Why Is This News

  • New Wrinkle on the Valuation Trap

    WITN: The New Wrinkle on the Valuation Trap (TCTV)

    It seems Sarah wasn’t kidding about working right up until she gives birth. In this week’s positively-last-before-the-birth episode of Why Is This News?, Sarah and Paul are prompted by the ongoing reports of Dropbox’s mega funding to talk about valuations. The typical outrage is over whether a company like Dropbox is “worth” $4 billion, but as we argue… Read More

  • WITN: “Give China Credit — They’re Very Clear On What The Rules Are”

    WITN: “Give China Credit — They’re Very Clear On What The Rules Are”

    In what might (really) be the last Why Is This News before Sarah’s baby gets out of private beta, we’re talking about democracy. Specifically, we discuss the news that India wants to monitor its citizen’s private messages while Brazil is freezing Google’s local accounts in a tussle over anonymity — and we ask: “wait, aren’t those countries supposed to… Read More

  • BART Protests: ‘V’ For ‘Very Few People Showed Up’

    BART Protests: ‘V’ For ‘Very Few People Showed Up’

    Last night, San Francisco’s BART transport system prepared itself to be swamped with Guy Fawkes masks as hacking collective Anonymous urged concerned citizens to take to the streets tracks to protest authorities’ earlier shut-down of the network’s cellphone service. The hackers had already fired their opening salvo: hacking the BART website and releasing the private user data… Read More

  • WITN: “From My Experience, Photos Of College Roommates Are Like Heroin,” And Other Rational Statements

    WITN: “From My Experience, Photos Of College Roommates Are Like Heroin,” And Other Rational Statements

    Yesterday, following Robin Wauters announcement that he is “quitting” phone calls (which came hot on the heels of MG’s experiment in curtailing email use), Paul declared that he was quitting breathing. How did the experiment go? See the video below, in which he and Sarah discuss the curious trend of pundits abandoning technology and ask whether communications overload is really… Read More

  • WITN: European Boosterism, And Rules Of Thumb For Pitching Silly Claims To TechCrunch [TCTV]

    German VC firm, Earlybird caught some flack last month with their nonsense presentation claiming that European VC was outperforming the US. Sarah Lacy and Mike Butcher comprehensively dismantled the claims here and then Bessemer Venture Partners’ David Cowan followed up, highlighting the amusing fact that the report was actually based on the work of Earlybird’s summer intern. In… Read More

  • WITN: London Is Gonna Be Pissed, But We Prefer Berlin for Startups (TCTV)

    We’ve spent much of the last week exploring Berlin, attending the Next11 conference and meeting a few local startups. The biggest problem from a video entertainment standpoint? We both agree that Berlin feels like a better startup town than London. “Feels like” is an important disclaimer here. Berlin certainly doesn’t have the track record, local sophisticated… Read More

  • WITN: Paul's New Book Published, Movie Option Sold On The Same Day [TCTV]

    There are two things we love to do on Why Is This News. The first is to break news about things that are happening outside Silicon Valley. The second is to find excuses to promote our respective books (about things that are happening outside Silicon Valley). Rare indeed though is the occasion when we’re able to combine both of those things and break news about one of our respective… Read More

  • WITN: Can Tony Hsieh Deliver Happiness -And A Ready-Made Community – To Downtown Las Vegas? [TCTV]

    After a brief hiatus, Why Is This News? is back! In this week’s episode, Paul checks in from his Las Vegas hotel room to discuss Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s plans to regenerate downtown Las Vegas by moving the company’s HQ into the former City Hall. In fact, there’s far more to Hsieh’s plan than that, as Paul explained over on the Huffington Post. In the video below… Read More

  • WITN: Abbasso Las Vegas! [TCTV]

    As regular readers might already know, Paul is in Las Vegas for a month, hanging out with strippers reaffirming his belief in the American dream. As a result, this week’s Why Is This News is even less tech-focused than usual. Still, no matter whether you subscribe to Sarah’s view that 33 days in Vegas is 33 wasted days or Paul’s insistence that there are still stories to be… Read More

  • WITN: Jakarta? No, She Came Back Of Her Own Accord [TCTV]

    Hurrah! After a short hiatus while Sarah travelled around Indonesia at the behest of the State Department, Why Is This News is back! And what better way to mark our triumphant return to your screens than with a whole show dedicated to Indonesia, and specifically the curious lack of a brain drain from the country to the US. Apparently Indonesian students are so keen to return home after studying… Read More

  • This Just In: Facebook Makes Millenials Even More Insufferable (TCTV)

    In case recent political uprisings have given us too many reasons to feel good about the impact Facebook is having in the world, we just got a study from Cornell that shows the mega-site is also helping boost millenials’ self-esteem. Because, you know, the so-called “self-esteem generation” needs more of that. All quips about millineals aside, the study trumpets the findings as… Read More

  • WITN: New York State of the Tech Industry [TCTV]

    This week, Sarah is in New York doing various book-related things – but WITN is all about life outside the valley so she dialled in via Skype to give us an update in what’s happening on the East coast. Spoiler alert: NY is still no Silicon Valley, but it’s increasingly proving that it doesn’t have to be. We also discussed whether New York’s status as a… Read More

  • WITN: Is It Racist To Say That Chinese Manufacturing Leads To Low Quality Goods — And Fraud? [TCTV]

    Earlier this week, CrunchGear’s John Biggs sparked controversy (within TechCrunch ranks at least) with a post entitled “Alibaba And The Curse Of Chinese Manufacturing“. In the post Biggs wrote (amongst other things) that… “Many decry the sad state of American manufacturing but these [Chinese] companies still sell billions in janky garbage that washes up here in… Read More

  • WITN: Is It Racist To Say That Chinese Manufacturing Leads To Low Quality Goods — And Fraud? [TCTV]

    Earlier this week, CrunchGear’s John Biggs sparked controversy (within TechCrunch ranks at least) with a post entitled “Alibaba And The Curse Of Chinese Manufacturing“. In the post Biggs wrote (amongst other things) that… “Many decry the sad state of American manufacturing but these [Chinese] companies still sell billions in janky garbage that washes up here in… Read More

  • WITN: Is Justin Bieber Why Lady Gaga Is Pantsless In Paris? [TCTV]

    Since AOL’s acquisition of the Huffington Post, we know many of you have been looking for signs that TechCrunch has adopted our new editorial overlady’s approach to SEO. This seems like as good a time as any to assure loyal Why Is This News? viewers that we will never – ever – stoop to such cheap linkbaiting tricks, no matter what financial incentives we’re offered… Read More

  • WITN: Is Egypt A Twitter Revolution? No. But Is That Even The Point? [TCTV]

    After weeks of simmering tensions, finally the Egyptian situation has erupted into violence. Even the media has been caught up in vicious battles. No, we’re not talking about Anderson Cooper being punched in the face, but rather this week’s episode of Why Is This News in which our disagreement over social media’s role in prompting or assisting revolution descends into a… Read More

  • WITN: No, New York Media, It Isn't 1999 All Over Again (Thanks For Asking)

    In this week’s Why Is This News, we discuss the latest Silicon Valley bubble. Or specifically, we discuss why there isn’t one – and why New York media has to stop claiming there is every time a company has a high valuation. Yeah, Business Week’s Chris Farrell, we’re looking at you. Video below. Read More

  • WITN: Wikileaks Is Dead – Long Live Julian Assange

    After Paul’s Saturday post about Julian Assange resulted in him being labelled a US government stooge – not to mention receiving a couple of death threats (no, really) – he’s decided never again to discuss the founder of Wikileaks. In fact, after much consideration, he’s decided that he was wrong (as was Vanity Fair) and TechCrunch commenters were right: Assange is… Read More

  • WITN: Book Publishing Has A Better Future Than Music and Movies (Thinks One Of Us)

    Aaaand… we’re back. Fresh from our Christmas and New Year break and ready to talk about the Most Important Stories Outside of Silicon Valley. Stories like, uh, Kevin Rose’s new email newsletter. But, yeah ok, while the jumping off point might be a stretch, we soon get to the meat of this week’s episode: whether we’re seeing a move from fame for fame’s sake to… Read More

  • Why Is This News – Live NYE Spotify US Launch Countdown Edition!

    It’s fair to say that, of all of the writers at TechCrunch, we’re the ones who have been most skeptical about Swedish music startup (and newly-minted verb) Spotify. And for what reason? Because the company lied to us on multiple occasions? Because they routinely brief journalists with off the record half-truths, and then later deny those same reports? Because CEO Daniel Ek… Read More