Chris Sacca's investments include Twitter, Instagram, Kickstarter and Uber. But before founding Lowercase Capital, he was head of special initiatives at Google, where he learned the importance of dreaming big. "The only way you could get laughed out of the room with [Larry Page and Sergey Brin] was to bring them an idea that was too small," he said.
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser says the emerging shift in technology and industry comes with two key challenges. "The information comes faster and is more accessible than ever before," he says. "There's a lot of data, and the challenge is how to prioritize information. ... The second aspect to managing: How do you manage your company using the data you collect?"
Federal officials are creating a new Student Aid Enforcement Unit within the Education Department to respond to student complaints about for-profit colleges. The unit, led by former Federal Trade Commission attorney Robert Kaye, will work with federal and state agencies to investigate complaints and take action, acting Secretary of Education John King said.
Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve, is due to address Congress this week. She is expected to take a middling line on interest-rate policy while noting rising global risk. Observers will be watching for hints of another rate increase in March. The prevailing wisdom is that Yellen will leave that door open.
Foodstirs, co-founded by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame, sells baking kits through a subscription model. Gellar hopes to open retail stores and take the company public. Also, she says her fame didn't help in the early going. "When you go to investors and say 'Buffy has an idea for a business,' see how seriously you get taken," she says.
Brazilian obstetrician Dr. Adriana Melo became concerned when she started seeing an unusual number of patients whose ultrasounds indicated their fetuses had brain abnormalities and calcifications. Dozens of cases of microcephaly mounted, but with little evidence of a possible cause, people became afraid and began blaming vaccines. Melo ran tests that found Zika virus was abundant in the amniotic fluid of fetuses with the brain abnormalities. She collaborated with Dr. Gustavo Malinger, a fetal brain expert based in Israel, and their work sparked warnings to women about the possible risks of Zika virus.
Airbnb has partnered with "Man vs. Wild" host Bear Grylls and Disney's "Jungle Book" in a campaign called "Love This? Live There" that spotlights adventurous travel. "In this campaign, we put the spotlight on some of the more unusual accommodations like treehouses, islands, ski chalets and beachside homes that travelers really love," said the brand's marketing chief, Jonathan Mildenhall.
Kohl's has replaced J.C. Penney as sponsor of the Academy Awards and the retailer will run five TV spots on the night of the ceremony and launch a social campaign this week using the hashtag #AllTheGoodStuff. The ads will tout Kohl's relaunched Sonoma brand and will feature a cheeky take on acceptance speeches.
Hackers attempted to take 464,000 e-File PINs, the Internal Revenue Service reports. The agency states that no personal data were disclosed and that even if any were, a PIN alone is not enough to file a fraudulent return. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, plans to discuss the matter with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Last year, identity thieves successfully stole personal information from the Agency's "Get Transcript" database.
GlaxoSmithKline has signed a research and development deal with Valneva to produce flu vaccines based on the latter's EB66 cell line. Under the terms of the agreement, Valneva will create upstream processes to be used in vaccine production and is eligible for undisclosed research payments. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will be involved in financing and overseeing the advanced development program.
Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune, R-S.D., along with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is preparing to introduce a "Mobile Now" bill this week designed to ensure that wireless carriers have access to "hundreds of megahertz of spectrum" by 2020. The measure would enable the delivery of 5G-based services at speeds upward of one gigabit per second, Thune told a CTIA 5G conference.
The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has brought the country's aging water infrastructure to the forefront. Many other cities across the US also have lead-lined pipes. ASCE estimates it could cost $1 trillion over a quarter of a century to replace the oldest pipes, including ones that aren't lead. "The stuff underground is just totally ignored," said Erik Olson of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We're mostly living off the investment of our parents and grandparents for our drinking water supply."
ConocoPhillips has won approval from the Energy Department to export 40 billion cubic feet of natural gas from its terminal in Kenai, Alaska. The company can now export gas to any country with which the US has a free-trade agreement or does not prohibit trade. The permit allows exports for two years beginning Feb. 19.
The Federal Aviation Administration says that at least 325,000 drones have been registered, more than the 320,000 piloted aircraft tracked by the agency. "The sheer numbers concern me, as they increase the risk of a collision, and it is likely that the actual number of drones is much greater than the number registered," said Chesley Sullenberger, famous for landing a commercial jetliner on the Hudson River.
Sources say the $4 billion Moon World Resorts will go up in Indio, Calif. "The site is perfectly triangulated between Los Angeles and San Diego in Coachella Valley, which already welcomes some 12 million annual visitors. And within easy driving distance of Las Vegas," said one executive familiar with the plan.