A judge has sentenced former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in the company’s blood-testing hoax. The punishment announced Wednesday was slightly longer than that given last month to the CEO, who was his lover and accomplice in one of Silicon Valley’s biggest scandals. Balwani was convicted in July of fraud and conspiracy in connection with bogus medical technology that duped investors and endangered patients. His sentencing came less than three weeks after Elizabeth Holmes received more than 11 years in prison. Their scheme has been dissected in a book, an HBO documentary and an award-winning TV series.
Slightly more Americans filed for jobless claims last week but the labor market remains one of strongest parts of the U.S. economy. Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 230,000 for the week ending Dec. 3, up by 4,000 from the previous week’s 226,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, rose by 1,000 to 230,000. Jobless claims are seen as a proxy for layoffs, and combined with other employment data, show that American workers are enjoying extraordinary job security at the moment, despite the Federal Reserve's efforts to cool the economy.
The European Union’s top court says Google has to delete search results about people in Europe if they can prove that the information is clearly wrong. Europeans have the right to ask search engines to delete links to outdated or embarrassing information about themselves, even if it is true, under a principle known as “right to be forgotten.” Two people asked Google to remove search results based on their names that linked to articles they said made false claims. Google refused because it didn’t know whether the articles were accurate or not. The European Court of Justice said Thursday that it disagreed. Google says it's worked to balance “people’s rights of access to information and privacy."
One of the world's most ruthless pirates hid in plain sight in the American colonies, according to new evidence. A historian and metal detectorist in Rhode Island says that he’s unearthed 26 silver coins with Arabic inscriptions that notorious English pirate Henry Every once seized from an armed Indian ship. The 1695 heist made Every the target of the first worldwide manhunt. Detectorists say that before he fled to the Bahamas and then vanished, Every first hid out in New England.
False earthquake alerts have gone off on Android smartphones in Iran as the country continues to grapple with nationwide protests. The deputy chief of Iran’s cyber police told Iranian state television on Wednesday that only Android phones received the fake alert. He blamed testing at state-owned service provider Iran Mobile Communications Co. for the alert. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency meanwhile described the incident as a hack and said: “This message is fake; do not leave your homes.” The two conflicting accounts of the event could not be immediately reconciled.
Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon will share in the Pentagon’s $9 billion contract to build its cloud computing network. The announcement comes a year after accusations of politicization over the previously announced contract and a protracted legal battle resulted in the military starting over in its award process. The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability is envisioned to provide access to unclassified, secret and top-secret data to military personnel all over the globe. It is anticipated to serve as a backbone for the Pentagon’s modern war operations, which will rely heavily on unmanned aircraft and space communications satellites, but will still need a way to quickly get the intelligence from those platforms to troops on the ground.
Indiana’s attorney general on Wednesday sued Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, claiming the video-sharing platform misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and security of consumer information. Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a complaint filed Wednesday that while the social video app says it is safe for users 13 years and older, the app contains “salacious and inappropriate content” available to young users “for unlimited periods of time, day and night." TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. The app has been targeted by Republicans who say the Chinese government could access its user data like browsing history and location.
Apple has embarked on its latest privacy-enhancing move. The tech giant says it will now offer full end-to-encryption for nearly all the data its users store in its cloud system. That will make it more difficult for hackers, spies and law enforcement agencies to access sensitive user information. The world’s most valuable company has long placed customer security and privacy at a premium. Its iMessage and Facetime communications services are fully encrypted end-to-end and it has sometimes locked horns with law enforcement agencies including the FBI over its refusal to unlock devices.
After more than half a century, the last Boeing 747 has rolled out of a Washington state factory. The jumbo jet has been used as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, and as the Air Force One presidential aircraft. When it debuted in 1969, it was the largest commercial aircraft in the world and the first with two aisles. The final customer is Atlas Air, which ordered four 747-8 freighters early this year. The last is rolling out of Boeing's massive factory in Everett, Washington, on Tuesday night.
Could trawler cams help save the world’s fish? Several companies are installing high-resolution cameras on U.S. fishing boats to replace scarce in-person observers and meet new federal mandates aimed at protecting dwindling fish stocks. But taking the technology beyond U.S. waters, where the vast majority of seafood consumed in the U.S. is caught, is a steep challenge. Only a few countries in the world can match strict U.S. regulatory mandates. Scientists fear the result could be that American initiatives to replenish fish stocks and reduce unintentional bycatch of threatened species could backfire by transferring more fishing into unregulated overseas waters.