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06.10.16 | 7:16 am

As 32 million logins appear for sale on the dark web, Twitter begins locking accounts

Soon after news that up to 32 million Twitter login details had been put up for sale on the dark web, Twitter announced that it has begun locking "millions" of accounts, reports the Verge. In a blog post published today, the company says it is confident that Twitter's own servers were not hacked (unlike LinkedIn's and MySpace's were reported to have been):

The purported Twitter @names and passwords may have been amassed from combining information from other recent breaches, malware on victim machines that are stealing passwords for all sites, or a combination of both. Regardless of origin, we're acting swiftly to protect your Twitter account.

Users who have had their accounts locked have already been sent emails regarding how to reset their user information, the company says.

09.26.16 | 41 minutes ago

Disney is reportedly toying with the idea of buying Twitter

The Walt Disney Company has begun working with a financial adviser to decide whether it should bid on Twitter, reports Bloomberg. It joins the ranks of Salesforce, which is also reportedly thinking about acquiring the social network.

What would Disney want from Twitter? Well, it's a content creator—one of the oldest and biggest content companies around—so Twitter would serve as a new distribution medium. So it's not a crazy idea, but it does make for a juicy story. 

09.26.16 | an hour ago

Shoppable hotels? West Elm announces a new chain

Shinola just announced that it's building a hotel in Detroit. And today, home furnishing company West Elm says it wants to get into the hotel business together with DDK, a hospitality management and development company. 

In 2018, it will be opening properties in Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; Savannah, Georgia; and Nashville, Tennessee, with more locations to be announced. 

Much like West Elm stores, each location will feature local design elements, but presumably these hotels will include furniture that guests will be able to buy. 

[Image via West Elm]

09.26.16 | an hour ago

This is me using the Donald Trump filter on Snapchat

Millennials remain one of the most coveted voting demographics for the presidential candidates. One way to reach them is by speaking their language. Donald Trump is trying to do just that today with a nationwide Snapchat filter repping tonight's debate. 

Here's my face behind the filter:

As you can see, I'm thrilled. 

09.26.16 | 3 hours ago

VW trying to rehab image with futuristic electric car concept

When you're responsible for one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent memory, it can take a lot to get people to forgive and forget.

But that seems to be just what Volkswagen is hoping its new electric car concept, known as the modular electrification kit (MEB), can achieve.

VW is planning on unveiling the first car based on the system at the Paris Auto Show in October, and it wants people to "Think New." 

"This one-of-a-kind concept car signals the Volkswagen brand's entry into a new era: because the vehicle is as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago before it evolved into the world's best-selling car of the century," the troubled automaker boasted in a release. "The concept car has the potential to make history with its completely new vehicle concept."

The big deal, especially when it comes to helping people forget the emissions scandal, is that the new car could boast a range of more than 300 miles per charge, which would make it one of the industry leaders.

09.26.16 | 3 hours ago

Fear of famine isn’t the only reason VCs are raising boatloads of money

Venture capitalists are raising lots of money this year not just because they're worried about money drying up in some sort of market correction. They're raising new funds in part because traditional sources of cash like university endowments, are flush, according to Bloomberg

In 2015, University endowments hit $529 billion, up 53% over the preceding five years, the report says. That can mean more money for venture capitalists. As Bloomberg notes in its report, Emory University wraps up 18% of its endowment in both private equity and VC. Furthermore, investing in venture capital can lead to big returns for universities. Yale, which in 2015, invested 16% of its endowment in VC funds, gained 93% on its investments, Fortune reported earlier this year. 

09.26.16 | 4 hours ago

Laugh all you want—here’s why Snap’s new Spectacles glasses might just succeed

Ever since Snap (formerly known as Snapchat) unveiled its first hardware product—Spectacles video-sharing glasses—on Saturday morning, plenty of people have cracked jokes that include the inevitable Google Glass punchline. Well, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel just might succeed with his new toy, explains Co.Design's Mark Wilson, with his focus on fun. 

"Fun is certainly not the only reason Snap is getting into wearables. But fun is why they'll be a hit, at least compared to other techie glasses like Glass. Rather than attempting to disguise the wearable as a normal pair of glasses, or position it as a serious product, the company is embracing the sensational side of the concept. It's an approach that sounds a lot like its app: if there's one company that's capable of making you look like an idiot in public for fun—making faces at your own camera and totally not caring that you do—it's Snap."

[Image: via Spectacles]

09.26.16 | 4 hours ago

Delayed equipment slows SolarCity’s progress on new factory amid corruption scandal

The state of New York is being slow to fund the equipment needed for a new SolarCity factory in Buffalo, according to a new report. SolarCity representatives say they're working with the city to place a larger than originally anticipated equipment order, according to Politico. In the meantime, the new 1-million-square-foot factory sits empty.

The progress report comes as the project's lead, the currently suspended CEO and president of SUNY Polytechnic, Alain Kaloyeros, is being accused of corruption. The office of the U.S. Attorney for Southern New York says Kaloyeros unfairly awarded construction contracts to favorite developers. Meanwhile, SolarCity is considering an acquisition by electric carmaker Tesla—adding further complexity to a jumbled situation.

09.26.16 | 4 hours ago

The NAACP wants Clinton and Trump to be asked about affordable broadband at tonight’s debate

A number of leading civil rights groups and technology organizations, include the NAACP and the Center for Democracy and Technology, want NBC News' Lester Holt to ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump a question about affordable broadband at tonight's debate. In a letter today, they write:

"In the same ways that trains, highways, and telephones have long powered the way we do business and share ideas, internet infrastructure is our country's economic driver for the 21st century. With this in mind, voters must understand the presidential candidates' plans for broadband access." 

While Clinton has prioritized the issue, calling for every household to have it by 2020, Trump hasn't said anything about it, notes Politico's Morning Tech newsletter.

09.26.16 | 11:00 am

Square is doing its best to speed up chip-card transactions

The new credit cards with embedded chips may be a whole lot more high-tech secure than their mag-stripe predecessors, but paying with one can be so excruciatingly slow that it sure doesn't feel like progress. 

"The big guys aren't faring all that well," says Jesse Dorogusker, hardware lead at payments company Square, of large merchants who process chip-card sales using conventional payment terminals. "You do a lot of waiting, a lot of standing. There's an odd UI and weird noises. That's posed a nice opportunity for us."

Square, which designed its own mag-stripe/chip/contactless reader and developed all the associated software, is announcing that a new version of its firmware, which is rolling out as an automatic update, cuts the time of a chip transaction from 5.7 seconds to 4.2 seconds—a 25% improvement over what was already swifter-than-usual performance by chip-card standards. Its ultimate goal: three seconds.

Dorogusker told me that Square expects technologies such as Apple Pay and Android Pay to win in the long term, but for now, it's obsessed with speeding up chip-card transactions. "A second and a half is a second and a half," he says. "Some people might not sweat it. But standing at the counter awkwardly in a new way when it used to be faster and better is not cool."

09.26.16 | 10:45 am

Dov Charney: I’m not buying American Apparel back

In an interview with Business of Fashion, Dov Charney tells the publication that he's moving on from American Apparel and has no intention to buy back the company he founded in 1989.

After he was ousted in 2014 in the midst of scandal, he was replaced by CEO Paula Schneider. But last week, Schneider handed in a letter of resignation, hinting that American Apparel might soon be sold and that a new owner might interfere with her plans to get the company back in fighting shape. 

The Business of Fashion story suggests that Charney will not be the buyer. 

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

09.26.16 | 10:32 am

WeWork agrees to change its handbook as part of labor board settlement

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board found that portions WeWork's handbook were unlawful, because employees could interpret them as prohibiting them from joining a union. One section, for instance, instructs employees to consider whether their "outside interests" will "create a conflict of interest that may interfere with the objective exercise of judgment in the best interest of WeWork."

On Friday, WeWork and the labor board reached a settlement. WeWork will remove the offending portions of its handbook as well as post a notice to clarify that its employees have the right to join a union. It will email the same notice to all employees.

09.26.16 | 10:25 am

Morning intel: Live-streaming the debate, Didi gets into bikes, Roku launches 5 new models

• Tonight's Clinton/Trump face-off has already been dubbed the "debate of the century." Here's how to live-stream it and stay tuned for our live coverage tonight on FastCoNews

• Chinese taxi-hailing giant Didi just invested in a new startup called Ofo, which lets people borrow bikes.

• The New York Times is among a group of investors putting $500,000 into TheSkimm, the fast-growing newsletter aimed at young women, reports Recode.

Roku had its biggest product launch ever this morning, unveiling five new models include TVs ranging from tube sets to high dynamic range, 4K/UHD screens, reports Fast Company's Sean Captain.