Oracle CEO Mark Hurd explains how the cloud is helping the company use its lawyers less (ORCL, AMZN)


Oracle is as famous within the tech industry for its legal department as it is for its ubiquitous database software. The company’s lawyer-heavy reputation was immortalized in this classic comic by Googler Manu Cornetorg charts comic by manu cornet

At a media event at Oracle’s Silicon Valley headquarters, co-CEO Mark Hurd told Recode’s Kara Swisher that the switch to cloud computing — where customers rent functionally unlimited supercomputing power and applications from companies like Oracle — has required Oracle to rethink this approach, at least a little. 

(Swisher’s full conversation with Hurd will be featured in a forthcoming episode of the Recode Decode podcast.)

Hurd uses the example of ride-hailing app Lyft, a flagship customer of Oracle’s accounting and financial cloud software.

"Historically," Hurd says, Oracle would write "big contracts" for customers, the procurement department would vet it, lawyers for both sides would negotiate the terms, and that would be that. But startups like Lyft don’t have a formal procurement department, or the same kind of IT buying process as those big Fortune 500 companies. 

Mark Hurd leaders circle

It means "we can’t show up with lawyers and stuff," says Hurd. And so, Hurd explains, Oracle took all the terms that would be in the normal contract, and made it something in which a customer can simply "click to accept" — sort of like the iTunes consumer terms of service.

In the standard contract negotiation process, says Hurd, customers would usually ask for special terms, and "80% of the time, if if you asked, you got them." Now, Hurd says, Oracle includes most of those special terms into that "click to accept" contract, streamlining the whole process. 

This move makes it easier for Oracle to bring customers on board, quickly, Hurd says — which is good, given the company’s ambitious, but somewhat controversial, play to topple Amazon Web Services, the intensely profitable arm of the Amazon retail empire, currently considered the cloud to beat. 

Indeed, Hurd credits much of Amazon’s success with its ability to bring customers onto their platform without ever having to talk to a salesperson: "I think they’ve done a good job creating a frictionless acquisition process for customers."

SEE ALSO: The CEO paying employees $10,000 to leave San Francisco explains how it’s helping him build a $20 million business

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NOW WATCH: These are the foods a food-poisoning lawyer refuses to eat

from SAI

‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ beat YouPorn in the race for traffic


When a new Switch game comes out, you’ve gotta drop everything and play it — and apparently that even means dropping your porn habit.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released for the Switch on April 28th, and in the days following its appearance, YouPorn saw a significant drop in traffic among users they identified as gamers. But don’t worry — folks eventually made their way back to seeking out a more adult form of entertainment and when they did their searches were… interesting.

According to YouPorn, as the game’s worldwide release began on Thursday they saw a 41 percent dip among traffic from users identified as gamers. By Friday, when the game was out everywhere, gamer traffic was down by a whopping 52 percent. By the end of the weekend, it was only down 30 percent. 

This is substantially higher than the decline seen in early March when the Switch itself debuted, alongside Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Traffic from gamers was only down 17 percent at its lowest point that weekend. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch is already the fastest selling of all the Mario Karts, so perhaps it’s not surprising that so many people were so absorbed. 

Interestingly, when they did finally return to seeking out porn, they still had Mario on the brain. Nintendo-related searches surged 47 percent following the game’s release. Men were 213 percent more likely to look for it than women, and it was also most popular among people in the 18-24 year old range. 

So what exactly were people looking for? Nothing too mindblowingly creative, really. “Rosalina nude pics” was high on the list, as were “Princess Peach Cartoon,” “Princess Peach & Daisy,” and “Bowser & Peach.” Of course, “Mario & Luigi” are in the mix and the classic “Zelda Cosplay.”

It’s truly the best of both worlds. After all, why pick between porn and Mario Kart when you can have them both?

from Mashable!

We got up close and personal with Ford’s $400,000 GT supercar (F)


Ford GT 22

I wrote an entire book about Ford’s new GT supercar, but up until quite recently, I had only gazed upon the car at auto shows and watched the race-car version win the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France. Briefly, I sat in it at the 2017 Detroit auto show.

That all changed when Ford brought a brand-new GT to Manhattan’s Classic Car Club to show off the $400,000 machine’s multiple driving modes.

I slipped into the driver’s seat, tucked in front of the mid-mounted 647-horsepower twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, and pressed the start button.


The glorious machine came to life. Here’s what it was like, inside and out:

Photos by Hollis Johnson.


SEE ALSO: Ford is giving GT owners 5 ways to drive its $400,000 supercar

The GT arrived on a rainy day in Manhattan. The "Liquid Blue" paint job was what the car wore when it was debuted to dropped jaws at the 2015 Detroit auto show.

I got in the driver’s seat as quickly as possible.

The design is a symphony of bold gestures, smoothly flowing lines, and exotic shapes. The Ford design team worked in secret on the car for a year.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI

5 Psychological Burdens of Being an Entrepreneur


Entrepreneurship is frequently portrayed as exciting, amusing or even lavish (especially after a company has become successful), but the truth is, there’s a dark side to entrepreneurship that isn’t frequently publicized.

Related: Enjoy the Ride: How to Deal With the Mental Burden of Entrepreneurship

Most entrepreneurs in the public eye are ones who have become very successful, while the majority of business owners endure a silent struggle — whether they’re making a consistent profit or not.

It’s rewarding to start and manage your own business even if you fail, but before you take the plunge, be ready for these psychological burdens that entrepreneurs have to bear:

1. Accountability

Everything that goes wrong is going to be your fault — or at least, that’s how it’s going to seem. As the leader of your organization, you’re the one making the final call on most decisions, and you’re the one who will be most affected (whether positively or negatively) by those decisions’ outcomes. Making too many decisions can increase your levels of stress, and increased stress can lead to poor decision making, so you may get caught in a relentless cycle of stress and decisions, a study by the National Institute of  Occupational Safety and Health reported.

2. Financial stress and uncertainty

There’s no such thing as a “typical” startup; some of these businesses are able to get off the ground with almost no investment, while others spend millions of dollars before they go live. Still, the Small Business Administration estimates that the average startup requires at least $30,000 to get going, and if you’re the entreprepreneur starting the business, you may have to dip into your savings or accumulate debt you’re personally liable for.

On top of that, you’ll probably have to quit your day job to commit full-time to your new business, and it’s unlikely that you’ll generate revenue right away. You’ll need to survive at least a few months without any income. And you’ll have to do this based on a business plan you’re only marginally confident will eventually yield produce a steady stream of revenue.

Related: 5 Personal Obstacles That Limit Your Success

If you have a family, or are investing significant personal savings, the financial stress can be nightmarish.

3. Reluctance to trust

No entrepreneur builds a business alone, but even if you surround yourself with the best employees you can find, you might find it hard to trust them to take care of your baby. Still, you’re going to have to if you want the business to grow.

You’ll need to delegate tasks, entrust entire departments to other people and depend on your partners and vendors to have your back. On top of that, you’ll need to listen to the advice of mentors and other entrepreneurs if you want a fuller perspective on the issues you’ll face — and those people won’t always going to tell you what you want to hear.

Ultimately, the decisions and direction will be up to you, but you’ll still need to relinquish some control over what may be the most important project of your life.

4. Work-life balance

When you take on the role of an entrepreneur, everything else takes a back seat. You’ll be passionate and genuinely excited about your idea, and for the first few months, the long hours and weekends of work will be satisfying. But then, even though you can set your own hours, you’ll fall deeper into the demands of the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

You’ll see your family and friends less, you’ll get only a few hours of sleep every night, and you’ll end up skipping meals, eating junk food and falling back on some bad habits to keep yourself going. To make matters worse, as your health declines, you’ll find it harder to resist problems like depression and burnout.

5. Loneliness

It’s not often talked about, but entrepreneurship is incredibly lonely. On top of working long hours and being away from friends and family members, you won’t feel connected to the people around you. You’ll have to be the “boss” and the consummate professional to all the coworkers you consider a kind of family. And you won’t be able to show a moment of weakness — even if your company is on the brink of collapse.

You won’t have many, if any, peers, and regardless of whether you’re successful or not, you won’t make a lot of friends along the way. You’ll have professional contacts, perhaps, but not friends. That deep loneliness will complicate all the other psychological burdens even further.

Getting help

If you’re an entrepreneur struggling with these psychological burdens, you’ll need to get help. You’re dedicated to your company, I know, and you may either be in denial that you’re experiencing these burdens, or feel that you’re too busy to address them.

Related: Don’t Let the Loneliness of Entrepreneurship Kill You

But, make the time.

Take time off

. Go on vacation. Spend more time with your friends and loved ones. Talk to your peers. Engage a therapist. Whatever you have to do, prioritize your own self-care, or both you and your business will suffer the consequences.

from – Startup Business News and Articles – Starting a Business

5 everyday inventions you didn’t know came from DARPA


A lot of things you use on a daily basis have their roots in DARPA projects that were intended for military purposes. Sharon Weinberger, the author of the book "The Imagineers of War," describes a few of these inventions that you might not have been aware of, like the Roomba.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

So many of the things we use every day is linked to DARPA.

Sort of the more common example today is the Siri app on the iPhone. That grew directly out of a DARPA-funded project that wasn’t picked up by the military. The people working on it spun it off as an independent company, and it was bought by Apple and incorporated into the iPhone.

I think, sort of, what made DARPA’s reputation was computer networking. DARPA created the ARPANET, which was the first network of computers, which was later transitioned to the civilian internet. And that really cemented DARPA’s reputation as sort of an innovation agency or genius factory.

Other things that can be linked back to DARPA: GPS. So this is a tricky one. There’s a lot of times that DARPA claims GPS as its invention. It’s a little bit more complicated than that. DARPA, for a while, funded the predecessor to GPS called the Transit satellite. But DARPA did not invent GPS. But it gets a little bit of credit there.

iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba, the robotic vacuum cleaner, basically exists today, and its underlying technology exists because of DARPA funding. So DARPA didn’t specifically fund the Roomba, but it funded the company and its military work, which then eventually became the Roomba. What DARPA was interested in, and one of the things that got military funding, was the PackBot, which is made by iRobot, the same people who make Roomba, which was used for bomb disposal.

I think the most important commercial innovation that is emerging today are autonomous cars, self-driving cars that we’re just now seeing come into their own. That’s linked directly back, not just to decades of DARPA funding in robotics, which DARPA did, but also, most importantly, or at least importantly to the mid-2000s, when DARPA started a series of robotic car races called the Grand Challenge. And that really is what jump-started the autonomous care industry.

DARPA doesn’t make money off of the products it funds. It’s a little bit complicated, especially when dealing with patents and intellectual property. What DARPA gets, and what DARPA hopes to get, is products that will serve the military, that can be used by the military. But if a company wants to spin it off into the commercial realm, it it can and it does.

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from SAI

This dummy’s guide to making techno is oddly compelling to watch


How simple is techno – that genre that seems unstoppable, from Asia to Antarctica? It’s simple enough that it can be reduced to … six steps. No, kind of – seriously.

I expected to have my intelligence insulted by this video, and yet … uh, well, I’m an addict, because it just made me want to go make some new percussion samples. The approach is oddly on point and – let’s be honest – looks like fun.

You don’t need six steps, even, as I’m not sure what that acappella is about.

(The video was evidently created by artist Hobo, aka Canada/Detroit artist Joel Boychuk. And maybe part of why this works is, he’s a great artist.)

So, wait, before either a) some techno purists scoff at how wrong this is or how it’s just a joke, or b) some techno haters scoff at how this proves techno isn’t even music … let’s talk about what’s going on here.

So here’s my theory. Even before I get into my “techno is the new folk music” spiel, I can say this:

Making techno is like making pasta.

Anyone can make pasta. Anyone can enjoy making pasta. You can dump in a box of dry pasta, boil it, dump a can of tomato sauce on it and some cheese, and it’s pretty delicious. That might … cause … health problems after a while, so you can make pasta out of veggies or gluten-free pasta. You can add meat or fish or whatever. It’s still a pretty simple thing.

Even the sophisticated ways of making great pasta are not hard to understand. There are recipes. There are video tutorials. You can do it.

None of that accessibility has made pasta less desirable. (Again, if you’re anti-carbs, you can even do this veggie pasta thing – insert “experimental techno” forms here.)

Pasta is available all over the world now.

And yet even given all those things, none of this has robbed expert chefs of making truly exceptional pasta. What they’re doing is fundamentally no different from what you’re doing. You can even learn from what they’re doing and improve your dinner. But they’re still able to master truly great pasta, because that’s not about complexity, but about nuance.

And the beauty of simplicity is, it allows you to focus on nuance. When the template is this basic, then it’s obvious that variation is everything. And some of those variations can be discovered in an instant.

Of course, it’s possible I’m totally wrong, and the use of pans for sampling threw me off, or this is all ridiculous and I’m actually just hungry. But that’s okay, because some noodles will satisfy me, and then I won’t really care about what anyone else thinks, and I won’t really even need a metaphor.

Actually – that last bit may have been more important than any of the others.

And Hobo is still a master chef.

The post This dummy’s guide to making techno is oddly compelling to watch appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

from Create Digital Music