In 2003, Keith Rabois, a longtime Silicon Valley investor and executive, had an ambitious idea: He wanted to start a website that would instantly offer a fair price for your home. If you accepted the offer, the site would agree to buy your house immediately, closing the deal in a matter of days.
Robert Gren was working from home on Friday when, all of a sudden, his laptop stopped working.
What he initially thought was just a kink in his computer’s software was in fact part of a global ransomware attack that has affected more than 200,000 computers and caused untold havoc from China to Britain.
Mark Kearns, 38, a web designer and gamer from Chicago, stumbled upon a new video game called Star Citizen while online in late 2013. The game, which was in development, promised to revive the spaceflight simulation genre with a sprawling universe for players to explore.
In December, hackers impersonating an executive at Interscope Records, the record label owned by Universal Music Group, managed to bypass all the latest in digital defenses with a simple email.
In a carefully tailored message, the hackers urged an executive at September Management, a music management business, and another at Cherrytree Music Company, a management and record company, to send them Lady Gaga’s stem files — files used by music engineers and producers for remixing and remastering.
When the Georgetown University Law Center offered computer programming last year, it was an experiment, a single class for about 20 students. It was filled almost instantly, and the waitlist swelled to 130. This semester, the law school has five programming classes, and the waitlist still overflowed.
The big banks and Silicon Valley are waging an escalating battle over your personal financial data, including the amount you spent on dinner last week and how much you are paying for your mortgage. Technology start-ups like Mint and Betterment have been building services that pull together your bank account and credit card records — after you supply the passwords.
WikiLeaks this week published a trove of documents that appears to detail how the Central Intelligence Agency successfully hacked a wide variety of tech products, including iPhones, Android devices, Wi-Fi routers and Samsung televisions.
Intel, the world’s largest computer chip manufacturer, will invest $7 billion to finish a factory in Arizona, adding 3,000 jobs, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday after meeting with President Trump at the White House.
The completion of the factory, which will complement two other Intel semiconductor plants in Chandler, Ariz., had been under consideration for several years.
Saddled with $40,000 in college loans, Catherine Berendsohn, 29, struggled to get a web design business off the ground after graduating from Florida State University in 2010. Ms. Berendsohn, an artist-entrepreneur, wanted to rent a storefront and start a roving studio in Monterey, Calif. Her student loans, however, prevented her from getting the money she needed.
In the battle to dominate Europe’s cloud computing market, American tech giants are spending big to build up their local credibility.
Amazon Web Services, the largest player, announced last week that it would soon open multiple data centers in France and Britain. Google, which already has sites in countries like Finland and Belgium, is expected to finish a new multimillion-dollar data complex in the Netherlands by the end of the year.
Oracle Corporation may well be the single most important technology firm for businesses. Over 300,000 companies around the world use its database, and 100,000 customers have purchased its business applications. Even companies gunning for Oracle — like Amazon, Google and Salesforce — have used Oracle’s technology.
Why does that matter, though, in the world of cloud computing, and what will Oracle’s approach look like? Perhaps like a Google search, only for every business decision.
WASHINGTON — Ever since Jeff Bezos started the website Amazon to sell books, he has wrestled with how to deliver its products as quickly and cheaply as possible. Today, Amazon, now a retail giant, remains obsessed with this issue, building its own fleet of drones, buying trailers for trucks and signing up drivers for on-demand deliveries.
And nowhere is the company’s push to become a logistics and delivery powerhouse more evident than here in the nation’s capital. Amazon has emerged as one of the tech industry’s most outspoken players in Washington, spending millions on this effort and meeting regularly with lawmakers and regulators.
WASHINGTON — Apple engineers have begun developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone using methods similar to those now at the center of a court fight in California, according to people close to the company and security experts.
If Apple succeeds in upgrading its security — and experts say it almost surely will — the company will create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies, even if the Obama administration wins its fight over access to data stored on an iPhone used by one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., rampage. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to get into a phone in the future, it would need a new way to do so. That would most likely prompt a new cycle of court fights and, yet again, more technical fixes by Apple.
SEATTLE — When Microsoft acquired the creator of the game Minecraft in 2014, the giant software company instantly got a cachet bump with children, picking up a blockbuster game app for a generation that didn’t depend on its products the way their parents did.
LE BOURGET, France — When Bill Gates arrived at the Élysée Palace to meet the French president François Hollande and other officials in June, he brought a message.
Mr. Gates told Mr. Hollande that energy innovation needed to be a top agenda item at the climate change conference now taking place in this airport suburb outside Paris. For years, Mr. Gates had prodded governments to increase spending on research and development of clean technologies. He had sunk $1 billion of his own fortune into start-ups working on new kinds of batteries and nuclear reactors.
Dell will buy the storage provider EMC in a deal worth about $67 billion, the companies said on Monday. It will be one of the largest takeovers in the history of the technology industry. Andas Nick Wingfield noted last week, the deal is the most recent sign of the continuing evolution of the PC industry.
Shipments of personal computers fell nearly 11 percent last quarter, to the shock of almost no one. Sales have been declining for so long — 14 consecutive quarters — that it is becoming harder to remember a time when PCs ruled the tech world.
The prolonged slump helps explain why so many of the leading PC makers are scrambling to continue remaking themselves in a world dominated by mobile devices operated with touch, rather than mouse clicks.
SAN FRANCISCO — One hallmark of the current technology boom is a generation of start-ups valued at $1 billion or more by investors. Now meet the start-ups-in-waiting that may be next to reach that mark, if the white-hot market continues.
For seven days, hackers used Yahoo’s ad network to send malicious bits of code to computers that visit Yahoo’s collection of heavily trafficked websites, the company said on Monday.