Musk, Zuckerberg, Kutcher invest in AI firm Vicarious

Three prominent figures in the technology world have invested serious cash into a company that's trying to make a major move in artificial intelligence.

Tesla chief Elon Musk, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and actor and venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher have invested $40 million into Vicarious, a company that's studying the human brain's neocortex and attempting to translate its function to computer code, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The neocortex is an essential element of being human, providing the functions that allow us to think, see, move, and much more. Speaking to the Journal in an … Read more

LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman sides with eBay in Icahn battle

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman says the battle between eBay and activist investor Carl Icahn exemplifies the fundamental difference between the culture of Wall Street and that of Silicon Valley.

He penned a blog post on Wednesday that balked at Icahn's idea of spinning out PayPal from eBay. He said that it appears Icahn doesn't understand Silicon Valley's culture of focusing on long-term growth and instead is just looking for quick returns on Wall Street.

"While PayPal is no longer a startup, it still has massive growth prospects. But to someone who isn't investing in the … Read more

Google invests $40M in Renaissance Learning

Google Capital, an investment arm for the search giant that has spent its cash on only two companies prior to this, has invested in Renaissance Learning.

Google Capital invested $40 million into Renaissance Learning, based on a $1 billion valuation. The news was shared on Wednesday with Recode. Google Capital has previously invested in Survey Monkey and Lending Club.

Renaissance Learning is one of many educational companies aimed at improving education at the K-12 levels. The company provides resources to schools to help them teach math and reading. The company told Recode that it currently has 18 million paid subscribers.… Read more

Lenovo-Motorola deal likely to win US regulatory approval but...

Lenovo's purchase of Motorola Mobility should get a green light from US regulators. But the company will have to agree to certain concessions in the name of US national security.

On Wednesday, the Chinese computer maker announced its $2.91 billion purchase of Google's Motorola mobile phone business and around 2,000 related patents. But like any major acquisition, this one has to go through the regulatory ropes before it's a done deal.

The purchase faces a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a federal agency that looks out for potential … Read more

Evan Williams' media startup Medium raises $25M

About a year ago, Twitter and Blogger co-founder Evan Williams launched a new startup called Medium. The idea was simple: create a platform that's a mix between the 140-character social network and the blogging platform that caters to anyone who has something to say. Now, this publishing tool is about to go through a growth spurt.

According to Recode, the startup just closed a $25 million round of funding, which is a hefty amount of money considering the average deal size is around $9 million.

The funding comes from a host of venture capital firms and investors such as … Read more

CyanogenMod raises $23 million

Cyanogen and its customized version of the Android operating system just might be onto something, if Silicon Valley investment is your preferred benchmark.

The company announced Thursday that it has closed its Series B funding with Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent, to the tune of $23 million.

The funds will be used to expand the current team of 25 to hire more engineers for nearly all aspects of CyanogenMod development: the core software, user interface and design, and product development. The board of directors will be joined by A16Z's Peter Levine as well.

Cyanogen didn't immediately respond to a … Read more

Judge: Facebook lawsuit over botched IPO can go on

The saga over Facebook's bungled initial public offering in May 2012 continues. US District Judge Robert Sweet has ruled the lawsuit can continue -- despite Facebook and bankers' intentions to get it thrown out, according to Reuters.

The social network became embroiled in this extensive legal battle shortly after its $16 billion IPO last May. The company's stock opened on the Nasdaq priced at $38 a share and, aside from a slight uptick right at the start, proceeded to plummet in the days and weeks following.

Dozens of shareholders sued Facebook claiming it failed to disclose in the … Read more

Man forgets he once bought $25 of Bitcoins -- now worth $848K

The things you don't think about can often bring you the most joy.

They manifest themselves to you at the most wonderful moments. Yes, sometimes they then leave you for a children's party magician, but that's not what happened to Kristoffer Koch.

In 2009, this no-doubt relaxed Norwegian wafted about his computer and decided to do a little online shopping. He spent 150 kroner (around $25.43) on some Bitcoins.

Actually, it was slightly more complex than that. At the time, he was writing a thesis about encryption and happened upon Bitcoin in passing.

As Norway's NRK reports, he made his purchase and then forgot all about it.

But once the Winklevii invest in something, you know it's going to be big. Indeed, earlier this year, the famous twins claimed they own 1 percent of all Bitcoins. … Read more

Robot makers index fund launches on Nasdaq

One hundred years ago, the smart money went into automobiles. Thirty years ago, it was personal computers. Is now the right time to invest in robots?

Some people think so, and Tuesday they launched the Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation Index, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

It's billed as the world's first benchmark index tracking robotics and automation companies, with 77 stocks from companies around the world included in the fund. … Read more

Mark Cuban wins insider trading case brought by SEC

A federal jury found on Wednesday that billionaire Mark Cuban did not partake in insider trading -- putting an end to a 5-year-old lawsuit filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"I am glad this happened to me," Cuban told The Wall Street Journal. "I am glad I am wealthy enough to stand up to the SEC."

The SEC filed the suit in 2008 against Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and former Yahoo and executive, for allegedly relying on confidential information when he sold his stake in search engine … Read more