingsD.
The couple has been married for six years and has two children; they are said to still be good friends and partners. The reason for their separation, which isn't yet legal, is unclear. However, according to AllThingsD, Brin is reportedly romantically involved with a Google employee.
Wojcicki is the co-founder of a genetic-testing startup called 23andMe, which lets users get rapid genetic tests. Together, Brin and Wojcicki are known for donating millions of dollars to charities … Read more
Bill Gates doesn't think much of Google's Project Loon, which uses solar-powered, remote-controlled balloons outfitted with broadband transmitters to bring Internet connectivity to the two-thirds of the people on the planet who don't have easy or affordable access to the technology. In an interview in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, he said:
When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you. When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that. Certainly I'm a huge believer in the digital … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- How hotel Wi-Fi killed my Chromecast travel dreams.
- Burger grown from cow stem cells in laboratory put to taste test in London.
- Japanese scientist creates "poop burger"? Surely not.
Google's Sergey Brin has said that he funded a Dutch university's project to craft the world's first lab-grown burger.
The slab of synthetic meat, seen above, was grown using cells from a cow's shoulder, which were grown into strips of meat, which in turn were mushed into a patty that required the killing of precisely zero cows.
That humane angle is apparently what intrigued Google co-founder Brin, who appeared in a video posted on The Guardian to say, "We have a vision in our minds of pristine farms, couple of cows, couple of chickens, but … Read more
The Google I/O keynote for 2013 is here and gone, but not without a fight; at nearly 4 hours, it was enough to challenge even the most rapt attention span.
Yet, Google I/O's central keynote event had precious little of the things we dreamed of and even downright expected. Instead, all most of us can seem to discuss is what we didn't get. Well, for starters:
When you work at one of the world's most successful -- and occasionally silliest -- companies, it's hard to create wonderful April Fool's pranks.
After all, you're supposed to contribute your best ideas to the company, so that they might be selected as one of the 15 or so that are used to fool the world on April 1.
It's astonishing that any Googlies have time left over for personal japes. You know, like punking the boss, for example.
And yet, evidence has emerged that members of the Google(x) team -- which I believe … Read more