Tag Archives: New York

First Marijuana-Based Medicine Is Approved for Sale in U.S.

The first-ever medical treatment derived from a marijuana plant will hit the U.S. market in a few months after regulators on Monday gave the epilepsy treatment the green light.

The Food and Drug Administration approved GW Pharmaceuticals Plc’s Epidiolex to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, according to a statement from the agency. The liquid is made from a compound in the marijuana plant called cannabidiol, a different chemical from tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which gets users high.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex medication.

Photographer: Kathy Young/AP

Epilepsy patients and doctors have long had interest in marijuana’s therapeutic potential. The approval marks the first time patients will have access in the U.S. to a cannabis-derived drug that has undergone a safety and efficacy review by the FDA.

“The same principles around any prescription medication can now be applied to cannabis-based medications,” GW Pharma Chief Executive Officer Justin Gover said in an interview before the FDA’s decision. “That underlies the whole value of this. We now remove ourselves from being a special case and now meet the standard criteria for prescription medications.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a separate statement stressing the importance of proper research on medical uses of marijuana and cautioning other companies that might try to push their pot treatments.

“This is an important medical advance,” Gottlieb said of Epidiolex. “But it’s also important to note that this is not an approval of marijuana or all of its components.”

GW Pharma’s American depositary receipts fell less than 1 percent to $149.85 at 1:03 p.m. in New York. They had gained 15 percent this year through Friday’s close.

GW Pharma has to wait to sell Epidiolex until the Drug Enforcement Administration decides what restrictions to place on the drug to ensure that it reaches only the patients for whom it is intended. The DEA, which classifies marijuana as an illegal drug, is required to make that determination in 90 days, Gover said. FDA staff said at an April meeting on the drug with outside advisers that cannibidiol, known as CBD, “does not appear to have abuse potential.”

Severe Forms

Epidiolex is approved to treat Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes in patients age 2 or older. Both are considered severe forms of epilepsy that begin in childhood. They’re resistant to many existing treatments, and as many as 20 percent of children with Dravet syndrome die before reaching adulthood, according to the National Institutes of Health.

GW Pharma will make Epidiolex in the U.K., where the company is based, Gover said, and export the finished product to the U.S. As of last week, the company hadn’t determined the price but was in preliminary talks with insurance companies to make them aware Epidiolex is coming, he said.

While Epidiolex is the first approved medicine that comes from a pot plant, the FDA has allowed the use a few drugs made from synthetic cannabinoids, including Insys Therapeutics Inc.’s Syndros for loss of appetite in people with AIDS and nausea caused by chemotherapy. Insys is developing a cannabidiol oral solution for a severe type of epileptic seizure known as infantile spasms, and childhood epilepsy defined by staring spells where the child isn’t aware or responsive.

(Updates with FDA commissioner comments in fifth paragraph.)

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-25/first-marijuana-based-medicine-wins-approval-for-sale-in-u-s

    Saudis, SoftBank Plan World’s Largest Solar Project

    • Venture may cost $200 billion, add 100,000 jobs in the kingdom
    • Plan envisions 200GW of solar capacity in Saudi Arabia by 2030

    Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

    SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, known for backing ambitious endeavors with flair, unveiled the project Tuesday in New York at a ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The powerful heir to the throne of the world’s largest crude exporter is seeking to diversify the economy and wean off a dependence on oil.

    The deal is the latest in a number of eye-popping announcements from Saudi Arabia promising to scale up its access to renewables. While the kingdom has for years sought to get a foothold in clean energy, it’s was only in 2017 that ministers moved forward with the first projects, collecting bids for a 300-megawatt plant in October.

    At 200 gigawatts, the Softbank project planned for the Saudi desert would be about 100 times larger than the next biggest proposed development and more than double what the global photovoltaic industry supplied last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    “It’s a huge step in human history,” Prince Mohammed said. “It’s bold, risky and we hope we succeed doing that.”

    Over The Top

    SoftBank-Saudi solar vision dwarfs other planned PV projects

    Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance; SoftBank

    If built, the development would almost triple Saudi Arabia’s electricity generation capacity, which stood at 77 gigawatts in 2016, according to BNEF data. About two thirds of that is generated by natural gas, with the rest coming from oil. Only small-scale solar projects working there now.

    Son said he envisions the project, which runs the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing, will create as many as 100,000 jobs and shave $40 billion off power costs. The development will reach its maximum capacity by 2030 and may cost close to $1 billion a gigawatt, he said.

    “The kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land and great engineers, great labor, but most importantly, the best and greatest vision,” Son told reporters at a briefing.

    Deepening Ties

    The agreement deepens SoftBank’s ties with the Saudi Arabia, and advances the crown prince’s ambition to diversify its economy.

    “SoftBank seeks investment and Saudi needs energy, so it may make sense to sort the financing out in a large block and then separately hammer out the phases and the technical details,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF. “It is worth noting that many of these memorandums of understanding do not result in anything happening. ”

    SoftBank was said to be planning to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years. That’s a boost for Prince Mohammed, who’s been at the forefront of the Vision 2030 campaign to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil by that year. SoftBank is said to have aimed to deploy as much as $15 billion in a new city called Neom, which the crown prince plans to build on the Red Sea coast.

    The Japanese company’s Vision Fund is also said to plan investments of as much as $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co. as part of efforts to diversify the utility into renewables and solar energy.

    Vision, Investments

    Son, who is known as a savvy investor with a flair for the spotlight, has been promoting clean energy since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and recently completed a 50-megawatt wind power farm in Mongolia. He has also pushed a plan dubbed “Asia Super Grid,” a plan to connect Asian nations by grids and undersea cables to distribute clean energy.

    The kingdom’s deal-making has quickened as it pursues Prince Mohammed’s diversification goals. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which has more than $224 billion in assets, spent about $54 billion on investments last year. The sale of about a 5 percent stake in oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is expected to provide more funds.

    Saudi Arabia also plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. Electricity demand in the country has risen by as much as 9 percent a year since 2000, according to BNEF.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/saudi-arabia-softbank-ink-deal-on-200-billion-solar-project

    In One Tweet, Kylie Jenner Wiped Out $1.3 Billion of Snaps Market Value

    Snap Inc.’s flagship platform has lost some luster, at least according to one social-media influencer in the Kardashian-Jenner clan.

    Shares of the Snapchat parent company sank 6.1 percent on Thursday, wiping out $1.3 billion in market value, on the heels of a tweet on Wednesday from Kylie Jenner, who said she doesn’t open the app anymore. Whether it’s the demands of her newfound motherhood, or the recent app redesign, the testament drew similar replies from her 24.5 million followers. Wall Street analysts too have begun to notice, citing recent user engagement trends noticed since the platform’s redesign. 


    Jenner’s tweet was followed late Thursday by one from Maybelline New York, asking its followers if it should stay on the Snapchat platform. The beauty-product brand owned by Paris-based L’Oreal SA said its “Snapchat views have dropped dramatically,” but it still wanted to connect with its followers.

    Citigroup analyst Mark May downgraded the stock to sell from neutral earlier this week after seeing a “significant jump” in negative reviews of the app’s redesign. He expects the reviews could cause user engagement to fall, hurting financial results.

    Meanwhile, as the app takes criticism, Chief Executive Evan Spiegel may become one of the highest paid executives in the U.S. After the company’s IPO last March, Spiegel got a $636.6 million stock grant that will be payable through 2020.

    "Still love you tho snap," Jenner hedged in a later tweet.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-22/snap-royalty-kylie-jenner-erased-a-billion-dollars-in-one-tweet

      Bitcoin Lost Almost 20% of Its Value This Week

      Bitcoin faced one of its biggest tests this week, losing almost 20 percent of its value after the world’s largest cryptocurrency reached a record high Monday.

      The digital currency plunged as much as 30 percent on Friday, before paring losses, as this week’s selloff extended to a fourth day. The weekly decline is the biggest in almost three years. Other cryptocurrencies also tumbled: ethereum dropped as much as 36 percent and litecoin slumped as much as 43 percent, according to composite prices on Bloomberg.

      Michael Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC macro trader, said he’s shelving plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund and predicted that bitcoin may extend its plunge to $8,000.

      “We didn’t like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we’re doing," Novogratz said in a phone interview. He predicted last week that bitcoin could reach $40,000 within a few months.

      Bitcoin dropped to as low as $10,776, before recovering to $14,303 at 4:04 p.m. in New York. It last traded below $10,000 on Dec. 1, when the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission agreed to allow trading in bitcoin futures. The price of the digital coin had more than doubled in the prior three weeks.

      The losses represent a major test for the cryptocurrency industry and the blockchain technology that underpins it, which have rapidly entered the mainstream in recent weeks. Bears cast doubt on the value of the virtual assets, with UBS Group AG this week calling bitcoin the “biggest speculative bubble in history.” Bulls argue the technology is a game changer for the world of investment and finance. Both will be closely watching the outcome of the current selloff.

      “The sharks are beginning to circle here, and the futures markets may give them a venue to strike,” said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of London-based bullion dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd., which offers gold in exchange for bitcoin. “Bitcoin’s been heavily driven by retail investors, but there’ll be some aggressive funds looking for the right opportunity to hammer this thing lower.”

      Traders who bought the currency on futures exchanges using collateral may start facing margin calls following the price decline. Two venues launched products in recent weeks that required hefty security, with Cboe needing 44 percent to clear contracts, and the CME 47 percent. Brokers set safety nets even higher.

      Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said all buying and selling was temporarily disabled during today’s rout, after having delays in processing wire transfers and verifying new customers for the past week due to higher traffic. Bitcoin transaction volume jumped more than 30 percent on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, while fees to approve and record the transactions on the blockchain surged to a record $55, according to Bit Info Charts.

      Many of the recent news stories and market moves connected to cryptocurrencies appear to carry hallmarks of the mania phase of a bubble. Long Island Iced Tea Corp. shares rose as much as 289 percent on Thursday after the unprofitable Hicksville, New York-based company rebranded itself Long Blockchain Corp. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday bitcoin isn’t functioning like a normal means of payment and is being used for speculation.

      Still, cryptocurrencies are attracting established players. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin, according to people with knowledge of the strategy. The bank aims to get the business running by the end of June, if not earlier, two of the people said.

      For related news and information:
      XBT Curncy GP for bitcoin
      VCCY for a cryptocurrency monitor

        Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-22/bitcoin-plummets-toward-13-000-down-more-than-30-from-record

        Amazon Will Buy Target This Year, Gene Munster Predicts

        Amazon.com Inc.’s shake-up of the retail landscape may not be over, according to one well-known technology analyst.

        The internet giant will acquire discounter Target Corp., Loup Venture co-founder Gene Munster wrote in a report highlighting eight predictions for the technology industry in 2018. Amazon made waves in retailing last year with its $13.7 billion purchase of upscale grocer Whole Foods Market Inc.

        “Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count,” Munster wrote, noting both companies focus on mothers and families. “Getting the timing on this is difficult, but seeing the value of the combination is easy.”

        Market-share numbers suggest a deal would be approved by regulators, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would still have a larger share than an Amazon-Target combination, Munster said. He estimated a take-out valuation of $41 billion, or a 15 percent premium to Target’s value. Target shares rose as much as 3.7 percent Tuesday in New York, while Amazon gained 1.6 percent.

        “Investors would view this as Amazon taking over the world and that’s a good thing,” Munster said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio.

        A Target representative declined to comment on the report. Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

        Munster, 46, co-founded Loup Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on virtual reality and artificial intelligence, in early 2017. Before that, he’d worked for 21 years as an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos., where he was known for his accuracy in predicting Apple Inc.’s financial potential.

        Prognosticating about Amazon’s next deal has become a common theme for analysts. In November, DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte wrote that Lululemon Athletica Inc. may be attractive to the online retailer, while Citigroup analyst Paul Lejuez recently catalogued a host of potential targets, including Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and Advance Auto Parts Inc.

        Still, Amazon may not just be interested in retail deals. Last month, CFRA bank analyst Ken Leon wrote that he foresees the Internet company buying a small- or mid-sized bank in 2018.

          Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-02/amazon-will-buy-target-this-year-loup-s-gene-munster-predicts

          Bitcoins Wild Ride: A Rally, a Rout and Outages on the Exchanges

          Bitcoin plunged as much as 20 percent hours after a rally past $11,000 generated a surge in traffic at online exchanges that led to intermittent outages.

          The plunge capped a wild day for the largest cryptocurrency that included a breakneck advance to a high of $11,434 before the reversal took it as low as $9,009. As of 3:36 p.m. in New York, it traded at $9,911.10, virtually unchanged from where it began the session.

          The heaviest selling came amid reports of service outages and delays on some of the largest online exchanges. The extent of the problems on platforms such as Coinbase and Gemini remained unclear, with several saying massive spikes in traffic had caused unspecified problems. Coinbase remained unavailable to some users.

          Bitcoin had rallied 20 percent in just four days, topping $10,000 for the first time earlier this week in a runup that drew increased warnings it was in a bubble. The cryptocurrency ended September at $4,171.25.

          “After doubling in such a short period of time, people are taking profits,” said David Mondrus, chief executive of Trive, a blockchain-based research platform. “Issues in the exchanges add to it without a doubt. When you have a lack of ability to exit, then people dump in order to exit faster.”

          While not uncommon, outages at online exchanges have earlier led to selloffs in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase, one of the biggest platforms, earlier tweeted traffic was at an all-time high after bitcoin surged to a record $11,434 at 9:11 a.m. in Bloomberg composite pricing.

          The cryptocurrency is extremely volatile and susceptible to major dips — it’s fallen by at least 25 percent on three separate occasions in 2017 already.

            Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/wild-bitcoin-ride-erases-2-200-in-five-hours-after-record-rally

            FCC Got 444,938 Net-Neutrality Comments From Russian Email Addresses

            Someone was trying to game the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s electronic public comment system on net-neutrality rules.

            But who? Was it supporters or foes of the open internet rules — or was it the Russians?

            A study has found more than 7.75 million comments were submitted from email domains attributed to FakeMailGenerator.com, and they had nearly identical wording. The FCC says some of the nearly 23 million comments on Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to gut Obama-era rules were filed under the same name more than 90 times each.

            And then there were the 444,938 from Russian email addresses, which also raised eyebrows, even though it’s unclear if they were from actual Russian citizens or computer bots originating in the U.S. or elsewhere.

            The oddities in the FCC’s inbox have attracted scrutiny from New York’s attorney general and from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which has opened a probe.

            “In an era where foreign governments have indisputably tried to use the internet and social media to influence our elections, federal and state governments should be working together to ensure that malevolent actors cannot subvert our administrative agencies’ decision-making processes,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in an open letter to the FCC.

            Schneiderman said the FCC had not cooperated with his investigation.

            Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga: QuickTake Q&A

            Brian Hart, an FCC spokesman, called Schneiderman’s facts “completely inaccurate.” Hart said in an email that there had been “concerning activity” regarding public comments on both sides of the issue.

            “The most suspicious activity has been by those supporting internet regulation,” Hart said. “We do not purge form letters, such as these, from the record as we err on the side of keeping the public record open and do not have the resources to investigate every comment that is filed."

            Many submissions seemed to include false or misleading personal information, with 57 percent of comments analyzed using temporary or duplicate email addresses, the Pew Research Center said in a study published Wednesday.

            There’s “clear evidence of organized campaigns to flood the comments with repeated messages," Pew said in its study that found 94 percent of comments were submitted multiple times — in some cases, hundreds of thousands of times.

            Schneiderman, in his letter to the FCC, said he was “investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC’s notice and comment process through the misuse of enormous numbers of real New Yorkers’ and other Americans’ identities.”

            The Government Accountability Office is looking into missing emails, automated comments using peoples’ identities without their knowledge and a service interruption suffered in May to the FCC’s comments filing system, said Charles Young, a spokesman for the agency that serves as Congress’s investigative branch. Requests for the probe came from House Democrats and Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat.

            ‘Stolen Names’

            Meanwhile, the strange filings are ammunition for critics of Pai’s proposal to kill the current rules and let broadband providers block or slow websites. The proposal faces a Dec. 14 vote at the agency where it’s expected to succeed with votes from the Republican majority Pai leads.

            “There’s something not right in the @FCC record,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said in a Nov. 22 tweet that cited “bots, bogus comments, stolen names.”

            The FCC’s website shows it received almost 23 million comments by late Tuesday on its net neutrality proposal. In August, after 21.8 million had been received, the trade group Broadband for America, backed by AT&T, Comcast Corp., and cable and wireless trade groups, released an analysis conducted by Emprata LLC, a data-analytics consulting firm.

            Emprata found almost 7.6 million comments saying “I am in favor of strong net neutrality under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.”

            Another set of 1.4 million took the opposite view, saying "I strongly urge the FCC to repeal" the rules.

            International Input?

            Given the fact that the rules apply to the U.S., an unusual number of comments — 1.74 million — were attributed to international addresses, with 444,938 from Russia and nearly as many from Germany, Emprata found. All but 25 of the emails from those countries were against repealing the 2015 rules. 

            The report presented no evidence that the comments were linked to the Russian government.
            U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hacking campaign during the 2016 presidential election that sought to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton.

            "We did not investigate potential actors," Paul Salasznyk, Emprata’s chief executive officer, said in an email. From the data, there is no way to determine the origin of those comments, or whether they were routed from different computers, he said.

            Service Interruption

            A “vast majority” of all comments originated from form letters with exact or similar phrasing, according to Emprata. Personalized comments, or those that appeared only once in the docket, favored retaining the rules by a margin of 1.5 million versus 23,000 for repeal, according to the study.

            Tim Karr, spokesman for the policy group Free Press that supports the 2015 rules, said, “There’s substantial evidence there was considerable tampering with the process.”

            “The appearance of some impropriety gives Ajit Pai an excuse to reject the comments process,” Karr said.

            Pai’s plan is based on the facts and the law, not the number of comments, the agency said in a statement. 

            “The commenting process is not an opinion poll — and for good reason,” it said.

            Some stakeholders agree that the commentary system might not be the best judge of public sentiment given that it appears prone to misuse.

            "We shouldn’t be making policy like we’re voting for ‘Dancing with the Stars,’" said Jonathan Spalter, president of the trade group US Telecom that has members including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.

            The droves of computer-generated short-form comments favoring and opposing the rules repeal didn’t address vital legal issues, Randolph May, a former FCC associate general counsel and president of the Maryland-based Free State Foundation, which advocates for limited government, said in a blog post Nov. 27.

            “Let’s get real — and be frank,” May said. He called arguments over the docket a “diversionary tactic” by those who lack confidence in their substantive arguments.

              Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/fake-views-444-938-russian-emails-among-suspect-comments-to-fcc

              Uber Paid Hackers to Delete Stolen Data on 57 Million People

              Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.

              Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers. No Social Security numbers, credit card information, trip location details or other data were taken, Uber said.

              At the time of the incident, Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulators investigating separate claims of privacy violations. Uber now says it had a legal obligation to report the hack to regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken. Instead, the company paid hackers to delete the data and keep the breach quiet. Uber said it believes the information was never used but declined to disclose the identities of the attackers.

              “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive officer in September, said in an emailed statement. “We are changing the way we do business.”

              Read more: Uber Pushed the Limits of the Law. Now Comes the Reckoning

              After Uber’s disclosure Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into the hack, his spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. The company was also sued for negligence over the breach by a customer seeking class-action status.

              Hackers have successfully infiltrated numerous companies in recent years. The Uber breach, while large, is dwarfed by those at Yahoo, MySpace, Target Corp., Anthem Inc. and Equifax Inc. What’s more alarming are the extreme measures Uber took to hide the attack. The breach is the latest scandal Khosrowshahi inherits from his predecessor, Travis Kalanick.

              Read more: Gadfly’s Shira Ovide says Kalanick must speak


              Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and former CEO, learned of the hack in November 2016, a month after it took place, the company said. Uber had just settled a lawsuit with the New York attorney general over data security disclosures and was in the process of negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission over the handling of consumer data. Kalanick declined to comment on the hack.

              Joe Sullivan, the outgoing security chief, spearheaded the response to the hack last year, a spokesman told Bloomberg. Sullivan, a onetime federal prosecutor who joined Uber in 2015 from Facebook Inc., has been at the center of much of the decision-making that has come back to bite Uber this year. Bloomberg reported last month that the board commissioned an investigation into the activities of Sullivan’s security team. This project, conducted by an outside law firm, discovered the hack and the failure to disclose, Uber said.

              Here’s how the hack went down: Two attackers accessed a private GitHub coding site used by Uber software engineers and then used login credentials they obtained there to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services account that handled computing tasks for the company. From there, the hackers discovered an archive of rider and driver information. Later, they emailed Uber asking for money, according to the company.

              A patchwork of state and federal laws require companies to alert people and government agencies when sensitive data breaches occur. Uber said it was obligated to report the hack of driver’s license information and failed to do so.

              “At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals,” Khosrowshahi said. “We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts.”

              Uber has earned a reputation for flouting regulations in areas where it has operated since its founding in 2009. The U.S. has opened at least five criminal probes into possible bribes, illicit software, questionable pricing schemes and theft of a competitor’s intellectual property, people familiar with the matters have said. The San Francisco-based company also faces dozens of civil suits.

              U.K. regulators including the National Crime Agency are also looking into the scale of the breach. London and other governments have previously taken steps toward banning the service, citing what they say is reckless behavior by Uber.

              In January 2016, the New York attorney general fined Uber $20,000 for failing to promptly disclose an earlier data breach in 2014. After last year’s cyberattack, the company was negotiating with the FTC on a privacy settlement even as it haggled with the hackers on containing the breach, Uber said. The company finally agreed to the FTC settlement three months ago, without admitting wrongdoing and before telling the agency about last year’s attack.

              The new CEO said his goal is to change Uber’s ways. Uber said it informed New York’s attorney general and the FTC about the October 2016 hack for the first time on Tuesday. Khosrowshahi asked for the resignation of Sullivan and fired Craig Clark, a senior lawyer who reported to Sullivan. The men didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

              Khosrowshahi said in his emailed statement: “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.”

              The company said its investigation found that Salle Yoo, the outgoing chief legal officer who has been scrutinized for her responses to other matters, hadn’t been told about the incident. Her replacement, Tony West, will start at Uber on Wednesday and has been briefed on the cyberattack.

              Kalanick was ousted as CEO in June under pressure from investors, who said he put the company at legal risk. He remains on the board and recently filled two seats he controlled.

              Uber said it has hired Matt Olsen, a former general counsel at the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as an adviser. He will help the company restructure its security teams. Uber hired Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm owned by FireEye Inc., to investigate the hack.

              The company plans to release a statement to customers saying it has seen “no evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident.” Uber said it will provide drivers whose licenses were compromised with free credit protection monitoring and identity theft protection.

                Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-21/uber-concealed-cyberattack-that-exposed-57-million-people-s-data

                Emojis before the smiling poop: New York museum acquires world’s first set

                The 176 tiny designs a gift from a Japanese phone company will go on show at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art

                Back in the day, before cars could drive themselves and phones could airbrush selfies, a Japanese phone company released the first emojis.

                The year was 1999 and the tiny 12-by-12 pixel designs included smiley faces, hearts of the intact and broken variety, a peace sign and zodiac symbols.

                Eleven years later emojis were translated into the Unicode standard which means that a person in France, for example, can send an emoji to a person in the US and it will look the same, no matter what brand of phone or operating system they use.

                New Yorks Museum of Modern Art announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the original set of 176 emojis. They were a gift to the museum from the phone company, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.

                From the start (in 1929), part of MoMAs mission has been to display and collect the art (and design) of our time, Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the museums department of architecture and design, said in an email. Our time is lived today in both the digital and the physical space.

                The museums other digital acquisitions have included the @ symbol and video games.

                Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/27/emojis-before-the-smiling-poop-new-york-museum-acquires-worlds-first-set

                Anthony Weiner sent sexually explicit messages to 15-year-old, report says

                The ex-politician asked her to undress and masturbate over video chat, as well as engage in rape fantasies among plethora of erotic exchanges, Daily Mail reports

                Disgraced former US congressman Anthony Weiner, whose career nosedived after he was caught sending sexually explicit texts and images to young women while he was still married, has allegedly spent several months this year in an online, highly explicit relationship with a 15-year-old girl, according to a new report.

                The ex-politician and failed New York mayoral candidate asked her to undress for him and engage in rape fantasies among a plethora of erotic exchanges that began in January 2016, the Daily Mail reported.

                Weiner is still married to Huma Abedin, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clintons longtime aide and campaign vice-chairman. Abedin announced in August that she was separating from her husband after Weiner was revealed in another report to have sent another woman a provocative picture of himself in his underwear, with his young son next to him.

                It was but the most recent in a series of scandals involving Weiner.

                The couple are apparently still sharing a home in New York and were photographed by the Daily Mail leaving separately on Wednesday morning, with Abedin carrying a bag bearing the Clinton campaign logo and apparently heading to Florida with the candidate, while Weiner was going for a walk.

                Weiner allegedly communicated with the girl, who appears to live in a state other than New York, using Twitter, Skype, Facebook and other digital platforms to exchange videos, texts, photographs and have voice conversations.

                The girl who was not named in the report in order to protect her identity as a minor reportedly approached the publication and, along with her father, who is also not named, gave detailed interviews and shared messages, images and screen grabs of communications exchanged with Weiner.

                She said she struck up the initial contact with Weiner but discontinued it after the August revelation of pictures in the New York Post, which he is said to have sent to a 40-year-old woman.

                Anthony Weiner is 51. The law of consent in most states is between 16 and 18, although in many states teens younger than 16 can have consensual sexual contact with each other provided the age gap is not more than four years.

                By all accounts Weiner and the 15-year-old did not meet or have any physical contact. He allegedly sent her explicitly sexual messages and asked her to undress and masturbate over video chat. When an exchange escalated and he allegedly tried to engage her in talk of a rape fantasy, she objected and he dropped the subject, according to the Daily Mails report.

                Anthony Weiner. Photograph: Everett/REX/Shutterstock

                Weiner reportedly admitted to the Daily Mail that he had engaged in flirtatious exchanges with the girl but did not comment further on any of the specific allegations. He maintained that some of the details may be a hoax.

                In some screenshots accompanying the report, Weiners picture and name can be seen on screen. In a statement to the Daily Mail, Weiner said, in part: I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgement about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent. I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I have hurt.

                He sent a similar statement to Fox News and also apologized for his behavior, while repeating that he may be the subject of a hoax.

                According to Wednesdays report, Weiner and the 15-year-old used apps such as Kik and Confide where much of the material exchanged or the identity of the sender is automatically deleted.

                But the girl reportedly took some screenshots of certain images and words.

                A situation such as this could involve an array of crimes, depending on what is done and what a minor is asked for, said John Wilkinson, an attorney adviser and former prosecutor with Aequitas, a consultancy and research organization that advises on prosecuting violence against women.

                Any investigation into Weiner could involve child sex abuse images or child endangerment statutes. There are also federal laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children and other statutes involving the transfer of obscene materials to a minor. Wilkinson also explained that even if an adult claims a teenager initiated contact and they did not realize their young age, that is not accepted as a defense in court.

                If the two people are in different states, or even if they are in the same state but use digital services such as Skype, which often have their servers located in another state, then a situation involving a 51-year-old and a 15-year-old could be investigated under federal as well as state criminal laws.

                Azi Paybarah, a senior reporter at Politico, posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had been asked about the latest scandal and Cuomo said that if the latest report was true it was sick and potentially criminal.

                After the August scandal, Weiner first denied and then admitted that he was being investigated by New Yorks child services authorities.

                Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/21/anthony-weiner-sexually-explicit-messages-teen-daily-mail