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Manafort allegedly used “foldering” to hide emails. Here’s how it works

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sent to jail by a federal judge Friday after facing new allegations of witness tampering while he was out on bail and under house arrest.

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Manafort and a colleague are said to have used the Facebook-owned encrypted messaging app WhatsApp to communicate with possible witnesses, though Politico reports Manafort’s lawyers downplayed the secrecy of the ultra-popular chat software.

Federal prosecutor Greg Andres also alleged in court that Manafort used a practice called “foldering” to secretly exchange emails. In essence, that means that Manafort and others would create, edit, and later delete email messages in the draft folder of a shared email account, letting others read them without actually ever hitting send in an effort to minimize their paper trail.

[Image: Quote Catalog]
He’s not the first high-profile person to be accused of using the technique to hide communications: Former CIA director David Petraeus allegedly used Gmail drafts to secretly communicate with his lover and biographer Paula Broadwell, The Washington Post reported in 2012. He would later plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to sharing notebooks of classified material with Broadwell.

At the time, the Post said al-Qaeda operatives had been said to use the technique at least as early as 2005. A 2009 Council on Foreign Relations report on terrorists and the internet also describes the practice, referring to it as a digital form of “dead dropping.” It’s allegedly also been used by drug cartels, according to Business Insider. The trick was also featured in the 2008 Don Cheadle spy movie Traitor.

The bottom line, as The New York Times reported in 2012, is that while the technique might be effective in some limited scenarios, like hiding emails with a secret paramour from a suspicious spouse, it’s not likely to keep government investigators armed with warrants at bay.

One possible advantage is that the draft emails are unlikely to pass unencrypted through third-party servers or cables that agencies like the National Security Agency could tap. But if those drafts are accessible to multiple people on different computers, they’re still stored on some server in the cloud, and that cloud provider can be compelled to turn them over to authorities.

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Watch RadioShack’s TRS-80 Model 100 usher in the laptop era

Watch RadioShack’s TRS-80 Model 100 usher in the laptop era
[Photo: NapoliRoma/Wikimedia Commons]

Back in March, the 35th anniversary of a groundbreaking computer came and went with, as far as I know, zero fanfare. That machine is RadioShack’s TRS-80 Model 100, the first popular laptop computer.

Back in the early 1980s, it was standard industry practice for new PCs to be demonstrated at the monthly meetings of the Boston Computer Society, and on April 27, 1983, Radio Shack’s John Shirley showed off the Model 100 and another new system, the desktop-bound Model 4, to BCS members. Though I was a member at the time, I’m not sure if I attended this demo. Fortunately, BCS member Glenn Koenig videotaped the entire thing, and though the results are a bit shaky and murky, they’re still priceless history.

The Model 100 wasn’t the first laptop—Epson’s HX-20, a clear forerunner, even had a built-in printer—but it put together all the pieces in a way that made it irresistible, especially to journalists and other writers. The hardware (designed by Japan’s Kyocera) fit in a briefcase, sported a comfier keyboard than most 2018 laptops, ran for 20 hours on AA batteries, and had a built-in modem for connecting to online networks. Beyond the portability factor, the Model 100 boasted unusually approachable software—a word processor, an address book, and more—making it instantly useful out of the box in a way that most PCs were not.

That software was not only provided by Microsoft but written in great degree by Bill Gates, who later called the Model 100 “in a sense my favorite machine,” and who left his coding days behind once the project was finished. (He also lured Shirley away from Radio Shack and appointed him as Microsoft’s president.) RadioShack sold millions of the Model 100 and two successors, the 102 and 200; even in the early 1990s, when I got into tech journalism and portable computing had progressed a lot, there were people out there who refused to give them up.

One other thing: Like other TRS-80 variants, the TRS-80 was afflicted with the nickname “Trash-80,” a moniker so sticky that it’s difficult to bring the system up without someone reflexively spouting the term back at you. Don’t do that.

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The government is charging Elizabeth Holmes in criminal court

The government is charging Elizabeth Holmes in criminal court
[Photo: Flickr user Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan]

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former chief executive of the disgraced diagnostics company Theranos, is going to court. Federal prosecutors have slapped Holmes and the company’s former president and COO Ramesh Balwani with criminal charges, accusing them of defrauding doctors, patients, and investors, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal was the first to report the shady practices going on inside Theranos back in 2015, when the startup had a multi-billion-dollar valuation and Holmes was a media darling who drew comparisons to Steve Jobs. The indictment is the result of a two-and-a-half year investigation by the San Francisco U.S. attorney’s office and comes a few months after civil charges were filed by the SEC. Besides accusing Holmes and Balwani of fraud, those charges mandate that Holmes is not allowed to lead a public company for at least 10 years–a requirement that might be easier to fulfill now that she could end up in prison.

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Queer Eye season 2 just dropped, but watch this amazing parody first

Queer Eye season 2 just dropped, but watch this amazing parody first

Rejoice: Netflix’s fabulous new reality show Queer Eye is back for round two. Bless the content engine that no longer has to stick to traditional media schedules!

But before you get in your yoga pants for a lovely Friday night of bingeing, watch this incredible parody of the Fab Five that ribs each of the experts as well as the show’s formulaic (yet poignant!) structure:

There’s YouTuber Benito Skinner playing cowboy-hat-wearing Ron, who wants to get together with his ex-wife’s sister, as well as fashion expert Tan (who insists Ron put on some printed shirts), foodie Antoni (who teaches Ron to make…almond butter toast), and grooming guru Jonathan (who calls Ron a “little baby caterpillar” and then compares him to Brad Pitt). Culture connoisseur Karamo makes a cameo, and interior designer Bobby never shows up because he was too busy redecorating an entire house.

There are hair flips and “honeys” and tears galore. It’ll make you even more excited to spend some good quality time with the Fab Five again.

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Apple poaches top Waymo engineer to catch up in the self-driving car race

Apple poaches top Waymo engineer to catch up in the self-driving car race
[Photo: courtesy of Waymo]

Apple has reportedly hired one of Waymo’s top engineers to work on its secretive self-driving car project Titan. According to The Information, the tech company poached former Waymo head of systems engineering Jaime Waydo, whose role at Waymo was focused on making sure software and hardware worked together in the name of safety.

Apple, which is famed for its hardware, has historically struggled with software. Think of the confusion over how to navigate the iPhone X when it was released last year, the horror that is iTunes, or the never-ending loop of iCloud storage update requests that inundated phones for months. Perhaps Waydo will play a role in ensuring that when it comes to the Apple car’s system, the software and hardware actually work together. It’s one thing to have poor software design in a phone, but it’s entirely different in a car, where flaws can be fatal.

Rumors about Apple’s self-driving car program began in 2015, but in the last few years, the tech company has made seemingly little progress, falling behind rivals like Waymo, Uber, and even more traditional car makers. Based on Waydo’s track record at Waymo, where The Information reports she would push back launch dates in the interest of safety, the engineer’s standards could bring some needed discipline–and technical talent–to Apple’s autonomous ambitions.

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Time Warner is now WarnerMedia

Time Warner is now WarnerMedia
[Photo: Kevin Moloney/Fortune Brainstorm TECH/Flickr]

Just days after a judge approved AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, the storied media company has a new name: WarnerMedia.

CNN reports that the company’s new CEO, John Stankey, announced the change Friday afternoon. Part of the rationale was that people continued to get confused between Time Warner, the parent company of HBO and Warner Bros., and Time Warner Cable, the much-hated cable company that was bought by Charter in 2016 and rebranded as Spectrum.

Stankey wrote in an internal memo to employees that the brands of these smaller subdivisions of the company–HBO, Warner Bros., and Turner–will continue to outweigh the corporation’s new name in importance.

Combined with Meredith’s acquisition of Time Inc. in 2017 and now this name change, the name of “Time” is almost entirely gone from the U.S. media landscape. Besides Time magazine itself, the last remnant is the books and music publisher Time Life.

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Morgan Stanley just threw cold water on Nikkei’s gloomy iPhone production report

Morgan Stanley just threw cold water on Nikkei’s gloomy iPhone production report
[Photo: NeONBRAND/Unsplash]

A Nikkei report last Friday said Apple plans to produce 20% fewer iPhones in the second half of this year, compared to second-half production levels of last year’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. But a new report from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty may correct the record on the Nikkei’s assertions.

Huberty said numerous investors contacted Morgan Stanley about the Nikkei piece. “We believe the negative reaction to the Nikkei article, while understandable at face value, is overblown,” she wrote in today’s brief.

In her report released today, Huberty writes that Apple actually didn’t end up ordering the whole 100 million of the 2017 iPhones in the back half of last year, but rather only about 89 million. Secondly, Huberty says her own supply-chain checks suggest that Apple will order 90 million of its new line of phones in the second half of this year, versus the 80 million the Nikkei’s sources predict.

In short, where Nikkei’s story says 2018 second-half iPhone production will shrink 20% from last year, Huberty believes it will increase 1%. The analyst says that implies the strongest second-half production forecast for any new iPhone line since the production of the blockbuster iPhone 6 and 6 Plus back in 2014.

Apple is expected to announce a 5.8-inch OLED screen phone, a 6.1-inch OLED phone, and an enormous 6.5-inch LED screen iPhone at its fall event in September. New iPhone lines typically go into production in July.

Apple’s stock fell 1.4% after Nikkei’s story dropped last Friday, closing at $191.70. A week later the stock is trading at $188.72, as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

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Apple to Netflix: We see your two Obamas and raise you an Oprah

Apple to Netflix: We see your two Obamas and raise you an Oprah
[Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images]

It’s not just Hollywood studios fighting for top talent anymore. The tech giants have officially entered the fray, too. Today, Apple inked its biggest deal to date, signing up none other than Oprah Winfrey for a multi-year content partnership.

The veteran media personality will create original programming for Apple’s forthcoming content slate, but she will also remain chairman and CEO of her OWN cable network. It’s unclear what the programming will be, but the Hollywood Reporter writes that it will include “everything from film, TV, applications, books and other content that could easily be distributed on Apple’s all-encompassing platform.”

The deal comes as tech companies scoop up more and more top talent, the kind once reserved for traditional entertainment and media brands. Netflix recently signed up a number of big names, including Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and even Barack and Michelle Obama. Apple’s content plans first made waves last year after it struck a deal with Steven Spielberg. And last month, Facebook signed a deal with Major League Baseball to stream 25 afternoon games this year.

Which is to say that everyone seems to have media ambitions. The Oprah deal is surely big for Apple, given her beloved status and broad appeal among generations of viewers. We’ve seen her on both the silver and TV screen–now we wait to see how she translates to the iPhone screen.

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Paul Manafort will not pass “go”

Paul Manafort will not pass “go”
[Photo: Ida Mae Astute/ABC/Flickr]

The Monopoly metaphors write themselves.

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was ordered to go to jail today by a federal judge who revoked the bail arrangement that allowed him to stay on house arrest, according to numerous media reports. Manafort pleaded not guilty to foreign lobbying charges in October and was granted house arrest on $10 million bail.

But earlier this month, prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller accused the 69-year-old Manafort of attempted witness tampering. In a courtroom on Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Manafort must now await his trial in pretrial detention. “The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Berman Jackson said, according to CNN.

You can read more context about the Manafort case here.

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Confirmed: Apple Maps is choking and its features are still offline

Confirmed: Apple Maps is choking and its features are still offline
[Photo: Samuel Foster/Unsplash]

Many Apple Maps users found the search functions in the app were completely useless today, as Apple servers supporting the service apparently suffered a major outage starting around 11 a.m. ET. Apple has now acknowledged the problem and says it’s working hard to get the service restored.

[Screenshot: Apple Maps]
Searching for locations comes up zilch, and the app can’t seem to find directions to a chosen address. The problem affects versions of the app for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

Apple confirmed the problem in a tweet.

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Did Chloe Dykstra just accuse Nerdist ex-CEO Chris Hardwick of abuse?

Did Chloe Dykstra just accuse Nerdist ex-CEO Chris Hardwick of abuse?
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

Actor Chloe Dykstra recently published an essay on Medium in which she claims she suffered years of emotional and sexual abuse from an ex-boyfriend. Dykstra does not name the ex, but many people have concluded that he is Nerdist cofounder and ex-CEO Chris Hardwick.*

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Dykstra gives some clues. She mentions the man is almost 20 years her senior (Dykstra is 29, Hardwick is 46), that he “grew from a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company” (Hardwick began hosting The Nerdist Podcast in 2010 and eventually developed it into his own media company), and that he was sober at the time they were dating (Hardwick is a recovering alcoholic).

According to Dykstra’s account, this ex-boyfriend expected sex on demand, forced her to get rid of any male friends, commanded her not to speak in public or drink alcohol–just to name a few points on his list of manipulative rules. Dykstra broke up with this man after three years, but she says he continued to sabotage her life by calling companies she regularly worked with to get her fired. At her lowest point of being blacklisted, Dykstra says she repeatedly contemplated suicide.

Dykstra says that despite the possible backlash, she decided to come forward to outline the kind of damaging behavior from this man that she previously tried to explain away–a common instinct in abusive relationships. She writes:

This story, post, whatever this is, serves as both closure for me as I say farewell to my twenties and stumble my way into my thirties, and it serves as a warning for every single one of you, regardless of gender. One of my favorite quotes comes from Bojack Horseman:

“You know, it’s funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

Please, please, keep an eye out for those red flags.

Fast Company reached out to Hardwick’s publicist for comment. We will update this story if we receive a response.

Read Dykstra’s essay here.

Editor’s note: This post was updated to reflect that Hardwick is the ex-CEO of Nerdist. According to a statement from the company, Hardwick, “had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017 . . . The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.”

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Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Salmonella outbreak: 6 things the CDC says you need to know

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Salmonella outbreak: 6 things the CDC says you need to know
[Photo: Flickr user Karl-Ludwig Poggemann]

Maybe if they were still called Sugar Smacks, this never would have happened.

Kellogg Company has issued a recall of Honey Smacks cereal after the company was contacted by federal agencies over reported illnesses linked to the product. The Battle Creek, Michigan, breakfast brand said the recall affects 15-ounce and 23-ounce box sizes, with a “best if used before” date of June 14, 2018, through June 14, 2019. No other products are affected.

Officials from the Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted Kellogg over reported Salmonella contamination, which can result in serious illnesses and cause sometimes fatal infections among vulnerable populations like children and the elderly.

The CDC has issued an outbreak alert. Here’s what you need to know:

  • 73 people in 31 states were infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka linked to Honey Smacks. At least 24 people have been hospitalized as a result. California and states in the Northeast had the highest concentration of reported infections. You can view the full map here.
  • If you have a box of Honey Smacks in your home, check the “best if used before” date at the top of the box. If it says June 14, 2018, through June 14, 2019, do not eat it. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a refund. Here’s how to do that.
  • If you store the cereal in another container, throw the cereal away, and thoroughly wash the container with warm, soapy water before using it again.
  • If you’re a retailer, do not sell or serve Honey Smacks with the “best if used before” date of June 14, 2018, through June 14, 2019.
  • If you believe you’ve gotten sick from Honey Smacks, the CDC is asking you to contact a healthcare provider and report it. This helps the agency keep track of statistics.
  • Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Most people develop signs and symptoms within 12 to 72 hours of exposure.

You can read the CDC’s full outbreak investigation here.

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Facebook execs are meeting Trump’s reelection campaign manager today

Facebook execs are meeting Trump’s reelection campaign manager today
[Photo: 12019/Pixabay]

Four Facebook executives will meet with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, and Trump reelection campaign manager Brad Parscale, reports Axios. The meeting is being held to discuss alleged censoring of conservative voices on the company’s platform. In a letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg in May, McDaniel and Parscale wrote “Facebook and Twitter operate in liberal corporate cultures” and sought protection from “bias against conservative content.”

Axios says a McCarthy source said, “McCarthy has been speaking out on the issue of conservative censorship online. . . . [The] meeting is an opportunity for McCarthy and Brad and Ronna to engage with one of the most-influential tech companies in the world to raise the concerns of conservatives and drive towards change that restores openness and transparency on these platforms.”

As for Facebook, Axios says one of the company’s staff members replied, “Facebook looks forward to hearing their concerns.”

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Google’s 2018 diversity annual report by the numbers

Google’s 2018 diversity annual report by the numbers
[Photo: Flickr user Roman Boed]

The company has released its latest yearly diversity report. The report shows that, overall, the company is still majority white and male, however, it has made small improvements in the past year. Here are the report’s major stats for 2018:

  • Google’s overall workforce is 61.9% male and 30.9% female.
  • Its tech workers are overwhelmingly male, however. 78.6% are male and only 21.4% female.
  • Its non-tech workers are split by gender much more evenly with 52.2% male and 47.8% female.
  • While just one in four of its leadership roles belongs to women at 74.5% male and 25.5% female.
  • Overall, Google’s workforce is predominantly white (53.1%) and Asian (36.3%).
  • Just 2.5% of its workforce is black, 3.6% Latinx, and 0.3% Native American. 4.2% of its employees identify as belonging to two or more races.
  • 66.9% of Google’s leadership roles belong to white people, 26.3% to Asians, and just 2% to black people.

Overall, Google’s report concludes it needs to do better on diversity. As Danielle Brown, Google’s chief diversity & inclusion officer, notes:

Google’s workforce data demonstrates that if we want a better outcome, we need to evolve our approach. That’s why from now on ownership for diversity and inclusion will be shared between Google’s leadership team, People Operations, and Googlers. It’s also why we are all committed to accelerating progress, generating equitable outcomes, and ensuring our culture is supportive for everyone. Our strategy doesn’t provide all the answers, but we believe it will help us find them.

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World Cup 2018 live stream: How to watch the games online if you’re a cord cutter

World Cup 2018 live stream: How to watch the games online if you’re a cord cutter
[Photo: U.S. Department of State/Wikimedia Commons]

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off this week, and soccer-loving cord cutters everywhere are discovering the horrors of having to re-learn how to watch TV.

If you’re a cable-free consumer who is looking to live-stream the soccer matches in the United States, you’re at the mercy of one of two U.S. media giants: 21st Century Fox or NBCUniversal. The former owns Fox Sports and FS1, and controls the exclusive English-langugae broadcasting rights to the World Cup games in the United States. The latter owns Telemundo, which has the rights to broadcast the games in Spanish. That means you’ll need paid access to one of those networks to live-stream the action—which is happening at a dozen venues throughout Russia.

The good news is, many popular streaming services offer those networks as part of their sports-plus packages, and some of those services offer free introductory access, so you can snag a free week or month. I’ve rounded up a few options below:

  • Stand-alone streaming services: For cord cutters, this is probably going to be your best bet. Sign up for a streaming service that offers Fox Sports, FS1, or Telemundo in your area. Dish Network’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and FuboTV are all good options. Remember to check your zip code before signing up, because not all networks are available in all areas.
  • Mobile apps: Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and Telemundo are live-streaming the games via their mobile apps. For this option, you’ll need access to a pay-TV login from a cable, satellite, or telecom company. Maybe you can borrow one from a friend or parent.
  • Fox Sports or Telemundo online: Again, if you have access to a pay-TV login, you can just use those credentials to access World Cup live streams just by visiting the websites of Fox Sports (for English) or Telemundo (for Spanish).

Today’s round of games includes Argentina versus Iceland at 9 a.m. ET; followed by Peru versus Denmark at noon; and Croatia versus Nigeria at 3 p.m. ET. Check out the full schedule here and happy streaming.

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The 5 best apps for following the World Cup 2018

The 5 best apps for following the World Cup 2018
[Photo: Thomas Serer/Unsplash]

The 2018 World Cup has begun and soccer fans around the world are gearing up for an exciting month. Yesterday, Russia defeated Saudi Arabia in a 5-0 game that kicked off the Moscow festivities–and the competition is only going to heat up from here on out.

For those who are unable to stay glued to a TV, computer, or phone for every second a game is on, there are a few apps to help you stay abreast of the daily wins and losses. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best ones out there:

  • FIFA World Cup 2018: The official FIFA app is, of course, a good place to start for soccer fans. The app gives live updates, scores, and in-depth information about players and teams. It also will provide future game times so viewers can be prepared.
  • ESPN: Any U.S. sports fan knows ESPN, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the media empire has an entire World Cup section on its app. The application lets users choose which teams they want to follow and gives live score updates. Additionally, the ESPN app provides helpful stats and commentary to make keeping track of the games more fun.
  • OneFootball: For those who want an independent app, OneFootball is a fan favorite. Like ESPN, it provides real-time updates and lets users follow teams and matches. It’s also great for all-around soccer lovers who want to keep up with leagues beyond the World Cup. But its World Cup section is quite robust and provides all the tidbits any diehard soccer fan would want.
  • NBC Sports: Want to watch the games via an app? NBC Sports and Telemundo are streaming every World Cup match on the app. It will also be a good language class because the games are being streamed in Spanish. (Telemundo owns the World Cup’s Spanish-language rights. For English-language streaming, head to Fox Sports.)
  • BBC Sport: If you don’t trust U.S. coverage of soccer, you can turn to the BBC for a U.K. spin on the sport. The beloved broadcaster’s app has up-to-date information about matches, as well as analyses and game previews.

Any of these five choices will give you not only updates but in-depth information about the players and matches. With a month of games to go, soccer fans will have endless content at their fingertips. May the best team win!

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Done deal: AT&T has completed its acquisition of Time Warner

Done deal: AT&T has completed its acquisition of Time Warner
[Photo: Flickr user Mike Mozart]

Telecom giant AT&T has wasted no time, completing its long-in-the-works acquisition of media company Time Warner two days after a federal court judge approved the deal without any restrictions. The Federal Trade Commission had tried to block the transaction on anti-trust grounds. (Some, apparently including Time Warner, suspected that President Trump’s animus toward its CNN operation was a factor.)

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AT&T paid $85.4 billion for Time Warner, which owns HBO, CNN, and other cable networks. The company is now starting to detail how it will organize the Time Warner assets under the AT&T umbrella.

“The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner are first-rate,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in a statement. “Combine all that with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience.”

“We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors, and advertisers,” Stephenson said.

AT&T will now comprise four main parts: AT&T Communications (mobile and wireline broadband services), the as-yet-to-be-named media business (containing the Time Warner networks), AT&T International (all services and networks outside the U.S.), and AT&T’s as-yet-to-be-named advertising and analytics business.

The general strategy behind the Time Warner acquisition is to add significant media assets to AT&T’s existing distribution networks, and layer in a data-driven advertising operation that can tailor specific ads to specific customers.

AT&T’s court victory is widely expected to touch off a wave of consolidation, pairing distribution, media, and advertising companies. The first to move is Comcast, which is trying to best Disney’s existing bid for much of 21st Century Fox. There will be others to come.

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The savage beauty of Hillary’s tweet on Comey’s email use

The savage beauty of Hillary’s tweet on Comey’s email use
[Animation: Flickr user Gage Skidmore; Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay]

The story of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email server during the 2016 presidential election is back in the news today, and the layers of irony keep piling up.

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Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz released an investigation into the FBI’s investigation, the results of which strongly criticize former FBI director James Comey for insubordination and for poor judgement in his decision to reopen the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server just 11 days before the fateful 2016 presidential election. Many think–and for good reason–that Comey’s action breathed last-minute new life into Donald Trump’s unlikely bid for the presidency.

As more information about the IG’s investigation comes out, we learn that Comey himself was found to have used a private email account to conduct official government business. (Remember, Comey played a starring role in the FBI’s war to require tech companies to build “back doors” for law enforcement access to encrypted data on their devices. Apparently, he doesn’t value security and privacy, even in his own official business.)

Late on Thursday, Hillary Clinton chimed in with a tweet that was rich with its own irony. Responding to news of Comey’s private email account, she tweeted, simply, “But my emails.” She was referencing the “But her emails” meme, which apparently emerged soon after Donald Trump won the 2016 election shortly after Comey re-opened the investigation into Clinton’s email server. The meme has persisted as an oft-tweeted sarcastic reaction to Trump administration scandals, mishaps, and embarassments which wouldn’t have occurred if Clinton had won the election.

The IG report’s criticism of Comey’s late October 2016 re-opening of the Clinton email investigation, and its findings of Comey’s own private email use, certainly qualify as “damning revelations” against the legitimacy of the 2016 election. And, yes, I can almost hear the tapping of Breitbart readers’ fingers typing out “But her emails!” in the comments sections. Well, Hillary beat them to the punch, in what may be one of deadliest trolls we’ve seen in 21st century politics.

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Facebook’s top policy and comms exec is stepping down after 10 years

Facebook’s top policy and comms exec is stepping down after 10 years
Elliot Schrage, right. [Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for TechCrunch]

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s longtime VP of global communication and public policy, is stepping down from his post, according to Recode. Schrage has been at the company for 10 years. He will reportedly stay on until a replacement is chosen and then serve as an adviser to both Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. 

Schrage, who worked at Google before joining Facebook, has long been part of the social network’s tightknit braintrust–the small group of Zuckerberg confidantes who helped shape both the company and its messaging. Over the last year, Facebook has been barraged with negative press over how it handled fake news and foreign intrusion. Schrage himself has admitted that the company hasn’t done the best job executing its communications strategy over the last year.

He told Recode that he’s been discussing this move for a while. He said he’s decided to “start a new chapter in my life.”

You can read about Zuckerberg’s most trusted advisors here.

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Ethereum price is spiking after an SEC official declared it is not a security

Ethereum price is spiking after an SEC official declared it is not a security
[Photo: Moose Photos/Pexels]

Earlier today, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s director of corporate finance, William Hinman, said something that surely made many crypto-enthusiasts’ ears perk up. At the Yahoo Finance All Market Summit, the government official declared that Ethereum was not a security.

“Based on my understanding of the present state of ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers, and sales of ether are not securities transactions,” he said.

This is big news for Ethereum owners who feared their digital tokens would be put under stricter regulation once they were deemed a security. And indeed the market responded. As soon as Hinman’s comments went live, ether rallied. At around 9 a.m. this morning, one coin was priced at $474; around 1:30 p.m. it peaked at $526. Currently, the price is around $517–which is still a significant jump from where it was this morning.

Bitcoin, too, rose as a result of this news. It’s now around $6,644, compared to $6,359 this morning.

With the value of both digital coins fluctuating significantly over the last year, we’ll have to wait and see if this latest update will offer a sustained boost.

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