August, 25 2022

💻 Sony Ups the PlayStation Ante

Sony announced that they are immediately raising the price of a PlayStation 5 by up to 20% in most markets outside the U.S., including the U.K., China, Australia, Mexico, and Canada. The price increase will take effect in Japan in September.

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⚖️ One Step Closer to a Released Affidavit

The Justice Department filed a proposal for redactions and deletions on the affidavit they used to obtain authorization to raid Mar-a-Lago. The redactions will likely hide the names of investigators on the case and other highly classified information from the public if the affidavit is, in fact released.

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🍿 Pesci Returns to the Screen

Joe Pesci will play comedian Pete Davidson's grandfather in an upcoming Peacock comedy about Davidson's life. Edie Falco will play his mother in the half-hour live-action comedy.

💻 Twitter Loses VP of Engineering

Sandeep Pandey, the VP of engineering at Twitter, is leaving for Meta. The departure of Pandey, along with three other senior executives, is yet another blow to Twitter. Twitter has been in the hot seat recently after Elon Musk backed out of a deal to buy the platform and a whistleblower published a report about egregious security deficiencies at the company.

💻 Another Hit for Twilio Hackers

DoorDash has confirmed a data breach that exposed customers' personal information linked to the same hackers who breached Twilio earlier this year. The company did not disclose when it discovered the breach, but it did say that it took time to investigate fully before alerting customers. DoorDash told customers that hackers accessed the names, delivery addresses, and in some cases, partial credit card information before they shut down the hack.

⚖️ Project Return Ashley Biden's Diary

The two Florida residents who stole Ashely Biden's, the daughter of President Biden, diary, which she kept while recovering from addiction, were convicted of stealing and handing the diary to the conservative group Project Veritas. Aimee Harris and Robert Kurlander admitted they gave the diary to Project Veritas with the intent to provide the group with fodder before the 2020 presidential elections.

⚖️ Trump Influenced by Tom Fitton

Former President Donald Trump allegedly spoke with conservative activist Tom Fitton before the raid on Mar-a-Lago. Fitton encouraged Trump to keep classified documents from the National Archives, which resulted in the decision by the Trump team to withhold some documents from NARA in June, triggering the August 8th raid.

💻 Google's New Labels

In a letter to Senator Mark Warner and Representative Elissa Slotkin, Google's vice president for government affairs and public policy Mark Isakowitz revealed that Google will begin to label whether clinics provide abortions clearly. The new labeling will help women evaluate search results and advertisements in order to get the reproductive care they are seeking.

⚖️ Biden Gets a Boost

President Biden's approval rating has been on the rise after a series of legislative wins and a steady decline in gas prices. The latest Gallup poll showed that 44% of Americans approve of the way Biden is handling the presidency. The new poll is his highest approval rating in a year.

⚖️ Dominion Tackles Fox

Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Lou Dobbs are expected to be deposed by lawyers representing Dominion voting machines for their claims that the company helped to steal the 2020 presidential election from Trump. The CEO of Fox News, Suzanne Scott, will also face a deposition in the coming weeks.

🍿 From Fan Fiction to the Big Screen

Michael Showalter will direct Anne Hathaway in the adaptation of the fan-fiction book inspired by Harry Styles, the \"Idea of You,\" for Amazon Prime.

🍿 Has DC Found What Its Looking For?

The executive-turned-producer Dan Lin is in talks to take on the role of DC chief from Walter Hamada. Lin has produced hits like The Lego Movie and the live-action Aladdin. If Lin takes the role, he will be tasked with bringing the DC universe into the new multiverse era to compete with Marvel.

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Technology

SEC Fines Oracle

September 27, 2022
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The context
The SEC has fined the software giant Oracle $23 million for bribing foreign officials.
Technology
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

SEC Fines Oracle

The SEC has fined the software giant Oracle $23 million for bribing foreign officials.
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Big trouble

  • The SEC charged Oracle for the second time with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act between 2016 and 2019.
  • The charges allege that Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and India used funds to bribe foreign officials.
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Pay up

  • Oracle will pay $23 million to settle the case, $15 million in a civil fine, and about $7.9 in disgorgement and interest.
  • Oracles subsidiaries used the slush funds bribes to win business abroad.
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The context
Cloudflare announced the launch of a $1.25 billion "Workers Launchpad" for startups who use the platform. The launchpad will connect the startups with venture firms who have offered to invest in Cloudflare users.
Technology
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cloudflare Sells the Ultimate Incentive

Cloudflare announced the launch of a $1.25 billion "Workers Launchpad" for startups who use the platform. The launchpad will connect the startups with venture firms who have offered to invest in Cloudflare users.
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Funding for starters

  • The Workers Launchpad Funding Program will provide up to 1.25 billion in financing to startups building on Cloudflare Workers. The computing platform has been used to launch more than 3 million applications since 2017.
  • One of the venture partners said that they have seen an increase in the number of startups building applications on Cloudflare Workers and are excited to support the company's growth.
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Connecting the dots

  • Cloudflare's platform is about five years old, and the promise of access to venture funding will hopefully attract more developers to the platform.
  • The partnering venture firms will invest $1.25 billion from their existing funds into the startups.
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Politics

Ken Paxton Runs Away

September 27, 2022
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The context
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went viral for fleeing his home to avoid being served a subpoena to appear in an abortion case.
Politics
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ken Paxton Runs Away

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went viral for fleeing his home to avoid being served a subpoena to appear in an abortion case.
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Under cover

  • Ernest Martin Herrera was attempting to serve Ken Paxton with a subpoena for a lawsuit filed by Texas nonprofits who want to provide Texans with funding to travel out of state to get abortions.
  • Paxton avoided the process server at all costs and eventually got into his wife's car and drove away from his house.
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Court filing

  • Paxton claimed he was protecting his family by fleeing the process server.
  • Paxton criticized the media as well for reporting without knowing the contents of the affidavit.
  • Federal Judge Robert Pittman eventually squashed the subpoena and granted Paxton a reprieve from testimony.
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