Yahoo secretly built a tool to scan all email in realtime for US spies

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In 2015, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer ordered the company's engineers to build a tool that scanned Yahoo Mail messages in realtime for "characters" of interest to a US security agency, either the FBI or the NSA. Read the rest

Proposal: turn Twitter into a user-owned co-op

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Though Twitter brings in a hell of a lot of money, it's not enough to satisfy the company's investors, who are said to be contemplating a sale to Google or Salesforce; in The Guardian, Nathan Schneider moots the possibility of turning Twitter into a co-operative platform. Read the rest

Johnson & Johnson says people with diabetes don't need to worry about potentially lethal wireless attacks on insulin pumps

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Rapid7 security researcher Jay Radcliffe (previously) has Type I diabetes, and has taken a personal interest in rooting out vulnerabilities in the networked, wireless-equipped blood-sugar monitors and insulin-pumps marketed to people with diabetes, repeatedly discovering potentially lethal defects in these devices. Read the rest

Manhattan apartment sales are down 20% in Q3

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Sales of Manhattan co-ops and condos have plunged 20% in Q316, relative to the same quarter last year -- sales in excess of asking price dropped from 35% to 17%; days on market before sale increased from 67 to 72; median growth in sale price fell to 2.6% from 18%. Read the rest

Martin Shkreli offers a bailout to ailing 4chan

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Meme factory/Anonymous birthplace/alt-right breeding ground 4chan is facing challenges similar to those plaguing all ad-supported sites, but as with all things channish, 4chan's problems have their own unique and grotesque wrinkles. Read the rest

HP blinked! Let's keep the pressure on! [PLEASE SHARE!]

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Only three days after EFF's open letter to HP over the company's deployment of a stealth "security update" that caused its printers to reject third-party cartridges, the company issued an apology promising to let customers optionally install another update to unbreak their printers. Read the rest

Google: if you support Amazon's Echo, you're cut off from Google Home and Chromecast

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A closed-door unveiling of the forthcoming Google Home smart speaker platform included the nakedly anticompetitive news that vendors whose products support Amazon's Echo will be blocked from integrating with Google's own, rival platform. Read the rest

Wells Fargo started demanding fraud of its employees in 1998; Illinois cuts Wells off from state business

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Wells Fargo made a habit of firing employees who didn't make unrealistic sales targets, turning a blind eye to the fraud they had to commit in order to keep their jobs (and firing the whistleblowers who reported the fraud). Read the rest

Shadow Regulation: the secret laws that giant corporations cook up in back rooms

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The winner-take-all economy has turned virtually every industry into a cartel (four record labels, two cable companies, two phone operating systems, etc) who operate without fear of competition regulation, allowing representatives of a few companies to gather in closed-door meetings to cook up operating agreements that end up having the force of law. Read the rest

Chinese real estate bubble is "biggest in history"

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Wang Jianlin made billions speculating on Chinese real-estate; now that he's diversified into buying Hollywood movie studios and chains of movie theaters, the richest man in China is prepared to say what many have known: the Chinese property market is a huge, deadly bubble that's ripe to burst. Read the rest

Wells Fargo execs will lose a few millions out of the hundreds of millions they got for abetting massive fraud

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Wells Fargo's Board of Directors have finally exercised their right to claw back part of the hundreds of millions of dollars taken home by two senior executives who were compensated on the basis of the fraudulent earnings the bank took in while opening 2,000,000 secret accounts in their customers' names, taking money out of those customers' real accounts to pay for the fees and penalties accrued by the fake accounts, and trashing their customers' credit in the process. Read the rest

Youtube's new "offline first" product for India treats telcos as damage and routes around them

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Yesterday, Google announced "Youtube Go," an "offline first" version of the popular video service designed for the Indian market where internet coverage is intermittent, provided by monopolistic carriers that have a history of network discrimination, and where people have a wide variety of devices, including very low-powered ones. Read the rest

Swedish law will let you write off the money you spend fixing things rather than trashing them

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In Sweden a legislative proposal will let repair shops will charge lower sales-tax, and allow people who repair their appliances and bicycles be to write off their expenditures. Read the rest

There’s no pumpkin in “100% canned pumpkin”

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Pumpkin is too watery and stringy to can, and the USDA has an exceptionally loosey-goosey definition of "pumpkin," which allows manufacturers to can various winter squash varieties (including one that Libby's specially bred to substitute for pumpkin) and call it "100% pumpkin." Read the rest

How many Wells Fargo employees were fired for NOT committing fraud?

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When Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees for opening 2,000,000 accounts in its customers name (stealing their cash and trashing their credit scores in the process), it wanted us all to know that it had cleaned house, because this was just 5,300 people who, without any help from senior management, all happened to coincidentally engage in the same fraud. Read the rest

Twitter is in takeover talks with Google, Salesforce.com, and other potential buyers

Jack Dorsey, chairman of Twitter and CEO of Square REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Salesforce.com and Google are two of the technology giants who have expressed interest in a possible buyout of the struggling social media firm Twitter, according to various reports.

Reuters describes today's news leak as “the start of what is likely to be a slow-rolling auction of the high-profile but money-losing social media company.”

CNBC reported the Twitter sale talks rumors, citing anonymous sources. Twitter is in talks with companies including Google/Alphabet, and may receive a formal bid from them soon. Citing an anonymous source, Reuters says Salesforce.com is also pursuing Twitter.

Reuters:

Twitter and Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company did not respond to a request for comment. Salesforce declined to comment. Verizon, another company mentioned in media reports on Friday as a possible suitor, said it did not comment on M&A rumors but that it had not submitted a bid for the company.

From Mike Isaac et al, at the New York Times:

Twitter, based in San Francisco, is talking with Salesforce.com, Google and others about a possible takeover of the company, people briefed on the discussions said on Friday. The talks are in the early stages, these people said, with no guarantee that a deal will be reached. In particular, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, is resistant to selling to some of the potential acquirers, they said.

Twitter is also weighing a possible revamping that could involve divestitures and layoffs, the people said. Two divisions that Twitter is considering divesting itself of are Vine, the mobile six-second video service, and MoPub, a mobile advertising business, they said.

Read the rest

Notorious copyright troll sentenced to 20 weeks' prison time for beating Uber driver

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Robert Croucher owns Hatton & Berkeley, a firm that sent "speculative invoices" to people it accused of illegally downloading the Robert Redford movie "The Company You Keep" -- letters so egregious that Lord Lucas described the company as "scammers" and the letters as "extortion," urging Britons to "put them in the bin." Read the rest

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