Staples hack exposes 1.2 million credit cards

staples store
Staples is the latest hit by a data breach. Hackers stole credit card data on 1.2 million shoppers.

After a two-month wait, Staples on Friday evening announced hackers broke into its computers and stole data on 1.16 million shoppers’ credit cards and debit cards.

Staples first announced it was investigating a potential data breach in the Northeast in October. Staples released details of its investigation on Friday, just as the holiday shopping season comes to a close.

The breach affects those who shopped at a small fraction of Staples (SPLS) stores nationwide between July 20 and Sept. 16 this year. Cybercriminals now know a shopper’s name, card number, its expiration date and card verification code.

The breach affected 115 of the company’s approximately 1,400 office supply stores in the United States. A web page has been set up noting which stores were affected.

The damage to victimized Staples customers will be minimal, as banks typically shield them from fraud.

Related: Welcome to the Age of Hacks

Staples is also offering free identity protection, identity theft insurance and a free credit report.

That might be a good public relations move for the company, but in reality, it’s useless gesture. It doesn’t take the valuable stolen data out of criminal’s hands. Criminals now know your name and bank, which is useful information when paired

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Not everyone is a fan of ‘Serial’

'Serial' is hottest podcast ever 

Even if you aren’t a big public radio fan, you’ve heard all about the podcast “Serial” in the past few months.

Millions of people have downloaded the 12 episodes to hear reporter Sarah Koenig lay out her own investigation of a murder that happened 15 years ago.

But with such popularity comes opinions and – surprise – not everyone is such a big fan. And at the heart of some conversations is the issue of race.

The victim, Hae Min Lee, is the daughter of Korean immigrants. And the ex-boyfriend who is behind bars for the murder, Adnan Syed, comes from a Pakistani Muslim family. Both were seniors at a high school in Baltimore County, Maryland at the time. On the other hand, the reporter and her team — producers from the show This American Life — are white.

At the crux of the debate is whether or not Koenig, or any white journalist, can fairly and accurately report on people of other races and cultures.

  • “I am still disturbed by the thought of Koenig stomping around communities that she clearly does not understand,” wrote Jay Caspian Kang in The Awl.

Rabia Chaudry, a civil rights attorney who grew up near Syed and tipped Koenig off to the story, backed up Kang’s point.

‘Colbert Report’ says goodbye with record ratings

Stephen Colbert: The Man vs. The Character  

The Colbert Nation tuned in big time to say goodbye to “The Colbert Report.”

On Thursday, 2.5 million viewers watched as Stephen Colbert ended his very popular satirical news show, “The Colbert Report.”

This made the finale the most-watched episode in the show’s history.

And that number may even grow considering that “The Report” was shown at 11:30 at night, and many viewers may watch the sendoff days later thanks to their DVRs.

After nine years, Colbert said goodbye to his patriotic pundit persona in grand fashion.

First by killing his guest, The Grim Reaper AKA Grimmy, and then riding off into the night with Santa Claus, Abraham Lincoln and Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek.

colbert last show

However, Colbert wasn’t the only one who said goodbye to the character.

In a nearly five-minute sing along to “We’ll Meet Again,” Colbert was joined by a stage full of people singing Colbert’s persona off into the sunset.

This included the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, musician Randy Newman, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, actor Bryan Cranston, NBC’s Tom Brokaw, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, “Star Wars” director George Lucas, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, and even Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.

Colbert will be taking over the CBS “Late Show” from David Letterman sometime

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Reporter behind story of $72 million teen trader stays at NY Mag

The writer behind the story about the “$72 million teenage stock whiz” is staying put at New York Magazine.

Jessica Pressler was slated to join the Bloomberg News investigative unit, but got caught up in controversy this past week following a story she wrote about a New York City high school student who said he’d made $72 million trading stocks. (Spoiler alert: He hadn’t.)

New York Magazine’s editor-in-chief Adam Moss told his staff Friday in an announcement that reporter Jessica Pressler would be staying at the magazine.

“Can’t say that we expected things to turn out this way, but we feel very lucky to be keeping [Pressler] on, and look forward to publishing more of her with pride,” Moss wrote in the memo, which was first published by Capital New York. New York Magazine confirmed the authenticity of the memo to CNNMoney.

Pressler’s profile of Stuyvesant High School senior Mohammed Islam stirred up controversy and plenty of doubters from the start.

A front page piece about the story by the New York Post and a flurry of Facebook (FB, Tech30) shares later, the improbable tale unraveled quickly. Islam told the New York Observer on Monday that he never actually made any money at all. As the criticism mounted, Pressler defended her reporting.

“I still think the piece is skeptical enough,” Pressler told CNNMoney Monday. “The story says, ‘This is a rumor and draw your own conclusions.'”


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How has middle class Christmas changed?

christmas spending then now

The middle class are feeling more and more squeezed these days … is that partly because they have to put more gifts — and pricier ones — under the Christmas tree?

CNNMoney wants to know what was under your Christmas tree 30 years ago (Think: Trivial Pursuit, Cabbage Patch dolls, Transformers) and what are you wrapping this year (Think: iPhones, Fitbits and PlayStation)?

Do you, your kids or grandkids expect more expensive presents nowadays? Is it more than you gave or received 30 years ago?

Tell us about it.

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Cramer game plan: Unspoken rules of Wall Street

Cramer saw three things leading to this week’s rally:

No. 1 - There were different expectations for a totally different kind of week. Many investors were betting that Janet Yellen would raise rates. Those bets unwound as the averages climbed.

No. 2 – Oil stabilized. Those who had bet against oil lost those bets as oil stopped declining for no rhyme or reason.

No 3 – Stocks were higher. Without any global disasters or catalysts, fund managers were willing to pay more for the same data. Funny how stocks are worth more when there is no worry.

What does this mean for next week?

“We have some unspoken rules on Wall Street, and one of them is that you don’t make any big, negative changes with just a couple of days to go in a year,” he said.

The second rule Cramer shared was that at the end of an up year, fund managers will place orders beneath their stocks to make sure big sellers don’t knock them down. A prop trick.

With these two concepts in mind, one would think the market is in the clear until year end. Thus, Cramer thinks that Monday’s home sales number won’t matter to the market. He also doesn’t think the durable goods number on Tuesday will be a game changer, either.

“Thursday is Christmas, and I hope you have your stocking stuffers ready. This

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Doubt oil will go much lower: Gartman

He also disagreed with President Barack Obama’s assessment of the Keystone XL Pipeline. During his press conference Friday, the president said the pipeline, which would transport crude from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, would only nominally benefit Americans.

An approval of the pipeline would have an “amazing response,” Gartman said. “It’s exactly what needs to be done. … It can only be beneficial to us and to our Canadian friends in the north.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said his party’s first act in the new Republican-controlled Senate would be to pass a bill fast-tracking approval of the $8 billion project.

Read MoreChart shows oil rig count may have long way to fall

Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary agrees the pipeline ultimately “makes a lot of sense,” but thinks it will not get approved during Obama’s remaining time in office.

“There’s no upside of him driving this thing through,” he said. “I’m going to assume its dead meat for the next two years.”

As for oil prices, he sees them lower in the New Year.

“I thank January will see a new $55 handle on oil. I’m sorry, that’s where it’s going.”

—Reuters contributed to this story.


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