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A ‘Game of Thrones’ thief and a dam hacker: These are the FBI’s 41 most-wanted cyber criminals

Sunday July 22 nd 2018

Jenny Cheng/Business Insider

The FBI has 41 suspects on its “Cyber’s Most Wanted” page, an identity parade of some of the most skilled hackers in the world.

Their crimes range from state-sponsored espionage to holding episodes of “Game of Thrones,” and even hacking into a US dam. Although it is a distinct possibility that the hacker got the wrong dam.

Scroll on to read more about each of the suspects and the crimes they committed. They are not ranked in any particular order.

Behzad Mesri, held HBO to ransom


Mesri is an Iran-based hacker otherwise known as “Skote Vahshat” who allegedly hacked HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and obtained unaired episodes, scripts, and plot outlines. He demanded a ransom of $6 million in Bitcoin. He also stole unaired episodes of “Ballers,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “The Deuce.”

Danial Jeloudar, stole a vast amount of credit card numbers


Jeloudar is wanted for identity theft and fraud after he and his associate, Arash Amiri Abedian, allegedly used malware to steal a vast amount of credit card numbers and other personal information, and then used that information to extort money, goods, and services from victims.

Jeloudar tried to extort a California-based online merchant, threatening to disclose its customers’ credit card details and other personal information unless it made him a payment in Bitcoin.

Arash Amiri Abedian, stole and passed on bank details


Along with Danial Jeloudar, Abedian is wanted for alleged identity theft and fraud. Between 2011 and 2016, Abedian used malware to capture people’s credit card details and other personal information.

In February 2012, Abedian sent Jeloudar approximately 30,000 names and numbers, which he said were unauthorized credit card numbers and associated information.

Gholamreza Rafatnejad, founded a company of state-backed hackers


One of the founding “Iranian Mabna Hackers,” Rafatnejad is wanted for alleged state-sponsored cyber-theft. The hackers stole more than 30 terabytes of US academic data and intellectual property over a hacking campaign that lasted more than four years. Rafatnejad allegedly organized the hacking effort, while also coordinating with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Ehsan Mohammadi, Mabna’s managing director


Along with Gholamreza Rafatnejad, Mohammadi is alleged to have co-founded the Mabna Institute in 2013, and served as Mabna’s managing director.

The employee hackers of Mabna


Seven men were indicted either as contractors or associates of the Mabna Institute. They are: Seyed Ali Mirkarimi, Abdollah Karima, Mostafa Sadeghi, Sajjad Tahmasebi, Mohammed Reza Sabahi, Roozbeh Sabahi, and Abuzar Gohari Moqadam.

Mohammad Saeed Ajily, stole rocket software


Ajily is wanted for allegedly hacking into a United States government-cleared defense contractor in Vermont, known for making software which supports aerodynamics analysis and design for projectiles. Ajily has allegedly sold the stolen software to Iranian entities, including universities, military, and government entities.

Mohammad Reza Rezakhah, hacked the US munitions list


Wanted along with Mohammad Saeed Ajily, Rezakhah allegedly stole software from US firms at Ajily’s behest. He is accused of having stolen software deemed a “defense article” on the US Munitions List in October 2012.

Alexsey Belan, recruited by Russian intelligence to hack Yahoo


Indicted three times for crimes relating to computer intrusions, the FBI offers a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Latvian-born hacker Alexey Belan.

In 2017, he was indicted for his alleged involvement in a vast a cyber intrusion conspiracy. He is alleged to have stolen subscriber information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts. He was supposedly paid to do so by two Russian Federal Security Service officers.

His online pseudonyms include “Abyrvaig,” “Fedyunya,” “Magg,” “M4G,” “Moy.Yawik,” and “Quarker.”

Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, recruited hackers for Russian intelligence


Dokuchaev and Sushchin allegedly hired the hacker Alexey Belan, as well as Karim Baratov who was arrested in Canada, to obtain information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts. The pair directed the conspiracy from about April 2014 up to at least December 2016.

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, a.k.a. “Slavik,” the biggest name in cybercrime


For years no one knew who the man behind the screen-name “Slavik,” was. Dubbed “Russia’s most notorious hacker” by Wired, Bogachev invented malware named “Zeus,” which the FBI started investigating in 2009. “Zeus” was used to capture bank account numbers and passwords.

A modified version of “Zeus” called “GameOver Zeus” infected over a million computers and was used to steal over $100 million. Bogachev also used “GameOver Zeus” to infiltrate Ukrainian computers for politically sensitive information at the time of the Russian annexation of Crimea.

In 2012, Bogachev was indicted under the screen-name “lucky12345,” and finally he was indicted under his true name in 2014. There is a bounty of up to $3 million for information relating to Bogachev. The FBI also notes that he is, “known to enjoy boating.”

The “Jabberzeus” gang, Slavik’s disciples


All young men in their twenties, Klepikov, Bron, and Penchukov were a group in Evgeniy Bogachev’s (Slavik’s) inner ring of organised cyber-crime.

A variant of Bogachev’s infamous “Zeus” malware, “Jabber Zeus” came with the instant-messaging plug-in Jabber, which allowed the group to coordinate their attacks.

According to a Wired report, Penchukov (“tank”) led the group, Klepikov (“petr0vich”) ran IT management, and Bron (“thehead”) moved the gang’s money internationally.

The FBI raided Penchukov and Klepikov’s homes in 2010, seizing 20 terabytes of data.

Ahmad Fathi, owned a company that DDoSed America


Fathi is one of seven Iranian nationals wanted for their alleged involvement in a campaign of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against 46 major US companies from 2011 through to 2013, mostly within the financial sector.

Fathi is the director and owner of a company called ITSecTeam which allegedly worked on the behalf of the Iranian government. As leader of the company, Fathi supervised and co-ordinated ITSecTeam’s potion of the DDoS campaign.

Hamid Firoozi hacked the wrong dam, probably


Firoozi was the network manager at ITSecTeam, and allegedly procured and managed computer servers to conduct DDoS attacks on the US financial sector.

Additionally, Firoozi is alleged to have hacked into the systems of the Bowman Dam in Rye, New York. The mayor of the nearby village of Rye Brook told the New York Times he was perplexed as to why state-sponsored Iranian hackers would want to break into such a small, “insignificant” dam. He theorized that the hackers may have confused it with the Bowman Dam in Oregon, which is 245 feet tall and 800 feet long.

Amin Shokohi, got off military service by working for Fathi


Shokohi was allegedly a hacker for ITSecTeam who helped to build the company’s botnet and wrote malware for the DDoS attacks. He was allegedly rewarded by the Iranian government with credit towards completion of the country’s mandatory military service.

Mohammad Sadegh Ahmadzadegan, says he hacked NASA


Ahmadzadegan is the cofounder of Mersad Company which, along with ITSecTeam, is alleged to have taken part in a campaign of DDoS attacks aimed at the US financial sector. He is alleged to have managed Mersad’s botnet and provided training to Iranian intelligence personnel.

The FBI also claims that Ahmadzadegan was formerly a member of computer hacking groups Ashiyane Digital Security Team (ADST) and Sun Army, and claimed responsibility for hacking NASA’s servers in 2012.

Omid Ghaffarinia, another DDoS attacker and NASA hacker


Ghaffarinia was a co-founder of Mersad, and is alleged to have created malicious computer code used to infiltrate computer servers and build the company’s botnet.

Like Ahmadzadegan, Ghaffarinia is associated with Ashiyane Digital Security Team (ADST) and Sun Army, and also claimed to hack NASA in 2012.

Sina Keissar, Mersad employee


Keissar was an employee at Mersad. He allegedly procured computer servers for the company and performed preliminary testing on the company’s botnet.

Nader Saedi, a self proclaimed DDoS attack “expert”


Saedi was an employee at Mersad, and allegedly wrote computer scripts used to locate vulnerable servers. He was apparently a former Sun Army hacker who, “expressly touted himself as an expert in DDoS attacks.”

Nicolae Popescu, sold cars that didn’t exist on eBay


Romanian-born Nicolae Popescu is wanted for alleged participation in an eBay car scam, which netted $3 million. Adverts on eBay and other sites showed pictures of non-existent vehicles, and sent invoices to unsuspecting buyers in the US.

Firas Dardar, a.k.a. “The Shadow”


Dardar is wanted for his alleged involvement in the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group which allegedly commits hacks in support of the Syrian Regime.

SEA members allegedly spearphished US government and military organisations, as well as private companies including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN.

Dardar is also suspected of having carried out cyber extortion, hacking into computers and demanding ransom be paid for data. Forbes reported that he amassed more than $500,000 from 14 victims.

Ahmed Al Agha, a.k.a. “Th3 Pr0″


Al Agha is also wanted for his alleged involvement in the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). Under his internet pseudonym “Th3 Pr0.” He allegedly engaged in spearphishing with Dardar, and then used stolen usernames and passwords to deface websites, redirect domains to sites controlled by the conspiracy, steal email, and hijack social media accounts.

Viet Quoc Nguyen, spammed tens of millions for profit


A federal warrant was issued for Viet Quoc Nguyen in October 2012 after he allegedly hacked into at least eight email service providers and stole data containing over one billion email addresses.

Nguyen then allegedly launched spam attacks on tens of millions of people whose email addresses were stolen. These were used to direct traffic to marketing websites, one of which he had an arrangement with to earn revenue off commission.

Shaileshkumar Jain, sold fake security software


Indicted in 2010, Shaileshkumar a.k.a. “Sam” Jain is wanted for alleged involvement in an international bogus software scam.

The scam tricked victims into buying counterfeit anti-virus software by deceiving people into believing their computers had been infected with malware. This “scareware” is alleged to have taken more than $100 million.

Bjorn Daniel Sundin, Jain’s partner in crime


Sundin is alleged to have taken part in the same cyberscam as Shaileshkumar Jain, defrauding people into purchasing bogus anti-virus software or “scareware.”

The Chinese Miliary hacking unit


Five military hackers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are alleged to have carried out economic espionage against the US from 2006 to 2014. Unit 61398 allegedly hacked into six American entities to steal information, including those in the nuclear power, metals, and solar industries.

“For too long, the Chinese government has blatantly sought to use cyber espionage to obtain economic advantage for its state-owned industries,” then-director of the FBI James Comey said of the indictment.

Noor Aziz Uddin, hijacked phones to call fake hotlines


Aziz is wanted for allegedly leading a telecommunications scam, which defrauded people out of more than $50 million.

Aziz had set up a handful of pay-per-minute premium telephone numbers purporting to be chat, adult entertainment, and psychic hotlines, but were all shams.

Then hackers gained access to the telephone networks of businesses and organizations in the United States, and dialled the numbers from there. Unsuspecting businesses were then charged for dialling these premium numbers.

Aziz was arrested in Pakistan but later released in connection to the scheme. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Farhan Ul Arshad, accomplice to Aziz


Farhan Ul Arshad is wanted for his alleged involvement in Noor Aziz Uddin’s telecommunications scam. He was last known to be in Malaysia, and the FBI is offering up to $50,000 for information leading to his capture.

This 26-year-old left his job at PwC because he wanted to change work culture — now he runs a company getting bankers into meditation

Gian Power 2018Gian Power

  • 26-year-old Gian Power discovered meditation after the murder of his father.
  • He was juggling his job at PwC and leading the investigation at the same time — and a friend recommended he try it out.
  • Now, he runs “Unwind,” the UK’s first surround-sound meditation experience targeted at bankers and corporates.
  • Along with his other company, “The Lions Club,” which gets “ordinary people with extraordinary stories” to give talks in companies like Lloyd’s of London and Sony, he’s trying to change work culture — and get London meditating.

It took hitting rock bottom for 26-year-old Gian Power to discover the thing that would power his future — meditation.

The founder of Unwind, the UK’s first surround sound meditation experience aimed at helping bankers and corporates relax, Power has always had an entrepreneurial spirit in his blood.

Growing up in Durham, he set up his first business — a DVD manufacturing company — when he was just 13, partly inspired by his counsellor mother and entrepreneurial father.

“I grew up with this go-getting attitude — whatever you want to create, create it — softened by my mum’s calming tone,” he said. 

He studied international business and German at Aston University, moving to Frankfurt for a year as part of his degree to work at Deutsche Bank.

After university, he joined the grad scheme at PwC in 2014, working with companies that were struggling or failing.

He had just completed his accountancy exams when tragedy struck in 2015, and he took three months out of work for what he calls “the most difficult time in my life.”

His father, 54-year-old Ranjit Singh Power, an entrepreneur who lived between Dubai and the UK, was murdered while on a work trip to India in May 2015 — and Gian ended up leading the investigation, which is still ongoing.

“I was 23 in the foreign office, with 20 people around the table — I thought, ‘If I can deal with this stuff, then I can deal with anything,” he said.

While arranging a funeral for his father after a taxi driver confessed to the murder, he had the body flown back — but it wasn’t his father’s body that arrived in London. The Independent reported that police in India instead thought his father had been kidnapped and murdered, but his body has yet to be found.

At that point, Power said he thought: ‘What am I going to do with my life? Going back to my Excel spreadsheets isn’t going to make me buzz any more.’”

He told Business Insider it was a conversation with a homeless man near his office that inspired him to leave his job.

“I went back to the office and thought, “I’ve learnt more about myself in the last 20 minutes than I have in years,’ and realised the corporate world wasn’t necessarily the right route for me.”

Inspiring people in the ‘corporate beast’

In 2017, he decided to leave, and he joined an organisation called the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, which provides mentors, life coaches, and access to investors to people interested in working for or founding a startup.

While it was suggested that he become a blogger, he knew it wasn’t for him. “I have personal experience, [but] I won’t share it unless I can help someone,” he explained.

He realised that instead, he wanted to interview businessmen and women and CEOs who have faced adversity and come out the other side.

“I remember speakers that used to come into PwC — they got paid so much and they didn’t always leave an impact,” he said.

Instead, he wanted to create an atmosphere where people could be inspired in the “corporate beast, where we go to work in our suits and ties and don’t let enough emotion come out.”

So, he “made a few calls to more senior people,” lined up some companies and speakers, and founded TLC, or The Lions Club, titled after his middle name – Lion.

He now has 25 speakers across London and New York — and they’re working with companies like Lloyd’s of London, GSK, Sony, and RPC.

Gian PowerGian Power

“They are not speakers for a living, [just] ordinary people with extraordinary stories,” he said. “One is a Syrian refugee who was badly beaten, filmed his journey, and is now BAFTA award winner.”

He even did his own talk for the first time at a PwC UK Alumni event in June on how to use your emotions as a super-power.

In his talk, he said: “I truly believe that everybody has a story they would like to share, if only we were willing to take the time to listen.”

He told Business Insider: “It’s about letting yourselves out at work, [and] taking time as leaders to get to know our teams, to get to know their problems.

“Employee engagement is a buzzword that goes out in surveys — it’s [defined as] the emotional commitment staff have to a company and its goals. But there’s a lack of emotion going on around the City.”

Finding calm through meditation

Needless to say, Power has been through a lot — but it’s a practice he discovered during the murder investigation that has helped him through.

That practice is meditation — and it’s part of the routines of some of the most successful people in the world.

“I’d be in one room with a client, the police would be next door, and the BBC would be next door — it was just nuts,” he said, describing the time just after his father’s murder. “I was 23 at the time. You know how much you can take, and there’s a limit.”

A friend suggested he try meditating, and sent him a YouTube video to guide him.

“I went into the toilets [at work] to listen to it, and after 10 minutes I came out and I felt really calm,” he said.

At the same time, he also read a book by Tim Ferriss, who interviewed top business people and athletes from around the world — and he claimed 80% of them meditate daily.

He made a resolution in January 2016 to meditate every day for 15 minutes — and it stuck with him.

However, the inspiration finally came to take it further after he had left PwC and was in New York filming for The Lions Club.

He stopped by Inscape, a luxury meditation studio which uses ambient lighting and sound.

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“I went by myself. For the first few minutes, there were voices coming from around the room, and I thought, ‘I paid for this. Where is my teacher?’ But after a few minutes, I thought, ‘This is great.’”

He said he loved that it was “a space where nobody was judging you” — and he also knew that, with friends who he said were pulling all-nighters for work and some who had even been hospitalised, he wasn’t the only person meditation could help.

While there were plenty of studios and yoga, he said there was nothing like it in the meditation space — so in March 2018, he started Unwind, the UK’s first surround sound meditation experience.

A surround-sound experience

Unwind 1b Unwind

There is no instructor in a session, he explained — instead, he worked with a meditation teacher to write and record the meditations, which cover a number of topics to suit each client’s needs.

Every sense has got to be touched into — the smell of the room, the taste of the tea afterwards, the blankets that I’ve chosen,” he said. “It’s all these little things that make such a difference.”

Unwind’s first event was a pop-up, held in a darkened, underground, candlelit room in London’s Finsbury Square.

Unwind   Shoreditch 2bUnwind

It saw more than 150 people from the likes of JP Morgan, Warner Bros, PwC, and Linklaters attend across nine sessions.

“I spoke to a lot of partners at law firms and CEOs who said, ‘We love it, our staff need it,’” he said.

Transforming offices across the city

Now, the company is aimed at the busy corporate worker and entrepreneur, and has plans to launch at corporations “where we can transport out candlelit oasis to help people switch off and relax.”

“We’ve now had insurance companies, FTSE 100 companies saying ‘Can you bring this in the office please?’” he said.

In answer to that, Unwind is now working to transform offices across London in under 60 minutes, allowing employees to join in a 30-minute guided meditation to fit in with their day.

Power was recently awarded the Young Innovator Award from CVC Capital for his work on Unwind — and he’s set to be the subject of a BBC1 documentary later this year about his companies, and how he’s looking to transform employee wellbeing and the future of work.

“The shift needs to come from the company,” Power said. “They need to show they care about their [employees].”

Gian PowerGian Power

He added that there’s often a stigma attached to meditation “where people think you sit there in a certain pose and think about life.”

“Hell no,” he said. “It’s just time out from your phone, just conscious time of appreciating what we’ve got, that’s what it comes down to.”

He added that there’s no spiritual or religious element to Unwind.

“I want it to be cool and sexy,” he said. “I don’t want to go down the spiritual route because it’s [about] switching people off.”

Meditation can be simple

For those new to meditation, Power recommends trying apps like Calm or Headspace. 

However, he added: “Don’t think it’s all about going to a session or downloading an app. Some of the people I’ve met do random things.”

He added that one person he met watched the bubbles in a glass of Champagne for five minutes, while another who lives near at airport watches a flight landing every night at 10 p.m.

But it can be even more simple. “Sit, put your phone away, and focus on something you can see for five minutes,” he said. “Just focus on it, and you’ll be amazed how your thoughts align.”

Unwind Studio 1bUnwind

He added: “We walk around with a badge of pride of ‘I’ve only had three hours sleep, I don’t really need much, I’m a workaholic,’” he said. “[But] I’m proud that I meditate every morning and I feel fantastic.

“My goal is to get London meditating in whatever form that takes.”

Proposed Acquisition of LCY Chemical Corp. by KKR Consortium



LCY Chemical Corp. (“LCYâ€� or the “Companyâ€�) (TPE: 1704) and global
investment firm KKR today announced the signing of a share exchange
agreement for a consortium led by KKR to acquire all of the issued and
outstanding shares of LCY for TWD 56 per share in cash, adjusted to
include a TWD 2.90 per share dividend (rounded to the nearest TWD 0.01)
(ex-dividend offer price is TWD 53.10 per share). The transaction, which
has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of LCY upon the
recommendation of its Audit Committee comprising independent directors,
represents a total market capitalization of approximately TWD 47.8
billion (USD 1.56 billion).

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The offer price represents a premium of 17.28% to LCY’s closing price on
20 July 2018, the last trading day prior to the transaction
announcement. It also represents a premium of 19.2%, 23.0% and 24.3%
over the 30-day, 90-day and 180-day average closing prices, respectively.1

Mr. TH Hong, Chairman of LCY, said, “The proposed transaction delivers
meaningful and immediate value to our shareholders, while also providing
greater access to capital, operational resources and the time horizon
needed to execute a strategy to drive long-term, sustainable value
creation. KKR is the ideal partner to help us build on our 50-year track
record of producing high-quality chemical products for customers
worldwide and take LCY to its next level of growth given KKR’s focus on
responsible business and operational excellence. KKR’s decision to
partner with us is a testament to the innovative and talented team we
have built in Taiwan – and around the world – and we look forward to
working with them to build an even stronger company.�

Mr. Paul Yang, Member and Head of KKR Greater China, said, “LCY is a
global leader in the specialty chemical industry and has earned its
place as one of Taiwan’s leading global companies. We believe that KKR’s
partnership approach will enable LCY to make the necessary investments
in RD and other growth initiatives to maintain the technological
capabilities, capacity and product differentiation needed to further the
Company’s leadership position going forward. This is an exciting
opportunity to work alongside LCY’s exceptional management and dedicated
employees to help the Company take full advantage of the opportunities
that lie ahead.�

Founded in 1965, LCY is a producer of specialty chemicals with a
concentration on thermoplastic elastomers and performance plastics used
in infrastructure, health care, household, automotive, textile and
electronic products, among other diverse applications. LCY will maintain
its corporate headquarters in Taipei, its existing global distribution
and sales networks and its production plants in Taiwan, mainland China
and the United States.

KKR is a global investment firm with over 42 years of experience
partnering with management teams and helping them to create value as a
long-term, patient investor. Following completion of the transaction,
KKR intends to work closely with LCY’s existing management team and
employees to strengthen the Company’s business platform by exploring
expansion opportunities in new and existing international markets as
well as penetrating new verticals, with a goal to grow and support
employment in Taiwan and overseas. KKR also looks to enhance the
Company’s approach to environmental, social and governance management to
responsibly and sustainably grow LCY’s corporate value.

Immediately following consummation of the share swap, KKR will hold a
majority and controlling interest in LCY. The KKR consortium includes
participation by the Company’s current employees and certain members of
the Founding Family.

KKR makes its proposed investment from its Asian Fund III. The
transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject
to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Upon the
completion of the transaction, LCY will become a private company, and
its shares will no longer be traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. KKR
and its partners are committed to supporting LCY’s global expansion and
will evaluate a range of options to support the Company’s strategy,
including capital market activities in Taiwan.

Baker McKenzie is acting as legal advisor to the Company. Simpson
Thacher Bartlett and Lee Li are acting as legal advisors to KKR and
the consortium. Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. is acting as financial
advisor to KKR. Goldman Sachs Bank USA has agreed to underwrite and
arrange debt financing to the consortium for the share exchange
transaction, subject to certain customary conditions.

About LCY Chemical Corp.

Founded in 1965, LCY CHEMICAL CORP (TWSE:1704) aims at improving the
quality of life and has been in petrochemical business for more than 50
years. Product portfolios include methanol, solvents, electronic-grade
chemicals, rubbers and performance plastics. For more details, visit LCY

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple
alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy,
infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager
partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive
investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and
disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and
driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR
invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund
investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities
through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments
may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional
information about KKR Co. Inc. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website
at and
on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including but
not limited to statements about completing the proposed transaction on
the terms and timetable described above, and strategic or other
potential benefits of the proposed transaction. Words such as “will,â€�
“believes,â€� “expects,â€� and “futureâ€� or similar expressions are intended
to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements
are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results
and conditions. Certain factors could cause actual results to differ
materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements, and
investors should not place undue reliance on such statement. These
forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press
release, and KKR and the Company do not undertake any obligation to
update or revise any of the forward-looking statements to reflect future
events or circumstances, except as required by law.

1 The figures set out above are based on Bloomberg data as of
the last full trading day immediately prior to the date of the announced
share swap.

Inside ‘the reality distortion field’: An early Apple employee told us what it was like having Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as his bosses (AAPL)

Apple employees earlyJoe Shelton

  • Joe Shelton joined Apple in 1979, when the company had fewer than 100 employees, and his desk was 30 feet from founder Steve Jobs. He was the first product manager for the original Mac.
  • Shelton told us what it was like dealing with Jobs’ infamous “reality distortion field.” In truth, Shelton says, Jobs’ was not the master of mind control that many people made him out to be.
  • And Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ cofounder, was like a “big kid” who occasionally hid behind office cubes when he didn’t want to get dragged into something.

Joe Shelton joined Apple on April 30, 1979, when the company had fewer than 100 employees. “I stumbled into it” after six years in the US Navy, he told Business Insider.

“They were making something called a ‘home computer’ and my mother said, ‘I don’t know why anyone would want a home computer.’” But, “I leaped all over the job because it looked like it was going to be a lot of fun,” he said.

He was right. For a few years, Shelton’s desk was 30 feet from that of late founder Steve Jobs. He also worked with Steve Wozniak — the other founder of Apple who contributed most of the programming brilliance in the early Apple years.

And, with the two Steves, he also took meetings with a young Bill Gates, whose (then) little-known company Microsoft supplied part of the operating system for early versions of the Apple II computer. They worked together until Jobs and Wozniak left the company in 1985. Shelton left the company in 1992.

Business Insider asked Shelton what it was like dealing with Jobs’ infamous “reality distortion field” — his ability to convince colleagues of grand, ambitious projects, even when they didn’t make sense, based on the sheer intensity of his personality. In truth, Shelton says, Jobs’ was not the master of mind control that many people made him out to be.

Shelton was initially hired as a marketing analyst but soon became the product manager for many of the early versions of Apple’s software, such as Apple Writer, the word processing app for the Apple II.

In 1981, not many people were writing software applications for the Apple II. Shelton was worried that the Apple Software Publishing group was promising impossible-to-meet sales numbers at the expense of quality. So Shelton decided to resign. “I’d already written my resignation letter with my opinions on the company’s direction and given it to one of my bosses, the head of the Apple II and III group, and had just given a copy to Mike Markkula — chairman of the board and VP of marketing — when I ran into Steve.”

Standing in the hallway at the Cupertino headquarters at Bandley Drive, Jobs asked, “So what are you doing?”

Apple employees with the Mac in the early 1980s.Joe Shelton

Shelton said, “Actually, I think we’re going in the wrong direction and I’m leaving the company.”

Jobs replied, “come with me.”

The founder took him to Bandley 4 building and showed him what Steve’s secret group was working on next: The Mac prototype. It was the first computer to use a point-and-click interface, with a mouse, and pull-down menus for commands and functions.

The machine was revolutionary: It swept away computers that used lines of code text as commands and replaced them with a visual environment that featured folders, icons, and trash cans — things people recognised from real life. The reason your laptop looks the way it does today is because of the Mac.

“Would you like to be the product manager?” Jobs asked. Obviously, Shelton said yes.

Apple joe sheltonJoe Shelton

“Everybody in the Mac group loved Steve,” Shelton said, even on the days when Jobs was wrong.

A key feature of the Mac was its 128K capacity. This tiny amount of memory was a big deal in its day. But even during Mac’s development stages, it threatened to become a limit. One day, Jobs gathered the Mac team — about 40 people — in the atrium at Bandley, where there was a Bosendorfer piano, a ping-pong table and a 500cc BMW motorcycle. He wanted to address his decision to hardwire a 128K limit into the new Mac. The 128K limit meant that users could not run programs that needed more than 128K of capacity — including the operating system.

Steve JobsJoe Shelton

Standing in front of his employees, Jobs told them, “we want developers to write small, efficient code, not Microsoft code.” His logic was that would metastasize all over the place. The limit would become Apple’s advantage by forcing developers to do more with less headroom.

The staff seemed to like the logic — Jobs’ reality distortion field at work — but Shelton wasn’t convinced. “I was the only person who wasn’t accepting it because I knew how operating systems grow, how software grows.” Jobs thought developers would make their apps smaller, “but it wasn’t going to go that way,” Shelton says. Software code only ever balloons in size.

apple joe sheltonAlthough Shelton’s employee number was 345, due to staff churn there were only about 100 people at Apple when he joined in 1979.

So Shelton visited a colleague in the Mac development group, Andy Hertzfeld, the primary software architect on the Mac. “We can’t do that,” Shelton told him, referring to the 128K limit. “That’s really dumb. We can’t design a hard stop on the software.”

Hertzfeld replied, “I agree, we won’t do that.”

But didn’t Steve Jobs just insist on a 128K limit?

Hertzfeld told Shelton, “Steve will do what he wants to do. We will do what Steve needs us to do. Except when we need to do what we need to do.”

That was the moment Shelton realised the Jobs reality distortion field had holes in it. The Mac was not, ultimately, hardwired into a 128K limit although many believed it was. It had capacity beyond that, although Jobs’ people did not initially inform their boss that the Mac was more powerful than the company was officially saying.

“Steve figured it out eventually,” Shelton said.

Wozniak was almost the opposite of Jobs, Shelton says. Jobs regarded himself as the company’s North Star, a leader who would get up in front of the entire Mac group staff and announce a difficult decision. But Wozniak — who preferred building and coding — sometimes ducked management responsibility.

Shelton remembers one time trying to get Wozniak’s input on a decision as Wozniak walked through the office. Wozniak wasn’t the tallest person in the room but he has distinctive bushy hair, which Shelton could see bobbing between the cubes that separated each desk.

“Hey Woz,” Shelton yelled at him.

“His head would disappear when he ducked down [behind the cube walls] because he didn’t want to deal with you.”

Apple went public in 1980, making Woz a wealthy man. “The minute he got money Woz was mentally out of it,” Shelton says. He had a child-like enthusiasm for new toys and gadgets. He bought a single-engine airplane with his new wealth (which he crashed in 1981). “Woz loved his stuff,” Shelton says. “Woz was, and still is, a kid at heart [and] there are not enough adult kids in the world.”

Apple t shirtJoe Shelton

MackintoshJoe Shelton

Elon Musk settles bizarre fight over a farting unicorn

Elon MuskAP

  • Elon Musk has settled a weird argument with an artist who created a mug featuring a farting unicorn.
  • Musk used the image in Tesla operating systems and other company material, prompting potter Tom Edwards to ask for his copyright to be recognised.
  • Edwards blogged on Friday that the matter is now resolved “in a way that everyone feels good about.”
  • It’s the latest twist in a tumultuous week for Musk, who said: “Always look on the bright side of life.”

Elon Musk has settled his bizarre dispute with an artist who created a mug featuring a farting unicorn.

The unicorn originally featured on one of Colorado-based potter Tom Edwards’ mugs, which carried a positive message about electric vehicles. Musk tweeted in February 2017 that it was “maybe my favorite mug ever.”

Months later, it was brought to Edwards’ attention that the image was popping up inside the operating system of Tesla vehicles and on a company Christmas card.

Edwards hired a lawyer and wrote to Musk asking for a discussion about the farting unicorn’s copyright. He did not want a big legal fight and said that he had always been a Musk fanboy.

Farting Unicorn mugTom Edwards, Wallyware

But Edwards’ daughter, Robin Edwards, called out the Tesla boss on Twitter. Musk, in now-deleted tweets, said legal action would be “kinda lame” and said his interest in the farting unicorn had “increased his [Edwards'] mug sales.”

Edwards told Business Insider last month that Musk had been “arrogant.” He added: “We’re not sitting here with dollar signs in our eyes, we’re really doing this because it’s what right.”

On Friday, Edwards blogged to say that the matter had been resolved.

“We have reached an agreement with Tesla that resolves our issues in a way that everyone feels good about,” he said. “It’s clear there were some misunderstandings that led to this escalating, but I’m just glad that everything has been cleared up.”

Musk tweeted a link to the blog, with three emojis: A unicorn, a gust of wind, and a peace symbol.

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It’s the latest twist in a tumultuous week for Musk. The billionaire called Thai cave rescue diver Vernon Unsworth a “pedo” only to later delete his tweet and apologise. He was also criticised for a donation to the Republican party, which some said contradicted his support of climate change initiatives.

One of his followers observed wryly: “Dude you need to refocus and get on track! You had a rough week in the News.” Musk responded: “Always look on the bright side of life …”