FCC to halt rule that protects your private data from security breaches

The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers’ personal information.

The data security rule is part of a broader privacy rulemaking implemented under former Chairman Tom Wheeler but opposed by the FCC’s new Republican majority. The privacy order’s data security obligations are scheduled to take effect on March 2, but Chairman Ajit Pai wants to prevent that from happening.

The data security rule requires ISPs and phone companies to take “reasonable” steps to protect customers’ information—such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data—from theft and data breaches.

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President Trump Vowed to Solve the Opioid Crisis. He Needs to Fix This Problem First

During a freewheeling recent press conference, President Trump declared that America was “drug-infested” country. “Drugs,” Trump said, “are becoming cheaper than candy bars.”

What the President failed to mention: the price of one lifesaving medication—naloxone—is more expensive than caviar.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to solve America’s opioid crisis, which claimed 33,000 lives in 2015—the most deaths in a single year in U.S. history, according to recent federal statistics. Trump’s plan to combat the epidemic included widespread access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. But as the need for the drug has grown, it has become increasingly expensive and hard to get for many addicts and the front line workers who try to help them.

“All the politicians, Obama, Trump, everyone says, ‘We’re going to solve it’,” says Gordon Merry, director of West Virginia’s Cabell County EMS, which serves Huntington, a city that saw 26 opioid overdoses over four hours last August. “I haven’t seen anything that has changed.”

Meanwhile, the price of naloxone is soaring. Evzio, a form of naloxone manufactured by Kaléo that’s administered through auto-injection, rose from $575 per package in 2014 to a whopping $4,100 in 2016. Another version of the drug, made by Hospira, has risen from from $9.20 for 10 vials in in 2005 to $158.30 in 2014, according to Truven Health Analytics. The price of the naloxone nasal spray Narcan has remained stable—around $125 for a two-pack—since it was approved by the FDA in 2015.

“The best word for what’s happening now,” says Paul Ginsburg, director of the Center for Health Policy at the Brookings Institution, “is profiteering.”

Naloxone price hikes parallel a spike in demand for the drug that’s fueled by the opioid epidemic, stretching government budgets—the drug is often administered by first responders—while creating a robust market for the drug.

In late November, Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner, and 10 other health officials wrote a letter to President Trump asking the new administration to prioritize public health, specifically solutions to the opioid epidemic. “In the campaign, President Trump talked about the problems of drug addiction,” says Wen. “We hope that this will not just be rhetoric but resources will be devoted to this issue too.” So far Wen and her colleagues haven’t received a response.

Experts attribute the rising naloxone prices to a combination of soaring need, drug-industry consolidation and an onerous FDA-approval process, which can stifle competition. Critics contend that price gouging may also be at play.

Kaléo CEO Spencer Williamson says Evzio’s list price of $4,100 “is not a true net price to anyone…due to numerous discounts and rebates that are negotiated in the supply chain.” Most patients with insurance pay nothing out of pocket, says Williamson, while uninsured patients with household incomes of less than $100,000 can also access Evzio free of charge.

Kaléo says it also offers product grants to some nonprofits and government agencies that demonstrate a need for the drug. For instance, Kaléo has granted 2,200 kits to the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, where the overdose death rate is nearly 10 times the national average. “The more naloxone there is, the more lives will be saved,” says Dr. Michael Kilkenny, physician director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. “I have to admit, if we didn’t get the grant, we wouldn’t have the drug. We don’t have the finances.”

Yet even beneficiaries of naloxone grants acknowledge that demand outstrips affordable supply. In Palm Beach County, Fla., for instance, the Fire and Rescue department spent nearly $205,400 on naloxone in 2016, compared with $57,500 in 2015.

In Baltimore, first responders are facing similar constraints. “We have to decide who is the most likely to die and make a guess on which patients we distribute naloxone to,” says Wen, the health commissioner, adding that the price they pay for naloxone more than doubled over the course of just a few years. “It doesn’t make sense that at a time of great demand this medication is being priced out of our reach.”

In Newtown, Ohio, police chief Tom Synan says the opioid epidemic in his community is worsening. The county averages up to 70 overdoses a week. “That’s our new normal,” he says. Synan, who serves on the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition steering committee, says his officers use the naloxone nasal spray Narcan, and the department has not been hit with major cost increases. But the overall trend is disconcerting. “These are life and death situations,” says Synan.

If his earlier promises hold true, Trump will eventually train his lens on drug companies—and drug prices. A White House spokesperson says the administration is extending grant programs to help get naloxone in the hands of first responders, has encouraged Medicaid programs to include naloxone access for low-income people, and has made sure Veterans Affairs programs offer naloxone for eligible veterans.

Still, some say more drastic action will be necessary. Ohio has already taken action: in November the state reached an agreement with Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan, to freeze the price of the naloxone nasal spray for Ohio law enforcement, first responders, state and local government agencies, and community-based organizations for a year. These entities can buy 48 or more Narcan units for $75 each, a 40% discount from the $125 wholesale price.

“It’s hard to justify the price increases you see on purely economic grounds,” says Darius Lakdawalla, an economist and professor of pharmaceutical development and regulatory innovation at the University of Southern California. “The case is pretty strong for government interference.”

Especially when lives are at stake. Laurie Fugitt, co-founder of Georgia Overdose Prevention, a volunteer group, hopscotches across the state teaching people how to administer naloxone to themselves or their loved ones. She equates naloxone to a fire extinguisher. You never want anyone to use it. But it should be there just in case.

“A lot of people have no idea that there’s even an antidote for an opioid overdose,” says Fugitt. “Back in the day, a vial of naloxone cost a couple of bucks. Now, everybody is trying to get their piece of the pie.”

With reporting by Zeke J. Miller

These 8 Books Can Help You Finally Understand Business

Run rate? M&A? Non-voting shares?

If you’ve never run your own business or considered B-school, it can be tough to wrap your head around how the corporate world works. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of excellent (yes, even enjoyable) tomes out there that can help. Here are eight great ones to start with, a mix of classics and new reads about today’s hottest startups as suggested by writers and editors at TIME and Fortune.

The Innovators Dilemma ($14, Amazon)

Clayton Christensen’s 1997 classic The Innovators Dilemma argues that market-leading companies can become shells of their former selves if they’re unwilling to “disrupt” themselves — because somebody else will come along and do it for them. It’s akin to a religious text in Silicon Valley, where it’s viewed as a guidebook for upstart innovators seeking to take on the world’s biggest firms.

Soul of a New Machine ($10, Amazon)

The Pulitzer-winning Soul of a New Machine, by Tracy Kidder, is considered by many to be one of the best non-fiction books about technology ever written. The 1981 novel follows the now-defunct Data General’s efforts to build a next-generation “minicomputer” in the 1970s. The company’s ability to overcome corporate, engineering and design challenges offers particularly insightful lessons for anybody interested in cross-team project management.

Good to Great ($19, Amazon)

The world is home to billions of companies, but only a few become true corporate powerhouses. What separates the merely good firms from the great? That’s the question Jim C. Collins seeks to answer in his 2001 Good to Great. His ultimate answer: It’s all about focusing on what you do best — what economists might call “comparative advantage.”

The Smartest Guys in the Room ($10, Amazon)

Enron’s demise was perhaps the most infamous corporate collapse in American business history. Here, journalists Peter Elkind and Bethany McLean offer an insightful look at the complex business arrangements that masked Enron’s feeble health, all without requiring that readers have a business degree before diving in. You’ll come away with a far greater respect for accounting principles than you ever thought possible.

Steve Jobs ($15, Amazon)

Steve Jobs, whose 1997 return to Apple sparked a turnaround that helped the Cupertino, Calif. become the world’s largest company by market capitalization, was in many ways a flawed genius. But it’s impossible to deny his business acumen, and anybody interested in business would do well to know his story well. Nobody has captured a better portrait of Jobs than former TIME Managing Editor Walter Issacson, whose 2011 biography leaves readers with a deeper understanding of the man and the now-massive company he helped resurrect.

The Upstarts ($20, Amazon)

Ours is an age dominated not only by decades-old corporate powerhouses, but increasingly by well-funded technology startups, too. In The Upstarts, Bloomberg’s Brad Stone offers a look at how two of these firms in particular — Uber and Airbnb — have remade the world in their image seemingly overnight. It’s especially insightful as a view into how modern companies deal with rules and regulations that stand to disrupt their business strategies.

DisneyWar ($12, Amazon)

Disney is called “the happiest place on Earth,” but its corporate history has long been marked by high-profile infighting and rivalries. James B. Stewart’s DisneyWar focuses on the tenure of former CEO Michael Eisner, along the way revealing how personal squabbles can threaten to derail even the world’s most iconic corporate powers. Read this one if you’re interested in learning about individual leaders’ ability to thrust companies forward — or spin them into chaos.

Losing the Signal ($16, Amazon)

Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the instantly-recognizable BlackBerry Phones, once dominated the embryonic smartphone market. Today, not so much. What happened? Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s 2015 Losing the Signal offers an answer: RIM simply wasn’t able to predict how Apple’s iPhone would change everything about the smartphone world. Read this one after Innovators’ Dilemma for a modern case study featuring a company you probably know well.

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Uber Hires Former Attorney-General Eric Holder to Review Sexual-Harassment Claims

Uber has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a review of sexual harassment claims at the ride-hailing service made by a former employee.

Holder and Tammy Albarran, who are partners at the law firm Covington & Burling, will look into the complaints about a manager at Uber, as well as general questions about diversity and inclusion, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick told his employees in a memo on Monday that was seen by Reuters.

Last year, Airbnb hired Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, to help craft a policy to combat discrimination occurring through the online lodging service’s platform.

Arianna Huffington, who joined Uber‘s board last year, Liane Hornsey, Uber‘s chief human resources officer, and Angela Padilla, the company’s associate general counsel, will also help conduct the review, Kalanick said in the memo.

Read More: UN Labor Chief Guy Ryder Says the ‘Uberification’ of Work Has Begun

Huffington, Kalanick and Hornsey will meet on Tuesday, the memo said.

Susan Fowler, the former Uber employee who complained of being the target of sexual harassment by her manager, wrote in a blog post on Sunday that when she reported the offense to human resources officials and management, they declined to punish the alleged offender because he “was a high performer” and that this was his first offense.”

Fowler also said, after speaking with other female employees, she realized that both HR and management had been lying about this being the manager’s “first offense.”

In a statement sent to Reuters on Sunday, Kalanick called Fowler’s allegations “abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”

Fowler’s tale prompted a backlash, including calls for a revival of the #DeleteUber movement. Some protesters urged a boycott of the ride service over allegations it sought to profit from the chaos at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport last month, after President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to people from seven Muslim majority countries.

Many women working in Silicon Valley, particularly in highly technical roles, say they have experienced misogyny and harassment in the male-dominated field. Technology companies are under mounting pressure to make their workforces more diverse by hiring more women, blacks and Latinos – but progress has been slow.

“There have been many questions about the gender diversity of Uber’s technology teams,” Kalanick said. Uber will publish a broader diversity report for the company in the coming months, he said.

“I believe in creating a workplace where a deep sense of justice underpins everything we do,” Kalanick said. “Every Uber employee should be proud of the culture we have and what we will build together over time.”

 

A South Korean Court Has Approved the Arrest of Samsung’s Heir

(SEOUL) — A South Korean court approved on Friday the arrest of a billionaire heir to Samsung accused of bribery and other charges in connection to a massive corruption scandal, a stunning decline for the princeling of South Korea’s richest family.

The Seoul Central District Court’s decision to issue a warrant to arrest Lee Jae-yong, 48, a vice chairman at Samsung Electronics and the only son of Samsung chair Lee Kun-hee.

The arrest of Samsung’s de facto leader will likely shock the business community and cheer the critics of chaebol, the South Korean family-controlled business conglomerates that dominate the economy.

It was seen as a test of the country’s judicial system that in the past had been lenient toward the powerful business elite families at chaebol for their white collar crimes, citing their contributions to the national economy.

The court said additional evidence showed there were enough reasons to take Lee into custody. Prosecutors can detain him for up to 20 days before formally indicting him.

The court dismissed prosecutors’ request to arrest Park Sang-jin, a president at Samsung Electronics overseeing external relations, saying that it was difficult to justify Park’s arrest given his position and role within the company.

Lee was waiting for the decision at a detention center near Seoul overnight after a closed-door court hearing that lasted more than seven hours on Thursday. He was taken into custody while Park was released. Local media reported that Lee was sent to solitary confinement. The detention center declined to comment, saying it cannot give out private details.

Samsung said it will continue to defend itself in court.

“We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings,” it said in a statement.

Lee avoided arrest last month when the court said prosecutors did not have enough evidence. The special prosecution team, probing the influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of the country’s president, said they had gathered more evidence to strengthen their case and made a second request.

The 48-year-old Lee being was groomed to succeed his father at the top of South Korea’s largest business empire founded by his grandfather. He had taken a bigger leadership role in recent years after the elder Lee fell ill in 2014. Though the ailing Samsung chair was convicted before, the 75-year-old has never spent time in prison.

Prosecutors accused Lee of giving bribes worth $36 million to President Park Geun-hye and her close friend Choi Soon-sil to win government favors for a smooth company leadership transition.

They are also investigating Lee on allegations of embezzlement of Samsung funds, hiding assets overseas and lying under oath during a parliamentary hearing.

The court decision could also help the prosecution team bring bribery charges against President Park Geun-hye whose powers were suspended in December by parliament. She is awaiting a decision by the Constitutional Court on whether she will be permanently removed from the presidency.

Samsung was the biggest donor among dozens of South Korean companies that donated a total of nearly $70 million to two nonprofit foundations controlled by Choi, the president’s friend. It also transferred millions of euros to Choi’s company in Germany that financed equestrian training of her daughter and funded money to a winter sports center operated by her niece.

Samsung has denied that it offered bribes or sought any wrongful favors from the president.

Speaking to lawmakers in December, the Samsung vice chairman admitted having transferred funds to Choi’s company but denied that any favors were sought. The testimony prompted prosecutors to seek a perjury charge against him.

Prosecutors suspect that Samsung won government support for a controversial merger of two Samsung groups in 2015 that was a key step in the leadership transition from father to son.

The merger was opposed by some minority shareholders, who said the deal would hurt them while unfairly benefiting Lee and other members of Samsung’s founding family. But Samsung narrowly secured shareholder approval thanks in part to support from the National Pension Fund, its key investor. The current head of the pension fund was indicted last month over his role in pressuring the fund to support the merger.

The special prosecution office is also reportedly looking into whether the value of Samsung Biologics, which went public last year, was overpriced to benefit the Samsung founding family and also whether the fair trade commission gave any favors to Samsung in relation to its complex cross shareholding structure, which allows the Lee family to control the sprawling businesses with only a minority stake.

Lee’s father and ailing Samsung chair has been convicted in the past of embezzlement, tax evasion and breach of trust but was never imprisoned. After his latest conviction in 2008, he was pardoned a year later by the president, who said he would help South Korea’s bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

T-Mobile Just Responded to Verizon’s Unlimited Data Plan With Upgrades of Its Own

Just a day after Verizon announced its unlimited data plan, T-Mobile countered with a competitive upgrade to its own.

Starting Feb. 17, T-Mobile’s unlimited One plan will include HD video and 10GB of high-speed hotspot data for Wi-Fi tethering. Existing customers can activate the upgrade without any additional charges, according to a company press release. T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the update in a series of tweets.

Legere additionally announced a promotion for multiple One lines: customers will be able to add two unlimited data lines for $100, down from the previous $120 bill. The new family plan also goes into effect on the 17th, and Legere vowed that all taxes and fees will be included on the advertised price.

The 10 Super Bowl Ads You Need To Watch

The New England Patriots came from behind to pull off a remarkable overtime victory in Super Bowl LI Sunday, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

Also battling Sunday: The brands fighting for your attention during the commercial breaks. Missed the advertising showdown? We’ve got you covered. Here are the 10 Super Bowl ads you need to watch.

The One Everybody’s Talking About

Building supplies company 84 Lumber ran what will undoubtedly be the most controversial ad of the Super Bowl, showing a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter traveling from Mexico into the United States. The shorter broadcast version doesn’t appear to have any specific message about immigration, legal or otherwise.

But the full version, embedded below, ends with a declarative statement: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

The Other One That Everybody’s Talking About

Global soft drink behemoth Coca-Cola went with a new take on a familiar concept for the global soft drink behemoth: Diversity in America. It’s bound to be another talked-about spot, given the political climate. But it’s likely to be overshadowed by the 84 Lumber spot when it comes to this year’s topical ads.

The One That’s the Funniest

Skittles continued its longstanding tradition of absurdist humor with “Romance.” But I have a question: why’s that kid wasting all his skittles?

The One That Makes You Really Want the Thing It’s Selling

Nintendo’s ad for its upcoming Switch console — particularly the “extended cut” here — makes the case that it’s a take-everywhere, play-anywhere system with multigenerational appeal. We’ll see if it can reverse Nintendo’s fortunes in the consoles department when it’s released March 3.

The One That’s Different Now

Internet domain registrar GoDaddy was once famous (infamous?) for its outrageously sex appeal-filled Super Bowl spots. This year’s ad goes in a completely different direction — and nails it.

The One That Looks Into the Future

Facing an uncertain future in the age of driverless cars, automakers have been scrambling to recast themselves as “mobility companies,” offering everything and anything that gets you from A to B. Ford’s Super Bowl spot manages to earn a belly laugh as well as showcase the company’s new vision for the future of transportation.

The One That’s Directly Addressing a Controversy

Home rental site Airbnb’s ad, “We Accept,” is a response to critics who say the company hasn’t done enough to prevent discriminatory behavior by hosts. The company has gone beyond marketing in addressing those grievances; it also recently rolled out new policies designed to reduce racism on the platform.

The One With a Social Message We Didn’t Expect

When you think “gender equality,” you probably don’t think Audi. But you will after watching the automaker’s soapbox racer spot above.

The One That’s Just Really Weird

Guac is delicious, yes. But why is this secret society eating avocados? And more importantly, when will they detach the of shame, and attach the stone of triumph?

The One That I Can’t Decide if it’s Great or Awful


Stupid sexy Mr. Clean.

U.S. Economy Adds More Than 200,000 New Jobs

U.S. employers ramped up hiring last month and more Americans began looking for work, a sign that President Donald Trump has inherited a robust job market.

The Labor Department says employers added 227,000 jobs in January, the most since September and higher than last year’s average monthly gain of 187,000.

The unemployment rate ticked up to a low 4.8 percent last month from 4.7 percent in December. Yet the rate rose for a mostly good reason: More Americans started looking for work. The percentage of adults working or looking for jobs increased to its highest level since September.

Yet some of the economy’s weak spots remain: Average hourly wages barely increased last month. And the number of people working part-time but who would prefer full-time work rose.