Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm
Alex Wilhelm is a writer for TechCrunch. In the past, he helped grow The Next Web into a leading publication. Alex also worked for midVentures in Chicago, where he attended school, and co-founded Contenture, a startup focused on micropayments and the monetization of digital content. Alex lives in San Francisco. CrunchBase profile →

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  • Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls Supreme Court Cellphone-Warrant Case “Seminal”

    Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls Supreme Court Cellphone-Warrant Case “Seminal”

    It’s been a busy week in the realm of policy and technology, with the Supreme court weighing in on a several issues impacting the industry, and the government releasing something akin to a transparency report regarding a portion of the NSA’s surveillance practices. The unanimous Supreme Court decision on Riley v. California caused a stir because it set new precedent regarding… Read More

  • Facebook And The Ethics Of User Manipulation [Updated]

    Facebook And The Ethics Of User Manipulation [Updated]

    [This post has been updated to include comments from Adam Kramer, the Facebook employee who coauthored the study, and new information from Cornell indicating that the study was funded internally. ] A recent study conscripted Facebook users as unwitting participants during a weeklong experiment in direct emotional manipulation. The study set out to discover if the emotional tone of a… Read More

  • Gov Oversight Board Will Weigh In On The Legality Of PRISM

    Gov Oversight Board Will Weigh In On The Legality Of PRISM

    On July 2nd, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) will release a report on the government’s use of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to execute surveillance. The NSA’s PRISM program, for example, is legally grounded in Section 702. The independent oversight group is part of the Executive Branch, and is notable for its sharp rebuke of… Read More

  • Greenpeace And The EFF Flew A Protest Blimp Around The NSA’s Massive Utah Data Center

    Greenpeace And The EFF Flew A Protest Blimp Around The NSA’s Massive Utah Data Center

    When the government is out building a massive data center so that it can store more of the data that it hoovers up from around the world, what do you do? Well you probably can’t get much in the way of a day pass, but as Firefly taught us, you can’t take the skies from me. Read More

  • GoPro’s 14.6% Day 2 Rise Puts It Up 50% From Its IPO Price

    GoPro’s 14.6% Day 2 Rise Puts It Up 50% From Its IPO Price

    GoPro spiked from its offering price of $24 to $31.34 yesterday in its first day of trading. Today the company built on that success, adding nearly $5 more to its share price, ending the day at $35.92, up 14.60 percent during regular trading. All told, GoPro is now up a total of 49.67 percent from its IPO price, making it more than a successful IPO. Its rapid ascent will surely be read by… Read More

  • US Gov Releases First NSA Transparency Report

    US Gov Releases First NSA Transparency Report

    This morning the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report detailing its use of various legal authorities in 2013 to execute surveillance, and the number of targets impacted by each method. The move was hinted at in March of this year, when NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett said that the government was “actually working on a proposal right now to be transparent and to… Read More

  • Two US Government Agencies Are Working Together To Lower The Cost Of Installing Wi-Fi In Schools

    Two US Government Agencies Are Working Together To Lower The Cost Of Installing Wi-Fi In Schools

    The FCC is working with another U.S. Government agency to purchase WiFi equipment in a pooled fashion, allowing them to save money on new tools. This could help lower the cost of bringing WiFi to more American school, and perhaps allow us to move more quickly on the matter. Read More

  • Why Twitter Spiked 5% Today

    Why Twitter Spiked 5% Today

    Shares of technology stocks were mostly flat to middling today, with the rocketing GoPro IPO standing out. Twitter, however, a company still down heavily from its earlier post-IPO highs, advanced 5 percent. Why? Positive external forecasts. Evercore Group indicated that it thinks Twitter’s domestic user growth could best its first quarter tally, reassuring skittish investors worried that… Read More

  • GoPro Stock Spikes More Than 30% On Its Debut

    GoPro Stock Spikes More Than 30% On Its Debut

    This morning GoPro went public, spiking sharply in early trading. Priced at the upper end of its range, $24 per share, GoPro quickly traded higher, reaching nearly $33 per share, according to a Google Finance chart. As of writing, the company is trading for $31.07, up around 29% since its open. Read More

  • NSA Denies Any Record Of Snowden Emailing Superiors About Concerns

    NSA Denies Any Record Of Snowden Emailing Superiors About Concerns

    In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) query, the NSA today informed journalist Jason Leopold that it could not locate email pursuant to his request for “any and all emails written by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in which Mr. Snowden contacted agency officials through email to raise concerns about NSA programs.” Read More

  • Google Announces Android Auto, Promises Enabled Cars By The End Of 2014

    Google Announces Android Auto, Promises Enabled Cars By The End Of 2014

    Today in its sprawling keynote at its I/O event, Google announced Android Auto. The version of Android will be “completely voice enabled” according to the company, and will help users navigate, communicate and listen to music in their cars. The system will be “contextually aware,” Google says, and will allow for hands-free access, an important feature of an experience… Read More

  • Broadcast Stocks Trade Higher In Wake Of Aereo Ruling

    Broadcast Stocks Trade Higher In Wake Of Aereo Ruling

    This morning the United States Supreme Court ruled against Aereo, a startup that employed myriad, tiny antennas to bring broadcast television to consumers digitally, saying that it operates in violation of the Copyright Act. The startup, which previously stated that it had no ‘Plan B’ in the case of loss, is troubled. Broadcast stocks, however, are anything but. CBS is up more than… Read More

  • People Are Going To Dress Up Like Star Wars Characters In SF Tomorrow To Protest Google

    People Are Going To Dress Up Like Star Wars Characters In SF Tomorrow To Protest Google

    No one protests like San Francisco. The scene: Tomorrow, outside of Google’s I/O conference, an assemblage of protestors will dress up like Star Wars characters to decry Google and the economic impact of the technology industry. The goal, the group told TechCrunch in an email, is to highlight rising income inequality in San Francisco, a city now infamous for its spiraling rents. Read More

  • Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls On Congress To End The NSA’s “Unfettered Bulk Collection Of Data”

    Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls On Congress To End The NSA’s “Unfettered Bulk Collection Of Data”

    Earlier this morning, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel Brad Smith made the case against pervasive government surveillance, arguing that reform is needed of this nation’s security apparatus. At a talk this morning, the general counsel couched his larger remarks in the historical context of general warrants, the use of which led to the political climate the out of… Read More

  • FAA Bans The Use Of Drones To Deliver Packages

    FAA Bans The Use Of Drones To Deliver Packages

    The FAA made it plain this week that Amazon, or anyone else for that matter, won’t be able to deliver packages using a drone in the near future. In a document soliciting feedback regarding drone policy — a “Notice of Interpretation with Request for Comment ” — the FAA calls “delivering packages to people for a fee” a non-hobby or recreation-based… Read More

  • Missouri May Amend Its Constitution To Require Warrant For Digital Searches

    Missouri May Amend Its Constitution To Require Warrant For Digital Searches

    A proposed state constitutional amendment could grant residents of Missouri stronger digital privacy protections. The amendment passed the state’s legislature, and will be voted on by the general electorate in August. Read More

  • The Race To Ubiquitous, Free Cloud Storage

    The Race To Ubiquitous, Free Cloud Storage

    Two interesting things happened today in the realm of cloud storage: Microsoft cut its prices for OneDrive and gave out more free gigabytes, and Box took its editing tool Box Notes mobile. Both fit neatly into the current market arc relating to cloud storage: The price per gigabyte for consumers and customers is going to zero, and storage companies are looking to diversify their… Read More

  • Microsoft More Than Doubles OneDrive’s Free Cloud Storage To 15 Gigabytes

    Microsoft More Than Doubles OneDrive’s Free Cloud Storage To 15 Gigabytes

    Continuing the trend towards free, unlimited cloud storage, Microsoft this morning increased the amount of capacity that it offers free to regular users of its OneDrive service to 15 gigabytes, more than double its previous offering of 7 gigabytes. The company will also now offer a full terabyte of storage to all Office 365 customers. If you want more storage capacity, but don’t want to… Read More

  • Skyhigh Networks Picks Up $40M, 13 Months After It Raised $20M

    Skyhigh Networks Picks Up $40M, 13 Months After It Raised $20M

    Skyhigh Networks, looking to accelerate its growth, has raised a $40 million Series C round of funding. The new traunch of capital was co-led by Sequoia, and Greylock, firms that had invested in the firm’s $20 million Series B that took place last May. Read More

  • Bing Looks Abroad

    Bing Looks Abroad

    Microsoft is working to expand Bing’s international footprint. A job posting, spotted by Neowin, speaks plainly: “Bing is embarking on the most ambitious geographic and product expansion in its history.” Well then. Microsoft hasn’t taken down the listing, so it’s likely not too concerned about having its plans aired publicly. What this signifies is that Microsoft… Read More