Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was nominated to become NASA’s next administrator by the Trump administration on Sept. 1, may get a Senate confirmation hearing as early as next week. The choice of the 42-year-old Republican pilot has raised objections among some of his fellow members of Congress, because Bridenstine does not have a technical background, as well as from environmentalists, due to his views on climate change.
However, a pre-hearing questionnaire submitted by Bridenstine addresses some of these criticisms and also offers some important clues about where he would like to see the space agency go. “With NASA’s global leadership, we will pioneer the Solar System, send humans back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond. This requires a consistent, sustainable strategy for deep space exploration.” Bridenstine supports human missions to the Moon before going to Mars.
Among the first critics of Bridenstine’s nomination on Sept. 1 were Florida’s two senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio. Nelson toldPolitico that the head of NASA should have a professional background, rather than a political one. Rubio echoed Nelson’s sentiments, saying, “I just think it could be devastating for the space program. Obviously, being from Florida, I’m very sensitive to anything that slows up NASA and its mission.” He added that NASA’s administrator should have a scientific perspective.
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, adds to evidence that sedentary lifestyles can increase health risks. However, the study aimed to push the conversation forward, not just look at how much time people spend sitting each day and what that does to health. The researchers also tried teasing apart patterns of sitting. The authors, led by researchers at Columbia University, hoped to address more nuanced questions, such as: if you have to sit all day for work, can you reduce your health risks by getting up every 30 minutes? Or, if you’re generally active, are there still health risks from a 10-hour Netflix binge each week?
The questions are good ones. Based on the study’s vastmediacoverage, health-conscious Americans are leaping for answers and specifics on the risks of our sedentary, modern lives.
(SAN FRANCISCO) — Credit monitoring company Equifax has been hit by a high-tech heist that exposed the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information about 143 million Americans. Now the unwitting victims have to worry about the threat of having their identities stolen.
The Atlanta-based company, one of three major U.S. credit bureaus, said Thursday that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year.
The theft obtained consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The purloined data can be enough for crooks to hijack the identities of people whose credentials were stolen through no fault of their own, potentially wreaking havoc on their lives. Equifax said its core credit-reporting databases don’t appear to have been breached.
“On a scale of one to 10, this is a 10 in terms of potential identity theft,” said Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan. “Credit bureaus keep so much data about us that affects almost everything we do.”
Lenders rely on the information collected by the credit bureaus to help them decide whether to approve financing for homes, cars and credit cards. Credit checks are even sometimes done by employers when deciding whom to hire for a job.
Equifax discovered the hack July 29, but waited until Thursday to warn consumers. The Atlanta-based company declined to comment on that delay or anything else beyond its published statement. It’s not unusual for U.S. authorities to ask a company hit in a major hack to delay public notice so that investigators can pursue the perpetrators.
The company established a website, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ , where people can check to see if their personal information may have been stolen. Consumers can also call 866-447-7559 for more information. Experian is also offering free credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers for a year.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” Equifax CEO Richard Smith said in a statement. “I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.”
This isn’t the biggest data breach in history. That indignity still belongs to Yahoo, which was targeted in at least two separate digital burglaries that affected more than 1 billion of its users’ accounts throughout the world.
But no Social Security numbers or drivers’ license information were disclosed in the Yahoo break-in.
Equifax’s security lapse could be the largest theft involving Social Security numbers, one of the most common methods used to confirm a person’s identity in the U.S. It eclipses a 2015 hack at health insurer Anthem Inc. that involved the Social Security numbers of about 80 million people .
Any data breach threatens to tarnish a company’s reputation, but it is especially mortifying for Equifax, whose entire business revolves around providing a clear financial profile of consumers that lenders and other businesses can trust.
“This really undermines their credibility,” Litan said. It also could undermine the integrity of the information stockpiled by two other major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion, since they hold virtually all the data that Equifax does, Litan said.
Equifax’s stock dropped 13 percent to $124.10 in extended trading after its announcement of the breach.
Three Equifax executives sold shares worth a combined $1.8 million just a few days after the company discovered it had been hacked, according to documents filed with securities regulators.
The sales, executed on August 1 and August 2, were made by: John Gamble, Equifax’s chief financial officer; Rodolfo Ploder, Equifax’s president of workforce solutions; and Joseph Loughran, Equifax’s president of U.S. information solutions. Bloomberg News first reported the divestitures.
In a subsequent statement, Equifax said the three executives “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.”
The potential aftershocks of the Equifax breach should make it clear that Social Security numbers are becoming an unreliable way to verify a person’s identity, Nathaniel Gleicher, the former director of cybersecurity policy in the White House during the Obama administration, said in an email statement.
“This breach might just have put the nail in the coffin of the idea that we can use personal identifiers like Social Security numbers as security factors,” wrote Gleicher, who now oversees cybersecurity strategy for computer security firm Illumio.
In addition to the personal information stolen in its breach, Equifax said the credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers were also taken, as were “certain dispute documents” containing personal information for approximately 182,000 U.S. individuals.
Equifax warned that hackers also may have some “limited personal information” about British and Canadian residents. The company doesn’t believe that consumers from any other countries were affected.
Graydon Carter is stepping down as the editor of Vanity Fair after 25 years at the magazine, it was revealed in an interview published Thursday.
Carter has long been known for the influence he wields in the media and entertainment worlds. Under Carter, Vanity Fair has grown in cultural influence and journalistic impact. But the Vanity Fair editor told the New York Times he’s ready to leave now, “while the magazine is on top.”
“I want to leave while it’s in vibrant shape, both in the digital realm and the print realm,” he said. “And I wanted to have a third act — and I thought, time is precious.”
“He’s tweeted about me 42 times, all in the negative,” Carter told the Times. “So I blew up all the tweets and I framed them all. They’re all on a wall—this is the only wall Trump’s built—outside my office.”
Carter, who hosts a famed Academy Awards party every year, says he has ideas for a future project. He added that he will suggest to parent company Condé Nast who could succeed him as the top editor at Vanity Fair.
If you’re still pondering whether or not to invest in cryptocurrency, this should help you make up your mind.
Almost every single cryptocurrency in the world is tanking right now. Bitcoin lost over 11% in the 24-hours before time of writing, Ethereum and Litecoin had plunged almost 20%, and Ripple nosedived 14%. Some, like EOS and Qtum, had lost almost 40%. Among the larger coins, only Tether—the 19th largest cryptocurrency by market cap—was holding out with a 3.2% gain.
Here’s how the top end of the cryptocurrency market looked as of 11:31 PM ET on Sept. 4:
So what’s behind the crash?
On Monday morning, China said cryptocurrencies had “seriously disrupted the economic and financial order” and outlawed Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)—also known as token sales—the means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture.
China’s ban hit the market especially hard in the immediate wake of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warning against the legality of some ICOs, Tech Crunch reports.
The across-the-board tanking of cryptocurrencies also coincides with the latest provocative nuclear test by North Korea, suggesting traders are not betting on it as a safe-haven asset in times of global turmoil.
Turns out it might be time to revert back to the old refrain: buy gold.
With a romance at its center, the title of the oft-delayed film Tulip Fever (and the novel on which the Alicia Vikander and Dane DeHaan movie is based) plays on the passionate sense of a “fever.” But the real historical context in which the story is set had to do with a fever less about love and more about money.
The fever in question, known as the Tulip Mania (sometimes styled as one word), struck in 17th century Holland, when the nation’s now-famous blooms caused a major financial boom and bust. As TIME once explained in a story about a different boom market, the flower itself was almost incidental to the story:
The tulip was then a comparatively new import from the Near East, and mutant specimens, with irregular stripes, were prized as rarities — so prized that men would mortgage their villas and their fields. The tulips had little intrinsic value. Their worth as commodities was a function of pure, irrational desire, and their economic fate proved that nothing is more manipulable than desire. When the mania fell away, the flowers were as pretty as they had been before. It was just that now few people wanted them very much, whereas before they had been invested with a kind of fetishistic and obsessive “rarity.”
It was, according to Mehmet Odekon’s financial encyclopedia Booms and Busts, the first significant bubble in European financial history. It burst in 1637 when tulip speculators could no longer find investors; without that flow of money, the bulbs themselves “plummeted” in value. In the centuries since, though many experts believe it did not really damage the Dutch economy long-term, it has remained an important touchstone and reference point for what can happen when financial speculation goes haywire.
The level of speculation, in fact, would even have affected the painterly plot of Tulip Fever.
“At the height of the Dutch tulip mania,” Robert Hughes noted in a 2001 review of work by the Dutch artist Vermeer, “such rare blooms would never have been cut for a painter; he would have had to draw them in the garden.”
Billionaire and legendary investor Warren Buffett turns 87 years old on August 30. With a net worth of nearly $77 billion, “The Oracle of Omaha” is currently the fourth-richest person in the world — but he doesn’t act like it.
He had amassed the equivalent of $53,000 by the time he was just 16.
Paper delivery was just one of many small businesses teenage Buffett orchestrated: He sold used golf balls and stamps, buffed cars, set up a pinball machine business, and turned a horse track into a lucrative playground.
Buffett, confident he nailed his admissions interview, had already told a friend, “Join me at Harvard.”
“I looked about 16 and emotionally was about nine,” he recalled of the in-person interview. Forced to look elsewhere, he settled on Columbia University, which only required a written application and no interview.
His idol refused to hire him the first time he applied.
Buffett originally wanted to work with his idol, and author of “The Intelligent Investor,” Benjamin Graham, but Graham rejected him because he wasn’t Jewish (Graham was saving a spot at his firm for someone Jewish, since at the time Jewish people had a tougher time landing work on Wall Street).
Buffett wouldn’t take no for an answer, and continued pitching Graham ideas until he eventually hired him.
Though Buffett spends frugally, he gives generously. In 2010, he teamed up with Bill and Melinda Gates to form The Giving Pledge, an initiative that asks the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
As of June 2016, more than 154 affluent individuals have signed the pledge, including Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison.
In July 2016, Buffett broke his own giving record when he donated $2.9 billion to various charities, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which is named for his late wife.