Bill Gates, Linux and internet pet feeders - the most fascinating tech tales to read this weekend

Bill Gates, Linux and internet pet feeders - the most fascinating tech tales to read this weekend
Chesnot/Getty Images; Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images; Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the Insider Tech weekly newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:


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Happy 4th of July! In honor of the holiday weekend, we're doing things a bit differently in this week's newsletter and rounding up some our best long reads from the past month. So whether you're at the beach, in the mountains or just plotzing on your in-laws' lawn, you've got an unimpeachable excuse to relax and read - if anyone gives you any guff about it, tell'em to talk to me!

Better yet, share your favorite story with your friends and family and boost your cachet as the in-the-know tech cognoscente with the best links.

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A tale of two Bills

For years, Bill Gates has enjoyed a squeaky clean reputation as a quirky-but-friendly billionaire philanthropist, and one half of the perfect couple working to save the world through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Some of that reputation began to unravel earlier this year, following news of the couple's divorce. In this story, Insider looks at the other side of Bill Gates; the side that's been been assiduously effaced by an army of PR handlers over the years.

Read the full story here:

Insiders say Bill Gates was an office bully who pursued sexual affairs, and that his squeaky-clean image was merely good PR

Why a broken internet-connected pet feeder is a warning we should all take seriously

What happens when the startup that makes your internet-connected pet feeder goes kaput?

Insider's Becky Peterson learned the hard way when her cat Dewey launched a noisy revolt against the device's decision to withhold his rations of morning kibble.

After appeasing the ill-tempered feline, Becky decided to investigate and discovered a fundamental problem with the assortment of "connected devices" that we rely on to manage our lives, our homes and our pets.


Read the full story here:

Amazon and PetCo both invested in a $150 internet-connected cat feeder - one day it just stopped working

The Linux aging crisis and the re-education of Linus Torvalds

When I contacted Linus Torvalds over email, he had just gotten his power and internet back after an ice storm in Portland, Oregon, where he lives. I asked him whether he was available for a video interview, and he replied that, "I absolutely abhor video chats in all forms, and these days obviously face-to-face isn't an option either."

I proposed a phone interview instead. "Heh, no, my abhorrence covers phone calls too. Nasty things, phones. Except as quick email devices."

We would have to talk by email. And there was a lot of things to talk about with the world's most influential, and famously irascible, programmer.

Read the full story here:

Linux creator Linus Torvalds cancelled himself to become a nicer person - now he needs to bring talent back to the world's most important software

How the "Jason Show" is rocking venture capital

Mixing showmanship, bravado and an assortment of media megaphones,Jason Calacanis has built a one-man brand that touts the glory of tech startups with infomercial-like zeal - and casts him as the astute coach, talent agent, promoter, and gatekeeper to achieving success in the game.

Insider spoke with more than 50 people close to Calacanis, including portfolio-company founders, accelerator alumni, current and former colleagues and rival investors, to learn what it's like for a generation of young aspiring entrepreneurs heeding his call to change the world.


Read the full story here:

Jason Calacanis went from dotcom roadkill to early investor in Uber, Calm, and Robinhood. Here's how he's reshaping venture capital with bluster, ego, and media-savvy.

And don't miss these stories:

Amazon has discussed forming a 'Rebel Alliance' with companies including Slack and Dropbox to compete with Microsoft

SoftBank VCs are moving to Miami to run a $100 million fund because the tech scene there is 'real'

I'm a UX designer who makes more than $300,000 a year working 3 jobs

I was an early PayPal employee who missed out on becoming a millionaire because I sold my stock too soon after I left

How the Black tech community is leveraging business models that made hip-hop become a massive cultural and business phenomenon


OK, that's going to do it for this week. Thanks for reading, and if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

- Alexei