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Thursday, December 3, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton is telling corporate America it needs to get much more vigilant on security. In an interview Monday on CNBC's "Power Lunch," stressed that significant cybersecurity threats remain, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and election season. "Cyber risks have not gone away with the unfortunate, unforeseen risks we've faced with Covid and other uncertainties in our economy," he said. "They're still there, and they're there more than ever." So alarmed is the SEC by recent developments that it has issued warnings on several areas in recent months: Ransomware: An increase in sophistication of attacks on broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investment companies, and also attacks impacting service providers to companies that are under the SEC's purview. Credential compromises:  An increase in cyber-attacks against brokers and dealers using "credential stuffing," a method of cyber-attack that uses compromised client login credentials, resulting in the possible loss of customer assets and unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information.   In October alone, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, put out 30 cyber alerts across various industries and business size, as well as consumers, according to Clayton. "Cybersecurity incidents are on the
Peter Thiel, co-founder and chairman of Palantir Technologies Inc., pauses during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images LONDON – The U.K. government is considering using software from U.S. data analytics firm Palantir for coronavirus contact tracing in England, according to reports from Bloomberg and The Financial Times, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Officials are reportedly in talks about using the company's Foundry software to manage sensitive contact-tracing data on the spread of the virus. It comes after the government failed to report 15,841 positive cases because an Excel spreadsheet containing contact-tracing data reached its maximum size and failed to automatically update. Governments around the world have rolled out contact-tracing apps with various success. The apps are designed to alert users when they've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. The U.K. app has failed to record potential exposures because the wrong threshold had reportedly been set, while "false alarms" have also been sent to people. Palantir has been described as the company that "knows everything about you" and its
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California, onJune 13, 2016. Gabrielle Lurie | AFP | Getty Images Apple said on Monday that companies that offer digital classes through iPhone apps won't have to pay Apple's 30% App Store commission fee on in-app purchases through June 2021. Apple said the extension was to help businesses by giving them more time to transition in-person events to digital events during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Although apps are required to offer any paid online group event experiences (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime experiences) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review guideline 3.1.1, we temporarily deferred this requirement with an original deadline of December 2021," Apple wrote on its developer blog. "To allow additional time for developing in-app purchase solutions, this deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021." An Apple spokesperson did not have a comment beyond Monday's announcement. The move is the latest olive branch from Apple to critics of the App Store, which say the iPhone giant's control over the platform and
A customer carries away a PlayStation 5 console at an electronics store in Sydney on November 12, 2020, on the day of PS5 official launch. Saeed Khan | AFP | Getty Images Microsoft and Sony both released new video game consoles this week: Microsoft has the $500 Xbox Series X and $300 Series S, while Sony has two models of PlayStation 5, starting at $400. The last generation of consoles released by both lasted about seven years. With the latest systems, Microsoft and Sony are employing different strategies to attract gamers and generate even more revenue from gamers. A lot is on the line. The pandemic has given people more free time to play games. Gamers could stay hooked for years to come, which means big business for both companies. Gaming represents 24% of Sony's revenue. It's 8% of Microsoft's revenue, but Microsoft is more widely held as the third most valuable public company, behind only Apple and Saudi Aramco, and any success in gaming can benefit many shareholders. What happened last time In 2013, when Microsoft introduced the Xbox One and Sony released the
WASHINGTON – Joe Biden is projected to win the U.S. presidential election, according to NBC News, a watershed moment in a deeply divided nation that is facing multiple crises. The call in the race came four days after Election Day, and during close counts in multiple battleground states. President Donald Trump's campaign has mounted several legal challenges over how the ballots are being tabulated. Biden will win the White House with at least 273 electoral votes, according to NBC. He will carry all of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — three states that propelled Trump's dizzying rise to the White House four years ago. Biden's election amounts to a rejection by millions of voters of Trump's divisive governance, and an embrace of Biden's pledge to bring a more civil, compassionate and steady leadership to the White House. The race, decided by narrow margins in a range of swing states, drove record turnout that will see both Biden and Trump garner more than 70 million votes. Biden has a still growing lead of more than 4 million in the nationwide popular vote. Biden's victory also represents what he characterizes a mandate given to the incoming administration to chart a new
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., reacts during a dialog session with Jack Ma, former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., not pictured, at Tokyo Forum 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg via Getty Images SoftBank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son said he aggressively sold assets this year to prepare for a "worst case scenario" that could take place if the world shuts down in a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks. Son spoke virtually from Tokyo on Tuesday at The New York Times' Dealbook Conference. He said he initially targeted about $40 billion of asset sales this year but ended up selling off about $80 billion of companies to give the company liquidity in case of a global emergency. "In the next two or three months, any disaster could happen," Son said. "So we're just preparing for the worst case scenario." Among its largest asset sales, SoftBank sold semiconductor company ARM to Nvidia for $40 billion and about $20 billion of its stake in the new T-Mobile, which merged with Sprint earlier this year. If
EA Sports M21 Madden 21 video game Source: EA Sports It was supposed to be a star-studded event in Las Vegas. Instead, the 2021 Pro Bowl will take place virtually, with players going head-to-head in Electronic Arts' Madden NFL '21 video game, the league announced on Tuesday. In a sign of the times, EA Sports and the National Football League have teamed up to create a week-long series of virtual match-ups that will include celebrities, football legends and current players, leading up to the main event — a game of Madden between the league's best players. The exact date of the game is still being determined. "We're excited to bring this to life virtually and be the first to do so," Peter O'Reilly, executive vice president of club business and league events at the NFL, told CNBC. "It's an opportunity to connect with young fans in a way that's really accessible." The Pro Bowl typically pits the best players from the NFL's two conferences — the American Football Conference and National Football Conference — against each other in a game that takes place the week before the
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., speaks during an interview in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Akio | Bloomberg | Getty Images California voters decided Tuesday that Uber and Lyft should be exempt from state labor law that aimed to make their drivers employees rather than contractors, according to projections from NBC News. Voters made the call on California's Proposition 22, a ballot measure that essentially became one of Uber and Lyft's last hopes in the state to continue their operations under the status quo. The proposition would allow drivers for app-based transportation and delivery companies to be classified as independent contractors in many circumstances. While that would disqualify them for benefits granted to employees, the measure also entitles drivers to new benefits like minimum earnings and vehicle insurance. Several gig economy apps backed the measure, including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates, which Uber is acquiring. The support from these companies helped raise nearly $203 million to back the measure, while opponents raised less than $20 million, according to tallies compiled by Ballotpedia. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden opposed the measure.
Rock bands playing arena concerts in front of tens of thousands of fans will likely be an indication that the coronavirus crisis has subsided in earnest, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said Tuesday at CNBC's Evolve Summit. However, it might be a while before the shows return from their pandemic-induced pause, Ulrich said, estimating it could be a year "at the earliest." "As we unfortunately have to come to grips with, the last thing that will happen are big concerts, you know 20,000 people in an arena, 50,000 people in a stadium," Ulrich told journalist and CNBC contributor Kara Swisher. Live sporting events are much easier to bring back than concerts, he added, given they are "slightly more orderly" than a sold-out rock show tends to be. "The good news on the live concert front, when Metallica and other bands like Metallica play big arena or stadium concerts again, then you can pretty much count on the fact that Covid, as we know it now, is over," added Ulrich, a founding member of the heavy metal band that has gone on to become one of the best-selling rock artists of all time since its formation in 1981. Metallica, like
Whitehouse coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks that Americans have an independent spirit, but that there are times when it's in our best interest to follow the rules. Fauci, speaking on Thursday at Washington National Cathedral with other top health experts on the pandemic, noted that it is a bit unfair to compare the United States' coronavirus response with other countries. The United States isn't an island with five million people that can easily be shut down, he notes. So suppressing and controlling the virus is a lot more of a challenge. "I was talking with my U.K. colleagues who are saying the U.K. is similar to where we are now, because each of our countries have that independent spirit," he said on stage. "I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you're told." Fauci noted that scientists have been perceived throughout this pandemic as "authoritarian" by members of the public, because of the steps taken to combat the virus. He noted that it's unfortunate that science "has been lumped into politics." In a "divisive" society, he said, people's willingness to follow the advice of scientists has often been portrayed a political decision. Surveys have
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks during a press event at CES 2019 on January 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker | Getty Images News | Getty Images Shares of Square surged 13% on Friday after blowing past Wall Street's expectations for the quarter a day earlier. The San Francisco-based payments company reported a 140% increase in net revenue to $3.03 billion in the third quarter. Adjusted earnings came in at 34 cents, more than double what analysts polled by Refinitiv expected. The Square Cash app was a key driver of the strong results, and of analysts' enthusiasm. The payments and banking app more than tripled its gross profits from a year ago, and made up almost half of the company's total gross profit of $794 million. The app began as a peer-to-peer payment option, similar to PayPal's Venmo. But Square has since launched multiple bank-like products that piggyback on the app, including cryptocurrency and stock trading, that have driven stronger unit economics and profitability than Venmo. The results were a hit among multiple Wall Street analysts who recommended the stock to clients on
The Mandalorian and the Child on Disney+'s "The Mandalorian." Disney It's been exactly a year since Disney+ launched, and the streaming service has far outperformed expectations. Disney announced Thursday that its platform surpassed 73.7 million subscribers. It's remarkable growth considering Disney's goal, at its launch, was to reach 60 million to 90 million subscriptions by 2024. Just a year in, and Disney+ is quickly creeping up on Netflix, which reported more than 195 million subscribers in its most recent quarter. Disney also joined the streaming wars at roughly the same time as Apple and a few months before Comcast's NBCUniversal. Apple has yet to release subscription numbers for Apple TV+. NBCUniversal's Peacock reported nearly 22 million sign-ups as of October, up 12 million from its July report. Arrows pointing outwards It's worth noting that some of those subscribers arrived at the service through bundles or one-time promotions, but Disney doesn't break out those numbers. Still, subscribers flocked to Disney right off the bat: 10 million people signed up within the first day.