Silicon Valley – Tags Area Mon, 10 May 2021 03:29:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Silicon Valley – Tags Area 32 32 Audio-based social startup Clubhouse finally launches Android app Mon, 10 May 2021 02:33:28 +0000

Audio-based social start-up Clubhouse has finally released an Android app as the high-profile company saw its popularity start to wane.

The app, initially only available in beta in the US before a wider global launch and release, is, like the iOS version, still by invitation-only. This means that while Android users now have the potential to access the service, they can’t just sign up.

“Our plan over the next few weeks is to gather feedback from the community, resolve any issues we see, and work to add some final features like payments and club building before we roll them out more widely,” he said. declared Clubhouse in a blog post. “As part of the effort to keep measured growth, we will maintain the waitlist and invite system, ensuring that every new member of the community can bring a few close friends.

Clubhouse has grown into one of the hottest tech startups over the past year, with matching venture capital funding. In April, Clubhouse raised a Series C round on a valuation of $ 4 billion after previously raising $ 110 million. Its investors include leading venture capital firms such as DST Global, Tiger Global and Andreessen Horowitz.

Suffice it to say, the company is bursting with cash to spend, which is why its seemingly icy pace in bringing an Android app to market has been surprising. Until recently, even iOS and by invitation only, Clubhouse has found a willing audience.

But lately, interest seems to be waning. After registering 9.6 million downloads in February, the number of downloads fell to around 900,000 in April, according to sensor tower data. The decline in interest also occurs when other social media companies enter the market.

After holding unsuccessful talks to acquire Clubhouse in April, Twitter Inc. launched a rival service called Twitter Spaces on May 3 and immediately made it available to all Twitter users with more than 600 followers. Facebook Inc. also announced in April the release of new audio products, including a Clubhouse competitor called “Live Audio Rooms” over the summer.

While it takes time for Twitter and Facebook to catch up with Clubhouse, both have massive existing audiences they can tap into. The longer the Clubhouse takes on a full Android rollout and retains its invite-only platform, the more likely it is to lose its first-come advantage.

Image: Clubhouse

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The Catholic Roots of Silicon Valley Legend Chuck Geschke Sat, 08 May 2021 08:22:25 +0000

“This best part of a good man’s life;
His little acts without name and without memory
Kindness and love. “

—William Wordsworth

The next time you print something from your computer or send a PDF document, you can thank technology innovator Charles “Chuck” Geschke, whose death on April 16 was marked by a wave of tributes in the media. national.

Geschke, a computer scientist turned entrepreneur, is famous for the revolutionary print and document technology that he and his fellow scientist, John Warnock, developed through their company, Adobe Systems. Geschke and Warnock transformed the way the world communicates today.

Although famous for building one of the largest and most admired companies in Silicon Valley, Geschke, son and grandson of typographic photo engravers, born in Cleveland, lived a life reflecting his deep Catholic roots and Jesuits. These beginnings shaped the extraordinary story of kindness, honesty and service that has so distinguished his long career.

I was fortunate enough to work with this Silicon Valley legend as a board member for nine years at Jesuit University in San Francisco. Chuck not only chaired the USF Board of Trustees during a period of change and strengthening, but went on to teach entrepreneurship in the college’s business school.

We were also both founding members of the board of directors of the leadership roundtable, an organization formed to promote best management practices within church-related organizations – a passion that Chuck shared with many Catholic businessmen disgusted by the abysmal quality of church leadership that contributed to the scandal abuse of the clergy.

As I got to know this incredible business leader, I was repeatedly impressed by his humble attitude, his extraordinary listening skills and the fervent respect for other human beings that have always characterized his interactions.

These attributes undoubtedly reflected the loving family that raised Chuck and the one he and his beloved Nan later formed through decades of strong family life. But Chuck was also nurtured by the extensive educational and spiritual training provided by the Jesuit communities at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, over three years of training at the Jesuit seminary in Milford, Ohio, and studies at Xavier University in Cincinnati. . At John Carroll University in Cleveland, Chuck taught mathematics while working on a doctorate at Case Western Reserve University. He then completed his doctorate. at Carnegie Mellon University.

It was an Ignatian ability to discern the significance in the mundane events of life that seemed to explain a monumental important but risky decision the newly married Chuck had made in high school. Following a random visit from a former student, Chuck shifted his doctoral studies from mathematics to the new world of computer science. His ability to listen and think prompted a decision that would open up an amazing future in technology that would benefit the whole world.

Geschke Told John Carroll University graduates in 2012 that his Jesuit education “equipped me to face these experiences and achieve dreams I never dared to imagine.” And it wasn’t always good luck, as Chuck discovered in the spring of 1992. Kidnapped at gunpoint in his company’s parking lot, he was held for ransom for several days, shackled and gagged in an abandoned house. He was eventually rescued by the FBI, and his captors were subsequently arrested and jailed.

I once asked him about this traumatic incident and he shyly told me what he had done to stay calm. He said he quietly recited the Rosary, aware that he was unlikely to see his family again, but still blessed with a kind of peace that came over him and an awareness of the divine presence.

While Chuck Geschke’s scientific and commercial success largely qualifies him for a place of pride in the annals of Silicon Valley, it is something else worth celebrating by those of us who belong to. the church he so skillfully and generously served: his extraordinary example of integration. the Christian values ​​of human respect, kindness and justice in everyday life.

If he and Nan have ever sat in front of Christ one day, Chuck said during a presentation to the National Association of Catholic Education a few years ago he wanted to be able to say, ‘We heard you, and we didn’t do it perfectly, and probably not as well as we should have, but we’ I tried. We have tried to listen and do what you asked us to do. “

“And, if I could do that,” Chuck added, “I would be a very happy man.”

[Frank J. Butler is the author of Belonging: One Catholic’s Journey (Orbis 2020) an Illumination Award winning biography. He is an NCR board member.]

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Silicon Valley is not immune to anti-LGBTQ violence Sat, 08 May 2021 01:03:31 +0000

Three years ago, San Jose lawmakers voted to fly a rainbow flag above Chick-Fil-A – an effort to proclaim LGBTQ residents welcome in one of the cities the most progressive in the world. But not everyone shares this sentiment.

“I was walking with my dog, my hair was down but I was wearing my normal boy’s clothes and someone came up (and said), ‘Hey f-word’ and then just left, ” KP said. Eugenio, who identifies as strange, referring to the homophobic insult.

Eugenio, co-founder of the burlesque variety show Sin Circus at the Caravan Lounge, says he was targeted for having long hair.

The venue is one of the few gay shows and bars in San Jose where people can build community without having to change their identities. But that’s another story when the drag queens take the main stage; they take their identities and turn them into larger-than-life character performances for the crowd.

Some queens take stage names when performing, but not Natalia Smüt Lopez – she wanted everyone to know exactly who she was.

Smüt, who was beloved by her friends in the drag community, was killed last month by her boyfriend. He faces murder charges from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The advocacy group Human Rights Coalition Lists Smüt is at least the 16th transgender and gender nonconforming person killed in the United States this year. The coalition reported four other murders since Smüt. If the murder rate continues, this year will surpass 2020 in the number of transgender and gender nonconforming people killed.

More than 100 people celebrated her life at a rally at Town Hall with flowers, posters and moving testimonies from those who knew her. Overlooking her candle-lit mural, two people hung a pink, blue and white transgender rights flag along the stairs leading to the rotunda with the inscription “End The Violence.”

Two participants in Natalia Smüt’s vigil on April 25 hold up a sign in the colors of transgender pride. Photo by Vicente Vera.

“We really need to draw attention to trans and domestic violence in LGBT relationships,” said Kiara Ohlde, one of Smüt’s best friends. “She just wanted to be loved.”

According to a joint investigation by the Scottish Transgender Alliance and Stop Domestic Abuse organization, at least 45% of 872 transgender people surveyed said that a partner or ex-partner had been physically abusive towards them.

Tuesday San Jose City Council Meeting adjourned in memory of Smüt, a recognition led by Pam Foley, member of the Council. The tower of the town hall and the rotunda will be lit in pink, blue and white from May 7 to 13 in honor of Smüt.

“I have been very sensitive to LGBTQ issues for many years,” Foley told the San José Spotlight. “I had a brother who was gay, who died of AIDS and had a very difficult life. (Anti-LGBTQ violence) happens everywhere and for us to think that we are in this bubble where it is not happening is just plain wrong.

San Jose council members adjourned Tuesday’s meeting in memory of Natalia Smüt.

Ohlde said Smüt was one of the only people she knew in San Jose to have publicly advocated for trans lives and black trans lives.

A 2015 Gallup Poll showed that the LGBTQ community of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and San Jose makes up about 3.2% of the population, almost half the size of the community in San Francisco.

“(Natalia) was posting about trans lives every day and she called people like, ‘You talk about everything else, but we never talk about trans lives, black lives,” Ohlde said. “I’ve always heard from Natalia that a lot of people in the community don’t care about understanding the issues because it doesn’t affect them.”

Facing discrimination throughout his life, Ohlde said Smüt shared his concerns with him that anti-black and anti-trans discrimination existed in local LGBTQ spaces.

LGBTQ artists painting murals on Post Street, now known as the Qmunity District, commemorated Smüt in the first work of art unveiled on April 30.

LGBTQ artists unveiled a mural in the Qmunity neighborhood of San Jose on April 30. Screenshot of a video from the Qmunity district.

At Tuesday’s meeting, board member Raul Peralez noted that artists had been harassed while painting the mural in recent weeks.

“The fight continues,” he said. “As much as we can show our support, especially as city leaders, it makes a huge difference.”

Contact Vicente Vera at [email protected] or follow him @vicentejvera on Twitter.

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Italy creates its own Silicon Valley of agriculture Fri, 07 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Italy has given the green light to a major center for the development of green technologies for the agricultural sector. The project, nicknamed without imagination ‘Agri Hub 5.0 ′, will be established in an agricultural area near Pavia at the initiative of the Lombardy region.


The region allocates the domain of Riccagioia to this objective. The management of this is entrusted to a group of companies, which includes Almaviva (ICT Company), Bayer Crop Science, GeoSmartCampus (an agricultural incubator), Esri Italia (a software company) and Olivetti.

The University of Milan also participates, through its Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, as well as the Gallini institute of agricultural engineering.

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The latest agricultural innovations will be developed and tested in the “agrihub”.

The aim is to develop and test the latest agricultural innovations. These include sensors for local irrigation, agricultural drones, digitization of wine cellars and more sustainable chemicals. Each of the partner companies will offer innovations in their respective fields. The estate will also serve as a training center for innovation.

Renowned agricultural area

The Riccagioia complex in Torrazza Coste covers 54 hectares of land and has 20 thousand square meters of buildings. Torrazza Coste is a municipality of 1500 inhabitants in an agricultural area known for its viticulture (Oltrepò Pavese). Wheat, corn and sugar beets are also grown there. Riccagioia, which translates to “Rich Joy,Already called the agricultural Silicon Valley of Italy.

Italy is one of the most important agricultural countries in the European Union. The country generates almost a fifth of the total added value of European agriculture. Eurostat estimates the added value of Italian agriculture this year at 32.2 billion euros. It is more than France, Spain and Germany. Italy manages this with relatively few European subsidies. Among the main agricultural producers in the European Union, Italy has the lowest ratio of subsidies in terms of production and value added.

Also find out how the European Union is laying the foundations for sustainable agriculture.

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Facebook, Netflix and YouTube product managers battle to add black talent Mon, 03 May 2021 04:29:00 +0000

Maryanna Quigless, co-founder of Black Product Managers
The industry must be aware of this reality which representation is not just about placing a few blacks in roles. It’s about hiring black people in high-leverage roles that the product is a part of.

Within technology companies, product managers play a vital role. They’re like mini-CEOs helping their businesses decide what products and features to build and working with teams across the business, including engineering, design, and marketing to get them built.

Building products for millions, if not billions of users, is also a lucrative career, with the national average salary for a product manager hovering around $ 110,000. Senior Product Managers can lead teams of over 100 people, roles that can be a stepping stone to leading positions in the industry, such as a start-up founder, managing director, or venture capitalist.

But product management is a tough career to break into. And, while blacks often over-index as users of technology products, they are only a tiny fraction of product managers, which is part of an industry-wide diversity gap in the industry. predominantly white and male tech world.

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Missouri State University’s eFactory program seeks start-ups Sat, 01 May 2021 23:00:15 +0000

Timothy Baynes told the News Leader on Friday that when most people think of the “startup ecosystem” of tech companies, they associate sources of initial investment with places like Boston and Silicon Valley.

But Baynes, CEO of a Springfield-based startup dedicated to optimizing the online shopping experience by “intelligent recommendation”, said heart-minded entrepreneurs with a winning idea don’t have to venture so far in search of seed capital.

Baynes-based company, Compatio, was among hundreds of applicants vying for one of five positions in Missouri State University’s 2019 eFactory Accelerator program, the most recent year eFactory led the program. The accelerator took a hiatus in pandemic year 2020, but is returning for 2021.

The university announced this week that the application window for companies to join the program’s fifth class of startups, dubbed “Cohort 5,” is open from May 1 to midnight on May 31.

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Damian Loeb Artist – Pace Gallery Palo Alto Exhibition Fri, 30 Apr 2021 13:01:00 +0000

Adam Guy, courtesy of the artist and the Pace Gallery

Damian Loeb has the lowest level of vitamin D his doctor has ever seen. The 50-year-old painter, whose “Wishful Thinking” exhibit opens at the Palo Alto outpost of the Pace Gallery on May 19, has pale skin to the point of translucency from the 12 hours a day he takes. ‘he goes through his underground workshop in Tribeca. To address his lack of outdoor exposure, Loeb outfitted his workspace with screens showing camera feeds on his roof and throughout the house he shares with his wife Zoya and their two children.

It doesn’t help his vitamin D level, but it satisfies his fascination with surveillance, which is also evident in his large-scale hyperrealistic paintings, which over the past decade have focused on painstakingly detailed spatial landscapes. and astronomically precise. Using digital manipulations and collages of photographs taken from airplanes and the Hubble Telescope, Loeb brought the sensibility of romantic landscapes from the 19th century to the 21st century, replacing a JMW Turner seascape with the solar eclipse of 2017 and the Northern Lights. And just as the ocean represented the unexplored frontier in Turner’s day, Loeb’s brilliant cosmos invites viewers to consider the great beyond. “I wanted to do propaganda for places that I knew were going to be a hard pill to swallow,” Loeb said via Zoom one winter afternoon. “If we can’t figure out how to get our DNA somewhere else, we’ll die here.”

artist damian loeb

“Pygmalion et Galatée (after Jean-Léon Jérôme)” by Damian Loeb, which will be presented during his exhibition at the Palo Alto outpost of the Pace Gallery.

© Damian Loeb, courtesy of the artist and the Pace Gallery

He’s not alone in this opinion, and with the opening of his next show in Silicon Valley, Loeb’s spacescapes are poised to pique the interest of those who plot what is possible for human existence. “We hope to put him at the feet of the people who have influence to influence these things …” Loeb pulls away. “I mean, Elon [Musk, a rumored collector of Loeb’s work] did so many things we were told impossible.

Once a enfant terrible of the art world, on the eve of his first solo exhibition at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1999, Loeb was described by the New York Times as “one of the hottest young things to strut the podium on this season.” Then he was arguably best known for his friendship with Moby and his broken engagement to writer Plum Sykes. “I spent a lot of time trying to actualize a fantasy that a Connecticut boy had about the art world in New York City, but, as literature and personal experience show, it was not. not what I thought it was, ”says Loeb, who taught himself to paint while visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

artist damian loeb

Damian Loeb “The Martyrdom of Saint Paul (after Tintoretto)”.

© Damian Loeb, courtesy of the artist and the Pace Gallery

For the works in this exhibition, almost entirely produced during his forties, Loeb was inspired by the romantic mythology of Baroque painting. “I wanted to see if I could make these images of places that I knew were very inhospitable and apply that baroque lushness and beauty. A painting of Mars, titled Roman charity (after Rubens), is inspired by the eponymous work of Rubens, in which a woman breastfeeds her imprisoned and starving father. The Rubens’ bosom finds its parallel in Olympus Mons on Mars, the largest known volcano in the solar system. “I wanted to make sure I could paint it so that it looks like a breast from a distance, but when you get close to it, it’s kinda horrible.

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It’s not over yet: rents in San Francisco down 30%, in Silicon Valley down 19%, both to multi-year lows. But domestic rents are increasing Fri, 30 Apr 2021 05:46:40 +0000

The US rental market has been plunged into turmoil. But in no major city have rents plunged so high in San Francisco.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

San Francisco, which still has the most ridiculously expensive rents of any major city in the United States, continues to get ridiculously less expensive with woefully low occupancy rates and a massive churn from tenants looking to modernize and upgrade. save – recent rumors of rent “clawbacks” indicate otherwise.

The median asking rent for one-bedroom apartments in San Francisco in April fell to a new multi-year low of $ 2,600, down 30% from the June 2019 high, according to data provided by Zumper:

The San Francisco Bay Area, made up of five counties, is also the only housing market in the now infamous Case-Shiller Index, amid a dramatic meltdown in nationwide house prices. , for condo prices which decreased compared to a year earlier and are at March 2018 levels.

In San Jose, the largest city in the Bay Area and part of Silicon Valley, the median asking rent for 1-BR apartments fell to a multi-year low of $ 2,050, down 19% from the recent peak it was hit in July 2019, then again in March and April 2020:

These “asking rents” are compiled by Zumper from rental listings on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other listing services. But they do not include concessions, such as the very common “two months free”, which further lower effective rents.

The “median” asking rent means that half of the asking rents are higher and half are lower. Rental units are in apartment buildings, including new construction, but do not include single family homes for rent or condos for rent.

Rents for two-room apartments in San Francisco, after falling for months, have remained stable in recent months, with median asking rent remaining at $ 3,500, down 30% from the October 2015 high. and 27% compared to July 2019.

There is now a dynamic churn rate in San Francisco as many monthly renters shop and browse the large number of vacant units.

How bad is that? 16% of large apartment buildings in San Francisco whose mortgages have been securitized in CMBS have an occupancy rate of less than 80%, according to Trepp, which analyzes CMBS. By comparison, in many cities, such as Phoenix, there are no such buildings with an occupancy rate of less than 80%. Nothing!

So people are using the many vacancies and the offers they get from landlords, such as “two months free”, to move to bigger, nicer homes. Landlords with the right type of offers can have their homes filled. Other owners are occupying vacant homes, waiting for better times.

And some of those upgrades go from one-bedroom apartments to two-bedroom apartments. This classic flight to quality at the same or less cost changes the mix somewhat. And such shifts in the mix can skew the median rent data upwards with data providers offering a combined median rent figure for all apartment types.

Those data providers who put 1-BR and 2-BR apartments in the same bucket may show a median rent increase in their summary figure, skewed by this change in mix to larger, nicer units, without it happening. there has been an increase in the asking rents per apartment. type. And of course, it happened on the front pages of the local media.

In San Jose, the median rent for 2-BR apartments has been around $ 2,660 for several months, after dropping 13% from the start of 2019. Here, too, the dynamic churn and the flight to quality have created some stability of larger nicer units at a lower price. the price.

Affordability crisis sets inland.

There are now all kinds of reports of homeworkers who have moved from San Francisco and Silicon Valley to cheaper pasture. Many of them have found these cheaper pastures within a two to three hour drive of San Francisco, and rents in these markets have skyrocketed under the influx of people with suddenly a lot of extra cash to burn.

In Sacramento, about 100 miles east of San Francisco, the median 1 BR asking rent in April jumped 15% from June 2019 to $ 1,450:

In Fresno, about 150 miles southeast of San Jose, the median 1 BR asking rent in April is up almost 30% from the recent low in September 2019. Clearly, some of these changes have occurred. produced before the pandemic, and the pandemic accelerated them:

And the difference is reduced.

Considering falling rents in San Francisco and skyrocketing rents in Sacramento and Fresno, the difference collapsed. In San Francisco, the rent went from $ 3,720 in the summer of 2019 to $ 2,600 in April. In Sacramento, during the same period, the rent went from $ 1,260 to $ 1,450. The rent difference between the two cities collapsed 53%, from a difference of $ 2,460 in July 2019 to just $ 1,150 now.

In other words, tenants who moved in July 2019 saved $ 2,460 per month in rent. Renters who moved in April 2021 only saved $ 1,150. At some point, if the difference narrows further, the savings are not worth it and the motivation to switch to these cheaper pastures wears off.

And the rent gap between San Francisco and Fresno collapsed 49%, from $ 2,720 in July 2019 to $ 1,380 in April:

Likewise, the difference between 1-BR rents in San Jose and Sacramento collapsed by 53%; and the difference between San Jose and Fresno collapsed by 47%:

It doesn’t take much for the exodus from a large market like the Bay Area to cause a major rent turmoil in surrounding smaller markets, such as Sacramento or Fresno, and this can continue to put pressure on the market. rising rents in these inland towns. But the sharp reduction in the rent distribution makes the move less money-saving and less motivating than a year ago.

A similar scenario unfolded in the United States, with shifts from the more expensive rental markets to cheaper pastures, triggering the corresponding drops and spikes in rents. The fact that the US rental market has been plunged into turmoil is an understatement. And that’s just one example – although no major city has rents plunged from such a high pedestal as quickly as in San Francisco.

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Advocacy Group Tackles Caste System Discrimination in India’s Silicon Valley – CBS San Francisco Fri, 30 Apr 2021 02:15:00 +0000

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‘Silicon Valley’ star Thomas Middleditch ordered to pay $ 2.6 million to divorcing ex-wife: report Thu, 29 Apr 2021 13:35:35 +0000

“Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch will pay his ex-wife Mollie Gates a seven-figure divorce settlement.

The 39-year-old actor and Gates, 33, a costume designer, reached a divorce agreement on April 8, Us Weekly reported.

As part of a civil deal between the two, the actor was ordered to pay Gates $ 2.625 million. He will make payments to his ex until December 2022, The report States.

According to the magazine, the documents cite Middleditch’s September 2019 interview with Playboy as the reason for the steep settlement. In the bombshell interview, Middleditch claimed the former couple were swinger.


Thomas Middleditch has been ordered to pay more than $ 2 million to his ex-wife Mollie Gates as part of their divorce settlement.
(Michael Kovac / Getty Images for 101 Studios)

“I don’t know what to say, because I don’t want my wife to be mad at me. It wasn’t until after I got married that I said, ‘Mollie, I’m sorry, but we have to get non-traditional here. “To her credit, instead of saying” F – k you, I’m out, “she said,” Let’s see that, “” he said. “To be honest, the swing saved our marriage We have different speeds, and we constantly argue about it, but it’s better than feeling unheard of and lonely and having to rush into the shadows.

Middleditch has said he believes his urges to sleep with other people will end once he gets married, but they don’t. Once he and Gates agreed to “be a part of the lifestyle,” he said it was sometimes tricky because he was a celebrity and women pounced on him quite regularly.


“Personally that’s one of the trickier parts of it all, because Mollie doesn’t understand that and yet she has to witness it. I’m like, ‘Come on, what about that girl who is obviously really in me? ‘ And Mollie will say, “Yeah, she’s in you. Where do I stand? “That question arises,” he said. “There is a lot of negotiation, and adding notoriety sometimes makes things easier and sometimes complicates things.”

Gates filed for divorce in May 2020 after four years of marriage. She does not receive spousal support, according to the report.


The couple are also said to have divided their assets, with Gates being able to keep her car and all personal items she owned before the wedding. Middleditch will retain several properties, including a cabin in Big Bear Lake, California, a property in Canada, a house and a condo in Los Angeles, among other items such as his car and business entities.

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