Johnathan.org

September 28, 2018

Elon Musk is Being Sued by the SEC

From The New York Times’ Emily Flitter and Matthew Goldstein:

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Mr. Musk of committing fraud by making false public statements with the potential to hurt investors. The suit seeks to bar Mr. Musk, who is also Tesla’s chairman, from serving as an executive or director of publicly traded companies like Tesla. Such a punishment is one of the most serious remedies the S.E.C. can impose against a corporate executive.

The S.E.C. said Mr. Musk “knew or was reckless in not knowing” that his statements were false or misleading. “In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source,” the S.E.C. said in its lawsuit.

I still can’t wrap my head around what he thought this would accomplish. If he really did know there was no funding, all he did was pull a shitty move to try and increase the value of his stock price. If he thought he had funding and it later fell through… then it was just an amateur move on his part.

Thing is, this kind of stunt isn’t really beyond him, anymore. I would not be surprised if Elon Musk is outed from his position of supreme control over Tesla. If the company wants to succeed long term as a car maker, they have to rein him in and I don’t think they can do that with him in the spot he’s at, now. 

That said, I’d also bet nothing happens from the company’s perspective. They’ll likely settle with the SEC and we’ll forget this ever happens. 

Update: Regarding him not settling: called it

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Facebook Breach Exposes 50 Million Accounts

From The New York Times’ Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel:

Facebook said on Friday that an attack on its computer network had exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.

The company said it discovered the breach this week. The attackers exploited a feature in Facebook’s code that allowed them to take over user accounts. Early Friday, Facebook forced more than 90 million users to log out of their accounts, a common safety measure taken when accounts have been compromised.

Facebook said it had fixed the vulnerability and notified law enforcement officials.

This explains why I had to re-login to my Facebook account this morning. I wouldn’t be surprised if this number ends up growing. 

It also doesn’t come at a very good time with the 2FA-phone-number-for-marketing shenanigans also surfacing. 

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Making A Murderer, Season 2

After the wild success of Season 1, Making a Murderer returns with a follow up 3 years later. See what happened in the aftermath of Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey’s convictions for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 10 new episodes on October 19, 2018.

September 27, 2018

Gizmodo: “Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information”

Kashmir Hill writing for Gizmodo:

They found that when a user gives Facebook a phone number for two-factor authentication or in order to receive alerts about new log-ins to a user’s account, that phone number became targetable by an advertiser within a couple of weeks. So users who want their accounts to be more secure are forced to make a privacy trade-off and allow advertisers to more easily find them on the social network.

The researchers also found that if User A, whom we’ll call Anna, shares her contacts with Facebook, including a previously unknown phone number for User B, whom we’ll call Ben, advertisers will be able to target Ben with an ad using that phone number…about a month later. Ben can’t access his shadow contact information, because that would violate Anna’s privacy, according to Facebook, so he can’t see it or delete it, and he can’t keep advertisers from using it either.

As it turns out, advertisers have the capability to track and advertise to you based on your phone number. You don’t even have to provide said number to Facebook, either.

And they’re not even denying it:

“It’s likely that he was shown the ad because someone else uploaded his contact information via contact importer,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed when I told the company about the experiment.

Facebook did not dispute any of the researchers’ findings. “We outline the information we receive and use for ads in our data policy, and give people control over their ads experience including custom audiences, via their ad preferences,” said a spokesperson by email. “For more information about how to manage your preferences and the type of data we use to show people ads see this post.”

As Facebook would like to put it: sucks to be you!

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September 26, 2018

Dear Young People: Don’t Vote

Everything’s fine the way it is.

Young people make up 31% of the electorate (as of 2016) and always say they’ll vote, but they generally don’t. This ad is a great demonstration of reverse psychology, but is also painfully true. 

The government would look a lot different if the population that makes up 1/3 of the electorate by itself actually voted.

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Comcast Will Soon Own the Majority of Sky

Sara Fischer, Axios:

21st Century Fox says will sell its minority stake in Sky Broadcasting to Comcast.

Comcast just won a dramatic settlement auction over the weekend to buy a minority stake in Sky for roughly $40 billion dollars. Now, they’ll own a majority stake in the European Pay-TV and streaming company, which will dramatically increase their international footprint.

This is an interesting turn of events. This makes me wonder if we’ll see Sky make its way over the Atlantic to the United States as what I’m sure would be a part of a premium channel lineup that costs a lot of money. 

As it stands right now, one can watch Sky News for free already on some streaming platforms here in the United States (I can do so using the Sky app on my Roku). 

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How to Stop a Wildfire

This is such a good video. The science behind fighting wildfires is really quite fascinating.

(h/t: John Saddington)

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The History of Electric Guitar Distortion

Ever wondered how that crunchy electric guitar sound came to be and ended up so popular? Polyphonic dives in and explains all.

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September 25, 2018

Qualcomm says Apple gave its trade secrets to Intel

Ina Fried at Axios:

In the new filings, Qualcomm says that, at Apple’s request, it allowed the iPhone maker deep access to its software and tools, but with strict limits on how those products could be used. Rather than just use it to improve the performance and functioning of Qualcomm chips, the company alleges that Apple used it to understand how the modem works and to help Intel improve their chips.

I smell a company that’s just mad Apple’s not working with them anymore and now Intel has massively improved radios. The claims of theft are crazy, though. That’s a massive accusation to make. 

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They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead

About a man ahead of his time, Morgan Neville shares what Orson Welles’ final years were really like from the perspective of those who were there.

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Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography