IBM, Maersk Announce Global Blockchain Shipping Venture

IBM and A.P. Moeller-Maersk on Tuesday announced a joint venture to create a platform based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, with the goal of creating huge efficiencies in the global supply chain. IBM and Maersk have teamed up to provide a more efficient method of standardizing shipping logistics using blockchain technology. “Adoption of Hyperledger Fabric by Maersk and … IBM has the potential to remake the shipping sector landscape and its use of information technology,” said Brian Behlendorf, executive director of The Linux Foundation.

Recode Daily: Top venture capitalist Fred Wilson predicts the year in tech

Plus: Hollywood women join forces against sexual harassment, the sprawling industry of Big Addiction, and we’ve seen this vision of the future before.

The sage venture capitalist Fred Wilson looks back at his predictions for 2017 — and what really happened — and ahead to what he foresees for 2018. Three macro themes dominated the past year in tech, he says: The breakout of crypto/blockchain, the beginning of the end of white male dominance and the backlash against tech. Wilson sketches the likely narrative of the next 30 years: “Human beings don’t want to be controlled by machines. And we are increasingly being controlled by machines.” Meanwhile, for 2018, Wilson predicts more tech IPOs, even as mega-funds like SoftBank make it easier for big tech companies to stay private by raising huge rounds. [Fred Wilson / A VC]

A network of 300 prominent Hollywood women launched Times Up, an ambitious initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and media — and in blue-collar workplaces. Continuing the momentum of 2017’s cascading revelations of sexual harassment, the movement was announced in major U.S. newspapers, with an open letter signed by actresses America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and Reese Witherspoon, producer Shonda Rhimes and many other A-listers; the group already has a legal defense fund backed by $ 13 million in donations. [Cara Buckley / The New York Times]

Verizon approached Rupert Murdoch about buying much of 21st Century Fox this summer. Murdoch ended up selling to Disney instead, but the Verizon offer, reported in a long look at the Disney/Fox deal, is a reminder of the telco’s big media ambitions. [Brooks Barnes and Sydney Ember / The New York Times]

The New Yorkers China expert, Evan Osnos, observes China’s growing stature on the world stage — and how Beijing has learned to use U.S. President Trump to its advantage. While Trump dumps American commitments, President Xi Jinping is increasing China’s investments in the types of assets that established American authority in the previous century: Foreign aid and influence, overseas security and the most advanced new technologies, such as artificial intelligence. [Evan Osnos / The New Yorker]

Otto, the startup that wanted to sell a $ 700 smart lock, is shuttering before it ever shipped a product. In a Medium post, CEO Sam Jadallah tells his version of the story, which includes plans to sell his firm to a public company.

Top stories from Recode

Marijuana is legal in California now. Will an Uber-for-pot gold rush follow?

Starting the year off on a high note.

Three million people stayed in Airbnbs over New Year’s Eve. Eight years ago, only 1,400 did.

Airbnb has had a meteoric rise.

The best podcasts of 2017.

Recode Radio producer Eric Johnson shares his favorite episodes from Recode’s shows — and everyone else’s.

Recode readers and staff shared their 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

A whole lot of disconnecting going on.

This is cool

Eight overly confident, mostly pessimistic predictions about tech in 2018.

What the hell happened to the future? And how do we stop it from happening again?

Recode – All

The Chivas Venture will give away $1 million in equity-free funding at TNW Conference

At our Flagship Amsterdam event in May 2018, an expert jury selected by the Chivas Venture will divvy out $ 800,000 to social startups, with another $ 200,000 being provided to runners-up before the event. Here’s the story of how –and why– this partnership came about, as well as the full benefits available if you run a social startup. Over the years I’ve come to accept more and more that really great business partnerships are as likely to be the outcome of serendipity, as they are to be a feat of careful engineering. People often think that serendipity means being in the…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

Under fire for alleged sexual harassment, Shervin Pishevar temporarily leaves Hyperloop One and his venture capital firm

The high-profile investor gave no indication of when he would return.

Prominent tech investor Shervin Pishevar will temporarily leave his venture capital firm and his transportation company as he battles accusations of sexual harassment.

Pishevar, one of Silicon Valley’s most battle-scarred investors, said Tuesday that he would take an “immediate leave of absence” from both Sherpa Capital and Hyperloop One, the company built on well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk’s vision for fast and efficient freight and passenger transportation. He will also leave his current board responsibilities.

“This was a decision I came to and proposed on my own accord,” Pishevar said in a statement. “It is not one I took lightly and it was a difficult decision that was guided by Sherpa Capital’s abiding belief in service and putting others before ourselves.”

He gave no indication of when he would return.

Pishevar noted that he was taking the leave in order to protect his venture capital firm and its portfolio companies as he pursues a lawsuit against individuals who he said have conducted a “smear campaign” against him. Pishevar has filed a lawsuit against Definers Public Affairs, an opposition research firm, which has denied spreading information about him.

Pishevar is the latest venture capitalist to leave his firm amid allegations of sexual misconduct. A story published last week by Bloomberg included several women alleging that Pishevar touched them without their consent.

Pishevar co-founded Sherpa after rising to prominence at Menlo Ventures, a firm that placed one of the earliest bets in Uber, now the world’s most valuable startup. Pishevar has been a close friend of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and served as an observer on its board for several years. He is also a prominent donor to the Democratic Party, and several prominent politicians have reportedly said they will direct the money Pishevar donated to them to charities.

Sherpa Capital said Tuesday that it would launch an “independent internal review” to investigate what happened. It declined to say whether it would do so on Monday when asked by Recode, only saying that it was “taking this matter extremely seriously.”

“Since Sherpa Capital was founded in 2013, our Firm has been committed to upholding a culture of integrity and service, including best in class policies and practices that reflect these values,” said a Sherpa spokesperson on Tuesday. “We recognize the inherent challenges of reporting misconduct, but note that Sherpa has never received a sexual harassment complaint.”

Hyperloop One, where Pishevar is a co-founder and co-executive chairman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Recode – All

Australian Smart Buildings company Quantify raises $5M in venture funding

Quantify Technologies, an IoT company that develops smart/intelligent building applications and solutions raised $ 5M in venture capital. It was raised by placing 83M shares to new and existing investors at 6 cents a share. Quantify will use the funding proceeds for the testing of an integrated Amazon Alexa/Q Device product developed by Quantify.

“These funds will also allow us to accelerate development of further enhancements and integrations of technologies such as Amazon Alexa to further redefine the IoT industry standard and to make our solution the platform of choice,” Mark Lapins, head of Quantify Technologies.

The Q Device by Quantify can be used to control multiple IoT-based in-home devices. The core solution can be deployed at the time of a building’s construction or retro-fitted later.

Rolling out IoT solutions across an enterprise is considered a tough ask, especially when organizations have heterogeneous system operating upon different standards. This is where Quantify makes a difference by eliminating the needs to install dedicated gateway devices or communications hubs. It offers a core control and reporting API for the purpose.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things