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09.22.16 | 6:04 am

Yahoo is expected to soon confirm a hack that stole 200 million user credentials

That hack reportedly took place in 2012 and the data gathered from it and for sale now on the dark web contains 200 million Yahoo user IDs, birth dates, other email addresses, and "easily decrypted passwords," says a report from Recode. The alleged hack by a cybercriminal known as "Peace" became known back in August, but at the time Yahoo declined to say if it was legitimate. The company is now set to verify the hack this week, says Recode. Confirmation of the hack could not come at a worse time as Yahoo is in the middle of a $4.8 billion sale of its core business to Verizon. Such a hack could cause legal problems for Verizon or even reduce the value and worth of the company for its soon-to-be new owner.

Yahoo has experienced hacking before, albeit not on this scale. Back in January 2013, a hacker posted a video to YouTube detailing an exploit for hacking into Yahoo Mail accounts. Though Yahoo said it fixed the flaw, for months afterward an unspecified number of accounts were hacked. As a result, Yahoo lost of some of its business clients, including British Telecom

[Image: Yahoo]

10.25.16 | 19 minutes ago

Evening intel: Colin Powell’s with her and Chipotle needs a miracle

Colin Powell, the secretary of state under George W. Bush and a diehard Republican, said he will vote for Hillary Clinton on November 8. Recall that leaked email in which Powell allegedly said he'd "rather not" have to. 

Chipotle reported another double-digit decline in same-store sales, a key metric for restaurant health, in a sign that it has not recovered from its food-safety crisis.

Apple Inc. beat sales estimates for the iPhone in its fourth-quarter earnings, but sales of the device are still down from last year. Apple shares are down, too. 

Facebook execs fielded tough questions at an event today about how Facebook handles controversial content. What stays and what goes?  

Bernie Sanders has weighed in on the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner Inc, saying he will press Hillary Clinton (should she become president, which she probably will) to mount a "vigorous antitrust effort." 

• And finally, as Disney-owned ESPN struggles with cord-cutting and a general decline in linear TV viewing, Twitter decides to launch weekly streaming talking-heads shows for NBA fans. Nothing fishy there. 

10.25.16 | an hour ago

How Facebook is coming to terms with controversial content

At the Wall Street Journal's WSJ.D conference, the Journal's Christina Passariello interviewed Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and chief product officer Chris Cox—and her first salvo of questions involved how the company is figuring out how to deal with controversial content such as Nick Ut's famous photo of a naked girl suffering suffering from napalm burns during the Vietnamese War, which the company initially suppressed before concluding that it was acceptable, and even important, to show.

It's a challenge that the company is continuously in the process of figuring out, especially since it isn't a traditional content site. "A media company is about the stories it tells," said Cox. "A technology company is about the tools that it builds." Facebook remains a tech company, but, as Sandberg said, "We're proud of the role we play in witnessing."

"The really important question," she added, is, 'how do we make sure that people have free expression on Facebook?'" As part of that effort, the company is working with experts on different types of problematic content—bullying, hate speech, nudity—to set the boundaries of what is and isn't acceptable.

10.25.16 | 2 hours ago

Apple beats iPhone sales expectations, but profits, revenues down for third straight quarter

"Peak iPhone" is real. iPhone sales, in general, are on a downward arc, and Apple is looking for ways to fill the gap. Apple's fiscal Q4 is characterized by soft iPhone sales running up to the release of the new iPhone 7, which was available only for a couple of weeks during that quarter. Here are the highlights:

• Earnings of $9 billion on $46.9 billion in revenue, down from $11.1 billion in earnings on $51.5 billion in revenues in the same quarter last year. Last quarter, Apple earned $7.8 billion on $42.4 billion in revenues. 

• Apple beat analyst estimates for unit sales of iPhone, selling 45.5 million devices in the quarter. But that's down from the 48 million it sold last year. Morgan Stanley analysts thought Apple would ship 44 million iPhones in the quarter.*

•Apple also sold sold 9.3 million iPads (down from 9.8 million last year), 4.9 million Macs (up from 4.7 million last year). Services revenue was $6.3 billion.

•Gross margin was 38% compared to 39.9% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62% of the quarter's revenue.

*Since the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were available for only two weeks of the quarter, we still don't have a clear picture of the device's impact. We'll be listening for Tim Cook's guidance on that during the earnings call today. Stay tuned.

10.25.16 | 2 hours ago

Tired of quarterly earnings? So is the CEO of Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman thinks we should rethink the practice of quarterly earnings reports for U.S. companies. Gorman says that the once-per-quarter filings, legally required by the Securities and Exchange Commission, are an "asinine" practice that distracts from long term planning.

He's not alone. Other Wall Street executives have criticized the practice. The law firm Wachtell Lipton recently said the schedule encourages short-term thinking and even Hillary Clinton has hinted at the possibility of reforms that would let executives and shareholders "focus on the next decade rather than just the next day," according to the Wall Street Journal

10.25.16 | 2 hours ago

11 million packages were stolen off American doorsteps in last year

If it hasn't happened to you, you almost certainly know someone who has had a package stolen off their doorstep. And because the problem is so pervasive, 69% of people say they'd like to have an app that would make it possible, no matter where they are, to give delivery services like UPS and FedEx access to their homes and drop all those Amazon boxes off inside.

That's the conclusion of a study by the smart-lock maker August that looked at how many packages people receive every year, and their opinions about how to actually get their hands on them before thieves do.

10.25.16 | 3 hours ago

Apple leaks pictures of new MacBook Pro with OLED touch bar and fingerprint reader

Apple released a new version of macOS (Sierra 10.12.1) that included a nice surprise for Apple watchers—some images of Apple Pay in action on a brand new MacBook Pro complete with the rumored touchscreen panel above the keyboard and TouchID at the right side of the panel. The new computer will very likely be announced at a press event this Thursday, October 27, and may come in 13- and 15-inch sizes.

10.25.16 | 3 hours ago

Twitter takes on ESPN with two weekly NBA talking-heads shows

The NBA is kicking off its regular season this week, and the league seems intent on giving hoopheads as much basketball content as possible. In addition to live games in VR and new mobile views of games, it's also debuting two new talking-head shows, in conjunction with Turner Sports, exclusively on Twitter.

The Starters Twitter Show, "featuring NBA TV's social-savvy, popular collection of fan-focused voices with a unique take on the game," will stream Tuesdays, and The Warmup, a pre-game show that incorporates Twitter into the discussion, will stream Thursdays.

10.25.16 | 3 hours ago

Now you can pay to watch all your favorite NBA team’s road games.

Let's say you love the Golden State Warriors but you're not interested in watching other teams' games. (And why would you be?) That means you probably won't pony up for NBA League Pass, which for $199, gives you access to all NBA games across numerous devices.

Instead, for $119, Dish subscribers can now get NBA Team Pass, which will let you watch all your favorite team's road games on the device of your choice. And then you can skip all those other games that you don't care about.

10.25.16 | 2:28 pm

Here are the top 10 baseball-friendly cities according to WalletHub

Game 1 of the World Series starts tonight between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. In honor of the big game, the personal-financeers at WalletHub crunched some numbers to determine the best U.S. cities to live in for baseball fans. The company compared 361 of the largest cities (each with at least one professional or college baseball team) and looked at a bunch of indicators including ticket prices and stadium accessibility. New York City, no surprise, came out on top. On the bottom? Jersey City, New Jersey. 

We have the top 10 below. For the full list, click here.

10.25.16 | 1:58 pm

AT&T says buying Time Warner will let it lower prices

The very newsiest session here at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ.D Live conference is surely the one featuring AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes talking about the phone company's planned $85 billion acquisition of the media giant

Some highlights of the interview, conducted by the Journal's Rebecca Blumenstein:

• Stephenson said that owning Time Warner will let AT&T drive down costs for consumers—such as the upcoming DirecTV Now, a $35/month streaming service—because it's a vertical merger rather than a horizontal one with another wireless company.

• He also said that the deal isn't anti-competitive because "when we wake up after this deal is approved, the wireless market will look exactly the same as it does today, and the media market will look exactly the same as it does today."

• AT&T wants to use Time Warner to do things that media companies have tried to avoid, such as breaking up channel bundles into a la carte offerings: "We're going to try to touch these third rails."

• The two companies have a "Magna Carta" that states that Time Warner will sell content to others, and AT&T will distribute others' content.


• Bewkes said that the market could use an advertising player that's big enough to compete with Google and Facebook: "We all need more competition in advertising—there's a growing concentration in a duology."

• He also praised AT&T's ability to let Time Warner content reach large numbers of consumers without a middleman: "AT&T offers that huge scale of a direct selling platform. Direct consumer relationships.

• Stephenson said that so much has changed since Comcast acquired NBCUniversal that some of the concerns about concentrating so much power in one communications/media company no longer apply: "Netflix is probably going to be OK."

10.25.16 | 12:16 pm

Lyft’s founder says that transportation will be like Spotify

Here at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ.D Live conference, Lyft cofounder and president John Zimmer said that the company is on pace to do 17 million rides in October, a record. Interviewer Rolfe Winkler pointed out that the fact Lyft is subsidizing growth with copious discount offers is probably helping. Zimmer said that's true—and that the whole idea is to grow market share vs. Uber as quickly as possible, in order to get ready for the era when car ownership gives way to subscribing to a ride-on-demand service.

Zimmer added that in major U.S. cities, Lyft's network of drivers is now broad enough that it can get a car to a passenger in three minutes or less, a crucial stat he compares to the wireless industry's need to provide at least three bars of coverage.

10.25.16 | 11:40 am

Facebook accused of censoring Palestinian activists after meeting with Israeli officials

An activist collective called Palestinian Information Centre (PIC) is accusing Facebook of suspending or disabling the accounts of a number of its administrators, the Independent reported today. The affected pages, some of which the group claims were permanently suspended, had a combined 2 million followers. PIC claims the suspensions came after Facebook met with Israeli officials about curbing posts that incite violence. Facebook told the Independent that it was looking into PIC's claims. Read more here