Did Zuckerberg Lie to Congress?
Facebook CEO knew about Cambridge Analytica scandal months before story broke
Facebook is making the hike to D.C. (again) to try and keep some scandalous internal emails private.
(Could you guys grab me one of those Washington Monument paperweights while you’re up there? You’ve gotta be pros at souvenir shopping in the Capital by now.)
The emails allegedly reveal that Mark Zuckerberg knew about Cambridge Analytica’s “improper data gathering” months before The Guardian broke the story.
(Or at the very least, the lizard man wearing the Mark Zuckerberg skin suit knew about it.)
Analytica? I hardly know ya! Global Science Research harvested the data of 87 million people from Facebook and sold it to English political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Analytica went on to use that data in political campaigns all over the world, including the 2016 U.S. election.
Last year, Zuckerberg told Congress that he first learned about Cambridge Analytica in December 2015, when the story made international news.
But according to D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, Facebook execs potentially knew about Analytica months before — as early as September 2015. And Racine wants to unseal the company’s private employee emails to prove it.
In a statement to The Guardian this morning, Facebook said it “absolutely did not mislead anyone about this timeline.”
Facebook is claiming that yes, they knew about a Cambridge Analytica scandal in September. But that was a completely different scandal than the one Zuckerberg was called to Congress to testify about.
(Duh, guys! Of course. That makes total sense.)
What do you think about all this? Is Facebook too big to be stopped? Or is this another nail in the coffin?
I know how our tech trends expert James Altucher feels.
What goes up…
Way back in 2007, James predicted Facebook would be worth $100 billion in a few years.
He didn’t keep it to himself either.
He even went on live TV, on CNBC, and told the world that the time to invest in Facebook was now.
They laughed him off the air.
Of course, James was right.
Facebook went on to become one of the biggest companies in the world, and would at one point be valued at $400 billion.
But, after an endless string of headlines detailing company mismanagement, security breaches, and misuse of consumer data, James has soured on Facebook.
His new prediction? Facebook is on its way out. And a new social media alternative is going to take its place.
The biggest companies in the world are already scrambling to get into this explosive opportunity, which already has a market larger than Facebook!
While the rest of the world was distracted by Facebook getting slammed by regulators… and dealing with its troubling privacy breaches and info leaks… this underground opportunity was rapidly building an army of raving cash-paying customers…
In short: This tiny, little-known company is the critical linchpin of a “Social Media Killer” that could soon replace Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on Wall Street.
This “Social Media Killer” is presenting a chance so unique that even richest-divorcee-in-the-world Jeff Bezos couldn’t ignore it.
Doctor Toilet Will See You Now
A team of researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) have invented a smart toilet capable of monitoring your health while you *cough* offer tribute to the porcelain king.
The cardiovascular monitoring system (which looks a little like the toilet-seat bomb from Lethal Weapon 2) is designed to detect the early signs of heart failure and potentially save thousands of lives annually.
When you sit on the smart toilet (to do whatever you do, no judgment), the seat measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygenation levels.
If the creepy robot seat detects any irregularities, it will notify your doctor directly.
It’s my cholesterol, Riggs!
For now, RIT plans to sell the toilets seats directly to hospitals, who would then issue the seats to patients already suffering from heart failure.
According to researcher Nicholas Conn, these are the folks who are most at risk of fatal heart failure:
Typically, within 30 days of hospital discharge, 25% of patients with congestive heart failure are readmitted. After 90 days of hospital discharge, 45% of patients are readmitted. And the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is penalizing hospitals for readmitting patients for heart failure.
The toilet seat-scientists estimate that their revolutionary butt-monitoring toilet tech could save hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars by significantly lowering the readmission rates of heart failure patients.
But, what’s really exciting here is the prospect of an affordable system for monitoring your health at home. Whoever cracks that nut will have a golden-egg-laying goose on their hands.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be a toilet seat though…
PETA Buys a Stake in Levi on First Day of Trading
Famously rational animal rights group PETA has bought a stake in the newly public Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI).
The 165-year old jeans maker returned to the public market yesterday, surging 31% in a single day and giving the company a market value of $8.7 billion.
One of those new investors just so happens to be the famously provocative (see: annoying) PETA.
Reportedly, PETA bought just enough shares to attend shareholder meetings and propose shareholder resolutions.
Their first proposal? Switch out the cow-skin leather patches on Levi’s denim for vegan leather.
To be honest, I wouldn’t care if Levi switched out their patch or not. It’s a pretty non-essential part of the pants wearing experience for me.
But I predict that this campaign will be as ineffective as the rest of PETA’s vain, attention-grabbing strategies.
PETA’s worst P.R. campaigns:
PETA campaigns to rename fish “sea kittens.”
- PETA petitions Ben & Jerry to switch from dairy to breast milk.
- PETA compares meat eaters to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
- PETA compares the American Kennel Club to the KKK.
- PETA compares battery farming to the Holocaust.
What’s your read on this? Is there any benefit for Levi to give into PETA’s demands? Do PETA actually have any impact on society or is it just a huge waste of money, time, and resources?
One Last Thing
The War of the Currents
Today’s One Last Thing is about the future.
It’s a story about a revolutionary technology that could radically change the next 100 years. A story about changing the lives of those living with chronic disease. And a promise to snuff out the prevalence of dangerous addictive painkillers.
But at its heart, it’s the story about two men who hated each other’s guts.
Danger, Danger, High Voltage!
We can trace the beginning of this story all the way back to the 1890s and a battle of the minds now known as the War of the Currents.
Electricity was the hot new thing. (Use it to light your home or publicly execute your enemies, folks!)
But in order to roll it out to masses (and start raking in those clams), the system had to be standardized.
The problem? There were two competing systems vying for dominance.
Direct current (DC), where electricity flows in a single direction.
Alternating current (AC), where the current reverses direction 60 times per second. The big advantage of AC is that it allows power companies to easily change the voltage of the power and transmit power of long distances.
At stake was a leading position in a world-changing industry. Both sides were backed by financial giants like J.P. Morgan, GE, and Westinghouse. But two passionate inventors were central to the war.
In the DC corner, you know him as the “inventor” of the lightbulb, the infamous patent bully and electrocuter of elephants, Thomas Edison. (Seriously, the guy electrocuted an elephant to prove a point.)
In the AC corner, the notorious loaner who fell in love with a pigeon and was famously portrayed as David Bowie in a Christopher Nolan movie, Nikola Tesla.
Edison, who was heavily invested in DC, waged an aggressive publicity war on AC current. To prove that AC was too dangerous for household use, Edison began publicly electrocuting animals. Stray dogs and cats. Cattle and horses. And eventually, a sweet circus elephant named Topsy.
For his part, Telsa let his tech do the talking. And… it worked.
The war was finally settled in 1893 when George Westinghouse outbid GE to electrify The Chicago World’s Fair with AC.
Tesla was the winner.
So why is it Edison get all the credit and wears the golden crown in the history book while Nikola Tesla died alone and penniless?