Ships are just giant floating computers, filled with ransomware, BadUSB, and worms

Ships are just giant floating computers, filled with ransomware, BadUSB, and worms

A coalition of shipping industry associations has published The Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships, laying out best practices for the giant ships that ply the seas, and revealing that these behemoths are routinely infected with worms, ransomware, and malware spread by infected USB devices. The document recounts incidents in which infected ships were stranded because malware caused their computerized navigation to fail, and there were no paper charts to fall back on; incidents where fleet owners paid off ransomware demands to keep ships at sea safe, and where the…

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Virgin Galactic officially flies to space, higher than 50 miles, bringing space tourism closer

Virgin Galactic officially flies to space, higher than 50 miles, bringing space tourism closer

Today in the Mojave desert, Virgin Galactic had a successful test flight that reached 50 miles above the surface of the earth, meeting the Federal Aviation administration’s definition of space. This places the company one step closer to the long-awaited goal Richard Branson promised: space tourism. Lovely shot of takeoff! WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo take to the skies pic.twitter.com/JFcSDVB9jR — Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) December 13, 2018 Breaking: Virgin Galactic reached suborbital space for the first time in a test flight Thursday, bringing Richard Branson’s company closer to flying its customers beyond…

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TNB Aura closes $22.7M fund to bring PE-style investing to Southeast Asia’s startups

TNB Aura closes $22.7M fund to bring PE-style investing to Southeast Asia’s startups

TNB Aura, a recent arrival to Southeast Asia’s VC scene, announced today that it has closed a maiden fund at SG$31.1million, or around US$22.65 million, to bring a more private equity-like approach to investing in startups in the region. The fund was launched in 2016 and it is a joint effort between Australia-based venture fund Aura and Singapore’s TNB Ventures, which has a history of corporate innovation work. It reached a final close today, having hit an early close in January. It is a part of the Enterprise Singapore ‘Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering’ scheme…

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Changing consumer behavior is the key to unlocking billion dollar businesses

Changing consumer behavior is the key to unlocking billion dollar businesses

In the summer of 2012, I had just learned of a new service where a driver would pick you up in their own car, not a taxi or licensed town car. You’d be able to recognize the car by the pink mustache strapped to the front. I quickly downloaded the new app called Lyft and, intrigued, started to share it with others around the Airbnb offices. Almost everyone gave me a same response: “I would never use it.” I asked why. “Well, I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting into someone else’s…

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Indonesia e-commerce leader Tokopedia raises $1.1B from Alibaba and SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Indonesia e-commerce leader Tokopedia raises $1.1B from Alibaba and SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia is the latest startup to enter the Vision Fund after it raised $1.1 billion led by the SoftBank megafund and Alibaba. SoftBank and Alibaba are existing investors in the business — the Chinese e-commerce giant led a $1.1 billion round last year, while SoftBank recently transitioned its shareholding in Tokopedia to the Vision Fund. That latter detail is what held up this deal which had been agreed in principle back in October, TechCrunch understands. Tokopedia didn’t comment on its valuation, but TechCrunch understands from a source…

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Facebook and Instagram evacuated over bomb threat

Facebook and Instagram evacuated over bomb threat

No one has been reported harmed. No bomb reported found. Police in Menlo Park, CA are at the Facebook and Instagram campus near the 200 block of Jefferson Avenue. According to multiple local news reports, NYPD forwarded an anonymous tip to local authorities. NBC Bay Area: A building on Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park was evacuated Tuesday evening after a bomb threat, police said. Menlo Park police said the threat was called into the New York Police Department’s Crimestopper unit, which in turn notified local authorities. According to Menlo Park…

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Verizon writes down its Yahoo/AOL assets by $4.6 billion

Verizon writes down its Yahoo/AOL assets by $4.6 billion

A friend who works in ad-tech tells me that Verizon’s datasets from its Yahoo/AOL assets are “the creepiest” in the industry, but even with every dirty trick and every stupid, harebrained scheme, the companies formerly known as Oath (because everything Verizon did made their users swear uncontrollably) are basically worthless. Verizon’s $4.6 billion markdown slices the book-value of services like AOL and Tumblr in half. There will be more blood before this is over. The episode offered a silver lining for investors. Rather than attempt a megadeal like AT&T Inc.’s…

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Struggling e-commerce firm LightInTheBox completes $85M deal for Singapore’s Ezbuy

Struggling e-commerce firm LightInTheBox completes $85M deal for Singapore’s Ezbuy

Southeast Asia is a growing digital marketplace and increasingly a focus for startups across the world but there haven’t been many exits. So it’s notable, then, that struggling Chinese discount e-commerce service LightInTheBox has closed its acquisition of Singapore-based Ezbuy, which operates a cross-border selling service in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan. The all-stock deal was first announced in November and it sees LightInTheBox, which operates worldwide, take 100 percent ownership of the company for $85.55 million as it bids to turn its business around. LightInTheBox could certainly do with a boost. The…

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China’s JD.com teams up with Intel to develop ‘smart’ retail experiences

China’s JD.com teams up with Intel to develop ‘smart’ retail experiences

Months after it landed a major $550 million investment from Google, China’s JD.com — the country’s second highest-profile investor behind Alibaba — has teamed up with another U.S. tech giant: Intel. JD and Intel said today that they will set up a “lab” focused on bringing internet-of-things technology into the retail process. That could include new-generation vending machines, advertising experiences, and more. That future is mostly offline — or, in China tech speak, ‘online-to-offline’ retail — but combining the benefits of e-commerce with brick and mortar physical retail shopping. Already,…

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Uber forces its drivers to arbitrate, rather than sue, but Uber also won’t arbitrate

Uber forces its drivers to arbitrate, rather than sue, but Uber also won’t arbitrate

Binding arbitration agreements were formalized in 1925, allowing two corporate entities of roughly equal size to resolve their disputes outside of a court, saving both parties a lot of money, but since then, the primary use of arbitration is to force employees, customers, patients and other comparatively weak parties to surrender their right to sue (or join class actions) as a condition of going to work, seeking care, or simply shopping. Instead, people who have been crammed into binding arbitration “agreements” are forced to argue their cases one at a…

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