Month: November 2019

Mixcloud data breach exposes over 20 million user records

A data breach at Mixcloud, a U.K.-based audio streaming platform, has left more than 20 million user accounts exposed after the data was put on sale on the dark web.

The data breach happened earlier in November, according to a dark web seller who supplied a portion of the data to TechCrunch, allowing us to examine and verify the authenticity of the data.

The data contained usernames, email addresses, and passwords that appear to be scrambled with the SHA-2 algorithm, making the passwords near impossible to unscramble. The data also contained account sign-up dates and the last-login date. It also included the country from which the user signed up, their internet (IP) address, and links to profile photos.

We verified a portion of the data by validating emails against the site’s sign-up feature, though Mixcloud does not require users to verify their email addresses.

The exact amount of data stolen isn’t known. The seller said there were 20 million records, but listed 21 million records on the dark web. But the data we sampled suggested there may have been as many as 22 million records based off unique values in the data set we were given.

The data was listed for sale for $4,000, or about 0.5 bitcoin. We’re not linking to the dark web listing.

Mixcloud last year secured a $11.5 million cash injection from media investment firm WndrCo, led by Hollywood media proprietor Jeffrey Katzenberg.

It’s the latest in a string of high profile data breaches in recent months. The breached data came from the same dark web seller who also alerted TechCrunch to the StockX breach earlier this year. The apparel trading company initially claimed its customer-wide password reset was for “system updates,” but later came clean, admitting it was hacked, exposing more than four million records, after TechCrunch obtained a portion of the breached data.

When reached, Mixcloud spokesperson Lisa Roolant did not comment beyond a boilerplate corporate statement, nor did the spokesperson answer any of our questions — including if the company planned to inform regulators under U.S. state and EU data breach notification laws.

Co-founder Nico Perez also declined to comment further.

As a London-based company, Mixcloud falls under U.K. and European data protection rules. Companies can be fined up to 4% of their annual turnover for violations of European GDPR rules.

Corrected the fourth paragraph to clarify that emails were validated against the site’s sign-up feature, and not the password reset feature. Updated to include comment from the company.

Read more:

Raise a glass to the memories with this ‘Game of Thrones’ whisky on sale

Raise a glass to the memories with this 'Game of Thrones' whisky on sale

TL;DR: Johnnie Walker limited edition Game of Thrones bottles are on sale on Amazon, saving you 25% on list price.


We know the final season of Game of Thrones did not exactly go the way most fans hoped, but that doesn’t mean we can just ignore the fact that the series completely gripped the world for years.

Those memories are precious, and they deserve to be celebrated. You could go back through and watch the whole thing again, but that is going to take a lot of time and energy, particularly if you put yourself through that final season again.

More about Game Of Thrones, Black Friday, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

2019 Thanksgiving e-commerce sales show 14% rise on 2018, $470M spent so far

With popular social networks seeing some downtime, most shops closed, and many people off work today for Thanksgiving, bargain hunters are flocking online to start their holiday shopping.

Adobe says that as of 2pm Pacific time, $2.1 billion had been spent online, up 20.2% on the same period a year ago.

That shows that as the day went on, sales accellerated. Prior to that, at 10am Adobe said $470 million has been spent online, a rise of 14.5% compared to sales figures from the same time last year. Overall, sales patterns are largely on track to hit Adobe’s prediction of $4.4 billion in sales today.

Over at Shopify, as of 11.30 Pacific time, the e-commerce backend provider noted that it was seeing around 4,500 transactions per minute, working out to just under $400,000 spent each minute.

Within that, some 66% of all sales were being made on mobile devices, with apparel and accessories the most popular category, and New York the top-selling city. Average cart price has been $78.66.

Adobe Analytics tracks sales in real-time for 80 of the top 100 US retailers, covering 55 million SKUs and some 1 trillion transactions during the holiday sales period. Shopify, meanwhile, uses data from across the range of online retailers that use Shopify APIs to run their sales.

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) used to be seen as the traditional start to holiday sales, but consumers spending time at home on Thanksgiving itself are increasingly coming online — on a day when most brick-and-mortar stores are closed — to get the ball rolling.

This year, Thanksgiving is coming a week later this year than in 2018 (when it fell on the 22nd of the month), which will make for a more compressed, and potentially more frenzied, selling period.

As Sarah pointed out yesterday, many retailers this year made an early jump on their Black Friday deals, and so far some $53 billion has been spent in the month of November up to today. This year’s holiday sales overall are predicted to hit nearly $144 billion.

We’ll be updating this post with more figures as they come in.

As a point of comparison, in 2018, online sales hit $3.7 billion, according to Adobe’s analysis.

Adobe notes that in the $53 billion spent so far this month, all 27 days in November have surpassed $1 billion in sales. Eight days passed $2 billion, and yesterday saw $2.9 billion in sales. That was up 22% on a year ago, which either points to increased sales overall, or simply that the strategy of extending “holiday” shopping to start earlier and earlier is paying off for retailers.

Another interesting insight is that some $18.2B in purchases have been made by smartphones this month, which is up 49.5% compared to last year.

“The strong online sales performance to-date suggests that holiday shopping starts much earlier than ever before. Steep discounts on popular items like computers on the day before Thanksgiving indicate that many of the season’s best deals are already up for grabs. This has led to significant growth in online sales (16.1% YoY increase) so far. What will be important for retailers to track is whether the early discounts will drive continued retail growth overall, or if they have induced consumers to spend their holiday budgets earlier,” noted Jason Woosley, vice president of commerce product & platform at Adobe.

5 Academic Writing Tips to Help You Earn The Highest Grades In Class

If the task of completing a research paper in time seems too daunting to you or you just can’t get that A grade for your thesis, this article will be of help to you. Below are 5 great academic writing tips to help you get that top score in class.

Understand the deliverables

The first step involves reviewing and understanding the requirements. Make sure you understand the questions asked and all the requirements of your research. If you do not understand the task given to you correctly or if you misinterpret it, all your hard work will go down the drain.

Once you understand the question, make a list of all the topics and sub-topics, which you need to explain in the paper. You should make a list to make sure that you have enough topics and relevant terms, which you can summarize later and combine with other related topics for your readers.

Research your topic

academically writing tips

Once you are done with your list, it is time to do to some brainstorming. Go and do your research on your shortlisted topics.

You must keep in mind all the subtopics and points which need to be answered in your report so that you can explain them better. Include both qualitative and quantitative types of research to support your paper.

Give reference to sources of any surveys and statistical data that you have used in your research.

You should look at previously published papers and research materials for inspiration and build upon that.

You should never copy someone else’s research. If your teachers find out that your work is plagiarized, it can have serious repercussions on your grades.

If you use certain parts of previously published research materials in your paper, use citations whenever necessary.

Plan your work

Now that you have figured out what you are supposed to write in your academic article, it’s time to decide how you’re going to write it.

Always keep in mind the date by which you have to submit your assignment. This will help you properly manage time for each section.

Figure out the sections which are going to take the most amount of time and the sections which would take the least amount of time. Plan accordingly.

Start writingacademic writing tip

Writing translates your research and findings into readable content.

Before you actually start writing, you must first read previous papers to get an idea about the proper format. Make sure to use terminologies related to your research topic.

Most academic articles have an introduction, discussion, and a conclusion.

With that in mind, decide how much time you can dedicate in writing each of them. Most people follow a pattern of 10-80-10. 10 per cent to the introduction, 80 per cent to the body, and the remaining 10 per cent of your document to the conclusion.

You may follow the same or decide according to the needs and format of your chosen topic.

The introduction should be concise but intriguing enough to keep the reader interested in reading further. It should state all the questions and the argument which you are going to put up.

The body section of your article is one of the most important sections of your academic paper. It should mention all the relevant questions and your answers. It should represent your point of view in an argumentative manner. You can use references with proper citations to give your point some strength or to put emphasis on certain points.

The conclusion is the summary of all the topics and points you have in your article. It should give a brief explanation of the answers you have provided and the areas where further research can be done.

Finalize your work

You have almost completed your work and now there is only one thing left to do and that is the final proofreading. You must always proofread your work for typographical errors and to check the final format of your research paper before submitting it to your teachers.

It is best to set your final draft aside and take a break to clear your head before you start  proofreading your work. If you don’t have enough time to take a break, you can ask a friend to do it for you.

Proofreading is critical to your work and the score you’ll get. Once you submit your work to the teachers or the review panel, you can’t make any changes in the document after that point.

See Also: Effective Tips for Writing Assignments You Probably Didn’t Know About

The post 5 Academic Writing Tips to Help You Earn The Highest Grades In Class appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

This week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time when families gather together to eat copious amounts of food and silently hate each other, like pre-gaming for Christmas. 

Fortunately for those saddled with the enormous task of cooking a Thanksgiving feast, the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert pointed out that they could just start the preparations early and bring the food along on their flight.

“According to the TSA, you can bring your Thanksgiving turkey on an airplane. Just tell them that’s your emotional support meat,” said Colbert. “As for other Thanksgiving foods, pies or cookies are allowed right in your carry-on, gravy and cranberry sauce can go in your checked luggage, and corn pudding can go directly to hell.” Read more…

More about Politics, Thanksgiving, Stephen Colbert, Michael Bloomberg, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

This week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time when families gather together to eat copious amounts of food and silently hate each other, like pre-gaming for Christmas. 

Fortunately for those saddled with the enormous task of cooking a Thanksgiving feast, the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert pointed out that they could just start the preparations early and bring the food along on their flight.

“According to the TSA, you can bring your Thanksgiving turkey on an airplane. Just tell them that’s your emotional support meat,” said Colbert. “As for other Thanksgiving foods, pies or cookies are allowed right in your carry-on, gravy and cranberry sauce can go in your checked luggage, and corn pudding can go directly to hell.” Read more…

More about Politics, Thanksgiving, Stephen Colbert, Michael Bloomberg, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

TikTok apologizes for removing viral video about abuses against Uighurs, blames a “human moderation error”

TikTok has issued a public apology to a teenager who had her account suspended shortly after posting a video that asked viewers to research the persecution of Uighur people and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang. TikTok included a “clarification on the timeline of events,” and said that the viral video was removed four days after it was posted on November 23 “due to a human moderation error” and did not violate the platform’s community guidelines (the account @getmefamouspartthree and video have since been reinstated).

But the user, Feroza Aziz, who describes herself in her Twitter profile as “just a Muslim trying to spread awareness,” rejected TikTok’s claims, tweeting “Do I believe they took it away because of an unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine? Right after I finished posting a 3 part video about the Uyghurs? No.”

In the video removed by TikTok, Aziz begins by telling viewers to use an eyelash curler, before telling them to put it down and “use your phone, that you’re using right now, to search up what’s happening in China, how they’re getting concentration camps, throwing innocent Muslims in there, separating families from each other, kidnapping them, murdering them, raping them, forcing them to eat pork, forcing them to drink, forcing them to convert. This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it. Please be aware, please spread awareness in Xinjiang right now.”

TikTok is owned by ByteDance and the video’s removal led to claims that the Beijing-based company capitulated to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (Douyin, ByteDance’s version of TikTok for China, is subject to the same censorship laws as other online platforms in China).

Though the government-directed persecution of Muslim minority groups in China began several years ago and about a million people are believed to be detained in internment camps, awareness of the crisis was heightened this month after two significant leaks of classified Chinese government documents were published by the New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, confirming reports by former inmates, eyewitnesses and researchers.

Aziz told BuzzFeed News she has been talking about the persecution of minority groups in China since 2018 because “as a Muslim girl, I’ve always been oppressed and seen my people be oppressed, and I’ve always been into human rights.”

In the BuzzFeed News article, published before TikTok’s apology post, the company claimed Aziz’s account suspension was related to another video she made that contained an image of Osama Bin Laden. The video was created as a satirical response to a meme about celebrity crushes and Aziz told BuzzFeed News that “it was a dark humor joke that he was at the end, because obviously no one in their right mind would think or say that.” A TikTok spokesperson said it nonetheless “violated its policies on terrorism-related content.”

“While we recognize that this video may have been intended as satire, our policies on this front are currently strict. Any such content, when identified, is deemed a violation of our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, resulting in a permanent ban of the account and associated devices,” a TikTok spokesperson told BuzzFeed, adding that the suspension of Aziz’s second account, which the makeup tutorial video was posted on, was part of the platform’s blocking of 2,406 devices linked to previously suspended accounts.

In TikTok’s apology post today, TikTok US head of safety Eric Tan wrote that the platform relies on technology to uphold community guidelines and human moderators as a “second line of defense.”

“We acknowledge that at times, this process will not be perfect. Humans will sometimes make mistakes, such as the one made today in the case of @getmefamouspartthree’s video,” he added. “When those mistakes happen, however, our commitment is to quickly address and fix them, undertake trainings or make changes to reduce the risk of the same mistakes being repeated, and fully own the responsibility for our errors.”

Aziz told the Washington Post, however, that “TikTok is trying to cover up this whole mess. I won’t let them get away with this.”

The controversy comes as TikTok faces an inquiry by the U.S. government into how it secures the personal data of users. Reuters reported yesterday that TikTok plans to separate its product and business development, and marketing and legal teams from Douyin in the third quarter of this year.

 

The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security

Not that long ago, the only way to communicate with someone across the office was to get up and walk over. Then, it became calling one’s phones with individual extensions being widely used. Eventually, those phone lines were used to link computers together and someone got the idea that you could send messages to a specific person in a network. That was when email was born.

Because computer networks were so small and used by few people, email was not built with security in mind. The thought that one day there would be more than 4.3 billion email addresses worldwide never occurred to anyone. This oversight first led to spam and then email phishing.

How can understanding the evolution of email help us to understand how to fight back against phishing and scam?

The History of Email

future of phishing and spam

MIT developed Compatible Time Sharing in the mid-1960s. It allowed users to log in to a terminal and access files from a shared server remotely. ARPANET joined together a series of networks to create the first intranet, the predecessor to the internet.

The @ symbol was introduced to send messages to a specific user, the predecessor to modern-day email. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth became the first Head of State to send an email.

It wasn’t until 1977 that the standard email format we know today – with fields for ‘To’ and ‘From’, as well as the ability to forward emails, was developed.

The Birth of Spam

Just a year after email was developed, Gary Thuerk got the idea to send a mass message to everyone in the ARPANET network – all 397 of them. The mass email was about a presentation at a hotel.

The move was so wildly unpopular that no one would try to send such an email again for over a decade.

Mass emails only became a method of attack in 1988. It was the time when online gamers sent massive amounts of email to rival players in order to crash their systems and render them unable to play the game.

It was in 1993 that unwanted emails were called ‘spam’. It’s a name that was chosen as an homage to the Monty Python skit about a character’s dislike of the canned meat of the same name.

The second attempt at mass marketing spam emails took place in 1994.

From Spam To Scam

By the 1990s, scammers had found a way to capitalize on all those unwanted emails landing in inboxes. Sending their own mass emails that contained malicious links or phishing attempts blended right in.

They would pose as system administrators and pretend that there was a problem with a person’s account. They would try to gain access to their login credentials and then send more dangerous emails to the people in that account’s contact list.

In 1996, the term ‘phishing’ was coined. It was after a series of attacks on an AOL message board involving someone asking if anyone knew ways to gain access to the internet for free.

Email attacks became more frequent and more damaging. The ILOVEYOU virus infected 45 million PCs after unsuspecting users opened emails and unknowingly downloaded and forwarded computer worms. Later, the Sircam virus infected one in 20 PCs, causing them to lose critical operating system files.

By 2002, both the U.S. and the E.U. had passed laws prohibiting people from sending marketing emails unless the recipient had previously expressed consent to receive them. Unfortunately, these laws have proven to be largely ineffective.

Modern Email Challenges Need Modern Solutions

the future of phishing and spam

Because the way we use email has changed so much, securing communications now requires newer and more advanced tactics. There’s yet another form of phishing to contend with these days. It’s called smishing in which phishing messages are sent through spam text messages.

With each new attack comes new security challenges.

Now that email is mostly in the cloud, that means security needs to be there as well. Today, more than a quarter of those online have been affected by data stolen from the cloud and there are more than 4.7 billion phishing emails sent every day. Cloud-based activities require a new level of security.

See Also: The Cost of Email Phishing

Learn more about the history and future of phishing and spam below.

 

The History and Future of Phishing [infographic]
Courtesy of Avanan

The post The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security

Not that long ago, the only way to communicate with someone across the office was to get up and walk over. Then, it became calling one’s phones with individual extensions being widely used. Eventually, those phone lines were used to link computers together and someone got the idea that you could send messages to a specific person in a network. That was when email was born.

Because computer networks were so small and used by few people, email was not built with security in mind. The thought that one day there would be more than 4.3 billion email addresses worldwide never occurred to anyone. This oversight first led to spam and then email phishing.

How can understanding the evolution of email help us to understand how to fight back against phishing and scam?

The History of Email

future of phishing and spam

MIT developed Compatible Time Sharing in the mid-1960s. It allowed users to log in to a terminal and access files from a shared server remotely. ARPANET joined together a series of networks to create the first intranet, the predecessor to the internet.

The @ symbol was introduced to send messages to a specific user, the predecessor to modern-day email. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth became the first Head of State to send an email.

It wasn’t until 1977 that the standard email format we know today – with fields for ‘To’ and ‘From’, as well as the ability to forward emails, was developed.

The Birth of Spam

Just a year after email was developed, Gary Thuerk got the idea to send a mass message to everyone in the ARPANET network – all 397 of them. The mass email was about a presentation at a hotel.

The move was so wildly unpopular that no one would try to send such an email again for over a decade.

Mass emails only became a method of attack in 1988. It was the time when online gamers sent massive amounts of email to rival players in order to crash their systems and render them unable to play the game.

It was in 1993 that unwanted emails were called ‘spam’. It’s a name that was chosen as an homage to the Monty Python skit about a character’s dislike of the canned meat of the same name.

The second attempt at mass marketing spam emails took place in 1994.

From Spam To Scam

By the 1990s, scammers had found a way to capitalize on all those unwanted emails landing in inboxes. Sending their own mass emails that contained malicious links or phishing attempts blended right in.

They would pose as system administrators and pretend that there was a problem with a person’s account. They would try to gain access to their login credentials and then send more dangerous emails to the people in that account’s contact list.

In 1996, the term ‘phishing’ was coined. It was after a series of attacks on an AOL message board involving someone asking if anyone knew ways to gain access to the internet for free.

Email attacks became more frequent and more damaging. The ILOVEYOU virus infected 45 million PCs after unsuspecting users opened emails and unknowingly downloaded and forwarded computer worms. Later, the Sircam virus infected one in 20 PCs, causing them to lose critical operating system files.

By 2002, both the U.S. and the E.U. had passed laws prohibiting people from sending marketing emails unless the recipient had previously expressed consent to receive them. Unfortunately, these laws have proven to be largely ineffective.

Modern Email Challenges Need Modern Solutions

the future of phishing and spam

Because the way we use email has changed so much, securing communications now requires newer and more advanced tactics. There’s yet another form of phishing to contend with these days. It’s called smishing in which phishing messages are sent through spam text messages.

With each new attack comes new security challenges.

Now that email is mostly in the cloud, that means security needs to be there as well. Today, more than a quarter of those online have been affected by data stolen from the cloud and there are more than 4.7 billion phishing emails sent every day. Cloud-based activities require a new level of security.

See Also: The Cost of Email Phishing

Learn more about the history and future of phishing and spam below.

 

The History and Future of Phishing [infographic]
Courtesy of Avanan

The post The Future (And History) of Phishing And Email Security appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

This debut venture firm, backed by an Argentine conglomerate, is investing $60 million in far-flung U.S. startups

Nico Berardi considers himself to be a citizen of the world, with a penchant for travel and a wide range of interests. Unlike many other VCs, who’ve increasingly specialized as the market has grown more crowded, Berardi is nearly as wide-ranging in his approach to venture capital, too.

Somewhat counterintuitively, it’s paying off. At least, Berardi’s venture firm, Animo Ventures, has been investing a $60 million debut vehicle since closing it in July of last year.

It’s an impressive, surprising, amount for someone raising a fund for the first time, but then, Berardi’s trajectory into the world of venture capital hasn’t been completely straightforward, either. To wit, Berardi grew up in Argentina, where his professional life began at a community-focused nonprofit Techo, a kind of Habitat for Humanity focused on Latin America. He was so good at his development job, in fact, that he was moved to Miami as the CEO of Techo’s U.S operations.

It was there, over his six year career with the organization, that he was first introduced to the world of investing. Specifically, encouraged by several board members who were angel investors — and aided by some backing from the Knight Foundation — Berardi left the nonprofit world in 2014 to launch a still-active angel investor group called Miami Angels that funnels around $3.5 million into roughly 10 local companies each year.

In quick succession, he then applied to and was accepted into the tuition-based Kauffman Fellows Program, fell in love with a medical student in Boston, and headed to Harvard Business School to be closer to her, spending his summers with the Boston and San Francisco-based early-stage venture firm Resolute Ventures.

He imagined he’d land in San Francisco afterward, to work with Resolute. But when that medical student — now his wife — wound up landing a job back in Miami, he headed there instead and decided to launch his own venture firm. Enter Animo, a Latin word that means with intention or purpose and also, notes Bernardi, “sounds international.”

The latter matters because while Berardi is the sole general partner of the firm, he’s running it with two colleagues, neither of whom lives in the U.S. One of these is partner Antonio Osio, a native Mexican who was running his own firm, Capital Invent, when he first met Berardi through Kauffman Fellows. (“I poached him,” says Berardi.) They also have an operations partner in Caro Acevedo, who worked with Berardi as his COO at Techo and who still lives in Argentina.

As for the money, Berardi says it “mostly comes from Latin America and Europe,” including from anchor investor Techint. It’s a 60,000-person Argentine conglomerate that owns steel, construction, oil, gas, and healthcare businesses around the world and whose CEO, Paulo Rocco, sees Animo as a way to put the company’s resources into new materials sciences, manufacturing technology, and machine learning startups, says Berardi.

“We want to make a dent in the universe, and there aren’t a lot of Latinx investors around and we want to carry that flag,” he offers.

To date, Animo has announced 12 deals, all in the U.S., including six investments in New York and six others in other places, including Scottsdale, Az.; Toronto, Ontario; Miami; and Richmond, Va.

Notably, Animo does not have plans to invest in Latin American companies, though it has backed a number of Latin American founders in the U.S. “I think every investor has their own set of biases,” says Berardi. “Our diversity numbers point in that way, but it hasn’t been a conscious effort. That’s just who we are.” He suggests that a much bigger focus for the firm is using its connections in “tier one ecosystems” like San Francisco and New York to “help [founders] outside the bubble enter it.”

Berardi does say there are a few things Animo won’t consider. “We stay away from FDA-regulated stuff because we don’t understand it well enough and therefore can’t be useful.” Mostly, however, he’s open to anyone and everyone who appreciates hard work, he suggests. “We’re younger, we’re hungry. We work 100-hour weeks and travel like crazy people.”

To underscore his point, Berardi tells a story about Intello, a SaaS operations platform that helps companies manage their SaaS spend, usage and compliance data and an Animo portfolio company. The startup had rented a booth at a conference organized by Okta, the publicly traded identity and access management company. “They didn’t have enough people to man the booth,” says Berardi, “and I was in town, so I was like, ‘I’ll man the booth with you in a cloud suit.’ They thought I was joking and I made an idiot of myself, but it drew a lot of people to the booth.”

Pictured above from left to right, Animo founders Nico Berardi, Caro Acevedo, and Antonio Osio.

India’s electric bike rental startup Yulu inks strategic partnership with Bajaj Auto, raises $8M

Yulu, a Bangalore-based electric bike sharing platform that maintains a partnership with Uber, said today it has won the backing of one of the country’s largest automaker firms.

The two-year-old startup said it has entered into a strategic partnership with Bajaj Auto, which has also funded Yulu’s $8 million Series A financing round. As part of the partnership, Bajaj will co-design and manufacture future generation of Yulu two-wheelers, Amit Gupta, cofounder and chief executive of Yulu, told TechCrunch in an interview.

Yulu, which operates in Bengaluru and recently entered portions of New Delhi and Mumbai, has raised about $18.5 million to date, he said.

The startup maintains over 3,000 electric bikes on its platform. A customer can rent the bike through Yulu’s app for 14 cents, pay another 14 cents for each hour of usage and then park it at the nearest zone.

Gupta said Yulu plans to have 100,000 two-wheelers in its fleet by end of next year. And that’s where its partnership with Bajaj Auto would come in handy. The startup currently relies on its Chinese original design manufacturer partners to build its bikes. But Bajaj Auto, which has decades of building two-wheelers in the nation, will be taking care of the manufacturing from here, he said. “They clearly have much better understanding of Indian context than most,” he said.

In a statement, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj, said, “in Yulu we find an experienced and committed partner with robust achievement of success metrics in a very short time. And this is why we decided to partner with them in their journey of bringing Yulu service to every neighborhood of Urban India.”

Yulu is also expanding its presence quickly in the nation. In Delhi, it has been granted the permission to offer electric bikes at 250 subway stations. “We are already servicing in nine of those,” said Gupta, who also co-founded advertising tech giant InMobi.

“We work through clusters. So we deploy about 1000 vehicles, and set up 200 to 300 parking stations and 25 to 30 charging stations. We have been able to replicate this cluster model in many places,” he said.

These bikes can ride as fast as 35 kmph (21.7 mph), and cover 60 kms (37.2 miles) in one charging cycle. The startup works with neighborhood stores, individuals to expand its parking and charging stations. “It’s very economical,” Gupta said. Yulu also has an army of workers who swap the used battery with freshly charged one, he said.

More to follow…

Black Friday is happening now at Target: Vacuums and air fryers on sale

Black Friday hasn’t *officially* started, but if we’re being real, it totally has. 

We’ve seen deals cropping up all month, and they’re only going to ramp up the closer we get to actual Black Friday.

Target is getting in on the early Black Friday deals with Shark and Ninja products on sale. But you’ve got to act fast because this sale is for 24 hours only on Nov. 24 — both in stores and online.

Not every Shark and Ninja product is discounted, but four of their most popular items are seeing some nice price cuts. Read more…

Shark Rocket cordless stick vacuum — save $80

More about Target, Vacuum, Black Friday, Robot Vacuums, and Mashable Shopping

Tesla Cybertruck reservations hit 146,000

Tesla has received 146,000 reservations to order the Tesla Cybertruck, pulling in some $14.6 million in deposits just two days after the company’s CEO Elon Musk unveiled the futuristic and angled vehicle.

Reservations require a $100 refundable deposit. How many of those deposits will convert to actual orders for the truck, which is currently priced between $39,900 and $69,900, is impossible to predict. And there will likely be plenty of speculation over the next two years. Production of the tri-motor variant of the cybertruck is expected to begin in late 2022, Tesla said.

Musk tweeted Saturday that 146,000 Cybertruck orders have been made so far. Of those, 41% picked the most expensive tri-motor option and 42% of future customers chose the dual motor version. The remaining 17% picked the cheapest single-motor model.

146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2019

The Tesla Cybertruck, which Musk unveiled in dramatic fashion at the Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, Calif., has been polarizing with skeptics heaping on the criticism and supporters pushing back in kind. Even Tesla fans at the Cybertruck event, which TechCrunch attended, seemed torn with some praising it and others wishing Musk had created something a bit more conventional.

The vehicle made of cold-rolled steel and features armored glass that cracked in one demonstration and an adaptive air suspension.

Tesla said it will offer three variants of the cybertruck. The cheapest version, a single motor and rear-wheel drive model, will cost $39,900, have a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds and more than 250 miles of range. The middle version will be a dual-motor all-wheel drive, have a towing capacity of more than 10,000 pounds and be able to travel more than 300 miles on a single charge. The dual motor AWD model is priced at $49,900.

The third version will have three electric motors and all-wheel drive, a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and battery range of more than 500 miles. This version, known as “tri motor,” is priced at $69,900.

This is why you should opt for the Echo Dot for Clock

TL;DR: The Echo Dot with Clock is on sale for £34.99 on Amazon, saving you 42% on list price.


We know it’s the weekend and you’ve probably got big plans to spend time with friends or family, but we’re only asking for a minute of your time.

There’s this thing called Black Friday, and it’s kind of a big deal. There are absolutely loads of great deals out there right now, waiting to be snapped up. So we know you’re busy, but this really won’t take long.

The Echo Dot with Clock works exactly like the Echo Dot, except that it now comes with an LED display that can show the time, outdoor temperature, and timers. It’s perfect for your bedside table, as you can ask Alexa to set an alarm and tap the top to snooze. The light sensor even adjusts the display’s brightness automatically depending on the light level in the room. Read more…

More about Echo Dot, Black Friday, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

More than 1 million T-Mobile customers exposed by breach

T-Mobile has confirmed a data breach affecting more than a million of its customers, whose personal data (but no financial or password data) was exposed to a malicious actor. The company alerted the affected customers but did not provide many details in its official account of the hack.

The company said in its disclosure to affected users that its security team had shut down “malicious, unauthorized access” to prepaid data customers. The data exposed appears to have been:

  • Name
  • Billing address
  • Phone number
  • Account number
  • Rate, plan and calling features (such as paying for international calls)

The latter data is considered “customer proprietary network information” and under telecoms regulations they are required to notify customers if it is leaked. The implication seems to be that they might not have done so otherwise. Of course some hacks, even hacks of historic magnitude, go undisclosed sometimes for years.

In this case, however, it seems that T-Mobile has disclosed the hack in a fairly prompt manner, though it provided very few details. When I asked, a T-Mobile representative indicated that “less than 1.5 percent” of customers were affected, which of the company’s approximately 75 million users adds up to somewhat over a million.

The company reports that “we take the security of your information very seriously,” a canard we’ve asked companies to stop saying in these situations.

The T-Mobile representative stated that the attack was discovered in early November and shut down “immediately.” They did not answer other questions I asked, such as whether it was on a public-facing or internal website or database, how long the data was exposed and what specifically the company had done to rectify the problem.

The data listed above is not necessarily highly damaging on its own, but it’s the kind of data with which someone might attempt to steal your identity or take over your account. Account hijacking is a fairly common tactic among cyber-ne’er-do-wells these days and it helps to have details like the target’s plan, home address and so on at one’s fingertips.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, it may be a good idea to change your password there and check up on your account details.

How to Plan a Simple Engagement Party On a Budget

Throwing an epic party doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. After all, it should be about creating lasting memories and not the amount of money you and your partner spend. To plan the most awesome engagement party on a budget, here are some tricks you might want to try.

Use Candles

budget engagement party

Candles are the tiniest and cutest decorations one can ever have! They are traditional, symbolic, and fulfilling.

Using candles instead of lanterns cuts your budget in half and still gives all the romantic feels. If you decide to use candles for the table decorations, you don’t even need to do other table decors. One or two candles and a few flowers are enough to throw super positive vibes. You can also try balloons to decorate the walls. The best part of using candles is that it pairs well with any lush arrangement.

Have an Informal Dinner

There are many people whose only concern is to have a lavish dinner at engagement parties. Well, if you want to provide that, you can do so without compromising your budget.

There are many eating options available that are delicious and cost-effective. You just need to think out of the box and try varieties.

Instead of cumbersome menus, arrange some seasonal juices, light appetizers, and moving snacks. You can also avoid serving champagne and settle with cocktails or mocktails.

If you want to get rid of the whole dinner stuff, you can arrange the party after dinner hours. After all, it’s your engagement party and not theirs. The choice should be yours.

See Also: An Easy Guide to Food And Wine Pairing

Try Local Entertainment

Try to find local artists who can perform at your engagement party. There are many talented people out there who genuinely wish to be heard. They need a platform so give them a chance.

If you want to cut your budget even more, simply share your best playlist and opt for some light music. It will give your party a personal touch and keep the mood upbeat throughout the time. You can also request some of your close friends or family members to set the pace.

Invite Wisely

Always remember that this party is just an engagement party and not your wedding. So, you don’t need to invite everyone. Keep the extra ones on the list of wedding guests.

Make your engagement exclusive for your near and dear ones. Keep it more intimate and throw a small party. This step alone can literally cut your cost a lot.

If you invite wisely, you can even spare a few more bucks for decorations, wine, and food. Don’t forget to invite fun people who judge less and dance more.

Pick an Inexpensive Place to Throw the Party

engagement party on budget

A restaurant or farmhouse is definitely one of your best choices to throw a party. But if you really want to cut the cost, then try having a cozy party in your home or backyard. This way, you can save the entire budget of the place. You don’t need to pay the rent, allowing you to utilize that amount in other activities.

These are some of the best tricks you can apply to make an engagement party on a budget possible. If you have any other ideas, you can share them here with us. Let us know and help other people plan their engagement party.

The post How to Plan a Simple Engagement Party On a Budget appeared first on Dumb Little Man.