Elon Musk: 55 Billion Reasons To Make Tesla Succeed

Aggressive, audacious, bristling with risk. That describes Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. It also describes the pay plan Tesla's board of directors wants to grant him.

In a special meeting to be held Wednesday, shareholders will decide in a binding vote whether they'll go along.

Even by the Olympian standards of executive pay, the Musk plan is a jaw dropper. The deal could allow Musk [pictured above] to take in more than $55 billion over its 10-year duration.

Other outsized pay plans -- such as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook's 10-year, nearly $400-million stock option plan, or Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger's $100-million deal last December -- pale by comparison.

The Musk plan is unusual in other ways. It's a pure performance package: no salary, no bonus, no stock grants based on showing up for work. Only stock options will be offered, pegged to Musk's ability to elevate Tesla's total market value far above its current $56 billion while boosting revenue and, eventually, profit.

Musk's existing pay plan, formulated in 2012, likewise is based mainly on stock options linked to performance. But the focus has been on making sure products get out to market, and less on financial metrics. Options accounted for much of the 22% share of the company he now owns. Under the new plan, he will no longer be offered a salary, which amounted to just $49,720 in 2017.

For maximum payout, the new plan requires Musk to multiply Tesla's market value twelvefold, to $650 billion.

The plan is contingent on Musk remaining at the company, though not necessarily as CEO, and meeting a series of milestones based on either revenue or profit. If he can't hit any of them -- because, say, Tesla proves unable to fix serious production problems hampering sales of its new Model 3 electric sedan and revenue falls short...

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Elon Musk: 55 Billion Reasons To Make Tesla Succeed

Aggressive, audacious, bristling with risk. That describes Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. It also describes the pay plan Tesla's board of directors wants to grant him.

In a special meeting to be held Wednesday, shareholders will decide in a binding vote whether they'll go along.

Even by the Olympian standards of executive pay, the Musk plan is a jaw dropper. The deal could allow Musk [pictured above] to take in more than $55 billion over its 10-year duration.

Other outsized pay plans -- such as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook's 10-year, nearly $400-million stock option plan, or Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger's $100-million deal last December -- pale by comparison.

The Musk plan is unusual in other ways. It's a pure performance package: no salary, no bonus, no stock grants based on showing up for work. Only stock options will be offered, pegged to Musk's ability to elevate Tesla's total market value far above its current $56 billion while boosting revenue and, eventually, profit.

Musk's existing pay plan, formulated in 2012, likewise is based mainly on stock options linked to performance. But the focus has been on making sure products get out to market, and less on financial metrics. Options accounted for much of the 22% share of the company he now owns. Under the new plan, he will no longer be offered a salary, which amounted to just $49,720 in 2017.

For maximum payout, the new plan requires Musk to multiply Tesla's market value twelvefold, to $650 billion.

The plan is contingent on Musk remaining at the company, though not necessarily as CEO, and meeting a series of milestones based on either revenue or profit. If he can't hit any of them -- because, say, Tesla proves unable to fix serious production problems hampering sales of its new Model 3 electric sedan and revenue falls short...

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Protect Your Facebook Privacy — Or Just Delete Yourself Completely

If the revelations that Cambridge Analytica acquired the records of 50 million Facebook users has you wondering how to protect your own personal information, you may already have discovered the maze of privacy settings the social networking site offers.

First, the good news: the feature that allowed the most egregious data harvesting used by the company that gave Cambridge Analytica its data is no longer on the site.

Before 2016, Facebook apps could ask for permission to access not only your own data, but also the data of all your friends on the platform. That means that around 300,000 people could sign up for a personality test quiz, and in the process hand over information of 150 times that number.

Now, however, Facebook apps are only allowed to gather information from users who have directly signed up for them, greatly limiting their reach. That change was made in 2014, and rolled out to every Facebook app over the course of 2015.

But it's still the case that apps which you have directly enabled can harvest a significant amount of data from your account -- often information which you might be surprised to know you're handing over.

The app settings page on Facebook is the place to manage the apps you've given access to. Clicking on the link will bring up a list of apps under "logged in with Facebook." Hopefully you'll recognize most of them -- if there's any you don't, consider clicking the "X," deauthorizing them from your account.

You might also want to click on the edit button under the "apps others use" heading lower down the page. This takes you to your privacy settings for the modern version of the same feature Cambridge Analytica profited from. The information others can hand over on your behalf is limited, but still includes data such as...

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Protect Your Facebook Privacy — Or Just Delete Yourself Completely

If the revelations that Cambridge Analytica acquired the records of 50 million Facebook users has you wondering how to protect your own personal information, you may already have discovered the maze of privacy settings the social networking site offers.

First, the good news: the feature that allowed the most egregious data harvesting used by the company that gave Cambridge Analytica its data is no longer on the site.

Before 2016, Facebook apps could ask for permission to access not only your own data, but also the data of all your friends on the platform. That means that around 300,000 people could sign up for a personality test quiz, and in the process hand over information of 150 times that number.

Now, however, Facebook apps are only allowed to gather information from users who have directly signed up for them, greatly limiting their reach. That change was made in 2014, and rolled out to every Facebook app over the course of 2015.

But it's still the case that apps which you have directly enabled can harvest a significant amount of data from your account -- often information which you might be surprised to know you're handing over.

The app settings page on Facebook is the place to manage the apps you've given access to. Clicking on the link will bring up a list of apps under "logged in with Facebook." Hopefully you'll recognize most of them -- if there's any you don't, consider clicking the "X," deauthorizing them from your account.

You might also want to click on the edit button under the "apps others use" heading lower down the page. This takes you to your privacy settings for the modern version of the same feature Cambridge Analytica profited from. The information others can hand over on your behalf is limited, but still includes data such as...

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Strange Bedfellows: Retailers Join Google To Fend Off Amazon

In the cutthroat world of retailing, where margins are thin and customer loyalties are often as fluid as the next big blowout sale, retailers are apt to do anything they can to keep consumers coming back.

And sometimes, that can result in alliances of some unlikely bedfellows.

On Monday, those included Target, Walmart, Costco, Home Depot and Ulta Beauty, which are all hitching at least part of their wagons to Google in a move aimed at improving their online sales and eroding the market dominance enjoyed by e-commerce kingpin Amazon.

Google and the big-box retailers are teaming up on a new program in which those companies can have their products listed on Google Search, the Google Express shopping service, and the Google Assistant app on mobile phones and voice devices. Of course, Google isn't doing this out of the kindness of its heart. The retailers will pay Google a piece of each purchase in exchange for their stores and products showing up on Google listings and being linked to retailers' loyalty programs.

Reuters reported that the new partnership, called Shopping Actions, will be made available to retailers of any size in the United States. The aim of the program is to help retailers make sales from customers who search for products on Google, instead of looking up details and then buying items from Amazon.

"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail," said Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping, in an interview with Reuters. "We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions."

The service will enable customers to find products, and then purchase items through a single shopping cart. The feature would, in theory, give customers the convenience of buying from multiple...

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‘We Swipe Left on Bullies:’ Bumble Responds to Tinder Suit

"Woman-founded, women-led" dating app Bumble has attacked Tinder's parent company for its "aggressive corporate culture" amid a lawsuit and attempted takeover.

Match Group is suing Bumble for alleged patent infringement, while also attempting to buy it out -- a move Bumble says is tantamount to bullying.

Bumble issued a withering response to the lawsuit on Tuesday, telling Match Group: "We swipe left on you. We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us.

"We'll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we'll never compromise our values."

The company, which was founded by former Tinder employees, was responding to a lawsuit filed in Texas in which Match claims it invented the phrases "swipe left" and "swipe right" when it comes to dating apps, and accuses Bumble of infringing on its property by using them.

Bumble responded by saying: "We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games. We swipe left on your assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate us.

"Given your enduring interest in our company, we expected you to know us a bit better by now."

According to TechCrunch, Match had made a $450m (£321m) offer to acquire Bumble, which has been described as a "feminist Tinder" as it requires women to initiate the conversation with any potential matches. However, that deal was turned down in November.

Bumble added that Match's "bad behavior only fuels us".

The statement continued: "It motivates us to push our mission further - to work harder each day to build a platform, community, and brand that promotes kindness, respect, and equality.

"That's the thing about us. We're more than a feature where women make the first move. Empowerment is in our DNA. You can't copy that.

"We remain focused on improving our users' experience, and taking our mission worldwide, until every woman...

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Worried About Germs on Planes? New Study Will Ease Your Mind

If you're the type of traveler who worries about catching the flu or another dreaded disease from a fellow airline passenger, a new study should put your mind at ease.

If a plane takes off with one infected flier, it is likely to land on the other side of the country with only 1.7 infected fliers, researchers found.

What you really need to watch out for is a flight attendant with a cough or runny nose. A single one of them can infect 4.6 passengers during a transcontinental flight.

A group that dubbed itself the FlyHealthy Research Team came to these conclusions after flying back and forth from Atlanta to the West Coast on 10 flights and paying extremely close attention to the movements in the economy-class portion of the cabin.

Ten researchers boarded each flight and spaced themselves in pairs five to seven rows apart, sitting in seats on opposite sides of the aisle. From these prime vantage points, they took copious notes on who went where. Then they recorded each step in an iPad app.

Over the course of the 10 flights -- which lasted between 3 hours and 31 minutes and 5 hours and 13 minutes -- several patterns emerged:

--Passengers seated along the aisle were much more likely to move about the cabin than passengers seated next to a window. Overall, 57% of those in window seats stayed put for their entire flight, compared with 48% of those in middle seats and 20% of those in aisle seats.

--There were two main reasons for people to get up during the flight -- to go to the lavatory or to access the overhead bin.

--Among all 1,296 passengers on all 10 flights, 84% had "close contact" with another passenger seated more than 1 meter away. The typical number of such contacts was 44, and they...

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Windows 10: Microsoft Really Pushing Its Edge Browser

Microsoft is looking to force users into using its Edge browser, by making it default for opening links from email. Having struggled to entice users to ditch market-leader Chrome, or even its older, now decommissioned Internet Explorer, Microsoft is going to try and force it on people.

In the release notes for Microsoft's latest early version of Windows 10, sent out to its so called Insiders, the Redmond-based company said: "We will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge, which provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices."

The change will ignore the wishes of the user, opening links in Edge regardless of which app is their designated default browser.

Windows Mail is the default email client that comes pre-installed on Windows 10 supporting various different email providers including Google's Gmail.

The reason for the change is because "Microsoft Edge enables you to be more productive, organized and creative without sacrificing your battery life or security," the company says.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has tried to force users to at least try its new browser, which replaced Internet Explorer with the release of Windows 10 in July 2015. When you attempt to change the default browser to Google's Chrome in the Settings app, Windows 10 asks users to make sure they really want to switch and whether they wouldn't rather try Edge.

But Microsoft does allow users to force the change making Chrome, or any other browser, the default choice, opening links from other apps in their choice rather than Edge.

Despite Windows 10 being installed on 36% of desktop computers globally, according to data from StatCounter, Edge is only used by 4% of desktop computer users, behind Internet Explorer with 6.9%, Firefox with 11.5% and Google's...

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Mark Zuckerberg Under Fire for Massive Data Leak

A U.S. senator is demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after reports that a company employed by President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign accessed profile data from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

"This is a major breach that must be investigated," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, tweeted Saturday. "It's clear these platforms can't police themselves ... They say 'trust us.' Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary."

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the senator's demand.

On Friday evening, the Menlo Park social media giant -- with the New York Times poised to publish on Saturday an article about the massive data leak -- admitted in a news release that Cambridge Analytica had years ago obtained user data from a "personality prediction" app that was downloaded by about 270,000 people.

The app developer could then access "information such as the city they set on their profile, or content they had liked, as well as more limited information about friends who had their privacy settings set to allow it," Facebook said.

The developer accessed the data through what were the proper channels at the time, but "lied to us and violated our Platform Policies by passing data (to) Cambridge Analytica," the company said.

Cambridge Analytica harvested profile information from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission, the Associated Press reported.

Facebook subsequently changed the rules governing developers' use of its data, and now requires them to justify and explain proposed data collection before they're allowed to access user information or ask for it, the company said.

Cambridge Analytica denied wrongdoing, saying it had deleted the data it received from the developer, the Associated Press reported. Facebook, however, said in its news release that it had received reports several days ago that...

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Broadcom-Qualcomm: Epic Takeover Battle’s Fallout

Just two weeks ago, Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan had Qualcomm hooked. He was poised to reel in his biggest prize in a long string of trophy acquisitions of technology companies. In early voting, a significant number of Qualcomm shareholders reportedly cast ballots supporting Tan's candidates for Qualcomm board of directors, which would pave the way for a hostile takeover.

Then in an instant, Qualcomm escaped -- thanks to a last-minute rescue by the Trump administration. Last Monday, the President blocked the $117 billion buyout, deeming it a potential threat to national security.

The move brings to an end a five-month saga for control of Qualcomm, a cellular giant and San Diego's flagship technology company with 13,000 local employees.

Momentum in this epic fight seemed to shift daily. Now that it's over, what remains are questions about conflicts between America's long-standing free market/free trade stance and the need for national security -- particularly surrounding critical industries such as telecommunications.

Even on Friday, more drama erupted after Qualcomm announced that Paul Jacobs, son of co-founder Irwin Jacobs, would not be re-nominated to the board at next Friday's stockholder's meeting. That announcement came just after Jacobs told board members he wanted to take Qualcomm private, a move that analysts dismissed as a long shot.

Whatever happens next, Qualcomm must come to grips with the business headwinds that made it vulnerable to Broadcom's hostile takeover in the first place.

More from CFIUS?

As the debate over balancing free trade with national security heats up, expect to hear more about the secretive Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States.

Known as CFIUS, the multi-agency regulator headed by the Treasury Department investigates the national security impacts of foreign investment in U.S. firms.

It doesn't disclose much about its decisions. But based on documents that Qualcomm made public in this case, it was concerned...

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