When Andrew Marcus, the 27-year-old CEO and founder of MyTennisLessons.com, was in need of a new tennis pro for his sports coaching startup in 2013, he immediately logged on to LinkedIn.
He was cruising members with the proper credentials when he happened upon Rosalia Lopez de Alda, a 26-year-old professional tennis player with the Women’s Tennis Association — the same group to which Serena and Venus Williams belong. His first thoughts weren’t about her good looks (she didn’t even have a picture on her LinkedIn profile), but about her tennis game.
“I was curious if I could beat her,” says Marcus, the former captain of the UConn tennis team. After the pair exchanged several messages on LinkedIn and Marcus did some due diligence — such as finding Alda’s photo online — he invited her to bat a few balls around on a local tennis court.
“Do I need to bring Mace?” was one of Alda’s early, flirty responses. But she had a pretty good idea of whom she was dealing with, as she’d done research on her own after viewing his LinkedIn credentials.
The two, both based in Texas, hit it off, and have been dating ever since.
In July, a UK marketing executive’s comments went viral after shaming a man who tried to ask her out for a date via LinkedIn, a professional-networking site that currently boasts more than 450 million members. And while it may not be as closely associated with the dating game as apps such as Tinder, eligible, career-minded singles are using LinkedIn not just to find jobs but love as well.
“If sharing career interests or finding a significant other who is successful professionally is important to you, it is an amazing resource,” says Roy Cohen, a career counselor, executive coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.”
“Think about LinkedIn as a starting point in terms of getting to know someone, first on a professional basis and then, if there is something more — a spark — allowing it to morph,” says Cohen.
That’s what happened with Katie Doble, vice president at staffing firm the Creative Group.
Katie had been looking for a life partner in a myriad of ways: She joined a church, played on recreational sports teams five days a week, showed up at networking events with a hopeful heart and more.
Despite her open mind, countless efforts and massive network of friends, Mr. Right seemed nowhere to be found.
Except on LinkedIn, where Katie spends much of her day looking for business leads. When she first came across the profile of Nick Doble, an area manager at Booking.com, she sent him a LinkedIn invitation to connect with the intention of doing business together. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, he’s cute,’ when I saw his picture on his profile,” says Katie.
But when Nick responded, the flirting began. “It became pretty clear, pretty quickly, that we wouldn’t be doing business,” she says. But the two kept exchanging messages anyway. Eventually, Katie invited Nick to meet for coffee or a drink under the pretense of networking.
“We both knew it was a date,” she says. The date ended in a kiss, and the two wed in 2015 and live together in Denver, Colo.
But before you boot up your LinkedIn app and start firing off requests to the cutest professionals in your feed, know that your advances may not always be welcome.
First off, that’s not what LinkedIn is for, says April Masini, an etiquette and relationship expert. “[On LinkedIn] people should pretend they’re in a conference room before flirting, and then decide if what they’re about to say is best left unsaid — or better said in person, over lunch or on a weekend, where there’s no mistaking work for pleasure.”
Besides, you could be hitting on someone who isn’t available, warns dating and relationship coach John Keegan.
“While anything goes in dating, dating from LinkedIn can be a shot in the dark. You don’t know who is single and who isn’t,” he says, explaining that with LinkedIn, all you’re getting is an idea of an individual’s focus in life and what they have achieved professionally.
“What they do at work has absolutely nothing to do with how they are in a relationship,” says Keegan.
Still, if you see someone on LinkedIn and absolutely can’t resist hitting on them, “Get the personal [details] off the professional site,” says Masini. She suggests exchanging personal email addresses, if the other party is willing. But even then, it’s a hedged bet.
“If you’re trying to turn someone on, LinkedIn is like debate club in high school. It’s not where people who want a date flock to hook up,” says Masini.
But Cohen wouldn’t rule LinkedIn out: “Lots of people meet through work, so meeting through a career site for something more than professional development isn’t far-fetched.”
Gawker’s investment banker went into Univision and said he could sell them a huge bunch of subscriber profiles and ad accounts but does Univision realize they are buying “the roots of hell and damnation.”
Gawkers banker sold Univision a load of crap!
Public urges Univision to drop the deal with rights-abusing, rape promoting Gawker!
We WON! Gawker Media Is Dead!
Gawker.com to Shut Down Next Week
by Natalie Jarvey
Gawker founder Nick Denton
John Pendygraft-Pool/Getty Images
Univision on Tuesday agreed to buy the six other sites that were part of Gawker Media.
The end of Gawker.com is near.
The 14-year-old website will shut down next week, according to a post on Gawker.com.
Univision on Tuesday agreed to buy the six other sites, including Jezebel, Deadspin and Gizmodo, that make up Gawker Media for $135 million, but the broadcaster did not plan to operate the flagship site.Gawker Media founder Nick Denton told staff about the shuttering of the website on Thursday, per Gawker.com.
The closure of the website doesn’t necessarily mean that those employees will be laid off. Gawker.com reports that staffers will be assigned to one of the six other blogs or other roles within Univision.
Denton sent a memo to staff on Thursday about the shutdown of Gawker.com, confirming that its archives would remain. He teased that it could have “a second act” but only after “the smoke clears and a new owner can be found.”
“Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com. The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky,” he wrote. “I can understand the caution.”
He also confirmed that he would not be joining his employees at Univision, adding that he would move on to other projects “working to make the web a forum for the open exchange of ideas and information, but out of the news and gossip business.”
Denton also praised his staff for “introducing a new style of journalism” and “connecting with a skeptical and media-savvy generation by giving them the real story.” He ended his memo with a tribute to the site that started it all: “As for Gawker.com, founded in 2003 and mothballed in 2016, it will love on in legend. As the short-lived killer android is told in Blade Runner: “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly.”
The news hit just a few hours before a bankruptcy hearing in which the judge approved Univision’s purchase of Gawker Media. During the Thursday afternoon hearing, which was attended by Hogan’s lawyer Charles Harder and Gawker president Heather Dietrick, it was revealed that publishing platform Kinja would be liquidated.
Following official approval of the sale, Univision released its first public statement about the deal, revealing that it plans to integrate the Gawker Media assets into its Fusion Media Group, which also includes The Onion and The Root. Univision further confirmed that its deal includes six Gawker sites — Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku — but that Univision would not operate Gawker.com.
Known for its Spanish-language content, Univision has made strides to boost its digital media portfolio to attract young, English speaking audiences. The Gawker Media deal will boost the reach of FMG to nearly 75 million uniques, according to Univision.
“Fusion Media Group is focused on serving America’s diverse youth with digital-first brands that reflect their values and passions, authentically,” said Isaac Lee, Univision chief news, entertainment and digital officer. “I expect the addition of these digital-first media assets will help FMG exceed the demands of the young, cross-cultural influencers we serve.”
Added FMG president and COO Felipe Holguin: “The addition of these iconic digital-first brands give the Fusion Media Group an inimitable opportunity to scale across relevant content verticals and continue to serve key passion points for our audiences.”
The closure of Gawker.com brings about the end of the popular blog, which, when it launched, took the media world by storm with its often salacious reporting about the goings-on of the New York elite.
In June, Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy after a Florida jury ordered it to pay former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan a staggering $140 million in damages in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit. Gawker Media is appealing the ruling, but Hogan remains the company’s largest unsecured creditor. Denton has filed for personal bankruptcy after the court determined that he is responsible for $10 million in damages for his role in posting Hogan’s sex tape.
Hogan appeared to respond to the sale of Gawker Media and subsequent end of Gawker.com in a tweet on Thursday afternoon, saying that “they messed with the wrong guy.”
They messed with the wrong guy brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) August 18, 2016
After the conclusion of the Hogan trial, it was revealed that billionaire Peter Thiel had spent about $10 million financing lawsuits aimed at Gawker, including Hogan’s suit. A sub-site on Gawker in 2007 outed Thiel, who made his fortune as a co-founder of Paypal, as gay. Thiel wrote an op-ed for the New York Times the day before the bankruptcy auction saying that he was proud to have contributed financially to the Hogan case.
In his memo to staff, Denton noted: “Even if the appeals court overturns this spring’s Florida jury verdict, Peter Thiel has already achieved many of his objectives.”
Publisher Ziff Davis made the first bid for Gawker on the same day it filed for bankruptcy, putting up a $90 million stalking horse bid. But the company, which owns PC Magazine and IGN, was ultimately outbid by Univision.
p class=”western” style=”line-height:120%;”>Read More Peter Thiel Pens Op-Ed on Gawker Bankruptcy: “I Am Proud” to Support Hulk Hogan’s Case
Cisco confirms NSA-linked zeroday targeted its firewalls for years
Company advisories further corroborate authenticity of mysterious Shadow Brokers leak.
Cisco Systems has confirmed that recently-leaked malware tied to the National Security Agency exploited a high-severity vulnerability that had gone undetected for years in every supported version of the company’s Adaptive Security Appliance firewall.
The previously unknown flaw makes it possible for remote attackers who have already gained a foothold in a targeted network to gain full control over a firewall, Cisco warned in an advisory published Wednesday. The bug poses a significant risk because it allows attackers to monitor and control all data passing through a vulnerable network. To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker must control a computer already authorized to access the firewall or the firewall must have been misconfigured to omit this standard safeguard.
“It’s still a critical vulnerability even though it requires access to the internal or management network, as once exploited it gives the attacker the opportunity to monitor all network traffic,” Mustafa Al-Bassam, a security researcher, told Ars. “I wouldn’t imagine it would be difficult for the NSA to get access to a device in a large company’s internal network, especially if it was a datacenter.”
All the more menacing
The vulnerability, which Cisco rated as “high,” is all the more menacing given the release over the weekend of hacking tools that have been all but definitively linked to Equation Group, an elite hacking team with ties to the NSA that remained hidden for more than 14 years. With the release of professionally developed code that exploits the Cisco vulnerability, attacks can now be carried out by a much larger base of hackers.
The weaponized attack exploited a vulnerability residing in Cisco’s implementation of the Simple Network Management Protocol. The exploit was the engine behind “ExtraBacon,” one of 15 distinct pieces of attack code included in the still-mysterious leak from last weekend. A blog post from Tuesday demonstrated how ExtraBacon allowed an unauthenticated person to take control of Adaptive Security Appliance firewalls. Cisco’s confirmation now suggests that people within the US government have known of the risk since at least 2013 and allowed it to persist.
Cisco has yet to actually patch the vulnerability, which is indexed as CVE-2016-6366. Instead, the company is releasing signatures that can detect the exploits and stop them before they allow an attacker to seize control of vulnerable networks. Another workaround is to disable SNMP altogether. A Cisco representative said the company will release a patch in the near future.
Cisco said a separate piece of attack code dubbed EpicBanana exploited a different, already fixed vulnerability in the same line of firewalls. The medium-severity flaw, indexed as CVE-2016-6367, was patched in 2011, but in keeping with Cisco practices at the time, it wasn’t assigned its own vulnerability designation because of the relatively low severity rating, a company representative told Ars. According to Cisco’s advisory, it “could allow an authenticated, local attacker to create a denial of service (DoS) condition or potentially execute arbitrary code.” Cisco also provided this overview on Shadow Brokers, the previously unknown group that published the exploits.
Separately, Cisco competitor Fortinet disclosed a high-severity vulnerability in older security devices it sells. “FortiGate firmware (FOS) released before Aug 2012 has a cookie parser buffer overflow vulnerability,” the notice warned. “This vulnerability, when exploited by a crafted HTTP request, can result in execution control being taken over.” The previously mentioned catalog of leaked exploits shows that the vulnerability was exploited by malware known as EgregiousBlunder. FortiGate’s advisory said it continues to investigate whether other company products are vulnerable.
More shoes to drop?
With confirmations from Cisco and Fortinet that their products were directly targeted by the leaked exploits, security researchers are now turning their attention to Juniper, whose NetScreen line of firewalls are also mentioned in the catalog. It’s possible the exploit relies on a previously disclosed backdoor that was the result of “unauthorized code” that managed to remain hidden for years in NetScreen. The backdoor allowed attackers to decrypt encrypted traffic passing over virtual private networks used by Juniper customers. So far, Juniper representatives haven’t responded to questions.
With more than a dozen cataloged exploits still unaddressed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see similar disclosures and advisories in the coming days or weeks. People who rely on any of the affected products mentioned in the Shadow Brokers exploits should be prepared to work overtime and may want to consider shutting down unneeded services as a precaution.
Cisco Shares Fall After CRN Report of as Many as 14,000 Job Cuts
CEO Robbins is shifting to emphasize software as growth slows
Cuts could account for up to 20 percent of 73,100 employees
San Jose, California-based Cisco will announce the cuts in the next few weeks, technology website CRN said on Tuesday, without naming its sources. Andrea Duffy, a spokeswoman for Cisco, declined to comment on the report.
Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins, who took over in July 2015, has been working to boost growth by shifting Cisco’s offerings toward software-based networking, security and management products, which customers increasingly prefer because they’re less expensive and more versatile. The job cuts stem from Cisco’s transition away from its hardware roots, according to the CRN article.
Cisco has been facing a “day of reckoning” for a while now as the commoditization of its switching business reduces profit over time, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Rod Hall.
Cisco fell 1.8 percent to $30.58 at 9:56 a.m. in New York. The shares were up 15 percent this year through the close of trading Tuesday, before the report was published.
In the near term, the deep job cuts could could have a “large potential positive impact” on the company’s results, boosting 2017 earnings by 9 percent to 13 percent per share, Hall wrote in a note. Cisco will report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday after the close in New York. Analysts project a 2 percent decline in sales to $12.6 billion. The job cuts will overshadow the earnings results, Hall said.
If confirmed “we would see it as a sign that Cisco is finally beginning to behave like a company facing technological disruption,” Hall said. The move implies “that the new management team is willing to make the tough decisions necessary to navigate what we believe are going to be very choppy waters in the next 3-5 years.”
Cisco had about 73,100 employees as of April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company last announced a large round of firings in August 2014, when it eliminated 6,000 positions.
The new emphasis on software is requiring staff with a different set of skills, CRN reported. Many early retirement plans have already been offered to employees, according to the website.
Cisco has shown its appetite for software with recent acquisitions, such as Jasper Technologies, which makes programs that let companies connect all manner of electronic devices.
Results released in May showed that Robbins is making headway in rejiggering Cisco’s businesses. The company projected sales growth of as much as 3 percent in the period that ended in July, compared with analysts’ projections for a revenue decline. Even so, Robbins said the company still has a long way to go and that earnings are not where they should be.
Wall Street Journal Outs Tesla Motors As
Government Tax Money Scam
From DeLorean to Tesla
With enough government handouts, a car company never has to break even.
A Tesla Model X at the company’s showroom in San Francisco. Photo: Bloomberg News
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
There’s a reason why European and Japanese auto companies, leaders in cruise control and other automated driving technologies, were slow to bring their innovations to America: the U.S. liability system.
Tesla has experienced one fatal crash as a result of imperfections in its self-driving technology—the death of a Florida driver when his car hit a tractor trailer crossing its path. Tesla founder Elon Musk makes a plausible argument that Tesla’s “Autopilot” is a net improver of safety. That won’t matter to trial lawyers making a case that Tesla didn’t sufficiently flag the system’s limitations. And Mr. Musk himself is guilty of statements that could be portrayed as encouraging excessive confidence in what he calls a “beta” system.
Mr. Musk’s frequent recourse to hyperbole lately has many analysts wondering what Elon is up to. A Journal story this week detailed 20 cases, over the past five years, of him touting financial or production goals that Tesla failed to meet.
In just the past few weeks, he set an implausible timetable for rolling out his mass-market Model 3 sedan. He floated a pie-in-the-sky “master plan” to build tractor trailers and pickup trucks. He justified Tesla’s bailout of another Musk-related company, Solar City, by saying the two would revolutionize the world energy system. Last year, he even casually asserted that Tesla eventually would be worth more than Apple.
His fan, the investor Ron Baron, told the Journal this week: “This guy wants to save the world.”
OK, but another way of thinking about Mr. Musk’s public demeanor is suggested by a fascinating revisiting of the DeLorean case by economist Graham Brownlow of Queen’s University Belfast.
Mr. Brownlow looks beyond the usual focus on the foibles of John DeLorean, the glamorous renegade GMexecutive who set out in 1975 to make a sports car now famous mainly for its role in the “Back to the Future” movies. He borrows a concept from the failures of socialism, known as the soft budget constraint, to note the incentives for DeLorean to run his company as if more subsidies could always be extracted from British taxpayers, who were backing the start-up auto maker.
Mr. DeLorean himself did not mince words at the time. He claimed that London was “over a barrel” because of the large government sums already invested in the firm.
This might ring some bells with respect to Mr. Musk’s constant flogging of the political and technological prominence of his company.
His recent deal for Solar City may well have been aimed partly at warding off political criticism that Teslas are only as clean as the electricity they run on. His Model 3 plan may have been moved up to pressure Washington over the looming expiration of a key tax credit for Tesla buyers.
While waving off concerns about missed production targets in a conference call this month, he attacked a government agency, the California Air Resources Board, saying its members “should damn well be ashamed of themselves” for not arranging for more lucrative zero-emissions credits for Tesla.
When federal regulators were investigating Tesla battery fires three years ago, he darkly warned that their actions could “delay the advent of sustainable transport and increase the risk of global climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences worldwide.”
The opposite of a soft budget constraint, of course, is a hard budget constraint. As Prof. Brownlow writes, “The more [an entrepreneur] expects that the existence and growth of the firm will depend solely on production costs and proceeds from sales, the more he will respect the budget constraint.”
Tesla is a soft budget constraint company in two ways. It gets plenty of revenue indirectly as result of government policy (consumer tax rebates, fuel mileage credits, HOV permits), not to mention directly in the form of loan guarantees, corporate tax abatements, etc.
But Tesla also gets considerable funding from repeated sales of stock to the public. Though its Wall Street cheerleaders don’t emphasize its dependence on political favoritism, Tesla’s own disclosures are required to be more candid. Keeping investors giddy about Tesla’s prospects therefore implicitly means reassuring them that Tesla will continue to attract the political patronage that has sustained it so far.
Prof. Brownlow makes the point that John DeLorean, whose failure is usually attributed to hubris or other psychological shortcomings, was in fact a brilliant engineer who had just come from a successful run as head of GM’s Chevrolet division—so he was capable of running a hard-budget company.
His decisions at DeLorean were rational in a soft-budget sense. He expanded employment at his Northern Ireland factory even as sales fell far short of projections—because he knew that the greater the number of jobs at risk, the harder it would be for the British government to cut him off.
Then, along came a change of government in London, and Margaret Thatcher did just that.