IADB President Luis Moreno on misperceptions of Latin America
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iTunes won't be available in the Microsoft store this year, dsepite a previous announcement that it would, ZDNet reports. An Apple spokesperson confirmed that it needs "a little more time" to get the iTunes integration onto Microsoft products right.
Why it matters: Microsoft needs to get more apps in its store to lure users. It's especially important for users of the slimmed down Windows 10 S operating system because as Axios' Ina Fried has previously pointed out, "without a new version of iTunes, there would be no (authorized) way to directly connect an iPhone to such devices."
The author of the ZDNet article says they've heard that the plans still remains for iTunes to come to the Windows 10 Store (which is now the Microsoft Store) at some point.
Michigan entrepreneur Ann Marie Sastry has left vacuum-maker Dyson, two years after it acquired her controverial lithium-ion battery company, Axios has learned. The $90 million all-cash buyout remains one of the richest lithium-ion deals ever.
Quick take: Sources with knowledge of the situation were not certain of the circumstances of Sastry's departure. But it comes eight months after Dyson relinquished Sakti3's core battery patents, and doubts remain in the field regarding her main claim, asserted repeatedly — that she was on the verge of commercializing much-sought-after solid state battery technology.
Why it matters: For the last two years, Dyson founder James Dyson has spoken of ambitious plans to spend $1 billion to $3 billion to revolutionize batteries and electric cars. He has said said his electric car will ready for the road by 2020. At the time, Dyson's October 2015 purchase of Sakti3 was the spearpoint of the mission, and Sastry's departure suggests more internal turmoil than he has let on.
In September, Dyson told Bloomberg that he had created two competing battery teams—Sakti3, plus another that was attempting a different approach to solid state. One explanation for Sastry's departure was that the other team won. In an interview with the Guardian, Dyson said the company's batteries were already more efficient than those in commercial electric vehicles.
At the time of the October 2015 deal and since, numerous leading U.S. battery researchers told me they wondered why Dyson had bought Sakti3. Despite Sastry's robust claims of the company's progress with solid state, she had revealed very little publicly and, since no one else had made much progress, the deep suspicion was that she was exaggerating. Indeed, in reporting for a story at the time of the buyout, former Sakti3 executives told me that the doubters were correct—the company's technology was rudimentary and nowhere near commercial.
Dyson did not offer a comment. Sastry could not be reached.
Dan Primack contributed to this story.
The FCC plans to fine Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation milions of dollars over undisclosed cancer ads that aired during newscasts over a six-month period in 2016, Reuters reports.
The news comes one day after reports surfaced that the DOJ wants Sinclair to divest roughly 12 local broadcast stations in order for its $3.9 million merger with Tribune Media Company to be approved. It also comes as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is being attacked for what is seen as a close relationship with Sinclair.
The fine addresses roughly 1,700 commercials that aired for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. According to the report, Sinclair has previously told reporters that the violations were unintentional.
Reuters reports that the fine was approved by the five-member FCC but has not yet been made public. Sinclair's management has always been right-leaning and conservative-leaning Pai has been accused by progressives as being favorable to the broadcaster.
The Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad. Photo: Matt Rourke / AP
In a new installment of its "Hard Questions" series, Facebook acknowledges that social media can have negative (or positive) effects on people, depending on how they use it.
Why it matters: This might be the first public acknowledgment from the company that its product — and category in general — can have detrimental effects on people.
Good and bad use, according to research cited by Facebook:
But: This isn't a capitulation from Facebook, admitting that it may be doing some harm. Instead, the company is simply telling us that we just need to use its social network in more positive ways.
Erik Huggers, CEO of music video site Vevo is leaving the company, effective immediately. CFO Alan Price will be interim CEO, the company said in a statement.
The statement was short on reasons, saying only that Huggers "has decided to step down to pursue new opportunities."
The backstory: Huggers had been pushing the company, which gets most of its revenue by distributing its videos on YouTube, into trying to become a destination in its own right. It will be interesting to see which direction Vevo goes from here.
Shervin Pishevar yesterday resigned from Sherpa Capital, the San Francisco venture capital firm he co-founded in 2013, following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct (all of which he continues to deny).
A source familiar with the situation says that Pishevar's resignation was voluntary (i.e., he wasn't pushed out). But there has been tension inside the firm over the past several weeks, particularly as Sherpa has kept finding itself playing last-minute defense.
For example, Sherpa was unaware of Pishevar's May arrest in London until just last month, when U.S. news outlets (including Axios) were about to publish stories about it. It also was late to learn that Bloomberg was preparing to publish its initial report on allegations against Pishevar.
Not surpringly, the statements issued yesterday by Sherpa and Pishevar had some major differences. Sherpa thanked Pishevar, but added that it is "deeply committed to our culture of integrity, inclusion, and respect." Pishevar, meanwhile, thanked Sherpa, but also references "truculent opponents out to settle scores."
Facebook has deployed two new features on its site which will allow users more control over who and what they see in their feeds, according to Facebook's Director of Research David Ginsberg, and Research Scientist Moira Burke.
Why it matters: Research showed that users' mental health in relation to social media depended on how they used it. Passive consumption of their feed resulted in worse mental health, while active interaction with friends and family was "linked to improvements in well-being."
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP
"The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules [yesterday] wipes from the books regulations that prevented Internet service providers from blocking or slowing some websites, and charging more for others to run faster," USA Today writes in the lead story of its print edition.
Why it matters: "The onus shifts to the public to flag any signs these Internet gatekeepers are playing favorites including with their own properties — and report them to the Federal Trade Commission if it looks like the provider is trying to suppress a competitor."
More from the report:
Vadim Ghirda / AP
Security firm FireEye disclosed some details Thursday of a recent attack on a critical infrastructure provider by what appears to be either a state actor or state-sponsored actors.
While it isn't sharing most of the details, FireEye is drawing attention to one key element unique to this attack. In this case, the malware in question was successful at defeating two systems, but in doing so appeared to inadvertently trip up another system, causing at least some interruption of service.
Why it matters: In many cases, nations may be trying to infiltrate key infrastructure to have a way in should they wish to attack, but aren't necessarily looking to do damage now. This incident shows in some cases they may be doing damage nonetheless.
"This proves getting into these systems can cause very real disruptions, even accidentally," said FireEye Director of Intelligence analysis John Hultquist. "This activity could be construed as sabotage by an adversary or even a military act of war. It could be completely unintentional."
The attack was against Triconex Safety Instrumented Systems, made by Schneider Electric, which also confirmed the issue, according to Reuters, which said the equipment is widely used in the energy industry, including at nuclear and oil and gas facilities.
What's not being shared: FireEye isn't saying what type of infrastructure was attacked, or even in which country it was located. (Reuters reported that two other security firms say the target firm was in the Middle East, with one saying Saudi Arabia.)
A building on Microsoft's campus. Photo: Microsoft
A blockbuster story from Bloomberg on an alleged rape of one Microsoft intern at the hands of another raises questions both for how Microsoft handled the situation then as well as broader questions of how large tech companies will adjust to a new reality.
What's next: I'd be shocked if I am the only one left scratching their head over how Microsoft handled this one. And I'd also be shocked if other big tech companies won't also soon be dealing with tricky issues from their past.
Three big questions: