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Cybercrime Ring Hacks Lexis-Nexis

And two other large U.S. data companies.

If you thought hacking season was over, think again. A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed Wednesday night that an investigation has been launched into potentially massive security breaches of three U.S. data companies, one of them, Lexis-Nexis. News of the hacks was broken earlier in the week by security blogger Brian Krebs on his website, krebsonsecurity. The multi-faceted attack was allegedly carried out by a cybercrime drug ring that stole Social Security numbers, birthdays, and other private information to later sell for profit. According to Krebs, the attackers may have had access to servers at Lexis-Nexis and elsewhere for up to six months.

Read it at The New York Times


Part-Time Nation

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor, via Getty

Today’s economy gives companies the ability to get by without adding many full-time workers. But companies should also take pains to ensure that part-time work isn’t inferior work.

A large portion of the U.S. workforce is now permanently working part-time. The expectation that an improving economy would ease millions of unhappy part-time workers back into full time jobs hasn't come to fruition. And with the agonizing slow rise in retail sales, it's unlikely to change anytime soon. How these part-time workers are recruited, trained, and motivated will have a decisive impact on the direction of our economy.


Pirate Treasure Found From Shipwreck

Stephan Savoia/AP

Divers searching for gold coins.

Ahoy! Divers off the coast of Cape Cod have found a pirate ship treasure that’s been submerged since the early 1700s. Barry Clifford discovered the wreck site of the Whydah, the only pirate ship to sink in U.S. waters, in 1984 and has been pulling up thousands of artifacts ever since. But in early September, Clifford found evidence that there may be hundreds of thousands of gold coins yet to be recovered. Days before it sank in a massive storm in 1717, the Whydah plundered two ships and took 400,000 gold coins. Clifford’s crew has found several concretions, or rocky masses that form when metals like gold react with seawater. Whether they find the coins or not will be a mystery that will have to wait until diving season starts back up again next year around June.

Read it at CBS News


Bezos: Kindle HDX Won't Make Money, and I Don't Care

Stephen Brashear/AP

Amazon's new tablet may have a price hike, but that won't help its profitability says CEO Jeff Bezos.

By John is launching a new version of its Kindle Fire tablet—but with an unusual twist for the market that might leave consumers scratching their heads.Amazon's upcoming high-end tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, will pack a bunch of new features, including one called Mayday that will allow users to video chat with tech support and fix their devices from wherever they are."You can press this button, and a tech support advisor will appear on your screen and copilot you through anything you might wanna do.


U.S. to Run Out of Money Soon

Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty

Treasury says October 17 is the date.

Talk about a spoiler. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent a letter to Congress Wednesday morning declaring that the U.S. will no longer be able to pay its bills after October 17, unless the debt ceiling is raised. The announcement by Lew is the first time the administration has given a specific deadline. Many are watching Congress with trepidation, as it appears the two sides are nowhere near close to coming up with a solution to the impasse over the debt limit.

Read it at USA Today


DOJ Rejects JPMorgan’s $3 Billion Offer

To settle mortgage cases.

Putting messy litigation behind you isn't as cheap as it used to be. The Justice Department has rejected a $3 billion offer from JPMorgan Chase to settle investigations into the bank's mortgage-backed-securities business, saying it is much too small. JPMorgan has a big incentive to settle—the mortgage investigation is one of at least seven probes the bank is facing, ranging from alleged misbehavior in energy markets to dealing in China. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon reportedly has urged the board to agree to settlements so the bank can get past the steady string of legal headaches.

Read it at the Wall Street Journal

Tesla Model

All In on Electric

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Tesla Motors may be wildly overvalued, but all the public adulation and attention is forcing bigger manufacturers to play catch-up. Daniel Gross on how cachet has a way of developing into a real business.

Cars can’t fly. But Tesla Motors, the electric sports car manufacturer, continues to defy gravity. Its stock has risen six-fold in the past year, giving it a market capitalization of $22 billion. That’s stunning, especially given that Tesla sells only about 2,000 cars per month and last quarter reported a $70 million profit. By contrast, GM, which sold more than 275,000 cars in August and earned $1.2 billion in the most recent quarter, has a market capitalization $51.


Bill Gates’s Big Bet on Toilets

Mehdi Taamallah/AFP/Getty

The tech mogul and philanthropist spoke at CGI on Tuesday about how private foundations can take big risks to have a wide impact, and on the unglamorous but necessary technologies that the developing world desperately needs.

No one is more qualified to sit on a panel titled Big Bets Philanthropy than Bill Gates, co-founder of the world's largest private philanthropic group, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Gates was joined on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday by Nigerian investor Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, and Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF's assistant secretary-general.Early on during the panel, Gates steered the topic toward philanthropic organizations and the role they play within the public and private sectors.

Health Salesmen

When Bubba Met (With) Obama

Ramin Talaie/Getty

It was a strange day for health care, with Ted Cruz pseudo-filibustering and two Democratic presidents playing Obamacare salesmen. Eleanor Clift on how Obama talked up his plan—and what Clinton feared.

Could the dialogue about the new health-care law get any more surreal? On one television network, Texas Republican Ted Cruz drones on and on about the evils of Obamacare, and on another, Democratic Presidents Obama and Clinton do their best to sell a skeptical American public on the new health-care law, sounding a bit like the Home Shopping Network as they put in a plug for people to go online to and sign up for coverage.Seated in cream-colored easy chairs on the set of Clinton’s annual Global Initiative confab in New York, the two presidents engaged in some friendly banter about how they both married up.


China Buys 5 Percent of Ukraine

Arno Burgi, DPA / Corbis

To feed their growing population.

The breadbasket of Europe is living up to its name. In an effort to feed its growing population, China purchased 5 percent of Ukraine’s soil-rich land, an incredible 9 percent of its farmland. The deal, struck between Chinese and Ukrainian production companies, gives the middle kingdom access to the land for the next 50 years. Two Chinese state-owned grain farms plan to head up the operation, the first step of which involves swapping seeds and equipment with Ukraine in exchange for pigs and crops. According to experts, China consumes roughly 20 percent of the world’s food supplies.

Read it at UPI


Daniel Gross

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