Bono fights poverty, ex-Harvard head takes on Winklevoss twins at tech talk – News


Ciara O’Brien, Irish Times

SOME OF the world’s top technology entrepreneurs mixed with well-known names in Dublin’s Mansion House yesterday as the F.ounders conference began.

Bono addressed the gathering as the co-founder of charity One International, an organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease. He compared aid for struggling economies to start-up funding, and said One wants to be the NRA [National Rifle Assocation] of the world’s poor. “It’s much feared but well organised,” he said.

Bono appeared on stage with One executive director Jamie Drummond to discuss the campaign and how technology has helped empower people. “The 21st century began last year in Tahrir Square, where the model of power over the millennia – the pyramid – was inverted. You have this incredible thing that technologists have known for years: the network effect,” he said. “Received wisdom is not going over very well. Everything has changed … The more of it that is available, the easier our job.”

Transparency is the “vaccine” for the “biggest killer disease of them all”, Bono said.

The F.ounders conference is an invite-only event limited to 200 of the most influential tech leaders, and a few special guests. Director Barry Sonnenfeld and former US treasury secretary Larry Summers joined YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, Flipboard’s Mike McCue, and Yandex’s Arkady Volozh for the two-day event. Topics for discussion included the future of the web, technology and the economy, and politics and revolution.

The conference has been called “Davos for Geeks” because of the opportunities for networking that it provides. The “fireside chats” revealed some interesting titbits.

Summers took on the topics of how technology had impacted ON the economy, and redressing the gender balance in the industry.

“I think there’s a great deal One can do that is both pro-diversity and pro-meritocracy by giving everybody more of a chance,” he said.

“There’s a great deal that smart employers are increasingly doing to widen the sets of talent that they are able to recruit, and to recruit more women. I think the world is making progress, but . . . I’d like to see it making more progress.”

The former president of Harvard was asked about his dismissive remarks on the Winkelvoss twins, who sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their social network idea.

” You learn some things as a university president. One of the things you learn is that if undergraduates are wearing a suit and tie at 4 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon, there are two possibilities. One is that they’ve got a job interview; the other is that there’s something a bit off about them. The Winklevosses did not have a job interview that afternoon.”

F.ounders continues today.

© 2012

Apple’s Jony Ive to team up with Leica and Bono for charity camera – News


Devin Coldewey,

Jony Ive, best known for his work in creating the iPhone and other Apple products, will be working with Leica on a custom camera to be sold for charity, the camera maker said.

The news was shared Monday night by Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, who owns Leica. Ive was originally supposed to be present but couldn’t make it, so the news was handled briefly during the announcements of Leica’s new cameras, the new M flagship rangefinder and some other, less expensive cameras.

The idea is for Ive to design the camera and then for Leica to produce exactly one of them, which will then be auctioned off for charity in collaboration with U2’s Bono. In all likelihood, the device will fetch an astronomical sum; limited-edition Leicas regularly sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and this will be among the most exclusive and desirable devices ever made to begin with.

What Ive plans to do to the M is a mystery; he hasn’t spoken publicly about the arrangement, and the design phase for the camera hasn’t even begun. All that is known for sure is that it will be based on the new M camera, which already bears an iconic design — but nothing that can’t be improved.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is

© 2012

Paul McCartney, Bono Top List of Richest Lead Singers – News

by Dave Lifton, Ultimate Classic Rock

Three weeks ago, we learned that Ringo Starr is the world’s richest drummer. Today, the same website lists Starr’s former bandmate in the Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney, as the most valuable lead singer (and presumably, bass player) in the world.

Celebrity Net Worth estimates McCartney’s net worth at $800 million, presumably in part due to his vast publishing holdings. They arrived at the figure based on “all publicly available information including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements. The final net worths come from a formula that takes out taxes, manager’s fees, agents’ fees, and lifestyle.”

Directly below McCartney, but far behind in terms of dollars, is Bono at “only” $600 million. It was suggested that the U2 singer had become a billionaire through his equity firm’s stake in Facebook, but he quickly denied this story.

For the record, Starr’s $300 million would have been good enough for sixth place, between Mick Jagger ($305 million) and Sting ($290 million), but he did not make the list. Apparently ‘Octopus’ Garden,’ ‘Photograph’ and countless All-Starr Band tours aren’t enough to consider him a frontman.

The rest of the Top Ten contains pretty much the names you would expect, such as Elton John, Jimmy Buffett and Prince — songwriters with large, hit-filled catalogs that can still command top dollar in concert.

Top Ten Richest Lead Singers (in millions of dollars)

1. Paul McCartney: $800
2. Bono: $600
3. Jimmy Buffett: $400
4. Elton John: $320
5. Mick Jagger: $305
6. Sting: $290
7. Phil Collins: $250
8. Dave Matthews: $250
9. Prince: $250
10. Dave Grohl: $225

U2 Bassist Adam Clayton Testifies Against Former Personal Assistant – News

Carol Hawkins is accused of stealing around $3.5 million

By Rolling Stone

U2 bassist Adam Clayton has testified against a former personal assistant accused of stealing millions from him, reports the BBC. Carol Hawkins is accused of embezzling 2.8 million euros, or around $3.5 million, from Clayton from 2004 to 2008, and she faces 181 counts of theft.

Clayton was questioned in court on his working relationship with Hawkins, confirming she was a signatory on two of his bank accounts. Hawkins worked for Clayton for 16 years, and was originally employed by him alongside her husband until their separation in 2007.

Clayton revealed to the jury that Hawkins admitted in 2008 to burning through 13,000 to 15,000 euros – approximately $16,300 to $18,800 – on his account to visit her children in the U.S. and London.

Though Clayton later removed Hawkins from his accounts, he kept her on board as an employee. “In the matter of the money, I accepted she was a distressed woman. Her marriage broke up, her children had gone away,” he said. “She had my absolute trust. We had been together a long time – working together. She had been very conscientious . . . I felt she looked after my money and on many occasions accused others of being greedy, so I was extremely surprised.”

Bono shrugs off Facebook billionaire claims – News

U2 frontman Bono has laughed off claims he will become a billionaire on the back of the Facebook flotation that netted co-creator Mark Zuckerberg more than a billion US dollars.

RTE News

U2 frontman Bono has laughed off claims he will become a billionaire on the back of the Facebook flotation that netted co-creator Mark Zuckerberg more than a billion US dollars.

The rock star’s investment group Elevation put money into the social networking site, taking 2.3% of the company in late 2009.

But while the flotation means Elevation is worth way in excess of £1bn, Bono is joined by nine other directors who stand to profit.

He said: “Contrary to reports, I’m not a billionaire or going to be richer than any Beatle – and not just in the sense of money, by the way, the Beatles are untouchable – those billionaire reports are a joke.”

There had been suggestions that the canny investment could make his wealth outstrip that of Sir Paul McCartney, said to be valued at £665m.

Yesterday’s initial public offering of Facebook shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market was one of the biggest ever US stock market flotations.

But despite the hype, shares in the company closed up just $0.23 cents on their first day of trading after being priced at $38 each.

It made the site worth about $105bn – more than, McDonalds, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco.

By the end of the day, more than 500 million shares had changed hands.

Nick Einhorn, an analyst with IPO advisory firm Renaissance Capital, said: “It wasn’t quite as exciting as it could have been but I don’t think we should view it as a failure.”

The IPO did not help the US markets, with the Europe debt crisis weighing on investors.

The Dow Jones lost 73 points, which means it has ended lower on 12 of the last 13 days, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq were both down as well.

Mr Zuckerberg, who sold about 30 million shares, will retain a large stake in the company, making him worth an estimated $19.1bn US dollars – the 23rd richest person in the world at the age of 28.

He said: “Right now this all seems like a big deal. Going public is an important milestone in our history.

“But here’s the thing – our mission isn’t to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.”

One thousand millionaires were expected to be created by the flotation, including a small number of the 400 Dublin-based staff and the sale of 421 million Facebook shares is thought to have netted up to $18.4bn for the company.

James Hughes, chief market analyst at Alpari UK, said: “The real value of Facebook is not likely to be known until the hype of the IPO has died away and investors have been able to digest how the company is going to evolve to be the money making machine many expect it to be.”

Before the IPO, many said they believed the stock was overvalued.

In a recent Bloomberg survey of 1,250 global investors, analysts and traders, 79% said Facebook’s valuation was not justified and only 7% deemed the valuation fair.

The company’s laid-back management style that sees Zuckerberg wear his trademark hoodie and sandals may also have to change now the company is accountable to shareholders.

Facebook is the latest in a series of online firms to sell shares to the public in recent months, following online voucher firm Groupon in November and online games maker Zynga in December.

© RTÉ 2012-RTÉ Commercial Enterprises Ltd