Andy Rubin: Story about $90M Google exit package part of ‘smear campaign’

When Android creator Andy Rubin left Google four years ago, Google co-founder Larry Page was generous with his praise. Now a new report claims the tech giant was generous in 90 million other ways, in the form of a $90 million exit package awarded to Rubin despite the fact he was accused of sexual misconduct.

The Times story also mentioned a couple of other instances in which prominent Google executives received either exit packages or a pass after allegations of sexual misconduct, a damning report in the light of the “Me Too” movement and in the aftermath of sexual-harassment scandals that have brought down many a tech executive — and other people in power at other industries.

Thursday night, Rubin responded publicly to the New York Times story, which included the claim that he “coerced” a woman with whom he was having an extramarital relationship to perform oral sex on him in a hotel room in 2013.

Rubin said in a two-part tweet: “The New York Times story contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation. Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room. These false allegations are part of a smear campaign to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle. Also, I am deeply troubled that anonymous Google executives are commenting about my personnel file and misrepresenting the facts.”

When reached Thursday, a Google spokesperson would not comment specifically on Rubin’s reported exit package, but did send a copy of the email Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent to the company’s employees after the Times story’s publication.

In the letter, Pichai said the story was “difficult to read,” and that the company is “dead serious” about the issue. He disclosed that the company has fired 48 people over sexual harassment in the past …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Investors are pouring money into startups that are trying to find a cure for aging

laura deming longevity fund

A recent report published by CB Insights shows that funding for aging-related companies has far surpassed previous years.
It comes at a time where scientists are understanding more about how humans age and how targeting different elements of aging could slow the progression of diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Here are the major venture firms, investors, and pharmaceutical companies putting money into advancing anti-aging research and treatments.

Funding in the anti-aging field is at an all-time high.

Investors have bet $850 million on aging and longevity startups so far this year, according to a recent CB Insights report. There’s been tremendous growth recently. That’s up from $324 million last year, and almost nothing before 2016.

The burgeoning interest in anti-aging treatments has been fueled by growing scientific knowledge about how the aging process works. In fact, in 2013, the journal Cell published a paper that outlined the nine key biologic hallmarks implicated in aging.

Since then, scientists have been working to develop drugs to tackle specific features of aging. Even the National Institutes of Health carved out a department dedicated to aging research. NIH believes that aging is the common factor underlying diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

By solving aging, scientists could in turn create a universal cure for all of these diseases, the thinking goes.

More funding translates to greater capacity for research and more clinical trials. In 2015, there was a jump in the number of clinical trials targeting aging, and over the last 3 years, that number has held steady around that new high.

Key investors and VC firms

A record amount of funding flowed into companies involved in the aging area this year, according to the report. This includes Samumed’s recent fundraising round that raised $438 million. The company wants to use stem cells …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Is a lack of company pride killing your company? Research says it could be

Are your employees proud to work for your company? You should be making sure they are. A study at Facebook found that pride in the workplace was the single most important driver of engagement. And at a time when Gallup’s gauge of employee engagement finds less than 35 percent of Americans are engaged at work — contributing to lower retention and productivity — everyone is trying to figure out how to increase it. There might not be only one answer to what drives engagement, but pride is a strong place to start. Employers try to boost employees’ dedication to their…

This story continues at The Next Web …read more

Source:: The Next Web – Technology


How do you mourn a monster? Family plight explored in ‘Resting Place’ at Magic Theatre in SF

When people have done something monstrous, there’s often a lot of voyeuristic interest in their backgrounds — what were the warning signs, what could have driven them to do such a thing? But people don’t often think about what the perpetrators’ families go through. There’s often an assumption that on some level the family must be partly to blame.

“The Resting Place,” the season opener at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre, explores the mourning family of a young man who killed himself after his unforgivable crimes were exposed. They have to grapple with trying to express their love and grief for Travis and honor his memory while at the same time coming to terms with the tremendous harm he inflicted on others.

This world premiere is the Magic debut of playwright Ashlin Halfnight, a former professional hockey player who’s currently a writer on the Netflix show “Bloodline.”

The title, “The Resting Place,” is on one hand utterly forgettable, easily confused with several other recent plays at the Magic alone. On the other hand, it’s clearly appropriate to the subject matter of trying to find a way to lay a troublesome loved one to rest. Not incidentally, it’s also a Sophocles reference, a phrase from “Oedipus at Colonus” and also from some translations of “Antigone.”

The “Antigone” connection is overt in Halfnight’s play. Thundering into the family home (a terrific set by Edward T. Morris of a cozy, uncluttered living room) comes Annie, a crusading environmental activist who immediately tries to take charge of the situation that the rest of the family has been handling by itself for days. Martha Brigham plays Annie with the overbearing assertiveness of a steamroller, treating any suggestion of compromise as an existential threat.

Annie insists on a public funeral for her beloved brother, which the rest of the family has already …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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