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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Drunk online shopper wakes up to live pig, peacock and giant salamander – CNET

Some advice for you on Black Friday: Don’t drink and buy.
Source: CNET

Black Friday 2018 smartwatch and fitness tracker deals: $80 off Apple Watch, $50 off Fitbit Versa – CNET

Fitbit, Apple Watch and Samsung — we take a look at some of the best deals on these wearable devices ahead of Black Friday.
Source: CNET

George R.R. Martin has yet another book series coming to TV – CNET

This time the lucky platform is Hulu, and the series is Martin’s Wild Cards.
Source: CNET

Juul Pledges Big Changes, but the Impact May Be Small

The e-cigarette maker says it will discontinue some flavors at retail outlets and shut down social media accounts ahead of an expected FDA crackdown.
Source: Wired

Uber stuck between a rock and a hard place with Saudi investment – CNET

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says his company isn’t changing anything in terms of its relationship with Saudi Arabia until more is known about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Source: CNET

Costco Black Friday 2018: Best deals include $800 Surface Pro bundle, $300 Dyson and more – CNET

A complete Surface Pro bundle for $800. Apple’s latest iPad for $250. And some deals are already available.
Source: CNET

Biotech holding company Roivant Sciences raised $200M in funding at a whopping $7B valuation

Roivant Sciences has had a bumpy couple of years, but that isn’t stopping investors from pouring more money into the four-year-old company, which aims to one day be a giant parent company for dozens of independent biopharmaceutical spinoffs — and is fulfilling that vision by creating one independent company at a time.

Roivant’s newest financing event: a $200 million raise at a post-money valuation of $7 billion, led by NovaQuest Capital Management, which is an investor in two of Roivant’s companies; RTW Investments, a young investment firm focused on biopharma; an unnamed “large U.S. insurance company,” and an unnamed “big U.S. investment firm,” according to a company spokesman.

The round follows a $1.1 billion round led last year by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which Roivant now says was closed at a post-money valuation of $5.6 million, though it didn’t necessarily look like money well spent at the time. To wit, roughly one month after the financing closed last August, Axovant Sciences, one of Roivant’s companies, received news that its much-hyped, experimental Alzheimer’s drug, intepirdine, doesn’t work.

It seemed a devastating outcome for Axovant, which Roivant had taken public in 2015 in what was then the biggest biotech IPO ever in the U.S. Its shares plummeted 75 percent on the news.

Worse, Axovant subsequently produced negative results in a phase 2b trial in Lewy body dementia (DLB), prompting a parting of ways with Medivation chief David Hung — who joined Axovant as CEO last year. (The company has yet to recover. Its shares, once trading at $25 a piece, are currently priced at $1.95. In what the company describes as a very separate move, Roivant staged layoffs in June and reassigned other employees, primarily directing them from Roivant to more of its subsidiaries.)

For what it’s worth, SoftBank did not invest in Axovant or any other Roivant subsidiary, and neither have the investors who just committed to pour $200 million into the company. They’re shareholders instead in the privately held umbrella company, which suddenly oversees 14 subsidiaries, almost all of them involving the word “vant,” and all of which Roivant has supported financially.

For example, in addition to Axovant, which is broadly focused on neurology, Roivant has also created Myovant Sciences, which is focused on women’s health and endocrine diseases; Dermavant Sciences, which is focused on dermatology; Enzyvant Sciences, which is focused on rare diseases; Urovant Sciences, focused on urology; and Datavant, which acts as a kind of middleware provider, helping healthcare institutions share data and that earlier this year raised $40.5 million in financing led by Roivant itself.

Much newer spin-offs include Immunovant, which was announced  in July to focus on treating autoimmune disorders; Altavant, which was announced in June and aims to develop treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension; and Sinovant, announced in July, to focus on drug development in China.

Altogether, says the company, Roivant’s companies now employ 750 people who are working on 34 drugs in development.

Whether Roivant’s portfolio approach will pay off for investors — who received common shares for their newest investment — remains to be seen. But there’s little doubt that Roivant’s persuasive 33-year-old CEO and founder, Vivek Ramaswamy, has convinced them that anything is possible. As he told this editor during an interview last year, “Given the history of failure [on the part of drug companies to produce effective products for Alzheimer’s], I can’t blame someone who is skeptical from the outside. I would be, too.” Still, he’d continued, “I do think the model is one that stands on its own feet, irrespective of the success or failure of any one of the given clinical trials.”

Ramaswamy has had an interesting career to date. He was a biology major at Harvard who then worked as a hedge fund analyst while nabbing his law degree from Yale. While juggling both, he says he noticed pharmaceutical firms abandoning promising drugs for various reasons having nothing to do with their efficacy.

Seeing an opportunity to complete the development of some of these overlooked drug candidates and get them to market quickly, he struck out on his own in 2014.

One of his first moves was to acquire the Alzheimer’s pill around which he built the now-beleaguered Axovant. He procured it from GlaxoSmithKline as it was dialing down its neuroscience research with the financial backing of several hedge funds, including his former employer.

Roivant and its subsidiaries have now raised more than $3 billion altogether.

You can check out our conversation with Ramaswamy below.


Source: TechCrunch

Prolific swatter and bomb hoaxer who broke up FCC’s net neutrality vote pleads guilty

It was a dramatic moment during the FCC’s net neutrality proceedings last December when the Commission’s public meeting was abruptly evacuated and bomb squads moved in — all while thousands watched on the live stream. The person who called in that threat has just entered a guilty plea to that and numerous other crimes, including a SWAT hoax that killed a man last December.

Tyler Barriss is a Kansas resident who has racked up dozens of charges of swatting, calling in bomb threats and other “pranks” that have proven to be anything but.

Swatting is the practice of calling the police and convincing them a dangerous armed person is at a given address in order to provoke an aggressive response by police or SWAT officers — a response that can be disastrous or fatal.

The latter was the result of one particular call Barriss made in December of 2017. He had done it like he’d done many others, for a favor or for money — this time sending the police to the former home of an acquaintance’s Call of Duty rival. The officers shot and killed the current resident of that home, and Barriss — who made no secret of his involvement — was arrested shortly afterwards. It had only been about a year since he was released from prison for similar crimes.

Today Barriss, who was 25 when he was arrested in January, pleaded guilty to a number of charges that had been filed under a variety of jurisdictions. Among them was the bomb threat called in to the FCC, but the sheer variety of schools, malls and homes he threatened, as documented in an indictment, is disturbing.

In simultaneously depressing and haunting Twitter conversations disclosed during the trial, Barriss and his target are seen exchanging direct messages, sparring over each other’s cred and making light of the swatting attempt.

Barriss had in fact called the cops, and convinced them to show up to the address Gaskill had given.

And Gaskill soon found out that his attempt to troll Barriss had resulted in a man’s death:

All three were charged with various crimes, but Barriss with his long, well-documented history of swatting and bomb threats, was the clear priority. The terms of his guilty plea aren’t documented yet but it would be hard to get away from significant time in prison even if he managed to dodge half of the charges he faced.

It’s a sad story from start to finish, but at least the bad guy didn’t get away.


Source: TechCrunch

Juul is shutting down on social media, halting retail orders for flavored pods – CNET

The e-cigarette maker says it wants to crack down on underage use.
Source: CNET

Aston Martin DBX SUV kicks off testing on Welsh rally stage – Roadshow

Whereas the DBX Concept was just a lifted Aston, this is a proper SUV.
Source: CNET

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