Inside Cambridge Analytica’s Virtual Currency Plans

Inside Cambridge Analytica’s Virtual Currency Plans Photo Alexander Nix oversaw Cambridge Analytica’s effort to develop its own virtual currency when he was the company’s chief executive. Credit Joshua Bright SAN FRANCISCO — The embattled voter-profiling firm Cambridge Analytica quietly sought to develop its own virtual currency in recent months through a so-called initial coin offering, a novel fund-raising method that has come under growing scrutiny by financial regulators around the world.
The planned coin offering and a broader push into the world of virtual currencies were an indication of Cambridge Analytica’s willingness to expand into risky, new technological realms. But much like its acquisition of Facebook data to build psychological profiles of voters, the new business line also took the firm into murky ethical and legal situations.
Documents and emails obtained by The New York Times show that Cambridge Analytica’s efforts to help promote another group’s digital token, the D..

Starbucks to close all US stores on 29 May for 'racial-bias education'

The move comes on the heels of the arrest of two black men who were waiting at a Philadelphia store
Starbucks has said it will close all its US stores for the afternoon of 29 May while it conducts what it called “racial bias education” in light of the recent arrest of two black men who were waiting in one the coffee giant's Philadelphia locations.
Late last week the two men entered the store wanting to use the bathroom. An employee, whose identity has not been made public, called the police after they saw the men waiting at a table without ordering anything. The two were then arrested for trespassing, with video of it going viral. No formal charges were filed and the employee in question is no longer working at the store.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson called the incident “reprehensible” and met with the two men in Philadelphia to apologise in person. Mr Johnson has not said if the employee was punished for her actions. “I'd like to have a dialogue with [the two black men ..

Justices Divided on Sales Taxes for Online Purchases

Justices Divided on Sales Taxes for Online Purchases Photo Marty J. Jackley, South Dakota’s attorney general, on the steps of the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Mr. Jackley argued that the sales tax case before the court did not make sense in the digital era. Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press WASHINGTON — A closely divided Supreme Court struggled on Tuesday to decide whether internet retailers should have to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence.
Brick-and-mortar businesses have long complained that they are disadvantaged by having to charge sales taxes while many of their online competitors do not. States have said that they are missing out on tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue under a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that helped spur the rise of internet shopping.
By the end of arguments on Tuesday it was not clear whether there were five votes to overrule the 1992 decision, Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, which said that the Constitution bars state..

Supreme Court Tosses Out Microsoft Case on Digital Data Abroad

Supreme Court Tosses Out Microsoft Case on Digital Data Abroad Photo The dispute arose from a federal drug investigation in which prosecutors sought the emails of a suspect stored in a Microsoft data center in Dublin. Credit Niall Carson/PA, via Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it would not decide whether federal prosecutors can force Microsoft to turn over digital data stored outside the United States. The move followed arguments in the case in February and the enactment of a new federal law that both sides said made the case moot.
“No live dispute remains between the parties,” the court said in a brief, unsigned opinion.
The case, United States v. Microsoft, No. 17-2, had seemed poised to be one of the most important of the current term. It posed the question of whether a 1986 law, enacted before the dawn of the big-data era, applied to digital information stored outside the nation’s borders.
When the case was argued, several justices said Con..

Entrepreneurs find dating and maintaining social lives hardest things to keep up

Research shows start-ups need an average of £16,309 in order to begin
Maintaining a social life, taking time off for holidays and dating are among the hardest things about starting your own business, a poll has found.
Establishing your business in the marketplace, working weekends and believing in yourself also appeared among the challenges when finally making the decision to “go out on your own”.
The fear of failing, not having as much disposable income, managing finances and being able to drive the recruitment for their business also proved difficult for many of the 500 entrepreneurs surveyed.
Read more The gender pay gap can be even worse for women who are self-employed This is the happiest job to work in, study claims Most older workers will end their careers self-employed “From start-up, to scaling up and then staying ahead, there’s nothing easy about running your own business,” said Hugh Chater, chief commercial officer at Virgin Money which commissioned the study.
“Balan..

Marks & Spencer to close distribution centre, putting 450 jobs at risk

Company already announced in January that it would close up to 14 stores with potential loss of 468 jobs
Marks & Spencer is closing one of its distribution centres in September, putting 450 jobs at risk, the retailer announced on Tuesday.
The facility at Hardwick Grange, near Warrington in Lancashire, will shut as part of a five-year transformation of M&S’ business.
M&S is opening a new distribution centre in Hertfordshire which will be run by DHL. It is also in the process of automating its distribution centre in Bradford which can now handle more capacity, meaning the Lancashire site is no longer needed.
Read more Marks and Spencer appoints former Asda boss Archie Norman as chairman It comes after M&S announced in January that it would close up to 14 stores with the potential loss of 468 jobs. The department store has struggled in recent years, particularly in its clothing division which has faced fierce competition from fast fashion rivals.
Gordon Mowat, a director at M&S sa..

Economic Scene: Facebook Is Creepy. And Valuable.

Facebook Is Creepy. And Valuable. One of the most telling moments in the spectacle of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony last week was when Representative Billy Long, a Missouri Republican, warned the co-founder of Facebook of what Congress was likely to do about its multiple concerns surrounding the social network. “Congress is good at two things: doing nothing, and overreacting,” he said. After years of the former, he said, “we’re getting ready to overreact.”
That sounds worrisome. But I sympathize. Doing nothing and overreacting make sense when you have no clue of what is going on. And we don’t. The cloud of questions aimed at Mr. Zuckerberg — Is Facebook too dominant? Does it censor information? Whom does it share our data with? Does it help sell OxyContin? — suggests that we don’t really know what the problem with Facebook is. It also suggests we don’t understand what Facebook does.
That goes for the entire data-driven ecosystem, from Google to the auto companies riddling y..