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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

DOJ Indicts 9 Iranians For Brazen University Cyberattacks

A new indictment asserts a long string of attacks against hundreds of universities and private companies, in which Iran pilfered more than $3 billion worth of intellectual property.
Source: Wired

Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid recalled for power loss – Roadshow

Fewer than 3,000 vehicles are affected in the US.
Source: CNET

Dropbox soars more than 40% in its debut as a publicly-traded company

It’s a big day for Dropbox — the first marquee Web 2.0 name to go public this year and one of the biggest since Snap last year — which made its public debut today, with the stock soaring nearly 43% to around $30 in its first moments of trading.

Today’s debut for the enterprise-slash-consumer company is the culmination of plenty of headwinds — and tailwinds — that first questioned the valuation it got during the crazy Silicon Valley hype cycle before building up the confidence to bring it right back up. Dropbox’s last private valuation was around $10 billion, but throughout the IPO pricing process that companies use to essentially discover what investors are willing to pay, Dropbox’s valuation largely remained below that. But that price, starting at a range between $16 and $18, slowly ticked up before settling on $21 per share last night. Now, it’s gone well above that.

Dropbox first rode a wave of consumers increasingly adopting the cloud and storing their files online where they could access them anywhere, where its growth and emerging businesses sent it to a $10 billion valuation. Then, it rode a second wave of small teams in businesses that decided to adopt tools like Dropbox, which may have not yet been tuned for massive companies, simply because they were easier to use than existing ones. And finally, that playbook turned out to be wildly successful for many companies, which used that as a jumping point to get full company adoption and eventually get the C-suite on board with it and other collaboration products.

Since that hyped valuation, Dropbox has hit a number of milestones, including hitting a $1 billion revenue run rate (it generated $1.1 billion in revenue last year), picking up 500 million registered users, and having 11 million paying customers. Over the past few years it’s tried to go beyond just file-sharing in the enterprise with tools like Dropbox Paper, a Quip or Google Docs competitor that’s designed to be a kind of continuous document for coming up with ideas like a product spec or marketing roadmap, among a lot of updates to its mobile application.

Amid all of this, Dropbox founder Drew Houston — who will be one of Y Combinator’s first major IPO success stories — still owned nearly 30% of the company, and co-founder Arash Ferdowsi owned around 12.2% of the company. Y Combinator has a deep bench of companies that all look like good IPO candidates like Airbnb or Stripe, but Dropbox was one of the earliest startups to go through back in 2007. The IPO will, too, be a massive windfall for Sequoia Capital which continues to own 25% of the company.

“Houston has] really evolved over the years as an incredible leader, he’s grown this company, he’s navigated through all different parts of this life cycle,” Y Combinator founder and partner Jessica Livingston said. “Our goal in many ways was to empower founders. It was to level the playing field, you don’t have to have a connection in Silicon Valley to get funding. I feel like, 13 years ago, [having a YC company go public] was just this dream of ours. It was almost seemingly unattainable dream — maybe one of the startups we fund could go public someday. That was the holy grail. It’s an exciting day for YC. It shows what a long game investing in early-stage startups is.”

There’s already been a wave of activity on the enterprise market, with Salesforce acquiring Mulesoft for $6.5 billion being the exclamation point of 2018 thus far. But enterprise security company Zscalar already had a massively successful IPO with the price nearly doubling, and subscription billing tools service Zuora is also set to go public. These kinds of tools serve as the backbones of modern Web companies, and whether they’re household names or not, they have the capacity to go public due to the sheer scale of the market opportunity — even if it takes a while to get there.

Enterprise IPOs are usually the kind of backbone of a lot of venture firms because they’re predictable. The buying cycles are long, the path to profitability is a little more obvious, and the business model comes more down to execution than the whims of consumers. But in recent years, Dropbox has occupied a kind of weird spot in that spectrum as a company looking to share a big slice of the enterprise collaboration market with something that was born for, and still very much in service to, the average consumer. Dropbox will serve not only as a barometer for enterprise IPOs coming through the door over the next few months, but likely IPOs across the board.


Source: TechCrunch

Find out what Facebook knows about you and take action video – CNET

Find out how Facebook labels you to advertisers and how to limit the data apps can access. ​
Source: CNET

Best Travel Gear: Mophie, Amazon Kindle, Allbirds, Lululemon, Hex

Fit everything for your trip into a bag that slides under the seat in front of you.
Source: Wired

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

All of WIRED’s coverage on the scandal plaguing the social media giant.
Source: Wired

The Ryan Coogler Effect: What the Success of 'Black Panther' Means for Black Directors

Ryan Coogler’s massive Marvel movie has the potential to kick down doors for scores of other directors, with Ava DuVernay helping to lead that charge.
Source: Wired

How Much Energy Can You Store in a Rubber Band?

On a scale from “light thwack” to “geez, watch it with that thing!”
Source: Wired

Facebook hit with shareholder lawsuits over data misuse crisis

The lawsuits are piling up against Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse and political ad targeting scandal.

According to SF Gate the company has been hit with four suits in federal courts so far this week following fresh revelations about how Facebook’s app permissions were abused to surreptitiously suck out vast amounts of user data.

One lawsuit filed yesterday in Northern California on behalf of a Facebook shareholder, Jeremiah Hallisey, alleges the company’s senior management “breached their fiduciary duties by failing to prevent the initial misappropriation [of user data by CA] and, after learning of it in 2015, failing to inform affected Facebook users or the public markets”.

The complaint names Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg; COO Sheryl Sandberg; and board members Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Reed Hastings, Erskine Bowles, Susan Desmond-Hellman and Jan Koum as defendants.

It notes Facebook has lost $50 billion in market capitalization since the data leak was disclosed, and flags reports that the FTC has launched an inquiry into Facebook’s conduct and whether it violated the terms of a 2011 consent decree that requires the company to notify users before sharing their data with third parties.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment but at the time of writing the company had not responded.

Last week the New York Times and the Observer of London reported revelations from former CA employee Chris Wylie, who detailed how working with a University of Cambridge psychology professor who had developed a survey app to run on Facebook, the political consultancy had been able to obtain vast amounts of user information — as many as 50 million US Facebook users’ profiles — without the vast majority of the users being aware their data had been harvested nor what it would be used for. The firm had been working for the Trump presidential campaign.

After the newspaper reports Facebook acknowledged that 270,000 people had downloaded the survey app.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also since gone on CNN to apologize. But the scope and scale of the data mishandling, coupled with Facebook’s failure to inform users when it found about the policy breach in 2015 have played very badly with markets and users alike…

“The recent revelations regarding Facebook’s actual practices with respect to user privacy and data security have severely damaged the Company’s reputation and imposed significant costs on it, including regulatory investigations, lost business, exposure to litigation, and other damages,” the complaint runs, before going on to allege that Facebook sought to “downplay concerns about access to user information” and “continued to assure investors that Facebook maintained effective” internal controls and systems that automatically detected ‘suspicious activity’”.

In a statement, Mark Molumphy, a partner with Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy — the firm representing Hallisey — said: “Facebook’s apology doesn’t do much for the millions of Americans impacted by this conduct. It also doesn’t explain why Facebook executives waited three years to inform their loyal users and shareholders of the massive breach, especially on the heels of the FTC consent decree in 2011.  This action seeks accountability from those entrusted to safeguard our personal information and who seem to pay only lip service to the privacy concerns of their users.”

Also adding to the awkward questions for Facebook: Board member, Thiel, who supported Trump’s presidential bid, made a $1M financial donation to a Trump-supporting Super PAC, called Make America Number 1, in 2016 — which Mashable reports subsequently paid Cambridge Analytica $231,352 toward the end of the same year, per an FEC filing

Earlier this week, a proposed class action was also filed in California by a group of Facebook users seeking damages from the company for failing to protect their data.

On Tuesday, another shareholder lawsuit was filed. Gizmodo reports that complaint shareholder Fan Yuan has accused the company of making “materially false and/or misleading” claims about its handling of user data, and failing to disclose the ongoing situation has reduced the value of Facebook shares.

A fourth suit has been filed by another shareholder, Robert Casey. And Facebook will surely face more before the outrage over this epic fail privacy scandal burns out.

It also seems very likely that additional app permissions problems will come to light as Facebook has committed to a historical audit of any apps that were accessing large amounts of user data around the same time as CA was. Safe to say, it would be very unusual if the app used by CA to suck out Facebook profiles en mass was the only third party app to be acting out before Facebook acted on regulatory recommendations to tighten its app permissions, starting in 2014.


Source: TechCrunch

How a Boise, Idaho Company Thrives in the Global Chip Business

Micron Technology is the only remaining US maker of DRAM, the short-term memory chips found in computers and smartphones.
Source: Wired

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