Saturday, March 31, 2018

Jeff Bezos Will Probably Consolidate His Power Bases In The Washington D.C. Area (AMZN)

First up, Business Insider, March 31:

Evidence is mounting that Amazon's HQ2 will land in 'the bull's-eye of America's internet'
Amazon’s second headquarters, HQ2, could land in this area of Northern Virginia, adjacent to Dulles Airport.-Google Earth
  • Evidence is mounting that Amazon‘s second headquarters could end up in an area of Northern Virginia known as Data Center Alley, or, as one author described it, the “bull’s-eye of America’s internet.”
  • It’s estimated more than 70% of the world’s internet traffic flows through Data Center Alley.
  • Amazon recently put the headquarters of its cloud business just 3 miles from the proposed HQ2 site.
  • Amazon is also planning to build a 44-acre data-center campus nearby.

Evidence is mounting that Amazon could select Northern Virginia – and specifically a site near Dulles International Airport – as the location of its next headquarters, dubbed “HQ2.”
Amazon has quietly been expanding its presence near the proposed site, which spans 26 acres of largely undeveloped land on the border of Loudoun and Fairfax counties. The company just put a new headquarters for its rapidly growing cloud service, Amazon Web Services, less than 3 miles from the site.

And within a 10-minute drive is a sprawling 44-acre plot of land where Amazon is planning to build a massive 600,000-square-foot data-center campus.
The site certainly makes logistical sense: It’s adjacent to Dulles International Airport and steps from an under-construction Metro station that will provide a straight shot to Washington, DC, and nearby suburbs.

But most important – and perhaps not as well known – is that the site is at the center of what has been described as the “bull’s-eye of America’s internet,” also known as Data Center Alley, through which much of the world’s internet traffic flows daily.
Amazon is quietly expanding in the ‘bull’s-eye’ of the internet
Amazon Web Services is powered by a physical network of data centres, or buildings that house servers and other IT equipment, around the world. The heart of that network lies in an area of Northern Virginia that has become known as Data Center Alley for its high concentration of data centres belonging to Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and others.

It’s estimated that more than 70% of the world’s internet traffic flows through Data Center Alley, and a huge share of that goes directly through Amazon’s data centres. In his book “Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet,” Andrew Blum calls the area “the bull’s-eye of America’s internet.”
Near the center of this bull’s-eye is the proposed HQ2 site.

Amazon has roughly 30 data centres within a 15-minute drive of the site, in cities including Ashburn, Sterling, Chantilly, Manassas, and Haymarket. And it’s rapidly building even more. One of Amazon’s latest proposals is a data-center campus on 44 acres of undeveloped land a couple of miles south of the proposed HQ2 site....

Additionally the new location is (relatively) near CIA headquarters which is handy as Amazon is becoming quite the little spy contractor.
Also at Business Insider, Nov. 2017:

Amazon is launching a 'Secret' cloud service for the CIA
  • Amazon Web Services introduced Secret Region, a new service specifically for the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community.
  • It's not really a secret service: It's name just indicates it can handle data that's been classified at the "secret" level.
  • Amazon has offered the CIA a Top Secret Region since 2014 as part of a $600 million deal.
  • The extension of that older CIA deal with this new Secret service underlines the market dominance of AWS.

And, as noted on the map above, the possible location is also conveniently close to Mr. Bezos' house, although in his case the choice is not as clear-cut as when then-head of supercomputer manufacturer Cray Research when asked where the company might relocate its headquarters answered: "Draw a circle with a twenty mile radius around the CEO's home."

Mr. Bezos owns five houses and 300,000 400,000 acres in Texas

"Fashions for Work, Play, and Travel: A Renaissance Accountant Writes His Life in Clothes"

As we've mentioned, due to budget cutbacks we've had to combine some previously free-standing subject areas e.g. here, accounting and fashion.

From Wonders and Marvels, Nov. 21, 2016:

Today, 20th February, 1520, I, Matheus Schwartz of Augsburg, was just 23 years old and looked as above.
Today, 20th February, 1520, I, Matheus Schwartz of Augsburg, 
was just 23 years old and looked as above.
One of the most remarkable books of fashion ever produced is an illustrated manuscript, created by a German accountant born in 1497. At the age of 23 he decided to document his life in clothes. Over the next 40 years he had 137 images of himself painted for inclusion in his pictorial autobiography. We see him working at his desk, preparing for a voyage, “flirting in the streets,” attending a funeral. Accompanying each portrait in this work that he called his “Book of Clothes” is a careful description of the style, fabric, and design of his outfit.

Matthäus Schwarz was inspired in his project by a lively interest in fashion which he saw as rapidly changing in this period of increased travel and international trade. He himself loved to travel and embraced the business assignments that took him away from Augsburg. As head accountant for the powerful Fugger family of merchants, he developed a keen appreciation of the luxury fabrics that were traded along with other precious items through the firm of Jakob Fugger.
At the end of 1510, I threw away my school bag. My desire was to see foreign lands, and I liked to be dressed in this way.
At the end of 1510,
 I threw away my school bag.
As a child Matthäus dreamed of adventure and travel. In one of the illustrations in his book that reflect on his youth, he shows himself discarding his schoolbooks and yearning to enter the distant landscape.  The caption reads:  “My desire was to see foreign lands, and I liked to be dressed in this way.”

His wishes were granted when he was sent to Italy to learn accounting. Fashionable attire was essential for him to be able to project his status. But his fondness for expensive fabrics did not always work out so well. In one image he is wearing a French outfit that was stolen from him while in Milan.  Moving on to Venice, he dressed a bit more soberly, all in black.
4 April, 1516, in the French manner. The gown with velvet, the doublet silk satin. This was taken from me ... by Gascon men.
4 April, 1516, in the French manner. 
The gown with velvet, the doublet silk satin. 
This was taken from me … by Gascon men.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Lost Fabergé Eggs

Since 2010 we've posted most of the Fabergé Imperial (and one non-imperial) eggs.
However by Easter 1917 the eggs were no longer "Imperial", the Tsar had been forced to abdicate (March 15) and the invoice for the first of the 1917 eggs was sent to "Mr. Romanov, Nikolai Aleksandrovich".

Well, on the night of 16-17 July 1918 the Bolshi boys shot clubbed and bayoneted the Romanovs to death and that was that for the eggs.

Except for the seven missing eggs.
It had been eight but in 2014 a scrap metal dealer found one, an odd story we highlighted a couple times. Here's

"That Time An Imperial Russian Fabergé Egg With A Vacheron Constantin Watch Inside Was Discovered At A Midwestern Flea Market And Became The Most Expensive Timepiece On Earth"

From Hodinkee, Wristwatch News: 

In one of those stunning stories only made possible by the Internet, in 2012 a man turned to Google to search for "Vacheron & Constantin" and "egg" to find that the jewel-encrusted gold egg housing a Vacheron watch he purchased for $13,302 in the early 2000s at a Midwestern flea market was in fact an 1887 birthday gift for Tsar Alexander III from Peter Carl Fabergé. It has now sold privately for millions, likely making it the most expensive timepiece on earth. 
The unnamed individual stumbled on a 2011 Telegraph article entitled "Is this £20 million nest-egg on your mantelpiece?" The egg was the third of 54 Fabergé eggs owned by the Russian royal family and had been lost since 1922. It is recorded that in 1922 this egg was transferred from the Kremlin Armoury, which had confiscated the eggs in 1917 when the Tsar was overthrown, to the special plenipotentiary of the Council of People's Commissars, Ivan Gavrilovich Chinariov. Beyond the written records, a 1902 photograph of the egg on exhibition in St. Petersburg also survived....MORE
There is something fishy about this story as there is with many tales of Russian loot. The "junk dealer" almost immediately resold the egg in a private transaction not at auction, and no names were disclosed.
If interested there is also "Find of the century? U.S. scrap dealer finds $20 million Faberge egg"
Here's the latest on the world's most interesting Easter egg hunt. From the Daily Mail, January 5, 2018:

Is lost £30million Faberge egg in a Preston bank vault? Family of British Cold War 'spy' say the Russian treasure may have been locked away in a safety deposit box when he died

  •  Dr Maxwell Naesmyth Wilcock from Preston visited Moscow during the 1950s
  • His family believe he may have purchased a Faberge egg in Mayfair in 1952
  • Dr Wilcock may have been a spy during the height of the Cold War with Russia
The case of the missing Faberge egg could be a step closer to being cracked – amid claims it is locked away in a Lancashire bank vault.
The £30million treasure has not been seen since it was sold at a Mayfair jewellers 65 years ago.
But now the family of a dead Cold War ‘spy’ say he owned the bejewelled egg and used to show it off to relatives....MUCH MORE

A descendant of Dr Maxwell Naesmyth Wilcock claimed he may have left a £30million Faberge egg in a bank vault in Preston, Lancashire 

Yeah, he's a spy.

Another tiny treasure turned up since the Third Imperial egg (above). In October 2015 artnet reported

Secret Object Hidden in Fabergé Egg Discovered in British Royal Collection
A long-lost Fabergé treasure has been discovered in the British royal family’s art collection: An automaton elephant embellished in diamonds and rubies originally hidden as a “surprise” inside the Diamond Trellis Eggcommissioned by czar Alexander III in 1892. 
The find was announced this week by Royal Collection Trust senior curator Caroline de Guitaut at a conference at the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg. The Trust (currently exhibiting photos of Queen Elizabeth II) boasts an impressive collection of Russian lapidary art, but no one suspected that the tiny elephant, acquired by King George V in 1935, had an imperial pedigree...MORE
Peter Carl Fabergé, the elephant automaton from the Diamond Trellis egg (1892). Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015.
Peter Carl Fabergé, the elephant automaton from the Diamond Trellis egg (1892).
Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015.

“Dante would hate venture capitalists.” This Easter, let’s consider Silicon Valley’s place in hell


A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the similarities between the Ellen Pao vs Kleiner trial, and a much older legal battle — that involving Ellen Colton and her 1883 suit filed against the so-called “Big Four” businessmen who built Central Pacific Railroad.

Today is Easter Sunday and maybe it’s the church bells ringing outside this coffee shop, mixed with my unsatisfied comprehension of the moral issues raised by Pao, that prompt me to look even further back. All the way, in fact, to 14th century Florence, which was experiencing its very own innovation-led boomtime, today remembered as the crucible of our modern civilization, the birthplace of the light that dispelled Europe’s medieval darkness.

But whereas today Silicon Valley has to make do with humble tech reporters like me, the people of Florence had a far more adroit, and celebrated, commentator on the behavior and morality of their city’s wealthiest citizens. His name: Dante Alighieri.

During the lifetime of Alighieri (1265 -1321), incredible new wealth was amassed in the central Italian city-state, on the success of innovations in the banking and textile industries. Alighieri wrote his epic trilogy The Divine Comedy in part to poke holes in the narratives propagated by Florence’s new tex billionaires. 

“The elite in Florence at that time wanted everyone to believe that their wealth was based on virtue, that it was the result of smart, virtuous people running things in a way that took care of everyone. That the rich would look after the poor and not merely enrich themselves,” said Steven Botterill, an Associate Professor of Italian Studies at UC Berkeley, and an expert on Dante.

Why, I asked Botterill, did Dante condemn Florence’s usurers deep in the pit of hell (tortured by flames while wearing sacks of lucre emblazoned with their coat of arms about their necks), while the prideful, avaricious and prodigal enjoyed lighter pains at his pen? The avaricious, those insatiables who’s treasure was never quite enough, are forced to lie on their bellies in the dirt. The overly or unduly proud shuffle around the escarpments of Mount Purgatory with great stones on their backs. Still, their humiliations have an expiration date.

“Dante did not think that money and intelligence were bad things. He believed in the dignity of hard work and that it should be rewarded. Those who maliciously defrauded others, who set out to bilk them of money, were obviously meant for hell. But he also believed that the overwhelming arrogance of those who benefit off the work of others deserved attentention. It was pride – the belief that you are better or more worthy than others, or a general sense of entitlement – that Dante saw as the root cause disrupting the social harmony of Florence,” Boterrill said. 

“Dante would hate venture capitalists,” he added later, as we discussed the many parallels between Dante’s Florence and our own historical moment. The reason? “He wouldn’t recognize what they do as actual work, and Dante’s chief nemesis was Pride.”

In the Divine Comedy, the first-person pilgrim passes through the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise in turn, encountering contemporary and classical characters all along the way and learning of their treatment after death. Dante’s pilgrim was led by Virgil, because Virgil had made writing in Latin cool, but didn’t make it full Angel simply because he was born too early to avail himself of the One and True God who later revealed himself through the Roman Empire. Perhaps today a similar tour of the Silicon Valley afterlife would be guided by Gene Rodenberry, because he created Star Trek but died in 1991, too soon to witness the triumphant rise of the futurist technologists, who revealed themselves through venture funding.

With Gene as our guide, where might we find William Shockley, Eugene Kleiner or Steve Jobs? What would they tell us?

Back in 1300 CE Florence, Dante could call upon the widely-shared Christian concepts of Virtue to impugn the powerful. Today things are more difficult for writers of similar aspirations. The very idea of a unified morality system has been dashed stinking to the rubbish bin of communal abstraction – with the possible exception of economics, Adam Smith having been a severe Protestant and believer that Christian morals hold greed and excess in check. But even Smith’s moral theories are less well remembered than The Wealth of Nations, and today when isolated ethical conundra burble up on the front pages, our newly-minted titans of industry have learned just to grin and endure them, perhaps enlisting the aid of top-notch PR talent to speed along the forgetting....MORE

“Dante would hate venture capitalists.” This Easter, let’s consider Silicon Valley’s place in hell

News You Can Use: "Learn How to Build a Nuclear Fusor "

What? Everyone needs a hobby.
From MAKE Magazine:

Nuclear fusion is the process of squeezing two atoms together so tightly that their nuclei fuse, creating a heavier atom and releasing a blast of energy. Fusion creates the inferno inside the sun — and the hydrogen bomb — but no one has yet harnessed its enormous power for peaceful uses.

They’ve tried, however, often with skepticism. In 1989, physicists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced they’d achieved “cold fusion” of hydrogen into helium at room temperature, only to face withering scorn when others failed to replicate their results.

Luckily, DIY nuclear engineers can achieve honest-to-goodness “hot fusion” right at home by making a Farnsworth-Hirsch fusion reactor, or fusor for short.

This mini fusor is a demonstration version — while it generates only insignificant quantities of fusion products, it does show how inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) reactors use kinetic energy to cause fusion. It’s also a good introduction to high-voltage power supplies and vacuum systems. The skills the project imparts will help you tackle bigger fusors and other projects involving plasma and high-energy physics.

Plus, the fusor just looks totally cool. An eerie purple-blue glow emanates from the reactor, and a really well-made fusor can produce a mesmerizing phenomenon called a “star in a jar.”
Curious? Read on…

This project uses high voltages at potentially lethal currents. A high-vacuum apparatus may implode if improperly handled. This device may produce ultraviolet and x-ray radiation. Do not attempt to build or operate it unless you are capable of safely using high voltage and vacuum equipment.

How It Works
The typical Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor has two concentric electrical grids inside a vacuum chamber: an inner grid charged to a high negative potential, and an outer grid held at ground potential. Our benchtop version has a stainless steel wire inner grid, and uses the aluminum chamber walls as the outer grid.
A variac controls the AC mains voltage input to a neon sign transformer, which steps up standard 110V AC to the 10kV range. A homemade rectifier converts AC to DC power to charge the grid.
A vacuum pump evacuates the chamber to a pressure of about 0.025mm of mercury, clearing the playing field so the few remaining gas molecules can accelerate without premature low-energy collisions. A vacuum gauge indicates the pressure inside.

High voltage across the grids causes gas molecules to ionize; that is, they lose an electron and become positively charged. Electrostatic forces then accelerate the ions — mainly O2+, N2+, Ar+, and H2O+ — toward the high negative charge at the center. Some ions collide; those that miss the first time are arrested by the electric field and re-accelerated toward the center for another go.
Low-power fusors produce a beautiful purple ion plasma “glow discharge” similar to plasma globes and neon signs. In high-power fusors, the inertia of the ion collisions squeezes hydrogen atoms tight enough to fuse, hence the term inertial confinement.

High-power fusors typically fuse deuterium (D or 2H) into helium and tritium. Deuterium is a hydrogen isotope whose nucleus contains a neutron in addition to the usual single proton. It occurs naturally in very low concentrations, primarily as hydrogen deuteride (HD) but also as “heavy water” (D2O), “semiheavy water” (HDO), and deuterium gas (D2). Only 1 in 6,000 hydrogen atoms is deuterium. Tritium (a hydrogen atom with two neutrons and one proton) is even rarer.
When two deuterium atoms fuse they create a high-energy helium-4 atom, which stabilizes itself by releasing a proton, a neutron, or a gamma ray. This release leaves behind a tritium atom, helium-3 atom, or helium-4 atom, respectively.

Fusor Nation
The fusor was developed in the 1960s by Philo T. Farnsworth, who also invented television. It’s popular with DIY experi-menters because it’s easy to build and can reliably produce fusion reactions.....

Trotting Ahead of Malthus: The Fodder/Horse/Coal/Lime Cycle

A repost from Unenumerated, July 2014:
Progress in the Malthusian isocline in England from the 13th through 19th centuries, as, among many other factors, horses slowly replaced oxen for farm work and transport, the ratio of draft animals to people increased, and more arable land was devoted to fodder relative to food.(click to enlarge)
I have previously discussed Great Britain's unprecedented escape from the Malthusian trap. Such escapes require virtuous cycles, i.e. positive feedback loops that allow productive capital to accumulate faster than it is destroyed. There are a number of these in Britain in the era of escape from the Black Plague to the 19th century, but two of the biggest involved transportation.

One of these that I've identified was the fodder/horse/coal/lime cycle. More and better fodder led to more and stronger horses, which hauled (among other things) coal from the mines, initially little more than quarries, that had started opening up in northeastern England by the 13th century. Coal, like wood, was very costly to transport by land, but relatively cheap to ship by sea or navigable river. As fodder improved, horses came to replace oxen in the expensive step transporting goods, including coal, from mine, farm, or workshop to port and from port to site of consumption. Many other regions (e.g. in Belgium and China) had readily accessible coal, but none developed this virtuous cycle so extensively and early.

Among the early uses of coal was for heating, fuel for certain industrial processes that required heat (e.g. in brewing beer), and, most interestingly, for burning lime. Burned lime, slaked with water, could unlike the limestone it came from be easily ground into a fine powder. This great increase in the surface area of this chemical base, which let it de-acidify the soils on which it was applied. The soils of Britain tend to be rather acidic, which allows poisonous minerals, such as aluminum, to absorb into plants and blocks the absorption of needed nutrients (especially NPK -- nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium). The application of lime thus increased the productivity of fields for growing both food and fodder, completing the virtuous cycle. This cycle operated most strongly during the period of the consistent progress in the English Malthusian isocline from the 15th through 19th centuries.

Another, related, but even more important cycle was the horse/transport and institutions/markets/specialization cycle....MUCH MORE

"Investing with Icarus"

From Epsilon Theory:

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
The Bible, John 3:8
As Narrative abstractions — cartoons — become our short-hand for things that used to have meaning, our models become more and more untethered from the reality they seek to reproduce. When wind becomes the thing-that-makes-the-leaves-move, then wind becomes a bear rubbing his back on the bark.
He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Pursuing better returns by uncovering absolute truths about the companies and governments we invest in is not a serious enterprise in the face of markets rife with Narrative abstractions. It is a smiley-faced lie, a right-sounding idea that doesn’t work, and which we know doesn’t work. Selling the idea that it does to clients is the territory of the raccoon and the coyote. We can pursue it, or we can do the right things for ourselves and our clients. But not both.
Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation. It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality (ideology) but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer real…
Simulacra and Simulation, Jean Baudrillard (1981)
How does Wall Street maintain the respectability of dishonest businesses? By declaring victory over straw men — active management is dead! Hedge funds lost the Buffett bet, beta won! Risk parity / vol-targeting / AI funds / quant funds are to blame! If you must sell that L.A. is real, you must create Disneyland.
“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”


“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”


“So we can believe the big ones?”


“They’re not the same at all!”


“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”

 Hogfather, Terry Pratchett (1997)
So long as the government requires financial markets to act as a utility, and so long as it makes more sense for big tech companies to hire evangelists than CEOs — until the farmer comes out with his gun – we have only a few choices:
  1. We can be raccoons: We can recognize the overwhelming influence of abstractions and continue to sell products and ideas that don’t.
  2. We can be coyotes: We can recognize the overwhelming influence of abstractions and DESIGN new products and ideas that don’t.
  3. We can be victims: We can let the raccoons and coyotes run rampant over the farm.
  4. We can insulate: We can push back from the table and try to do the things that aren’t abstractions. Real things. Physical things. Things that put spendable currency in our accounts.
  5. We can engage: We can do our best to think about how to change our investment strategies and processes to respond to abstraction-driven markets.
These aren’t mutually exclusive, although only two are worthwhile. Ben’s DNA is long vol, so he wrote about how to insulate. My DNA is short vol. This note is first in a series on how to engage.

Speaking of DNA, there are few fields of study I find as thrilling as the intersection of anthropology and genetic geneaology. What I mean by that is how people lived, died and moved, and how their cultures and lineages moved with them. Yes, if kicking off notes with the old King James didn’t give you enough of a hint, I’m a big hit at parties.

Some of the appeal of genetic anthropology comes from the simple pleasures it offers, like the satisfaction of watching white supremacist idiots discover that they are mutts just like the rest of us.
The second appeal is the grand scale of ancestry and human movement, even over cosmologically infintestimal periods of time. This appeal is timeless. For example, in a legend common to three of the world’s great religions, God promises to multiply Abraham’s descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand on the seashore. It’s a pretty attractive promise, but temper your excitement — it was a reward for being a hair’s breadth away from murdering his son. The promises are poetic, of course, but the scope of the two is surprisingly different.

There are somewhere around 100 billion to one trillion stars in the Milky Way, an estimate which would vary based on how you estimated the galaxy’s total mass through the gravity it exerted and based on what you assumed was the average type of star. We’ve discovered a Wolf-Rayet star in the Magellanic Cloud with mass perhaps 300 times that of our sun, for example. It is so much larger than our sun that its surface would reach almost a third of the current distance to Mercury. Icarus wouldn’t stand a chance. On the other hand, we’ve discovered a red dwarf only 19 light-years away with less than 10% of the mass of the sun. But the 100 billion to one trillion range is a fair estimate. Earth has already seen 100 billion human lives. It will (hopefully) see its trillionth at some point between the year 2500 and 3000, if y’all could stop killing each other. Still, if you’re willing to ignore that we can see stars from other galaxies, too, I think we can prematurely give this one to Abraham.
As for the sand, there are about seven or eight quintillion grains on the earth. There’s just no way, even if Elon manages to get us off this planet before the next mass extinction event.

Interestingly, if you look backward, that isn’t quite true. When it comes to lineage, exponential math doesn’t always work going forward. One couple dies without any offspring, while another has a dozen children. But it always works going backward. Everyone has two parents and four grandparents. Based on most of those traditions holding that Abraham lived around 2,000 BC, we can estimate that the average living person has about 1.5 quindecillion ancestors from that time. Given that there were only about 72 million people alive at the time, that means that each of those individuals, on average, shows up in your family tree about 20 duodecillion times. That’s a 20 with 39 zeros. Congratulations! Math is amazing, and you are inbred.

The third appeal is that the really interesting findings are new. Very new. Anthropologists, of course, have theorized about the propagation and spread of cultures through comparative review of ancient art, tools, jewelry, burial sites and artifacts for centuries. Linguists can lean on anthropological techniques, but can also compare similar or derived grammar, vocabulary, and the like to identify how languages originated and spread. Maybe even some sense of where they came from. DNA has been used to develop and cultivate theories about human migrations and the spread of cultures for a shorter time, but in earnest starting in the late 1990s into the early 2000s. These studies have principally relied on the DNA of living individuals. Scientists examine current populations and theorize how ancient populations would have had to migrate to create the current distribution of various genetic admixtures — archetypes of varying compositions that can be generalized, like “Near Eastern Farmers.”...MORE

Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Nvidia further distances itself from Uber in wake of fatal self-driving crash" (NVDA; FAIL)

Following up on Tuesday's "Nvidia: Does the Whole Self-Driving Timeline Have to Be Reassessed? (NVDA)"
From The Verge:
The chipmaker sought to clarify which elements of its technology are used by Uber’s autonomous vehicles

Uber’s self-driving cars do not use Nvidia’s autonomous vehicle computing platform, Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang clarified on Wednesday. The computer graphics cards maker continues to distance itself from what is considered the first fatal accident involving a self-driving car.

“Uber develops their own sensing and driving technology,” Huang said during a Q&A session with the press at Nvidia’s annual GPU Technology Conference in San Jose.

An Uber self-driving test vehicle struck a pedestrian on March 18th in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix. The vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision, and a vehicle operator was behind the wheel. Uber immediately suspended its autonomous vehicle testing in Arizona, as well as in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto.

The fatal Uber crash has thrust the ride-hailing company into the worst kind of spotlight. It has also affected the rest of the autonomous vehicle industry. Companies racing to develop autonomous vehicles — vocal advocates of a technology they say will reduce fatal car accidents — now face questions about public safety.

Within days of the crash, competitors such as Intel’s Mobileye publicly criticized Uber’s system, and former supporters and suppliers tried to limit the collateral damage. Arizona governor Doug Ducey, a pro-business politician and champion of autonomous vehicle technology, took the unusual step of suspending Uber’s testing in the state.

Velodyne, which supplies Uber with its LIDAR sensing technology, tried to preempt questions about its product......MORE
"Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?"

Uber reaches settlement with family of autonomous vehicle victim

What the heck?
From Reuters:
The family of a woman killed by an Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] self-driving vehicle in Arizona has reached a settlement with the ride services company, ending a potential legal battle over the first fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle.
Cristina Perez Hesano, attorney with the firm of Bellah Perez in Glendale, Arizona, said “the matter has been resolved” between Uber and the daughter and husband of Elaine Herzberg, 49, who died after being hit by an Uber self-driving SUV in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe earlier this month....MORE

News You Can Use: "How to Start Your Own City" (AMZN)

From CityLab:

A year ago this week, Jason Lary was sworn in as mayor of his brainchild, the brand new city of Stonecrest outside of Atlanta. Now Stonecrest is a frontrunner to land the new Amazon headquarters. How’d he do it?
Earlier this month, Brentin Mock reported on the burgeoning cityhood movements outside of Atlanta. Now he talks with the mayor of the newest city on Atlanta’s outskirts, Stonecrest.

You may have heard about the Amazon HQ2 proposal from Georgia offering municipal naming rights to the corporate behemoth—as in, the company could have its own city called Amazon, Georgia. That offer came from the city of Stonecrest, which sits about 20 miles east of the city of Atlanta. 
Stonecrest has only, itself, been a city since 2017. Residents of the formerly unincorporated area of southeast DeKalb County voted in November 2016 to officially incorporate into a city. It is one of the more recent municipal experiments to hatch across the county, and metro Atlanta as a whole, since the turn of the century.

Stonecrest elected its first mayor, Jason Lary, on March 21, 2017. He was sworn in six days later making Tuesday his one-year anniversary. Lary is also the person who came up with the Stonecrest city concept and who planned it for four years before taking it to the state legislature for a vote in 2016. The city’s formation is not without haters, though. Sam Rosen wrote about the “controversial cityhood movement” happening around Atlanta for The Atlantic last year, explaining that the original impetus for unincorporated suburbs to municipalize may have been driven at least in part by racism.

Many of the neighborhoods that became cities, starting in the 2000s, were predominantly white and upper-income enclaves that wanted more control of how their tax dollars were used by DeKalb County. Prior to becoming cities, the unincorporated areas depended on the county to deliver services such as garbage collection, policing, sewage maintenance and building inspection. As cities, these places can contract with private entities to operate these services in a more controlled and localized environment. 

Stonecrest was the first majority-black city to form from this cityhood movement in DeKalb County, and so far it is the only city to form in the county’s southern parts, where the bulk of the African-American population lives. There is currently another proposal to municipalize the remainder of South DeKalb into a city called Greenhaven, but it is meeting massive resistance.

It’s similar to the resistance that met Lary when he spearheaded the Stonecrest city effort. (“You cannot be a cotton ball for the kind of work I’m doing,” Lary told Rosen for The Atlantic. “It’s some Jimmy Hoffa-level work.”) For those who oppose cityhood in DeKalb County, the fears are, mostly, that residential property values will collapse and that taxes will rise, especially if the city has a majority non-white population. The research in general, does not support that anxiety, but Stonecrest, which has an almost completely black population, has at least a year’s worth of data from its own existence to test those claims.....MORE

"Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?"

Following up on "Uber Killing Pedestrians: There's More to the Story".

From The Register, March 26:
Biz scaled back number of sensors from five to just one
The death of a pedestrian in Arizona by an Uber self-driving car may have been the result of a blind spot caused by the use of a single LIDAR sensor on the roof.

In 2016, Uber decided to shift from using Ford Fusion cars to Volvo XC90s for its self-driving car program.

When it did so, it make big changes to its sensor design: the number of LIDAR sensors were reduced from five to just one – mounted on the roof – and in their place, the number of radar sensors was increased from seven to 10. Uber also reduced the number of cameras on the car from 20 to seven.

Removing LIDAR sensors from the front, back and sides and replacing them with a 360-degree sensor on the roof is more cost-effective but results in a blind spot low to the ground all around the car.

In a remarkable statement, given that Uber's car ran down and killed a pedestrian at night, the president of the company that builds Uber's LIDAR sensors, Marta Hall of Velodyne, told Reuters: "If you're going to avoid pedestrians, you're going to need to have a side LIDAR to see those pedestrians and avoid them, especially at night."

The use of a single LIDAR sensor is all the more remarkable given that other companies running self-driving programs use significantly more: Google-owned Waymo has six on its cars; General Motors uses five....MUCH MORE
As noted in the 'More to the Story' story:
Additionally this all ties into the LIDAR technology Levandowski pilfered from Waymo. After the settlement of Waymo's suit Uber is bending over backward to not infringe on Waymo's patents.
And Uber chose not to use optical systems from MobilEye which Intel paid $15 Billion to acquire.

Seeing the PR opportunity both Waymo and MobilEye had comments:...
For a quick primer on this stuff we have on offer:
Izabella Kaminska In Conversation With the Financial Times' Auto Industry Correspondent, Peter Campbell, on the Prospects for Autonomous Vehicles
Track the link to the video if interested.

"How the Cattle Industry Is Fighting Against #FakeMeat"

The real concern of the protein peeps is that the big-money-types (Gates, Khosla, Li Ka-Shing et al) backing the stuff might start throwing their political weight around, as noted a couple weeks ago in "Companies Are Betting on Lab-Grown Meat, but None Know How to Get You to Eat It":
The dream of any right-thinking change agent is to mandate that people use your product.
If that approach is not feasible the fallback is to tax the competition

Here at Totalitarian Marketing Group we supply strategies for the power-mad while making life easier for the top 0.0000001%. TMG, when nudge just isn't fast enough....
To insure a seat at the table, so to speak, the processors, including the largest, Tyson, are also investing.
Here's the latest from Mel Magazine:

Plant-based companies are giving the beef industry a run for their money — and cattle ranchers are starting to worry
Oh, it’s on: The nation’s largest cattle industry lobby group (the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association) recently filed a petition with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prevent plant-based protein companies (like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods) from using the terms “meat” and “beef” to label their products.

“The labels of ‘beef’ or ‘meat’ should inform consumers that the product is derived naturally from animals as opposed to alternative proteins such as plants and insects or artificially grown in a laboratory,” the petition states, arguing that consumers are being misled into buying plant-based proteins that have the terms “meat” or “beef” somewhere on their packaging, like Trader Joe’s “Beef-less Ground Beef.”

On the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Facebook page, one commenter sums up their beef with beef-less products pretty well:

Admittedly, this could maybe be an issue for some people. A two-year-old Reddit post asks for better terms to describe “fake meat,” noting that some customers were confused by fake lamb, chicken and steak products being served at their family member’s cafe. Other Redditors chimed in, suggesting “faux,” “mock” and the simple (but effective) “plant-based protein.”

The increasingly popular Beyond Burger has “Plant-Based Burger Patties” printed in bold, green font on their packaging. Yet, the Cattlemen’s Association presumably takes issue with their company name — Beyond Meat — since it might suggest they’re selling actual animal flesh.

More specifically, though, the Cattlemen’s Association is concerned that consumers are increasingly opting for plant-based protein, because they’re being tricked into thinking plant-based “meat” and “beef” is the real thing — an argument that appears to thoroughly doubt the common sense of American consumers.

It’s true that more and more Americans are turning to plant-based proteins, but not because they can’t understand product labels: According to recent data from HealthFocus International, a market research and strategic consulting company, 60 percent of of U.S. consumers claim to be reducing their consumption of meat-based products. Of that 60 percent, 55 percent report that the change toward a predominantly plant-based diet is permanent, while another 22 percent hope that they can maintain it. Considering this trend, Allied Market Research expects that the plant-based industry will garner $5.2 billion in sales by 2020, meaning you can expect more “fake meat” products to hit the shelves over the next couple of years....MUCH MORE

Want To #DeleteFacebook? Surprise, It’s Designed To Be A Nightmare

As the kids say, if it wasn't for bad user experience they'd have no user experience at all.
Or something.

From the design mavens at Co-Design:
Facebook’s account deletion process is a master class in bad UX. 
I deleted my Facebook account this weekend. For years I’d had this nagging feeling that the company was trying to hijack my life story, so I had already deactivated it about three years ago. But as the Cambridge Analytica details emerged last week and calls to #deletefacebook spread across the web, I knew that it was time.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook made deleting my account difficult and unpleasant. This inconsiderate UX only confirmed that the dark patterns in Facebook’s business model run deep, and those patterns are part of a culture that enables manipulative design and lack of transparency.
Here’s how it went down:

1. No clear navigation to delete your account
There are a plethora of third-party “how-to” articles about deleting your Facebook account because, for a company that employs hundreds of UX designers and researchers, it’s not a very intuitive process. For starters, you have to understand that deleting your account is different from deactivating it—and those two options are nowhere near each other on the site. You can find the option to deactivate in your settings, but Facebook has no such menu item for deleting your account. You can search “Delete my account” in the Help Center, and the answer has a link to the page you need. Strangely, though, Facebook puts that hyperlink at the end of a long paragraph, in the phrase “let us know.” A better option? A “Delete My Account” button at the top of the page.

2. Ignoring the user’s intent
I finally got to the deletion page. From there, the next few steps I had to take should have been fairly straightforward. Instead, I stumbled through a series of poorly organized steps....MORE
Back on March 20th The Verge, among others, came out with their handy hints but from what I understand there is no way to actually delete the date that's been collected.
How to delete Facebook

Facebook responded by making some changes:
It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find
But I couldn't find anyone to bet me that FB is actually deleting everything if you delete your accoutn.

"Lessons From Europe's Densest Neighborhoods"

Of course the density of European neighborhoods doesn't get close to some areas of Asia and the sub-continent but Europe is where the writer chooses to make the point.
This list tops out at 53,119 residents/km² in Barcelona's L’Hospitalet de Llobegrat neighborhood which is the wide open spaces compared to parts of Hong Kong or Mumbai.

From CityLab:
Examine the densest areas in each country and you’ll find some striking trends: Many were built in the same era for the same reasons, but their current popularity is a far cry from where they began.

In the sprawl of a contemporary North American city, it can be tempting to envy urban Europe for its density. For the most part, historic European cities are far more densely populated—their streets, by comparison, appear to be hives of vibrant activity, with compact but handsome apartments that model healthy, sustainable metropolitan living. But look to the densest urban areas in each European country and you’ll see a more complex, ambivalent picture of how they came to be.

Take, for example, Northern Neukölln, Berlin. Though it’s increasingly seen as a desirable place to live today, for much of its existence this dense quarter was considered a social and aesthetic menace, known for overcrowding, dinginess and a generally poor quality of life. Through the twists and turns of history—and the increasing displacement of the lower-income tenants for which it was mainly built—its tightly packed streets and courtyards have come to be seen as a positive model of urban development, containing the single densest square kilometer in Germany.

And Northern Neukölln certainly isn’t alone. A striking number of its counterparts across the continent have followed the same path, starting as hastily built barracks for rural migrants of the Industrial Revolution and ending up today as places that top the lists of neighborhoods where middle-income urbanites might want to live.

In fact, it’s remarkable how many of the densest parts of European countries share similarities in layout, appearance, and origination. That’s all brought to light through a series of fascinating map images collected by Alasdair Rae, professorial fellow at Sheffield University’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. The images also make clear why 100 years ago—when these areas were inhabited at even higher capacities than today—architects and planners were so keen to find more spacious, less concentrated models for how to lay out a city.
Before going further, it pays to pin down exactly what areas we’re talking about. Below is a ranking of the most densely populated square kilometers in 30 European countries. This, to be clear, is a list of the densest area in each country, rather than a simple list of the densest areas in Europe, based on 2011 population data....

The  Dharavi slums in Mumbai are generally guessed at being the most densely populated place on earth at 300,000 residents/km²while Kowloon's Mong Kok is the Guinness Book record holder at 130,000/km².
Some of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro and parts of Nairobi are also pretty packed.
Ditto for Dhaka.

Russian navy’s Arctic patrol vessels suffer delays of 3-4 years

President Putin almost looks upon the Arctic as his pet project, a really large pet project but his, and the fact the government budget can't come up with the loot to pay for the ships is an intriguing insight into Russia's true financial state. I guess even the Autocrat of all the Russias President of Russia has limits.
From The Barents Observer:
Originally supposed to be delivered by the end of 2020, the two ice-class patrol ships of Project 23550 are now postponed till 2023 or 2024, General Director at the Admiralty Shipyard, Aleksandr Buzakov says to TASS.

Buzakov explains the delay with “financial factors” and points to the state armament plan for 2018-2027 signed by President Vladimir Putin a few months ago.

The two vessels are unlike any other classes of Russian naval vessels. The two ships will combine tug capabilities, icebreaking and patrol voyages in the Arctic. Multi-tasking flexibility options enable the new class to carry out a wide range of tasks in the Arctic zone, Russia’s Defense Ministry informed in 2016 when the contract with the shipyard was signed.

The vessels can break through ice up to 1,5 metres thick.

“Patrol ship of project 23550 has no world analogues,” the ministry said. Though, the drawing of the vessel has clear similarities to the design of the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel “K/V Svalbard”....MORE
North Korea's Kim Jong-Il had fifty-something titles including "Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven" and "Dear Leader, Who is a Perfect Incarnation of the Appearance that a Leader Should Have," but I think the later Tsars  had him beat in number if not in poetry, as noted elsewhere:
"By the Grace of God, We, NN, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod; Tsar of Kazan, Tsar of Astrakhan, Tsar of Poland, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Chersonese Taurian, Tsar of Georgia; Lord of Pskov and Grand Prince of Smolensk, Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, Finland; Prince of Estland,....."
It goes on and on listing the territories and actually ends with:
"...hereditary Sovereign and Ruler of the Circassian and Mountain Princes and of others; Sovereign of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, Stormarn, Dietmarsen, Oldenburg, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."
In future I'll just go with 'Putin' and avoid the temptation to do the Autocrat of All the Russias thing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Shipping: "Charter Market Capacity Crunch Will Put Dent in Carrier Profitability"

What could have been.
Of course you know how this plays out, the capacity will come on-line in 2019 and by 2022 half the names are trying to talk their creditors into renegotiating terms.

From The Loadstar via gCaptain:-
Containership charter rates are at a 30-month high on the back of strong demand, and Alphaliner is predicting an “impending capacity crunch”.

This will come in most vessel sizes as carriers return to full sailings after the Chinese new year, it says.

The container lines are preparing to launch a number of new services, which the consultant said was “expected to take out most of the idle capacity in the coming month”.

Despite a slight increase due to void sailings around the Chinese New Year, the number of container vessels in hot or cold lay-up remains at an historical low of just 125, with capacity of 626,996 teu, representing 2.9% of the global cellular fleet.

Owners that had all but given up on finding profitable employment for their ships are now reactivating and crewing the vessels as the market continues to improve and charterers look to fix longer-term.

This has all but stymied the boxship demolition market, with only 13 ships sent to the scrapyard this year, compared with 63 by the same time in 2017.

“The impending capacity crunch is already starting to be felt in the charter market, with charter rates rising to a 30-month high on the back of the strong demand for fresh tonnage in April,” said Alphaliner.

It said the supply of tonnage remained low for most vessel sizes and was “getting even tighter for certain ship types”....MORE
The biggest of the ship builders, Hyundai Heavy Industries, was talking to their bankers a couple months ago to ensure any constraints on capacity would not be financial. Rock-n-Roll.
Or at least K-Pop

They also did this a couple weeks ago, reported at Hellenic Shipping News on the 27th: 
Hyundai Heavy Industries Boosts Capital with New Shares

"Mark Zuckerberg Prepares For Congressional Testimony By Poring Over Lawmakers’ Personal Data" (FB)

From AFNS:
MENLO PARK, CA—Accessing the data his platform has harvested over the years from its nearly 2 billion users, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly prepared Wednesday for his upcoming congressional testimony by poring over the personal information of U.S. senators and representatives....MORE 
The stock rallied on the news, up a half-percent at  $153.03.

Corrections: A rock, Iraq, whatevs

Via The Forward:

Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2018
Also via The Forward:
Happy Passover to our Jewish friends.

Questions Americans Are Asking: What Size Are Matthew Klein's Shoes?

From Dan McCrum at FT Alphaville:
And from Katherine Bell:
The writer is Editor-in-Chief of Barron's Online:

Barron's probably thought they were getting expert commentary on central banking, which they are, but they are also getting so much more. Here are a few Klein von Alphaville posts we've linked to over the years:

Aaarrrggghhh: I Can't Get Matthew Klein's Song Out Of My Head
Leaving the office after posting "Pray For FT Alphaville's Matthew Klein" I found myself humming Jingle Bells à la Klein:
Rolling down the curve
With my Eurodollar strips
Making tons of money
‘til the Fed hikes 50 bps!
And again this morning.

I'm losin' it, man.

The last time this happened to me it was a William Shakespeare pastiche.
Of the Bard doing the Hokey Pokey.

So as one of the greats, "The Bruce Dickinson" says:
"Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!"
Via A Way With Words:....MORE 
Investment Banks As Marxist Paradise
I think I could learn to like this young Matthew Klein fellow....

Ooh, ooh: Matthew Klein on New York Fed Head Calling For More Cashout Refi
Expanding on and contextualizing Monday's "New York Fed Chief Dudley Has An Idea — Homeowners Should Tap Into Equity".
In Which FT Alphaville's Matthew Klein Flexes His Clickbait Muscles

And many more. Use the search blog box if interested.

And here is Mr. McCrum's Position Available advert:
FT Alphaville is hiring!

Rollup: "Common shareholder SoftBank calls for merger between Uber, Ola in India "

From the Business Standard:

Japanese investor is the largest shareholder in both companies
Japanese investment giant has called for a merger between homegrown Ola and US firm Uber’s India unit as part of its planned consolidation in Asia’s fast-growing ride hailing app market. The talks, facilitated by SoftBank, which is the largest investor in both companies, have been going on for nearly a year, according to sources close to the development. However, in the past few days, this call for a merger between Uber and Ola has gathered steam. Softbank’s push for consolidation in India’s ride hailing market comes days after Uber announced its exit from Southeast Asia after selling its local unit to rival Post the completion of that deal, Uber will control 27.5% stake in the combined entity. “Talks have been on between the senior executives of both the firms (Uber and Ola),” said one of the persons with direct knowledge of the talks, declining to state who the officials are given that the information is not public yet. “The deal may be closed in a couple of months,” the person added. Another source added that is in favour of Ola acquiring the Indian unit of Uber, but the finer details of the deal are being discussed. Both are looking at having a controlling stake in the combined entity, which is also why the talks have been progressing relatively slowly so far....MORE
Can Didi+Uber = Düber be far behind? 
(note stylish use of umlaut) 

"Nomura Warns, Yesterday's "Brutal Factor Unwind" Is Becoming More "Systemic""

This seems a very astute [read: it matches some of our thinking] analysis of the current state of the factor game.
From ZeroHedge:
Yesterday's bloodbath in markets - after such exuberance on Monday - is set to continue if historical precedents are anything to go by. Nomura's cross-asset-strategy chief Charlie McElligott notes that yesterday’s equities pain via a brutal factor-unwind resembles one of the most violent performance drawdowns in recent history - that of Jan / Feb 2016 - and seemingly "idiosyncratic risk" is now turning more "systemic" in crowded Tech "data" plays as "death-by-paper-cut" now becoming a longer-term regulatory overhang of their core "data commodity."

Worrying words indeed. McElligott first breaks down just what happened yesterday - and where the real "cataclysmic" pain was felt - before moving on to 'what happens next'?

  • The -4.1 z-score move in “Cash / Assets” factor - the best performing factor strategy of the past 2 years - speaks to likely forced capitulation / book blowouts, similar to what we experienced back in Feb 2016 as “equities market-neutral” performance was crushed in a violently-short period of time
  • “Cash / Assets” is important because it is a pure proxy of the “Growth over Value” theme which has been the dominant reality of the post-GFC period and has accelerated in the past two years to look a lot like “Momentum” factor
  • The analogs of similarly extreme prior drawdowns in “Cash / Assets” (again effectively a “Growth over Value” AND expression in its current-form) give us both “good” and “bad” forward-looking news
    • The “good” - said prior “extreme drawdowns” with this particular “Growth over Value” proxy ( “Cash / Assets” factor) have seen mean-reversion HIGHER at the SPX level on average from a 1w to 3m basis
    • The “bad” - “Cash / Assets” factor typically continues to underperform primarily due to the outperformance of the “short” leg from here (“defensives”)
  • This then is an equities performance risk because “Cash / Assets” is effectively “Momentum” long-short and thus, mirrors general Equities Hedge Fund Long-Short positioning
  • Further squeeze in the “short leg” of “Cash Assets” too squeezes the “short leg” of “Momentum” via the broad equities fund underweight / short in the “duration-sensitives” like REITs and Utilities
  • This in turn only puts MORE pressure on the March CPI print to “come through” and hit the expected uptick off the back of the “Telco Service” roll-off mathematical boost, likely putting rates / USTs back under pressure
  • Otherwise, further rates rally / short-squeeze will only perpetuate the pain being felt across equities underweights / short-books
...MUCH MORE (the charts are where the action is)

The Bay Area & beyond: Ranking US metro areas by VC invested and returns (#11 will shock you!)

This is what I was going for when serendipity struck.
You'll have to click through for the interactive maps, that's just a screenshot below.
Two from PitchBook. First up:

Bay Area breakdown: A ranking of the region's cities by VC invested and returns [interactive maps]
The Bay Area is home to a huge amount of startup founders and venture capital investors. Many of the big tech companies founded in the early 2000s are located south of the city of San Francisco: Facebook, for example, is headquartered in Menlo Park, and LinkedIn is based in Sunnyvale. But a lot of more recently founded companies, many of which are still private, are based in the city itself. Uber, Airbnb and Lyft, for instance, are all headquartered in San Francisco.

With that in mind, we've ranked the top 10 cities in the Bay Area in terms of venture capital funding from 2010 to 2017. Hover over any number in the map below to see total VC invested in the corresponding city during that time period, plus capital invested during 2017 and YoY change: