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In a statement addressed to users, Bitmart said an initial security check has been completed and impacted assets identified.The assets were stolen from two “hot wallets,” one hosted on the Ethereum blockchain and the other on the Binance Smart Chain. A “hot wallet” refers to crypto assets that are connected to the internet and more easily accessible to owners than offline “cold wallets.” While keeping cryptocurrency in a hot wallet is more convenient, there’s an added risk of hacks such as the Bitmart breach. The hack was first reported by blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield and was later confirmed by Bitmart CEO Sheldon Xia. According to Peckshield’s analysis, unidentified hackers used a stolen private key to open the two wallets and extract funds. Peckshield claims the hackers could have stolen up to $196 million in assets. All Bitmart assets not held in these wallets are secure, according to the company.Bitmart will use its own funding to cover losses and compensate impacted users. Crypto exchange Huobi Global came out in support of the company as it race to mitigate the hack. Huobi tweeted Monday that it will assist Bitmart by reporting and handling any incoming assets potentially originating from the hack. All withdrawals from Bitmart were suspended Saturday. Xia tweeted Monday that deposit and withdrawal functions will be gradually restored beginning Tuesday.Xia will conduct an AMA at 8 p.m. EST on Telegram Monday to share more information on the hack, compensation of users impacted and next steps in resuming business, according to the BitMart Twitter account.

But this week, a tearful Holmes sat on the witness stand and delivered a stunningly different perspective on her time running the company. Behind the scenes, Holmes alleges, she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with Theranos’ chief operating officer and president, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who she said tried to control nearly every aspect of her life.The allegation from Holmes, who is one of only a few witnesses expected to be called to testify by her defense team, was easily the most emotionally-charged moment of her five days on the stand so far. Her claim, which Balwani’s attorneys have previously denied, could also complicate the government’s case against her in the eyes of the jury.The government alleges Holmes knowingly misled investors, doctors and patients about the capabilities of her company’s blood testing technology through a web of alleged deception in pursuit of money. Holmes faces nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and up to 20 years in prison if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty.Her abuse claim potentially raises new questions for jurors about her intent to mislead — a key factor the jury of eight men and four women will weigh when determining her fate. Indeed, just before jury selection got underway, the court unsealed documents which detailed that Holmes’ may claim she was abused by Balwani as evidence “that she lacked the intent to deceive.” (Potential jurors were also previously asked whether they had any experience with interpersonal abuse or violence in an effort to weed out those who might be biased.)”It may make [jurors] second guess whether she was intentionally committing a fraud,” said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School and former federal prosecutor. Some jurors, however, might be skeptical of her testimony. “This case is very much about who is Elizabeth Holmes and how opportunistic is she that she’ll say whatever the moment requires her to say.””It kind of blurs what the trial is about”Holmes first met Balwani after graduating high school when she was just 18 and he was 38. Holmes later dropped out of her sophomore year at Stanford to launch a business, a decision that she testified was due in part to her having been raped while at school. As she chose to pour herself into building a company, she said she sought business advice from Balwani. The relationship then turned romantic.As she fought back tears, she testified Balwani’s control over her ranged from forcing her to have sex with him to prescribing her an incredibly restrictive lifestyle. He allegedly disciplined her eating, her voice and her image. He also allegedly isolated her from others. “Sunny would get very upset if I was with my family because he said it was a distraction to the business,” she testified on Monday.Notably, Holmes testified that Balwani didn’t control her interactions with investors, journalists, retail executives, or board members. Rather, she testified, “he impacted everything about who I was, and I don’t fully understand that.”Balwani, who was indicted alongside Holmes and will face the same charges when his trial begins next year, has also pleaded not guilty. Their trials were severed after Holmes indicated she may testify she was the victim of intimate partner abuse.According to Dr. Evan Stark, a forensic social worker, the nature of the relationship that Holmes has claimed has the hallmarks of what’s known as “coercive control,” which is also the title of a book by Stark. The term refers to a pattern of abusive behavior that takes away a person’s freedom. Stark has consulted on cases (though not the Holmes case) with clinical psychologist Dr. Mindy Mechanic, who the defense indicated it may call to testify as an expert in the Holmes trial. Mechanic, whose work focuses on the psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma and victimization, evaluated Holmes for 14 hours, and also conducted interviews with her family members, according to pre-trial filings. “Expert testimony will be helpful and appropriate in educating the jury as to the reasons for Ms. Holmes’ belief in, deference to, and reliance on Mr. Balwani,” the defense wrote in one court filing. (The government was also able to have an expert evaluate Holmes.)Stark said Holmes’ abuse testimony is ultimately an appeal to the jury. “It raises a question in the jury’s mind about whether or not she was fully responsible for the activities.”Dr. Ziv Cohen, a forensic psychiatrist and assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, said it could also be effective “because it kind of blurs what the trial is about.”Jessica Roth, a professor at Cardozo Law School and former federal prosecutor, echoed the point. “It could both be true — that she was in an abusive relationship as she alleges, and that she’s guilty of the charges. I don’t think the government has to disprove her allegations for it to prevail at trial.”Attempting to poke holes after a bombshell testimonyAt the very least, the abuse allegation potentially complicates the prosecution’s cross-examination of Holmes by introducing sensitivities. In questioning Holmes on Tuesday, assistant US attorney Robert Leach sought to contrast Balwani’s alleged control over her life with her power at the company she founded, led and in which she had a 51% stake. “He was an at will employee?” Leach asked. “He was,” Holmes testified. “Okay. You could fire him at any time?” Leach continued. “I could,” Holmes replied.Leach sought to discredit Holmes through pointing out that the rationale she had for her split with Balwani differed from prior testimony given to the Securities and Exchange Commission. She told the SEC her relationship with Balwani lost its romantic luster at some point after they started working together. She didn’t mention, as she testified Monday, that her view of Balwani changed after learning the findings of a regulatory inspection of Theranos’ lab.Leach also sought to establish that she was able to end the relationship herself, without seeing any mental heath professionals.The awkwardness of the prosecution’s questioning became palpable on Tuesday as Leach asked Holmes to read aloud her private messages with Balwani in a bid to prove their relationship was “at times loving and at times not so loving.” In so doing, Holmes, for the second day in a row, became emotional on the stand. Stark said if the intent is to use text messages to discredit the nature of the relationship, Dr. Mechanic will “tear to shreds that argument” if she is called to testify by the defense. “There’s nothing inconsistent between loving men that hurt you,” Stark said.Levenson, the former federal prosecutor, said the government needs “to be careful not to cross the line to get into a trial over whether she was abused and keep the case focused on whether, notwithstanding her personal life, she was still knowingly making false representations.”Leach also questioned Holmes about whether she was “involved in another romantic relationship during the time period 2010 to 2015.” Holmes, who lived with Balwani from 2005 to 2016, initially testified “no,” in an apparent confusion over the dates. She then confirmed she was in another in early 2010, but “it was not actually a formal relationship.” The relevance of the question went unexplained by Leach. But according to Cohen, it may be an attempt to show the ways in which Holmes appeared to have agency. “If he was an abuser and a controller, that wouldn’t fit with her dating somebody else. It is uncomfortable but the prosecution really has to poke holes.” Leach’s cross-examination of Holmes is set to resume Tuesday.

The acknowledgment highlights how Twitter has been caught flat-footed by what it described in a statement as “a significant amount of coordinated and malicious” activity that led to “several errors” in Twitter’s enforcement. “We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended — to curb the misuse of media to harass or intimidate private individuals,” Twitter said. Unveiled on Tuesday, Twitter’s new policy prohibits the sharing of images of private individuals without those people’s consent. The rule was created, Twitter initially said, in a bid to prevent its platform from being abused to harass and intimidate people, particularly women, activists and minorities. But right-wing groups and anti-mask activists have quickly determined that the new Twitter policy offers an opportunity to strike back at those who might draw attention to their real-world identities. And in a matter of days, they established a coordinated campaign to flood Twitter with complaints that left-wing activists, Jan. 6 investigators and journalists covering rallies have published their faces without consent in violation of the new rule. In January, Samuel Braslow was covering an anti-mask protest at a Los Angeles mall for the Beverly Hills Courier, the 56-year-old local newspaper where he is a staff reporter. During the public event, Braslow tweeted a video of a standoff between anti-maskers and a mall official — a common practice in the age of digital reporting. Braslow couldn’t have known that, this week, someone would file a report about that same photojournalism and cause Twitter to lock down his account. The complaint led to Braslow being unable to tweet until he either successfully appealed the report or deleted the old tweets. He was stuck. What happened to Braslow is increasingly playing out across the wider Twitterverse as the social media platform’s new policy has become a battleground. “Due to the new privacy policy at Twitter, things now unexpectedly work more in our favor as we can take down Antifa f****t doxxing pages more easily,” read one recent message on the encrypted messaging app Telegram that was reviewed by CNN. The message, which has been viewed more than 19,000 times, lists dozens of Twitter accounts for supporters to target with claims of violations under the new privacy policy. Among the targeted is Bellingcat, the award-winning investigative journalism outfit. After filing such reports, some individuals have publicly celebrated “weaponizing” Twitter’s new rule. A pair of posts reviewed by CNN on the alternative social media site Gab boasted of making dozens of Twitter reports and urged allies to “stay on the offensive” against “antifa” and “their doxxing riot videos.” The rapidly unfolding campaign highlights how a tool intended to help protect vulnerable individuals has quickly evolved to help shield others from the scrutiny that might stem from their public actions. As of Friday morning, several accounts on Twitter that track open-source images of right-wing extremists and participants in the Capitol riot had been hit by suspensions under the private media policy, potentially jeopardizing what has become a vital source of information for law enforcement and federal prosecutors investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Sean Beckner-Carmitchel, a Los Angeles videographer, told CNN his account was locked due to reports to Twitter involving videos he posted of anti-vaccine rallies and counter-protests in January. The speed, scale and enthusiasm with which some groups have invoked the policy — along with numerous enforcement errors — have prompted some experts to conclude that Twitter’s policy is backfiring. Twitter declined to describe to CNN how reports were being reviewed and which ones may be being handled by humans rather than artificial intelligence. David Kaye, a former United Nations special rapporteur on free expression, said Twitter should revert the policy and go back to the drawing board. “From all appearances, Twitter’s new ‘privacy policy’ is a failure, well-intentioned (perhaps) but abused & played,” he tweeted. “They should be honest — admit it’s not ready for prime time.” Twitter’s new policy pointedly doesn’t take sides, saying that “everyone” can be harmed by the non-consensual sharing of images that may lead to emotional or physical harm. The policy generally won’t apply, Twitter said, to images of people at public events, like “large scale protests” or sporting events. Twitter added that the company will grant exceptions and allow images of people who may be “part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value.” But those aspects of Twitter’s own policy appear not to have been followed in at least several cases. “The videos in [my] post clearly represent newsworthy content, as they subsequently were picked up for broadcast by multiple affiliate stations and national outlets,” said Braslow, who has previously appeared on CNN discussing his coverage of anti-vaccine rallies. “It’s really important to view the current mass-reporting actions by the far right as just the latest salvo in an ongoing, concerted effort to memory-hole evidence of their crimes,” said Chad Loder, an anti-fascist activist who said they use their Twitter account to document examples of far-right extremism and police misconduct. On Thursday, Loder said they were trapped in an “endless cycle” of reports, account locks and appeals as one of their tweets was reported under the policy, restored by Twitter following an appeal, and then reported again on the same day, resulting in another temporary suspension linked to the same tweet. The tweet in question contained a photo of a person taking part in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to Loder. Ken White, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing Loder who specializes in First Amendment law — and who may be better known to some as his Twitter persona, @Popehat — said Twitter has long struggled with having its reporting tools abused. “This new policy is even more of the same,” he told CNN. “Witness how it’s being used to take down the very accounts that have been identifying and documenting January 6 wrongdoers. It’s impossible they didn’t know this would happen, and it’s inexplicable they didn’t plan for it.”

After successfully scoring a unit from Walmart.com, she’s helped more than a half dozen local moms secure various video game consoles for their children. She also posts tips on popular Facebook groups — such as “PS5/XBOX SERIES — RESTOCK,” which has 27,700 members — on how to find them. “You definitely need intel to get a console,” DeSantis told CNN Business. “You can’t just get it without.” More than a year after their initial launches, Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Microsoft’s high-end Xbox offering, the Series X, are still difficult to find. The more recently launched Nintendo Switch OLED model, which launched in October 2021, is even harder to find on shelves and online. Restocks of the devices sell out in minutes, and one incident in Harris County, Texas, even resulted in an armed robbery attempt when a 19-year-old man tried to sell his PS5 to a man he met online. Supply shortages and logistical issues have impacted many industries, including autos and consumer electronics, but the gaming industry has been hit notably hard as it competes with these other sectors for similar parts. “The supply chain issues that plague other consumer items are more even more pronounced for gaming consoles for a few reasons, namely the chip shortage, logistics backups and bots exploiting the supply and demand imbalance,” Forrester tech analyst Alla Valente told CNN Business. Late last year, Sony (SNY) pulled back on its forecast to produce 16 million PS5 units between March 2021 and March 2022, adjusting the number to 15 million units. Nintendo (NTDOY) and Microsoft (MSFT) both warned customers earlier this month that console sales will be down stemming from the chip shortage. “We will try our best to meet demand for all of our products, depending on the current situation and any challenges related to shipping and supply chain management,” a spokesperson for Nintendo told CNN Business. “Our goal is to manufacture enough systems to fulfill demand, so that we can satisfy as many consumers as possible.” Similarly, a Microsoft spokesperson said Xbox Series X|S will continue to be restocked. “We’re working as fast as possible with our manufacturing and retail partners to expedite production and shipping to keep up with the unprecedented demand,” they said. “We recommend checking with local retailers for availability.” But some shoppers like DeSantis are actively looking for workarounds. For example, Microsoft began offering in mid-November Xbox Series X bundles for “select fans” who received links through their existing Xbox accounts to purchase the package, which included the console itself and a game. Sony has implemented a similar practice where it began emailing special invites for PS5 restocks based on “on previous interests and PlayStation activities,” according to its website. Other retailers are offering special access to restocks for shoppers who join their annual membership services. This includes Walmart+ ($98), Best Buy Totaltech ($199.99), Costco ($60) and GameStop PowerUp Pro ($14.99). “The majority of Walmart+ memberships are probably just people trying to get the PS5 and then going to cancel it after they obtain it,” said DeSantis. Still, signing up for these services doesn’t guarantee someone will find a console. Bereket Tesfay, 42, from Austin, Texas is one gamer who can’t locate a PS 5 even after paying for subscription services. “I joined Walmart+, Amazon Prime and GameStop’s Pro membership so I can have an early chance of buying a system — and after a year, I still haven’t gotten one,” he told CNN Business. “I have never in my life seen a console where one year after it came out you can’t just go into a store and pick one up.” Ameer Assaf, 32, from Flushing, Michigan, runs three different social media pages to help gamers share tips on product availability. In addition to tweeting updates from his Twitter page, he manages a restock group on messaging app Discord and his “PS5 Restock Updates & Alerts” group on Facebook with over 60,000 followers. “A number of people started playing more video games during the pandemic and became interested in buying or upgrading their existing consoles,” Assaf told CNN Business. “We’re effectively seeing a situation where there is an incredibly high demand coupled with a very low supply. … The PS5 shortage has been the worst one I’ve seen so far.” He said scalper bots, which quickly buy items to resell at a higher price, are also making it harder for average customers this year. “I’m particularly excited when parents message me letting me know that my group was the reason they’ll be able to gift a console to their child this holiday season,” Assaf said. Analysts predict supply chain issues will impact the gaming industry well into 2022 and possibly into 2023. Assaf said he will continue to do his best to help connect consumers with a coveted console. “As of right now, [my] groups will continue to run until shortages are no longer an issue,” he said.

The ads have been run by merchandise companies that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook over the last few years. On Monday, Fox News personality Lara Logan caused outrage by comparing Dr. Anthony Fauci to a notorious Nazi doctor known as the “Angel of Death” — around the same time ads were running on Facebook promoting a sweater emblazed with the words, “I’m originally from America but I currently reside in 1941 Germany.” Another ad compared the rollout of vaccines to the Holocaust — falsely and ludicrously implying they are part of an attempt to slaughter people on a mass scale.The ad was run by a Facebook page named “Ride the Red Wave.” Earlier this year the page ran ads for a t-shirt with the words, “Make hanging traitors great again.”Facebook has made more than $280,000 from ads run by “Ride the Red Wave” since May, according to data reviewed by CNN. The page has fewer than 10,000 followers, but by paying Facebook the people running the page can potentially reach millions of Americans.”Next Level Goods,” another page, run by a different company, has spent more than $500,000 on Facebook ads since 2019. The company regularly uses Facebook to advertise anti-vaccine t-shirts. One ad-buy in late August promoted a t-shirt that read “Proudly Unpoisoned” next to an image of a syringe. The company paid Facebook approximately $2,500 to reach up to 450,000 Facebook users with the anti-vaccine ad. According to Facebook data, the ads were most viewed by Facebook users in Texas, Florida, and California.A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the ads comparing the US Covid-19 response to Nazi Germany, comparing vaccines to the Holocaust, and the ad suggesting the vaccine was poison went against Facebook’s vaccine misinformation policies. However, considering these violating ads ran on its platform, Facebook’s detection systems seemingly missed them.CNN also asked about the ad that read “Make Hanging Traitors Great Again,” but Facebook did not say that ad broke its policies. Publicly, Facebook has touted the purportedly positive role it is playing in encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. Guy Rosen, the company’s vice president of integrity, penned a blog post in July rebuking President Joe Biden for alleging that platforms like Facebook are killing people. Biden later backed away from the claim.Laura Edelson, a researcher at NYU who tracks advertising on Facebook, told CNN that Facebook does not manually review all of the ads it sells — part of the reason why ads that violate its rules are allowed run on the platform.Facebook, she said, also appears to have a lighter-touch moderation approach to ads from seemingly commercial pages, like those selling t-shirts, compared to pages associated with political campaigns. “You will find a lot more of the really strong rhetoric printed on a t-shirt much more than you will see in a straight persuasion ad,” she told CNN.

I cringed while tapping the message to learn more. A brightly colored highlight reel played, showing me what I (mostly) suspected: My top songs included “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa, “Banana Boat (Day-O)” by Harry Belafonte (a favorite of my kindergartener) and “Ship to Wreck” by Florence and the Machine (Florence and the Machine was also the top artist I listened to — Spotify Wrapped informed me I spent 699 minutes listening to the band). In all, I listened to 48 different genres of music on Spotify for 6,664 minutes this year; an amount of time that is more than 51% of other listeners in the United States, Spotify helpfully noted.Oh, and my “audio aura” for the year was heavily green, as my top musical moods, according to Spotify, were “friendly” and “spooky.”Spotify Wrapped is, of course, a marketing campaign, and it’s an impressively effective one. The music streaming company has presented it annually in early December for the past several years, in the hopes that its 381 million users (172 million of whom are paid subscribers) share these very specific details of their personal listening habits with friends. Spotify knows a lot about its users because it tracks them closely; similar to Netflix, it uses artificial intelligence to recommend music to you based on factors such as what you have listened to in the past.And people, myself included, were quick to share Spotify Wrapped on social media. I immediately posted a couple of screenshots to Twitter and saw many friends and colleagues had done likewise.”I’m a walking stereotype,” tweeted my coworker Donie O’Sullivan, whose top artist for 2021 was U2 (Donie, like U2, comes from Ireland). Even the US Department of Transportation got in on the action, tweeting a top-five songs list that leaned heavily on transportation themes (it included “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Infrastructure” by St. Panther).As of Thursday morning, a day after Spotify Wrapped’s 2021 release, Twitter search showed the hashtag “SpotifyWrapped” had been tweeted 14,000 times in just the past hour. Yet as some astute Twitter users also pointed out, this marketing campaign is an important example of how a company can conduct in-depth surveillance of our personal behavior over a long period of time and package it as a fun feature that we want to share with others.”That’s the trick: to make these things kind of go viral and appealing and fun in ways that occlude the harms of the extractive practices,” said Chris Gilliard, a visiting research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.Gilliard, who does not use Spotify and admits he’s “like a surveillance killjoy,” likens Spotify Wrapped to other efforts by tech companies to package surveillance as cute or fun, such as Astro, Amazon’s dog-like home-security robot; and Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. He also pointed out that this kind of presentation of your listening activity could be triggering for some people in different ways. Imagine, for instance, if your Spotify Wrapped list included songs beloved by a friend who recently passed away.We know, for the most part, that our apps and devices are constantly logging what we do, and using that data to make decisions. But rarely do they present such a glossy dossier of our activity, assembled much like a holiday gift. And while it can be fun, it may make us pause, too, and think about the magnitude and potential drawbacks of such data collection. While Spotify Wrapped feels festive, personal data wrap-ups may not seem so fun and harmless from every tech company. If, for instance, a service like Google’s Gmail sent you an email about your “2021 year in messages”, pointing out how often you started emails with “hey” or ended them with “best,” or the number of times you searched for old emails sent to or from ex-boyfriends, that might be a little creepier.But the data Spotify is compiling about your music-listening habits is quite personal, because what we listen to says a lot about our lives and our moods, or at least the moods of our music (Spotify cheekily categorizes this kind of thing as an “audio aura”). If your Spotify Wrapped shows you listened to a lot of lullabyes or songs by The Wiggles, for example, chances are decent you have at least one young child — and if you post that list on social media, you might be inadvertently sharing that information with the world. Too many sad songs in your top five for 2021 might prompt an “are you okay?” message or two from friends who see your list on social media.”It’s not only what you might be revealing, but what might be assumed, whether it’s true or not,” Gilliard said. This could be anything from whether or not you have anxiety, are pregnant, or recently got a medical diagnosis — all the kinds of things that might be guessed from songs or podcasts.While my Spotify Wrapped felt benign (and predictable) enough to share, there was one surprise. The Rockwell classic “Somebody’s Watching Me,” which my kindergartener has forced me to play countless times over the past few months, didn’t make the list. Maybe next year.

After successfully scoring a unit from Walmart.com, she’s helped more than a half dozen local moms secure various video game consoles for their children. She also posts tips on popular Facebook groups — such as “PS5/XBOX SERIES — RESTOCK,” which has 27,700 members — on how to find them. “You definitely need intel to get a console,” DeSantis told CNN Business. “You can’t just get it without.” More than a year after their initial launches, Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Microsoft’s high-end Xbox offering, the Series X, are still difficult to find. The more recently launched Nintendo Switch OLED model, which launched in October 2021, is even harder to find on shelves and online. Restocks of the devices sell out in minutes, and one incident in Harris County, Texas, even resulted in an armed robbery attempt when a 19-year-old man tried to sell his PS5 to a man he met online. Supply shortages and logistical issues have impacted many industries, including autos and consumer electronics, but the gaming industry has been hit notably hard as it competes with these other sectors for similar parts. “The supply chain issues that plague other consumer items are more even more pronounced for gaming consoles for a few reasons, namely the chip shortage, logistics backups and bots exploiting the supply and demand imbalance,” Forrester tech analyst Alla Valente told CNN Business. Late last year, Sony (SNY) pulled back on its forecast to produce 16 million PS5 units between March 2021 and March 2022, adjusting the number to 15 million units. Nintendo (NTDOY) and Microsoft (MSFT) both warned customers earlier this month that console sales will be down stemming from the chip shortage. “We will try our best to meet demand for all of our products, depending on the current situation and any challenges related to shipping and supply chain management,” a spokesperson for Nintendo told CNN Business. “Our goal is to manufacture enough systems to fulfill demand, so that we can satisfy as many consumers as possible.” Similarly, a Microsoft spokesperson said Xbox Series X|S will continue to be restocked. “We’re working as fast as possible with our manufacturing and retail partners to expedite production and shipping to keep up with the unprecedented demand,” they said. “We recommend checking with local retailers for availability.” But some shoppers like DeSantis are actively looking for workarounds. For example, Microsoft began offering in mid-November Xbox Series X bundles for “select fans” who received links through their existing Xbox accounts to purchase the package, which included the console itself and a game. Sony has implemented a similar practice where it began emailing special invites for PS5 restocks based on “on previous interests and PlayStation activities,” according to its website. Other retailers are offering special access to restocks for shoppers who join their annual membership services. This includes Walmart+ ($98), Best Buy Totaltech ($199.99), Costco ($60) and GameStop PowerUp Pro ($14.99). “The majority of Walmart+ memberships are probably just people trying to get the PS5 and then going to cancel it after they obtain it,” said DeSantis. Still, signing up for these services doesn’t guarantee someone will find a console. Bereket Tesfay, 42, from Austin, Texas is one gamer who can’t locate a PS 5 even after paying for subscription services. “I joined Walmart+, Amazon Prime and GameStop’s Pro membership so I can have an early chance of buying a system — and after a year, I still haven’t gotten one,” he told CNN Business. “I have never in my life seen a console where one year after it came out you can’t just go into a store and pick one up.” Ameer Assaf, 32, from Flushing, Michigan, runs three different social media pages to help gamers share tips on product availability. In addition to tweeting updates from his Twitter page, he manages a restock group on messaging app Discord and his “PS5 Restock Updates & Alerts” group on Facebook with over 60,000 followers. “A number of people started playing more video games during the pandemic and became interested in buying or upgrading their existing consoles,” Assaf told CNN Business. “We’re effectively seeing a situation where there is an incredibly high demand coupled with a very low supply. … The PS5 shortage has been the worst one I’ve seen so far.” He said scalper bots, which quickly buy items to resell at a higher price, are also making it harder for average customers this year. “I’m particularly excited when parents message me letting me know that my group was the reason they’ll be able to gift a console to their child this holiday season,” Assaf said. Analysts predict supply chain issues will impact the gaming industry well into 2022 and possibly into 2023. Assaf said he will continue to do his best to help connect consumers with a coveted console. “As of right now, [my] groups will continue to run until shortages are no longer an issue,” he said.

The San Francisco-based company has partnered with Meta (FB) to launch a ride booking ability via its WhatsApp service in India, the two tech firms said in a statement on Thursday. The integration — the first of its kind for the ride-hailing giant — will allow people to book an Uber ride without having to download the company’s app. Everything from user registration and ride-booking to getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface.The service is being rolled out first in the northern city of Lucknow, and will be expanded to other Indian cities soon, the statement added. “We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,” said Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development for Uber APAC, in the statement. With nearly half a billion users, India is the biggest market for WhatsApp. Riders who book via Whatsapp will have access to the “same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly,” Uber said.Some of these features include the ability to talk to the driver anonymously using a masked number and getting access to the vehicle’s license plate at the time of booking.”The Uber experience on WhatsApp is simple, familiar, and relatable for users and has the potential to accelerate adoption of Uber with a new category of riders in India,” said Abhijit Bose, the head of WhatsApp India, in the statement. The company is going to create more “customized solutions for products and services across sectors in India,” he added.The service is available only in English, but will be rolled out in Indian languages soon.This isn’t the first time Uber (UBER) has tested an ambitious project in India. In 2015, Hyderabad became the first city in the world in which Uber began accepting cash payments — an option that was later introduced in the company’s other markets. Uber said that India is “one of the company’s largest international markets,” but declined to share the number of users in the country.

The unidentified perpetrator stole documents from the Planned Parenthood affiliate that contained sensitive data on some patients such as their insurance information, their diagnosis, procedure or prescription, according to a breach notification the organization sent to victims.”Law enforcement was notified of this incident,” John Erickson, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, said in an email to CNN. “Unfortunately, we do not know the identity of the person responsible, which is not uncommon in these situations. However, we have no indication this was a targeted attack.”Erickson said the incident was confined to Planned Parenthood’s Los Angeles chapter and that there is no evidence that the stolen information had been used for fraudulent purposes. Erickson did not immediately respond to questions Wednesday evening on whether the hackers demanded a ransom, or what type of ransomware was used.The Washington Post first reported on the incident.The last year has seen several major ransomware attacks, including one that targeted and hampered Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest US fuel pipelines. In November, US Cyber Command head and director of the National Security Agency Gen. Paul Nakasone said the US government had taken aim at sources of funding for ransomware operatives, many of whom are based in Russia and Eastern Europe and who have made millions extorting US companies.Despite the enormous toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on hospitals and other health clinics, many cybercriminals have not refrained from holding computer systems of such facilities hostage. There were more than 100 publicly reported ransomware attacks on health care providers in 2020, more than double the amount in 2019, according Allan Liska, senior intelligence analyst at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. That included a wave of hacks of computer networks at US hospitals in the fall of 2020. One incident forced hospitals at the University of Vermont Health Network to delay chemotherapy and mammogram appointments.

Holmes, who is on trial over criminal fraud charges, testified Tuesday that she appealed to media mogul and Theranos investor Rupert Murdoch to see if she could have him throw his weight behind her fight over the Journal story. Murdoch is the executive chairman of News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal. “You personally went to the owner of The Wall Street Journal to try to get him to quash the story, isn’t that correct?” assistant US attorney Robert Leach asked the former Theranos CEO in the San Jose federal courtroom where she has been on the witness stand testifying in her own defense for the past five days of the trial. “I did,” Holmes testified. Holmes acknowledged her outreach to Murdoch came after the law firm of Theranos investor, board member and legal counsel David Boies had attempted to intervene. Holmes testified that Boies had been “actively meeting with people at the Journal” and writing to them. “I don’t know if he was threatening litigation,” she said.The prosecution displayed an email she sent to Murdoch one month before the story published: “I thought that were I in your shoes I would want to know/be in the loop on this one,” Holmes wrote to Murdoch.”It was part of my effort to get Mr. Murdoch to make sure that our trade secrets were not published,” Holmes testified. Leach replied: “You keep injecting trade secrets, and I promise we will get to trade secrets.”Murdoch reportedly sunk $125 million into Theranos, making him one of the company’s largest individual investors. He was listed as a possible government witness but was not called to testify during its 11-week case against Holmes.Holmes, a Stanford University dropout who founded Theranos in 2003 at age 19, is facing nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over allegations she knowingly misled doctors, patients, and investors about her company’s blood testing capabilities in order to take their money. Now 37, she faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for each count of wire fraud and each conspiracy count. She has pleaded not guilty.Holmes was first called to testify last month shortly after the defense’s case began. She quickly admitted to one of the government’s allegations: that the company only performed a dozen small blood sample tests on its proprietary blood analyzer device, despite its claims that it could run hundreds of tests. But Holmes has attempted to reframe Theranos’ concealed use of modified third-party machines for other tests as a trade secret. A key revelation from the Journal’s October 2015 article was that the company was only using its proprietary technology on roughly a dozen tests and was instead relying on the use of third-party machines to test patient blood. Carreyrou, who has since left the Journal, went on to chronicle Holmes’ effort to leverage Murdoch and others against his reporting in his definitive book on the Theranos saga, “Bad Blood.” He was in attendance at the trial as Holmes testified on the topic, including her acknowledgment that she and the former COO of Theranos attempted to figure out who his sources were for his article.During cross-examination, which began Tuesday and will continue next week, Leach sought to show lengths Holmes and Theranos went to in trying to stymie the story that would upend the company and eventually land her in the federal courtroom where her criminal trial has been underway for the past three months. Holmes was repeatedly asked by the prosecutor about how she handled her response to the Journal’s reporting, after having previously testified that her response was was “too aggressive.” Leach sought to pull out what that meant in practice, including how she treated whistleblowers. Holmes expressed contrition.”I couldn’t say more strongly, the way we handled the Wall Street Journal process was a disaster,” she testified Tuesday. “We totally messed it up.”But Leach sought to point out her efforts to conceal didn’t stop there. After the Journal article was published, Holmes went on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” where Leach noted she was asked “point blank” by host Jim Cramer whether it was true that the company was performing “only 12 or 15 tests on your device, isn’t that right?”Holmes said she didn’t remember the question specifically but knew she was addressing the contents of the Journal’s report. Leach then played a clip — which jurors have seen before — but this time, with Holmes sitting on the witness stand. “You heard Mr. Cramer ask you the question how many tests could be performed on the Edison?” Leach asked, referring to Theranos’ proprietary blood testing machine.”I did,” Holmes replied.”And I didn’t hear the number 12 in that clip. Did you hear it?” Leach asked.”I did not,” Holmes testified.