Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91 (CNN)
Hugh Hefner -- the silk-robed Casanova whose Playboy men's magazine popularized the term "centerfold," glamorized an urbane bachelor lifestyle and helped spur the sexual revolution of the 1960s -- has died, his company said late Wednesday. He was 91.
Bitcoin blow as fund drops U.S. exchange application (Reuters)
Grayscale Investments LLC said the NYSE Arca exchange withdrew a request with the SEC to list its Bitcoin Investment Trust, in the latest setback to the digital currency. “Although digital currency market regulation continues to rapidly evolve, at this time Grayscale does not believe there have been enough regulatory developments to prompt the SEC to approve the ... application,” the fund’s issuers said in a statement. They said they would continue their dialogue with regulators, but could not predict when they may get approved.
Lyft close to selecting IPO adviser - sources (Reuters)
Lyft’s IPO preparations come as its larger competitor, Uber Technologies Inc, is attempting to recover from a range of scandals. In August, Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi set a new tentative timeline for Uber’s IPO of between 18 and 36 months.
God Is A Bot, And Anthony Levandowski Is His Messenger (Wired)
Many people in Silicon Valley believe in the Singularity—the day in our near future when computers will surpass humans in intelligence and kick off a feedback loop of unfathomable change. When that day comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”
Should the Middle Class Invest in Risky Tech Start-Ups? (NYT)
Calacanis genuinely believes that investing in start-ups is good advice; he has even offered his three children a chance to skip college and to use the tuition money on betting on start-ups. His 7-year-old daughter, he said, is leaning toward taking the deal. But like other recent populist movements, Calacanis’s isn’t without its apparent grifts. Calacanis runs a “syndicate,” a kind of investing club in which people co-invest their money alongside his bets. The book, he says, led to a surge in new investors on his syndicate — and if those investments pay off, Calacanis gets a 20 percent cut of his co-investors’ returns. “Of course, I plan to make a great deal of money in these revolutions,” he writes.
Stock Investors Wrestle With Growing Debt (Businessweek)
The real problem of higher debt levels for investors is not that it will lead to a wave of Toys "R" Us-like bankruptcies but that it drains the cash that companies have to do the other things that boost their stock prices, earnings and by extension the economy over the long haul. Already, stock buybacks have been slipping lately, as are capital expenditures, which never really recovered after the financial crisis. Debt might not sink the stock market, but it certainly adds to the growing list of things that are sapping what has provided a lift for the last few years.
When Warren Buffett Runs Your Pension Plan (Businessweek)
Buffett can play the pension game differently in part because Berkshire has tens of billions of dollars in cash. Were Weschler or Combs to lose a lot of money earmarked for retirees, the company should be able to plug the hole. Buffett’s reputation as an investor also helps—few pensioners are likely to question whether he and his team know what they’re doing. “Many people have tried and failed” to copy him, Mitchell says. “If a different corporation asked me, ‘Should I try to replicate Warren Buffett’s approach,’ my answer would be, ‘That’s pretty risky.’ ”
The siren call of T+0, or real-time settlement (Moneyness)
The advantage of delayed settlement is that quid pro quo is achieved with one set of transactions conducted at the end of the 10-game cycle rather than a set of transaction for each game. No more tedious counting out coins each day, or daily bitcoin fees. Because the obligation to carry around cash is kept to a minimum, interest income needn't be sacrificed by players. Nor are there any nuisances of storing cash.
A Woman Allegedly Committed A Murder Dressed As A Clown, Then Married The Victim's Husband (BuzzFeed)
On May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren answered a knock on the door at her home in Palm Beach County, Florida. At the door, a person wearing a clown costume handed her a basket of carnations and two balloons, one of which was emblazoned with the words "You're the Greatest." The clown then pulled out a revolver and shot Warren in the face, before calmly walking to a getaway car and driving away. Warren died two days later in hospital. For more than 27 years, no arrests were made — until Tuesday, when police detained 54-year-old Sheila Keen-Warren on charges of first-degree murder. The shared last name is no coincidence; Sheila Keen-Warren married Marlene Warren's husband in 2002.