Odds and Ends 

Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it needs to be to be considered a world-class service. Maps needs fixing. Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps. It’s doing this by using first-party data…

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Haley Defends U.S. Decision to Quit UN’s Human Rights Council

Ambassador Nikki Haley defended the U.S. decision to quit the United Nations Human Rights Council last month as a stand against “political corruption and moral bankruptcy” and the organization’s “anti-Israel bias.” “The United States provided the last shred of credibility that the council had, but that was precisely why we withdrew,” Haley said Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. In June, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Haley announced the U.S. decision after the council passed a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of human rights. In…

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Facebook to exclude North American users from some privacy enhancements

There’s no way to sugarcoat this message: Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg believes North America users of his platform deserve a lower data protection standard than people everywhere else in the world. In a phone interview with Reuters yesterday Mark Zuckerberg declined to commit to universally implementing changes to the platform that are necessary to comply with the European Union’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Rather, he said the company was working on a version of the law that would bring some European privacy guarantees worldwide — declining to specify to…

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Headlines 

A Trader Named Morgan Stanley Just Left Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley. No, really. The fixed-income trader, who just happens to share a name with the 82-year-old Wall Street firm, has left the bank, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Stanley joined in 2012 after graduating from Boston College, according to records from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Stanley, whose middle name is Adam, didn’t return LinkedIn messages seeking comment on his next career move. A spokesman for the New York-based bank declined to comment. Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-17/morgan-stanley-leaves-morgan-stanley-yes-you-read-that-right

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MIT study shows how much driving for Uber or Lyft sucks

Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are delivering pitiful levels of take-home pay to the hundreds of thousands of US independent contractors providing their own vehicles and driving skills to deliver the core service, according to an MIT CEEPR study examining the economics of the two app platforms. The report catalyses the debate about conditions for workers on gig economy platforms, and raises serious questions about the wider societal impacts of tax avoiding, VC-funded tech giants. The study, entitled The Economics of Ride-Hailing: Driver Revenue, Expenses and Taxes, and which was carried out by…

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Trump May Be Deposed in Apprentice Groping Lawsuit

Manhattan state court judge says ‘no one is above the law’ Ruling adds to Stormy Daniels controversy over hush payment Summer Zervos, right, arrives at the New York County Criminal Court on Dec. 5, 2017. Stormy Daniels Faces $20 Million in Damages in Trump Lawsuit The decision may also complicate Trump’s effort to dismiss allegations from various women about his behavior. Trump is separately embroiled in a scandal involving a $130,000 payment to an adult film actress — Stephanie Clifford, who performed under the name Stormy Daniels — who alleges he’s…

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Goldman Says Stocks May Dive 25% If 10-Year Yield Hits 4.5%

If the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hits 4.5 percent by year-end, the economy would probably muddle through — stocks, not so much, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Goldman’s base-case scenario calls for a 10-year yield of 3.25 percent by the end of 2018, though a “stress test” out to 4.5 percent indicates such a move would cause stocks to tumble, economist Daan Struyven wrote in a note Saturday. He also said the economy would probably suffer a sharp slowdown but not a recession. “A rise in rates to 4.5…

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Florida Teachers Pension Fund Invested in Maker of School Massacre Gun

As Florida teachers grieve over the mass shooting that left 17 students and colleagues dead last week, some of them may be surprised to learn they’ve been helping fund the firearms industry—including the company that made the gun used that bloody Wednesday.  A state pension plan for Florida teachers held 41,129 shares in American Outdoor Brands Co. valued at more than a half-million dollars, according to a Dec. 31 securities filing listing the plan’s Students evacuating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. 2017 annual report. The fund had a $528,000 holding in…

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This Tiny Hedge Fund Just Made 8,600% On a Vix Bet

Not everyone got crushed when the market collapsed. For traders at a little-known Denver hedge fund who saw it coming, it was the score of a lifetime — a $17.5 million payday on a $200,000 bet. “People were laughing at us, saying this could never happen, this should never happen,” Justin Borus, the 41-year-old founder and manager at Denver-based Ibex Investors, said in an interview. “We saw people pricing this as a 1-in-5,000 event, but it was more like a one-in-five-year event.” Borus’s team bet that an exchange-traded fund linked to…

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Fidelity Reports Web Issues After Robo-Adviser Sites Crash

Fidelity Investments had intermittent technology issues with its website a day after robo-advisers struggled in the market rout. Fidelity customers faced some difficulties accessing the firm’s home page on Tuesday. By early afternoon, the issues were resolved, said Michael Aalto, a company spokesman. The websites of two of the country’s biggest robo-advisers — Wealthfront Inc. and Betterment LLC — crashed on Monday as the S&P 500 Index sank. Complaints quickly spread across Reddit and other internet sites from people who had trouble logging onto their accounts. “Really?” wrote Read more:…

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Bitcoin Newbies Are Getting Crushed While Old Timers Bemoan `Weak Hands

For Bitcoin investors, these are the times that try one’s soul. After surging to almost $20,000 in December following the introduction of regulated futures contracts in the U.S., the world’s largest cryptocurrency has lost more than half its value, plummeting to as low as $7,614 on Friday. It regained some ground on Saturday, rising 7.5 percent to $9,290.15 as of 2:58 p.m. in New York, according to Jamie Dimon to Nouriel Roubini have labeled as one of the biggest asset bubbles in history began showing signs of deflating. Selling by…

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Da Vincis Christ Portrait Shatters Art Record With $450 Million Sale

“Jesus Christ.” That was the reaction of mega art dealer Larry Gagosian after a rediscovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci became the most expensive work ever sold, soaring to $450.3 million at a Christie’s auction in New York on Wednesday. Alex Rotter, the auction house’s co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art in the Americas, placed the winning bid on behalf of an unidentified client after a 19-minute war that saw offers at $200 million, $300 million and $350 million fall short. The result obliterated previous world records for an art sale of…

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Twitter Cracks Down on Verified Accounts With New Policy

tweet, “this perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse.” Earlier this month, the social network stopped the system of authenticating a user’s identity with a blue check mark after drawing intense tweeted a screen shot of a note he received from Twitter, saying that his verified badge will be permanently removed “after determining that your account does not comply with Twitter’s guidelines.” The company has also removed the blue check mark from conservative commentator

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