Uber Buys Dockless Bike-Share Company Jump

Uber is officially entering the dockless bike-sharing space. The ride-hail company has acquired electric bike-share startup Jump Bikes for an undisclosed amount.

Owning and operating its own bike-share service may help Uber mitigate the threat that e-bike and e-scooter services pose to the ride-hail company's business, specifically for trips under three or so miles.

Bike services are a more affordable means to complete first- and last-mile trips to Uber's suite of services. The deal will give Uber users access to Jump services.

Jump, founded by Ryan Rzepecki, had raised $11.6 million from investors including Menlo Ventures.

Other ride-share companies around the world already have bike share services. In India, there's Ola, which offers bike share, and Didi and Grab have launched their own bike-share services.

Jump and Uber first began working together in February when Uber began offering some users the option to order a Jump bike in San Francisco.

Jump is the sole dockless bike-share operator currently available in San Francisco. The city has an exclusive contract with Ford's GoBike for docked bike share. Jump doesn't require a dock, which means it can be parked almost anywhere. As part of the pilot program, Jump is currently only allowed to operate 250 bikes in the city. Per its permit, the company should be able to double the number of bikes in the city by September.

In January, the company was the only dockless bike service to receive a permit to operate in San Francisco. In February, the first full month of operation, Jump says the company saw around four trips for each of its 250 bikes a day at an average distance of 2.6 miles per trip.

Jump, previously called Social Bikes, only recently began operating its own fleet of dockless bikes. Prior to that it sold dockless bikes to a variety of clients like small fleet operators...

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Valimail Debuts Next-Gen Email Authentication Platform

SAN FRANCISCO -- April 11, 2018 -- Valimail, the world's only provider of fully automated email authentication, today unveiled its next-generation authentication platform, the Valimail Identity-Driven Email Anti-impersonation (IDEA)™ platform.

This modular platform is designed for robustness, global availability, four-nines of reliability, and extensibility. Unlike current solutions in the market, it enables complete, turn-key automation of DMARC enforcement, without ever touching the customer's DNS, ensuring the highest success rates in the industry.

The IDEA platform is already powering two current products, Valimail Enforce™ and Valimail Deliver™, serving numerous enterprise customers and protecting their employees, customers, and partners from billions of fraudulent emails while increasing deliverability and providing reliable, worry-free brand protection.

Valimail's IDEA platform removes significant technical hurdles including email sender identification and management challenges, and other issues associated with traditional approaches to email authentication.

Benefits of the IDEA platform include:

Fully automated solution guarantees email authentication to stop impersonation attacks, protect your brand, and improve deliverability.

Patented technology solves many of the technical challenges organizations face in email authentication deployment.

Unique cloud-based approach requires no IT resources and no manual effort on the customer's part.

Ensures that authorized email services are properly identified and authenticated so only malicious emails are blocked.

Unlike other solutions, does not risk exposure to personally identifiable information (PII), helping ensure GDPR compliance.

"The IDEA platform is another innovation that helps companies of all sizes to achieve DMARC enforcement through real automation," said Alexander García-Tobar, CEO and co-founder of Valimail. "Other approaches on the market provide monitoring and reporting tools but fail to overcome the technological hurdles and put the onus of performing tasks on the customers, resulting in disappointment and failure."

The Valimail IDEA Platform consists of five main components:

Valimail Authenticator: provides correct, complete responses to all email authentication queries based on the domain owner's policy as defined in the Enforcement Controller, and collects...

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Salesforce Prepping To Join the Blockchain Revolution

Lots of companies are exploring how blockchain technology could change the way they do business, and the customer relationship management giant Salesforce is one of them. Co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff said recently that he expects to unveil a blockchain/cryptocurrency offering for Saleforce customers during the company's annual Dreamforce developers conference in September.

Benioff made the comments during a March 28 fireside chat with co-founder/CTO Parker Harris and Business Insider's Julie Bort. The on-stage discussion took place during Salesforce's TrailheaDX conference in San Francisco.

The business market for blockchain and related crypto applications is beginning to take off, though the technology is still in the early stages of development. Global spending on blockchain solutions is expected to hit $2.1 billion this year, more than twice the amount spent in 2017, according to a recent forecast by analyst firm IDC.

Benioff: 'I Was Like, Whoa.'

Based on cryptographic concepts similar to those used for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are being tested for a number of different applications in business, government, and other areas. Decentralized databases can, among other things, help verify and validate digital records for supply chains, financial transactions, digital identity management, and more.

Salesforce has been broadly eyeing blockchain along with other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, but Benioff said during the TrailheaDX event that a lightbulb went off in his head while he was at the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos in January. A blockchain conference was taking place in the city at the same time, and Benioff said he began speaking with one of the attendees at a bar one day.

"I had been thinking about what is Salesforce's strategy in blockchain," Benioff told Bort. "And then in my mind, all of a sudden I just...

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Mr. Zuckerberg Heads to Washington: 5 Burning Questions

Congress has plenty of questions for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who will testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday and Wednesday about the company's ongoing data-privacy scandal and how it failed to guard against other abuses of its service.

Facebook is struggling to cope with the worst privacy crisis in its history -- allegations that a Trump-affiliated data mining firm may have used ill-gotten user data to try to influence elections. Zuckerberg and his company are in full damage-control mode, and have announced a number of piecemeal technical changes intended to address privacy issues.

But there's plenty the Facebook CEO hasn't yet explained. Here are five questions that could shed more light on Facebook's privacy practices and the degree to which it is really sorry about playing fast and loose with user data -- or just because its practices have drawn the spotlight.

QUESTION: You've said you should have acted years ago to protect user privacy and guard against other abuses. Was that solely a failure of your leadership, or did Facebook's business model or other factors create an obstacle to change? How can you ensure that Facebook doesn't make similar errors in the future?

CONTEXT: Zuckerberg controls 59.7 percent of the voting stock in Facebook. He is both chairman of the board and CEO. He can't be fired, unless he fires himself. "At the end of the day, this is my responsibility," he told reporters on a conference call last week. He also admitted to making a "huge mistake" in not taking a broad enough view of Facebook's responsibility in the world.

Zuckerberg, however, has been apologizing for not doing better on privacy for 11 years . In the current crisis, neither he nor chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg have clarified exactly how Facebook developed such a huge blind spot, much less how it can prevent...

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Delightfully Retro: Windows 3.0 File Manager on Windows 10

In advance of an already-divisive major Windows 10 update, Microsoft has released a fun, little open-source Easter egg for its longtime fans: the Windows 3.0 File Manager.

Available now in its full source code on GitHub, anyone can access this tool and manage their files the old-fashioned way. That is, with file trees and pixelated iconography.

Microsoft made the code available on GitHub through the MIT OSS license, allowing it to compile and render under Windows 10. This means that you will be able to manage your files within this retro environment.

In fact, it's so delightfully retro that File Manager actually uses an MDI, or multiple-document interface, to represent your files in windows within the main application window. That might seem trite today in a computing world where every app and even every file is its own window, but for much of Windows's life that was the norm.

This gift to Microsoft's longtime fans comes at a relatively tough time for Microsoft (and the tech community at large, privacy-wise). For one, folks don't seem to be happy with how the imminent Windows 10 Spring Creators Update is panning out. And, two, some Microsoft fans aren't happy with how it implements these throw-back features as it relates to privacy, as discovered by TechCrunch.

"Most of the MSFT open source stuff is either trash or completely unmaintained," one Hacker News reader noted following the release. "Only a couple of high profile projects are maintained and they jam opt-out telemetry in if you like it or not (despite hundreds of comments requesting them to go away). Even Scott Hanselman getting involved in one of our tickets got it nowhere. Same strong arming and disregard for customers."

At any rate, feel free to play around with this relic of the past in your present-day Windows computer -- just maybe...

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Will Facebook Really Change Its Data-Leaking Ways?

Lost amid a flurry of Facebook announcements about privacy settings and data access is a much more fundamental question: Is Facebook really changing its relationship with users, or just tinkering around the edges of a deeper problem -- its insatiable appetite for the data it uses to sell ads?

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is scheduled to testify to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday, long defined the company's mission as making the world more open and connected. He's now tweaking that high-minded goal to emphasize positive community-building, not just connectivity. But it's not at all clear how much Facebook can shift without undermining what makes it one of the world's most profitable companies.

"Why is connectivity a good thing? Once you begin to challenge that, you begin to question the business model, which is about mining our data," said Richard John, a Columbia University professor of business history. Facebook is "extraordinarily reliant on the goodwill of users" who allow it to harvest what they share about themselves, he said -- much more so than other tech companies.

Wall Street analysts are already counting on Facebook to survive a user revolt. Based on recent polling, GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives expects roughly 15 percent of users to disengage somewhat from the social network following revelations that the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained personal information from 87 million users to try to influence elections. In a worst-case scenario, decreased engagement and what Ives terms a "negligible" number of deleted accounts could cost the company up to $2 billion in annual advertising, Ives said.

Facebook could likely survive a $2 billion cut in its bottom line. Its shares have rebounded after hitting their lowest price in nine months in late March. Since then, the stock has climbed about 4 percent to $158.61 at midday Monday.

Less clear...

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New Equifax CEO Focusing on Rebuilding Trust

Equifax announced last month that Mark Begor, a long-time financial industry executive, would take over as CEO of the company on April 16.

Begor joins Equifax at a time when it's still recovering from last year's massive data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans. The stolen information included Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses, which can be used for identity theft. It was the largest breach of crucial personal information in history, and led to Equifax's previous CEO stepping down, as well as several other executives.

Begor spoke to The Associated Press after the company announced they were hiring him. The interview has been edited for length and clarity:

Q: What attracted you to the job?

A: Obviously the breach was a real challenge for business. But I've been impressed with how they've been responding to it. They have been making heavy investments and focusing on bringing in the right talent to fix what went wrong. But one of my principle goals is really to regain the trust of our customers, of the consumer and the public.

Q: What goes into rebuilding trust?

A: The business is discussing heavily the infrastructure and it's fortifying its defenses around cybersecurity. As you know, we're not unique or alone in being impacted by this massive global threat of cybersecurity, and we didn't have the right defenses in place, but we're definitely going to have to do that. The second is really spending time with customers, and our partners, to make sure that they know we're serious about that investment.

Q: Since the breach, there's been a growing conversation around the fact that people don't really have any say on how their data is gathered. Are you taking a different approach to looking at how actual Americans' data you're collecting is being handled?

A: Consumers do need...

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Apple Co-Founder Woz Closes Facebook Account Over Data Collection

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is shutting down his Facebook account as the social media giant struggles to cope with the worst privacy crisis in its history.

In an email to USA Today, Wozniak said Facebook makes a lot of advertising money from personal details provided by users. He said the "profits are all based on the user's info, but the users get none of the profits back."

Wozniak said he'd rather pay for Facebook.

"Apple makes money off of good products, not off of you," he said.

In an interview late Monday in Philadelphia with The Associated Press, Wozniak said he had been thinking for a while of deleting his account and made the move after several of his trusted friends deleted their Facebook accounts last week.

It's "a big hypocrisy not respecting my privacy when (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg buys all the houses around his and all the lots around his in Hawaii for his own privacy," Wozniak said. "He knows the value of it, but he's not looking after mine."

A British data mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign gathered personal information from 87 million Facebook users to try to influence elections. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has announced technical changes intended to address privacy issues.

Zuckerberg has apologized, and Facebook's No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, has said she's sorry the company let so many people down.

Zuckerberg will testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday about the company's ongoing data privacy scandal and how it failed to guard against other abuses of its service.

Wozniak said he doesn't believe in the current system that Facebook can fix its privacy issues, saying he doesn't think Facebook is going to change its policies "for decades."

Wozniak said Apple Inc., based in Cupertino, California, has systems and policies that in many cases allow people to...

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TBD Boss Buzzing You After Hours? NYC Wants You To Say Buzz Off

Technology that once promised freedom from the confines of an office has, for many workers, become a ball and chain, blurring the lines between work hours and, well, any other hours. A New York City Council member wants to put a stop to that.

The proposal would bar employers from requiring employees to respond to non-emergency emails, texts and other digital communications outside regular work hours. It would also outlaw retaliating against workers who choose to unplug.

The recently introduced legislation is only in the beginning stages, with initial committee hearings expected sometime in June, and doubters wonder how it could work, especially in always-buzzing New York City.

But bill sponsor Rafael Espinal, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn, said the legislation is needed because the city that never sleeps isn't supposed to be the city that never stops working.

"Work has spilled into our personal lives," he said. "We're always connected to our phones or to a computer once we leave the office."

It's important, he said, for people to be "able to draw a clear line between the workplace and their personal lives, to give them time to connect with their family, friends, reduce their stress levels and be able to go back to work and perform at their optimal level."

The legislation would cover private companies with more than 10 employees. There would be exemptions for certain types of jobs that require people to be on call. Barring emergencies, bosses wouldn't be able to demand that workers check work emails or messages in off hours.

Companies that violated the rule would face fines of at least $250 per incident.

Espinal said he was inspired by a French law that took effect this year that gave employees the right to ignore off-hour communications.

Employers who wanted to return a communication could do so.

"If you love your...

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Volkswagen Contemplates Changing CEO in Reshuffle

Volkswagen said Tuesday it was considering replacing CEO Matthias Mueller as part of a management shake-up, and German news media reported Mueller?EU?s job would go to core Volkswagen brand head Herbert Diess.

The company said it was contemplating a management reshuffle and reassigning responsibilities among executives that "could include a change in the position of the chairman of the board of management," the German term for CEO.

Volkswagen said in a short statement that board of directors Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch was in discussions with top managers about their duties and that the result was ?EU?currently open.?EU?

The statement said Mueller "showed his willingness to contribute" to the changes, but stopped short of saying whether Mueller was leaving his current job.

Volkswagen is controlled by the Piech and Porsche families, which have 52 percent of voting rights. The German state of Lower Saxony has 20 percent and Qatar Holding 17 percent.

Germany?EU?s dpa news agency, Handelsblatt business publication and national daily newspaper Bild reported that Mueller would be replaced by Diess, a former BMW executive who joined Volkswagen in 2015.

Mueller, 64, was head of Volkswagen?EU?s richly profitable Porsche division when he unexpectedly was handed the CEO job in September 2015. Predecessor Martin Winterkorn fell victim to the company?EU?s scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

As CEO, Mueller led Volkswagen through the aftermath of the scandal, which included billions in fines and penalties and U.S. criminal charges against several executives, to record sales and strong profits.

He apologized for the scandal and launched what was described as an effort to make the company?EU?s management more open to discussion and less top-down, factors that may have abetted the emissions cheating. But he also faced skepticism about whether he was a credible change agent since he started working for Volkswagen in 1978.

After-tax profit rose to 11.6...

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