back to article Now you've read about the bonkers world of Elizabeth Holmes, own some Theranos history: Upstart's IT gear for sale

Fancy owning a piece of Silicon Valley history? Hundreds of PCs, notebooks, and monitors used by infamous biotech cluster-fuck-up Theranos are set to be sold off following the $10bn-peak-valued biz's collapse. Liquid Technology, an IT salvaging and shifting outfit in Brooklyn, New York, says it will flog off a huge pile of …

  1. Mr Benny

    If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

    ...but some flash car salesman or hipster type I wonder how long all the feminist cheerleading liberals would have allowed themselves to have been fooled for. She took them for.the hook, line and whole bloody fishing boat

    1. rcxb

      Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

      "I wonder how long all the feminist cheerleading liberals would have allowed themselves to have been fooled"

      Feminists and liberals like Rupert Murdoch and the Waltons?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

        "Feminists and liberals like Rupert Murdoch and the Waltons?"

        I thought the list of those who got taken introduced an element of justification.

      2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Feminists and liberals like Rupert Murdoch and the Waltons?

        And that famously strident left-winger, Betsy DeVos.

        C.

      3. smudge Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

        Feminists and liberals like Rupert Murdoch and the Waltons?

        John-Boy & co invested in this shit???

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

          investment from the likes of ... the Waltons,

          Really? From what I remember the Waltons were dirt poor. 29 of them living in a run-down farmhouse G'night Jim Boy, G'night Bobby-Sue, G'night Victoria-Wilhelm, G'night Great-Great-Great-Grandmaw

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Re: Waltons

            All I remember is that Mary-Ellen was into kinky torture.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

            I seem to remember it always finished with "Good night Elizabeth."

            1. Paul Herber

              Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

              Someone let the cat out of the bag, it's goodnight Vienna.

              1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

                This means nothing to me.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: If she hadnt been a cute chick giving the cliched woman struggling in a mans world routine...

            "living in a run-down farmhouse"

            Probably sold the run-down farmhouse and the farm for building, made a fortune & started investing in silly valley.

  2. DCFusor Silver badge
    Holmes

    Look who was on the board of directors!

    Names famous in politics and military, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, Adm Gary Roughead, and James Mattis, for example.

    It's actually, quite a long and very interesting list - see the wikipedia entry, which is too long to type here.

    I knew as that list caused some interesting comments in the financial analyst world.

    Why in any world were those particular people on that list of directors?

    And why that super deep voice and always a turtleneck. I don't care, but that's weird. Why would you assume Elizabeth is a "chick" - at least biologically speaking? I don't care, actually - identify as you like, but be honest about it; boy, all those add up to hyper weird.

    Money people don't usually like weird. Why'd they all go for this, what's still hidden from us?

    Was it a way to get a ton of dna samples for someone? The possibilities for nutty conspiracy theories abound to say the very least. Lots of twists here.

    Was there an adam's apple in there? Those crazy eyes...shared by some other pretty nutty public figures. Lots of very interesting issues here, yet almost no reporting on what raises anyone's eyebrows who takes the slightest effort in looking. What's going on?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theranos

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Look who was on the board of directors!

      By and large they look like the sort of party who you'd see being escorted around a lab trying to look interested but with glazed looks in their eyes and ears acting as a through duct to anything explained to them.

      Been there, worn the lab coat, had the visitations.

    2. devTrail

      Re: Look who was on the board of directors!

      I suspect that the chick image will be exploited to prevent people from noticing that a person without qualifications managed to raise huge sums and inflate the value of the company up to $9bn thanks to her family connections, all those big names do not pop out by chance.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

        Yes IRL Ms Holmes key product was her own bu***hit.

        I think anyone looking to set up a similar venture should take note of her Board choices.

        I'm sure they, or people with similar backgrounds, will fall for another scam.

        Did she really want to be Bill Gates, or John DeLoren?

        1. devTrail

          Re: "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

          Wait. Those people were not there because they have no technical background and could be easily fooled. Those people were there because they are famous names and inspire trust. I had a look to the related articles, I could read that some famous people lost some money, but if you sum up the money they lost you get less than $500mn, how come the company was evaluated $9bn? How much did they actually raise? Who are ALL the investors who lost money? These are fundamental details, but wherever you read they have been glossed over.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

            "Those people were there because they are famous names and inspire trust."

            If you see famous people lending their names to something they collectively know damn-all about (excepting, possibly, the one surgeon in there) you should at least consider they've been hood-winked and avoid the same. As I wrote in another comment, work in a lab with a high enough profile and you see these bigwigs being shown round and not understanding a thing they're seeing or being told; they'd be easy targets for any bullshitter.

            The big names who should really inspire trust in a venture in this field would be an assortment of medical and chemical Nobel Laureates. There weren't any.

            If you were thinking of making an investment there and didn't understand the nature of the business the list of directors should have been a warning, not a reason to trust.

          2. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

            Re: "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

            Where did the other $8,500,000,000.00 go? Nowhere. Most of it never existed. The $9B figure is a fantasy the street calls "valuation" which is the sum of its capital (~$500M of borrowed cash plus some bits and baubles of lab gear) plus the value of Theranos' patent and other intellectual property.

            When it become apparent the firm's intellectual property was a steaming mass of bullshit, its value dropped instantly. And given that the IP was used as collateral to secure loans, a lot of investors got screwed. I'm sure the big ones will be first in line though for whatever comes put of liquidation.

            Never underestimate the vapor pressure of hot, fresh bullshit. We just saw about.$8.5B worth evaporate...

            1. devTrail

              Re: "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

              Sorry, but I don't buy it. I am fully aware that the market valuation was just a bubble as it happens with a lot of companies traded on the stock market right now.

              But I still notice that nowhere it is written how much they actually raised and how many people beyond the few famous names fell for the scam.

              1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

                Re: "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

                "But I still notice that nowhere it is written how much they actually raised and how many people beyond the few famous names fell for the scam."

                Fair enough, and I don't think the author of the article or anyone else knows. From here on out its BS all the way down. Defrauded investors are going to inflate their losses to shelter their assets from tax... Insurance firms will try to minimize their loss magnitude, unless they think their subrogation contractors have an easy win. The press will want big, sensational numbers. Former board members will lowball to reduce their apparent culpability.

                At the end of the day all that will be left are some very happy lawyers, on all sides. I view lawyers as the friction force on society... in the end that's where all our money gets dissipated. Whatever money got offshored is gone forever, along with depreciation on all the equipment Theranos bought. And the taxpayer will definitely have to pay for justice.

                This makes me sad and a little hostile.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: "a person without qualifications.. raise huge sums..inflate..the company up to $9bn"

                  "Former board members will lowball to reduce their apparent culpability."

                  And their evident gullibility.

            2. Fatman Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Never underestimate the vapor pressure of hot, fresh bullshit

              <quote>We just saw about.$8.5B worth evaporate...</quote>

              Isn't that close to what HP wrote down on that Autonomy buy????

              Bullshit: The fastest way to write down company profits.

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Look who was on the board of directors!

      Names famous in politics and military, Henry Kissinger, William Perry [huh? has he got a new gig since forcing the Japanese into opening up trade relations with the US, or am I thinking of Matthew, whom we are obviously Friends with?] ...

      Henry Kissinger, oh how I'm missin' ya!</br>

      And wishing you were heeya!</br>

      [...]</br>

      with your crinkly hair</br>

      and your glassy stare</br>

      and your Machiavellllllian scheeeemes</br>

      (oh well)

      You've got nicer legs than Hitler, </br>

      And bigger t**s than Cher!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look who was on the board of directors!

      Those crazy eyes...

      Image, young padawan, image. Leads to the dark side image does.

      Look at that vid (or just the still) and you'll see a ring-light reflection in her eyes. That will dramatically lighten and intensify the eye colour to emphasise the Husky image. Note also the eye make up to further emphasise this, and that the eyelids appear to be unnaturally widely open when exposed to fairly intense light. Holmes like this image, she played on it, and for a while it worked. Now she's been caught out, but there's still a chance that in court she can the "poor little white girl, led astray" routine.

      I hope she gets a good long stretch in a regular state prison.

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Look who was on the board of directors!

        "I hope she gets a good long stretch in a regular state prison."

        Aye! And we know the probability of that, eh? If she gets sentenced to anything at all, we will probably end up subsidizing a holiday with sewing circles, peloton, and goat cheese pizza

        Why we tolerate a justice system where some criminals get absolute shithole cells and others a nice hotel stay is beyond my comprehension. You'd this some "real" prisoners could make a case that they are denied their 14th amendment 'equal protection' protection or something...

    5. Dahhah6o

      Re: Look who was on the board of directors!

      I was very impressed with what I was reading about Theranos, up until I read the list of the membership of the BoD. When I saw it was populated by political & military people, instead of *medical* experts, I knew something smelled fishy.

  3. MachDiamond Silver badge

    No value left

    Now that the gear has been sitting around for a couple of years, it likely doesn't have much value left in it. I wouldn't be surprised if it was top of the line kit when it was purchased. I hope they aren't counting on the sale of the IT assets to pay off any creditors.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: No value left

      It's just fine with me if that witch DeVos gets a couple of pennies on her dollar.

    2. devTrail

      Re: No value left

      Moore's law has actually slowed down in the past couple of years. If we are talking about desktops the difference in performance between two/three years old hardware and the current hardware is not so big. Furthermore monitors and other peripherals evolve at a slower pace. So, excluding tablets it's not sure that all the value is lost, but on the other hand by reading all the stories about the company you get the impression that the missing money wasn't spent on hardware.

      1. shadowpawn

        Re: No value left

        I can see Windows laptops/desktops can be sold without Hard Drives, but way Apple Macs are manufactured it will cost you $$ to re-install a Macbook AIr Hardrive. Aint worth the effort.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No value left: You're wrong, there's some furry value left

      Now that the gear has been sitting around for a couple of years, it likely doesn't have much value left in it

      What about the dog? That will have been bought on company expenses or with Holmes ill-gotten gains. In fact two important points that Reg journalism has failed to investigate:

      1) What happened to the dog? That's far more interesting than a bunch of gullible investors being fleeced.

      2) Where do I go to bid for the dog as a company asset?

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: No value left: You're wrong, there's some furry value left

        It would appear to be expensive to run - having to clean up the piss and shit as it goes around your house.

  4. jonfr

    This was always a scam

    It is clear on this news that Theranos company and everything connected to it was always a scam.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: This was always a scam

      Of course Theranos was a scam. What ought to be a concern is how many similar high profile, high "value", operations are equally vaporous.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: This was always a scam

        "vapid" will do, pig.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: This was always a scam

      "Theranos company and everything connected to it was always a scam."

      The odd thing here is running a big scam and not having a bolt-hole for when it's eventually discovered. Did she really believe she had something that worked? Was it simply rich-kid's delusion? You can easily visualise someone with that sort of background not being able to judge what's feasible because up to now money has bought everything. If they fall lucky they have a Facebook and if they don't reality catches up in jail.

  5. JLV Silver badge

    Who else is getting ‘Orange is the new black’ vibes here? She’ll definitely improve her jail’s sartorial and attractiveness average.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      She’ll definitely improve her jail’s sartorial and attractiveness average.

      She's well connected, and she's not poor or black. What makes you think she'll get a real custodial sentence? I reckon a nominal six year sentence, eighteen months in a soft prison, and then eighteen months house arrest, then free on licence.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        doubt that. the people whose $$$ she scammed are mostly well-connected and not black as well.

        gotta give the appearance of probity. a few (richly deserving) examples of stern justice like her and Madoff avoid deeper scrutiny of things like:

        - overpaid CEOs with all up-, no down-, sides in their pay packages

        - financial advisors whose incentives - selling you products with high MERs - clash directly with your interests

        - the overemphasis of financial companies as opposed to companies that actually make things or deliver services.

        So, no, I’d bet she’s going down.

    2. shadowpawn

      When she speaks sounds like Big Pussy from Sopranos.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    So based on the whole Siberian Husky thing....

    I guess Elizabeth Holmes is a fraud, and a bit of a nut? It's Silicon Valley, so you can be eccentric or even straight-up weird, but in return you had better build a successful company.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: you had better build a successful company

      That is not a requirement at all. The vital part is that when you tell lies about your publicly traded companies you must make damn sure you are not on camera, being recorded or surrounded by too many impartial witnesses. You should also diversify well before the shit hits the fan and promote some twit to take the fall because you are too busy with one of your newer scams investor opportunities.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So based on the whole Siberian Husky thing....

      I guess Elizabeth Holmes is a fraud, and a bit of a nut? It's Silicon Valley, so you can be eccentric or even straight-up weird, but in return you had better build a successful company.

      Or maybe she had a few years of living it high, with every foible entertained, every cost billable to the company, and even if she gets sent to prison, she's got the one thing she'll successfully milk for the rest of her life, fame (or infamy, because they are the same thing).

      It does occur to me (for UK readers) that Holmes shows the directors of RCL really didn't try hard enough. They too could have hired an executive jet, employed a fleet of domestic slaves, bouncers and drivers, and billed the company for a pedigree dog and a human flunky to wipe up after it.

  7. GrapeBunch Bronze badge
    Coat

    Better Dead Than ~Sanguirana~

    "What sounds like Death in a vacuum flask?"

    "Correct for 500."

    Mine's the one with the toad in the sprocket.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "By and large they look like the sort of party who you'd see being escorted around a lab"

    Exactly.

    That's a Board of the "Great & The Good." They will have f**k all idea of what they are being shown (or judge wheather it even works) but will be able to reassure potential suckers investors that this is a serious business with massive potential because y'know "It's got these guys on the Board, and they'd never get suckered, right?" I think it was Issac Asimov who noted "An expert outside their own field is just as narrow minded, ignorant and gullible as anyone else." Tharnos will should make a very Business School case study of this and the Cult of Personality around a founder.

    Let me suggest a useful investing tip.

    Mostly "Great & Good" Board members --> Scam Alert! Your money in danger.

    1. Robert 22

      Re: "By and large they look like the sort of party who you'd see being escorted around a lab"

      You can also be sure that none of the board members were likely to even try and ask the kinds of questions they should have been asking, perhaps out of fear of asking a stupid question.

    2. quiteoldgeek

      Re: "By and large they look like the sort of party who you'd see being escorted around a lab"

      I thought that those directors were well paid for their time. They were intelligent people; they knew why she hired them. She tried to get directors who knew more about the topic but those refused. The son of one of those old and famous directors told his father that this was a scam. The father refused to believe this and stopped speaking to his son. This was in the WSJ story that broke the case.

  9. Richard Jones 1
    WTF?

    Sorry For The Dog

    I dog sit for a Siberian Husky five days a week, she is traffic stopping fine for an over 11 year old dog house trained and very affectionate, though not always impressed when her housemate takes her favourite biscuit. The main issue with Siberian Huskies is that they like to be active or asleep. Without the right support during their active times they get bored. 'Our's' invents games and expects us to (a) understand when she 'talks*' and (b) join in so she can have fun.

    *Whether part of the bred or not I do not know; she does not bark but expresses herself in modulated howls that are more like speaking the some people achieve.

    1. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: Sorry For The Dog

      " The main issue with Siberian Huskies is that they like to be active or asleep. Without the right support during their active times they get bored. 'Our's' invents games and expects us to (a) understand when she 'talks*' and (b) join in so she can have fun.

      Whether part of the bred or not I do not know; she does not bark but expresses herself in modulated howls that are more like speaking the some people achieve."

      Yes, the vocal range is in the breed, and yes, they are a binary dog, either on or off. They are not very obedient, being too impressed by their own cleverness to listen to the two-legs. Hmm, very like AI, after all....

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    I'd wonder what she scores on the PCL-R?

    My guess is > 50%.

    She'd probably read somewhere that you should make eye contact with people if you want them to feel you are trustworthy.

    So she figures if a little is good make a lot of eye contact will make them think I'm very trustworthy.

    It's the difference between being a human being and faking being a human being.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge

    In my best Rosemary Clooney singing voice

    Pssssychooooo!

    Just look at the photo. Anyone else see a little bit of Charles Manson behind those eyes?

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Anyone else see a little bit of Charles Manson behind those eyes?

    Actually I was thinking of Nicole Kidman in "To Die For" and "Malice"

    1. cat_mara

      Re: Anyone else see a little bit of Charles Manson behind those eyes?

      I was thinking the old "Overly Attached Girlfriend" meme was due for refurbishment...

  13. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    My boss' analysis

    If you drag a thousand dollar bill through the 'hood, you get the MS-13 gang.

    Drag the same bill through silicon valley and you get Theranos

    1. Rajesh Kanungo

      Re: My boss' analysis

      Naaah. 1k doesn’t cut it. 1m? Yes.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Meanwhile, over at Magic Leap?..

    El Reg has gone quiet on that front.

    1. JLV Silver badge

      yes, we miss those articles.

      Can I also nominate Star Citizen for coverage? $250m of crowdfunding, 8 yrs, no game yet.

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Fools and their money...

    In this case, rich fools.

  17. Rajesh Kanungo

    The Husky didn’t deserve this.

    I have no idea why they got a husky. Hudkies are really amazing dogs but ... Huskies talk back to you, argue with you, are high energy, loyal, need activities that you participate in, will invent said activities, and will get destructive if they are not engaged.

    I know; I attend to dogs at the local shelter and the huskies are the most fun.

  18. Noonoot

    Cold-hearted cowh and weird

    Let's not forget how cold-hearted she was when Theranos UK scientist Ian Gibbons killed himself.

    1. Fading Silver badge

      Re: Cold-hearted cowh and weird

      Which happened in May 2013. This should have rung a few alarm bells about the state of the company.

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