Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a writer for TechCrunch. He lives in San Francisco.

Disclosure: I own a minor quantity of shares in AOL, the parent company of TechCrunch, that were purchased through the firm's employee share purchase program. My 401k and other accounts are invested into diversified global funds that include both equities and bonds. I own no other individual shares in companies, either private or public. I'm currently dating someone who works for a Google subsidiary.

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  • Dropbox Calls For Support Of The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill

    Dropbox Calls For Support Of The Senate’s NSA Reform Bill

    This morning, Dropbox released new information detailing government requests for its user data, and information about certain user accounts. The company also called for the passage of the Senate’s version of the USA FREEDOM Act. In the first half of 2014, Dropbox received “268 requests for user information from law enforcement agencies and 0-249 national security requests.” In… Read More

  • Twitter To Raise Up To $1.5B In Debt Offering

    Twitter To Raise Up To $1.5B In Debt Offering

    Twitter wants more cash. The company announced two $650 million debt offerings in a filing today, each with a potential $100 increase provided that the sales are oversubscribed. Assuming full tip, including the $100 million boosters, Twitter will raise up to $1.5 billion with the two offerings. Half the debt will be due in 2019, and the other half in 2021. The company famously raised… Read More

  • Net Neutrality Foes And Advocates Rush To Control The Narrative As The FCC’s Comment Period Nears Its End

    Net Neutrality Foes And Advocates Rush To Control The Narrative As The FCC’s Comment Period Nears Its End

    As the second comment period for the current net neutrality notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) approaches its end, the issue is heating back up. When the first comment period wrapped up, the FCC received so much input from Americans that its site crashed. The comment period was extended, as was the second, to account for the days is lost to the first session. Today, specifically, is… Read More

  • Microsoft Held In Contempt As It Battles A Domestic Search Warrant Demanding Overseas Data

    Microsoft Held In Contempt As It Battles A Domestic Search Warrant Demanding Overseas Data

    Microsoft has been held in contempt of court after failing to comply with a warrant, following a rejection of a request for appeal on July 31st. The case stems from a United States government search warrant for data stored on a Microsoft server in Ireland. Microsoft contends that the data is outside the purview of the domestic warrant. The United States government disagrees. Microsoft has thus… Read More

  • Coursera President Daphne Koller: 2014 Is The Year MOOCs Will Come Of Age

    Coursera President Daphne Koller: 2014 Is The Year MOOCs Will Come Of Age

    This morning at Disrupt SF, Coursera’s president Daphne Koller pushed back against the notion that her company is a for-profit education company: In her view, Coursera is instead a for-profit technology company. TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois pressed Koller on the completion rates the average class on her platform sees — only 5 percent of people that enroll in a future… Read More

  • PatternEQ Wants To Help SaaS Companies Use Data Science To Kill Their Churn

    PatternEQ Wants To Help SaaS Companies Use Data Science To Kill Their Churn

    This afternoon at the Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield, PatternEQ launched into private beta with an aim to help software as a service (SaaS) companies attack on of their chief foes: churn. Call it data science for the common man. PatternEQ takes in data from a startup’s various sources — MixPanel, for example — weaving the information into its own algorithmic tools to help… Read More

  • Microsoft Said To Be Close To Purchasing Minecraft’s Parent Company For Around $2B

    Microsoft Said To Be Close To Purchasing Minecraft’s Parent Company For Around $2B

    It appears that Microsoft is prepping to follow Facebook into the YOLO territory of gaming acquisitions. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the software giant will buy the gaming company behind the mega-hit Minecraft for around $2 billion, perhaps as early as this week. The deal, which Microsoft can well afford with its nearly $86 billion in cash and equivalents, would bring a… Read More

  • Vinod Khosla Doesn’t Like Eggs, But He Loves Machine Learning

    Vinod Khosla Doesn’t Like Eggs, But He Loves Machine Learning

    Today at Disrupt SF, TechCrunch founder and alum Michael Arrington interviewed venture capitalist Vinod Khosla in a conversation that covered a number of topics including egg substitutes, animal cruelty, city design, Uber, the usefulness of most members of the professional investing community — and one of Khosla’s newest interests, machine learning. Read More

  • Self Lender Wants To Help People Build And Repair Their Credit

    Self Lender Wants To Help People Build And Repair Their Credit

    The credit system in America isn’t great. It’s hard for people to establish and rehabilitate their standing inside of it. Today at the Disrupt Startup Battlefield, Self Lender launched its consumer finance service to help people with limited credit history build credit, as well as assist people with weaker credit profiles boost their scores. Read More

  • Marc Benioff’s Plans — More Investing, More Donating, More Political Demands

    Marc Benioff’s Plans — More Investing, More Donating, More Political Demands

    This morning at Disrupt SF, TechCrunch alum Michael Arrington interviewed Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff about his investments, his company’s growth rate, and his personal approach to politics. Salesforce recently announced a $100 million fund that it will invest across the technology industry. Arrington found the exercise minor enough to almost call it branding, noting that… Read More

  • Pure Storage CEO: “Acquisitions Always Suck… Worse Than You Think”

    Pure Storage CEO: “Acquisitions Always Suck… Worse Than You Think”

    This afternoon at Disrupt SF, Pure Storage’s Scott Dietzen and Mike Speiser, his investor from Sutter Hill Ventures, discussed building enterprise-facing technology with TechCrunch’s own Ron Miller. Pure Storage, a provider of flash-based storage products, has raised $475 million over the course of its life. Is it heading for an exit? According to Dietzen, perhaps not so soon. Read More

  • Inside Startup Alley, Day 1

    Inside Startup Alley, Day 1

    As we kick into gear here on Day 2 of Disrupt SF, let’s take a look back at the companies that took part in yesterday’s Startup Alley here at the venue. The TechCrunch staff walked the area with a roving mic and camera to see just who was around, and what they were building. The Alley always has a diverse group of startups, so the following set of clips is a fun mix. Our own… Read More

  • On The Record With Max Levchin

    On The Record With Max Levchin

    Earlier today I sat down with Max Levchin at Disrupt SF 2014 to talk about what he’s building at the moment, and to get his take on the current technology market. Max is best known for his work at PayPal and his second firm, a gaming company called Slide. PayPal sold to eBay, and Google picked up Slide. Now, Max is building something called Affirm, which hopes to change how people… Read More

  • Fantasy Bit League Wants You To Bet Bitcoin On Football

    Fantasy Bit League Wants You To Bet Bitcoin On Football

    On stage this morning at the Disrupt SF 2014 hackathon, Fantasy Bit League pitched its creation: A way to wager bitcoin in your fantasy football league. As it turns out, betting on fantasy football is legal in every state in the U.S. Apparently it’s considered a game of skill, and not chance. Think of it as more like poker than blackjack, if you will. Read More

  • Turn Down For What, Hackathon Edition

    Turn Down For What, Hackathon Edition

    Last night around midnight, just before a few hundred beers, and a few dozen pizzas touched down, myself and TechCrunch’s Kyle Russell took a stroll through the Disrupt SF 2014 hackathon. Hackathons are odd things by the light of day, and even more so at night. Hackers were building everything from a rocket launching system — IFTTT for IRL projectiles, or some such —… Read More

  • CrunchWeek: Samsung’s Gadgets, iCloud Hacks, And Sarah Goes To Burning Man

    CrunchWeek: Samsung’s Gadgets, iCloud Hacks, And Sarah Goes To Burning Man

    Happy pre-Disrupt Friday, everyone, I hope you are well rested for next week’s fun. Today on CrunchWeek Sarah Buhr, Jordan Crook, and myself sat around the white table to dig into the biggest stories of the week: Samsung’s raft of new hardware, the issues with cloud security and iCloud itself, and, of course, Sarah’s recent expedition to the desert. Read More

  • FCC Chairman Calls For Stronger Broadband Competition, Especially For High-Speed Connections

    FCC Chairman Calls For Stronger Broadband Competition, Especially For High-Speed Connections

    In a speech this morning, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler discussed the state of American broadband, arguing that there is a lack of competition in the market, especially in terms of truly fast connections. Broadband, as it is currently defined by the FCC, is a connection of at least 4 Mbps. That’s too slow, according to Wheeler, who noted that his agency is looking to increase that metric to… Read More

  • Symphony Commerce Raises $21.5M To Build Out Its Commerce-As-A-Service Toolset

    Symphony Commerce Raises $21.5M To Build Out Its Commerce-As-A-Service Toolset

    Symphony Commerce has raised a $21.5 million Series B round of capital, led by CRV, and participated in by Bain Capital, and FirstMark Capital. Previously, Symphony raised a $12.2 million Series A round of funding. Both Bain and FirstMark took part in that prior funding event. Read More

  • Microsoft Will Mass-Produce Its Big-Ass Touchscreens

    Microsoft Will Mass-Produce Its Big-Ass Touchscreens

    Remember the Big-Ass Table? Microsoft isn’t done making huge slabs of touch-capable screen, it turns out. The company’s Stephen Elop announced this week that Microsoft intends to “mass-produce” its Perceptive Pixel (PPI) displays, which are touch-enabled and can stretch to up to 82 inches in size. Read More

  • Jared Leto Dishes On His Favorite Tech Investment

    Jared Leto Dishes On His Favorite Tech Investment

    TechCrunch caught up with actor and singer Jared Leto today backstage at BoxWorks, the annual confab focused on Box’s enterprise file storage service. Leto had just taken part in the event’s keynote, which stretched north of two hours. Read More