Evolve Foundation launches a $100 million fund to find startups working to relieve human suffering

 It seems there’s nothing but bad news out there lately, but here’s some good news — the nonprofit Evolve Foundation has raised $100 million for a new fund called the Conscious Accelerator to combat loneliness, purposelessness, fear and anger spreading throughout the world though technology. Read More

In reversal, U.S. internet firms back bill to fight online sex trafficking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major U.S. internet firms on Friday said they would support legislation to make it easier to penalize operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking, marking a sharp reversal for Silicon Valley on an issue long considered a top policy priority.

Critical Tor flaw leaks users’ real IP address—update now

Mac and Linux versions of the Tor anonymity browser just received a temporary fix for a critical vulnerability that leaks users’ IP addresses when they visit certain types of addresses.

TorMoil, as the flaw has been dubbed by its discoverer, is triggered when users click on links that begin with file:// rather than the more common https:// and http:// address prefixes. When the Tor browser for macOS and Linux is in the process of opening such an address, “the operating system may directly connect to the remote host, bypassing Tor Browser,” according to a brief blog post published Tuesday by We Are Segment, the security firm that privately reported the bug to Tor developers.

On Friday, members of the Tor Project issued a temporary work-around that plugs that IP leak. Until the final fix is in place, updated versions of the browser may not behave properly when navigating to file:// addresses. They said both the Windows versions of Tor, Tails, and the sandboxed Tor browser that’s in alpha testing aren’t vulnerable.

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Tusk Ventures has closed its debut fund with $36 million

 Bradley Tusk, a former political operative who helps companies launch political-style campaigns, runs several businesses. One of them, Tusk Ventures, has been working with startups for a couple of years and, until recently, accepted its payment in equity only. That changed in early 2016 when the outfit began raising money from outside investors looking to get into some of those deals. Read More

The Serious Price Of The Hyper-Convenient Economy

Apart from sensual appeals, the chief marketing wave in our country is selling convenience. It has reached a level of frenzy

Loblaw could be stoking another supplier showdown

TORONTO — The friction between grocers and their suppliers could heat up again after Loblaw Cos. asked its vendors to pay a new supply chain fee.

Suppliers who use Loblaw’s distribution centres will have to pay a new fee of 0.79 per cent on the cost of goods for all shipments made after Dec. 31, according to a letter sent this week from Loblaw to suppliers, while those who directly distribute goods to Loblaw-owned stores will pay 0.24 per cent. The fees will apply to most Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart shipments.

The “strongly worded” letter discourages suppliers from discussing the new fee with Loblaw merchants, BMO Capital Markets analyst Peter Sklar said in a note to clients on Friday, which looks like an attempt by the retailer to minimize the negotiating ability of suppliers. “While these types of ‘asks’ can improve Loblaw’s earnings in the short term, our concern is that longer-term relationships with, and innovation initiatives by, suppliers could be impaired,” Sklar said.

Last year, Canada’s biggest grocery chain sent a letter to large suppliers asking them to lower costs in order to help the retailer offer deeper price cuts to customers, a move that was followed by similar requests from rival grocers.

Loblaw’s latest letter illustrates “how this retail-manufacturer relationship is broken,” Michael Graydon, CEO of trade association Food and Consumer Products of Canada, said in an email.

“It is expected that manufactures will cover the investment costs of supply chain, store renovations, new distribution centre development, minimum wage increases and category profitability. I have never seen a business like this where all the costs are downloaded to the suppliers, with no respect of the cost impacts the suppliers are dealing with because no price increases will be accepted by the retailers.”

Loblaw has spent about $2 billion in recent years upgrading its supply chain, enabling the retailer to strengthen its sales and margins and improve prices to customers. At the same time, food sales at major grocery chains have been sluggish after a period of prolonged food price deflation, and Walmart and Costco have been steadily siphoning food market share from traditional grocery chains.

“We have always had handling fees,” Loblaw spokesman Kevin Groh said Friday. “We have simply held them flat for nearly a decade as we have invested billions to create a highly efficient supply chain. In the end our company, our suppliers and our customers benefit.”

Sklar calculates Loblaw could save a potential $160 million before tax from the program. “While Loblaw may initially receive the full cooperation of most vendors, it is unlikely the company will achieve savings of this magnitude in the long run, as suppliers will work hard to essentially claw back this ‘ask’ in future price negotiations,” the analyst said.

Financial Post

hshaw@nationalpost.com

Twitter.com/HollieKShaw

Loblaw could be stoking another supplier showdown

TORONTO — The friction between grocers and their suppliers could heat up again after Loblaw Cos. asked its vendors to pay a new supply chain fee.

Suppliers who use Loblaw’s distribution centres will have to pay a new fee of 0.79 per cent on the cost of goods for all shipments made after Dec. 31, according to a letter sent this week from Loblaw to suppliers, while those who directly distribute goods to Loblaw-owned stores will pay 0.24 per cent. The fees will apply to most Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart shipments.

The “strongly worded” letter discourages suppliers from discussing the new fee with Loblaw merchants, BMO Capital Markets analyst Peter Sklar said in a note to clients on Friday, which looks like an attempt by the retailer to minimize the negotiating ability of suppliers. “While these types of ‘asks’ can improve Loblaw’s earnings in the short term, our concern is that longer-term relationships with, and innovation initiatives by, suppliers could be impaired,” Sklar said.

Last year, Canada’s biggest grocery chain sent a letter to large suppliers asking them to lower costs in order to help the retailer offer deeper price cuts to customers, a move that was followed by similar requests from rival grocers.

Loblaw’s latest letter illustrates “how this retail-manufacturer relationship is broken,” Michael Graydon, CEO of trade association Food and Consumer Products of Canada, said in an email.

“It is expected that manufactures will cover the investment costs of supply chain, store renovations, new distribution centre development, minimum wage increases and category profitability. I have never seen a business like this where all the costs are downloaded to the suppliers, with no respect of the cost impacts the suppliers are dealing with because no price increases will be accepted by the retailers.”

Loblaw has spent about $2 billion in recent years upgrading its supply chain, enabling the retailer to strengthen its sales and margins and improve prices to customers. At the same time, food sales at major grocery chains have been sluggish after a period of prolonged food price deflation, and Walmart and Costco have been steadily siphoning food market share from traditional grocery chains.

“We have always had handling fees,” Loblaw spokesman Kevin Groh said Friday. “We have simply held them flat for nearly a decade as we have invested billions to create a highly efficient supply chain. In the end our company, our suppliers and our customers benefit.”

Sklar calculates Loblaw could save a potential $160 million before tax from the program. “While Loblaw may initially receive the full cooperation of most vendors, it is unlikely the company will achieve savings of this magnitude in the long run, as suppliers will work hard to essentially claw back this ‘ask’ in future price negotiations,” the analyst said.

Financial Post

hshaw@nationalpost.com

Twitter.com/HollieKShaw