“Jobs,” the first of the Steve Jobs movies, opens tonight. It’s not the one by Aaron Sorkin but the one starring Ashton Kutcher as tech legend Steve Jobs. As an actor, Ashton Kutcher’s made his mark by playing dreamy -- but ditzy -- characters on TV. So playing Steve Jobs could be a breakout role for him in Hollywood.
But the movie could also impact his side-job as an investor in tech start-ups. Kutcher’s invested in popular start-ups like Airbnb, Spotify, Uber, and dozens of others. “My decision to take the role was a tough one. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who knew Steve,” Kutcher told the tech blog The Verge. “If I play this, will the people who knew him who I’m friends with be upset about it? You know what I mean? I’m trying to balance two worlds.”
So we know how Hollywood is going rate Kutcher in "Jobs." But what about Silicon Valley?
“People in technology care a lot about Steve Jobs,” said Ken Goldberg a robotics professor at UC Berkeley. He said Jobs was crucial in the development of personal computers, mobile phones, and tablets. But he didn’t do it alone. He said Kutcher risks alienating people in the Valley who were left out of the movie.
But it’s not just the depiction of Jobs that Kutcher has to get right, said Andrea Matwyshyn, a professor at U Penn’s Wharton School. “It’s entirely possible that someone will view that he did not understand the true culture of the valley,” she said. Matwyshyn said the story of Steve Jobs is bigger than the man. It’s come to symbolize the ethos of Silicon Valley. Jobs wasn’t afraid to fail and generally ignored Wall Street and others who stood in his way. Matwyshyn said, if entrepreneurs feel Kutcher, the investor, doesn’t capture this ethos, “maybe that will make him a less attractive investor,” she said.
Nonsense said Robert Hendershott, a professor of entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. “Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are not going to turn down money just because they saw a movie,” he quips. Hendershott said the movie could have an upside for Kutcher.
“If they look at him and think he really gets it, he knows Steve Jobs, he’s like Steve Jobs, it can’t help but make him more attractive,” he said.
Because, Hendershott said, even Silicon Valley isn’t immune to the magic of Hollywood.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters are back in the streets. The government has said it will use live ammunition to protect public buildings and security forces. After Wednesday's crackdown left more than 600 people dead and nearly 4,000 wounded, the country is braced for more bloodshed.
The falling levels of the two large reservoirs in the southwestrn United States, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, have become the de facto index of the water problems of the West. Today, that index triggered a landmark government response.
For the first time in its four year history, the Bureau of Reclamation will reduce the annual release of water from Lake Powell by nearly 10 percent. The quantity of water has always been a critical piece of the system that supplies seven Western states and Mexico. Now, after the 14 driest years on record, that amount will drop to 7.48 million acre-feet.
“There’s a lot of folks downstream that are very concerned,” said Doug Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program. “And the users downstream are places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego.”
The reduction will not immediately impact the downstream states of Arizona, Nevada, and California. However, the chance that such reductions will be made is now roughly 50 percent for 2016, according to the Bureau.
“Right now we have about 2 million people in the valley and we are pretty much using all of our share,” says Sajjad Ahmad, a civil engineer at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas who has used global climate models to study the water future of Las Vegas and the valley it lies in. "We do have a problem” he says.
While Nevada’s share of the Colorado is relatively small, the growing urban area has little to spare. The general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Pat Mulroy, has recently discussed seeking federal disaster relief.
While all the Western states have been preparing for shortages for years, to make supply and demand meet will require changes.
“Roughly a third of the Colorado River is growing alfalfa and pasture and forage crops,” says Michael Cohen, senior research assistant at the Pacific Institute. “They’re very water intensive crops and they’re not directly consumed.”
With low flows in the Colorado River accepted as the “new normal,” water-intensive agriculture and rapidly growing cities can only coexist if they become more efficient through reuse and conservation—or if they find new sources of water.
Two of the four gyroscope-like wheels that keep the planet-hunting probe pointed in the right direction aren't working. NASA is exploring whether there might be other research projects Kepler can still carry out.
Bikers may have a tough image, but Happy Dodson, Taz Roman and other members of Bikers Against Child Abuse have a soft spot for kids. The international nonprofit accepts referrals from parents, police and social workers, and if those kids ever feel unsafe, BACA members will come roaring to their aid.
Werner Herzog's latest project is a slight departure for the acclaimed filmmaker: a 35-minute public service announcement on the dangers of texting and driving. Yes, it's long, he says, but the "inner landscape" of great suffering such accidents can cause "can only be shown if you have more time."
To understand how and why tornadoes form, some researchers are taking to the skies with small unmanned aircraft. The drones, outfitted with an array of sensors, can provide valuable data about the storms, and don't require people to be in harm's way. The goal is to increase the warning time before storms become deadly.
A bountiful blueberry crop this summer means lower prices. That's welcome news for consumers, but might spell trouble for blueberry farmers.
On Thursday, more than 200 bodies of those killed in a crackdown on protesters by the Egyptian military were being prepared for burial at the El-Iman mosque in Cairo. Some mourners said the government was pressuring them to say the dead committed suicide or died of natural causes.