I know, I know, I haven't been able to complete my email briefs lately but here I am, back and better than ever. In big news this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went to talk to both Senate and Congress reps who didn't actually understand what Facebook is, and Theranos was sued by the SEC for massive fraud.
Theranos, the blood-testing startup that turned out to be a complete scam, is laying off most of its remaining staff
The company, which once promised to test people's blood for a variety of diseases with just the prick of a finger, is laying off most of its remaining staff members. This news comes not too long after the company was charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC.
Theranos has now reduced its workforce from 125 to two dozen employees to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection, and it is the company's third round of layoffs since October 2015.
To cheer up the remaining workers at the company, an employee made a Space Invaders clone featuring the journalists who led the company to its downfall.
Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of the company, was forced to relinquish her voting power over the company and return millions of shares to the company as well as pay a $500,000 penalty. She has agreed to be barred from serving as a director of a public company for 10 years.
Number of the week
The price of GoPro stock has surged over rumours that Xiaomi might purchase it. The latter company is a Chinese monolithic company producing everything from fitness bands to cellular phones to air conditioners.
GoPro, the action camera company, was once valued at over $10 billion but is now worth only $750 million, according to Bloomberg. The addition of this sort of camera to the company's portfolio could prove profitable for Xiaomi, who has extensive supply chains set up throughout the world and has a massive footprint in Asia.
In seemingly odd news, Uber has acquired bike-share startup JUMP for an undisclosed amount of money. The company was previously predicted to be valued at $100 million, but apparently sold to the company for twice as much.
Uber has expressed that it believes cities not only need ride-share options, but mobility-share options in general that allow people to get from Point A to Point B affordably and easily.
In case you missed it
- Telegram, a chat app that is used by over 200 million people per month, is now serving as a haven for online pirates to share illegal content, including movies, music and books.
- Even though Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his third day in office — going as far as to call it a "disaster" and "rape to our country" — he reportedly wants back in. The White House deputy press secretary has come out and said that he would be open to a better deal. Too bad the remaining countries have already signed a new agreement that the United States isn't a part of.
- There's a movement going on to raise money to purchase dogs from their abusers and puppy mills with the hope of putting them in a good home. In total they've spent a combined $2.68 million in the US and Canada buying 5,761 dogs since 2009 at government-regulated auction sites in Missouri.
- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art explores the concept behind "YouTube Face," the bizarre phenomenon where creators create exaggerated expressions to use as their thumbnail clips on the website.
- Shadow profiles, or profiles a company creates about you even though you haven't signed up for the service, are hurting Facebook's privacy defence. Though most users willingly share data with the company, some users are providing it to the company and don't even know it.