Chronicle of Higher Education: After Professors’ Criticism, Group Updates List of Google-Funded Scholars. “A group that created a list of scholars who’d received money from Google has updated the database in response to critics, including professors who said they didn’t belong on the list. In some cases the Campaign for Accountability, the creator of the dataset, defended putting professors on its list; in others, it clarified why scholars had been included; and in others, it removed academics from the list altogether.”
Bloomberg: Reddit Is Raising Funds Valuing Startup at $1.7 Billion. “Reddit is one of the few relics of the mid-2000s internet that has not only survived but thrived in recent years. Now venture capitalists are giving a major boost to the link-sharing website, with funding that will give the company a valuation of about $1.7 billion, two people familiar with the matter said.”
TechCrunch: Algolia raises $53 million for its search engine API. “French startup Algolia just raised a $53 million Series B round led by Accel, a couple of years after raising $18.3 million with… Accel also leading the round. So it looks like it’s a love story between the VC firm and the software-as-a-service startup. The reason is quite simple. Algolia is still growing like crazy, with its annual recurring revenue doubling every year. Algolia’s goal hasn’t changed — the startup wants to provide the best search experience to everyone building websites and apps out there.”
New York Times: Google, Not the Government, Is Building the Future. “The idea that Silicon Valley no longer funds big things isn’t just wrong, but also obtuse and fairly dangerous. Look at the cars, the rockets, the internet-beaming balloons and gliders, the voice assistants, drones, augmented and virtual reality devices, and every permutation of artificial intelligence you’ve ever encountered in sci-fi. Technology companies aren’t just funding big things — they are funding the biggest, most world-changing things. They are spending on ideas that, years from now, we may come to see as having altered life for much of the planet.”
The Saturday Paper: Restoring the National Film and Sound Archive. “Today, federal budget cuts mean film preservation – as well as digitisation of rapidly deteriorating television shows on defunct 20th-century magnetic tape formats – is in competition for funding with provision of public access to existing screen works. Ninety years on from Norman Dawn’s cavalier indulgence on Sydney Harbour, Milliken and others argue, Australia’s modern film preservation bureaucracy lacks vision.”
Ars Technica: Government funding’s impact three times larger than we thought. “In recent years, funding for research provided by the National Institutes of Health has struggled to keep up with inflation. A recent paper published in Science suggests this could mean bad things for the overall economy. Ana analysis of 27 years of NIH grants shows that 10 percent of them were acknowledged directly in new patents, and the research they funded showed up three times more often.”
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are pledging $3 billion to fight disease. Well, to fight the lack of funding for basic research. “Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are committing $3 billion over the next 10 years to accelerate basic scientific research, including the creation of research tools—from software to hardware to yet-undiscovered techniques—they hope will ultimately lead to scientific breakthroughs, the way the microscope and DNA sequencing have in generations past.” And, being Mark Zuckerberg, he doesn’t have to worry about anybody spending $1 billion of this money on a video scoreboard.