Bill would let Uber, Lyft drivers get a single biz license

Lyft and Uber are trying to prevent their thousands of drivers across California from needing multiple licenses. A bill in the California Legislature backed by the two companies would allow ride-hailing drivers to get a single license to work statewide rather than having to purchase one in every city they pick up, drop off or drive through. (L.A. Times)

Digital assistants must learn to use apps

Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Bixby, and there’s more coming – are great if you want information to win a bet. The future will be voice-operated, but much needs to happen before voice becomes a powerful user interface. It has to be very good at handling applications – as good as if I were to talk to a human assistant. (Silicon Valley Watcher)

Peter Thiel sells one-third of his Facebook shares

Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first big investor, has sold more than $10 million worth of the company’s shares in the last week – a significant chunk of his surprisingly small remaining stake in the social network. The billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who remains on Facebook’s board, sold 60,316 shares of his class A shares, worth about $10.4 million, according to securities documents filed July 28. (San Jose Biz Journal)

Seed funding slows in Silicon Valley

The bloom is off seed funding, the business of providing money to brand-new startups, as investors take a more measured approach to financing emerging U.S. technology companies. Seed-stage financing has been sliding for the last two years, with the number of transactions down about 40 percent since the peak in mid-2015, data show. Dollar investments in fledgling companies have also declined, although less dramatically, dropping more than 24 percent over the same period. (Reuters)

YouTube turns to improved machine learning

Google’s YouTube said Tuesday that it’s increasing efforts to fight terror-related content on its site. The move comes roughly two months after British Prime Minister Theresa May called tech companies hotbeds of extremist recruiting following an attack on London Bridge that killed eight and injured 48. It also follows a springtime marketer revolt over ads’ unwanted proximity to hateful and violent video on YouTube. (Ad Age)

Why ‘dark data’ is the key to better serving customers

Why did Under Armour recently purchase MapMyRun? Why did IBM acquire Both wanted to understand their audiences and, in turn, develop a better and more profitable product. But marketers don’t have to acquire disparate businesses to reap similar rewards. While brands understand it’s hugely important to collect data, they have no idea how to tap into the data they’ve amassed. (Ad Age)

Discovery gains female advertising audience with Scripps deal

Discovery Communications Inc, whose nature and science TV channels attract mostly male viewers, will reach more women and diversify its advertising revenue through its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc, advertisers said on Tuesday. Discovery’s $11.9 billion deal to acquire Scripps, announced on Monday, is expected to boost the media company’s negotiating leverage as it seeks new audiences. (Reuters)

Request a Lyft inside the Amtrak app when your train arrives

Lyft has teamed up with another brand, forming a partnership that totally makes sense. Now, Amtrak riders can request a Lyft directly from the Amtrak app. Lyft said in a statement that rides to and from transit stations are one of its most popular routes and account for a quarter of Chicago ride requests alone. Amtrak travel is available in 46 states and as of now, Lyft is available to 97 percent of Amtrak riders. (Engadget)

Mazda profit falls 24% as it dials back U.S. fleet sales

In announcing results, Managing Executive Officer Tetsuya Fujimoto said results were undermined by a falling wholesale shipments, led by a dialing down of fleet sales in the U.S. Global wholesale volume slid 5 percent to 297,000 vehicles. In North America, Mazda’s biggest market, imploding passenger car sales undercut profits, as did rising incentives to move sedans.(Automotive News)

Here’s a look at Facebook’s history of hardware hardships

The social network is known mostly for its addictive News Feed, innovative digital ad products and a suite of apps that reach billions of people. But it also has an experimental side, including a hardware division, which currently is working on a smart speaker-touchscreen for the home.(Ad Age)

Photo: Kyle Johnson joins Recurrent Energy

Kyle Johnson joins Recurrent Energy

Kyle Johnson, formerly of Constellation, has joined Recurrent Energy, a leading U.S. solar project developer. Kyle will serve as managing director and head of origination and structuring, overseeing a team of originators focused on power marketing and contract structuring for the company’s 4 GW project portfolio across the U.S. …Read More

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Dish Network latest telecom stock to spike (CNBC)
Etsy’s painful lesson: It’s a retailer, not a tech startup (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. bank stocks hit post-crisis high (Financial Times)
Judge dismisses challenge to ride-hailing unionization (Fox Business)
Impossible Foods raised $75M for its plant-based burgers (TechCrunch)