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So A Blogger Walks Into A Bar…

So A Blogger Walks Into A Bar…
Yesterday I was tipped off about a “secret meeting” between a group of “Super Angels” being held at Bin 38, a restaurant and bar in San Francisco. “Do not come, you will not be welcome,” I was told. So I did what any self respecting blogger would do – I drove over to Bin 38, parked my car and walked in. in the back of the restaurant in a private room was a long oval table. Sitting around the table, Godfather style, were ten or so of the highest profile angel investors in Silicon Valley. I certainly didn’t think anything was amiss and I expected a friendly hello and an invitation to sit down for a drink or two before being shooed off while they talked about whatever they thought should be kept off record. Me: Hey! I’ve never seen a more guilty looking group of people. This group of investors, which together account for nearly 100% of early stage startup deals in Silicon Valley, have been meeting regularly to compare notes. So what’s wrong with this? This isn’t minor league stuff. Related:  Articles Presse Divers et variés

The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small. The gala marked the social ascent of Koch, who, at the age of seventy, has become one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists.

AngelGate dispute among Valley investors cracks wide open When TechCrunch editor Mike Arrington barged in on a secret meeting of super angels, the wealthy individuals who are taking an increasingly prominent role in startup investing, the facts were open to interpretation. Arrington alleged that he heard the meeting was about illegal collusion. That seemed so unlikely. But now an email sent by investor Ron Conway (right) shows that there is a real fracture in the angel group about whether there was an attempt at collusion, as Arrington alleged. Two days ago, Arrington wrote a post where he alleged that the secret meeting that he crashed was in fact an attempt by a group of super angels, or well-heeled investors with their own funds, to illegally collude by agreeing to hold down startup valuations. Dave McClure, head of 500 Startups, wrote a post that blasted Arrington’s credibililty. The significance of McClure’s message became clear as an anonymous source then forwarded the actual email from Ron Conway to the angel group.

L'exposition «Our Body» est illégale Il faudra franchir les frontières françaises pour visiter la très controversée exposition «Our Body». Jeudi, la Cour de cassation a estimé que l'exhibition de cadavres humains à des fins commerciales était indécente, et à ce titre illégale (voir encadré). Elle a donc décidé de confirmer l'interdiction de l'exposition anatomique «Our Body, à corps ouvert». L’exposition avait déjà fait l’objet d’une interdiction en avril 2009 suite à la plainte déposée par les associations Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM) et Solidarité Chine. S. Respect, dignité et décence «Aux termes de l'article 16-1-1, alinéa 2, du code civil, les restes des personnes décédées doivent être traités avec respect, dignité et décence», or «l'exposition de cadavres à des fins commerciales méconnaît cette exigence» a jugé la Cour de cassation.

TechCrunch editor walks into meeting of “super angels” engaged in alleged collusion Mike Arrington, editor of TechCrunch, sure knows how to ruin a party. He evidently walked in on a meeting of prominent Silicon Valley investors and discovered they were allegedly colluding to keep a lid on startup valuations, cartel style. In a blog post, Arrington said that he was tipped off about a secret meeting of “super angels,” or well-heeled investors who are competing with the best venture capitalists to find early stage investments in hot companies in Silicon Valley. Arrington was told he was not welcome at the meeting at Bin 38, a restaurant and bar in San Francisco. “I’ve never seen a more guilty-looking group of people,” Arrington wrote. Arrington said the topics included: Arrington said two of the people attending were extremely uneasy about the meeting and told him they were only there to gather information, not participate. We don’t know what’s true here.

Mineurs chiliens: «Des contacts réguliers avec le monde extérieur devraient permettre d'éviter un stress trop important» Comment s’organise la vie pour la survie dans un espace confiné comme la mine dans laquelle sont piégés 33 mineurs chiliens depuis le 5 août? Les expériences menées avec des personnes seules dans un espace confiné et sans repères spatio-temporels ont montré que, dans ces cas-là, l’organisme s’organise seul pour générer un rythme qui lui est propre et tourne en général autour de 25 heures. Dans le cas d’un groupe, les individus se synchronisent entre eux sur un rythme d’environ 25 heures également. Le ratio veille/sommeil est-il toujours le même? Oui tout à fait. Le sommeil occupe environ un tiers du temps pour 2/3 de temps de veille, mais sans forcément le respect de l’alternance jour/nuit du monde extérieur, puisque le corps suit son propre rythme ou celui du groupe. Comment les individus gèrent-ils leurs angoisses liées au fait d’être prisonnier d’un environnement qui n’est pas habituellement le leur? Propos recueillis par Armelle Le Goff

Super angel Dave McClure admits he was at secret dinner, denies collusion Dave McClure, a “super angel” and founder of the seed stage startup fund 500 Startups, has writtten a profanity-ladened post in which he admits he was at a secret dinner that Techcrunch editor Mike Arrington barged in on. But McClure denied Arrington’s allegations that there was any collusion among the angels to hold startup valuations down. “Unfortunately I probably have more balls than sense, but it drives me f****** [we cleaned up his language a little] insane to see some bull**** superangel conspiracy theory get whipped into a frenzy by people who weren’t there, have no idea what the hell was discussed, and are ready to believe anything when someone yells FIRE!,” McClure wrote. McClure said he considered Arrington to be a friend, but he said Arrington was “dead f****** wrong” about the collusion which makes for “great red meat on Techmeme and Twitter, but it’s just so much horse****.” “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it,” he said.

Comment le faux Twitter du PS, tenu par l'UMP, a été débusqué Capture d’écran du compte Twitter Solferinien. Nadine Morano n’a pas totalement tort quand elle affirme qu’« Internet est le temple des rumeurs ». Mais la secrétaire d’Etat à la Famille devrait d’abord balayer devant la porte de son propre parti. Le PS vient de découvrir qu’un compte Twitter, prétendument tenu par un socialiste anonyme, était en fait alimenté par l’équipe web de l’UMP. Le compte en question, nommé « Solférinien » en référence à la rue de Solférino où se trouve le siège du PS, se targuait depuis fin août de dénoncer de l’intérieur de pseudo turpitudes socialistes. Derrière ce pseudo, se cacherait en fait Baptiste Roynette, chargé de la veille au sein de l’agence web interne de l’UMP. « Nous avons obtenu son adresse e-mail, il s’est trahi tout seul. » « Google communiquera votre adresse e-mail à Infra Web PS » Comment l’équipe web du PS a-t-elle procédé pour débusquer son homologue de l’UMP ? Copie d’écran de la Google App développée par le PS (Rue89)

Fire in The Valley, Fire in My Belly... and Yes, Mike, I Have Stopped Beating My Wife So i've been debating whether to write this post all day. Unfortunately i probably have more balls than sense, but it drives me fucking insane to see some bullshit superangel conspiracy theory get whipped into a frenzy by people who weren't there, have no idea what the hell was discussed, and are ready to believe anything when someone yells FIRE! so here goes nothing... first a few clarifications: - mike arrington is a friend, an imposing figure, and a hard-nosed, hard-working journalist. that said, he's dead fucking wrong about there being some story around " collusion" (def'n). makes for great red meat on TechMeme & Twitter, but it's just so much horseshit. - startups & investors bitch & moan about price (aka valuation) all day long, but i don't really give a damn what other people think most of the time. buy or don't buy. negotiate or don't. in short: if it Bleeds, it Leads... and Fuck. naah, screw that shit & lets get back to Collusion cuz that sells newspapers. as for lil ol' me?

Pourquoi Nicolas Sarkozy est visé par «Newsweek» Nicolas Sarkozy, visage du «nouvel extrémisme en Europe», c’est la une de Newsweek, paru mercredi. Le chef de l’Etat français illustre la montée de l’extrême droite sur le continent européen, après l’entrée d’un parti xénophobe au parlement suédois. «Une confusion intellectuelle et politique majeure», s’étonne Pascal Perrineau, directeur du Cevipof. «C’est confondre des phénomènes politiques qui n’ont rien à voir et pratiquer l’amalgame», s’agace-t-il, pointant le «caractère approximatif» des journalistes américains qui manient des «stéréotypes sur la marée brune en Europe». Une «une» injustifiée également pour son collègue, Gérard Grunberg pour qui «on assimile à tort Sarkozy à Berlusconi. «C’est la conséquence de la polémique autour des Roms et de ses répercussions au niveau européen», d’après Gérard Grunberg, qui juge que s’il y a eu des «maladresses côté Français», «l’attitude très violente de la Commission a répandu l’idée que la France s’était écartée des normes européennes».

AngelGate: Ron Conway Rips 'Despicable and Embarrassing' Super-Angel Investors Ron Conway, one of the most influential venture capitalists in technology, dropped a bombshell on Silicon Valley Thursday by accusing another group of prominent investors of "despicable and embarrassing" conduct surrounding hot startup investments. Conway's attack throws a barrel of gasoline on the rapidly escalating conflagration known as AngelGate -- an alleged conspiracy by a cartel of top early-stage, or "angel," investors to collude and fix price levels for hot tech investments. Techcrunch, which first reported the alleged scheme, obtained a copy of Conway's extraordinary email attack and posted it late Thursday. Conway confirmed the authenticity of the email to DailyFinance Thursday night, but declined to comment further. Earlier in the week, Techcrunch editor Michael Arrington, a former Silicon Valley lawyer, detailed what he described as a plot by angel investors "to keep other competitors out of the market, or to discuss ways to keep prices under control."

Midterms américaines: La campagne a-t-elle viré raciste? De notre correspondant à Los Angeles Tremblez, citoyens américains. L'étranger rode à vos frontière, à vos portes. Il est bronzé, mal rasé, porte une casquette à l'envers ou un turban et n'a qu'une mission: piquer vos emplois, profiter de vos impôts, faire sauter vos avions ou carrément conquérir votre pays. C'est en substance le message martelé par certains candidats (surtout républicains et soutenus par le Tea Party) dans des Etats clés. la championne s'appelle Sharron Angle. Après avoir montré de dangereux membres de gangs et des «familles qui vivent dans la peur», le message se termine par un cinglant: «Il est clair de quel côté se trouve Harry Reid. Le mythe des corps décapités laissés dans le désert Interrogée par un groupe de lycéens Latinos sur l'usage de ce stéréotype, Angle a répondu: «Je crois que vous interprétez mal ces spots. Désavouée par un important sénateur républicain local, Angle persiste sur sa ligne. Peur de l'islam Peur de la Chine Philippe Berry

AngelGate Goes Nuclear, Startups Get the Fallout: Tech News « Just when you thought the AngelGate fuss — which Mike Arrington of TechCrunch touched off earlier this week with a blog post exposing a meeting of “super-angels” — couldn’t get any more emotionally fraught, legendary Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway upped the ante late Thursday with an email to some of the investors who were at the meeting, calling their discussions “despicable and embarrassing for the tech community.” Among other things, the long-time angel investor asked those at the meeting to remember who they are supposed to be working for, namely the founders of the startups they are investing in. This is a message we tried to get across in a recent post as well, and a point that several other prominent angels and investment funds such as True Ventures (see disclosure below) have also made in blog posts since the AngelGate affair first blew up. True partner Jon Callaghan said it well in a post entitled simply “Founders Come First.”

Here's The PricewaterhouseCoopers "Top Ten" Hottie List That's Scandalizing Ireland Accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is mired in scandal after a group of 17 male employees in Dublin started forwarding around a "top 10" list of their picks for the most attractive female employees in the office. We have it. The frat boy behavior of 17 Irish PWC employees is quickly becoming an international incident. The company has already launched an investigation after the email was forwarded all over Ireland, and made its way into the newspapers there today: "We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are launching a full investigation. We will take all necessary steps and actions in line with our firm's polices and procedures," PWC's human resources partner Carmel O'Connor said last night. Accounting trade magazines have picked up the story; once it hits the British tabloids, it'll certainly be a PR nightmare for PWC—which has 2,000 employees in Ireland, and 160,000 worldwide. Judge for yourself. This post originally appeared at Gawker.