Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 4
The US Justice Department is reportedly investigating Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), a prominent businessman, and investor, over his role in the collapse of FTX, what was the world's second-largest cryptocurrency exchange.
The exact details of the investigation are not yet known, but it is believed to be focused on potential fraud or misconduct on the part of SBF or other executives at FTX. FTX was once a rising star in the world of finance, known for its innovative financial products and aggressive growth strategy. However, the company faced increasing scrutiny and criticism in the years leading up to its collapse, with some alleging that its rapid expansion was built on risky and potentially fraudulent practices.
In the end, the company was unable to withstand the pressures of the market and went bankrupt, leaving many investors and employees to hang out to dry. SBF, whose full name has not been publicly released, was one of the key executives at FTX and played a major role in shaping the company's strategy. He was known for his ambitious vision and his ability to secure significant investments from some of the biggest names in finance. However, his involvement with FTX has now drawn the attention of federal investigators.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recently announced that Twitter will be increasing its character limit from 280 to 4000.
This change has been highly anticipated by many users, who have long complained about the constraints of the 280-character limit. The expanded character limit will give users more freedom to express themselves in their tweets. It will also allow for more detailed and nuanced discussions on the platform. This is particularly useful for journalists and other content creators who often need to share longer articles or more complex ideas.
Many have praised the move, saying that it will help to improve the quality and depth of discourse on Twitter. Others, however, have voiced concerns that the expanded character limit may lead to an influx of spam and low-quality content.
The director of product management at Twitter, Esther Crawford, wrote on Twitter that the company will be relaunching its Twitter Blue subscription service on Monday, December 12.
Twitter is planning to relaunch its premium subscription service, known as Twitter Blue, with revised payment options. The service, which was first introduced in May 2021, will now cost $8 per month for those that sign up on the web and $11 per month for users that subscribe through the App Store on iOS. Twitter Blue offers a range of additional features and benefits to subscribers, such as the ability to undo tweets, customize the app's appearance, access exclusive content, and the iconic blue checkmark.
The revised payment options for Twitter Blue come as the company looks to expand its revenue streams and diversify its business, with Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk previously stating the company needs to take its reliance off advertiser revenue. Twitter has been facing increased competition from other social media platforms, and the launch of Twitter Blue is seen as an effort to differentiate the service and attract more users to the platform via its exclusive features.
Almost one week ago, in the early hours of December 2nd, customers noticed issues with their services. A message was posted on their status site stating, "We are investigating an issue that is affecting our Hosted Exchange environments. More details will be posted as they become available."
Although the company had posted a notice on its status page, the average customer was unaware of this part of the website. Clients averaged over two hours before reaching someone in the company's call center. Even when they reached the call center, customer care agents were not fully briefed on the outage and potential impact or solutions.
The system outage disrupted email services for thousands of small and midsize organizations. Rackspace's advice was for their customers to move to a competitor's platform. This left Rackspace customers desperate, frustrated, and many outright furious for the lack of support or communications from the company.
It was not until four days later, on December 6th, that they admitted that they were the victims of a ransomware attack. The identification of the issue that had knocked its Hosted Exchange environment offline was found to be isolated to its Exchange hosting platform.
"At this time, we are unable to provide a timeline for restoration of the Hosted Exchange environment," Rackspace said. "We are working to provide customers with archives of inboxes where available, to eventually import over to Microsoft 365."
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, has announced that the company is working on a new software update that will make it easier for users to see their account status.
The update will show users whether they have been shadowbanned, which means that their tweets are no longer visible to other users, and provide them with the reason why this has happened. In addition, the update will also include information on how users can appeal their shadowban if they believe it was applied unfairly.
Shadowbanning is a controversial practice that has been used by social media companies to limit the reach of certain users who violate the platform's rules. The practice has been criticized by some users who argue that it can be applied unfairly and without their knowledge. This new update from Twitter aims to provide greater transparency and allow users to better understand why their account may have been shadowbanned.
In November, Elon Musk said that he would be sleeping at Twitter until everything was fixed and the company was in working order.
Now, leaked photographs from inside Twitter HQ in San Francisco, obtained by BBC reporter James Clayton, have revealed that some Twitter offices have been converted into living spaces with wardrobes, pillows on couches, and even washing machines being installed. Notably, the images showcase conference rooms being converted into makeshift hotel rooms with couches being covered in pillows and sheets, showing that "lots of staff have been sleeping at Twitter", per Clayton.
All of these changes and the makeshift sleeping quarters are a part of Musk's push to create Twitter 2.0, which will lead into the ultimate creation of the "Everything App". Additionally, these additions to the office and employees sleeping at work are certainly part of Musk's ultimatum that the Twitter owner dropped on staff last month. The ultimatum required employees to sign up for "long hours at high intensity" or receive 3 months of severance. The decision forced many employees to leave the company.
Amazon has announced a new program that will pay customers $2 per month to monitor their phone traffic.
The invite-only program is called Ad Verification and is designed to help the company gather data on when and where customers viewed advertisements on their phones. The program tracks users' ads, informing the company when a user saw an ad, where they saw it, what type of ad, and more. Notably, this tracking includes Amazon's own ads as well as third-party ads.
According to Amazon, the data collected through the program will be used to improve its products and services, as well as provide a more personalized advertising experience for all its customers. Amazon customers not invited to the program can join a waitlist and can potentially enter at a later date, according to an Amazon spokesperson that spoke to Insider.
Apple's AirTag, a small device that allows users to track and locate their personal items, has recently come under fire for privacy concerns.
AirTag utilizes Apple's Find My network to track the location of an item, allowing users to see its location on a map in the Find My app. However, some have raised concerns that this technology could be used to track individuals without their consent.
One of the primary concerns with AirTag is that it could be used by stalkers to track their victims. AirTag is small and easily concealable, making it difficult for someone to know if they are being tracked. In addition, AirTag does not require any explicit consent or notification when it is attached to an item, meaning that someone could attach an AirTag to another person's belongings without their knowledge.
A new exclusive report from Reuters has revealed that Elon Musk's Neuralink brain chip company is now under federal investigation over animal abuse concerns.
The report claims that twenty former and current employees at Neuralink have told Reuters that pressure from Neuralink CEO Elon Musk resulted in employees feeling rushed and failing experiments, costing the lives of animals unnecessarily. The publication claims to have reviewed several Neuralink documents and interviewed each of the twenty employees, which said that failed experiments had to be repeated, further increasing the number of animals the company tested and killed.
Reuters explains that it couldn't verify all of the details of the federal investigation and if issues such as animal abuse reported by former and current employees were at its center. Notably, Neuralink has passed all USDA inspections of its facilities, according to regulatory filings. Furthermore, the report claims that Neuralink has killed approximately 1,500 animals since 2018. Included in that total are various amounts of sheep, pigs, and monkeys.
SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been warned that he's now angered some "very, very bad people", and that he should be in an undisclosed safe location.
The warning comes from former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, who took to Twitter on Friday night to tag the billionaire and say, "I hope you are surrounded by massive security and in an extremely safe undisclosed location", adding that "you just became public enemy number one to some very very bad people. I pray for your safety and thank you for your bravery! We need more @elonmusk in our society!!!"
Jenner went on to pray for Musk's safety and thank him for his bravery in giving the green light to release the Twitter Files, which showed evidence of Twitter's previous administration suppressing the 2020 New York Post report on the Hunter Biden laptop. Musk argued for the release of the Twitter Files in a move to build public trust through transparency.