March 10th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

How we got the CIA docs wrong, best companies to work for, and Weekend Whats.

The CIA is hacking into your phones and they have access to your private conversations, even encrypted chats on applications known for being secure, such as Signal and WhatsApp. That was the message you got if you read any of a number of mainstream news stories on the latest Wikileaks data dump. But as the NYT’s
Zeynep Tufekci points out, that version of the story is based on some tweets by Wikileaks, and not on what is actually found in the data dump. “In their haste to post articles about the release, almost all the leading news organizations took the WikiLeaks tweets at face value. Their initial accounts mentioned Signal, WhatsApp and other encrypted apps by name, and described them as ‘bypassed’ or otherwise compromised by the C.I.A.’s cyberspying tools … [but] if anything, the C.I.A. documents in the cache confirm the strength of encryption technologies.” The wrongness of the initial stories is the result of a perfect storm of three factors: Technical subject matter, a master of disinformation, and always on race to publish stories quickly. It’s yet another reminder of the Internet’s five least common words: Let me think about that.

+ It would be wise to apply what we’ve learned above to Julian Assange’s claim that he’s going to work with tech firms to defeat CIA hacking


Bagger Prance

Fortune is out with its list of the best places to work. Most of the names are familiar. For example, Google took the top spot. The number two spot goes to a company most of you probably haven’t heard of (unless you regularly read lists of the best places to work). Quartz: A small US supermarket chain is consistently ranked up there with Google as one of the best places to work.

+ I’m psyched to see NextDraft sponsor Salesforce in the top ten, and for all the right reasons. They’re currently offering ND readers a free guide to building your business faster.


Weekend Whats

What to Receive: The folks over at Morning Brew provide a quick, fun overview of the day’s business and market news — with catchy headlines and pithy blurbs (and I know you like that combination). Sign up for Morning Brew here, you’ll definitely dig it.

+ What to Stream: I’ve been hooked on the song Human by Rag’n’Bone Man for a while. And now there’s a whole album of excellent material to stream. The Brighton bluesman has been receiving some awards, and even a phone call from Elton John. Here’s NME on the unstoppable rise of the 21st-century blues man.

+ What to Conference: I’m definitely going to check out Rag’n’Bone Man at SxSW next week. On March 16, I’ll be speaking at the conference. Come on by if you’re in Austin.


The Fungus Among Us

“They emphasized their belief in racial or gender differences in IQ or social behavior, and strongly rejected identity politics, affirmative action, and what they see as toxic political correctness. Their views shed light on how the alt-right has found a receptive audience on the margins, at least, of the tech world.” From MoJo: Meet Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers.

+ The Atlantic: White Evangelicals Believe They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims.


Opiate is Enough

No one in DC has been aggressive enough when it comes to addressing the opiate crisis that has ripped through many (mostly red) states. And the newly proposed health care bill would strip out what limited addiction support those states are getting now.

+ Vice: Drug companies sued for flooding West Virginia county with 40 million doses of opioids.

+ Former NFL players are suing the league for plying “players with powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories each season” You can take repeated blows to the head and body and pump yourself full of addictive painkillers. But no smoking pot. Sports really is a microcosm of society…

+ The new health plan would also strip away Obamacare’s 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. (To celebrate, they’re having a sale on orange tinting.)


Things Go South

“She had refused to be questioned, and attended none of the 20 hearings since a trial on her impeachment began on January 3rd. She had blocked investigators from entering the Blue House, the presidential residence, and a fortnight ago she demanded the ejection of one of the justices hearing her case. It was all for nothing.” From The Economist: South Korea’s president has been impeached.

+ The best thing to come out of the turmoil in South Korea was when the kids of an expert walked into the room where he was doing a live BBC interview.


Hip Hop Cough Drop Pop

“The concoction inside mixes Faygo Redpop, a strawberry-flavored cream soda, and promethazine codeine cough syrup, a prescription pain reliever and cough suppressant that’s also the main ingredient for any number of similar cocktails referred to as drank, purple stuff, lean, and sizzurp, among other names.” Bloomberg on Hip-Hop’s Unlikeliest Icons: Promethazine Codeine Syrup Manufacturers.


Judge Dreadful

Canada’s Judicial Council has given the boot to a judge who asked an alleged rape victim why she hadn’t kept her knees together. He also mentioned that “sometimes pain and sex go together.” And get this; the vote to remove him was not unanimous…


Road Warriors

“It didn’t take long to stripe both sides of 8th between A Street and Sycamore Lane — a distance a little less than a mile long. After the paint dried and stenciled lettering was applied, the 10.5-square-mile city had the first bike lane in U.S. history.” Outside takes you back to 1967, when Davis broke ground on the country’s first true bike lane. (I hear it took a full five minutes before a cyclist and a driver got into a heated roadside argument.)


Bottom of the News

“They are more educated, more affluent, and perhaps most important, more loyal than other buyers. In a consultant’s quadrant of customers charting effort vs. profit, these are the folks in the box at the top right: the keepers.” Bloomberg explains why station wagons are back.

+ A Japanese company introduces spreadable coffee.

+ How to clear a path through 60 feet of snow (and make some pretty great photo ops in the process).

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