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Why Does Biden Hate C++?!?



This week, the White House finally weighed in on a holy war. No, not that one! Instead, they weighed in on a favorite geek religious war, which programming language is the best.

Well, actually they said that programmers should use memory-safe languages instead of those that can cause security issues: the main culprits, the C and C++ programming languages, were named and shamed. While some in the valley have questioned why the White House is weighing in here, they are the same folks who have demonstrated less than sound judgment in favor of self-interest in the past, so let’s just say that taking common sense precautions is generally a good thing and shouldn’t be a political statement. 

While we could try to explain exactly how exploiting memory errors works, let’s instead just say that they are a class of security issues that have been one of the major sources of problems since they were discovered in the 1990’s. And while they have kept security researchers in hoodies and beer for 30 years, new programming languages prevent programmers from being able to make these errors. It’s the right answer for most situations, but it will take time to rewrite large parts of the infrastructure to take advantage of these advancements. The White House shining a light on this is a positive thing. 

In the markets, Nvidia not only beat earnings but crushed them and sprinkled them on their Wheaties. It’s good to be a fundamental building block of a new technology movement. Analogies have been made to Intel with personal computers or Cisco with networking. 

But the market abhors a monopoly, so there is suddenly a lot of interest in alternative chip manufacturers who might be able to take market share. While it will clearly take time for new chips to come to market, the biggest issue isn’t the silicon but instead, the developer tools needed to make use of the new hardware. Arguably, Nvidia’s masterstroke was creating the CUDA toolkit, allowing developers to compile their code for Nvidia’s chips without jumping through onerous hoops. 

We actually had an investment in a cloud provider, PaperSpace who was acquired by Digital Ocean, whose thesis was to provide an easy on-ramp for developers for these other chips. Digital Ocean snapped it up just as ChatGPT made its big splash, so perhaps they are uniquely positioned to help developers try all of these new chips. But either way, the race is on.

Finally, hackers in NYC hosted the Net Gala this past weekend. A one-night showcase of multimedia artists exhibiting pieces on net art, privacy, hacking and tech exploitation. It was exactly like the Met Gala, except with well-dressed nerds instead of celebrities. If you weren’t there you missed THE hacker art event of the year. We would tell you more, but it didn’t get swinging until 11 PM, which is past our bedtimes. 

Below are a few of the articles that caught our attention this month. Moreover, we’ve inserted one or two sentences in italics, summarizing each article’s importance. We hope you enjoy and appreciate the material.

Lastly, if you appreciate our highlighted content, please follow us on Twitter or our LinkedIn page, where we regularly post about things worthy of attention. 


Here's a curated list of things we found interesting.

Deepfake Video Conference Convinces Employee to Send $25M to Scammers

We all knew this was coming, but the size of the theft is still a bit eye-popping. You can’t trust your own eyes, or ears, anymore. 

A deepfake phishing scam cost a multinational company more than $25 million after an employee was fooled by digital imitations of his colleagues on a conference call.

Figure AI to Raise $675 Million for Human-Like Robots

When was the last time Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia, OpenAI and Intel all invested in the same round? 

Figure AI, a startup developing human-like robots, is reportedly in the process of raising $675 million in funding, with a pre-money valuation of roughly $2 billion.

White House to Developers: Using C or C++ Invites Cybersecurity Risks

The Biden administration backs a switch to more memory-safe programming languages. The tech industry sees their point, but it won't be easy.


Deals that caught our eye.

ZeroFox to be Taken Private in $350 Million Deal 

Cybersecurity firm ZeroFox (Nasdaq: ZFOX), which markets itself as a provider of “external cybersecurity solutions”, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Haveli Investments, a tech-focused private equity firm, in an all-cash transaction with an enterprise value of roughly $350 million.


What we're listening to.

Cyber Thoughts Podcast; Episode 8 with Jeremy Vaughan, CEO and Co-Founder of Start Left Security

In this episode of the Cyber Thoughts Podcast, Lucas Nelson sits down with Jeremy Vaughan, founder and CEO of Start Left Security. His unconventional path to cybersecurity was sparked by a deeply personal experience. Jeremy details launching Start Left Security during a global pandemic, emphasizing 'starting security left'—at the beginning of software development. He shares insights on building a platform that empowers developers to create secure software, aiming to enhance consumer protection and national security.


Lytical Ventures is a New York City-based venture firm investing in Enterprise Intelligence, comprising cybersecurity, data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Lytical’s professionals have decades of experience in direct investing generally and in Corporate Intelligence specifically.


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