TIME Japan

Leader of Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange Arrested in Tokyo

Mark Karpeles Mt. Gox bitcoin
Yuya Shino—Reuters Mark Karpeles, chief executive of Mt. Gox, attends a news conference at the Tokyo District Court on Feb. 28, 2014.

Mark Karpeles, 30, could face up to five years in prison

(TOKYO)—The head of the failed Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was arrested in Tokyo on Saturday on suspicion of inflating his cash account by $1 million, authorities said.

Mark Karpeles, 30, is suspected of accessing the exchange’s computer system in February 2013 and inflating his account, Japanese police said. If found guilty, the France-born Karpeles could face up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to 500,000 yen ($4,000).

Karpeles’ lawyer said his client denies wrongdoing, the Kyodo News agency reported.

Mt. Gox went offline early last year. Karpeles said then that tens of thousands of bitcoins worth several hundred million dollars were unaccounted for, and suggested they were stolen by hacking.

The relationship between the lost bitcoins and the inflated account was not immediately clear.

Japanese TV showed a T-shirt-clad Karpeles, with a baseball cap pulled low over his face, being led into a police car from his home in Tokyo.

Japanese authorities have acknowledged they were baffled by the Mt. Gox case because they had never dealt with possible crime dealing with bitcoin. Experts also said it might be difficult to take action because of the absence of laws over virtual currencies.

The bitcoin community worldwide has been outraged by Mt. Gox’s apparent incompetence.

The Mt. Gox debacle served to highlight the perils of bitcoin transactions. Bitcoins are not regulated by central banks or other financial authorities. Bitcoin proponents have long said Mt. Gox is just an exception.

Legislation is in the works in California, for instance, to regulate businesses that hold bitcoin and other virtual currency in a way similar to banks. New York has also issued rules overseeing bitcoin.

TIME Courts

Customer Says He Found Meth in a Milkshake From In-N-Out Burger

The customer says he found two capsules at the bottom of his cup

A customer has sued In-N-Out Burger because he says he got sick from meth he found in his milkshake.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the customer, Fred Maldonado, states that he bought a burger and a milkshake from In-N-Out in Downey, Calif. in March of 2014. He brought the food back to his motel room and ate it. The next morning, the suit states, he woke up and found a napkin and two capsules in the bottom of his milkshake cup. When he went back to the restaurant to complain, the manager apologized and gave him a free burger.

According to the suit, later testing revealed that the capsules contained methamphetamine. Maldano claims to have felt nausea and mental distress as a result of consuming the beverage.

“At In-N-Out Burger, we have always served the freshest, highest quality burgers, fries, and drinks and customer safety is one of our highest priorities,” In-N-Out Burger executive vice president Arnie Wensinger told City News Service.“We will vigorously defend these baseless claims.”

TIME Television

Cosby Show Producer Hopes Fans Will Still Watch

"The legacy of the show is obviously very important to me"

The Cosby Show producer Tom Werner expressed hope on Friday that viewers would separate the show’s fictional patriarch, Heathcliff Huxtable, from the widespread accounts of sexual assault leveled at lead actor Bill Cosby.

Werner declined to comment specifically on the allegations in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, opting instead to focus on the show’s cultural significance.

“The legacy of the show is obviously very important to me because the show was a groundbreaking show and it portrayed a middle-class African-American family in a very positive way,” Werner said during a publicity tour for his Starz series, Survivor’s Remorse. “I’m hoping that people will still be able to watch the show and identify with the Huxtables,” he added.

Werner has been largely reticent on the scandal since he issued a joint statement with producing partner Marcy Carsey last November, calling the accusations against Cosby “beyond our knowledge or comprehension.” In all, 46 women have come forward with rape accusations, prompting cable channels to yank reruns of The Cosby Show.

[THR]

TIME Uber

Uber Just Beat Facebook’s $50 Billion Record

uber
Victor J. Blue—Bloomberg/Getty Images The Uber Technologies Inc. car service app is demonstrated on an iPhone in New York City on Aug. 6, 2014.

It's now worth more than Facebook was pre-IPO

Uber recently closed a new funding round that values the car-hailing startup close to $51 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

That’s the highest valuation ever for a venture-backed company, topping the $50 billion Facebook was valued at in 2011 when it completed its last round of fundraising before going public. Uber also crossed the $50 billion mark in five years, a feat Facebook took seven years to accomplish. Uber’s new valuation is also $5 billion more than Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which at $46 billion is believed to be the second highest-valued venture-backed private company.

Uber raised close to $1 billion in the new deal, which was reported to be in the works earlier this year. At the time, Fortune said Uber might have trouble living up to the hype. Since then, the company has hit some bumps, including a face-off with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. A leaked financial report suggested Uber’s fast growth was coming along with big losses. A prospectus for a convertible bond offering reported by Bloomberg said that Uber had lost $470 million on $415 million in revenue. An Uber spokesperson said that number was out of date.

Despite the enormous valuation for the five-year-old Uber, the fresh fundraising round might suggest investors are growing nervous about the company and its high expectations. Earlier this year, it was reported that Uber was looking to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. Instead, Uber pulled in just half of the high end of that range. And given how much money the company may be losing, hailing more investors at a valuation that might make the company worth significantly more than Facebook could become increasingly difficult.

TIME BMW

Why BMW Is Paying Some Car Owners $1,000

BMW Launch Their First All- Electric Car
Dan Kitwood—Getty Images

It's trying to get people to change their behavior

Last year, Los Angeles carved out a plan to become a national electric vehicle leader by 2017. The city has since hit a roadblock. The environment would benefit radically if everyone had an electric car, but as the electric cars become more popular, utility companies have to figure out ways to support them.

BMW and PG&E, a California utility company, have joined forces in a trial that they’re calling the “BMW iCharge Forward” program, which they hope will solve the issue. They announced the 18-month trial in January and are finally starting it this month.

PG&E will alert BMW during peak hours when it wants to limit energy consumption. The car company will then alert drivers not to charge their cars for the next hour. The drivers can select their preferred driving hours, which BMW will keep in mind when choosing which customers they’ll request to refrain from charging. The drivers can also opt out if they can’t commit to a delay.

100 BMW i3 drivers have agreed to participate. Each participant receives a $1,000 gift card at the beginning of the program, and at the end of the 18 months they’ll get a second one worth up to $540, depending on how many times they’ve complied with the delay.

TIME Companies

Red Bull’s Blackface Video Stirs Controversy

The video, filmed in Russia, features people with blackface

Red Bull is under fire for a video posted on its website featuring people in blackface. The footage, shot during a Red Bull event in Moscow where contestants launched themselves in flying machines on July 26, features a man in a President Obama mask and two others in blackface chasing a banana in front of a banner that reads “Red Bull.”

The company posted the video first to its Russian language page on July 28 and then to its English page. Red Bull has since removed the video from the site.

Vadim Shevchenko, a spokesman for Red Bull, told The Guardian that the act was not intended to be racist. He said the man in the Obama mask in the video was part of a team that also consisted of a man in a Vladimir Putin mask and another in a Xi Jinping mask. The man in the banana suit participated in another team.

“Of course it’s not an expression of racism,” Shevchenko said. “If you had been there you would understand. The situation was absolutely friendly and happy.”

Critics disagree.

Red Bull issued a statement to TIME on Friday afternoon. “The organizers of the Red Bull Flugtag in Russia regret our oversight in allowing these participants to tarnish what was otherwise an enjoyable event,” Red Bull said in the statement. “It is never our intention to give a platform which would promote an offensive message. For the future, we will take more effective measures to prevent this sort of thing happening again.”

TIME facebook

Facebook Could Make Billions From Something It’s Not Doing Yet

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on February 24, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos—2014 Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on February 24, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

It's not monetizing something that happens 1.5 billion times a day

Facebook is slowly but surely taking over the Internet. In a post after its Q2 earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that “1.49 billion people are now part of our community. In 1876, the year the first telephone call was made, around 1.49 billion people were alive.”

Those 1.49 billion people use Facebook to plan events, talk to each other, share pictures, and keep up with the latest news. But there’s something else we’re using it for that we barely even notice: search. People now make 1.5 billion search queries on Facebook per day, according to opening remarks during Facebook’s earnings call.

At the moment, most of those searches are for people or posts. But analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have suggested in a note that Facebook could move to include the kind of commercial searches that made Google $15.5 billion in ad revenue in Q1 2015. Those analysts pin the value of Facebook’s opportunity in commercial search at $5 billion, greater than the bank’s estimate for Instagram’s future value.

Still, Facebook views search differently than Google. Instead of focusing on commercially relevant content, Facebook plans to use search as a way to keep people on the social network for longer stretches of time. More time spent on the site means more ad revenue, after all.

TIME Earnings

Here’s Why LinkedIn Shares Are Tanking Today

LinkedIn Corp. To File For IPO
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images In this photo illustration, the LinkedIn logo is displayed on the screen of a laptop computer on January 27, 2011 in San Anselmo, California.

LinkedIn may need to do some better networking with Wall Street

LinkedIn announced Thursday that its sales and earnings in the second quarter had beaten analysts expectations. How did investors react? They sold big-time.

Shares of LinkedIn fell $21, or just over 10%, on Friday to just over $205. That’s the company’s biggest one day stock dive since the end of April, when the shares fell nearly $50 in one day.

What happened? Like many résumé writers, LinkedIn seems to have taken some liberties to make its earnings seem more impressive than they actually were.

First of all, the company’s earnings beat was manufactured — LinkedIn told analysts to lower their expectations at the end of April, so when the earnings came out, they were actually better than the most recent expectations, but lower than what people thought the company would earn a few months ago.

Second, the company said by its metrics it earned $71 million in the second three months of the year. In fact, LinkedIn didn’t actually turn a profit in the second quarter. By generally accepted accounting principals, it lost $68 million. (Companies are allowed to report results using their own adjusted accounting as long as they report GAAP results as well, which is what LinkedIn did.) Still, that loss was less than analysts were expecting.

Third, LinkedIn upped what it may earn in the next year. But a good portion of that profit increase is coming from Lynda.com, an online learning platform that LinkedIn bought earlier this year, and not an improvement in LinkedIn’s core business. And Lynda will be adding more profits than expected not because that business is doing better, but because LinkedIn is completing the acquisition sooner. Take out earnings from Lynda, and projections for LinkedIn’s core business appears to be dropping.

But the biggest problem for the company is the rates it can charge for display ads is dropping. Linkedin said revenue from display ads was down 30% in the quarter. Most of the revenue boost that LinkedIn has gotten recently has come from selling premium services to recruiters and others. But many analysts think that market is basically tapped out for LinkedIn. So that avenue for growth might be over, or at least slowing.

Like many people on its website, LinkedIn seems to be in need of a transition, but it’s still just making connections.

TIME facebook

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Are Expecting a Baby Girl

Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony Hosted By Seth MacFarlane
Steve Jennings—2014 Getty Images Breakthrough Prize Founders Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg (R) attend the Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony Hosted By Seth MacFarlane at NASA Ames Research Center on November 9, 2014 in Mountain View, California.

The Facebook CEO also revealed they experienced three miscarriages

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are expecting a baby girl, the couple announced — where else — on Facebook Friday.

“This will be a new chapter in our lives. We’ve already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people’s lives around the world — Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy. Now we’ll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Zuckerberg’s post also revealed that Chan, a medical school graduate, has had three miscarriages over the couple’s two-year quest to have a child.

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child,” Zuckerberg wrote. “You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.”

But Zuckerberg said that Chan is “now far enough along that the risk of loss is very low and we are very hopeful.”

“Cilla and our child are both healthy, I’m extremely excited to meet her and our dog Beast has no idea what’s coming,” said Zuckerberg. “In our ultrasound, she even gave me a thumbs up ‘like’ with her hand, so I’m already convinced she takes after me.”

Read next: Someone I Loved Was Never Born

TIME Retail

This Japanese Company Is Sending Whiskey to Space

Astronauts Complete Last Of Three Spacewalks
NASA—Getty Images In this handout from National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry Virts and Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore work outside the International Space Station (ISS) on their third spacewalk March 1, 2015 in space.

They promise it's for science

Japanese whiskey maker Suntory is sending samples to space in an experiment to see how the trip might affect the drink’s taste.

Suntory, one of Japan’s largest makers of alcoholic beverages, said Friday that the samples would be stored in a Japanese facility at the International Space Station, the AFP reports.

The company’s researchers believe that storing whiskey in zero-gravity for longer than a year could cause it to age differently than it would on Earth, perhaps leading to a mellower flavor.

The AFP reports that the space whiskey will not be made available for sale, but rather tested in a laboratory by researchers. “For the moment, we’re not thinking about applying the study results to commercial products,” a Suntory spokeswoman told the AFP.

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